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Changes in Parental Self-Efficacy Following “Autism Spectrum Disorder & Language Delay Incredible Years” Parenting Program

Muschietti-Piana, V.E. (2019). Changes in Parental Self-Efficacy Following “Autism Spectrum Disorder & Language Delay Incredible Years®” Parenting Program (Unpublished dissertation). Middlesex, London.


Background: Early interventions have positive outcomes for parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The Incredible Years® Autism and Language Delay (IY® ASLD) programme aims to promote parenting competence and child development by offering strategies to address social skills, communication and language, emotion regulation, and school readiness in children. Parental self-efficacy has been used as an outcome measure in some empirical studies of intervention programmes. Still today, neither in the IY® ASLD pilot studies nor in the feasibility studies specific measures to identify changes in parenting self-efficacy have been used.

Study aim: To ascertain if the IY® ASLD training programme improves parental self-efficacy.

Methods: A repeated measure design was used. Participants completed a TOPSE scale Pre and Post parenting programme. Qualitative information about the participant’s feedback of the intervention was obtained from the TOPSE scale comments section, Pre and Post IY® ASLD parenting programme.

Results: Significant improvements were identified in overall total for parental self-efficacy (p = .012) Post IY® ASLD parenting programme. Results showed significant improvement in the play and enjoyment (p=.003) and learning and knowledge (p=.012) domain. Feedback after the course was entirely positive, and indicative of the benefits of the IY® ASLD programme for improving parenting skills. A limitation of the study is that it was interrupted due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Conclusion: The IY® ASLD is a cost-effective programme that can be implemented to support families with children with social communication difficulties and/or language delay. Parents with children with neurodevelopmental disorders benefitted from being part of a group and sharing their experiences together.

Read the Dissertation (PDF)

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