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Self-management support intervention for parents of children with developmental disorders: The role of gratitude and hope

Martin, Faith; Clyne, Wendy; Pearce, Gemma; Turner, Andy


Faith Martin
Wallscourt Fellow in Wellbeing and Mental Wealth

Wendy Clyne

Gemma Pearce

Andy Turner


Objectives: Many parents of children with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorders, experience poor well-being and increased anxiety and depression. Very few interventions directly target parents’ needs. The peer-delivered HOPE Programme was designed to address this with six weekly group sessions focusing on self-management skills, including goal setting and expressing gratitude. Methods: This pre-post study aimed to examine changes in anxiety, depression, well-being, hope and gratitude, and to explore associations between changes in anxiety and depression and changes in gratitude and hope. Validated measures of depression, anxiety, positive well-being, gratitude and hope were used. Parents of children with a range of developmental disabilities, most commonly autism spectrum disorders, were recruited. Results: Of 137 (86.9% female) recruited, 108 parents completed the course and post-course data. Parents’ depression, anxiety, well-being, gratitude and hope all significantly improved between baseline and post-course. Hope and gratitude correlated significantly with depression, anxiety and well-being. Baseline depression, baseline gratitude, post-course hope and gratitude explained 50% of the variance in post-course depression. Reduced work hours, and baseline and post-course hope and gratitude explained 40% of the variance in post-course well-being. Anxiety was not associated to hope nor gratitude at either time point. Conclusions: This study provides initial support for feasibility and potential effect of the peer delivered self-management intervention on parental anxiety and depression. Changes in gratitude and hope account for some change in depression, but not anxiety. A randomised controlled trial is needed to establish efficacy and explore mechanisms of change in-depth.


Martin, F., Clyne, W., Pearce, G., & Turner, A. (2019). Self-management support intervention for parents of children with developmental disorders: The role of gratitude and hope. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(4), 980-992.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 13, 2019
Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2019
Journal Journal of Child and Family Studies
Print ISSN 1062-1024
Electronic ISSN 1573-2843
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 4
Pages 980-992
Keywords Life-span and Life-course Studies; Developmental and Educational Psychology
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Additional Information First Online: 13 February 2019; : ; : The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.; : All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee at Coventry University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.; : Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


Self-Management Support Intervention for Parents of Children with Developmental Disorders: The Role of Gratitude and Hope (614 Kb)


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© The Author(s) 2019 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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