A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Anger Management in Children Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome

School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 09/2007; 37(7):1203-14. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0262-3
Source: PubMed


The purpose of the study described was to evaluate the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural intervention for anger management with children diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Forty-five children and their parents were randomly assigned to either intervention or wait-list control conditions. Children in the intervention participated in six 2-h weekly sessions while parents participated in a larger parent group. Parent reports indicated a significant decrease in episodes of anger following intervention and a significant increase in their own confidence in managing anger in their child. Qualitative information gathered from parents and teachers indicated some generalization of strategies learned in the clinic setting to both home and school settings. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

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    • "For example, RCT studies have shown positive effects of parent-based interventions for children with intellectual disabilities/developmental delay (Leung et al. 2013; McIntyre 2008; Plant and Sanders 2007; Roberts et al. 2006; Roux et al. 2013), autistic spectrum conditions (Sofronoff et al. 2004; Whittingham et al. 2009) and attention deficit disorder (Azevedo et al. 2013; Hoath and Sanders 2002; Jones et al. 2007). Whilst these interventions have been directed at parents, some studies have also evaluated treatment models in which adjunctive parent interventions are implemented alongside child-directed treatments (e.g., Autistic spectrum conditions: Sofronoff et al. 2007; ADHD: Webster-Stratton et al. 2011). Indeed, within tic disorders there have been some attempts to incorporate parent-directed elements into child-focused interventions. "
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    • "The first efforts to increase social cognition focused on enhancing social understanding (Gray 1998) and promoting social cognitive capabilities such as ToM and basic emotion recognition (Ozonoff and Miller 1995), however, in general, improvements noted in the targeted domain did not generalize to other domains of social competency. More recently, CBIs have produced promising outcomes in reducing a range of symptoms such as anxiety (Sofronoff et al. 2007), anger (Attwood 2004), and obsessive–compulsive symptoms (Reaven and Hepburn 2003). In a CBI targeting emotion recognition, ToM, and EF, Solomon et al. (2004) found increases in problem solving and facial expression recognition although substantial gains in ToM skills were not realized. "
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    • "Finally, the authors reviewed these 168 articles in a more in-depth review and reached a consensus to further exclude 136 articles (70 did not involve participants with an ASD diagnosis, 42 were theoretical papers or secondary reviews, 15 did not include at least one ER measure, and 9 did not involve participants with an ASD diagnosis and were theoretical papers or secondary reviews), resulting in 32 articles that met the criteria and were included in the current review. Reference lists from the 32 studies were also reviewed [see asterisks in reference list for final included studies; specifically, three were ultimately identified through Bal et al., 2010; Mazefsky et al., 2013; Sofronoff, Attwood, Hinton, & Levin, 2007; Van Hecke et al., 2009]. "
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