Seeing it my way: A perspective taking intervention alleviates psychological distress in caregivers of autistic children

Lovell, Brian, Newman, Amy and Wetherell, Mark (2023) Seeing it my way: A perspective taking intervention alleviates psychological distress in caregivers of autistic children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 133. p. 104396. ISSN 0891-4222

[img]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S0891422222002268-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (454kB) | Preview
[img] Text
Revised_Manuscript_Clean_2_.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 27 December 2023.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (261kB) | Request a copy
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2022.104396

Abstract

Cognitively empathic caregivers are able to take the perspective of their autistic child(ren) without experiencing vicarious distressing emotions, and typically report lower psychological distress. Taking the perspective of the autistic child might, through fostering cognitive empathy, might relieve caregivers’ psychological distress. Here we explored whether autism perspective taking videos developed by the National Autistic Society (NAS), intended to raise public awareness about autism, might be effective, packaged as an intervention, for increasing caregivers’ cognitive empathy and reducing their psychological distress. A sample of 24 caregivers of autistic children completed questionnaires capturing psychological distress and cognitive empathy at baseline. For three consecutive days, for two-three minutes per day, caregivers watched perspective taking videos. Follow up assessments were collected 7, 14, and 21 days post intervention. Psychological distress was lower after seven days, and stayed lower 14 and 21 days post intervention compared with baseline. Cognitive empathy was higher after 14 days, and remained higher 21 days post intervention compared with baseline. Taking the perspective of the autistic child, achieved here with publically available NAS videos, seems to be effective for increasing caregivers’ cognitive empathy and reducing their psychological distress for up to three weeks. Future research might use more rigorous methodologies, incorporating control groups and larger samples, to explore moderators of intervention efficacy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Authors thank the British Academy/Leverhulme small research grants for funding this research (grant reference: SRG1819\190669).
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism, caregiving, empathy, intervention, perspective taking, psychological distress
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 13:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50885

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics