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

Faith Martin, Wendy Clyne, Gemma Pearce, Andy Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    72 Downloads (Pure)


    Objectives: Many parents of children with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorders, experience poor wellbeing 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
    Methods: This pre-post study aimed to examine changes in anxiety, depression, wellbeing, 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 wellbeing, 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, wellbeing, gratitude and hope all significantly improved between baseline and post-course. Hope and gratitude correlated significantly with depression, anxiety and wellbeing. 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 postcourse wellbeing. 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 selfmanagement 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)980-992
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
    Issue number4
    Early online date13 Feb 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://crea, 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.


    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Developmental disability
    • Parents
    • Self-management
    • Well-being

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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