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A Behavior Analytic Evaluation of a Cultural Adaptation of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTr) for Latinx Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
AuthorHostetler, Mariela Castro
AdvisorContreras, Bethany P
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An area that is growing in the field of behavior analysis is in the domain of cultural and language adaptations. Despite the substantial evidence to support the use of cultural adaptations in evidence based treatments (e.g., Griner & Smith, 2006; Healey et al., 2017), more research is needed on how to adapt culturally responsive interventions for diverse populations. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a contemporary form of behavior therapy has shown to be effective in addressing various areas of psychological distress for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Blackledge & Hayes, 2006; Fung et al, 2018; Hahs et al., 2019). The present research examined the effects of a culturally adapted ACT training (ACTr) to improve the psychological flexibility, quality of life and value-directed behaviors for Latinx parents of children with ASD. First, we conducted a series of focus groups and structured interviews with Latinx families of children with ASD to identify cultural values and barriers to treatment. Next, we delivered an intervention that included Latinx cultural values, such as familismo (familism) and personalismo (interpersonal relationships) that were taken from the focus groups and interviews. Results showed all participants demonstrated an increased rate of value-directed behaviors from baseline to the training phase. Specifically, increases in value-directed behaviors were observed when the training phase was put in place, thus demonstrating that the culturally adapted ACTr resulted in increases in value-based behaviors for these participants.