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Clinical Trial Summary

This study is designed to evaluate a preventive intervention program designed to support families (parents and typically developing adolescent siblings) that include a child with an intellectual and/or developmental disability. Participant families will be randomly assigned to either the treatment condition, in which they will receive psychoeducation and communication coaching over a four-week period, or the control condition, in which they will receive self-study materials. All subjects will participate in a pre-test assessment and three post-test assessments over the course of the year.


Clinical Trial Description

A critical need exists for an evidence-based program to ameliorate the impact of family stress and conflict on the overall well-being of parents and TD siblings, as well as individuals with IDD. Our objective in this study is to test the efficacy for parents, TD siblings, and children with IDD of an adaptation of the psycho-educational and communication training approach used in a previously validated prevention/intervention program for community families, and to examine the mechanisms associated with change processes that occur as a result of the 4-week program. Our long-term goal is to increase the availability and affordability of empirically-supported family-systems approaches to reduce family stress and conflict in families of individuals with IDD. Our central hypothesis is that participation in the program will support the identified needs of families with a child with IDD, improve the well-being and adjustment of parents, increase emotional security and adjustment for TD siblings, and be associated with improvements in adaptive functioning for individuals with IDD. This central hypothesis is supported by promising qualitative evidence and preliminary analyses from an ongoing pilot study using the adapted curriculum included in the present proposal. Our rationale is that providing a family-systems approach to improving the family environment will support the well-being of each family member, including the child with IDD. The specific aims are: (1) determining the efficacy of the program for parents, (2a) determining the efficacy of the program for typically developing siblings, (2b) testing process models, guided by the Emotional Security Theory (EST; Davies & Cummings, 1994), to explain how and why and for whom and when changes occur as a result of the program, and (3) examining the impact of the program on individuals with IDD. Families (n=150) that include a child with IDD and a TD sibling between 11 and 17 years of age, will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) parent and typically developing sibling intervention, or (2) resource only control. Multi-method assessments of all family members will be obtained at pre- and post-intervention visits, and 6-month and 1-year follow-ups. The approach is innovative because it addresses multiple family members' needs, tests theory about explanatory models for program impact, and utilizes a brief, psycho-educational format and a RCT design to evaluate its efficacy. This research is significant because it will create an inexpensive model program for family-system-level interventions for families of children with IDD, benefiting parents, siblings and the child with IDD, including evaluations of program effectiveness in standing community centers. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03495440
Study type Interventional
Source University of Notre Dame
Contact Edward M Cummings, PhD
Phone 574-631-4947
Email ecumming@nd.edu
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date August 4, 2017
Completion date May 31, 2022

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