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Clinical Trial Summary

Parental Insightfulness (PI), promotes the development of the child's socio-emotional competence and her ability to have productive and sustaining relationships. PI is even more central in the case of young children with ASD, who struggle to socially communicate their needs and their mental and emotional states. PI's effects on the child's peer-interaction have not been tested and Since parents play a central role in intervention programs for their children with ASD, examining modifiable parent factors as mediators and moderators of treatment effectiveness could contribute to this line of research. The proposed study aims to test how pre intervention PI and intervention-related changes in PI affect parents' ability to support their children in the acquisition of peer-interaction skills. Using the PEERS for Preschoolers (P4P) program, the study will examine the effect of PI and parental involvement in a social skills intervention on children's acquisition and maintenance of social skills.


Clinical Trial Description

Parental Insightfulness (PI), the ability to see things from the child's point of view and to think about the motives that underlie the child's behavior, promotes the development of the child's socio-emotional competence and her ability to have productive and sustaining relationships. PI may be even more central in the case of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who struggle to socially communicate their needs and their mental and emotional states. Previous research showed PI predicts adaptive child functioning and demonstrated the merit of PI both as a moderator and as a mediator of treatment outcomes in interventions that aim to promote PI and parent-child interaction. However, PI's effects on the child's peer-interaction have not been tested. Intervention research in ASD has evolved from the examination of treatment effectiveness to the pursuit of treatment mediators and moderators, that could be utilized for treatment individualization. Since parents play a central role in intervention programs for their children with ASD, examining modifiable parent factors as mediators and moderators of treatment effectiveness could contribute to this line of research. The proposed study aims to test how pre intervention PI and intervention-related changes in PI affect parents' ability to support their children in the acquisition of peer-interaction skills. Using the PEERS for Preschoolers (P4P) program, a parent assisted social skills training program for young children with ASD, the study will examine the effect of PI and parental involvement in a social skills intervention on children's acquisition and maintenance of social skills. These aims will be tested in the following ways: 1) A randomized controlled trial will compare the effects of the parent-mediated P4P program to those of a P4P program with minimal parent involvement (P4P-mpi) on the outcome and the maintenance of gains in child social skills and on PI. 2) an examination of the role of pretreatment PI as a moderator of children's intervention-related social skills gains and their maintenance, and 3) an examination of the role of treatment related change in PI as a mediator of children's intervention-related social skills gains and their maintenance. The trial will include 80 young children with ASD, aged 4-7, and their parents, who will be randomized into a P4P treatment group and a P4P-mpi control group. Participants will be tested pre- and post- a 16-week intervention period, as well as 10 weeks later, for follow up. Measures will include a behavioral microanalytic assessment of a peer play interaction and parental insightfulness assessment, a parental reflective functioning questionnaire, and social skills questionnaires filled out by parents and teachers. This study may promote the yet limited research on parent-mediated social skills interventions in young children with ASD and shed light on the role of parental insightfulness in children's treatment-related outcomes. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05029375
Study type Interventional
Source Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Contact Liron Oliver Aronson, M.A
Phone 972 03-531-7941
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date August 2021
Completion date October 2023

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