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The effects of perspective taking training on attitudes to autism and on psychological health in ABA tutors

Grant number: 16/11362-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Celso de Noronha Goyos
Grantee:Diana Ferroni Bast
Supervisor abroad: Ian Stewart
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Ireland  
Associated to the scholarship:15/19184-0 - A functional approach to implicit and explicit attitudes of self-forgiveness: developing a perspective taking training, BP.PD


Recent research has shown a correlation between negative implicit attitudes towards autism as measured using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and self-reported psychopathology and professional burnout in tutors working with children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The current study will test an RFT-based perspective-taking intervention for tutors delivered both in person and online and examine its effects on explicit and implicit attitudes and psychological functioning in ASD tutors. Method. 48 participants will be recruited from National University of Ireland. Standardized psychometric instruments will be employed measuring self-compassion, depression, anxiety, stress, burn-out, avoidance and mindfulness. One IRAP will be employed to assess implicit attitudes to autism. Procedure. Participants will be randomly assigned to 3 different groups (i) perspective taking (ii) relaxation and (iii) control, and will be given the complete range of assessments before and after intervention. Participants in conditions (i) and (ii) will attend live and online (app-delivered) workshops and will then be re-assessed on all measures. Mixed group statistics will be used to compare groups. The key hypothesised outcomes are differential reduction of stress, anxiety, depression, and experiential avoidance and an increase in self-compassion, favouring the perspective-taking group in relation to the other groups. We also hypothesise a relative reduction in implicit negative attitudes towards autism. Correlations between time spent using the app, level of change in negative implicit attitudes and general psychological health are also predicted. (AU)