Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


Beck, Kelly Battle (2017) FEASIBILITY OF MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (1MB) | Preview


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a standardized 8-week group intervention that has robust, lasting effects on improving quality of life (QOL), life satisfaction, anxiety, and stress in various disability populations (Baer, 2003). MBSR teaches individuals to cultivate awareness and inner resources to cope with life’s challenges. Recent research has also found that mindfulness meditation improves attentional control and emotional regulation.

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience limitations in abstraction, emotion regulation, coping with stressors, and QOL. Despite potential benefits in applicable areas of challenges, MBSR has never been utilized with an ASD population. Self-report assessment outcomes can be a challenge for the ASD population due to limitations in abstraction, awareness, and flexible thinking.

Thus, this research project included two feasibility studies that examined (1) selected self-report QOL and mindfulness outcome measures and (2) a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction group intervention with adults diagnosed with ASD. Twenty-two subjects with ASD participated in a cognitive interview and reliability study to evaluate selected self-report measures. Subjects completed the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Child Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM), WHOQOL-BREF, and WHOQOL-DIS at two time points with a two-week washout period. A subset of participants (n=8) completed cognitive interviews with a trained counselor to evaluate the understanding of each item on the selected scales. Results support use of the SWLS and CAMM with adults with ASD, as both demonstrated good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and item understanding.

In the subsequent quasi-experimental feasibility trial, twelve adults with ASD completed an 8-week group MBSR intervention. Intervention fidelity and feasibility standards were met for retention, understanding of material, and participation. Participants reported high satisfaction with the intervention, as measured by the CSQ-8 (M = 27.92, SD = 3.5). Participants completed an assessment battery at three time points, pre, mid, and post. Estimates of effect sizes were calculated and results indicated large effects in improved positive outlook (partial η2=.530), satisfaction with life (partial η2=.227), and mindfulness (partial η2=.233). This project established feasibility and acceptability of a group MBSR intervention for adults with ASD while suggesting that MBSR may be an efficacious intervention for adults with ASD.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beck, Kelly Battlekab277@pitt.eduKAB277
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCue, Michaelmmccue@pitt.edummccue
Committee MemberGreco,
Committee MemberTerhorst, Laurenlat15@pitt.edulat15
Committee MemberSkidmore, Elizabethskidmore@pitt.eduskidmore
Committee MemberKulzer, Jamiej.kulzer@pitt.eduj.kulzer
Date: 11 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 June 2017
Approval Date: 11 September 2017
Submission Date: 27 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 123
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mindfulness, rehabilitation, quality of life, self-report assessment
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2017 15:11
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 15:11


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item