Comparing the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy on resilience of mothers with autistic children

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student in Psychology, Department of Psychology, Torbat-e Jam branch, Islamic Azad University, Torbat-e Jam, Iran

2 Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Torbat-e Jam Branch, Torbat-e Jam, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Torbat-e Jam Branch, Islamic Azad University, Torbat-e Jam, Iran


Background: Children with autism need special care that can cause anxiety for parents, especially mothers, and as well endanger their well-being.

Aim: The present study was done to comparing the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on resilience in the mothers of children with autism.

Methods: This is a quasi-experimental research, which was carried out on mothers referred to special educational and medical centers for autism in Mashhad. 45 mothers of children with autism were selected using convenience method and randomly allocated in each of experimental groups (two groups) and a control group. The experimental groups of CBT and ACT underwent interventions based on treatment plans of Bieling et al., and Vowles and Sorrell respectively, in 8 sessions of 90 minutes. Research tool was the Connor and Davidson resilience scale.

Results: The results showed a significant difference between the CBT and ACT training groups with control group (P<0.001). This difference was more for ACT group in the components of perception of individual competence and spiritual effects (F = 37.24, F = 37.87 respectively); while for CBT group, more differences were observed in the components of trust in individual instincts (F = 03.19), positive acceptance (F = 94.91), and control (F = 06.13, and for all P = 0.00).

Conclusion: The results confirmed that CBT is more effective than ACT on the resilience of the mothers of children with autism. It is suggested that CBT be used to promote the mental well-being of these mothers.