Original Article

Effect of Psychological Counseling Based on Problem Management Plus on Social Anxiety in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a widespread mental growth disorder. Children with ASD are unlikely to restore the ability of living independent, which definitely brings their parents greater psychological pressure and psychological problems such as social anxiety. Therefore, it is pressing to conduct intervention research on social anxiety and other problems in parents of children with ASD. 

Methods: In 2022, Seventy-three parents of children with ASD were enrolled from Beijing Tongkangyuan Children's Rehabilitation Institute. They were randomly divided into the experiment group (N=36) and the control group (N=37). The experiment group was intervened with psychological counseling based on problem management plus in combination with Tai Chi. The control group did not receive any psychological intervention. Social Anxiety Scale for Children, Parenting Stress Index-Short Form and Social Support Rate Scale were used for measurement before and after the intervention.

Results: The experiment group had significantly higher decreases than the control group in the total score in social anxiety and the scores in its two dimensions after intervention (P=0.001). The experiment group had significant decreases in the total score in parenting stress and the scores in parenting distress and dysfunctional parent-child interaction (P=0.001), while there was no change in the control group. The experiment group had significant improvement in social support, which was also significantly higher than that of the control group (P=0.001).

Conclusion: Psychological counseling based on problem management plus could effectively alleviate social anxiety and parental pressure in parents of children with ASD, improve their social support and play a significant role in enhancing their mental health.


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IssueVol 52 No 2 (2023) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v52i2.11885
Problem management plus Social anxiety Autism Tai Chi

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How to Cite
Qi A, Wang F, Cao T. Effect of Psychological Counseling Based on Problem Management Plus on Social Anxiety in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Iran J Public Health. 2023;52(2):325-333.