Parent Training in Pivotal Response Treatment: Bridging Disparity Among English- and Spanish-Speaking Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Objectives: To compare the change in parent FOI among English JumpStart (EJS) and two models of Spanish JumpStart (SJS).
Methods: Participants were 46 parent-child dyads: 23 completed EJS (child: Mage = 3.79, SD = 1.41; parent: Mage = 34.03, SD = 6.81); 18 completed SJS-1 (child: Mage = 3.88, SD = 0.98; parent: Mage = 33.35, SD = 5.21), and 5 completed SJS-2 (child: Mage = 4.48, SD = 1.58; parent: Mage = 35.07, SD = 3.64). Children had an independent ASD diagnosis or at-risk classification. During SJS-1, intervention sessions were conducted in English and guided observation was conducted in Spanish. The guide needed to translate the interventionist-child interactions, which resulted in substantially fewer opportunities to explain PRT techniques. In SJS-2, intervention sessions were conducted in Spanish, allowing the guide to fully explain the PRT techniques. Videotaped 10-minute probes pre- and post-JumpStart completion were coded for overall parent FOI.
Results: Results of a 2x2 repeated measures ANOVA indicate that both EJS and SJS-1 groups demonstrated significant positive change in FOI from pre- to post-JumpStart [F (1, 39) = 114.80, p < .001]. However, a significant group by time interaction revealed that the EJS group demonstrated a larger positive change in FOI than the SJS-1 group [F (1, 39) = 13.20, p = .001]. When compared to change in FOI in the SJS-2 group (M = 35.20%, SD = 21.57), EJS parents demonstrated larger positive change (M = 50.65%, SD = 21.71) and SJS-1parents demonstrated smaller positive change (M = 25.00%, SD= 23.35). Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that these comparisons were not significant.
Conclusions: Change in FOI was significantly lower among SJS-1 parents compared to EJS parents, indicating a need for more effective training techniques for Spanish speaking parents. Preliminary data from SJS-2 provide evidence for conducting both intervention and guided observation in Spanish. Although not statistically significant, SJS-2 parents demonstrated larger positive change in FOI than SJS-1 parents. Future examination of SJS-2 with a larger sample size may demonstrate a statistically significant benefit of this method. These findings support previously reported ethnic disparities in resource availability among families of children with ASD (Magana et al., 2012) and identify a potential method for reducing this disparity during training of parents for whom Spanish is their primary language.