An evaluation of the "FRIENDS for Life" programme among children presenting with autism spectrum disorder

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Burke, Mary-Kate
Prendeville, Paula
Veale, Angela
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Taylor and Francis Group (Routledge)
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“FRIENDS for Life” is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme which aims to reduce anxiety and promote resilience among children. This study evaluated the “FRIENDS for Life” (FRIENDS) programme used as an intervention for seven children between the ages of 10 and 11 presenting with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFA) who attend mainstream schooling. The study adopts a mixed methodology, explanatory research design, which included pre- and post-quantitative anxiety scales, parental interviews completed post-intervention, narrative observation of FRIENDS sessions and a post-intervention children’s evaluation questionnaire. Quantitative findings from this study suggest that participation in the “FRIENDS” programme does not reduce anxiety levels to promote resilience. Such results are discussed with regard to the utility of using standardised self-report measures among children with HFA. Despite this, qualitative information indicates that “FRIENDS” can be made accessible for children with HFA. Recommendations and implications for future research and FRIENDS implementations are outlined.
FRIENDS for Life , CBT , Autism , Intervention , Resilience
Burke, M.-K., Prendeville, P. and Veale, A. (2017) 'An evaluation of the "FRIENDS for Life" programme among children presenting with autism spectrum disorder', Educational Psychology in Practice, 33(4), pp. 435-449. doi:10.1080/02667363.2017.1367648
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© 2017, Association of Educational Psychologists. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Psychology in Practice on 15 September, 2017, available online: