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Transitioning Together

Transitioning Together: Evaluation of a Multi-Family Group Psychoeducation Intervention for Parents and Youth with Autism

Student Principal Investigator: Shona Mills

The transition to adulthood is a time of change. Transition-aged youth may be navigating post-secondary education, employment options, independent living arrangements, and social relationships (Arnett, 2000). Research has shown these life events may be especially difficult for youth with autism and their families to navigate. For example, adults with autism experience challenges developing and maintaining relationships (Stoddart et al., 2013; Taylor & Seltzer, 2010). Parents of transition-aged youth with autism are also more likely to experience significant stressors that impact their physical and emotional health compared to parents of youth without autism (Smith et al., 2012a). Transitioning Together is an empirically supported program targeting transition-aged youth with autism and the family. It is a family-focused 8-week group psychoeducational program that aims to improve youths' social engagement, parents' well-being, and parent-child relationship outcomes (DaWalt et al., 2018; Smith et al., 2012b). The purpose of the current study is to examine the effectiveness of Transitioning Together at improving various parent, youth, and parent-child relational outcomes among families living in Ontario.


Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480.

DaWalt, L. S., Greenberg, J. S., & Mailick, M. R. (2018). Transitioning together: A multi-family group Psychoeducation program for adolescents with ASD and their parents. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(1), 251-263.

Smith, L. E., Greenberg, J. S., & Mailick, M. R. (2012a). Adults with Autism: Outcomes, family effects, and the multi-family group Psychoeducation model. Current Psychiatry Reports, 14, 732-738.

Smith, L. E., Seltzer, M. M., & Greenberg, J. S. (2012b). Daily health symptoms of mothers of adolescents and adults with fragile X syndrome and mothers of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(9), 1836-1846.

Stoddart, K.P., Burke, L., Muskat, B., Manett, J., Duhaime, S., Accardi, C., Burnham Riosa, P. & Bradley, E. (2013). Diversity in Ontario's Youth and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Complex Needs in Unprepared Systems. Toronto, ON: The Redpath Centre.

Taylor, J. L., & Seltzer, M. M. (2010). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(5), 566-574.

Collaborators & Funder
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