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Title: Savouring as an intervention to decrease negative affect in anxious mothers of children with autism and neurotypical children
Authors: Pereira, Ariel S.
Azhari, Atiqah
Hong, Chloe A.
Gaskin, Gerin E.
Borelli, Jessica L.
Esposito, Gianluca
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Pereira, A. S., Azhari, A., Hong, C. A., Gaskin, G. E., Borelli, J. L. & Esposito, G. (2021). Savouring as an intervention to decrease negative affect in anxious mothers of children with autism and neurotypical children. Brain Sciences, 11(5), 652-.
Project: RG55/18 
Journal: Brain Sciences 
Abstract: Savouring is an emotion regulation strategy and intervention that focuses on the process of attending, intensifying and prolonging positive experiences and positive affect associated with these memories. Personal savouring involves a reflection on positive memories that are specific to the individual and do not involve others. In contrast, relational savouring entails reflecting on instances when people were responsive to the needs of their significant others. Such interventions hold potential benefits in enhancing positive affect (PA) and reducing negative affect (NA) for both parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and parents of neurotypical children. Adults with greater symptoms of generalised anxiety have been found to have less PA and more NA. However, no study has investigated the effects of a mother’s anxiety symptoms on the efficacy of savouring in enhancing PA and reducing NA. Thus, this paper combined personal and relational savouring to investigate whether savouring may enhance PA and reduce NA of a pooled sample of mothers of neurotypical children and mothers of children with ASD. 52 mothers of neurotypical children and 26 mothers of children with ASD aged 3–7 years old were given a series of questionnaires and randomly assigned to either relational savouring or personal savouring conditions. In relational savouring, mothers were asked to reflect upon a shared positive experience with their child while in the personal savouring condition, a personal positive experience was recalled. Across mothers of children with ASD and neurotypical children, findings suggest that savouring leads to a decrease in NA (p < 0.01) but not increases in PA. Similarly, mothers with higher levels of anxiety experience a greater decrease in NA (p < 0.001) compared to mothers with lower levels of anxiety post-savouring. This study proposes that a brief savouring intervention may be effective among mothers of preschoolers. As lower levels of negative affect is linked to healthier psychological well-being, mothers might be able to engage in more effective and warm parenting after savouring exercises, which would cultivate positive mother-child relationships that benefit their children in the long-term.
ISSN: 2076-3425
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci11050652
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles
SSS Journal Articles

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