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01-05-2013 | Original Research | Uitgave 4/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2013

The Effectiveness of Group Parent–Child Interaction Therapy with Community Families

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2013
Lorraine Nieter, Timothy Thornberry Jr., Elizabeth Brestan-Knight


Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a behavioral, parent-training program that incorporates both operant learning and play therapy techniques to treat child disruptive behavior problems. The present pilot study examined the use of a group PCIT protocol with a mixed clinical sample of primarily low-socioeconomic status community families. Forty families with a child between the ages of 2 and 8 years old were either self-referred to the group or referred by child protective services, and 27 began treatment. Following a standard group PCIT protocol, 17 families completed treatment. Caregivers who completed the PCIT group reported a significant decrease in child disruptive behavior and parenting stress following completion of the 12-week group. Behavior observations of the treatment completers revealed a significant increase in parent prosocial behavior and a decrease in inappropriate parent behavior from pre- to post-treatment. As there have been no demonstrations, to date, of group PCIT in a community-based setting, this study presents evidence that PCIT is a promising treatment format for dissemination research and practice. The benefits and challenges of using a group PCIT format for delivery of clinical services are discussed.

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