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29-09-2021 | Original Article Open Access

The Long and the Short of It: A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Parent–Child Care (PC–CARE) and Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Susan G. Timmer, Brandi Hawk, Maria Usacheva, Lindsay Armendariz, Deanna K. Boys, Anthony J. Urquiza
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Research shows that parenting interventions struggle with keeping clients in treatment. The purpose of this study was to compare attrition and rates of improvement in caregiver-child dyads participating in either Parent–Child Care (PC–CARE), a brief, 7-session parenting intervention or Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) over a 7–week period. Participants were 204 caregiver-child dyads referred to either PC-CARE (N = 69) or PCIT (N = 135) between 2016 and 2019. Children were aged 2–7 years, referred for treatment by county Behavioral Health Services, and Medicaid funded. Findings showed that PC–CARE participants were 2.5 times more likely than PCIT participants to complete 7 sessions, all other things being equal, and showed significantly greater rates of improvement during this timeframe in reported child behavior problems and parenting stress. In conclusion, compared with PCIT, PC–CARE showed greater retention and rate of improvement in child and parent outcomes over a comparable time period.

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