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13-01-2021 Open Access

The Role of Perspective Taking and Self-Control in a Preventive Intervention Targeting Childhood Disruptive Behavior

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Auteurs:
Karlijn Nijhof, Lysanne W. te Brinke, Urdur Njardvik, Juliette M. Liber
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Abstract

Prevention studies typically focus on outcome variables such as reductions in problem behavior, rather than targeted factors (e.g., cognitions), or the relation between change in targeted factors and outcomes. Therefore, the current study examined the effect of a targeted prevention program for childhood disruptive behavior on targeted factors (i.e., perspective taking and self-control) and associations between change in targeted factors and outcomes (i.e., aspects of disruptive behavior). The sample consisted of 173 children (Mage = 10.2 years) who were randomly assigned to an intervention condition (n = 70) or waitlist control condition (n = 103). Assessment took place at pre-, post- and follow-up measurements. For ethical considerations, follow-up data was not available for children on the waitlist. Findings revealed a direct intervention effect on self-control. From pre-test to follow-up, children who received the intervention improved in perspective taking and self-control. Moreover, improvements in self-control were associated with and predicted reductions in teacher-reported symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder. No associations were found between changes in perspective taking and disruptive behavior. These findings suggest that self-control may be an important target factor in reducing childhood disruptive behavior in targeted prevention.

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