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Child-Parent Psychotherapy: 6-Month Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 45 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2006 Pages: 913-918
Date Published
August 2006
6 pages

This study examined the duration of improvement in children's problem behaviors and their mother's parenting 6 months after completing child-parent psychotherapy (CPP).


The findings show that improvements in children's problem behavior and their mothers' parenting continued up to 6 months after completing CPP compared to the control group. The findings confirm the hypothesis that a clinical focus on the child-mother relationship as the mechanism of change would result in greater duration of treatment effects for preschoolers exposed to marital violence as well as their mothers when compared with community treatment supplemented by case management. Seventy-five multiethnic preschool-age children and their mothers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds were randomly assigned to CPP or case management plus community referral for individual treatment. The children were 3 to 5 years old. The follow-up assessments were conducted 6 months after completing 1 year of treatment. Mothers completed the Child Behavior Checklist and the Symptom Checklist Revised as the means of assessing both the child's and mother's symptoms. Weekly CPP child-mother sessions lasted approximately 60 minutes and were conducted over the course of 50 weeks. Treatment progress was monitored by intensive weekly clinical supervision that included a review of narrative process notes and weekly case conferences. Control-group mothers received case management from a doctorate-level clinician and were given referral information on mental health clinics in the community; they were then connected to the clinics of their choice. They received at least monthly telephone calls from the case manager and could contact her as needed. 1 figure, 1 table, and 19 references

Date Published: August 1, 2006