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Treating Children With Early-Onset Conduct Problems: A Comparison of Child and Parent Training Interventions

NCJ Number
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume: 65 Issue: 1 Dated: 1997 Pages: 93-109
Date Published
17 pages

The authors review their examination of the impacts of three treatments and a wait-list control group, to determine which of the treatment conditions produced the most significant improvements in child behavior; they describe their research methodology, with the target population being young children, their research outcomes, and implications for clinical treatment of children with early-onset conduct problems.


Families of 97 children with early-onset conduct problems, aged four to eight years old, were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: a parent training treatment group (PT); a child training group (CT); a combined child and parent training group (CT + PT); or a waiting-list control group (CON). Post-treatment assessments indicated that all three conditions had resulted in significant improvements in comparison with controls. Comparisons of the three treatment conditions indicated that CT and CT + PT children showed significant improvements in problem solving as well as conflict management skills, as measured by observations of their interactions with a best friend; differences among treatments on these measures consistently favored the CT over the PT condition. As for parent and child behavior at home, PT and CT + PT parents and children had significantly more positive interactions, compared with CT parents and children. One-year follow-up assessments indicated that all the significant changes noted immediately posttreatment had been maintained over time. Moreover, child conduct problems at home had lessened over time. Analyses of the clinical significance of the results suggested that the combined CT + PT condition produced the most significant improvements in child behavior at one-year follow-up. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 1997