Varying Treatment Intensity in a Home-Based Parent and Child Therapy Program for Families Living in Poverty: A Randomized Clinic Trial
Journal of Community Psychology
This study addressed the question of whether increasing the intensity of a parent and child therapy program would improve results for young children with significant behavior problems from families living in poverty. Children were randomly assigned to either a standard condition or an intensity condition that provided 50% more treatment over a standard 8-week treatment period. Based on multiple parent-report, direct observation, and clinician-report measures of the children and their caregivers, both groups improved on all measures from pretest to posttest and from pretest to follow-up. No differences in outcomes were found between the standard and intensity groups at posttest or follow-up. These counterintuitive results are discussed within the parent and child intervention literature. Also, the heuristic potential of this study to encourage continued research with this challenging population is addressed.