Effectiveness of a treatment program for toddlers with behavior problems and developmental delays in low-income families

April M Schaack, Marquette University


Previous research has established a need for treatment of behavioral problems in young children. Various treatment programs have been found to be effective in reducing behavioral problems; however, research is limited in the use of these programs with very young children with developmental delays from low-income families. The present study investigated the use of a parenting program designed specifically for children from low-income families who have developmental delays and externalizing behavior problems. Thirty young children (ages 1-5 years) who had significant behavior problems [meeting the cutoff on the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) Problem subscale]; and had completed the treatment program were included in the analyses. Results found that after treatment, parents reported significantly higher expectations for their children, as well as a decrease in their use of corporal punishment. In addition, parents reported less intense and less problematic behavior in their children following treatment. After treatment it was found that the children were more likely to comply with parental requests. Furthermore, parents increased their positive interactions with their child and the child displayed more positive behaviors during interactions after treatment resulting in an overall improvement in the parent-child relationship. Treatment also aided in the reduction of the number of children meeting criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis. Overall, parents reported high satisfaction with the treatment program. Overall, it was clear that the new parenting program was effective in reducing problematic behavior in children as well as helping parents improve their parent-child interactions. Implications for clinicians are discussed as well as suggestions for future research.

Recommended Citation

Schaack, April M, "Effectiveness of a treatment program for toddlers with behavior problems and developmental delays in low-income families" (2009). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3357970.