Group Treatment for Conduct-Disordered Preschoolers

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Conduct-disordered behavior is estimated to be the most costly mental health problem in the United States. Preschoolers with conduct problems are at high risk for serious negative consequences as they reach school-age and adolescence, including poor academic functioning, peer rejection, antisocial activity, incarceration, and substance abuse. Research clearly indicates that early interventions are highly effective and are generally more effective than interventions for older children. However, system factors such as cost of services, shortages of child mental health staff and poor dissemination of empirically-supported treatments, and family factors such as premature termination and poor treatment adherence prevent many families from benefiting from services. Existing efficacious treatment models should be evaluated in light of these factors and should be adapted to address them. This new investigator will pilot test an innovative model of treatment for children with conduct-disordered behavior that was adapted from an evidence-based treatment (parent-child interaction therapy, PCIT). The adapted intervention, a group format of PCIT, is expected to . demonstrate comparable efficacy to the standard intervention in terms of children's symptom reduction . reduce the cost of services for family treatment . improve families' treatment adherence and reduce treatment attrition. Participants will be 90 families of children ages 3 to 6 with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and they will be referred to an outpatient clinic for treatment. Families will be randomly assigned to the standard (individual) PCIT condition or the adapted (group) PCIT condition. It is further expected that treatment responsiveness in both conditions will be impacted by parent psychological factors, treatment engagement, and level of perceived social support. Research supports the efficacy of PCIT in an individual format. This pilot study is the first step toward adapting an efficacious group model to facilitate dissemination among overburdened community agencies.
Effective start/end date01/11/0512/31/08


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $176,970.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $174,041.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $167,949.00


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