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Evaluation of a Group Programme for Parents of Problem Children


Scott, M. J., & Stradling, S. G. (1987). Evaluation of a group programme for parents of problem children. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 15(3), 224-239. DOI:



A behaviourally based Programme was developed to assist parents with problem children. The Programme was intended for the typical social service clientele of single parent, low income or state benefit families and may be administered by social workers or assistants conversant with the Programme Manual. The Programme consists of six 90 min sessions run at weekly intervals during which a variety of behavioural techniques are taught, largely through role play, with a seventh follow up session a month later.

The Programme was evaluated by a range of before and after measures on both a treatment group and a waiting list control group and maintenance of treatment gains was tested at three and, for some measures, six months interval. The Programme significantly reduced: the perceived number and intensity of child behaviour problems; parental depression, inward irritability and outward irrirability; and the level of perceived chlid conduct problems, impulsivity and anxiety. It significantly improved parents' chlid management skills. Improvement in parental depression and irritability was maintained at three months and reduction in chlid beviour problems was tested for and found at both three and six months.

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