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Changes in Hyperactivity and Temperament in Behaviourally Disturbed Preschoolers after Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

  • Reginald D.V. Nixon (a1)

Abstract

Changes in hyperactivity and temperament in preschool-aged children who underwent a behavioural management program with their mothers were examined. Families of 34 behaviourally disturbed preschool-aged children (aged 3–5) were randomly allocated to either parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT; Eyberg, 1988) or a waiting-list control group (WL). A group of 21 nondisturbed preschoolers was recruited as a social validation comparison condition (SV). Diagnostic status was assessed using a structured clinical interview for DSM-IV disruptive behaviour disorders, with measures of behaviour and temperament obtained via parent report. At posttreatment, PCIT preschoolers were reported by their mothers to have reduced hyperactivity and more flexible temperament, and were less likely to meet criteria for ADHD than the WL group. By 6-month follow-up, children who had received PCIT were comparable to the SV group on ratings of oppositional behaviour and hyperactivity. The finding that a behavioural intervention may influence stable child characteristics is discussed.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Reginald D.V. Nixon, Centre for Trauma Recovery, University of Missouri – St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Rd, St Louis, MO 63121, USA. Email: nixon@umsl.edu

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Behaviour Change
  • ISSN: 0813-4839
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