Skip to main content Accessibility help

Evaluation of a Group Programme for Parents of Problem Children

  • M. J. Scott (a1) and S. G. Stradling (a2)


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.



Hide All
Blackburn, I. M., Bishop, S., Glen, A. I. M., Whalley, L. J. and Christie, J. G. (1981). The efficacy of cognitive therapy in depression—a treatment trial using cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy, each alone and in combination. British Journal of Psychiatry, 139, 181189.
Berkowitz, B. P. and Graziano, A. M. (1972). Training parents as behaviour therapists: A review. Behaviour Research and Therapy 10, 297317.
Brown, G. W. and Harris, T. (1978). The Social Origins of Depression. London: Tavistock.
Cobb, D. E. and Medway, F. J. (1978). Determinants of effectiveness in parent consultation. Journal of Community Psychology 6, 229240.
Connors, C. K. (1978). Normative data on revised Connors parent and teacher rating scales. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 6, 221236.
Dumas, J. E. and Wahler, R. G. (1983). Predictors of treatment outcome in parent training: Mother insularity and socioeconomic disadvantage. Behavioral Assessment 5, 301313.
Eyberg, S. M. and Ross, A. W. (1978). Assessment of child behaviour problems: the validation of a new inventory. Journal of Clinical Psychology 7, 113116.
Forehand, R. (1980). An examination of the social validity of a parent training program. Behavior Therapy 11, 488502.
Forehand, R. and King, H. E. (1977). Noncompliant children: effects of parent training on behaviour and attitude change. Behaviour Modification 1, 93108.
Forehand, R. and McMahon, R. J. (1981). Helping the Noncompliant Child: A Clinician's Guide to Parent Training. New York: Guilford.
Forehand, R., Rogers, T., Steffe, M., and Middlebrook, J., (1984). Helping parents help their noncompliant child. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy 1, 610.
Fullerton, M. (1985). All he did was laugh. New Society 20/27 December, 529.
Griest, D. L. (1980). An examination of differences between non-clinic and behaviour-problem clinic referred children and their mothers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 89, 497500.
Griest, D. L., Wells, K. C. and Forehand, R. (1979). Examination of predictors of maternal perceptions of maladjustment in clinic-referred children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 88, 277281.
Horne, A. M. and Patterson, G. R. (1979). Working with parents of aggressive children. In Parent Education Handbook, Abidin, R. R. (Ed.), Springfield, Illinois: Charles E. Thomas.
Johnson, S. M., Wahl, G., Martin, S. and Johansson, S. M. (1973). How deviant is the normal child? A behavioural analysis of the preschool child and his family. In Advances in Behavior Therapy. Brady, J. A. and Henderson, J. D., New York: Academic Press.
Lobitz, G. K. and Johnson, S. M. (1975). Normal versus deviant children. A multi-method comparison. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 3, 353374.
McLean, P. D. (1976). Parental depression: incompatible with effective parenting. In Modification Approaches to Parenting, Marsh, E. J. (Ed.). New York: Brunner/Mazel.
McMahon, R. J. (1981). Who drops out of treatment during parent behavioural training? Behavioural Counselling Quarterly 1, 7985.
Moreland, S. R., Schwebel, A. L., Beck, S. and Wells, K. C. (1982). Parents as therapists: A review of the behaviour therapy parent training literature 1975 to 1981. Behaviour Modification 6, 250276.
Ollendick, T. and Cerney, J. (1981). Clinical Behavior Therapy with Children. New York: Plenum Press.
Patterson, G. R. and Fleischman, M. J. (1979). Maintenance of treatment effects. Some considerations concerning family systems and follow-up data. Behavior Therapy 10, 168185.
Peterson, D. R. (1961). Behaviour problems of middle childhood. Journal of Consulting Psychology 25, 205209.
Reid, J. B. and Patterson, G. R. (1976). Follow-up analyses of a behavioural treatment program for boys with conduct problems: A reply to Kent. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 44, 297302.
Rickard, K. M., Forehand, R., Wells, K. C., Griest, D. L. and McMahon, R. J. (1981). Factors in the referral of children for behavioural treatment: A comparison of mothers of clinic-referred deviant, clinic-referred nondeviant, and nonclinic children. Behaviour Research and Therapy 19, 201205.
Robins, L. N. (1979). Follow-up studies. In Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood, Quay, H. C. and Werry, J. S. (Eds). New York: Wiley.
Robinson, E. A., Eyberg, S. M. and Ross, A. W. (1980). The standardization of an inventory of child conduct problem behaviours. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 9, 2229.
Ross, M. and Scott, M. J. (1985). An evaluation of the effectiveness of individual and group cognitive therapy in the treatment of depressed patients in an inner city health centre. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35, 239242.
Sadler, O. W. (1976). An evaluation of “groups for parents”. Journal of Community Psychology 4, 157163.
Snaith, R. P., Constantopoulous, A. A., Jardine, M. Y. and McGuffin, P. (1978). A clinical scale for the self assessment of irritability (IDA). British Journal of Psychiatry 132, 164171.
Speer, D. C. (1971). The behaviour problem checklist (Peterson-Quay): baseline data from parents of child guidance and nonclinic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 36, 221228.
Strain, P. S., Young, C. C. and Horowitz, J. (1980). Generalized behaviour change during oppositional child training: An examination of child and family demographic variables. Behaviour Modification 5, 1526.
Thorley, G. and Yule, W. (1982). A role play test of parent-child interaction. Behavioural Psychotherapy 10, 146161.
Wahler, R. G. (1980). The insular mother: Her problems in parent-child treatment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 31, 207219.
Wahler, R. G. and Afton, A. D. (1980). Attentional processes in insular and noninsular mothers: Some differences in their summary reports about child problem behaviour. Child Behavior Therapy 2, 2541.
Wahler, R. G., House, A. E. and Stombaugh, E. E. (1976). Ecological Assessment of Child Problem Behaviour: A Clinical Package for Home. School and Institutional Settings. New York: Pergamon Press.
Weissman, M. M., Paykel, E. S. and Klerman, G. L. (1972). The depressed woman as mother. Social Psychiatry 7, 98108.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Evaluation of a Group Programme for Parents of Problem Children

  • M. J. Scott (a1) and S. G. Stradling (a2)
Submit a response


No Comments have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *