To investigate dropout from parenting programs for disruptive behavior disorders, we followed 18 clients prospectively from the beginning of a manualized treatment program to three month follow-up. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, we then compared those who dropped out of the program with those who completed it. We found that in general, those participants who dropped out of the program were parents of children with more disturbed behavior, who perceived their children to be more difficult than others, and who experienced more subjective parenting stress. Those who dropped out were also not convinced that the strategies proposed in the program to help manage their children were useful. On the other hand, those who completed the program reported a determination to persevere with the strategies which they saw as assisting them to re-establish positive relationships with their adolescent children. The findings are discussed in the context of how manualized programs might be modified to increase retention.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology