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Comparison of treatments of persistent conduct problems in primary school children: a preliminary evaluation of a modified cognitive-behavioural approach
journal contributionposted on 1998-06-01, 00:00 authored by E S L Luk, Petra StaigerPetra Staiger, J Mathai, D Field, R Adler
Objective: Treatment for persistent conduct problems in primary school children was developed using a modification of cognitive-behavioural therapy (MCBT). Its effectiveness was evaluated by comparing it with conjoint family therapy (FT) and eclectic therapy (ET). Method: Children with persistent conduct problems were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. They were assessed prior to treatment and then 6 months after. Measures included symptoms of the child; parents' mental health; stress of parenting; family functioning; and parental relationship. In addition, parents' and children's perception of the therapy were assessed and a treatment record was developed to track the treatment process. Results: Thirty-two children were recruited for the study. No statistically significant differences were found in terms of effectiveness between the three groups. In terms of parents' perception of the therapy, there was no difference on the perception of the qualities of the therapists, but on the perception of therapy MCBT was considered to be higher in cognitive-behavioural orientation. Conclusion: Further research using a larger sample is required to evaluate MCBT. The study supports the idea that controlled treatment studies can be carried out within busy mental health services.