Examining the impact of a family treatment component for CBITS: When and for whom is it helpful?

Catherine De Carlo Santiago*, Jaclyn M. Lennon, Anne K. Fuller, Stephanie K. Brewer, Sheryl H. Kataoka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study compared the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), as it is typically delivered, to CBITS-plus-family treatment component (CBITS + Family), developed through a community partnership. This study used a quasi-experimental design, capitalizing on ongoing CBITS implementation within a school system. In total, 32 parent/student dyads were recruited in CBITS groups and 32 parent/student dyads were recruited in CBITS + Family groups. Parents and students in both conditions completed pre- and posttreatment measures, in addition to a 6-month posttreatment follow-up assessing symptoms. Families were low-income and predominately Latino. Children were 59% female with an average age of 11.70. Participating parents were 84% female with an average age of 38.18. The majority of parents (80%) were immigrants and 70% reported not finishing high school. Parents who received CBITS + Family showed significant improvements in attitudes toward mental health, school involvement, and primary control coping, while demonstrating significant reductions in involuntary engagement and inconsistent discipline. CBITS + Family appears to be most beneficial for children with high symptom severity in terms of reducing posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and disengagement coping. Finally, greater improvements in parent variables predicted larger symptom reductions among children within the CBITS + Family group. This study suggests that CBITS + Family is beneficial for parents of children exposed to trauma and may be especially helpful for children with high initial symptom severity. Children in CBITS + Family appear to benefit most when their parents show larger improvements in school involvement and greater reductions in parental inconsistency and involuntary engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-570
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Family
  • Parent involvement
  • Trauma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining the impact of a family treatment component for CBITS: When and for whom is it helpful?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this