THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FAMILY THERAPIES FOR SELECTED BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS OF CHILDHOOD

Ana Ulloa Estrada*, William M Pinsof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviews the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of family‐based aproaches in the treatment of selected childhood behavioral disorders. Although limitations certainly exist, family interventions have consitently improved child and, in some cases, parent functioning in families with children presenting with conduct disorder (CD) and autism. Parents and other family members also directly benefit from child‐focused interventions, gaining in knowledge, child management skills, and attitudinal improvements. Longh‐term follow‐ups indicate that CD and autistic children achieved lasting gains. Similarly, the research on attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) indicates that parent training improves child noncompliance and aggression yet does not consistently affect core symptoms of ADHD. There is no evidence that adding short‐term family interventions improves ADHD child functioning beyond improvements from the use of psychostimulant medications. Some tentative support for family involvement in the treatment of childhood anxieties and fears is reviewed, but clear conclusions await future investigations. Finally, several methodological limitations and needed areas of research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-440
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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