Marital discord and child-behavior problems - a description of family interactions during treatment

Mark Dadds, Matthew R. Sanders, B C Behrens, Jack E. James

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We conductedsystematic observations of parent-parent interactions for 4 families
undergoing behavioral parent training. The families all presented with an
oppositional child and showed evidence of concurrent marital discord. Families
underwent baseline, child management training (CMT), partner support training
(PST), and follow-up in a multiple-baseline-across-families design. Measures
of parent and child behavior were obtained by independent observers,
who recorded the family interaction in the home during the evening meal and in
other settings. Results showed that at baseline and CMT, parents engaged in
aversive interchanges with their spouses, especially concurrently with child misbehavior.
For most parents, successful implementation of the child management
techniques was observed despite the aversive parental interchanges. Low
rates of supportive interchanges were observed. During PST, aversive behavior
decreased and problem solving increased for the majority of parents. Little
change was noted for supportive behaviors. The results support the theories of
Patterson and Reid (1984) and others, which emphasize the functional relationship
of aggressive child behaviors to marital and other family interactional
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of clinical child psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes

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