The effectiveness of traditional child psychotherapy

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Feb;67(1):82-94. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.67.1.82.


This study used a randomized design to evaluate the effectiveness of child psychotherapy as typically delivered in outpatient settings. Overall results were similar to the results of nonrandomized studies of traditional child psychotherapy: Little support was found for its effectiveness, with treatment producing an overall effect size of -.08. Despite the lack of significant differences between treatment and control groups in regard to changes in child functioning, parents of children who received treatment reported higher levels of satisfaction with services than control group parents whose children received academic tutoring. Overall, the findings highlight the importance of developing, validating, and transporting effective treatments to clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychology, Child / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / standards
  • Tennessee