Predicting treatment and follow-up attrition in parent-child interaction therapy

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2009 Apr;37(3):431-41. doi: 10.1007/s10802-008-9281-1.


Predictors of attrition from individual parent-child interaction therapy were examined for 99 families of preschoolers with disruptive behavior disorders. Seventy-one percent of treatment dropouts were identified by lower SES, more maternal negative talk, and less maternal total praise at pretreatment. Following PCIT, families were randomly assigned to an Assessment-Only or Maintenance Treatment condition. Higher maternal distress predicted 63% of dropouts in the Assessment-Only condition. Lower maternal intellectual functioning predicted 83% of dropouts from Maintenance Treatment. Findings highlight a continuing need for evidence-based retention strategies at various phases of engagement in PCIT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires