The current pilot study was a quasi-experimental examination of the impact of father involvement in parent training among 44 families with a young child who presented with elevated externalizing behavior problems and developmental delay. All families were offered to receive Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based parent-training intervention, at a hospital-based outpatient clinic. Single-mother families were significantly more likely to drop out of treatment than two-parent families. Of the families that completed treatment, children from families in which a father participated in treatment had lower levels of parent-reported externalizing behavior problems than children from single-mother families and children from two-parent families in which the father did not participate in treatment. Additionally, children from father-involved families were significantly more compliant during a cleanup task than children from single-mother families following treatment. The current study is consistent with the limited research examining father involvement in parent training and extends the findings to children with developmental delay. These findings highlight the importance of involving fathers in parent training, particularly when working with children with developmental delay.
© 2013 American Psychological Association