Engaging families through motivational interviewing

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2014 Oct;61(5):907-21. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2014.06.014. Epub 2014 Aug 3.


Helping parents change key behaviors may reduce the risk of child maltreatment. However, traditional provider-centered approaches to working with the parents of pediatric patients may increase resistance to behavioral change. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a patient-centered communication technique that helps address problems of provider-centered approaches. In this article, evidence for use of MI to address several risk factors for child maltreatment is reviewed, including parental substance abuse, partner violence, depression treatment, harsh punishment, and parental management of children's health. Fundamental components of MI that may be incorporated into clinical practice are presented.

Keywords: Child maltreatment; Health behavior change; Motivational interviewing; Pediatrics; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / therapy*
  • Communication
  • Family / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Physicians
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Risk Factors