Promoting Compliance in Children Referred to Child Protective Services: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Child Dev. 2020 Mar;91(2):563-576. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13207. Epub 2019 Feb 28.


Early experiences of maltreatment have long-term negative effects on children's compliance. This randomized clinical trial examined whether a brief preventative intervention (Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up; ABC) was effective in enhancing compliance in children who had been referred to Child Protective Services. Participants included 101 parent-child dyads who received either ABC or a control intervention when children were infants (M = 9.4 months old, SD = 6.1). When children were approximately 36 months old (M = 38.5, SD = 3.0), ABC children demonstrated significantly better compliance than control children. Further, parent sensitivity, measured 1 month post intervention when children were, on average, 18.4 months old (SD = 6.9) partially mediated the effect of ABC on child compliance at 36 months old.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Child Protective Services*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Internal-External Control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Self-Control* / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors