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

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

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


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.

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