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Response of families to two preventive intervention strategies: long-term differences in behavior and attitude change.

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Judge Baker Children's Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To explore the long-term impact of two forms of preventive intervention designed to diminish risk to children in families in which one or both parents suffered from affective disorder.


Fifty-four parents in 18 families were initially assessed and randomly assigned to one of two interventions--a clinician-facilitated, manual-based, psychoeducational preventive intervention or a standardized lecture-group discussion in which similar educational information was presented. Assessments included standard diagnostic interviews, child behavior scales, and semistructured interviews with parents about the effects of the intervention. Follow-up assessments were conducted three times over the 3-year follow-up interval.


No harmful effects were reported for either intervention, and ratings of degree of upset about reported concerns declined across time for both conditions. Families receiving the clinician-facilitated intervention reported more behavior and attitude changes than did lecture-group families when assessed after intervention. The difference between the two groups was sustained at further follow-up assessments.


Although both preventive interventions produced changes in behaviors and attitudes, parents in the clinician-facilitated intervention reported more benefit. These data support the hypothesis that linking cognitive information to the family's life experience produces long-term changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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