College of Psychology: Faculty Articles


Behavioral outcomes of home-based services for children and adolescents with serious emotional disorders

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Family Preservation Journal








The current study evaluates the effectiveness of an intensive home-based treatment program, Families First, on the behaviors of children and adolescents suffering from mental disorders and being at risk for out-ofi home placement. The sample included 85 youngsters and their families from a semi-rural community. The Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents-Revised (DICA-R) was administered to the children, and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was completed by a parent at pretreatment and posttreatment. The families participated in a 4-6 week, intensive home intervention where crisis intervention, social support services, and needed psychological services were offered. The results indicated that both externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in youngsters with different diagnoses of mental disorders were significantly reduced at posttreatment as indicated by their CBCL scores. Furthermore, youngsters with a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder seemed to benefit the most, as evidenced by the improved scores on most subscales of the CBCL. Youngsters with mood disorders and conduct disorders seemed to benefit in their most deficient areas, internalizing behavior problems and delinquent behaviors, respectively. Finally, after participating in Families First, more than half of the youngsters in the sample were able to stay home with their families

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