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An Evaluation of Treatment Drop-Out: Families with a History of Child Physical Abuse




Wilsie, Carisa

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Treatment attrition is a problem and is researched less in the child than in the adult literature. While the child is the identified client, parents have more control over treatment attendance. The child treatment attrition literature addresses parent, child, family, and participation variables as potential predictors of treatment attrition. To date, no consistent predictors of treatment drop-out have been identified for child treatment. This study analyzed a sample of parent-child dyads with a history of child physical abuse by the parent that participated in either Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) or a Standard Community Group treatment for physical abuse. Pre-treatment measures were completed and included in analyses. Potential predictors identified after preliminary t-test and chi-square analyses were treatment group, family type, if children had ever been removed from the home, household income, positive parental behavior, and therapist experience. Logistic regressions revealed significant predictors of positive parental behavior and therapist experience. This analysis used archival data which lacked many desirable variables for an attrition study, especially therapist and participation variables. Future research concerning the attrition of families with a history of physical abuse in child treatment should focus more on therapist and participation variables.