The present study examined child, parent, and family factors that predict dropping out from therapy among children (ages 4-13) referred for the treatment of oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior. It was proposed that factors predicting attrition would vary as a function of whether families dropped out early or late in treatment. Several factors related to family (e.g., socioeconomic disadvantage, adverse child-rearing practices), parent (e.g., stress, life events, history of antisocial behavior), and child functioning (e.g., severity and chronicity of antisocial behavior, lower IQ, peer relations) predicted premature termination from treatment. A different pattern was evident in the factors predicting early and late termination from therapy. The findings have implications for conceptualizing the process of engaging and retaining families in treatment and for preventing premature termination.
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