Effectiveness of specific factors in community-based intervention for child-witnesses of interparental violence: A randomized trial

  • Overbeek M
  • de Schipper J
  • Lamers-Winkelman F
 et al. 
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A community-based intervention with specific factors for children and parents exposed to interparental violence (IPV) was compared with a control intervention based on non-specific factors. We hypothesized that participation in an intervention with specific factors, focused on IPV, parenting and coping, would be associated with better recovery. IPV exposed children and parents were group randomized over a specific factors- and control intervention. Baseline, posttest and follow-up measurements of 155 parents and children (aged 6-12 years, 55.5% boys) were fitted in a multilevel model. Outcomes were parent and teacher reported children's internalizing and externalizing problems (CBCL, TRF), child self-reported depressive symptoms (CDI) and parent and child reported children's post-traumatic stress symptoms (TSCYC, TSCC). Based on intention-to-treat and completer analyses, children in the specific factors intervention did not show better recovery than children in the control intervention. Children in both interventions decreased significantly in parent-reported children's internalizing and externalizing problems and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Children reported a decrease in their mean level of depressive and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Teachers reported a decrease in internalizing problems, but not in externalizing problems. No association between time since exposure and level and course of symptoms was found. Treatment differentiation was assessed and both programs were significantly different on hypothesized effective factors. Higher treatment adherence in both programs did not result in a larger difference in recovery. IPV exposed children improve over the course and after participating in a community-based child- and parent program, but specific factors in intervention may not carry additional benefits when implemented in community settings. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child adjustment
  • Community-based child- and parent group intervention
  • Domestic violence
  • RCT
  • Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Treatment differentiation and adherence

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  • Carlo SchuengelVrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Mathilde M. Overbeek

  • J. Clasien de Schipper

  • Francien Lamers-Winkelman

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