The effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for victims of interparental violence

Susan Goff Timmer, Lisa M. Ware, Anthony J. Urquiza, Nancy M. Zebell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This study compares the effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in reducing behavior problems (e.g., aggression, defi ance, anxiety) of 62 clinic-referred, 2-to 7-year-old, maltreated children exposed to interparental violence (IPV) with a group of similar children with no exposure to IPV (N = 67). Preliminary analyses showed that IPV-exposed dyads were no more likely to terminate treatment prematurely than non IPV-exposed dyads. Results of repeated-measures MANCOVAs showed signifi cant decreases in child behavior problems and caregivers' psychological distress from pre-to posttreatment for IPV-exposed and IPV nonexposed groups, and no signifi cant variation by exposure to IPV. Stress in the parent role related to children's diffi cult behaviors and the parent-child relationship decreased from pre-to posttreatment, but parental distress did not decrease signifi cantly over the course of PCIT. Results of an analysis testing the benefi ts of a full course of treatment over the fi rst phase of treatment showed that dyads completing the full course of treatment reported signifi cantly greater improvements in children's behavior problems than those receiving only the fi rst phase of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-503
Number of pages18
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Interparental violence
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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