Help guide our efforts to modernize
Send us your comments by March 14, 2020. Menu

Child-Parent Psychotherapy for Preschooler Witnesses of Domestic Violence Program

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00187772
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 16, 2005
Last Update Posted : September 19, 2013
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, San Francisco

Brief Summary:
This study will examine the efficacy of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) for the treatment of preschoolers exposed to marital violence.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Domestic Violence Exposure Behavioral: Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Phase 3

Detailed Description:

This study examines the efficacy of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) for the treatment of preschoolers exposed to marital violence. Multi-ethnic preschool-mother dyads from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds were randomly assigned to CPP or to a case management plus community referral for individual treatment comparison group. It was hypothesized the children who received CPP treatment would show significantly greater improvement in general symptomatology and in traumatic stress symptoms than those in the comparison group.

There is growing recognition that, contrary to the long-standing assumption that young children are impervious to environmental stresses, preschoolers exposed to violence show increased rates of disturbances in self-regulation and in emotional, social and cognitive functioning (Osofsky, 2004; Pynoos et al., 1999; van der Kolk, 2003). The present study examines the efficacy of a relationship-based treatment approach involving the child and the mother. Dyads were randomly assigned to either the Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) treatment group or to a comparison group that consisted of monthly case management by an experienced Ph.D.-level clinician plus referrals for individual treatment in the community for mothers and child. We hypothesized that Child-Parent Psychotherapy would be more effective in alleviating children's traumatic stress symptoms and behavior problems because it focuses on improving the quality of the child-mother relationship and engages the mother as the child's ally in coping with the trauma. Treatment was offered for 50 weeks.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 60 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Preschooler Witnesses of Domestic Violence: A Preventive Intervention Program
Study Start Date : December 1996
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2004
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2004

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Child symptomatology (CBCL)
  2. Traumatic stress symptomatology (DC 0-3 Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  3. Parent-Child Relationship at posttreatment and 6 month follow-up.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Maternal symptomatology (Symptom Checklist Revised and Clinician Administered PTSD Scale)
  2. Child cognitive functioning (WPPSI-R)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years to 6 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • child 3-5 years old
  • child exposed to marital violence as confirmed by mother's report on the Conflict Tactics Scale 2 (Straus et al., 1996)
  • perpetrator was not living in the home.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • mother's documented abuse of the target child
  • current maternal substance abuse
  • homelessness
  • maternal mental retardation
  • maternal psychosis
  • child mental retardation or autistic-spectrum disorder

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00187772

Layout table for location information
United States, California
Child Trauma Research Project
San Francisco, California, United States, 94110
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Alicia F. Lieberman, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Publications of Results:
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: University of California, San Francisco Identifier: NCT00187772    
Other Study ID Numbers: R21MH059661 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R21MH059661 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
IRB #HR 793-12912-06
First Posted: September 16, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 19, 2013
Last Verified: September 2013
Keywords provided by University of California, San Francisco:
domestic violence