The Efficacy of a Relational Treatment for Maltreated Children and their Families

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Background:The objective of this study was to assess the effects of participation in a relational intervention program on child abuse potential, parenting stress and child behaviour in maltreated children and their foster parents.Methods:A convenience sample of participants (N = 53) were randomly assigned to an immediate treatment or a wait-list control condition and completed pre and post test measures.Results:Participant's mean pretest scores were equivalent between groups. Post-intervention, treatment participants had significantly lower scores on total child abuse potential, parenting stress, and child internalising and externalising behaviour than control subjects. Engagement in treatment was a significant predictor of positive change in reported child behaviour.Conclusions:This intervention was effective in decreasing symptoms in respondents who were at high-risk for placement disruption.

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