Enhancing Treatment Gains in a School-Based Intervention for Children of Divorce Through Skill Training, Parental Involvement, and Transfer Procedures

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Abstract

The school-based Children's Support Group procedure teaches skills to cope with divorce-related events and provides strategies for mastering disrupted developmental tasks. Ss were 103 3rd- through 5th-grade children of separated or divorced parents who were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: support; support and skill building; support, skill building, transfer, and parent training procedures; or no-treatment control. Twenty-six children from intact homes served as nonstressed controls. The two skill-building conditions yielded durable improvements in adjustive behaviors in the home. Transfer components yielded additional improvements in affect, but the absence of substantial increments in benefits suggests the need for a closer look at the format and expectations of the transfer vehicle. The benefits of the support-alone condition were experienced most by children who entered the intervention with significant problems, with the greatest reductions in clinical symptomatology at follow-up being found in this group.

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