Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor 1

Bradley Donohue, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Chris Heavey

Second Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Larry Ashley

Number of Pages

169

Abstract

The maltreatment of children is a devastating social problem in the United States. Many researchers and child welfare workers believe the recent increase in child neglect is directly correlated to an increase in parental substance abuse. There is a strong relationship between child neglect and parental substance abuse; however there are limited treatments that address both issues simultaneously. The present case studies evaluated the efficacy of a newly developed Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) program for child neglect and parental substance abuse utilizing controlled single case methodology. The Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) program is an integration of two published FBT interventions; one being specific to drug abuse (i.e., Azrin, Donohue et al., 2001), while the other is specific to child maltreatment (i.e., Donohue, Van Hasselt, 1999). The treatment included a manual with corresponding protocol adherence measures. Multiple baseline methodology was utilized to evaluate selected components of the FBT treatment program.

The results of controlled multiple baseline evaluations of home-based Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) is described for two participants with substance abuse or dependence and co-occurring child neglect. The case examples include relevant background information, substance abuse history, diagnostic impressions, behavioral conceptualization of presenting problems, and course of treatment. An overview of the FBT program and treatment plan, course of treatment, and special issues are provided. After baselines were gathered, the first phase of treatment was initiated. The first case involved examination of home safety tours aimed at reducing home hazards and cleanliness followed by treatment additionally targeting family relationships through communication skills training exercises, and a 3 rd phase of treatment involving administration of comprehensive FBT. The second case involved implementation of self control, stimulus control, and behavioral goal-setting to reduce drug urges, followed by a 2 nd phase of treatment additionally targeting family relationships through communication skills training exercises, and 3 rd phase of treatment involving administration of comprehensive FBT. Results demonstrated clear improvement in home safety, pronounced decrease in conflict in the family, and slight improvement in perceived family support and cohesion.

Keywords

Child neglect; Family behavior therapy; Substance abuse; Treatment manual

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology

Language

English


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