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Caregiver-mediated interventions for children and families 

Caregiver-mediated interventions for children and families
Caregiver-mediated interventions for children and families

Philip A. Fisher

and Elizabeth A. Stormshak

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date: 18 May 2022

This chapter summarizes interventions that have been developed to address child and adolescent behaviour problems and externalizing disorders within the therapeutic milieu of the family. Although it has long been recognized that caregiver-mediated treatments can be employed to address children's problems, research with families in the past two decades has resulted in numerous systematic, theory-driven approaches that have been subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation and have been found to be effective at improving outcomes. Although no intervention is certain to work for every child and it is not possible to engage every family in the intervention process, caregiver-mediated interventions are among the most promising approaches currently available to practitioners. In recent years, progress in the field of caregiver-mediated interventions has included an expansion of the evidence base supporting specific intervention practices for use with the general population, with high-risk segments of the population (e.g. children in foster care and children in Head Start settings), and with underserved populations (e.g. girls and racial/ethnic minorities). In addition, an increasing emphasis has been placed on the dissemination of proven interventions on large-scale bases within community settings in North America, Europe, and Australia. Evidence is currently being gathered to evaluate the impact of many of these large-scale dissemination efforts. The chapter that follows contains background information on the theoretical underpinnings of caregiver-mediated interventions to address child behaviour problems. Specific interventions that have been developed for children in specific age groups—prenatal through early childhood, the school-age period, and adolescence—are then described. Finally, we discuss adaptations that have been made to address issues of gender and cultural diversity within this field.

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