Title page for ETD etd-06062003-133816

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Goodwin, Clarice Evans
Author's Email Address cgoodwin@vt.edu
URN etd-06062003-133816
Title Filial Therapy with Court-Ordered Parents of Maltreated Children
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sawyers, Janet K. Committee Chair
Benningfield, Anna Beth Committee Member
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Member
Piercy, Fred P. Committee Member
Rogers, Cosby Steele Committee Member
Skaggs, Gary E. Committee Member
  • play therapy
  • court-ordered parents
  • filial therapy
Date of Defense 2003-04-30
Availability unrestricted
Using a mixed methodology, the effectiveness of an 8-week modification of Landreth’s (1991) 10-week group filial therapy training model was investigated with parents (n = 5) court-ordered for remedial parenting services due to physical abuse and/or neglect of their school-age children. A comparison group (n = 3) concurrently received an 8-week parent education course. Three primary questions were explored. Do filial therapy group participants demonstrate a greater decrease in child physical abuse potential and parenting stress following training when compared to parent education group participants? In addition, do filial therapy group participants show evidence of stronger parent-child relationships following training when compared to participants in the parent education group? Pre- and post-measures were utilized, and anecdotal and qualitative data were also collected. Following the analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data, it was determined that the group quantitative results detracted from the richness of the qualitative findings, and the former were subsequently dropped. Instead, individual pre- and posttest quantitative scores, along with the anecdotal data, were compiled to create participant profiles that provided additional descriptive information to the emergent focus group themes. Due to the size of the sample (N = 8), findings were only preliminary and merit further study. Participants demonstrated social desirability in their assessment responses; therefore, it is recommended that qualitative or mixed methodology, as well as multiple measures of each construct, be incorporated to combat this phenomenon in future studies with this population. Results of this study further suggested that there are clinical benefits to utilizing a mixed sample of both court- and self-referred participants. In addition, the court-mandated population is heterogeneous and requires multiple treatment options coupled with screening protocol for appropriate treatment assignment. Future filial therapy research with this population should provide greater support to participants in conducting filial therapy sessions, as well as alternative ways of documenting these sessions. In addition, it is proposed that a combination of individual and group filial therapy models that is longer-term would be more effective with this population than the 8-week model used.

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