Comparative study of individual versus group interventions for parents of hyperactive children
Master of Arts
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Many treatments including, diets and medication, have been documented as successful interventions for treating hyperactive children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.).Because compliance and constant monitoring are instrumental in these long term interventions, success is not always the outcome.Furthermore, the A.D.D. child's behaviour can cause a constant strain on the parents. A number of studies have indicated that parents can be helpful co-therapists in treating their children.Not only does the child benefit in this case but, by educating the family on symptomology and providing education to aid the parents dealing with a hyperactive child, stress may decline relieving the tension caused by the interaction of the hyperactive child and the family unit. Studies have additionally indicated, that parents benefit, more from small group support than from individual counselling. Individual counselling was provided at a local children's centre. However, the question of whether or not group counselling * was an alternative treatment was investigated in this study. Two experimental groups, one comprised of five to six single parents and the other of five to six two parent couples were compared to the control group consisting of parents who opted for individual counselling.The children's group was used in conjunction with the parenting groups. Strategies in the children's groups were presented at an experiential level understandable to the children. There was no manipulation of the children's group.Both prior to and at the end of the six week program all groups were requested to complete three questionnaires; The Conners Behaviour Checklist (1960), The Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist (1983) and Barkley's Home Situation Questionnaire (1980) in addition to an evaluation questionnaire to determine whether changes in hyperactive behaviour resulted. Parental groups were provided information and practice in behaviour modification through role-playing techniques and group discussions. Ttests revealed little difference between the control group and those receiving group counselling. This suggests that depending on the number of referrals, group counselling could be somewhat more feasible than individual counselling.