Defiant Children: A Clinician’s Manual for Assessment and Parent Training

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About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children ages 4-12 years who are defiant or who may qualify for a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

Brief Description

Defiant Children: A Clinician’s Manual for Assessment and Parent Training provides clinicians with a scientifically based behavioral paradigm and set of methods in which to train parents in the management of defiant/ oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. The program involves training parents in 10 steps through weekly sessions that have proven effectiveness in reducing defiance and ODD symptoms in children ages 4-12 years. The manual also provides information on the assessment of these children prior to intervention and with rating scales to use to monitor changes that occur during treatment. The manual further provides the parent handouts that are to be given by the therapist at each step. Therapists are granted limited permission to photocopy the assessment tools and rating scales as well as the parent handouts for use with families undergoing treatment in their practice.

Program Goals:

The goals of Defiant Children: A Clinician’s Manual for Assessment and Parent Training are:

  • Increase the value of the parents’ attention generally, and its particular worth in motivating and reinforcing their child’s positive behavior
  • Increase the positive attention and incentives the parents provide for compliance while decreasing the inadvertent punishment they provide for occasional compliance
  • Decrease the amount of inadvertent positive attention the parents provide to negative child behavior
  • Increase the use of immediate and consistent mild punishment for occurrences of child noncompliance
  • Ensure that escape from the activity being imposed upon the child does not occur (i.e., the command is eventually complied with by the child)
  • Reduce the frequency of repeat commands the parents employ so as to avoid delays to consequences (act, don’t yak)
  • Recognize and rapidly terminate escalating and confrontational negative interactions with the child
  • Ensure that the parents do not regress to a predominantly punitive child management strategy once training has been completed

Contact Information

Russell A. Barkley, PhD
Title: Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Agency/Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
Department: Virginia Treatment Center for Children
Phone: (843) 971-8323
Fax: (843) 971-8323

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2012