Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Parents of children (age 3-8 years old) who are noncompliant and have related disruptive behavior/conduct problems

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 8

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 8

Brief Description

HNC is a skills-training program aimed at teaching parents how to obtain compliance in their children ages 3 to 8 years old. The goal is to improve parent-child interactions in order to reduce the escalation of problems into more serious disorders (e.g., conduct disorder, juvenile delinquency). The program is based on the theoretical assumption that noncompliance in children is a keystone behavior for the development of conduct problems; and that faulty parent-child interactions play a significant part in the development and maintenance of these problems.

Parents attend sessions with their children and trainers teach the parents core skills necessary for improving parent-child interactions and increasing their children’s compliance.

Program Goals:

The goals of Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC) are:

  • Establish a positive interaction with the child by reducing/eliminating parental coercive behaviors and providing positive attention to the child for appropriate behaviors (and ignoring minor child inappropriate behaviors that are primarily attention-seeking)
  • Provide appropriate limit setting and consequences for both child compliance and noncompliance to parental directives, which should ultimately lead to reduced:
    • Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder diagnoses
    • Engagement in delinquent behavior
    • Risk of substance use problems
    • Child maltreatment

Contact Information

Robert J. McMahon, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Simon Fraser University
Department: Department of Psychology
Phone: (778) 782-9031
Fax: (778) 782-3427

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2016

Last CEBC Contact Date: May 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2009