Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS)

About This Program

Target Population: Children ages 4-14 who experience oppositional episodes and their parents

For children/adolescents ages: 4 – 14

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 4 – 14

Program Overview

CPS is a treatment model that is designed to help parents/caregivers and children learn to collaboratively and proactively solve the problems that contribute to the children’s challenging behaviors, with the goal of improving family communication, cohesion, and relationships. It is made up of four modules that teaches parents: (a) to identify lagging skills and unsolved problems that contribute to oppositional episodes; (b) to prioritize which unsolved problems to focus on first; (c) about the Plans framework—the three potential responses to solving problems: Plan A (solving a problem unilaterally, by imposing the adult will), Plan B (solving a problem collaboratively and proactively), and Plan C (setting aside the problem for now); and (d) how to implement Plan B with their child by gathering information from the child to get a clear understanding of their concern or perspective, defining the adult concern on the same unsolved problem, and finally having the child and adult brainstorm solutions to arrive at a plan of action that is both realistic and mutually satisfactory. The clinician actively guides the initial problem-solving process, however, the goal of treatment is to help the child and parents become independent in solving problems together. In general, parent(s) and child are in attendance at all of the sessions, although there are times when a clinician may feel that it would be beneficial to discuss certain issues with the child or parent(s) individually.

Program Goals

The goal of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) is:

  • Identify and solve unsolved problems that contribute to oppositional episodes

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS).

Essential Components

The essential components of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) include:

  • How to identify lagging skills and unsolved problems that contribute to oppositional episodes
  • How to prioritize which unsolved problems to focus on first
  • Understanding the Plans frameworks—the three potential responses to solving problems:
    • Plan A (solving a problem unilaterally, by imposing the adult will)
    • Plan B (solving a problem collaboratively and proactively)
    • Plan C (setting aside the problem for now)
  • How to use Plan B Including:
    • Gathering information about and achieving a clear understanding of the child’s concern or perspective on the unsolved problem
    • Sharing the concern of the second party (often the adult)
    • Generating solutions that are realistic (meaning both parties can do what they are agreeing to) and mutually satisfactory (meaning the solution truly addresses the concerns of both parties)
  • Trouble shooting interfering factors (factors interfering with caregivers’ capacity to implement Plan B such as disorganization, time, family dysfunction and dynamics, marital issues, and so forth)
  • Helping caregivers prepare for the sustained use of Plan B

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • The problems that are contributing to oppositional behaviors

Parent/Caregiver Services

Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents or caregivers of children who have oppositional episodes and may have issues that interfere with effective parenting such as disorganization, lack of time, family dysfuntion and dynamics, or marital issues
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Caregivers in other settings may be involved in the problem-solving process if there are oppositional episodes in those settings.

Recommended Intensity:

Typically provided in a flexible, individualized manner during 60-minute weekly sessions

Recommended Duration:

Typically ranges between 7 and 16 weeks with an average length of 11 weeks

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • Justice Setting (Juvenile Detention, Jail, Prison, Courtroom, etc.)
  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)

Homework

Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) includes a homework component:

Families are encouraged to practice solving problems collaboratively independently at home between sessions.

Languages

Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) has materials available in languages other than English:

Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Meeting space to permit family therapy

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

There is no minimum educational requirement to become a provider. For a clinician or educator to become certified in the CPS model, they must participate in a 24-week CPS training program.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Much training is provided by teleconference, but also through webinars and onsite training.

Number of days/hours:

Variable, depending on the type of training

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS).

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) as listed below:

There are several dozen certified trainers who support implementation of the model in schools and facilities throughout the world. These trainers provide initial training as well as ongoing consultation.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS).

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) as listed below:

The CPS model is described in the following publications:

  • Greene, R. W. (2014). The explosive child: A new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children. HarperCollins World. New York, NY.
  • Greene, R. W. (2016). Lost and found. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.
  • Greene, R. W. (2014). Lost at school: Why our kids with behavioral challenges are falling through the cracks and how we can help them. Scribner, New York, NY.
  • Videos and other supporting materials for implementing CPS are available on the Lives in the Balance website: http://www.livesinthebalance.org/

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has been conducted on how to implement Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) as listed below:

  • Greene, R. W., Ablon, J. S., Monuteaux, M., Goring, J., Henin, A., Raezer, L., … Rabbitt, S. (2004). Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in affectively dysregulated youth with oppositional defiant disorder: Initial findings. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 1157-1164.
  • Greene, R. W., Ablon, S. A., & Martin, A. (2006). Innovations: Child psychiatry: Use of Collaborative Problem Solving* to reduce seclusion and restraint in child and adolescent inpatient units. Psychiatric Services, 57(5), 610-616.
  • Martin, A., Krieg, H., Esposito, F., Stubbe, D., & Cardona, L. (2008). Reduction of restraint and seclusion through Collaborative Problem Solving: A five-year, prospective inpatient study. Psychiatric Services, 59(12), 1406-1412.
  • Ollendick, T. H., Greene, R. W., Fraire, M. G., Austin, K. E., Halldorsdottir, T., Allen, K. B., … Wolff, J. C. (2016). Parent Management Training (PMT) and Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: A randomized control trial for oppositional youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 45(5): 591-604.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Greene, R. W., Ablon, J. S., Goring, J. C., Raezer-Blakely, L., Markey, J., Monuteaux, M. C., Henin, A., Edwards, G., & Rabbitt, S. (2004). Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in affectively dysregulated youth with oppositional defiant disorder: Initial findings. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(6), 1157–1164. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.72.6.1157

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 47

Population:

  • Age — Children: 4-12 years, Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 32 Male and 15 Female, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were parents and their children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study examined the efficacy of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) [now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS)] in affectively dysregulated children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Participants were randomized to CPS or parent training (PT). Measures utilized include the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Epidemiologic version (K-SADS-E), the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised, the Parent-Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI), the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), the Oppositional Defiant Disorder Rating Scale (ODDRS), and the Clinical Global Impression–Improvement (CGI-I). Results indicated CPS produced significant improvements across multiple domains of functioning at posttreatment and at 4-month follow-up. Limitations included small sample size and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 4 months.

Ollendick, T. H., Greene, R. W., Austin, K. E., Fraire, M. G., Halldorsdottir, T., Allen, K. B., Jarrett, M. A., Lewis, K. M., Whitmore Smith, M., Cunningham, N. R., Noguchi, R. J., Canavera, K., & Wolff, J. C. (2015). Parent Management Training and Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: A randomized control trial for oppositional youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45(5), 591–604. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2015.1004681

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 134

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7-14 years, Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 83.6% White, Adults: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 61.9% Male and 38.1% Female, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were families with adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Location/Institution: Rural southwest Virginia

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study examined the efficacy of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) in treating oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in youth. Participants were randomized to CPS, Parent Management Training (PMT), or a 6-week waitlist control (WLC) group. Following the waiting period, those youth and families in the WLC group who continued to meet criteria for ODD and still desired treatment were randomly reassigned to one of the two treatment groups. Measures utilized include the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, 4th Edition, the Expressive Vocabulary Test, 2nd Edition, the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM–IV, Child and Parent Versions (ADIS-C/P), the Clinical Global Impression–Severity (CGI-S), the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale (DBDRS), the Behavior Assessment System for Children–Second Edition (BASC), the Parent Consumer Satisfaction Questionnaire, and the Clinical Global Impression–Improvement (CGI-I). Results indicated that both treatment conditions were superior to the WLC condition but did not differ from one another in either responder or remitter analyses. Approximately 50% of youth in both active treatments were diagnosis free and were judged to be much or very much improved at posttreatment, compared to 0% in the waitlist condition. Younger age and presence of an anxiety disorder predicted better treatment outcomes for both PMT and CPS. Treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Limitations included high attrition rate, generalizability due to sample of largely middle-class Caucasian families, and decision was made to drop the WLC condition because none of the 11 families improved during the wait period.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Booker, J. A., Ollendick, T. H., Dunsmore, J. C., & Greene, R. W. (2016). Perceived parent–child relations, conduct problems, and clinical improvement following the treatment of oppositional defiant disorder. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(5), 1623–1633. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0323-3

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 123

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7–14 years (Mean=9.56 years), Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified, Adults: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 76 Boys and 47 Girls, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children who met full diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study used a subsample of the Ollendick et al. (2015) study sample. The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating influence of parent-child relationship quality (as viewed by the child) on associations between conduct problems and treatment responses for children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). In this study, 123 children received one of two psychosocial treatments: Parent Management Training or Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Measures utilized include the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2nd Edition (BASC-2), the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale (DBDRS), the child version of the BASC, and the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule, Child and Parent Versions (ADIS-C/P). Results indicate that elevated reports of children’s conduct problems were associated with attenuated reductions in both ODD symptoms and their severity. Perceived relationship quality with parents moderated the ties between conduct problems and outcomes in ODD severity but not the number of symptoms. Mother reports of elevated conduct problems predicted attenuated treatment response only when children viewed relationship quality with their parents as poorer. When children viewed the relationship as higher quality, they did not show an attenuated treatment response, regardless of reported conduct problems. Limitations include the correlational nature of the study precludes making causal inferences; the extent of family dropout during treatment or before the posttreatment assessment; considering only the perspective of the child concerning the quality of the parent-child relationship is limiting; a largely middle-class; Caucasian sample of children; and the lack of long-term follow-up on intervention effects.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Miller-Slough, R. L., Dunsmore, J. C., Ollendick, T. H., & Greene, R. W. (2016). Parent–child synchrony in children with oppositional defiant disorder: Associations with treatment outcomes. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(6), 1880–1888. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0356-7

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 75

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7–12 years (Mean=9.66 years), Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Families: 80% Caucasian, 9.3% African American, 5.3% Hispanic, 2.7% Asian, and 2.7% Other
  • Gender — Children: 46 Boys, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children and their parents who received treatment for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study used a subsample of the Ollendick et al. (2015) study. The purpose of this study was to examine parent–child synchrony, the inverse of parent–child incompatibility as a predictor of children’s emotional lability, aggression, and overall functioning following psychosocial treatment. Families received one of two empirically supported treatments for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) (Parent Management Training or Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS)). Measures utilized include the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule, Fourth Edition (ADIS-IV), the Emotion Talk Task, and the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2). Results indicate that pretreatment parent–child synchrony was associated with decreased emotional lability and aggression following both treatments, as well as improvement in overall functioning, irrespective of treatment condition. Limitations include lack of follow-up, an abundance of missing data, a mostly Caucasian sample, and did not measure the effects of treatment in school settings.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Booker, J. A., Ollendick, T. H., Dunsmore, J. C., Capriola, N., & Greene, R. W. (2018). Change in maternal stress for families in treatment for their children with oppositional defiant disorder. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 27, 2552–2561. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1089-1

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 134

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7–14 years, Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 83.6% White, Adults: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 38% Female, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children with oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and their parents. 

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study used the same sample as Ollendick et al. (2015). The purpose of this study was to predict change in maternal stress over the course of a randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of two interventions for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): Parent Management Training and Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Measures utilized include the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV-Child and Parent Versions (ADIS-IV-C/P), the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), and the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF). Results indicate that hypothesized indirect effects were supported such that children’s reports of positive views toward parents uniquely predicted reductions in ODD severity over time, which in turn uniquely predicted reductions in maternal stress. Limitations include limited diversity in family ethnicity and socioeconomic status; considerable family drop-out at follow up periods; and reports of parenting stress were limited to mothers and restricted to self-reports.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 1 week and 6 months.

Ollendick, T. H., Booker, J. A., Ryan, S., & Greene, R. W. (2018). Testing multiple conceptualizations of oppositional defiant disorder in youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 47(4), 620–633. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2017.1286594

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 134

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7–14 years, Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 84% White
  • Gender — 38% Female
  • Status — Participants included clinic-referred youth who met DSM-IV criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of this study was to examine multiple conceptualizations of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD); whether children showed improvements across these ODD dimensions; and whether main and joint effects of ODD dimension improvement predicted clinical outcome. Youth were randomized to receive one of two psychosocial treatments, Parent Management Training or Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Measures utilized include the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV, Child and Parent Versions—(ADIS-C/P), the Clinical Global Impression – Severity and Improvement—(CGI-S and CGI-I), and the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2—(BASC-2). Results indicate that one- and two-factor conceptualizations were supported, however, the two-factor solution was preferred. With this solution, each dimension significantly and similarly improved across treatment conditions. Improvements across affective and behavioral ODD factors also had significant effects on clinician- and mother-reported clinical outcomes. Limitations include high attrition rate and generalizability due to sample of largely Caucasian families.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Booker J. A., Capriola-Hall N. N., Greene, R. W., and Ollendick, T. H. (2020). The parent–child relationship and posttreatment child outcomes across two treatments for oppositional defiant disorder. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 49(3), 405–419. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2018.1555761

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 134

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7–14 years, Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 83.6% White, Adults: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 38% Female, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were children with oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) and their parents.

Location/Institution: Not specified

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study used the same sample as Ollendick et al. (2015). The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which the parent–child relationship uniquely predicted clinical outcomes in externalizing problems and adaptive skills. Participants were randomized to either 1 of 2 treatments: Parent Management Training (PMT) and Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS). Measures utilized include the Tangram Puzzle Task and the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire at baseline and the Behavior Assessment System For Children, Second Edition (BASC‐2) at baseline, posttreatment, and six months following treatment. Results indicate that four principal components were supported (parental warmth, parental monitoring, family hostility, and family permissiveness). Parental monitoring predicted fewer externalizing problems, whereas family permissiveness predicted more externalizing problems. Parental warmth predicted greatest improvements in children’s adaptive skills among families receiving PMT. Family hostility predicted more externalizing problems and poorer adaptive skills for children, however, families receiving CPS were buffered from the negative effect of family hostility on adaptive skills. Limitations include a reliance on data imputation due to attrition, demographic homogeneity of the sample, as well as using PMT with a sample that extends into early adolescence (13–14 years) may have been problematic.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Additional References

Greene, R. W. (2014). The explosive child: A new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children. HarperCollins World. New York, NY.

Greene, R. W. (2016). Lost and found. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Greene, R. W. (2014). Lost at school: Why our kids with behavioral challenges are falling through the cracks and how we can help them. Scribner, New York, NY.

Contact Information

Ross W. Greene, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Lives in the Balance and Virginia Tech
Department: Department of Psychology
Website: www.livesinthebalance.org
Email:
Phone: (207) 518-9135

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2020

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2017