Older adopted children and their families often express high need for support for attachment and trauma related concerns. Postadoption mental health intervention focused on enhancing the parent–child relationship among adoptive parents and adoptees is essential for fostering placement permanency among these families. This single group pilot study explored the effect of child–parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive parents of preadolescents who reported attachment related concerns, stress in the parent–child relationship, and child behavior problems. Participants were adoptive parents with adoptees between the ages of 8 to 14 adopted out of foster care. Data was collected at baseline, pretest, midtest, and posttest. Results from nonparametric Friedman test of differences across 4 points of measure indicated that CPRT demonstrated statistically significant improvement for the 3 outcome variables: parental empathy, child behavior, and parent child relationship stress. Specifically, results indicated that prior to receiving CPRT (baseline to pretest), parents demonstrated no change or worsening in functioning across all variables, whereas during the intervention phase findings showed a large treatment effect for parental empathy, a medium effect for parenting stress, and a small effect for child behavior problems. Findings from this pilot study support CPRT as a promising mental health intervention for adoptive parents and preadolescent children. Clinical implications and recommendations for working with adoptive parents of preadolescents are explored within the context of these findings.
Play Therapy Primary Areas:
Skills and Methods
Describe present findings of a pilot study to provide evidence for the effectiveness of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with adoptive parents of preadolescents.
Articulate knowledge and rationale for adapting CPRT for parents of preadolescents.
Assess procedures and limitations of pilot study to increase rigor in future research.