Clinician Knowledge and Utilization of Empirically-Supported Treatments for Maltreated Children

Brian Allen, Laadan Gharagozloo, Jennifer C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Efforts to disseminate empirically-supported treatments (ESTs) for maltreated children are confronted with numerous challenges, and the success of these efforts is unclear. The current study reports on the results of a nationwide survey of 262 clinicians serving maltreated children in the United States. From a provided list, clinicians were asked to identify interventions they believed possessed adequate empirical support, as well as the interventions they commonly used, were trained to use, or would like to receive training to use. Results showed that clinicians generally are unable to identify ESTs, and many of the interventions clinicians reported most commonly using and being trained to use are not typically considered to be empirically-supported (with the exception of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy). Greater ability to accurately identify ESTs was predicted by favorable attitudes toward evidence-based practice; however, beliefs that non-ESTs were empirically-supported were best predicted by training background (e.g., professional discipline, education level, and theoretical orientation). Finally, regression analyses found that the interventions clinicians identified as empirically-supported predicted the interventions in which clinicians received training, which in turn predicted the interventions commonly used. Implications of these findings for dissemination and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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