Feasibility of Intensive Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (I-PCIT): Results from an Open Trial

Paulo A. Graziano, Daniel M. Bagner, Janine Slavec, Gabriela Hungerford, Kristine Kent, Dara Babinski, Karen Derefinko, Dave Pasalich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The current pilot study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and initial outcome of an intensive and more condensed version of Parent–child Interaction Therapy (90 min sessions for 5 days/week over the course of 2 weeks). Using an open trial design, 11 children (M child age = 5.01 years) and their mothers completed a baseline period of 2 weeks, a treatment period of 2 weeks, and a post-treatment evaluation. A follow-up evaluation was also conducted 4 months following treatment completion. Across all assessments, mothers completed measures of child behavior and parenting stress, and observational data was collected during three 5-min standard situations that vary in the degree of parental control (child-led play, parent-led play, & clean-up). All 11 families completed the intervention with extremely high attendance and reported high satisfaction. Results across both mother report and observations showed that: a) externalizing behavior problems were stable during the baseline period; b) treatment was effective in reducing externalizing behavior problems (ds = 1.67–2.50), improving parenting skills (ds = 1.93–6.04), and decreasing parenting stress (d = 0.91); and c) treatment gains were maintained at follow-up (ds = 0.53–3.50). Overall, preliminary data suggest that a brief and intensive format of a parent-training intervention is a feasible and effective treatment for young children with externalizing behavior problems with clinical implications for improving children’s behavioral impairment in a very brief period of time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


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