Therapeutic Day Treatment for Young Maltreated Children: A Systematic Literature Review

Rebecca M. Kanine, Angela M. Tunno, Yo Jackson, Bridget M. O’Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This review examines the literature on the effectiveness of therapeutic day treatment for young maltreated children (birth to 5-years old). Nine peer-reviewed articles reporting treatment outcomes were included. Two independent reviewers evaluated methodological quality. Programs focused on therapeutic, educational, and developmental goals, and services were multi-modal. Many programs offered ancillary services, such as parenting support. Although there were several shared components, there was no standard protocol that guided service delivery, which has implications for replicating and evaluating this treatment approach. Seven studies used a pre-post design, two were follow-up studies, and three included comparison groups. Given the range of problems attributable to early maltreatment and challenges to providing services for foster children, results suggest day treatment may be an effective approach in improving maltreated children’s social-emotional skills, behavior problems, and developmental delays. However, the methodological quality of the studies ranged from poor to fair. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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