The Effects of Parent Therapy for Disruptive Behaviors: A Review of the Literature

By Sarah Wood


When an individual becomes a parent there is not a secret manual that will provide guidance in decision making for their child. In today’s society one of the largest growing issues among families are problematic behaviors displayed by children in the home (Beveridge, Fowles, Masse, McGoron, Smith, Williamson, 2015). Disruptive behaviors that begin in the home can carry over to the classroom, which causes additional issues. Challenging behaviors can include screaming, biting, hitting, impulsiveness, inattention, self-injury, and noncompliance. Research has shown children who display challenging behaviors at a young age have been shown to have low social and academic outcomes, as they get older (Dunlap et al., 2006; Gilliam, 2005).  When a child is diagnosed with a disability, living in homes with low socioeconomic statuses households, or living in foster care the amount of problematic behaviors occurring in the home substantially increases. As problematic behaviors continue at home the frustration level in parents is growing.  A parent’s reaction to challenging behaviors can determine if a behavior escalates or continues to occur. Due to high frustration levels, there is a possibility parents will react to challenging behaviors by spanking their child and screaming themselves. If problematic behaviors are not corrected it can affect a child’s academically and the relationship they have with their parents. To avoid this, parent interventions and trainings can be put into place to improve a child’s persistent challenging behaviors in the home.

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