Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume Two. 3.6.7 Child Behavior

09/01/2002

In all three interviews, we asked 35 questions about specific child behaviors, both positive and negative. Questions were phrased in terms of "any of the children" and some questions were age specific. Responses to these questions were used to form various scales: aggression (3 items), school problems (5 items), positive child behaviors (10 items), and negative child behaviors (21 items, including the aggression and school problems items). Analyses of these scales are shown in Tables 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5.

Kentucky. Neither the primary nor the secondary analyses revealed any significant differences between the groups in scores on any of these scales at post-treatment or at followup or in the change over time. Specific items on whether the child was withdrawn, had stolen things or been arrested, or had engaged in substance abuse did not reveal significant differences between groups at post-treatment or followup. For the scale of having stolen things or been arrested, the experimental group scored higher at the initial interview and declined between the first and second interview, while the control group increased between the first and second interviews and again at the followup interview. As a result, the multivariate interaction between time and group was nearly significant (p = .07) and the univariate difference between the groups in the difference between the first interview and the average of the later two interviews was significant at p = .03.

New Jersey. In the primary analysis there were no significant differences between groups on these scales at post-treatment or at followup, except for the overall negative child behaviors scale at post-treatment, on which the experimental group was lower (an average of 28% of the items vs. 33%; p = .04). (43) For none of these scales was there a significant difference between groups on change over time.

Specific items on whether the child was withdrawn, had stolen things or been arrested, or had engaged in substance abuse did not reveal significant differences between groups at post-treatment or followup or in change over time.

Tennessee. There were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups in the average scores on these scales at post-treatment or at followup, nor were there significant differences in change over time. The difference for positive child behaviors at followup was nearly significant, with the control group scoring higher (p = .07). The specific items on whether the child was withdrawn, had stolen things or been arrested, or had engaged in substance abuse did not reveal significant differences between groups at post-treatment or followup or in change over time.

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