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This study examined the impact and side effects of a cognitive behavioural program for the treatment of recurrent abdominal pain (R.A.P.) on children's behavioural adjustment and family functioning. It assessed the extent to which changes in children's pain symptoms covaried with family processes thought to be etiologically significant in cases of R.A.P. Results showed that pain symptoms of both experimental and control children improved significantly six months after initial assessment. Treatment achieved its objectives more quickly with a higher proportion of completely pain-free children. None of the measures of child adjustment or family conflict, expressiveness, independence or achievement orientation were associated with changes in pain intensity ratings or parent observational measures of pain behaviour. There was no evidence that treatment was associated with any negative side effects.
This paper reviews the diversity in parenting values and practices amongst Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. First, issues arising from the historical traumatic disruption of families' attachments are discussed. Then the contribution Indigenous parenting makes to the development of healthy and vulnerable individuals becomes the central focus. Family therapists can draw from a broad understanding of the diversity of parenting values and practices in the context of a strength-based approach.
Birth cohort studies have shown that individuals who develop non-affective psychoses display subtle deviations in behaviour during childhood and adolescence. We had the opportunity to examine the widely used Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Youth Self-Report (YSR) to explore the antecedents of non-affective psychosis.
Based on a birth cohort of 3801 young adults, psychopathology was assessed at years 5 and 14 using the CBCL and/or the YSR. Screen-positive non-affective psychosis (SP-NAP) was assessed at year 21 by using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) or a self-report checklist. The association between childhood symptoms and SP-NAP was examined using logistic regression.
Of the cohort, 60 subjects were classified as SP-NAP. In males, SP-NAP was associated with higher scores: (a) on year 5 CBCL ‘Total’, ‘Aggression’ and ‘Social, Attention and Thought’ scores; (b) on year 14 CBCL ‘Social’, ‘Attention’ and ‘Delinquency’ scores, and (c) YSR ‘Total’ and many YSR subscores. These associations were less clear for females. Hallucinations at year 14 were associated with SP-NAP for both sexes. Boys with high ‘Total’ scores at both years 5 and 14 were at greatest risk of SP-NAP (a 5-fold risk), followed by boys and girls whose ‘Social, Attention and Thought’ scores either increased or remained high from years 5 to 14 (3- to 13-fold risk).
Individuals who screen positive for non-affective psychosis show increased psychopathology during childhood and adolescence. The psychopathological trajectory of children who go on to develop schizophrenia anticipates the heterogeneity associated with the full clinical syndrome.
This study reports on the effects of a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for two pre-adolescent children with chronic headaches. The program involved a combination of training the child in self-management skills (e.g. relaxation training, attention training, cognitive self-statements), and training for parents in how to prompt and reinforce children's self-help behaviors. Self-report assessment utilized a headache diary, a general activity measure, and a depression measure, whilst parental report measures were taken of the child's headache behavior and contingent parental care-giving behavior. Child headache behavior at school was also recorded by the child's teacher. The results indicated that by six months follow-up the subjects had improved in headache intensity 100% and 61% respectively, and in headache frequency 100% and 84% respectively. Both subjects also showed decreases in headache behaviors and reductions in contingent care-giving behavior by parents. Overall, the results suggest the potential usefulness of systematic involvement of parents in cognitive-behavioral treatment of children's chronic headaches.
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