USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Positive family intervention: Using optimism to overcome obstacles to successful parenting.

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V. Mark Durand

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Advances in our understanding of the nature of severe behavior problems continue to spur meaningful research in function-based intervention strategies, and positive behavior support in particular. Along with documenting these accomplishments, it is time that researchers turn their attention to those circumstances that serve as obstacles to these successes. This chapter describes research that identifies parental pessimism as a potential barrier to optimum outcomes with behavioral parent training. In other words, one of the more significant obstacles appears to be a lack of confidence either in the person’s ability to carry out these plans or skepticism that the child will benefit. Data from a multi-site randomized clinical trial indicate that the addition of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for pessimistic parents who are resistant or reluctant to commit to and use interventions can enhance the effectiveness of behavioral parent training (this approach is called Positive Family Intervention). We may be able to help families who have difficulty carrying out our treatments by focusing on the attitudinal barriers that interfere with their ability to successfully implement behavioral interventions with their children.


Jessica Kingsley

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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