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A Review of Intervention Programs to Prevent and Treat Behavioral Problems in Young Children with Developmental Disabilities

  • Christie L. M. Petrenko
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk for internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems than children in the general population. Effective prevention and treatment programs are necessary to reduce the burden of behavioral problems in this population. The current review identified 17 controlled trials of nine intervention programs for young children with developmental disabilities, with parent training the most common type of intervention in this population. Nearly all studies demonstrated medium to large intervention effects on child behavior post-intervention. Preliminary evidence suggests interventions developed for the general population can be effective for children with developmental disabilities and their families. A greater emphasis on the prevention of behavior problems in young children with developmental disabilities prior to the onset of significant symptoms or clinical disorders is needed. Multi-component interventions may be more efficacious for child behavior problems and yield greater benefits for parent and family adjustment. Recommendations for future research directions are provided.

Keywords

Developmental disabilities Preventive interventions Treatment Mental health Behavioral problems 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a Career Development Award (K01AA020486) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or the National Institutes of Health. The author would also like to thank Drs. Sheree Toth and Assaf Oshri for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

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*Was utilized to indicate those studies that were included in the review

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mt. Hope Family CenterUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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