Work with children is often more accurately described as work with their parents who typically play an important part in the maintenance, if not the onset, of children’s problems. The bulk of this chapter will deal with work with children in their own homes, but we also discuss the relevance of a behavioural approach when working with children in substitute families and with children living outside their parental home when the aim is rehabilitation. Many of the techniques mentioned lend themselves to use within the school setting, and sometimes it is important to tackle behaviour at both home and school. (Some references dealing with school behaviour problems are given in the Appendix.) We begin with a brief summary of the findings of behavioural research into the factors which seem to distinguish families with conduct-disordered children. These are families who typically complain that their children’s behaviour is beyond their control; sometimes referred to in American literature as ‘the brat syndrome’.
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