Current Research in Psychology and Behavioral Science
[ ISSN : 2833-0986 ]

Self-Reported Data are not Sufficient to Distinguish Benefits of One Psychological Intervention Compared to Another, both Aimed at Improving the Parent-Toddler Relationship

Research Article
Volume 4 - Issue 3 | Article DOI : 10.54026/CRPBS/1094

Miriam Steele1 , Howard Steele1*, Karen Bonuck2 , Paul Meissner2 and Anne Murphy2

1New School for Social Research, USA
2Montefiore Medical Center-Einstein College of Medicine, USA

Corresponding Authors

Howard Steele, New School for Social Research, USA


Child maltreatment; Social isolation; Impulse control; Preventive interventions; Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI); Adverse childhood experiences

Received : April 18, 2023
Published : May 09, 2023


This paper reports on a Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) where mothers at risk of maltreating their infants were randomly assigned to either a widely used parenting training known as Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP),a 12-week once weekly session (n=35), or the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI), a multi-family 26-week treatment (n=43). ANCOVA results compared STEP versus GABI groups’ end-of-treatment scores, with intake scores controlled for, on standardized measures of children’s exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences, social isolation, and difficulties with impulse control, were considered. Mothers in both groups reported no significant increase in children’s exposure to ACEs, and significant decreases in self-reported social isolation and impulse control difficulties. Discussion focuses on self-reported benefits of both treatment arms, and the need for future intervention studies to include observational measures of maternal sensitivity and of the overall quality of the mother-toddler relationship.

Three Practitioner Points

i. Self-report indices from mothers re their social isolation, self-esteem, and poor impulse control (positive symptoms, SCL-90, all showed improvements from intake to end-of-treatment in both arms of the RCT, both
sharing parenting groups as a central if not the only part of treatment.
ii. For both arms of the RCT mothers reported no significant increase in their children’s exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences.
iii. Future intervention studies aimed at preventing child maltreatment must include observational measures of maternal sensitivity, and the overall quality of the mother-child relationship