UW News

June 12, 1997

UW interventions with aggressive children involve parents and teachers

Do you have a child aged 4 to 7 who is overly aggressive and non-compliant? You and your child may qualify for a program at the University of Washington School of Nursing’s Parenting Clinic.
The clinic is enrolling families for the 1997-98 school year. Clinic researchers have found that aggressive behavior in young children can be reduced using training strategies that involve parents, teachers and after-school skills sessions for children.

Eligibility requirements include the following:

— Children must be aged 4 to 7 and enrolled in preschool or school.
— Behavior problems (aggression, anger, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity) must be of long standing.
— Parents must be willing to participate in parent training.
— The child’s school and teacher must be willing to participate.
— Families must live in the greater Seattle area.
— The child may not be receiving other treatment, except that medication is permissible if already prescribed. The child cannot begin medication during the program.

Families will be randomly assigned to one of four protocols, all shown to be effective. The protocols involve various combinations, singly or together, of parenting training, child training in social skills and problem-solving, and school involvement.

The program begins with assessments of the child’s current status, using classroom observations, home visits, teacher and parent questionnaires, and clinic assessments. At the end of the 18- to 24-week program next spring, another round of assessments will measure the child’s progress.

There is no charge for the program, but families and schools must commit for the length of the program. Teachers are compensated for completing the assessments, and the program pays for substitute teachers when necessary to permit the classroom teacher to participate.

“We are seeking to bring out the best in children by promoting parenting skills, strengthening families, promoting social skills, problem solving and anger management in children, and promoting positive parent-teacher-school partnerships,” said Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton, UW professor of family and child nursing who directs the Parenting Clinic.

The clinic has been funded since 1984 by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research. Additional funding has been obtained to expand the program to include teaching of social skills.

The clinic begins enrolling families as soon as possible. For information, call the Parenting Clinic at (206) 543-6010, or e-mail cws@u.washington.edu.