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The role of five caregiver variables in the prediction of child treatment outcome: An intervention study of academic and behavioral problems

Justin Campbell Curry, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Five caregiver-related variables were examined to assess their predictive power relative to several academic and behavioral outcome measures in an intervention study designed to prevent academic failure and behavioral problems in an at-risk population. Subjects included 117 children and their primary caregivers from four child-me centers in a medium-sized metropolitan area in western Massachusetts. Subjects came largely from low-income families and were primarily from minority ethnic backgrounds. The predictor variables included perceived caregiver social support caregiver life-stress, caregiver relationship satisfaction, caregiver depression, and caregiver's ratings of general psychiatric distress. An assumption was made that these variables are related to the level of psychological resources that caregivers would be able to devote to intervention participation. It was hypothesized, therefore, that predictive relationships between these caregiver-related and outcome variables would be mediated by caregiver compliance with the intervention. An unexpected finding emerging from this study was that higher levels of caregiver depression predict increased compliance with the behavioral portion of the intervention which, in twin, predicts fewer Home AD/HD symptoms at post-test. This was the only predictive relationship in which a mediating role for compliance was supported at a level approaching statistical significance. However, several direct predictive relationships between caregiver-related variables and outcome measures were supported by the data at a statistically significant level. Results are discussed and directions for future research are suggested. Several methodological issues pertinent to this study are also considered.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Developmental psychology|Special education

Recommended Citation

Curry, Justin Campbell, "The role of five caregiver variables in the prediction of child treatment outcome: An intervention study of academic and behavioral problems" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9978488.