Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Educational Psychology

Major Professor

Tricia McClam

Committee Members

Ralph G. Brockett, Teresa A. Hutchens, Marianne Woodside

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) was an effective method of treatment for reducing behaviors associated with attachment difficulties experienced by foster children who have been removed from their family of origin. This study also sought to determine if the age of the foster child, the gender of the foster child, or the number of foster placements would also influence behaviors associated with attachment difficulties. This study was conducted with a pre-test, post-test, quasi-experimental group, control group design format using the Randolph Attachment Disorder Questionnaire (RADQ) assessment instrument. The quasi-experimental group received the CPRT intervention and the control group participated in a support group. Results indicated no significant group interaction was found demonstrating that improvement in overall behaviors associated with attachment difficulty did not differ between the two groups. However, both the quasi-experimental group and the control group demonstrated a significant improvement in behaviors associated with attachment difficulty over time. When the two groups were compared using the subscales of the RADQ, the control group demonstrated a significant difference in the social subscale. There were no significant difference between the quasi-experimental and control groups‟ mean scores on the basis of age, however, the subscales of the post-test of the quasi-experimental group indicated an improvement in at least one subscale. There were no significant findings in relation to the total RADQ scores in regard to gender or in relation to the number of foster placements experienced by the child. The implications of these findings are discussed and directions for future research are also presented.

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