The increasing prevalence rates of childhood psychiatric disorders have drawn substantial focus in the medical, educational, and psychological community. In particular, two themes emerge. The first is where children are best treated while the second remains how best to treat children. Traditionally, pharmacological treatments are given primary consideration as the main course of treatment, and public school personnel are now being considered the key players in first diagnosing disorders and then providing therapeutic support for the children identified. The following study investigates the presentation of a school-based family psychoeducational workshop as an adjunctive treatment modality for primary caregivers of identified children in a public-school setting. A two-hour “family-survival” workshop was presented to 18 caregivers of children diagnosed with psychiatric illness and receiving school services for emotional and behavioral problems. Participants completed surveys preintervention and postintervention and again at a 6-week follow-up. The impact of this workshop was measured in relation to its effect on the following family-level outcomes: (a) increased caregiver knowledge of their children's psychiatric illness; (b) increased conceptual knowledge of the level of seriousness of their children's illness; and (c) increased knowledge of the psychological, pharmacological, and educational treatment modalities available to benefit both their children and their families. Despite the small sample size, the results offer support for the benefit of caregiver psychoeducation as an adjunctive treatment modality. Specifically, the data reveal support for three of the five hypotheses. First, the majority of workshop participants at preintervention were found to exhibit significant levels of caregiver stress, as evidenced by pretest scores on the PSI/SF. Second, a comparison of posttest scores with pretest scores on a subscale gauging caregiver knowledge of their children's illness was found to be significant. The fifth research hypothesis was partially supported, despite the limited sample data, in that a significant difference was noted among pretest, posttest, and follow-up scores of caregivers' estimations of the seriousness of their children's illness.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Clinical psychology, Health education|
|Keywords:||Adjunct treatment, Adjunct treatment and/with parents, Caregiver psychoeducation, Caregivers, Child psychopathology, Children and psychiatric disorders, Psychiatric disorders, Psychoeducation|
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