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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Earlene E. Strayhorn, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This clinical manual is an updated, expanded version of Barkley's two previous works, Defiant Children: A Clinician's Manual for Assessment and Parent Training, 2nd Edition (Guilford Publications, Inc, 1997) and Defiant Children: Clinician Manual and Parent's Workbook, 2 Book Pack (Guilford Publications, Inc, 1987) on parental training of defiant adolescents. Recent clinical research on the development of oppositional teenagers and the intimate relationship with the most frequent comorbid diagnosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is provided. This newest addition presents previously well-known parental intervention training combined with Problem Solving Communication Training (PSCT), developed in 1989 by Arthur Robin and Sharon Foster.
Purpose: The purpose of the authors' program is to "concentrate on giving parents sufficient skills to manage disruptive, defiant, and noncompliant child behavior through controlling the antecedents and consequences of those forms of child misconduct ..." In a "need for interactional management" to both engage "the adolescent as an active participant in [the] family change program, and to increase effectiveness of parental intervention, the PSCT program ... concentrates on training [both parent and adolescent] in more effective ways of negotiating conflicts, resolving problems or disputes, developing more effective communication styles, and changing unreasonable beliefs about other family members that may adversely influence specific interactions." This much needed book meets the authors' worthy objectives.
Audience: In accordance with the authors, I believe child therapists and mental health professionals are the appropriate targeted audience. The principal author is a world renowned researcher and clinician in this area.
Features: This manual covers a systematic 18-step program. Steps one through nine develop parental training to cope with adolescent defiant behavior in the home and school settings. Steps nine through eighteen provide instruction with the parent and teenager in PSCT designed to improve intrafamilial communication skills via conflict resolution techniques and therapeutic discussion of divergent belief systems. The last section provides the therapist with numerous assessment instruments and tools, including reproducible handouts, scales, and questionnaires to gain specific information regarding general background, developmental, psychiatric, medical, and academic history, disruptive behavior scales, parental behavioral scales, and handouts to enhance and reinforce the parental/PSCT training session.
Assessment: This publication should be required reading for all mental health professionals involved with the adolescent or adult population. Though the various tenets of discipline are taught during training, this manual shows the therapist how to train parents and adolescents and, if successful, effect change in the deviant behavior. The seriousness of the adolescent's psychopathology, parental beliefs and styles, and the therapist relationship with the family, among others, are discussed. Most parents want what is best for their children and when problems occur, and they reach our offices, their main need is to know how to proceed. This manual demonstrates exactly what to do.