Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1-19

First online:

Treatment adherence of maltreating families: A survey of professionals regarding prevalence and enhancement strategies

  • David J. HansenAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • , Jody E. WarnerAffiliated withWest Virginia University

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Maltreating parents often do not identify themselves as having a problem and are usually not self-referred for evaluation or treatment. As a result, treatment adherence problems are believed to be common. Unfortunately, the literature to date about the extent of the problem and what to do about it is sparse. The present investigation focuses on two types of treatment adherence by maltreating families: session attendance and homework completion. The goals of the study were the following: (a) provide information on the extent of the problem of nonadherence; (b) examine the relationship between nonadherence and client, treatment, and professional factors; and (c) provide information on the use and effectiveness of strategies to facilitate adherence. A survey was sent to 300 mental health and social service agencies nationwide and completed by 105 professionals. The survey requested specific data on three randomly selected maltreating parents from each respondent's current caseload. Data were obtained on 303 maltreating parents. Implications of the results for intervention and future research are discussed.

Key words

child maltreatment child abuse child neglect treatment adherence