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Dyadic Parent–Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS): An Adaptable Measure of Parent and Child Behavior During Dyadic Interactions

  • Melanie McDiarmid Nelson
  • Brian Olsen
Chapter

Abstract

The Dyadic Parent–Child Interaction Coding System, fourth edition (DPICS-IV) is a flexible, but structured, behavioral observation measure used to quantify key parent and child behaviors in standardized situations. The DPICS-IV has been used extensively as an adjunct to parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT), but its utility extends to the evaluation of other parenting interventions and research objectives as well. The core features of the DPICS-IV include (1) focusing on direct observation of parent–child dyadic interactions; (2) using well-defined categories; and (3) maintaining adequate interrater reliability. These features allow for considerable flexibility with regard to the situations used, the categories used, and the way in which behavior frequencies are recorded. As a result, there have been many studies that have used the DPICS to address a wide range of clinical and research questions. This chapter reviews the development of the DPICS as well as current research incorporating the DPICS as a treatment process or outcome variable. In addition, the ways in which the DPICS has been adapted, and the process by which the DPICS is designed to be adapted is summarized. Lastly, a case example is presented to highlight how the DPICS can be adapted to suit unique clinical and research interests.

Keywords

DPICS Coding system Parent–child interaction Behavioral observation Parenting measure Parent behavior Child behavior Child-led play Parent-led play PCIT 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Florida College of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryGainesvilleUSA

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