3. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Oppositional Behavior in Children

Integration of Child-Directed Play Therapy and Behavior Management Training for Parents

  1. Athena A. Drewes,
  2. Sue C. Bratton and
  3. Charles E. Schaefer
  1. Amanda H. Costello,
  2. Karishma Chengappa,
  3. Jocelyn O. Stokes,
  4. Ashley B. Tempel and
  5. Cheryl B. McNeil

Published Online: 16 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch3

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

How to Cite

Costello, A. H., Chengappa, K., Stokes, J. O., Tempel, A. B. and McNeil, C. B. (2011) Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Oppositional Behavior in Children, in Integrative Play Therapy (eds A. A. Drewes, S. C. Bratton and C. E. Schaefer), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470617922

Online ISBN: 9781118094792



  • parent-child interaction therapy;
  • play therapy;
  • operant behavioral therapy;
  • disruptive behavior problems;
  • behavior management training


Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an integration of play therapy and operant behavioral therapy approaches for managing disruptive behavior problems in preschool and early school-aged children. These approaches have shown effectiveness in managing child problem behavior. Here we have discussed about the overall goals of PCIT, which are divided in two parts. Child-directed interaction: to help strengthen the parents–children relationship and increase the overall quality. Parent directed interaction: to teach parents appropriate discipline skills in managing disruptive behavior. PCIT aims to target and strengthen the parent–child relationship by intervening early in the child's life and including the parents as the co-therapists for the treatment. In addition to the importance of enhancing the parent–child bond, empirical evidence also demonstrates that parents can benefit greatly from learning how to manage disruptive behavior problems. In fact, as parents become consistent and children's behavior improves, the child's self-esteem and parent–child relationship will improve. With mounting evidence from programmatic research conducted in the United States and abroad, PCIT has earned a reputation as one of the most powerful early intervention programs available. Therapists have considered PCIT as a promising mental health option when developing treatment plans for young children and their families.