Multiple Family Groups for Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Child Outcomes at 6-Month Follow-Up

Geetha Gopalan, Anil Chacko, Lydia Franco, Kara M. Dean-Assael, Lauren E. Rotko, Sue M. Marcus, Kimberly E. Hoagwood, Mary M. McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on the 6-month follow-up outcomes of an effectiveness study testing a multiple family group (MFG) intervention for clinic-referred youth (aged 7–11) with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) and their families in socioeconomically disadvantaged families compared to services-as-usual (SAU) using a block comparison design. The settings were urban community-based outpatient mental health agencies. Clinic-based providers and family partner advocates facilitated the MFG intervention. Parent-report measures targeting child behavior, social skills, and impairment across functional domains (i.e., relationships with peers, parents, siblings, and academic progress) were assessed across four timepoints (baseline, mid-test, post-test, and 6-month follow-up) using mixed effects regression modeling. Compared to SAU participants, MFG participants reported significant improvement at 6-month follow-up in child behavior, impact of behavior on relationship with peers, and overall impairment/need for services. Findings indicate that MFG may provide longer-term benefits for youth with DBDs and their families in community-based settings. Implications within the context of a transforming healthcare system are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2721-2733
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015


  • Child disruptive behavior disorders
  • Effectiveness trials
  • Inner-city communities
  • Service delivery
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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