The study examined the effects of conducting observations as part of a broader assessment of families participating in behavior family intervention (BFI). It was designed to investigate whether the observations improve intervention outcomes.
Families were randomly assigned to different levels of BFI or a waitlist control condition and subsequently randomly assigned to either observation or no-observation conditions.
This study demonstrated significant intervention and observation effects. Mothers in more intensive BFI reported more improvement in their child’s behavior and their own parenting. Observed mothers reported lower intensity of child behavior problems and more effective parenting styles. There was also a trend for less anger among mothers who were observed and evidence of an observation-intervention interaction for parental anger, with observed mothers in more intensive intervention reporting less anger compared to those not observed.
Implications for clinical and research intervention contexts are discussed.