The clinical intake interview is an opportunity to observe family interactions and formulate hypotheses about their influence on presenting problems. In this study family interactions were assessed during an unstructured segment of a clinical intake. Families with disruptive preschool boys were compared with those having nonproblem boys. Mothers' and fathers' reports of marital satisfaction, parenting involvement, and child behavior problems were examined in relation to observed behavior during intake. Patterns of family interaction emerged which were consistent with previous research and with family systems theory. Clinic boys oriented more toward mothers than fathers and interacted more negatively with their fathers than did comparison boys. Implications for integrating the assessment of family interactions into clinical practice and research with behavior problem children are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health