The behavioral assessment of parent-child interactions is an important component of treatment planning and evaluation in many evidence-based parent training programs. However, numerous factors unrelated to the parent-child interaction may add error to the assessment. This study investigated the impact of task instructions on parents’ behaviors during the analogue parent-child interaction observation, the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS). Forty-eight mother-child dyads were randomly assigned to one of two conditions that differed on level of specificity of instructions. Significant differences were observed between groups, with parents who received specific instructions using more praises during the DPICS tasks. Specific instructions may shift parents’ behaviors toward optimal, rather than typical, interaction patterns and should be considered in the context of the assessment goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)