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The effectiveness of a group treatment program for children of addicted parents Mason, Marcelle S.


Titled "Children of Addicted Parents", the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a psycho-educational group intervention for latency age children of alcoholics. The treatment group consisted of eleven children between the ages of eight and twelve, who have lived or who are living with an alcoholic parent or stepparent. Referrals were obtained from elementary school guidance counsellors, Family Service Agencies, Alcohol and Drug Programs and the Ministry of Social Services and Housing. The children and three therapists met one hour a week for nine weeks. The group's dual objectives include educating the children about alcoholism/drug addiction and its effect on the family as well as enhancing the childrens' inherent strengths by teaching strategies to increase self-esteem, problem solving and other coping skills. The program's objectives were carried out through brief lectures, discussion, film, art and therapeutic games. The treatment model has been evaluated using a quasi-experimental design. There was a significant change in the intensity of behaviour problems with a trend for a decrease in the number of problems, as well as a decrease in depression. In addition there was a tendency for an increase in self-esteem.

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