Sibling aggression among maltreated children placed in foster homes is linked to other externalizing problems and placement disruption. The reduction of sibling conflict and aggression may be achieved via a multicomponent ecologically focused intervention for families in the foster care system. The focus of the study is to evaluate the feasibility and short-term effectiveness of a transtheoretical intervention model targeting sibling pairs and their foster parent that integrates family systems, social learning theory, and a conflict mediation perspective. In this pilot study, sibling pairs (N = 22) and their foster parent were randomized into a three-component intervention (n = 13) or a comparison (n = 9) group. Promoting Sibling Bonds (PSB) is an 8-week prevention intervention targeting maltreated sibling pairs ages 5–11 years placed together in a foster home. The siblings, parent, and joint components were delivered in a program package at the foster agency by a trained two-clinician team. Average attendance across program components was 73 %. Outcomes in four areas were gathered at pre- and postintervention: observed sibling interaction quality (positive and negative) including conflict during play, and foster parent reports of mediation strategies and sibling aggression in the foster home. At postintervention, adjusting for baseline scores and child age, intervention pairs showed higher positive (p < 0.001) and negative (p < 0.05) interaction quality and lower sibling conflict during play (p < 0.01) than comparison pairs. Foster parents in the intervention group reported a higher number of conflict mediation strategies than those in the comparison group (p < 0.001). Foster parents in the intervention group reported lower sibling physical aggression from the older toward the younger child than those in the comparison group (p < 0.05). Data suggest that the PSB intervention is a promising approach to reduce conflict and promote parental mediation, which together may reduce sibling aggression in the foster home.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 2, 2014
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