Early Family-Based Intervention Might Help Prevent Antisocial Behavior

By Sachs, Carolyn | Clinical Psychiatry News, June 2008 | Go to article overview

Early Family-Based Intervention Might Help Prevent Antisocial Behavior


Sachs, Carolyn, Clinical Psychiatry News


KAUI, HAWAN -- Preschoolers at genetic risk for antisocial behavior may benefit from family-based preventive intervention, Dr. Glen O. Gabbard said at the annual meeting of the American College of Psychiatrists.

"I worked in the prison system for 6 years. One of the things you see again and again is that antisocial patients are not very responsive to individual therapy," he said.

If they don't receive any treatment until they are adults, "you're not going to get anywhere with them," said Dr. Gabbard, Brown Foundation Professor of Psychoanalysis and professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. "We need to start thinking about early preventive approaches based on family therapy models."

In a recent study that he discussed, investigators enrolled 92 preschoolers who were considered to be at substantial generic risk for antisocial behavior because they had siblings with a history of juvenile delinquency (Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2007;64:1172-9).

The children were randomized to one of two groups. In the family-intervention group, the preschoolers and their parents had 22 weekly group sessions and 10 biweekly home visits over a 6- to 8-month period. The control group received assessments and monthly telephone calls. …

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