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Conduct disorder among children in an informal settlement. Evaluation of an intervention programme

, : Conduct disorder among children in an informal settlement. Evaluation of an intervention programme. South African Medical Journal 87(11): 1533-1537

This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week intervention programme for conduct-disordered boys aged 10-16 years. A descriptive study comparing a group of boys who participated in an intervention programme with a non-participant group. All the participants were resident in Khayelitsha and the programme was conducted at Empilweni, a community mental health project in Site C, Khayelitsha. Nine of the 15 boys who were referred to Empilweni for serious conduct problems participated in the intervention; the remaining 6 were non-participants. The New York Teacher Rating Scale (NYTRS) and selected modules of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC) were administered before and immediately after the treatment programme, and again after a 6-month interval. Six months after the intervention, the treatment group showed a significant reduction in defiance, physical and delinquent aggression, as well as additional conduct problems. The non-treatment group only showed a significant reduction in defiance. The study results suggest that short-term community-based group therapy may be effective in treating delinquent behaviour among boys in an informal settlement. The feasibility of promoting such interventions as part of national violence prevention programmes requires serious consideration.


PMID: 9472277

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