Parental autobiographical memory: is this a helpful clinical measure in behavioural child management?
Hutchings J., Nash S., Williams JM., Nightingale D.
OBJECTIVES: The major hypothesis was that specificity scores on the Parent-Child Autobiographical Memory Test (PCAMT; Hutchings, 1996) would differentiate between mothers of children referred to a child and adolescent mental health service for behavioural management, and those who were not referred. Within the referred sample, the objective was to examine the relationships between the PCAMT, mental health (Beck Depression Inventory; Beck, Ward, Mendelson, Mock & Erbaugh, 1961; General Health Questionnaire; Goldberg, 1972) and socio-economic deprivation (SED5; Hutchings, 1996) and measures of outcome (Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory; Eyberg, 1980). DESIGN: Pre-treatment measures on the PCAMT for the group of mothers whose children were referred were compared with measures on the PCAMT from a group of mothers of non-referred children of similar ages. Within the mothers of the referred sample, correlations of the PCAMT with other measures were examined, pre- and post-treatment. METHODS: Pre-treatment PCAMT scores from 26 mothers of children with behaviour management problems from consecutive referrals to a child and adolescent mental health service were compared with PCAMT scores from 22 mothers of children of a similar age from a local playgroup. Within the referred group, the PCAMT was administered before (N = 26) and after (N = 16) treatment. The 16 treated families received behavioural management advice. RESULTS: The PCAMT distinguished between parents of children referred for behavioural management advice and a non-clinical sample. Within the referred group it also distinguished between those who received treatment and those who did not attend treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The PCAMT is considered to have the potential of being a useful instrument for identifying referred children whose mothers may not attend for treatment and possibly for identifying those mothers who would benefit most from concentrating on attending and observation skills in child management training.