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WESTERN PSYCH HELPS ABUSED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

 WESTERN PSYCH HELPS ABUSED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 2.5 million cases of


child abuse were reported last year, according to the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) said today it is offering a free treatment and research program for physically abused children, ages 6 to 12, and their families.
 The study, Interventions to Maximize Parent and Child Togetherness (IMPACT), will provide treatment to approximately 120 families. Families in which a child was physically hurt or an abusive incident was strongly suspected within the past nine months, and in which the child and offending person are in contact, may be eligible to participate.
 Three types of services for abusive families will be evaluated: parent treatment, parent and child treatment, and family therapy. Each service will include individual/therapist meetings to discuss personal and family problems, and in-home or group counseling sessions.
 "The focus of the program is to help parents and children learn to interact more positively and effectively, and to improve self-control, communication and problem-solving skills," said David Kolko, Ph.D., associate professor of child psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and director of the Child and Parent Behavior Clinic at WPIC.
 Child physical abuse can cause a variety of distressing feelings and behaviors in children, such as low self-esteem, mistrust, and aggressive or withdrawn behavior.
 "Without swift recognition and termination of child abuse, there may be long-term emotional and psychological effects to children and their families," said Kolko.
 Funded by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, Project IMPACT will evaluate the services provided and conduct a two-year follow-up of all participating families to determine outcomes of treatment, such as family adjustment, parent practices and child behavior.
 "To our knowledge, there have been few large-scale studies of psychological treatments that directly involve children and their parents, and that provide long-term follow-up," Kolko said. "The study's findings will be used to improve treatment programs and identify effective preventive measures."
 Families will be reimbursed for completing four research interviews and can receive transportation assistance if needed. For more information about the study or to participate, please call the project coordinator at 412-624-3073.
 -0- 12/2/91
 /EDITORS: Interviews can be arranged by calling Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps at 412-624-2607./
 /CONTACT: Kathia Kennedy or Gloria Kreps of Health Sciences News Bureau, 412-624-2607, or fax, 412-624-3184/ CO: Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


DM -- PG002 -- 8220 12/02/91 09:14 EST
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Date:Dec 2, 1991
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