Can emotional language skills be taught during parent training for conduct problem children?

Karen Salmon, Mark R. Dadds, Jennifer Allen, David J. Hawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (SciVal)


To assess the effectiveness of providing training in elaborative, emotion rich reminiscing (emotional reminiscing, ER) as an adjunct to Parent Management Training (PMT) for parents of children (N = 38, M age = 56.9, SD = 15.8 months) with oppositional behaviors. Control parents received PMT and non-language adjunct intervention, child-directed play. All components of the intervention were manualized. Parents in both conditions received training in an abbreviated course of PMT. Parents in the ER condition additionally received brief training in discussing everyday past events with their child incorporating emotion labels and causes, "wh" questions, and detailed descriptive information. Parents in the control condition received training in allowing their child to lead during play sessions. Across both conditions, children's oppositional behaviors decreased between the beginning and end of training. Providing parents with training parents in an elaborative, emotion-rich reminiscing style resulted in greater parent and child use of elaborations and emotion references during shared conversations. Given findings in the literature of an association between parental emotion talk and children's emotional competence, developmental skills that are frequently compromised in oppositional children, the current pilot study has implications for interventions that broaden the focus of PMT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
Early online date17 Apr 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Conduct problems
  • Emotion talk
  • Parent training
  • Parent-child conversations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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