Comparing Traditional and Ebook-Augmented Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT): A Randomized Control Trial of Pocket PCIT

Jason F. Jent, W. Andrew Rothenberg, Allison Weinstein, Jocelyn Stokes, Miya Barnett, Nandita Srivatsa, Erin Dandes, Dainelys Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disruptive behavior in young children is one of the most common referrals to behavioral health providers. While numerous effective parenting programs, such as parent–child interaction therapy (PCIT), exist for improving children's behaviors, challenges with treatment engagement and retention limit the intended positive impact on child and caregiver outcomes, particularly for racial and ethnic minority families. In an effort to address barriers contributing to poor engagement and retention in traditional PCIT service delivery and among ethnic and racial minority families, a multimedia PCIT ebook was developed and evaluated. In a sample of the general public that utilized the ebook, users were found to be more engaged in viewing embedded videos within the ebook that were related to expert skill explanations and skill demonstrations than caregiver testimonies. A randomized controlled trial was also conducted to evaluate the extent that the ebook + PCIT improved treatment engagement, retention, parenting skills, skill acquisition efficiency, and child behavior above and beyond traditional PCIT. Participating families were randomly assigned to either the traditional PCIT (n = 71) or ebook + PCIT (n = 107) group using an online random number generator. Forty-nine caregivers (traditional PCIT n = 24, ebook + PCIT n = 25) were excluded from analyses because they were lost to follow-up during the intervention. Families in both the traditional PCIT and ebook + PCIT groups demonstrated generally equivalent positive outcomes in treatment engagement (i.e., attendance, treatment length, completion rate) and caregiver skill acquisition efficiency at midtreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. The addition of the ebook to PCIT also reduced child disruptive behavior at midtreatment, above and beyond traditional PCIT, but not at posttreatment or follow-up. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1324
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • child disruptive behavior
  • engagement
  • parent training
  • technology augmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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