Amiya Waldman-Levi, Naomi Weintraub; Efficacy of a Crisis Intervention in Improving Mother–Child Interaction and Children’s Play Functioning. Am J Occup Ther 2014;69(1):6901220020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.013375
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We examined the efficacy of a crisis-based intervention in improving mother–child interaction and children’s play functioning for families who had experienced domestic violence.
METHOD. Using a pretest–posttest two-group control study design, we assigned the intervention group (n = 20 mother–child dyads) to the Family Intervention for Improving Occupational Performance (FI–OP) program and the control group (n = 17 dyads) to a playroom program. Both programs consisted of eight 30-min sessions. We videotaped dyads during free play and used standardized tools to assess interactions, play skills, and playfulness.
RESULTS. After the intervention, mother–child interaction was significantly better in the FI–OP group than in the playroom group. The children in the FI–OP group also demonstrated significantly greater improvement in play skills, but not in playfulness.
CONCLUSION. FI–OP is a promising program for improving aspects of mother–child interaction and children’s play functioning among survivors of domestic violence.
Mother–child interaction (enhancing the mother’s sensitivity to her child’s needs, abilities, and preferences, especially during play)
Reciprocity (enabling and augmenting reciprocity in the mother’s and child’s responses to each other)
Playfulness (developing, encouraging, and stimulating the following components of playfulness: internal motivation, internal control, freedom from constraints of reality, and framing)
Play skills (developing, enabling, and encouraging age-related play skills, such as practice, symbolic or construction play, exploratory behavior, and achievement behavior).
Mediation (communicating during the interaction between therapist and child and between mother and child to encourage the child to perceive, understand, and experience an event at both the cognitive and emotional levels; it is also used in relation to the dyad to implement a positive interaction in new situations)
Modeling (serving as a playful model for mother and child in each session)
Consultation (disseminating knowledge regarding the importance of playing and interacting)
Environmental organization and adaptation (designing the play environment to be supportive and enhance interaction and playfulness)
Reframing (modifying the meaning of a situation by presenting new ways of viewing it when the mother perceives a child’s behavior in a negative light, interfering with her interaction with her child)
Enabling (promoting the experience of play and interaction in an emotionally and physically safe environment)
Reflection (reflecting the child’s behavior or feelings to the mother).
The FI–OP program may be effective in improving mother–child interaction and children’s play skills among abused women and children residing in shelters.
The creation of a safe space during intervention may facilitate mother–child interaction.
Mediated play and mother–child interaction can be used to enable and foster change in meaningful occupations such as family relations and play.
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