Giving up on child psychotherapy: Who drops out?

John R. Weisz, Bahr Weiss, David B. Langmeyer
1987 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology  
Do dropouts from child psychotherapy differ from those who stay for treatment? To find out, we studied 6-17-year-old outpatients, 166 who completed intake but did not appear for therapy and 138 who continued in therapy for an average of 13 sessions. The groups were compared on demographics, on Child Behavior Checklist broadband and narrow-band syndrome scores, on Children's Depression Inventory scores, on therapist age and sex, and on parent perceptions of clinic and child. No reliable group
more » ... o reliable group differences were found. The striking group similarity may have implications for clinic-based outcome research. Which children drop out of psychotherapy before treatment has run its course? The question is important for both pragmatic and empirical reasons. Youngsters who begin therapy but then drop out may fail to receive needed intervention. Moreover, clinics invest considerable staff time in intake and thera-
doi:10.1037/0022-006x.55.6.916 fatcat:i4nwdh6uonclljm7vmlrezod5e