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The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach: Outcomes Across Settings

Pollastri, Alisha R. PhD; Epstein, Lawrence D. PhD; Heath, Georgina H. BSc; Ablon, J. Stuart PhD

doi: 10.1097/HRP.0b013e3182961017
Perspectives

In the last decade, Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) has become a popular approach to managing the challenging behaviors of children and adolescents, and has established a growing evidence base for reducing oppositional behavior and related outcomes. In contrast with standard behavioral methods that provide incentives for meeting adult expectations, CPS focuses on identifying and treating lagging cognitive skills that interfere with children’s ability to meet these expectations. Since the majority of CPS outcomes have been evaluated in clinical and educational settings as part of internal quality-improvement efforts, only a small proportion of these findings has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Here, we describe the CPS approach and provide a summary of all known published and unpublished findings related to its implementation in outpatient, inpatient, residential, juvenile justice, and educational settings. Finally, we provide specific recommendations for future research on the model.

From Harvard Medical School (Drs. Pollastri, Epstein, and Ablon); Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (Drs. Pollastri, Epstein, and Ablon); St. Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, UK (Ms. Heath).

Original manuscript received 30 October 2012; revised manuscript received 12 March 2013, accepted for publication 8 April 2013.

Correspondence: Alisha R. Pollastri, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114. Email: apollastri@partners.org

© 2013 President and Fellows of Harvard College
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