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Parent Management Training (PMT)

PMT—also known as behavioral parent training (BPT) or simply parent training—helps change parenting behaviors to reduce child disruptive behavior, while improving parent mental health.

PMT has been extensively studied and validated as an intervention that teaches better parenting skills, decreases child oppositional, aggressive and antisocial behavior and emphasizes the “bidirectional” nature of the parent-child relationship. It is particularly effective for children ages 2-17 with moderate-to-severe behavioral difficulties, including:

Less studied, PMT has also been used to treat disruptive behaviors (aggression, hyperactivity, temper tantrums, difficulty following directions) in children with other conditions, including:

Specifically, PMT teaches positive reinforcement methods (praise and rewards) for children’s appropriate behaviors, while setting limits (removing attention) for the most difficult and inappropriate behaviors. Issue areas can include:

  • Improving academic skills
  • Improving behaviors in a classroom setting
  • Improving social skills
  • Improving skills of daily functioning for those with developmental delays 
  • Preventing delinquent behavior for at-risk youth
  • Assisting with organizational and work issues

PMT is a highly effective treatment proven to change behavior over the long-term—that is, reducing negative behavior and increasing positive behavior, until positive behavior becomes second nature to the child (see PMT’s history and core ideas). Early intervention is important, before behavior escalates to the point of failing school, self-harm or hurting others, hospitalization or juvenile detention. 

Either alone or in combination with other techniques, PMT has been applied with promising effects to other populations, including children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

PMT is a short-term treatment program with its main focus on providing positive reinforcement for appropriate child behaviors. 

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