Individual and group psychotherapy of childhood aggression: A comparison of outcomes and processes

Zipora Shechtman, Michal Ben-David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to compare outcomes and processes of a therapeutic intervention to reduce children's aggressive behavior, delivered in individual and group formats. Children in 15 small groups (n = 71) and 15 individual treatment children were compared in a pre-post experimental and control design. The Achenbach self-report behavior checklist and teachers' evaluations were used to measure outcomes. To assess outcome results further, the process of change was qualitatively analyzed. In addition, the therapeutic processes were compared using Hill's counselor and client verbal response modes system. Results concerning outcomes indicated reduced aggression of treated children compared with wait-list children, with no differential impact of the format of treatment. The analyses of stages of change supported the similarity in outcomes. Results concerning process variables indicated differences in both therapist and client verbal responses. In therapists' responses, directives were used more in groups and self-disclosure was used more in individual therapy. By contrast, in clients' responses, most variables were more frequently used in individual therapy. However, experiencing was more frequent in group therapy, and there was no difference in insight and simple responses. The discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical implications of these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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