Is parent-child interaction therapy effective on aggression and biological indices in pre-school children with parents who use high-potency cannabis? A double-blind randomized controlled trial study in an Iranian sample

Bijan Pirnia, Masoumeh Mohamadi, Isar Abbasi, Tayyebeh Kord-Ahmadi, Farima Foroughi

DOI: 10.22122/cdj.v0i0.525


BACKGROUND: Improving interpersonal interactions between parents and the child can indirectly reduce the extrapolation behavioral problems, including aggression in children.

METHODS: Among parents who used high-potency cannabis (marijuana or ‘gol’ as it is called in Iran) and lived in Tehran, Iran, sixty four caregivers and an Iranian child were selected through respondent-driven sampling and studied in the form of a double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) (TCTR20180804001) with repeated measurements method and a 6-month follow-up. The changes in the aggression and cortisol levels were repeatedly evaluated during 12 weeks of interactive treatment and analyzed by Monte Carlo test, repeated measures correlation (rmcorr), and generalized estimating equation (GEE) via SPSS software. Statistical significance was accepted on the level of P < 0.010.

RESULTS: 12 weeks of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) had a significant effect on the reduction of aggression and the salivary cortisol level in children (P < 0.010). However, the results did not remain stable till the 6-month follow-up stage (P = 0.067). Also, results revealed a significant relationship between aggression index and the level of cortisol (P < 0.010).

CONCLUSION: Since the core of the damage resulted from illicit drug abuse is reflected in interactive activities, improving social interactions can be considered as the key to the treatment of addiction.


Aggression; Tetrahydrocannabinol; Addiction; Problem Behavior; Child; Preschool

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