Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


This study provides a proposal for crucial volunteer services to fill the gap for overburdened school counselors when parents are unable to engage in Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT), a highly effective intervention for childhood problems. CPRT has been successfully adapted for use with individuals other than the child’s parents. The researcher in this pilot study adapted CPRT for use with senior citizen volunteers who often possess untapped abilities and talents. Seniors received several weeks of training, and then met with children for 1/2 hour supervised, video-taped play sessions for several weeks. Childhood adjustment problems were assessed before and after the intervention using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teacher Report Form (TRF). Seniors’ responses were measured before and after with the Older Adult Self-Report and qualitative interviews. Although no significant differences were noted on pre versus posttest measures for the children (CBCL and TRF), anecdotal reports suggest potential effectiveness of this volunteer intervention for school counselors to utilize. In addition, senior citizens reported their own benefits from working with the children. Suggestions for future research in this area are offered.