Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014


Child–senior relationship training (CSRT) is an adaptation of child–parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a highly effective intervention for children, where trained senior citizen volunteers provide free play sessions for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to participate in CPRT. This study explored the effects of CSRT on kindergarten children and the senior volunteers’ effectiveness with children following training. The researchers propose CSRT provides benefits to busy school counselors by closing the gap between the high number of students needing services and the historically low number of providers. Although CPRT has been shown to be more effective when used with parents, many times parent involvement is not feasible. CPRT has been successfully adapted for use with other populations such as teachers, aides, high school students, and fifth-grade students. School counselors can potentially provide services to many children by training and supervising seniors for 1.5 hr per week. In this study, researchers used findings from a pilot study to improve delivery of CSRT. Senior citizens were trained to provide 30-min play sessions each week to kindergarten children. Children’s behaviors were measured by the Teacher Report Form. Although not considered therapy, results indicate seniors were capable of providing a therapeutic relationship that is hypothesized to assist children in improving behavioral and social-emotional problems. Four single-case studies are presented to examine the effects of CSRT.


Final version available at