Barriers to Treatment Participation Scale: Evaluation and validation in the context of child outpatient treatment

Academic Article


  • This study examined barriers that families experience during treatment and the role these barriers play in participation and completion of therapy. We developed the Barriers to Treatment Participation Scale and evaluated performance among children (N = 260, ages 3-13) and families referred for outpatient treatment. The results indicated that: (a) the scale yielded high levels of internal consistency; (b) the experience of barriers to participation, whether rated by parents or therapists, predicted higher rates of dropping out of treatment, fewer weeks in treatment, and higher rates of cancelled appointments and not showing up for sessions; (c) the perception of barriers was distinguishable from several family, parent, and child characteristics assessed at intake and the experience of critical life events during treatment; and (d) perceived barriers added significant information in predicting participation in treatment, over and above other characteristics that are already known to predict poor participation in treatment. Barriers associated with treatment participation can help identify cases at risk for dropping out and suggest targets for intervention to improve retention of families in treatment.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kazdin AE; Holland L; Crowley M; Breton S
  • Start Page

  • 1051
  • End Page

  • 1062
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 8