CPP Research

CPP Research Overview

The CPP research overview is available in both brief and extended formats. If you would like to watch the extended format, which provides more details on each of the studies, click on the buttons below.


Two randomized control trials (RCTs) were conducted at the Child-Trauma Research Program, University of California, San Francisco, by the team that developed Child-Parent Psychotherapy.

Three additional randomized control trials were conducted by the Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester, an independent research team that was trained in the model by Alicia F. Lieberman, the developer of CPP. Citations for studies related to each RCT are listed below along with pdf links.

Together the findings from these studies show

Improvements in Children's

  • Mood
  • Problem behaviors
  • Learning
  • Trauma symptoms
  • Biological stress response (cortisol)

Improvements in Parents'

  • Mood
  • Parenting stress
  • Trauma symptoms
  • Partner relationship

Improvements in Parent-Child

Relationship Quality

Additional Research

Additional research has examined the implementation of CPP within the United States foster care mental health system, in Israel, and in Sweden. Research has also examined the effectiveness of Perinatal CPP, an adaption of CPP where CPP treatment begins during pregnancy with high-risk parents. Citations and pdf links for each dissemination and adaptation study are listed below.

Evidence-Based Registries

CPP has been included in the following registries of effective programs and practices:

Five Randomized Trials

1. Preschoolers Exposed to Domestic Violence

Lieberman, A.F., Van Horn, P.J., & Ghosh Ippen, C. (2005). Toward evidence-based treatment: Child-Parent Psychotherapy with preschoolers exposed to marital violence. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 1241-1248.

Lieberman, A.F., Ghosh Ippen, C., Van Horn, P.J. (2006). Child-Parent Psychotherapy: Six month follow-up of a randomized control trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(8), 913-918.

Ghosh Ippen, C., Harris, W.W., Van Horn, P., & Lieberman, A.F. (2011). Traumatic and stressful events in early childhood: Can treatment help those at highest risk? Child Abuse and Neglect, 35, 504-513.

2. Maltreated Preschoolers

Toth S.L., Maughan A., Manly J.T., Spagnola M., Cicchetti D. (2002). The relative efficacy of two interventions in altering maltreated preschool children's representational models: Implications for attachment theory. Developmental Psychopathology, 14, 877-908.

3. Infants from Families with a History of Maltreatment

Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Toth, S.L. (2006). Fostering secure attachment in infants in maltreating families through preventive interventions. Development and Psychopathology, 18, 623-650.

Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., Toth, S.L., & Sturge-Apple, M.L. (2011). Normalizing the development of cortisol regulation in maltreated infants through preventive interventions, Development and Psychopathology, 23, 789-800.

Stronach, E.P., Toth, S.L., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2013). Preventive interventions and sustained attachment security in maltreated children. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 919-930.

Toth, S.L., Sturge-Apple, M.L., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2015). Mechanisms of change: Testing how preventative interventions impact psychological and physiological stress functioning in mothers in neglectful families, Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1661-1674.

4. Anxiously Attached Infants of Latina Immigrant Moms

Lieberman, A.F., Weston, D.R., & Pawl, J.H. (1991). Preventive intervention and outcome with anxiously attached dyads. Child Development, 62, 199-209.

5. Toddlers with Depressed Moms

Cicchetti D., Toth S.L., Rogosch F.A. (1999). The efficacy of toddler-parent psychotherapy to increase attachment security in offspring of depressed mothers. Attachment and Human Development 1, 34-66.

Cicchetti, D., Rogosch, F.A., & Toth, S.L. (2000). The efficacy of Toddler-Parent Psychotherapy for fostering cognitive development in offspring. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 28, 135-148.

Guild, D.J., Toth, S.L., Handley, E.D., Rogosch, F.A., & Cicchetti, D. (2017). Attachment security mediates the longitudinal association between child-parent psychotherapy and peer relations for toddlers of depressed mothers. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 587-600.

Toth, S. L., Rogosch, F.A., Manly, J.T., & Cicchetti, D. (2006). The efficacy of Toddler-Parent Psychotherapy to reorganize attachment in the young offspring of mothers with major depressive disorder: A randomized preventive trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6), 1006-1016.

Peltz, J. S., Rogge, R. D., Rogosch, F.A., Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2015, July 20). The benefits of Child-Parent Psychotherapy to marital satisfaction. Families, Systems, & Health, 33(4), 372-382. 

Extension Studies

Perinatal CPP

Lieberman, A. F., Díaz, M.A., & Van Horn, P. (2009). Safer beginnings: Perinatal Child-Parent Psychotherapy for newborns and mothers exposed to domestic violence. Zero to Three, 29, 17-22.

Lavi, I., Gard, A.M., Hagan, M., Van Horn, P.J., & Lieberman, A.F. (2015). Child-Parent Psychotherapy examined in a perinatal sample: Depression, Posttraumatic stress symptoms and child rearing attitudes. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 34(1), 64-82.

Effectiveness Studies

CPP Effectiveness when Conducted in 20 Sessions

Hagan, M.J. Brown, D.T., Sulki, M., Ghosh Ippen, C., Bush, N., Lieberman, A.F. (2017). Parent and child trauma symptoms during Child-Parent Psychotherapy: A prospective cohort study of dyadic change. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 30, 690-697

CPP with Preschoolers and Their Caregivers

Almqvist, K., Bäccman, C., Thorén, A. & Norlén, A. (2024). The Effectiveness of Child-Parent Psychotherapy on Traumatized Preschoolers and Their Caregivers: A Swedish Multi-Site Study. Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 1-16.

CPP with Culturally Diverse Children in Foster Care

Lyons, J. (2008). Evidence-based trauma interventions for foster children in Illinois. Presentation to funders and stakeholders, Chicago, IL.

Not Available

Weiner, D.A., Schneider, A., & Lyons, J.S. (2009). Evidence-based treatment for trauma among culturally diverse foster care youth: Treatment retention and outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 1199-1205.

CPP in Child Welfare Court

Hazen, K.P., Patnode, C.M., Fessinger, M.B., & Cole-Mossman, J. (2018, April). Child-Parent Psychotherapy in child welfare court: An evaluation. Poster presented at the 2018 UNL Child Youth and Family Studies Summit on Research in Early Childhood, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Hazen, K. P., Carlson, M. W., Cartwright, M. L., Patnode, C., Cole‐Mossman, J., Byrns, S., ... & Osofsky, J. (2021). The Impact of Child‐Parent Psychotherapy on Child Dependency Court Outcomes. Juvenile and Family Court Journal72(1), 21-46.

CPP with Children with Developmental Disabilities

Harley, E. K., Williams, M. E., Zamora, I., & Lakatos, P. P. (2014). Trauma Treatment in Young Children with Developmental Disabilities: Applications of the Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Model to the Cases of" James" and" Juan". Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy10(3), 156-195.

Williams, M. E., Carson, M. C., Zamora, I., Harley, E. K., & Lakatos, P. P. (2014). Child-parent psychotherapy in the context of the developmental disability and medical service systems. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy10(3), 212-226

Ippen, C. G., Noroña, C. R., & Lieberman, A. F. (2014). Clinical considerations for conducting Child-Parent Psychotherapy with young children with developmental disabilities who have experienced trauma. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy10(3), 196-211.

Dissemination Studies

CPP in Australia

Hooker, L., Toone, E., Wendt, S., Humphreys, C., & Taft, A. (2022). RECOVER–Reconnecting mothers and children after family violence: The child–parent psychotherapy pilot. Australia's National Research Organization for Women's Safety.

Hooker, L., Toone, E., Raykar, V., Humphreys, C., Morris, A., Westrupp, E., & Taft, A. (2019). Reconnecting mothers and children after violence (RECOVER): a feasibility study protocol of child–parent psychotherapy in Australia. BMJ open, 9(5), e023653.

CPP in Israel

David, P., & Schiff, M. (2015). Learning from bottom-up dissemination: Importing an evidence-based trauma intervention for infants and young children to Israel. Evaluation and Program Planning, 53, 18-24.

CPP in Norway and Sweden

Anna Norlén, Agneta Thorén & Kjerstin Almqvist (2021): Implementing Child–Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) in Sweden: A Qualitative Study Exploring Experiences by Caregivers Taking Part of the Intervention with Their Child, Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, DOI: 10.1080/15289168.2021.1925001

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Pernebo, K., Massoudi, P., Norlén, A., Krovel Velle, A., Vigestad, G., Mohaupt, H., Haga, S. M., & Almqvist, K. (2024, June 5-7). Child-Parent Psychotherapy in Sweden and Norway - Dissemination through a Clinical and Academic Training Collaborative, Research and the Formation of a Nordic Network. [Poster presentation]. WAIMH 2024 Interim World Congress, Tampere, Finland.

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Norlén, A., Bäccman, C., Thorén, A., & Almqvist, K. (2024). The Effectiveness of Child-Parent Psychotherapy on Traumatized Preschoolers and Their Caregivers: A Swedish Multi-Site Study. Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/23794925.2024.2358486

CPP & Telehealth

Clemmons, N.G., Coates, E. &  McLeod, A. (2024) Understanding the benefits of child-parent psychotherapy delivered via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, Children's Health Care, 53:1, 41-59, DOI: 10.1080/02739615.2023.2179489

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Cox, A., Fogarty, A., Giallo, R., Herman, S., Petrie, S., Savopoulus, P., Schroeder, K., Seymour, M., & Williams, K. (2022) Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings, Child Abuse & Neglect, 130, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105365

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