OBJECTIVE. We examined the efficacy of a crisis-based intervention in improving mother–child interaction and children’s play functioning for families who had experienced domestic violence.

METHOD. Using a pretest–posttest two-group control study design, we assigned the intervention group (n = 20 mother–child dyads) to the Family Intervention for Improving Occupational Performance (FI–OP) program and the control group (n = 17 dyads) to a playroom program. Both programs consisted of eight 30-min sessions. We videotaped dyads during free play and used standardized tools to assess interactions, play skills, and playfulness.

RESULTS. After the intervention, mother–child interaction was significantly better in the FI–OP group than in the playroom group. The children in the FI–OP group also demonstrated significantly greater improvement in play skills, but not in playfulness.

CONCLUSION. FI–OP is a promising program for improving aspects of mother–child interaction and children’s play functioning among survivors of domestic violence.

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