Ukamaka Oruche


Dr. Ukamaka Oruche’s interdisciplinary intervention program supports parents and caregivers of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD). Adolescents with DBD, characterized by ongoing patterns of antisocial and defiant behaviors, have lower educational achievement, greater involvement with the criminal justice system, and lower rates of stable, long-term placement in the child welfare system than adolescents without DBD.

These adolescents have complex treatment regimens that require active parent involvement with child service and mental health systems. Parents describe feeling stressed, disrespected, and blamed for their adolescents’ behavior problems. These negative experiences leave parents feeling disengaged from care and less likely to follow recommended treatment, which can contribute to poor adolescent outcomes.

Low-income urban parents, particularly African Americans, are at greater risk for aversive interactions with professionals because of socio-economic disadvantage. Dr. Oruche developed the theoretical-based Family Management Efficacy intervention to address the stress parents and caregivers experience in caring for their adolescents with DBD.

Her intervention research is designed to strengthen family member’s perceived self-efficacy to manage interactions both within the family and with child service system professionals. Research products include a standardized treatment manual, a facilitator guide, parent workbooks, and fidelity checklists.

Dr. Oruche’s work to support parents and caregivers of adolescents with DBD is another example of how IUPUI faculty are TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.

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