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Examining the Effectiveness of Specific Praise Statements in Increasing Appropriate Behavior and Decreasing Problem Beha...


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EXAMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SP ECIFIC PRAISE STATEMENTS IN INCREASING APPROPRIATE BEHAVI OR AND DECREASING PROBLEM BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN By ELIZABETH KIRBY FULLERTON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton

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i iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank my committee cochair, Dr. Maur een Conroy, for her support throughout my doctoral program and dissertation process. Her encouragement, while I was near and far, has been unfaltering. I would also like to thank my family, the Swamp Sisters, Cathrine, and Barbara for their many words of encouragem ent and thoughtful advice. I am very lucky to have them in my life. This dissertation is dedicated to my family: to Bill, who has provided me with everything I needed from start to finish; to Kirby, who has given many extra hours of big brother help; to Avery and Henry, who lived without their mom for 14 months and did it with their wonderful spirit of adventure; to Cl are, for being my right-hand girl during the past three and a half years. It is an honor to be their wife and mother.

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...............................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES........................................................................................................ viii ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................1 Early Onset of Problem Be havior in Young Children....................................................1 Incidence of Problem Behavior..................................................................................1 Impact of Problem Behavior.......................................................................................2 Early Intervention to Address Prob lem Behavior in Young Children............................3 Importance of Early Intervention................................................................................3 Evidence-based Intervention Strategies to Address Problem Behavior in Young Children........................................................................................................................4 The Effects of Praise as an Intervention Tool.............................................................5 Statement of the Problem................................................................................................6 Purpose of the Current Investigation..............................................................................6 Summary........................................................................................................................ .7 Experimental Questions..................................................................................................7 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE................................................................................9 Conceptual Framework.................................................................................................10 Interventions for Young Children with Problem Behavior...........................................13 Packaged Training Programs....................................................................................15 Individual Intervention Studies.................................................................................39 Parent-Child Dyad Studies........................................................................................39 Teacher-Child Dyad Study.......................................................................................49 Summary of Adult-Child Dyad Studies....................................................................49 Summary...................................................................................................................50 Review of Research Using Praise as an Intervention Strategy.....................................54 Summary and Implications for Future Research..........................................................61 Future Research Directions...........................................................................................63 Purposes of the Investigation........................................................................................64

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v 3 METHODS...................................................................................................................66 Participants................................................................................................................... .66 Teacher Participants..................................................................................................66 Child Participants......................................................................................................67 Setting........................................................................................................................ ...69 Materials...................................................................................................................... .70 Measurement Procedures..............................................................................................71 Dependent Variables.................................................................................................71 Independent Variables..............................................................................................72 Data Collection Procedures.......................................................................................73 Interobserver Agreement..........................................................................................74 Experimental Procedures..............................................................................................74 Pre-experimental Phase.............................................................................................74 Baseline Phase..........................................................................................................75 Training Phase..........................................................................................................75 Intervention Phase.....................................................................................................77 Generalization...........................................................................................................78 Treatment Integrity.......................................................................................................78 Design......................................................................................................................... ..78 Social Validity..............................................................................................................79 4 RESULTS.....................................................................................................................81 Baseline and Intervention.............................................................................................82 TeacherChild Dyad 1..............................................................................................82 Teacher-Child Dyad 2...............................................................................................85 Teacher-Child Dyad 3...............................................................................................87 Teacher-Child Dyad 4...............................................................................................97 Summary of Baseline an d Intervention Findings..........................................................99 Generalization.............................................................................................................102 Teacher-Child Dyad 1.............................................................................................102 Teacher-Child Dyad 2.............................................................................................103 Teacher-Child Dyad 3.............................................................................................104 Teacher-Child Dyad 4.............................................................................................105 Summary.................................................................................................................106 Interobserver Agreement............................................................................................108 Treatment Integrity.....................................................................................................108 Social Validation.........................................................................................................108 Summary.....................................................................................................................109 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................111 Summary of Research Findings..................................................................................112 Limitations..................................................................................................................113 Discussion of Findings................................................................................................115 Future Research Directions.........................................................................................117 Summary.....................................................................................................................119

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vi APPENDIX A CONSENT FORMS AND IRB APPROVAL...........................................................121 B TEACHER TRAINING.............................................................................................129 C DATA COLLECTION FORM A ND CODING DEFINITIONS..............................145 D TREATMENT INTEGRITY.....................................................................................150 E INTERVENTION ACCEPTABILITY......................................................................152 REFERENCES...............................................................................................................154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH..........................................................................................164

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1. Studies of Intervention Strategies to Decr ease Problem Behavior in Young Children................................................................................................................ ......16 2-2. Studies of Praise as a Cla ssroom Intervention Tool to Decrease Problem Behavior Children................................................................................................................ ......56 3-1. Demographic Data on Teacher Participants..............................................................68 3-2. Demographic Data on Day Care Centers..................................................................69 3-3. Demographic Data on Child Participants..................................................................69

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viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1. Conceptual Framework..............................................................................................10 4-1. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Specific/Non-Specific Praise Statements.....88 4-2. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Non-Compliance and Compliance...............89 4-3. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Aggression and Disruption...........................90 4-4. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Engagement..................................................91 4-5. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Specific/Non-Specific Praise Statements.....92 4-6. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Non-Compliance and Compliance...............93 4-7. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Aggression and Disruption...........................94 4-8. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Engagement..................................................95

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ix Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EXAMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SP ECIFIC PRAISE STATEMENTS IN INCREASING APPROPRIATE BEHAVI OR AND DECREASING PROBLEM BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN By Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton May 2006 Chair: Maureen A. Conroy Cochair: Vivian I. Correa Major Department: Special Education The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of an increased use of specific praise statements on the appropria te and problem behavior of young children enrolled in a chid care center. Two teacher s and 2 children at the Educational Research Center for Child Development at the Universi ty of Florida and 2 teachers and 2 children at the Child Development Research Center at the University of North Florida were selected to participate in th e investigation. The teachers selected held a minimum of a Child Development Associate certificate. The children chosen to pa rticipate exhibited problem behavior that interfered with their ab ility to participate in classroom routines and activities as designated by their teachers. The teachers were trained to increase their use of specific praise statemen ts during a transition activit y. In addition, generalization probes were taken to investigate the teachers use of specific praise statements in an untrained setting. Data were collected on the eff ects of teachers increased use of specific

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x praise statements and the childrens behavior A single-subject, multiple baseline design across participants was used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Child care centers are the fastest-growi ng component of non-parental child care (Liang, 1998), already providing care for over 50% of all 1-year-olds, 60% of all 2-yearolds, and 70% of all 3-year-olds in the United States (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Along with this growing trend in increased child care enrollment is a reported increase in the overall number of young children exhibiti ng problem behavior. Campbell (1995) estimated that 10% to 15% of preschool children have mild to moderate problem behavior. More recently, Webster-Stratton (1998) estimated that 10% of young children have problem behavior. These are important statistics, given that young children who arrive in child care settings with proble m behavior may be subjected to negative interactions with teachers as well as an escalation of problem behavior over time (Gershoff, 2003; Raver & Knitzer, 2002). Early Onset of Problem Be havior in Young Children Incidence of Problem Behavior The early onset of problem behavior may be seen well before age 5. Campbell and Ewing (1989) examined a group of young child ren identified beginning at age 3 who were identified as having problem behavior By age 6, approximately half of these children continued to display problem behavior; at age 9, tw o-thirds continued to have problem behavior. Additional evidence suggests that child ren diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) (see American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical

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2 Manual [DSM-IV], 2000) for definition) during the early childhood years often develop Conduct Disorder (CD) (see DSM-IV [2000] for definition) during elementary school (Loeber, 1991; Webster-Stratton, 1996). Furt hermore, early onset of problem behavior often remains stable over time, but may ch ange form. Patterson, Reid, and Eddy (2002) suggest that early problem behavior, such as aggression and non-compliance, may escalate to behavior such as lying and stealing, eventually l eading to school failure. This is an important factor because problem beha vior in young children is linked to negative school outcomes, such as grade retention or special education pl acement, as children move through early elementary school (Burchinal, PeisnerFeinberg, Pianta, & Howes, 2002; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Pianta, 1999; Raver & Knitzer, 2002). Unfortunately, evidence suggests that if intervention is not provided at an early age (before age 8), problem behavior becomes a lasting conditi on that does not respond well to intervention (Marchant, Young, & West, 2004). Therefore, given the increase in the number of children with problem behavior in child ca re settings, the need for evidence-based intervention to address thes e behaviors has never been greater (Sampers, Anderson, Hartung, & Scambler, 2001; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Impact of Problem Behavior Problem behavior such as aggression, disruption, a nd non-compliance are difficult for teachers of young children to manage as well as for the children themselves. Teachers often react negatively (i.e., increase d restrictions and more punitive care) to children who demonstrate problem behavior (Barnett & Boocock, 1998; Scott-Little & Holloway, 1992). Furthermore, as children with problem behavior are often difficult to teach, teachers offer them fewer learni ng opportunities and provide fewer positive responses than to their peer s who do not demonstrate probl ematic behavior (Raver &

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3 Knitzer, 2002). Therefore, young children with problem behavior are often less engaged in classroom activities and ma y be missing important school readiness skills (Howes & Smith, 1995; Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Webster-Str atton, 2000). Thus, researchers have suggested that early onset of problem beha vior may begin a cycle of negative patterns that influence future teacher-child interac tions and lead to an increase in problem behavior as well as poor school performa nce (Birch & Ladd, 1997; Campbell, Shaw, & Gilliom, 2000). Early Intervention to Address Pr oblem Behavior in Young Children Importance of Early Intervention Teachers and parents often report difficulty managing young childrens problem behavior (e.g., disruption, aggression, and non-complian ce) (Campbell, 1995). Since these behaviors display high levels of stabil ity and may influence future outcomes, it is critical to target them for early inte rvention (Stormont, 2002). Although early childhood may be the crucial time to prevent or de-escal ate early onset problem behavior, there is an unfortunate dearth of evidence-based resear ch focusing on interventions that address these behaviors in children ag es 2 to 3 (Nixon, 2002). Regretta bly, it is those years prior to school entry when children are learning skills needed to meet the more rigorous demands of the early school years (Patterson et al., 2002). From 2 to 3 years old, childrens age-appropriate levels of temper tantrums and defiance either develop into age-appropriate skills, such as sharing and turn-taking, or devolve into inappropriate skills, such as increased levels of aggr ession, disruption, and non-compliance (Campbell et al., 2000). Although early intervention has been identified as necessary to stop problem behavior (Stormont, 2002), th ere continue to be few evidence-based interventions

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4 available for early childhood teachers work ing in child care settings (Gross, Fogg, Webster-Stratton, Garvey, Julion, & Grady, 2003). Intervention strategies de signed for young children, for the most part, are focused on training the parent or guardia n to manage his/her childs be havior at home (Sampers et al., 2001). Intervention strategi es designed for teachers are, for the most part, focused on children already enrolled in school (Nixon, 2002). These st rategies provide varying approaches and methods of delivery that ta rget children who are demonstrating problem behavior or who are at risk for the escalation and stabiliz ation of these behaviors. Evidence-based Intervention Strategies to Address Problem Behavior in Young Children Current intervention strate gies available for use by teachers and parents focus on teaching adults to increase their appropriate re sponses to the childs problem behavior in order to increase appropriate behavior a nd decrease in problem behavior. The purpose of these interventions are two-fold: (1) to decrease negative interactions between the adult and child through a change in adult behavior, and (2) to promote appropriate behavior through positive reinforcem ent (Sampers et al., 2001). The intervention strategies are available to parents a nd early childhood teachers in the form of packaged training programs or i ndividual training program s. Two of the most widely used and evidence-based packaged training programs are the Incredible Years Training Series [IYTS] (Webster-Stratton, 2000) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy [PCIT] (Eyberg, Boggs, & Algina, 1988). IYTS provides group trai ning to parents and teachers, teaching them strategies for inter acting with children who engage in problem behaviors. In these two programs, the child ren receive interventi ons to address their problem behavior through the a dults who have been trained. Th e target adults are taught

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5 to reinforce childrens appropr iate behavior via positive atte ntion (e.g., effective praise) and eliminate problem behavior via appropr iate discipline techniques (e.g., privilege removal) (Webster-Stratton, 2000 ). PCIT offers parents tr aining with their child and a trained therapist present. PCIT therapists work directly with parents to change negative parent-child interaction pattern s (e.g., decrease critical stat ements and increase labeled praise) while also teaching discipline sk ills (e.g., providing choices) to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior (www. PCIT.com, 2004). In addition to the packaged training program s, individual intervention strategies are available to parents and, to a lesser degree, early childhood teachers. These interventions focus on providing the parent or teacher with a skill or skills to increase appropriate behavior and/or decrease probl em behavior in young children. The skills may include praising appropriate behavior, providing effectual commands ignoring problem behavior, and disciplining consistently (McNe il, Capage, Bahl, & Blanc, 1999). The Effects of Praise as an Intervention Tool Praise as an intervention tool is supported in the literatu re as an effective tool to use when working with children who demonstrat e problem behaviors. Praise is a strategy that has been incorporated within the early intervention training packages or programs provided to adults working w ith young children to increase an appropriate behavior in these children. In addi tion, praise may be used by an adult in conjunction with guided compliance or as part of an instructio nal sequence to increase compliance in young children (Hiralall & Martens, 1998; Smith & Lerman, 1999). Finally, praise may be used as the sole method of intervention employed by a teacher to increase appropriate (e.g., on-task) behavior during classroom activiti es (Sutherland, 2000). While there is evidence-based research on the use of pr aise, both as a component of the early

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6 intervention literature and as an effectiv e classroom-based strategy for increasing appropriate behaviors, there is limited research on the use of praise as an intervention strategy used by teachers within a child ca re setting. Given the number of young children with early onset behavior problem and the number of children enrolled in child care, introducing a praise strategy as an intervention tool in the child care setting may offer an important extension to the literature. Statement of the Problem Evidence supports an overall increase in the number of young children with problem behavior (Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997). Although teachers in child care cen ters are dealing with a si gnificant number of children with problem behavior, there is a relative lack of evidence-b ased intervention strategies for their use to reduce the problem behavior of childre n in their care (Arnold, McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998). Furthermore, teac hers often rely on reactive, punitive strategies when interacting with young ch ildren with problem behaviors (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). When teachers respond to probl em behavior in a punitive manner, children may not learn appropriate replacement behavi or, resulting in persistence and possibly exacerbation of the problem behavior (C hazen-Cohen, Jerald, & Stark, 2001). The development of evidence-based strategies teach ers can use, such as praise, may prove to be an effective intervention tool that not onl y encourages appropriate behavior but also discourages problem behavior. Purpose of the Current Investigation Given the need for developing evidence-base d intervention strate gies teachers can use with young children in early child-care se ttings, the current investigation had two purposes. First, this investig ation studied the effect of the use of specific praise

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7 statements on the appropriate and proble m behavior of young children. Next, this investigation examined the teachers ability to generalize specific praise statements to an untrained setting. Summary A significant number of young children spend the majority of their day in child care centers. Research suggests that up to 20% of these children are entering early childhood classrooms with an early onset of problem behavior (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001). These children may be at risk for early school failure if further escalation of problem behavior is not addre ssed through effective in tervention strategies. There is a growing awareness among parents, educators, and policymakers that child care at its best provides children w ith critical experiences that prepare them for preschool, kindergarten, and beyond (Liang, 1998; Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). But evidence-based interventions for improving young childrens problem behavior within the context of the child care setting are limited. Strategies or interventions that have been developed to am eliorate problem behavi or at home, in the clinic, or in the classroom may provide im portant information for the advancement of interventions targeted for child care centers. Experimental Questions 1. Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise statements during a teacher-identified activity? 2. What is the effect of teachers use of sp ecific praise statements on the appropriate behavior and problem behavi or of young children enrolled in a child care setting? 3. If specific praise statements increase after training, will the teachers use of specific praise statements generalize to an untrained setting?

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8 The goal of this investigation was to provide evidence of the usefulness of training teachers in child care centers to us e specific praise statements to increase appropriate behaviors and the po ssible influence of using this strategy on the reduction of problem behavior in young children. The re view of literature pertinent to this investigation is offered in Chapter 2. The methodology is provided in Chapter 3. The results and their implications ar e discussed in Chapters 4 and 5.

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9 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE As discussed in Chapter 1, some young child ren enter child care centers with an early onset of problem behavior. These children may be at risk for ear ly school failure if problem behavior is not re mediated. Given the large number of children currently enrolled in child care centers, there is a need to develop eviden ce-based intervention strategies and train teachers to intervene in these childrens probl em behaviors (Gross, Fogg, Webster-Stratton, Garvey, Julion, & Grady, 2003). Presently, early childhood teachers of children ages 2 to 3 in child car e centers have a limited number of evidencebased intervention strategies to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior. Several intervention strategies have been devel oped for parents, home-based teachers, or elementary school teachers, suggesting that there are evidence-based intervention strategies that can reduce problem behavi or in young children. These intervention strategies may also be applicable for teachers in child care settings to use when working with young children with early onset problem behavior. The purpose of this chapter is to prov ide (a) a conceptual framework for the proposed investigation; (b) a literature review of in tervention strategies for young children with problem behavior, including the us e of praise; and (c) a rationale for the use of praise as an intervention strategy to in crease appropriate beha vior and examine the effects on problem behavi or in young children.

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10 Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework for the proposed investigation is ba sed on the model of coercive relationships deve loped at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) Figure 2-1. Conceptual Framework (Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992; Reid, Patterson, & Snyder, 2002). The model offers two paths for the development of adult-child interactions, conflictual interactions, or positive interactions. Conflictual interactions may include a lack of adult supervision, poor limit-setting, or lack of reward for ageappropriate behavior. Th ese interactions may reinforce problem behavior, such as non-compliance to an adult request. Positive interactions may include age-appropriate supervision, limit-setting, and praise for appropriate behavior. These interactions ma y teach children appropriate behavior through reinforcement of the expected behavior. A diagram of the conceptual framework is presented in Figure 2-1. The OSLC coercive relationship model prov ides an important element of the adultchild relationship that may result in an increase of problem behavior in young children Conflictual Interactions Positive Interactions Poor Limit Setting Appropriate Limits Lack of Supervision Supervision Lack of Reward for Behavior Age Appropriate Rules Arguing Positive Participation Excessive Teasing Praise ProblemBehavior Intervention S trate gy Negative, coercive Positive, noncoercive Patternof Interaction Appropriate Behavior Early Reciprocal Relationships

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11 i.e., coercive interactions. Children growing up in home environments that foster coercive interactions are at grea ter risk for the development of pr oblem behavior due to ineffectual parenting, as defined by ineffective lim it-setting (e.g., ignoring early non-compliant behavior) and conflictual family relationshi ps (e.g., arguing or excessive teasing) (Patterson et al.,1992). These coercive interac tions within the contex t of the family may lead to young children exhibiting problem be havior (e.g., non-compliance, inappropriate aggression) that has been found to escalat e into serious offenses (e.g., fighting and stealing) in the early elementary school years. The conceptual model presented in th is chapter extends beyond Pattersons parent-child coercive relations hip model illustrating that child ren entering child care with problem behavior often interact with their teachers in the same way as they do with their parents (Patterson et al., 1992; Reid et al., 2002). If the te acher responds in a similar manner as the parents by providi ng conflictive interactions, this may perpetuate a cycle of coercion that encourages problem behavior to continue into the child care setting. If the coercive cycle is not stopped, the child is at risk for the development of serious problem behavior associated with poor school outco mes (i.e., peer rejection, poor academic performance) (Patterson et al ., 1992). Fortunately, coercive interaction patterns can be interrupted if the adults interacting with the child change their behavior patterns and engage in interactions that are based on positive interactions such as praise or ageappropriate supervision (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995; Howes & Ritchie, 2002; Patterson et al., 1992; Reid et al ., 2002; Webster-Stratton, 2000). The conceptual framework for the proposed investigation provides a basis for how intervening to change a teacher s response to a childs behavior may increase appropriate behaviors and result in a decr ease in problem behavior in young children enrolled in child

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12 care. Childrens earliest rela tionships are built on their inte ractions with adults, most importantly, parents and teachers (Greenspa n, 1999). These early relationships teach young children how to interact with othersadu lts and childrenin their lives (Howes & Ritchie, 2002; Lieberman, 1993; Parlakian & Seibel, 2002). In fact, researchers show that adult-child relationships formed in th e first 3 years of life influence not only the social-emotional development of the ch ild but also language and cognitive developmentareas that are critical for la ter school success (Chazen-Cohen et al., 2001; Zeanah & Doyle, 2001). When young children en ter child care, an established parentchild interaction pa ttern of behavior is usually in pl ace. The toddler and early preschool years (age 2 and 3) are a time when child ren are learning to become independent; however, this is also a time when children engage in a number of problem behaviors, such as tantrums, non-compliance, and a ggression (Campbell et al., 2000; Lieberman, 1993). A supportive and nurturing adult-child re lationship during this period provides a child with the skills needed to negotiate the early school environm ent (Campbell et al., 2000; Elicker & Fortner-Wood, 1995; Lieber man, 1993; Parlakian & Seibel, 2002). However, when the early relationship is co ercive, the child may continue to exhibit problem behavior that impedes development (Briggs-Gowan, Carter, Skuban, & Horwitz, 2001; Howes & Matheson, 1992; Zeanah & Doyle, 2001). Within the context of the conceptual framework, the model of coercive relationships highlights the fact that the adult in the relationship has the ability to engage in a new pattern of interaction. When the a dult provides positive in teractions, the child may adjust his interaction patte rn, thus setting the stage for an increase in appropriate behavior and a decrease in problem behavior In the case of teache rchild interactions, constructive change can take place through a pattern of positive, teacher-initiated

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13 interactions (Elicker & Fortner-Wood, 1995; Howes & Ritchie, 2002; Kontos & WilcoxHerzog, 1997). For children entering child care with an early onset of problem behavior, the teacher may be able to form a new adultchild pattern of inter action that teaches the child to interact using appropr iate behavior while at the same time decreasing the childs problem behavior. Intervention strategies that are effectiv ely applied may help create positive adult-child interactions and thus increa se appropriate behavior that may lead to a decrease in a childs problem behavior. Given the number of young children enrolled in child care and the current emphasis on school readiness, interventions to impr ove teacher-child relationships offer an excellent opportunity to reduce the developmen t of problem behavior prior to preschool or kindergarten entry (Gershoff, 2003; Raver & Knitzer, 2002). Children who enter child care with problem behavior may benefit from po sitive, affirmative interactions with their teachers. The following section provides a cri tical analysis of the existing literature on intervention strategies addressing adult-child interactions that may increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior. Interventions for Young Children with Problem Behavior There are a limited number of eviden ce-based interventions designed to train teachers to reduce the problem behavior of children in child care centers (Brooks-Gunn, Fuligni, & Berlin, 2003; Hel burn & Bergmann, 2002). However, interventions used in homes, university clinics, and early chil dhood classrooms with parents and teachers to reduce problem behavior in young children may o ffer tactics for intervention that can be applied to child care centers. The interventions discussed in this section are designed to change an adults response to a child s problem behavior. Although the methods of

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14 intervention are unique, each ta rgets changing adult (i.e., pare nt or teacher) behavior to increase appropriate behavi or and/or decrease childr ens problem behavior. To identify pertinent literature for this review, a comprehensive search was conducted. Three electronic databases were sear ched: Article First, ERIC, and PsychInfo. The key words young children, behavior problems, a pplied behavior analysis, early intervention, behavior management, behavi or modification, parent training, teacher training, teacher-child relati ons, parent-child relations, teacher education, parent education, and positive reinforcement were used in several combinations. An archival search of relevant journals was completed. Fina lly, researchers in this area of intervention were contacted for additional information. Th e search focused on evidence-based studies that met the following criteria: (a) problem behavior was a ta rget behavior in the study, (b) participants 5 years of age or under we re included in the study, (c) an intervention program designed to change adult behavior re sulting in a change of the childs problem behavior was evaluated, and (d) the change ag ent in the study was an adult. Seventeen studies were identified that met these criter ia. Packaged training programs, such as the Incredible Years Training Series [IYTS] (Webster-Stratton, 2000) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy [PCIT] (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995) as well as intervention studies that examine isolated interventions were identified in the search. A detailed review of the interventions including stre ngths, limitations, and implications for the proposed investigation follows. Table 2-1 presents an overview of the literature, including de scriptions of the author(s), participants/set ting, dependent measures, experimental design, training, and results. The setting descripti on includes the location (i.e., hom e, school, or clinic) and the type of training (i.e., group or individual). The training de scription provides a summary

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15 of the type of training as we ll as the amount of time needed to complete the training (if reported). The training components of IYTS an d PCIT are not summarized in the table because a complete summary is provided with in the narrative that follows. However, modifications to the IYTS and PCIT programs are indicated (if applicable) in the table. The complete names of the measures as we ll as the authors are found in the narrative summary of each study. Finally, the intervention st udies are presented in the table as they appear in the narrative: packaged training pr ograms, parent-child st udies, and a teacherchild study. In the following section a comprehensive re view of each of the studies outlined in Table 2-1 is provided. The studies are pr esented as in Table 2-1 beginning with standardized training programs, followed by intervention studies targeting individual intervention programs for pare nts and then teachers. Packaged Training Programs Packaged training programs that are avai lable for parents and teachers to reduce problem behavior in young children are review ed in Table 2-1. These training programs provide procedures to assess a dult-child interactions and to teach the adults skills to change their interactions with the target ch ild or children (James & Scotti, 2000). There is extensive evidence for two programs, the In credible Years Training Series [IYTS] and Parent Child Interaction Th erapy [PCIT], as reviewed above. IYTS and PCIT are accessible to teacher and parent trainers as well as teachers and parents themselves via books, training materials, and the worldwid e web (see Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995; Webster-Stratton, 1999; Webster & Herb ert, 1994; www.phhp.ufl.edu/seyberg; www.incredibleyears.com/index-content.htm; The incredible years, 2005). A brief description of these programs and their acco mpanying research base is highlighted below.

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27 The Incredible Years Training Series [I YTS] developed by Webster-Stratton is designed to work with parents and teacher s of young children showing early onset of problem behavior (Webster-Stratton & Ha mmond, 1997). The framework for the model is based on the notion that parents and teacher s who interact with children with problem behavior must change their behavior if the childrens problem behavior is to decrease. Briefly, the parents and/or teachers of child ren ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old are taught (a) to provide positive reinforcement fo r appropriate behavior and (b) to employ appropriate discipline to reduce problem behavior. The parent training program and the teach er training program include proactive teaching, positive relationship-building, a nd behavior management techniques. The parent component (Incredible Years Earl y Childhood, ages 2-7, BASIC Parent Training Program, 2005; The incredible years, 2005) ta rgets four skills areas with one to three subsets of skills in each area: play (i.e., how to play with a child, helping children learn); praise and rewards (i.e., use of effective praising, tangible rewards); effective limitsetting (i.e., how to set limits, helping child ren learn to accept limits, dealing with noncompliance); and handling misbehavior (i.e., avoiding and ignoring misbehavior, timeout, and preventative strategies). The standard parent training component lasts for 12 weeks and incorporates group discussion and activities guided by a series of videos of parenting skills to facilitate inst ruction. The teacher training compone nt for ages 4-10 is offered as a 6-day workshop or as 24 weekly sessions lasting 2 hours per session. The teacher training package targets six components of classroom management techniques (i.e., providing teacher attention, encouraging and praising, motivating children through incentives, preventing behavior problems, th e proactive teacher, decreasing students inappropriate behavior, building positive relationships with students, teaching social

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28 skills, problem solving, and managing anger in the classroom). The teacher and parent components utilize a didactic method of trai ning: direct instruc tion, modeling, coaching, and homework. Specifically, a certified facilita tor uses videotape modeling, role-playing, and rehearsal to teach IYTS. Practicing specific strategies and conducting follow-up sessions at home (parents) or in the classr oom (teachers) are encouraged. Parents and teachers are also given visual reminders of the st rategies taught in the form of refrigerator magnets or blackboard notes. Of the 17 studies identified in this literature review, 3 studies investigated the us e of IYTS intervention program. Summarized below are findings from these 3 studies. Gross and her colleagues (2003) examined the effectiveness of the IYTS with 208 low-income parents, 77 teachers, and 2to 3year-old children at risk for the development of problem behavior due to their home environment. The families and teachers were randomly assigned across 4 groups: (a) parent training and teacher tr aining (PT + TT); (b) parent training (PT); (c) teacher training ( TT); and (d) a control. The groups were assessed four times during a 15to 18-m onth period: baseline, post-intervention, 6month, and 1-year follow-up. The parents we re assessed for self-efficacy (Toddler Care Questionnaire-parent interview); discipline strategies (Parenting Scale, Arnold, OLeary, Wolf, & Acker, 1993; parenting skills (Dyadi c Parent-Child Inter active Coding SystemRevised [DPCICS], Parent child inter action therapy, 2004; Webster-Stratton, 1998); depression (Center for Epidemiological Stud ies Depression Scale, Radloff, 1977); and everyday stress (Everyday Stressor Index, Ha ll & Farel, 1988). The childrens problem behavior was examined using parent report (Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory [ECBI], Robinson, Eyberg, & Ross, 1980); teacher report (Kohns Problem Checklist, Kohn, 1977); and an observer rating of child behavior based on a 15-minute videotape of parent

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29 and child interaction. The interventions were taught to the 3 groups using the previously described strategies (via vi deotaped vignettes followed by discussion and homework). However, the teachers were given the parent training (designed for children ages 2-7) in place of the teacher training (designed for ch ildren ages 4-10). Furthermore, videotape vignettes deemed inappropriate for use with toddlers were excluded. The strategies were then carried out at home or in the classroom by the parent, teacher, or both. The findings indicate that there was no effect on the pare nts report of childs problem behavior or on the researchers observations of problem behavior at home. However, parenting selfefficacy scores improved as did positive pa rent-child interaction scores. Coercive discipline also decreased, but was not mainta ined. The classroom behavior of the toddlers improved for all three groups with no signifi cant effect noticed be tween groups (PT, TT, PT + TT). Teachers did not report increased co llaboration, but reported that contact with parents was minimal. While the teachers and the parents reported satisfaction with the training, one-fifth of the pare nts and one-third of the te achers dropped out of the study before completion. Half of the parents who completed the program reported that it was difficult to complete the homework assignments and a third reported that it was not easy for them to attend the training at the child care center. A small percentage of the teachers who completed the study (3%) reported difficu lty with attendance or completion of the homework assignments. A second study examined the effectiveness of IYTS within a Head Start (HS) program (Webster-Stratton et al., 2001). The study included 272 mothers and their 4year-old children as well as 67 HS teachers and 13 HS family service workers (FSW). The children did not have a specific behavioral diagnosis but were considered at risk for the development of ODD/CD due to criter ia for Head Start placement. Parents and

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30 teachers were assigned randomly to IYTS or a control group. FSW were trained to provide the parent training. Th e children were assessed via home observation as well as parent and teacher report tw ice (fall and spring) during the school year. The follow-up year (kindergarten) parent report and home observation were included in the assessment, but the teacher report was not. The following assessments were used to evaluate the childrens behavior at home: Child Be havior Checklist [CBCL] (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991); ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980); Dyadic Parent-Child Interactive Coding System-Revised [DPICS-R] (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981); CII-child (parent questionnaire). The following assessments were used in school to assess the childs behavior at school: SCBE-preschool (LaFre niere, Dumas, Dubeau, & Capuano, 1992); Teacher ADHD checklist (DuPaul, 1990); indepe ndent observations of behavior in the classroom (child engagement during unstructu red time, classroom conduct with teachers and peers); and social health profile (sc hool readiness and antisocial behavior). For the teacher classroom management as well as overall classroom atmosphere, the following assessments were given: cl assroom atmosphere measure; independent observations of teachers behaviors in clas sroom (praise and encouragement, critical statements); and teacher coder impression inventory. The mothers behaviors were assessed using: PPI (parent questionnaire ); DPICS-R (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981); and CII-parenting style (parent que stionnaire). Finally, parent -teacher bonding was measured using INVOLVE-P (questionnaire) and INVOL VE-T (questionnaire). Mothers received the standard 12 parent traini ng sessions (1 time per week for 12 weeks) as previously described. As an addition to the standard IYTS, 4 booster sessions (group or individual) were offered the following school year (ki ndergarten). The booster session addressed a review of child-directed pl ay, helping your child make friends, reading using an

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31 interactive approach, problem solving with children, and working successfully with teachers. Teachers were given six 1-day work shops over a 6-month period as previously described without any reporte d modifications. When compared to the mothers in the control group, there was an increase in positive parenting (e.g., an increase in praise), a reduction in harsh discipline, and improved sc hool involvement to include parent-teacher bonding. The teachers who received the training used more positive behavior management strategies (e.g., an increase in pr aise) than the control teachers. The children whose parents and teachers participated in th e training showed an increase in compliance with teachers and a decrease in aggressive behavior toward peers in school. Fewer conduct problems were reported at home as we ll. Teacher as well as mother satisfaction was reported as very high. Mothers in the inte rvention group attended an average of 6 of 12 classes with partners atte nding an average of 3 out of 12 sessions. Teachers did not miss more than one class, and viewing a video of the training made up the missed class. Overall family enrollment in the program was lower than projected. The researchers concluded that the families who were most at risk may not have participated. Additionally, families in the control group cont inued to receive the HS parent education curriculum that included information on stre ss management, nutrition, self-care, and dental health. A third study examined the effects of a randomized study evaluating the parent training component of IYTS on childrens pr oblem behavior at home and school as well as home-school connections (Webster-Strat ton, 1998). The study looked at 426 families (n=296 experimental and n=130 control) with 426 children (avera ge age: 4 years 8 months) who were enrolled in Head Start (HS). The children, who did not have a specific diagnosis, were deemed at risk for the development of ODD/CD due to the criteria for

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32 enrollment in HS. Families in the control group continued to receive the HS parent education curriculum that included informa tion on stress management, nutrition, selfcare, and dental health. The childrens social competencies as well as conduct problems at school were assessed using the Social Competence Scale-Teacher Report (teacher interview) and Teacher-Report Form-CBCL (Edelbrock & Achenbach, 1984). Parental competencies were assessed using the Disc ipline Style and Techni ques (questionnaire), [DPICS-R] (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981), CII-Par enting Style (impression inventory) as well as INVOLVE to measure parent-school involvement (questionnaire). The intervention group worked in partnership with parents, teachers, and family service workers, while the control group received re gular HS services. Participating parents received a shortened (8-9 weeks) version of the IYTS (specific components of the shortened version were not reported), which included weekly parent meetings with videotape, role-play activities, and homewo rk assignments. All participating classroom staff received a 2-day workshop that provided an overview of the parent workshops as well as classroom behavior management te chniques. The mothers in the intervention group decreased harsh and negativ e parenting and increased prai se as well as discipline competence. Teachers reported a significant in crease in parental school involvement as compared to the control parents, and invol vement was maintained in kindergarten. The children whose parents participated showed an increase in compliance with a decrease in deviant behavior and misbehavior at home. Teachers did not report a decrease in problem behavior at school, but did not e an increase in social comp etence. Parents were reported to be very pleased with the program. The mo thers attended an average of 6 of the 8-9 sessions, and the fathers (34% participated ) attended an average of 5 sessions. The teachers who participated received complete training sessions. The researchers concluded

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33 that the limited teacher training component may have had an impact on the lack of improvement in problem behavior at school. Although the overall results of the research examining the effectiveness of the IYTS are promising, there are limitations. Firs t, there is no compone nt analysis within each of the training series. For example, it is not known within the parent training program if play involvement, praise and re wards, or limit-setting either alone or in combination provide the most powerful intervention. Second, parents reported satisfaction with IYTS, but many did not comple te the training or were unable to followup with the homework. It is not known if such a lengthy interven tion (12 sessions) with many skills to learn is needed to provide a de crease in problem behavior. Third, 2 of the 3 studies involve HS parents or teachers, and th is may not be a representative sample of parents because they are pare nts who are motivated to seek services, and HS strongly encourages active parent involvement and training. Additionally, parents continued to receive regular HS services while participating in parent training. The second training standardized interven tion program included within the review, Parent Child Interaction Ther apy [PCIT] (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995), is a clinicbased program emphasizing parenting techniques to improve parent-child interactions to decrease problem behavior in young children ages 2 to 8 years. A comprehensive treatment takes 10 to 16 weekly sessions of 1 hour per se ssion. The treatment package encompasses five components: (a) an a ssessment of child and family functioning pretreatment; (b) child-directed interaction [CDI] phase; (c) parent -directed interaction (PDI) phase; (d) generalization; and (e) an assessment of child and family functioning post-treatment assessment (Herschell, Calzada, Eyberg, & McNeil, 2002).

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34 PCIT incorporates intervention goals in a two-phase process: (a) strengthening the parent-child relationship via pos itive interaction strategies and (b) teaching parents the skills needed to manage their childs problem behavior by providing effective consequences. The program works with parent s and their children w ho display an array of problem behavior (HembreeKigin & McNeil, 1995). The pare nts play with their child while trained therapists via radio ear piece provide specific interventions to improve parental behavior management techniques. The techniques used during the controlled 5minute play sessions include using specific praise of appropriate behavior, labeling, describing childs appropriate behavior, reflecting appropriate talk, imitating appropriate play, decreasing commands, questions or crit icism, and ignoring inappropriate behavior. In addition, discipline technique s are taught. Specifically, pa rents are trained to give effective directions, determine compliance, provide two choices when giving a request, and use time-out (several stages from time-out to spanking during time -out to isolation). Furthermore, parents are taught to use labe led praise if a child complies during the discipline phase. PCIT favors a direct coach ing approach as the program (a) provides immediate feedback, (b) gives parents encourag ement to continue the job, and (c) allows for fast paced learning. Of the 17 studies id entified, 4 studies investigated the use of PCIT. Summarized below are findings from thes e PCIT studies that have been conducted with target children and parents. (The investigators from each of the PCIT studies excluded children who were diagnosed with a physical or mental disability or impairment.) A study of 54 children (ages 3-5) with problem behavior and their parents evaluated the effectiveness of standard PCIT training and a modified version (Nixon et al., 2003). The children randomly were assigned to one of three groups: PCIT, PCIT

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35 modified (PCITM), and wait list control. Chil dren were included in the study if they (a) were in the clinical range of the ECBI (Eyberg & Pinc us, 1999); (b) met the diagnostic criteria for ODD; and (c) di splayed disruptive behavior for 6 months. The childrens behavior was assessed using the followi ng measures: ECBI (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999); CBCL (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000); and th e Home Situation Questionnaire-Modified [HSQ-M] (Matthey & Barnett, 1999). The parents attitudes as well as discipline methods were assessed using the following measures: Parenting Stress Index [PSI] (Abidin, 1995); Parent Sense of Competence Scale [PSC S] (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978); Parental Locus of Control Scale [PLCS] (Campis, Lyman, & Prentice-Dunn, 1986); and the PS (Arnold et al., 1993). Finally, an obs ervation of parent-child interaction was completed in the clinical setting using th e Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System II [DPICS-II] (Eyberg, Edwards, Bessmer, & Litwins, 1994). The training for the standard PCIT group was followed as previ ously described. The modified group did not attend a clinic but instead received the training via videotape (i.e., the principal investigator videotaped himself discussing and modeling the previously described skills) with alternate face-to-face or telephone meetings provided. The standard program took 15.5 hours to administer per target dyad while the modified program took 9.5 hours per dyad. The results indicate th at, immediately following treatment, mothers in PCIT reported significant changes in oppositional be havior and a reduction in parental stress. Mothers in both treatment groups gave thei r children more praise and fewer commands with PCIT mothers greatly re ducing criticisms. Children in the standard group showed more compliant behavior than children in PC ITM. Follow-up data for this investigation reported that 1 and 2 years after the completi on of PCIT as well as PCITM the treatment gains were mostly in place with no significan t differences noted between the two groups

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36 (Nixon, Sweeney, Erickson, & Touyz, 2004). This is an important addition to the PCIT research literature because parents who are not able to travel to or are not comfortable in a clinical setting may benefit from th e modified version of the training. A second study evaluated the effectiveness of PCIT training on 32 children with a mean age of 5 years and their parents (McN eil et al., 1999). Childre n who were referred for disruptive behavior problems were placed in a treatment group (n=18) or a wait list control group (n=14). The childrens behavior was a ssessed using the following measures: CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 199 1) and ECBI (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999). Parental stress was assessed via the PSI (Abidin, 1995). The families followed the standard treatment program as previously de scribed. The results i ndicated that children in the treatment group decreased disruptive problem behavi or while children in the wait list control group continued to exhibit disrupt ive behavior. Parental stress also improved. However, the decrease in problem behavior as well as parental stress levels was based solely on parent report. This may introduce bi as into the results because the treatment parents may have expected a positive effect following treatment. In addition, effect of treatment was not generalized to a second setting (e.g., school). A third study illustrated the results of PCIT on a group of 64 children ages 3 to 6 years old diagnosed with ODD, ADHD/ODD, CD/ ADHD, or CD/OD (Schuhmann et al., 1998). In addition, the children were taking me dication for hyperactivity. Children were assigned to an immediate treatment (n=37) or a wait list control (n=27) group. The investigators were looking at the effect of PCIT on the following: parent-child interactions, child behavior problems, marital satisfaction, parenting st ress, parental locus of control, and parental depr ession. Child and parent beha viors were assessed using the following instruments: DSM-III-R Structur ed Interview for Disruptive Behavior

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37 Disorders [DPICS-II] (Eyberg et al., 1994); ECBI (Eyberg, 1992); PSI (Abidin, 1995); Parent Locus of Control Scale [PLCS] (Campis et al., 1986); The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-R [PPVT-R] (Dunn & D unn, 1981); Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, 1992); Dyadic Adjustment Scale [DAS] (Spani er, 1976); and Therapy Attitude Inventory [TAI]. The families followed the standard treatment program as described previously. The average length of treatment was 13 sessi ons. After treatment, parents successfully changed their interaction styl e with their child. For example, the parents used praise significantly more often, were better able to follow their childs lead during play, and were less critical of their child. Furtherm ore, the childrens non-compliance decreased following treatment. The parents reported great improvement at home, and the children no longer met the criteria for ODD. Parents in the study did not report high levels of depression or marital problems, although thes e findings were not si gnificant. However, parents did report a decrease in parenting stress as well as an increase in their ability to control their child. Funderburk and colleagues (1998) extended th e PCIT literature as they examined the generalized effects of PCIT on the targ et childrens school behavior. Eighty-four children with a mean age of 4.8 years referre d for treatment of conduct problems at home were included in the study. The treatmen t group (12 males) was compared to three control groups (72 males) identified as low problem behavior, aver age problem behavior, and high problem behavior. The children in the treatment group were diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, ODD/ADHD, or ODD/ADHD/CD. The children in the control groups were placed in each group based on teacher rating. The childrens behaviors were assessed using the following measures: ECBI (Eyberg, 1992); Revised Conners Teacher Rating Scale [RCTRS] (Goyette, Conners, & Ulrich, 1978); Sutter-Eyberg Student

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38 Behavior Inventory [SESBI] (Eyberg, Boggs & Algina, 1998); Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjust ment (Walker & Mc Connell, 1987); and classroom observation of the childrens behavior The parents participated in the standard clinical treatment as previously described. At the end of the 14-se ssion treatment, the childrens problem behavior at school decreased. This is a significant finding because treatment was not provided for students with in the classroom setting or to the teacher. Twelve months after treatment the children maintained a decrease in problem behavior. However, 18 months after treatment, only comp liance behavior maintained at school. The investigators concluded that while PCIT impr oved the childrens sc hool behavior, as the children moved from preschool and first-grad e academic requirements increased, and the treatment effect decreased in the school setting. While the results of the PCIT studies are promising, there are limitations. The studies are conducted on contro lled target populations within a university -based clinical setting. This eliminates parents and children who are unable to participate in a clinical setting due to travel requirements or moneta ry restraints, such as lack of insurance coverage for mental health services. Furthe rmore, phase and component analysis has not been investigated so it is not known which phase or component may have the strongest treatment effects. Additionally, the discipline phase of PCIT might not be generalized to the school setting as a classroom teacher may be unable to incorporate the more severe forms of discipline (e.g., spanking, bask et hold in time-out, and isolation). In summary, while the two packaged tr aining programs have promising outcomes for parent and teacher educators, there are additional practical limitations. Both programs provide a packaged program of treatment; ther efore, individual parent-child and teacherchild differences may not be taken into account when planning and implementing

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39 treatment. Both programs require a generous commitment of time on the part of the adult enrolled in training. Additionally, both pr ograms require a personal or program-level monetary commitment, either in the form of funding for clinical services (PCIT) or payment of trained facilitators and the purch ase of standard training materials (IYTS). Furthermore, with the exception of the short-te rm results of the Funde rburk et al. (1998) study, the programs offering only pa rent training report little or no generalization to the school environment. Finally, the parents part icipating in the two programs are those who are seeking help for their childs behavior problems. It is not known if less motivated parents would receive the same positive results. Individual Intervention Studies In addition to the two standardized trai ning programs reviewed, several individual intervention studies meeting the search criteria targeting reduction of problem behavior in young children have been conducted. Nine studies focus on altering the parent-child dyad while the remaining study focuses on altering the teacher-child dyad. Parent-child and teacher-child studies are review ed in the next two sections. Parent-Child Dyad Studies Feinfield and Baker (2004) studied the e ffect of a 12-week group parent training program on young children (ages 4 to 8 years) with persistent and significant problem behavior (aggression, non-compliance, a nd oppositional behaviors) as identified by CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991) or th e ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980) parental report scores. Children were excluded from the study if they were developmentally delayed. The following measures were used to assess the childrens behaviors at home and school: CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991); ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980); Home Situation Questionnaire [HSQ] (Barkley, 1981) ; Behavior Global Change Rating (parent

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40 questionnaire); CBCL-TRF (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991); SSQ (Barkley, 1981); and Walker-McConnell (Walker & Mc Connell, 1987). Parenting pr actices were assessed using the following measures: Alabama Pa renting Questionnaire [APQ] (Frick, 1991); Parent-Child Relationship Questionnaire [PCRQ] (Furman & Buhrmester, 2001); Index of Parental Attitudes [IPA] (Hudson, 1982); Parenting Sense of Competence [PSOC] (Gibaud-Wallston, 1978); and PSI (Abidin, 1995). The 39 participating parents were assigned to either a treatment or a delaye d treatment group. The length of the parent training consisted of 30 minutes with their child followed by nine 1.5-hour group sessions and three 40-minute individual sessions. The parents were taught the following techniques: (a) to reduce negative behavior s and increase positive behaviors, (b) to consistently respond to their childs behavi or, (c) to decrease ne gative responses to behaviors, and (d) to build a positive parent-c hild relationship. Parents were encouraged to practice the skills with their child. The curriculum was taught via role-play, lecture, and group discussion. Furthermore, parents we re given weekly homework assignments. During the individual session, parents worked w ith a trainer on the skills previously mentioned. (A videotape of the parent and child playing together was available as a training tool.) Group and indivi dual child sessions were al so provided while the parents attended training, but the resu lts of this additional interv ention are not reported. The results indicated that parents reported a decr ease in problem behavi or (i.e., aggression, non-compliance, and oppositional behavior) at home. Parents also reported an improvement in parenting techni ques with a more consistent pattern of discipline and less aggressive parenting (i.e., spanking, yelli ng, nagging). Parents at titudes about their parenting improved while their stress decrea sed. The parents reported high levels of satisfaction with the training. Immediately fo llowing treatment, teachers of the target

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41 children reported no decrease in problem beha vior, but 5 months after treatment teachers noted a decrease in problem behavior. The au thors concluded that the adults and the children learned a new pattern of adult-child interaction when parent-child interactions improved at home and were able to apply th is pattern of interac tion at school, thus helping them respond to classroom demands. Marchant, Young, & West (2004) used a multiple baseline probe design to examine how effectively four parents were able to le arn and use strategies to reduce the problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance) in their 4year-old children. Th ree of the children attended a HS program and one attended a self-contained classroom for preschool children with disabilities. Three of the children were reported to have significant developmental delays. The children were incl uded in the study if they: (a) had been referred by school personnel for behavior pr oblems including non-compliance; (b) had a moderate to significant score on the Preschool and Kindergar ten Behavior Scale [PKBS] (Merrell, 1994); and (c) had less than 50% compliance as observed in the home setting. One child behavior was targeted for interv ention: increase compliance. Five parent behaviors were targeted for intervention: effective praise (con tingent, specific and immediate); instructional praise); direct teaching; corrective teaching; and positive reinforcement. Parents were trained at home to use the target behaviors to decrease noncompliance in their children. Training was conducted using videotapes, modeling skills, role-playing, as well as positive and correctiv e feedback. The initial training lasted 2 hours followed by modeling and feedback 2 to 3 times per week, which was decreased to phone calls and less frequent visits as th e study progressed. Observational data were collected throughout the investig ation. Following training, the parents increased their use of praise strategies as well as appropriat e teaching skills, and children decreased non-

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42 compliant behavior. The researchers concl uded that parents lear ned new skills that decreased non-compliant behavior in their ch ildren. The greatest improvement was in the parents increased use of praise when inte racting with their child ren. The parents were able to use effective (i.e., contingent, specifi c, immediate) praise as well instructional (i.e., contingent, specific, immediate, with a reason provided) praise with their children. While the outcomes at home were promising, the results did not generalize to the school setting. The parents indicated that they we re satisfied with the treatment. A third study examined the effectivene ss of a brief group parent training on the problem behavior of 3and 4-year-old child ren (Bradley et al., 2003). The parents were self-referred because they felt they were having difficulty managing their childrens behavior. Parents (n=198) were randomly assigned either to an experimental (n=89) or to a wait list control group (n=109). The following measures were given prior to and at the conclusion of intervention: PS (Arnold et al., 1993); The Preschool Behavior Questionnaire [PBQ] (Behar & Stringfi eld, 1974); Preschool Characteristics Questionnaire [PCQ] (Finegan, Niccols, Z acher, & Hood, 1989); and the Brief Symptom Inventory [BSI] (Derogatis, 1993). A video was used to facilitate group discussion on ways to manage difficult behavior. The trai ning consisted of thr ee 2-hour group sessions followed by 1 booster session. The strategies pr ovided in the curriculum include the use of rewards and time-out as well as the impor tance of reducing negative parenting (i.e., yelling, hitting, and criticism) and coerci ve interactions. Additionally, positive and negative examples of parenting behavior were given as well as methods to reduce childresistant behavior. The measures of ch ild behavior indicated a decrease in hyperactive/distractible beha vior, but not on aggressive behavior. Parents reported a decrease in problem behavior, notably non-compliance. Parents reported improved

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43 parenting skills with a decrease in yelling and better management skills. However, all results are based solely on parental report of a self-refe rred population. A fourth study assessed the results of an intervention taught to 5 parents with children ages 38 to 46 months who exhibited bot h an early onset of problem behavior and mild language delays (Hancock et al., 2002) The children were included in the study if they were (a) at risk for a language de lay as measured on the PLS-3 (Zimmerman, Steiner, & Pond, 1992); (b) at risk for th e behavior problems as measured on the CBCL/2-3 (Achenbach, 1992); and (c) low income as reported by the parent. In addition to the previously mentioned assessments, th e children were given the CTRF (Achenbach, 1992) and the WPPSI IQ (Wechsler, 1989). Four va riables were assessed: (a) the parents ability to use the intervention strategies, (b) the childs observed behavior and communication, (c) developmental assessments of the childs language, and (d) parental satisfaction. Parent interventi on goals included balance turns, increase opportunity for children to respond, increase ad ult responses to childs language, provide simple directions, decrease commands during play, increase positive responses to compliance, increase correction to non-compliance, decr ease negative verbaliz ation, increase praise, and model appropriate language. The parents attended 30 (30to 45-minute) individual sessions for approximately 8 months at the childs care center. Generalization observations were made in the home four tim es during the study. During the sessions the training was provided via handout s, videotape to provide sp ecific examples, modeling, direct coaching, and immediate feedback. The results of the study i ndicated that parents were able to implement the strategies during the sessions at the child care center with limited generalization to the home. For example, parents praised their children four times more from baseline to intervention. Although teac hers and parents reported that the target

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44 children had high levels of pr oblem behavior, this was not observed during baseline or intervention. However, during the play sessi ons all the children d ecreased non-compliant and negative behaviors from baseline to in tervention. Children showed improvements in language skills during play sessions, but significant changes were not seen on standardized measures of langua ge ability. Parents reported sa tisfaction with the training, but investigators repor ted the parents in the study did not consistently attend training sessions, had a difficult time meeting criterion as well as maintaining the target behaviors. Furthermore, in addition to poor ge neralization of skills to the home, the skills were not well maintained in the follow-up phase. A fifth study assessed the effects of an i ndividual parent tr aining program in a clinical setting using positive procedures on the problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance) of 4 preschool children (Mandal et al., 2000). Their primary caregiver referred the children. Children were included if they complie d with an adult request less than 40% of time. Two of the children were diagnosed with severe language delays; one child was diagnosed with mild mental retardation a nd a language delay. A multiple baseline crossover design was used to evaluate eff ective instruction deli very [EID] (i.e., eye contact, praise for eye contact, directives close proximity, descriptive instruction, response time, and praise for compliance) and tim e in [TI] (i.e., verbal /physical praise for appropriate behavior). Parent training sessions included: written information, didactic teaching, role modeling, and immediate feedb ack (i.e., bug in the ear). In each condition (EID, TI, and combined EID/TI), a decrease in problem behavior (noncompliance) was observed; the greatest improvement was in the combined phase. However, the parents reported the immediate feedback provided via the bug in the ear was unpleasant to them. Additionally, the TI pha se did not specify if verbal or physical

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45 praise was more effective. The parents had difficulty implementing the treatment effectively during the EID phase. Furthermore, the investigators did not report the length of time for each session or total length of time ne eded to complete the intervention phase. Greene, Kamps, Wyble, and Ellis (1999) examined the effects of a home-based program to train 3 mothers to manage the proble m behavior of their 4 children (ages 5-7). The children were participating in an in-sc hool behavior prevention program at the time of recruitment. The mothers in the study were self-referred to learn a dditional techniques for managing behavior at home. One child was diagnosed with ADHD. The mothers reported the following problem behavior in th e children: physical and verbal aggression as well as non-compliance. Five behaviors we re targeted for intervention: inappropriate child behavior, child compliance, on-task be havior, child and pare nt interaction, and parent praise. Observations of the child-paren t and sibling interactions were completed in the home, and parents filled out a weekly child behavior report. A multiple-baseline design across participants was used to study the outcomes. The in-home program incorporated written information, discussion, modeling, role-playing, and practice. Home visits occurred two to three times per week lasting 8 to 13 weeks; the number of sessions ranged from 11 to 18 sessions. To decrease probl em behaviors, the parents were taught to use praise, give clear instructions, mode l appropriate behavior, provide effective consequences, employ a reinforcement sc hedule, and use a time-out method. After treatment, a decrease in problem beha vior (aggression and non-compliance) was observed and reported by the parent. Notably, all parents increased their use of praise after training. The parents were highly satisf ied with the program. However, the parents volunteered for treatment and were familiar w ith the therapist at the start of the homebased program because they had a prior relationship in the in-school prevention program.

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46 Furthermore, the children and the parents were already participating in a prevention program. Generalization information to an out-of-home setting (e.g., school) was not provided. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design was used to assess the effects of an individual parent trai ning in a clinical setting using therapeutic storytelling [TST] and behavioral management (BPT) on the problem behavior (non-compliance) of 4 boys (ages 5 to 7) (Painter et al., 1999). The pare nts and the children were self-referred for treatment. Parents took the following meas ures of their childs problem behavior (frequency and intensity of noncompliance) and their own abili ty to adhere to treatment (i.e., adherence and satisfacti on). The childrens recall of a therapeutic story was also assessed. Two additional measures were gi ven to the parent: PRS version of the Behavioral Assessment System for Childre n [BASC] and the PSI (Abidin, 1995). During the TST phase, the parents were provided with a story that correlated to the problem behavior of the child. The parent and child read and discussed the story to learn alternative solutions to the problem behavi or. During the BPT phase, each parent worked individually with a therapist on strategies to decrease non-co mpliance (i.e., give specific directions, provide natural consequences, i gnore inappropriate behaviors, use time-out, and provide a stable routine). The results indicated that both treatments were effective in reducing the non-compliance of 3 of the 4 ta rget children as reported by the parents. However, the findings were not evident in the BASC results given post-treatment. Parents were highly satisfied with the treatment. Smith and Lerman (1999) studied the effectiv eness of a parent training to decrease the problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance) of two boys (ages 4 and 5). One boy was diagnosed with autism and moderate mental retardation and the other with pervasive

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47 developmental disorder (PDD) and mild ment al retardation. Therapists trained parents during two home visits (1-hour each) to use guided compliance and a high-probability instructional sequence to decr ease rates of non-compliance an d increase compliance. The goal was to provide short-term training to te ach both strategies to the parents and to compare the effectiveness of the strategies on the childrens noncompliance and on the parents ability to acquire the new skill and their satisfaction. Parents and children were observed prior to the start of the study to determine le vels of non-compliance. The parents were also interviewed. In the guided compliance phase, the parent was instructed to: (a) give clear direct instructions, (b) de liver a gestural prompt if the child did not comply, (c) provide physical guidance if the ch ild did not comply, and (d) give praise in the event of compliance. In the high-probability phase, the parent was taught to (a) give a series of high-probability commands followe d by a low-probability command, (b) ignore non-compliance, and (c) praise immediat ely following compliance. The training procedures were the same dur ing both phases: (a) a handout w ith all procedures outlined was given to the parent; (b) the therapist provided modeling; (c) role-playing was conducted; and (d) guided practi ce with therapist, parent, and child present occurred. The training took place in two home visits lasting 1 hour each. A comparison of the effectiveness of treatments as well as pa rental satisfaction was made. Parents easily learned to implement both treatments followi ng short-term training, but a higher rate of improvement (decrease in non-compliance) wa s seen in the guided compliance phrase. The parents found the procedures easy to implement and were satisfied with both treatments. A ninth study examined the results of a parent training program to decrease the problem behavior of 5 young children (ages 4 to 7) (Richman et al., 1995). The primary

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48 cause for referral was non-compliance, but the children also exhibited tantrums, aggression, disruption, and verbal aggression. Two of the 5 ch ildren were diagnosed with developmental delays. The CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991) was completed prior to the start of treatment. Researchers worked with the parents and children in a simulated play setting within a medical facility. The targ et behavior for the pa rents was appropriate response to compliance (i.e., praise, physical aff ection, access to an activity) as well as restating the directions if the child continued to be non-compliant. However, for the 2 children with developmental delays, the parental response for non-compliance was a prompt sequence (i.e., verbal, gestural, and phys ical prompt). The target behavior for the children was completion of the request within 10 seconds and task completion within 5 minutes. The training ranged from 1 to 11 sessions. The training involved four components: (a) definitions and examples of the childs behavior with the parent were provided by the trainer; (b) dida ctic instruction of appropria te responses to the childs behavior was taught; (c) rehear sal of the response with th e child, parent, and trainer present; and (d) application of parent-child interactions without the trainer present. The parents were taught to use pr aise, give clear instructions model appropriate behavior, provide effective consequences, employ a re inforcement schedule, and use a time-out method. Findings after training indicated that parents increa sed positive responses to the childs appropriate behavior and non-compliance decrease d. Additionally, the parents successfully generalized the re sponses to a second non-clinic al setting and maintained the behaviors for 6 months. This investigation is a worthwhile add ition to the literature because modification to the treatment was made based on each childs developmental level as well as the familys ability to learn the intervention successfully.

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49 Teacher-Child Dyad Study A study using a multiple baseline design examined the effects of a five-step instructional sequence given by the teacher to address off-task behavior of children in a preschool classroom (Hiralall & Martens, 1998) Four teachers and 14 children (3 to 4 years old) participated in the study. Teach ers nominated their students with problem behavior. The target behavior for the teacher was the use of the instructional sequence during a teacher-directed art activity. The target behaviors for the children were: attend to instruction and be on-task. A 2-hour teac her training in the clas sroom was provided to the teachers. The training included verbal and written descriptions of the strategies as well as modeling and role-playing. The teachers were given a checklist to remind them of the instructional sequence during the chosen ac tivity. They were taught to implement in a prescribed order: demand eye contact, give st ep-by-step instructions, model, praise, and redirect. After training, th e results indicated that th e teachers used the sequence successfully (i.e., eye contact, modeling, and pr aise showed the greatest increase) and that the childrens problem behavior (off-task ) decreased; furthermore, child engagement increased. Although generalization data were no t reported, the teachers stated that they used modeling and praise during free play and transitions. Summary of Adult-Child Dyad Studies The parent-child studies and teacher-ch ild study reported several positive findings. First, the majority of parents and all teachers were able to learn and to implement all or part of the intervention steps or strategies. Second, an incr ease in appropriate behavior (i.e., compliance) and a decrease in pr oblem behavior (i.e., non-compliance and aggression) were reported in the majority of the target children. Third, in all studies the parents and teachers reported satisfaction with the trai ning. These positive outcomes

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50 should be viewed with caution because the studi es have limitations. First, the studies that required a longer commitment of time on the part of the adults reported mixed results in parent attendance and their abil ity to learn and implement th e entire skill set. Second, many parents were self-referred, and the re sults were self-reported. The parents participating in the intervention may have expe cted to see an improvement in the childs behavior and therefore reporte d an increase in appropriate behavior and a decrease in problem behavior. Third, alt hough the toddler and early pres chool years (ages 2 and 3) may be a critical time to intervene with ch ildren exhibiting an early onset of problem behavior, the majority of the studies focu s on children ages 4 and older. The training provided adults and children over the age of 4 may not be developmentally appropriate for toddlers and young preschoolers (Sampers et al., 2001). Furthermore, the majority of the training is provided for the home setti ng with little generali zation data provided regarding an outside setting such as a child care classroom. Finally, like the standard training programs, the parent-child and t eacher-child studies offer multi-component interventions, so the effect of a single component is unknown. Summary In summary, promising evidence-based inte rventions to train adults to implement strategies that incr ease appropriate behavior and d ecrease problem behavior in young children are available. Results of the 17 st udies reviewed indicate that a variety of interventions and strategies have been utili zed with varying levels of success. The strengths of the studies in a ddition to their limitations may offer a direction for future intervention research. The following section provides a summary of the strengths and limitations of studies reviewed with suggestions for future research.

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51 There are encouraging findings within th e body of intervention studies reviewed. First, most of the intervention studies emphasi zed the need for the parent or teacher to change his or her behavior to increase a ppropriate behavior and decrease the problem behavior of the target children. Second, th e interventions, for the most part, emphasized positive intervention strategies, such as the use of praise, prompting, redirection, or modeling to increase a childs appropriate behavior. Third, a dults were taught appropriate discipline strategies (i.e., i gnore, give a choice, provide effective directions, provide appropriate consequences) to decrease a ch ilds problem behavior. Fourth, while the majority of the intervention studies required a substantial time commitment, three studies provided the adult with a relatively brief trai ning that resulted in a decrease in the problem behavior of young children (Bradley et al., 2003; Hiralall & Martens, 1998; Smith & Lerman, 1999). Finally, each of the re viewed programs or studies incorporates components of direct instruction when teach ing intervention strategies to parents or teachers. Direct instruction provides the pa rent or teacher with modeling, prompts, feedback, and reinforcement (Hiralall & Marten s, 1998). As a result, th e parent or teacher implements a standard procedure so they are well prepared and consistent when interacting with the target child. While the overall results of the parent-child and teacher-child intervention studies reviewed are promising, the body of literatur e is not without limitations. The first limitation is the relative absence of interven tion studies with child ren ages 2 and 3 and their child care teachers. Given the large number of young children in child care centers who are exhibiting problem behavior, this is a need to address in fu ture research. Second, the majority of the interventions provided re quire a large commitment of time on the part of the adult. For example, 13 of the inte rventions require over 13 hours of training, often

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52 outside the childs home environment. This may not be possible for parents who are unable to attend training sessi ons during the work day, afte r work, or on the weekend. Parents often report that othe r commitments such as a sec ond job, child care issues, or unmet transportation needs prev ent them from attending or completing training (Hancock et al., 2002). Third, very few of the interv ention studies (not adu lt group training) take place in the childs natural environment ( home or school). For example, 8 studies conducted intervention sessions in a therapeu tic setting such as a university clinic. Therefore, the effectiveness of the interventi on in the childs natural environment is often unknown. Fourth, the interventions are multicomponent, involving many steps for the adult to learn. This may be difficult to sustai n over time or to gene ralize to another adult (e.g., second teacher or parent); child (e.g., si bling); or setting (e.g., school). Fifth, several interventions used time-out or more coercive discipline practices (i solation or spanking) as a behavior management strategy. The Na tional Association fo r the Education of Young Children [NAEYC] recommends that timeout not be used with children who are toddlers (age 2) (National Association fo r the Education of Young Children, 1996). In addition, NAEYC recommends tim e-out as a last resort technique for managing problem behavior in young preschoolers (a ge 3) (NAEYC, 1996). Furthermore, recent Head Start guidance recommends adults use positive behavior t echniques to guide childrens behavior with time-out put in place in a limited capacity by a trained adult in an adult-supervised separation (Hill, 2004). These recommendations may make it difficult for a teacher to use time-out as a part of an intervention strategy. Sixth, the majority of the interventions are multi-component without analysis provided on each component. It is not known which component ma y be the most effective, either alone or in combination with another strategy. Seventh, several of the studies used the parent, the

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53 teacher, or a risk category (i.e., enrollment in Head Start) to determine the presence, severity, and intervention outco me of the target childs or childrens problem behavior. This may introduce a bias because the adults may overor under-report the presence and severity of the behavior prio r to intervention as well as the impact the intervention has on the target behavior(s). Based on this review, a number of factors appear to be effective components to use when intervening on young childrens probl em behaviors. These three factors consistently appear throughout the literature reviewed: 1. use of the adult as a change agent 2. reliance on praise or another form of positive interaction to increase appropriate behaviors and the use of appropriate disc ipline (i.e., ignore, provide consequences, give choices, provide effective direct ions) to decrease problem behaviors 3. use of direct programmatic instruction to teach ad ults new strategies. These components appear throughout the review ed studies; therefore, they may be key strategies for developing successful interven tions to increase appropr iate behavior that may replace the problem behavior in young children enrolled in child care. One of these factorsreliance on praise as an intervention toolwill be further addressed in the next section. While th e studies reviewed each explore unique intervention strategies, praise is used in 14 out of 17 studies (8 2%). This is not surprising because praise has been used as a child ma nagement technique for many years (Gettinger, 1988). For example, PCIT teaches parents about the importance of praise as a way to increase appropriate behaviors that can repl ace problem behaviors and the value of using labelled or specific praise as a teaching t ool (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995). In fact, PCIT instructs parents that praise is one of the most powerful tools available for improving young childrens behavior (H embree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995, p. 37).

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54 Furthermore, teachers as well as parents fi nd praise to be an acceptable form of intervention (Martens, Hiralall, & Bradley, 1997). Incorporating a praise strategy within a child care environment may provide a simple yet effective intervention strategy for teachers of young children to teach repl acement behaviors to children who are demonstrating problem behavior. The following section reviews praise as an intervention strategy within the classroom setting. Review of Research Using Praise as an Intervention Strategy The previous section reviewed research related to interven tion packages and strategies that has been conducted with young children and adults directed toward increasing appropriate behavi or and decreasing children s problem behaviors. One strategy that was included in most of the studies was the use of praise to teach appropriate behaviors that serve to replace problem behavi ors. Praise is often used as a tool to manage childrens behavior in the home, school, and clinical se tting. This section further examines praise as an important and viable strategy to increase a ppropriate and decrease problem behavior in children. As previously discussed, pr aise is a component of many of the interventions used with children who engage in problem behavior s. Praise has been used extensively within classrooms as a way to address problem be havior by teaching replacement behaviors (e.g., increasing on-task behavior to replace off-task behavior) (Brophy, 1981; Sutherland, Wehby, & Copeland, 2000). However, research conducted over the past 35 years has shown praise to be an effective, but not an often or well used, classroom management tool (Beaman & Wheldall, 2000; Brophy, 1981; Sutherland et al., 2000). Furthermore, much of the praise literatu re is based on correlational or inferential information, not experimental evidence (Fil check, McNeil, & Hersch ell, 2001; Swinson

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55 & Harrop, 2001). A literature review of studies using praise within the classroom setting as well as possible implications for use within a child care setting follows. A thorough search of the literature was conduc ted to identify studies for this section of the review. Three electronic databases were searched: Article First, ERIC, and PsychInfo. The key words: praise, problem behavior, behavior problems, behavior management, behavior modification, clas sroom behavior modification, classroom discipline, intervention, and teacher were searched in various combinations. A hand search of relevant journals was performed. In addition, researchers in this area of intervention were contacted for additional in formation. The search of the intervention literature focused on evidence-based studies that met the following criteria: (a) praise was the only intervention used; (b) an adult wa s responsible for intr oducing or increasing praise statements; (c) target children in el ementary school (Grade 5) or younger were included in the study; and (d) target children exhibited probl em behavior. The search was limited to 1994 through 2004. Seven studie s meeting the criteria were found. A review of the interventions and implications for future research are given. Table 2-2 presents the author(s), partic ipants, setting, dependent measures, design, intervention, and results for each of the identified studies. Dobrinski (2004) studied the efficacy of using specific (delayed) praise on the appropriate (on-task) behavior of 4 second-grade students with problem behavior (offtask behavior). The four children (nominated by their teachers) were in 2 different classes and were identified by their teachers as having off-task behavior during academic time. Behavior-specific praise (i.e, verbal statemen t of the reinforced behavior) was given to the students as a delayed directive for on-ta sk behavior during academic time. The results indicated that the introducti on and use of specific (delay ed) praise increased the 4

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56 Table 2-2. Studies of Praise as a Classroom Intervention Tool to Decrease Problem Behavior in Children. Authors Participants Dependent Measures Design Intervention Results Dobrinski, 2004 Child : 4 Grade : 2 (General Education) Teacher : 2 Inclusion : Teacher nomination Child : Interval recording of on-task behavior Teacher : Interval recording of specific delayed praise Multiple baseline design across participants Delayed specific praise given to students for on-task behavior during academic instruction Child : Increase in on-task behavior during academic instruction Teacher : Increase in specific delayed praise during academic instruction Smith, 2004 Child : 3 Grade : Prekindergarten (Head Start) Teacher : 3 Inclusion : Teacher nomination Child : Frequency and duration of noncompliance, aggression, and on-task behavior Teacher : Frequency of precorrects, behaviorspecific praise, behaviorspecific praise with behavior expectations Multiple baseline design across participants Teacher use of precorrects, behaviorspecific praise, behaviorspecific praise with behavior expectations directed at target child during a large group activity 60to 90minute training Increase in teacher use of precorrects, as well as praise; increase in on-task (compliant) behavior as well as decrease in aggression Note: EBD=Emotional Behavior Disorder LD= Learning Disability, MR=Mental Retardation

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57 Table 2-2. Continued. Authors Participants Dependent Measures Design Intervention Results Freeland, 2003 Child : 3 Grade : Prekindergarten (Head Start) Teacher : 3 Inclusion : Problem behavior, teacher nomination Child : Interval recording appropriate behavior Teacher : Interval recording Praise Multiple baseline across settings Teachers taught via direct instruction to increase praise given to students appropriate behavior. Child : Increase in appropriate behavior Teacher : Increase in praise Generalization : Teacher skill and student behavior generalized to a second setting Wills, 2002 Child : 5 Grade: 2 and 3 (General Education) Teacher: 2 Inclusion : Teacher nomination Child : Frequency of inappropriate behavior (disruption), duration of engagement Teacher: Frequency of praise, frequency of reprimands Multiple baseline across students Teacher set praise goal, students record number of praise statements given by teacher, if numbers match, prize given to student 15-minute training Child : Increase in engagement Teacher : Increase in praise, decrease in reprimands Sutherland & Wehby, 2001 Child : 216 Grade : K-8 (Self-contained EBD) 112 EBD 48 LD 20 MR 26 Other Teacher: 20 Child : Correct response Teacher : Effective praise Random assignment to treatment or control group; ANOVA Selfevaluation, teacher recorded rate of effective praise from 5-minute tape, 1 training session Child : Increase in correct response Teacher : Increase in effective praise

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58 Table 2-2. Continued. Authors Participants Dependent Measures Design Intervention Results Sutherland et al., 2000 Child : 9 Grade : 5 (Self-contained EBD) Teacher : 1 Inclusion : EBD diagnosis Child : Frequency of on-task behavior Teacher : Frequency of Behaviorspecific praise, nonbehaviorspecific praise ABAB withdrawal Teacher set praise goal, feedback given following 1 session with brief meeting before and after each observation Child : Increase in on-task behavior Teacher : Increase in behaviorspecific praise and nonbehavior Martens et al., 1997 Child: 2 Grade : 1 (Self-contained EBD) Teacher : 1 Inclusion : EBD diagnosis Child: Appropriate behavior Teacher : Praise Multiple baseline across participants Teacher (1) identified behavior to increase, (2) set a goal of number of times to praise, (3) daily feedback Child: Increase in appropriate behavior Teacher: Increase in praise students on-task behavior dur ing the intervention phase of the study. Teachers were satisfied with the intervention. Generaliza tion to a second setting was not examined. Smith (2004) investigated the effectiven ess of 3 teachers increased use of precorrects and praise on th e appropriate (on-task) and problem behavior (physical aggression) of 3 children enrolled in Head St art. A brief training ( 60 to 90 minutes) was given to each teacher to explain the interv ention. The teacher was trained to provide the entire class as well as the target child w ith precorrects, behavio r-specific praise, and

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59 behavior-specific praise with behavioral expectations during a large group activity (circle time). The teachers did increase their use of precorrects and behavior-specific praise. A less significant increase in be havior-specific praise with behavioral expectations was noted. Following an increase in teacher precorr ects and praise, an increase in student ontask behavior and a decrease in problem behavior were demonstrated. The results indicated that the use of large group precorrec ts and praise did have an effect on the behavior of target children. Teachers were reported to be satisfi ed with the training. Although generalization data we re not provided, the research er reported that teachers used the strategies in additional settings within the classroom Freeland (2003) examined the effectiveness of 3 teachers increased use of praise on the problem behavior of 3 children enroll ed in Head Start classrooms. Direct consultation (modelling, feedback, and practice) was used to train teachers to increase praise when the students used appropriate behavior in the classroom and to generalize the praise to two other settings. The results in dicated that as teacher praise increased, problem behavior decreased. The increase in te acher praise and the de crease in childrens problem behavior generalized to a second, but not a third setting. Wills (2002) investigated the effect of a praise game on the problem behavior of 5 secondand third-grade students (nominat ed by their teachers) and 2 teachers. Specifically, the game was introduced to increas e teacher praise and to reduce students problem behavior (disruption) as well as to increase their engagement in the learning activity. The researcher met with each teacher for 15 minutes to teach the game, discuss the behavior the teacher would like to increa se, and decide the time of day to implement the game. The children were taught the rules of the game in a 5-minute meeting with the

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60 researcher. Following the intervention phase, th e teachers were able to increase their use of praise, and the problem behavior (disrupt ion) decreased. Furthermore, the teachers use of reprimands decreased. The teachers a nd students were satisfied with the game. A fourth study examined the effectiveness of rates of teacher praise on childrens problem behavior (Sutherland & Wehby, 2001) Twenty elementary school teachers (grades K-8) and 216 children diagnosed with EBD (ages 5 to 15) participated in the study. The participants were divided into tw o groups: treatment (self-evaluation) and no treatment. As the interventi on, the teacher was provided with current rates of praise (measured during pre-treatment) and the impor tance of using effective praise. During the treatment phase, the teacher was provided with a tape recorder, ta ught coding procedures, and then coded and graphed the number of pr aise statements they used in a 5-minute period (multiplied by 3). The use of praise increased for the treatment group as did the number of correct answers given by student s. Furthermore, the number of teacher reprimands decreased for the treatment group. In addition, while generalization data were not reported, teachers in the treatment group c onsidered the intervention (increased use of effective praise) to be practical to use during the cour se of the day. Sutherland et al. (2000) researched the ontask behavior of 9 fifth-grade students diagnosed with EBD, specifically: (a) the effect an intervention had on the teachers rate of praise (behavior-specific) and (b) the eff ect of increased praise (behavior-specific). The intervention consisted of one meeting between the teach er and the researcher to discuss examples of behavior-s pecific praise and to determine a teacher-chosen level for criterion. A brief booster session (reminder of criterion and examples of praise) was provided prior to each observation. During a teacher-directed activ ity (social skills

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61 training), both the teachers rate of praise and on-task behavior of the students increased. However, the teacher increased non-behavior-speci fic praise as well, so it is not clear if specific praise was the determining factor. Furthermore, because the children were not participating in an academic task, it is unclear whether or not the intervention would be successful in a more demanding setting. Neve rtheless, the finding that teachers easily incorporated praise with a positive result after a relatively brief intervention is a worthwhile avenue for future research. A seventh study examined the effect of an increase in teache r praise on increasing appropriate behavior in 2 students (Martens et al., 1997). One teacher and two 6-year-old boys with EBD participated in the study. In the intervention the teacher (a) chooses 4 positive behaviors to improve in each of the tw o students, (b) sets a daily goal to praise each behavior a certain number of times duri ng the activity, and (c) receives a feedback note at the end of each day a bout goal attainment. Results indicated that the teacher increased the use of praise and the 2 stude nts increased the teacher-chosen behavior. Furthermore, the teacher found th e intervention to be acceptable. Summary and Implications for Future Research In summary, evidence-based interventions to train teachers to implement praise within the classroom are available. Results of the study review indi cate that praise does have a positive effect on increasing appropria te behavior in children who demonstrate problem behavior. The strengths of the studies in addition to their limitations may offer a direction for future intervention research. Th e following section summarizes the strengths and limitations of the praise studies reviewed with suggestions for future research. The seven studies reviewed do provide a fe w common strategies th at may be useful for future intervention planning. First, when the teacher implemented specific effective

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62 praise, there was a positive e ffect on increasing appropriate behavior (i.e., on-task or correct response) in the target children. Sp ecific praise provides the target children feedback about appropriate behaviors that can be demonstrated to replace problem behaviors as well as expected future be haviors (Mangin, 1998) Second, all studies provided the teacher with a relatively shor t and immediately applicable intervention. Praise appears to be an easily applied interv ention that does not re quire a great deal of time or money to implement (Dobrinski, 2004). Th ree, the teachers were able to learn and implement the intervention stra tegy. Four, the interventions we re teacher-driven, meaning that the teacher, for example, chose the number of praise stat ements to make in a session, chose the behavior to increase, or nominate d the target children. Finally, the teachers found the intervention to be acceptable, increas ing the likelihood that they may continue to use the intervention with other students or with the target children in other settings. Although the results of the praise studies are promising, there are limitations. First is the relative paucity of studies on young ch ildren and teachers. With the number of children in child care centers with early onset behavior problems, i nvestigating the use of praise within a child care setting is a wo rthwhile addition to the literature. Second, because most studies take place in an elemen tary school classroom, the level of teacher education is higher than commonly found in a child care center. Implementing an easily learned and applied strategy with child care te achers may increase their ability to address the behaviors of the children in their classr ooms. Third, although prai se is considered an important tool for increasing appropriate be haviors in children de monstrating problem behavior, there is a relative lack of research on the use of praise in isolation. Finally,

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63 despite the fact that praise is an easily l earned and implemented st rategy, there is little information on the teachers use of praise generalized to a no n-trained setting. Results of the review indicate that the following factors are important components to consider when using prai se as an intervention: 1. implementation of specific praise by the teacher 2. introduction of a short intervention resulting in teacher change 3. inclusion of the teacher in de signing the intervention process 4. acceptability of the intervention. These components may offer strategies fo r developing successful interventions to increase appropriate behavior in young child ren demonstrating problem behavior. In the following section, based on the re viewed literature, suggestions for further research are provided. Future Research Directions The intervention studies review ed provide directions for future research to train teachers to increase appropria te behavior in young children who demonstrate problem behavior. The studies present a variety of intervention methods. One strategyspecific praise that reinforces an appropriate behavioris includ ed in 13 of the 24 studies. Specific praise (effective, labeled, instructiona l) has been effectively applied to increase appropriate behavior in childre n. Increasing appropriate behavi or is an important goal of an intervention strategy for children demons trating problem behavior. An appropriate behavior may provide the child with a repl acement for the problem behavior. Giving teachers a specific intervention strategy that may increase childrens appropriate behaviors and decrease problem behaviors may be an effective method to intervene in the child care classroom. Praise may be an appropr iate strategy to use, especially in child

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64 care classrooms, because it is a proactive, pr eventative intervention that can be easily used by child care teachers. Furthermore, although many studies required lengthy training, several studies indicated an incr ease in appropriate behavior following a relatively short training period (e.g., a single session of 90 minut es or less). This allows the teacher to learn and implement an in tervention strategy without lengthy multicomponent training sessions. Additionally, in th e majority of the studies, adult training included written or verbal instruction, vi deotape, guidance, practice, and feedback. Efficient intervention training may provide teachers with a new skill in a helpful and cost-effective manner. Finally, an intervention strategy that is free, easy to implement, and available to the teacher in most clas sroom settings may generalize to a second untrained settings. Purposes of the Investigation Given the paucity of research examining the use of specific praise statements on increasing appropriate behavior with young ch ildren demonstrating problem behavior in child care centers, there is a need to further examine this line of research. Therefore, this investigation addressed the fo llowing research questions: 1. Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise statements during a teacher-identified activity? 2. What is the effect of the teachers us e of specific praise statements on the appropriate and problem be havior of young children enrolled in a child care setting? 3. If specific praise statements increase after training, will teachers use of specific praise statements generalize to an untrained setting? By investigating the effects of using specific praise stat ements to decrease problem behavior in young children enrolled in child ca re, this investigation extended the current research by examining the use of training to teach child care teachers to use specific

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65 praise statements with children ages 2, 3 a nd 4 demonstrating problem behaviors within the child care setting. The next chapter pr esents the methodology for the investigation.

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66 CHAPTER 3 METHODS This study was designed to investigate teach ers ability to implement a strategy of specific praise statements following trai ning. The study further investigated the effectiveness of teachers us e of specific praise statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children enrolled in child care centers. Finally, the study examined whether, following training, teach ers would generalize the specific praise statements to a second untrained setting. The chapter presents info rmation regarding the participants, setting, and mate rials, independent measures, dependent measures, data collection procedures, experimental procedures, and research design. Participants Teacher Participants Four teachers working with children be tween the ages of 33 and 51 months participated in the investig ation. Two teachers and children were from the Educational Research Center for Child Development on the campus of the University of Florida (UFERCCD) and 2 teachers and 2 children were from the Child Development Research Center at the University of North Florid a (UNF-CDRC). Several teachers from two classrooms at UF-ERCCD were asked by the cent er director to part icipate in the study. The two teams of classroom teachers selected one member of their classroom team to participate. The selection was based on teacher schedule and their availability to work with the two children the teachers wanted to be included in the study. The center director at UNF-CDRC asked two lead teachers in two classrooms with children exhibiting

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67 problem behavior to participat e in the study. Furthermore, in order to be included in the investigation, each participating te acher met the following criteria: 1. The teacher held a minimum of a Child Development Associate [CDA] credential and a maximum of a Bachelor of Arts. 2. The center director nominated the teacher. 3. The teacher had a good work attendance record as defined by 80% attendance or an average of 4 out of 5 days per week. 4. The teacher signed an informed consent form (see Appendix A). Demographic information about each teacher wa s obtained from the teacher (Table 3-1). Child Participants Four children between the ages of 33 and 51 months participated in the investigation. Two target child participants were enrolled in the Educational Research Center for Child Development on the Universi ty of Florida campus. The two children at the University of Florida were chosen by thei r respective team of t eachers to participate in the study. The center director concurred with the decision. The two children at UNFCDRC were chosen by the lead teacher in their respective classrooms, and the center director concurred with the decision. Baby Ga tor offers child care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years who have at least one parent or guardian associated with the University of Florida (student, staff, or faculty).(See Ta ble 3-2) Eighty percent of the spaces are reserved for the children of full-time student s (Baby Gator Educational Research Center for Child Development, 2005). Florida Departme nt of Education (2005) indicates that for the 2004-2005 school year, 32,948 students enrolled full-time at the University of Florida with 24,692 students at the undergraduate leve l and 8,256 at the graduate level. Two target child participants were enrolled at the Child Development Research Center (CDRC) at the University of North Florida campus. CDRC offers child care for children

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68 ages 2.5 to 10 years of age. The center is avai lable to students, staff, and faculty at UNF as well as the general public However, the majority of children have parents who are students at UNF. Florida Depa rtment of Education (2005) indicates that for the 20042005 school year, 14,641 students enrolled with 12,2005 at the undergraduate level and 1,639 at the graduate level. According to the Florida Department of Education (2005), the ethnic make-up of the students enrolled in th e Florida university system is 60% White non-Hispanic, 15% Black, 16% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 4% International. In order to be included in the invest igation, each particip ating child met the following criteria: 1. The child demonstrated problem behavior th at interfered with his/her ability to participate in learning activities and cl assroom routines as designated by the teacher. 2. The child had typical development as de monstrated by scores on a standardized screening instrument, the Battelle Developmental Inventory [BDI] (Newborg, Stock, Wnek, Guidubaldi, Svin icki, Dickson, & Markley, 1988) given by the investigator, who is a certified early ch ildhood and special education teacher. 3. The child was between 2 years and 6 months and 4 years and 6 months. 4. The child had good record of attendance as defined by 80% attendance or an average of 4 out of 5 days per week. 5. The childs guardian provided informed consent (see Appendix A). Demographic information about each child as well as the childs specific problem behavior was obtained from the teacher (Table 3-3). Table 3-1. Demographic Data on Teacher Participants Teacher Race* Gender** Level of EducationYears of Experience 1 C F AA 4 2 AA F AS 12 3 C F AA 6 4 AA M AA 13 Note: *Race: C=Caucasian; AA=African American **Level of Education: AA=Associate of Arts; AS=Associate of Science

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69 Table 3-2 Data on Child Care Centers UF-ERCCD UNF-CDRC Ages of Children Enrolled 8 weeks to 5 years 2.5 years to 5 years Number of Children Enrolled 131 95 Total Number of Classrooms 4 4 Percent of Student Parents 80% 60% Number of Teaching Staff 21 8 Payment Sliding Scale for Students Sliding Scale for Students Ethnicity 25 Countries Represented 75% Caucasian, 20% African American, 5% Other Accreditation NAEYC NAEYC, Gold Seal (Children and Families) Table 3-3. Demographic Data on Child Participants Child Age (yr-mo) Race* Gender BDI(S) Results CBCL-Results Teacher Reported Behaviors(s) of Concern 1 2-11 C M Pass Clinical Attention/ Aggressive Behavior NonCompliance 2 3-8 AA M Pass Clinical Attention NonCompliance 3 4-3 C M Pass Clinical Emotionally Reactive, Anxious/Depressed, Withdrawn NonCompliance, Aggression, Disruption 4 3-10 C M Pass Clinical Attention NonCompliance, Aggression Note: *Race: C=Caucasian; AA=African American Setting This investigation was conducted across 2 teacher-child dyads in 2 classrooms at the University of Florida Educational Re search Center for Child Development (UFERCCD) and 2 teacher-child dyads in 2 classrooms at the University of North Central

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70 Florida Child Development Research Center (UNF-CDRC). The classrooms contained routine care items (such as cots or mats for resting, a kitchen, tables for eating, and childsized bathrooms). In addition, each classroom ha d learning centers that included activities for quiet and active play. The learning cente rs included (but were not limited to) a book center, a housekeeping center, a manipulative ce nter, an art center, and an area for gross motor play. Access to a large outside play ar ea was available to the classrooms daily. The investigation took place in the setting prescribed during a transition time. This activity was chosen to target for interven tion due to high rates of problem behavior during transition times. The transition times were identified by the teachers. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 1 at UF-E RCCD contained 7 full-time teachers with 32 children ages 12-35 months. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 2 contained 6 fulltime teachers with 47 children ages 3 to 5 year s. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 3 at UNF-CDRC contained 2 full-time teachers and 18 children age 4. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 4 contained 2 fulltime teachers and 16 children age 3. Materials Materials were those typically found in a child care center classroom. The materials included (but were not limite d to) books, housekeeping toys, small motor manipulatives, art supplies, and indoor gross motor apparatus. The child and the teacher used the classroom materials available during the transition activity. Additional classroom materials were not needed for the proposed investigation. Materials required for teacher training included the teacher training guide developed by the investigator (Appendix B) a tape recorder, a video camcorder, a television, a video, five i ndex cards, magnet strip, marker, and pencil or pen.

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71 Measurement Procedures Dependent Variables The dependent variables for the investigati on were child and teacher behaviors. The coding definitions as well as examples a nd non-examples of the behaviors can be found in Appendix C. Child behavior The following child behaviors we re measured as defined: Appropriate behavior Engagement. Engagement is defined as particip ating in an activity, interacting with peers and teachers, or looking at or using material s in an appropriate manner (McBride & Schwartz, 2003). Compliance. Compliance is defined as completin g an instruction or beginning to follow the instruction within 5 seconds af ter the teacher request has been given Problem behavior. Non-compliance. Non-compliance is defined as failu re to complete an instruction or to begin to follow the instruction within 5 seconds after the teacher request has been given. Aggression. Aggression is defined as any negative physical be havior directed toward another person including hitting, bi ting, pinching, kicking, pulling or pushing, throwing an object at another pers on, or spitting at another person. Disruption. Disruption is defined as behavior that inte rferes with the ongoing activity, such as verbal talk that is loud or out of context, making inappropriate noises, screaming/yelling, dropping to the ground and remaining there, attempting to leave an area/room, or leaving the area/r oom without teacher permission.

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72 Teacher behavior The following teacher behaviors were measured as defined: Specific praise statement Specific praise statements were defined as a positive declarative statement specifical ly directed to the target ch ild that describes the childs behavior (e.g., I was so proud of you when you tried to clean up the spilled rice). Non-specific praise statement Non-specific praise statements were defined as a positive declarative statement specifically dire cted to the target child that does not describe the childs behavior (e .g., awesome, super, way to go). Independent Variables Training in the use of specific praise st atements by the teacher in a child care center was the independent variable. For the purpose of this invest igation, a specific praise statement was a positive declarative stat ement specifically directed to the target child that describes the childs behavior (e .g., Great job putting all the cars in the red bin). Each teacher was trained to use specific praise statements with the target child as described in the following section. Teachers were trained individually by the i nvestigator in the use of specific praise statements. The teacher training was conducte d during a 1to 2-hour training session. The training included: definitions and examples of specific praise, videotape analysis, and guidance. The teachers were provided with a training manual, and videotapes of the teacher-child dyad during baseline data colle ction were to facilitate learning. A brief description of the teacher training follows in experimental procedures with a more detailed description provided in Appendix B.

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73 Data Collection Procedures Baseline and intervention sessions were vi deotaped for 5 minutes at least three times a week. Each session began with the prompt -2-1 begin in order to alert the data collector(s) to begin re cording. Each session ended with th e prompt stop in order to alert the data collector(s) to stop recording. Videotapi ng of 5-minute generalization probes occurred at least twice during the ba seline phase and every third session during the intervention phase. The same prompts indi cating the beginning and end of the session were utilized for the generalization probes. Teacher praise statements (specific and nonspecific); target childrens appropriate be havior (compliance); and problem behavior (aggression, disruption, and non-compliance) we re measured by examining the frequency of these behaviors during each videotaped session. The investigator viewed the videotapes and used paper and pencil to reco rd tally marks each tim e the teacher or the child demonstrated one of the behaviors. The data collection form for recording frequency of these behaviors can be found in Appendix C. Engagement was recorded using a partial interval recording system. The 5-minute session was divided into 100 intervals of 6 seconds each. While viewing the same videotaped sessions previously described a nd using paper and penc il, the investigator recorded engagement if it occurs at any time during the 6-second interval. The investigator used an audiotap e that cued 6-second interval s during the 5-minute sessions. The data collection form for measuring e ngagement can be found in Appendix D. Frequency measures were converted into rate per minute of behavior by dividing the frequency of behavior by the number of minutes observed and multiplying by 60. The percentage of intervals was calculated for engagement. To obtain a percentage of intervals, the number of intervals the target behavior occurred wa s divided by the total

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74 number of observed interval s. The ratio multiplied by 100 provided the percentage of intervals in which engagement occurred (Kazdin, 1982). Each session was viewed twice: (1) to m easure the percentage of times the target child complied and the rate of : target child problem behavior, teacher praise statements, teacher non-specific praise statements; and (2) to complete the measure of engagement. The dependent variables were coded on a data -recording sheet. The data collection form can be found in Appendix C. Interobserver Agreement The investigator served as the primary da ta collector for all 4 dyads. Videotapes were used to train a second data collector The investigator tr ained the second data collector until an 80% agreement was reach ed on three consecutive sessions across all behaviors. Interobserver agreement data were gather ed on 33-42% of the sessions across the baseline, intervention, and generalization phases across participants. Interobserver agreement for frequency behaviors was determined by computing a frequency ratio. The smaller total was divided by the larger total. The ratio was multiplied by 100 to form a percentage (Kazdin, 1982). Agreement for e ngagement, compliance, and non-compliance was calculated by dividing total agreements by the total agreements plus disagreements multiplied by 100 to provide a percentage (Richards, Taylor, Ramasamy, & Richards, 1999). Experimental Procedures Pre-experimental Phase Prior to beginning the investigation, investigator observed th e target child during a transition time for sessions to confirm the target child demonstrated problem behavior

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75 that interfered with his/her ability to partic ipate in the transition activity as designated by the teacher. In addition, during the pre-experimental phase, the investigator completed the Battelle Developmental Inventory [BDI] scr eening to rule out children who have a developmental delay (Newborg et al., 1988). The BDI screening is a comprehensive screening instrument that checks a childs cu rrent level of developm ent in the personal, social, adaptive, motor, communication, a nd cognition domains. In addition, the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Teacher Rating Fo rm (TRF) (Achenbach, 1997) was given to the teacher by the investigator. The C BCL TRF provides ratings from child care providers and teachers on what concerns them most about the child. The areas rated are: emotionally reactive, anxious/depressed, somatic complaints, withdrawn, attention problems, and aggressi ve behavior. Baseline Phase A transition time was videotaped for 5minute sessions, with a minimum of 3 sessions per week. Baseline data were gathered for at least 3 sessions until a stable trend was established. Data were gathered on the following behaviors: (1 ) teacher specific praise statements; (2) teacher non-specific pr aise statements; (3) target childs problem behavior (non-compliance, aggression, di sruption); (4) target childs engagement behavior; and (5) target ch ilds compliance and non-compliance behavior. For TeacherChild Dyad 1 and TeacherChild Dyad 2, baseline data began on the same day. Collection of baseline data continued with T eacher-Child Dyad 2 until a consistent trend was observed in the Teacher-Child Dyad 1 in tervention data, at which time intervention with Teacher-Child Dyad 2 began. The same pattern was replicated for Teacher-Child Dyad 3 and Teacher-Child Dyad 4. During baselin e, the teacher was inst ructed to interact with the child as he or she normally would during the tr ansition activity.

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76 Training Phase Following the establishment of a stable baseline, each teacher individually attended a 1to 2-hour training session. Th e session was conducted one day before the teacher began to use the intervention with th e target child. The teacher chose the time and place of the training session (within the ch ild care setting). The teacher was trained individually by the investigator and was inst ructed not to share the intervention with other teachers in their classroom or the ch ild care center throughout the course of the investigation. To assist in controlling for carryover effects and independence, prior to the start of teacher training each pa rticipating teacher signed a st atement that they would not share the intervention with the other teachers in their classroom or the center throughout the course of the investigation. The teacher training was conducted during a 1to 2-hour training session. A brief descri ption of the teacher training fo llows with a more detailed description provided in Appendix B. Training sessions Teacher training included: 1. A brief definition of appropria te and problem behavior for the target child was given to the teacher by the investigator. 2. An explanation of using specific praise st atements to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior with young children who are exhibiting problem behavior was discussed. 3. The meaning of specific praise statements was presented. a. Examples of specific praise statemen ts and non-specific praise statements were explained. b. Videotaped segments of the teacher and the child (videotapes from the baseline phase of the investigation) we re viewed by the i nvestigator and the teacher to find situations where specific praise statements might have been utilized. 4. Two verbal checks of understa nding of specific praise we re conducted for a criterion of 80% accuracy.

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77 a. The investigator read 10 pr aise statements aloud while the teacher read them silently. After each statement, the teach er indicated (using paper and pencil) if the statement was a specific praise statement or a non-specific praise statement. b. The teacher listened to 10 praise st atements previously recorded by the investigator. After each statement, the teacher indicated (using paper and pencil) if the statement was a specific praise statement or a non-specific praise statement. 5. Five cards with teacher-chosen examples of specific praise statements that might be used with the child were made for the t eacher by the investigator. The cards were laminated and magnetized (if needed) and posted near the tran sition activity. During training, the teacher was encourag ed to ask questions and contribute information. As soon as training was complete, the teacher was instructed in the use of specific praise statements during a transiti on activity. The inves tigator, during the preexperimental phase, observed the target child during the transition activity to confirm that the target child demonstrated problem behavior that interfer ed with his/her ability to participate in the transition activity. The teacher s use of specific praise statements was videotaped daily or as often as the dyad wa s available. Following teacher training, if the teacher was not using specific praise statements after se ssions, a coaching session was planned; however, an occasion to implemen t this component of the intervention was never warranted. Intervention Phase As soon as training was completed, the teacher was instructed to use specific praise statements during the transition activity. The teac her was instructed to post the previously made specific praise statement cards in easy view. The childs name was not visible on the cards. Additionally, the investigator provi ded a written note or email to the teacher following each intervention session to briefl y review the session. The note or email provided the teacher encouragement to continue to use specific praise statements during

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78 the following session. Furthermore, the note or email reminded the teacher of the next session. Once intervention data with Teacher 1 was st able or demonstrated an upward trend, intervention began with Teacher 2. Following the completion of the intervention phase with Teacher 1 and Teacher 2, the procedur es were replicated with Teacher 3 and Teacher 4. Generalization Generalization probes during the base line and intervention phases of the investigation were conducted to determine if the teachers use of specific praise statements generalized to a second transition. Sessions were videotaped for 5 minutes. Generalization probes were conducted at le ast twice during base line and every third session during the intervention phase. The same data procedures previously described were followed. Data and interobserver agreem ent were collected on the teachers use of specific and non-specific praise statements, as well as th e childs appropriate and problem behavior. Treatment Integrity The investigator, using the teacher training procedures previously discussed, conducted all training to ensure consistent training across t eachers. To identify the parts of the training conducted, the te acher and the investigator co mpleted a treatment integrity checklist (which was developed by the inves tigator) at the end of each teacher praise training session. The treatmen t integrity checklist can be found in Appendix D. Design A single-subject multiple baseline design across participants was used to conduct this investigation. Data collection began with the baseline phase for two of the dyads.

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79 Once the baseline behaviors were stable fo r Dyad 1, intervention began with Dyad 1 while baseline continued for Dyad 2. Followi ng a clear pattern in intervention data for Dyad 1, intervention began for Dyad 2. Ge neralization probes were taken during the baseline and intervention phases of the inve stigation. A replication began with the second two dyads after completing the investigati on with the first two dyads. A multiple baseline design across particip ants was appropriate for this investigation because it demonstrates the effectiveness of an interv ention with more than one participant who display similar behaviors targeted for change (Richards et al., 1999). The goal of this investigation was to learn if the effects of individual intervention, training, and implementation can effect change in a sm all group of participants (Kazdin, 1982). In order to examine the effectiveness of the intervention on the teachers behaviors as well as child target behavi or, the baseline and interventi on were graphically displayed for visual inspection of the results. The data were graphed followi ng each observation as line graphs that included baseline and interv ention data as well as generalization data. Visual inspection of the data was used to determine the reliability and consistent effectiveness of the interven tion (Tawney & Gast, 1984). Ea ch graph was inspected for (a) the magnitude of change fr om baseline to intervention, (b) the level of stability within the data points across phases, and (c) the trend of the data (Kazdin, 1982). Social Validity In order to examine each teachers percep tions of the intervention, a questionnaire was completed at the end of the inves tigation. This 4-item questionnaire was administered to determine if the teachers found the training and intervention to be a worthwhile addition to their child manageme nt techniques. A 5-poi nt Likert scale was

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80 used to determine the social validity and teachers opinions of the intervention. The intervention acceptability form can be found in Appendix E.

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81 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of an intervention provided to teacher s in a child care center to use with children exhibiting problem behavior. The research questions were : (a) Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise statements during a teacher-identified activity? (b) What is the eff ect of teachers use of specific praise statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children enrolled in a child care setting? (c) If specific praise statements increase after tr aining, will teachers use of specific praise statements generalize to an untrained setting? To investigate these questions, 4 teacher/ch ild dyads participated in the research. The participating teachers, who were selected by the directors of two child care centers UF-ERCCD and the UNF-CDRC, held at least a CDA certification. The participants were selected by their teachers based on the presence of problem behavior th at interfered with their ability to participate in classroom routines and activities. Childrens development and degree of their behavior problems were evaluated using standardized measures. Baseline data were collected regarding th e teachers use of sp ecific and non-specific praise statements, the participants appropr iate behavior (compliance and engagement) and participants problem behavior (non-co mpliance, disruption, aggression). During the intervention phase, the teachers were trained to use specific praise statements during a transition time. The effectiveness of the in tervention was measured by comparing teacher

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82 use of specific praise statements, child co mpliance, and child engagement as well as problem behavior before trai ning and after training. Data were also collected in an untrained setting during a second transition time to determine generalization of the intervention on teacher and participant behavior. A single-subject multiple baseline across participants was used. The dependent variables across all phases of the study were the teachers statemen ts and the childrens behavior. Baseline and intervention data we re completed with two dyads at the UFERCCD. The investigation was replicated 6 six weeks later at the UNF-CDRC. The remainder of the chapter reports results of the investigation by phases, including interobserver agreement data gr aphically displayed in Figures 4-1 through Figure 4-8. Baseline and Intervention TeacherChild Dyad 1 Baseline During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dy ad 1 was videotaped during a clean-up activity from a small group activity to a circle time. Data were collected from videotapes on the teachers use of specific praise stat ements, the target childs percentage of compliant and non-compliant response following a teacher request, and rate of aggression and disruption. Finally, the per centage of time the child was engaged was measured. As seen in Figures 4-1 to 4-4, baseline data were collected for 6 sessions until a stable trend occurred in Teacher 1s rate of specific and non-specific praise statements. During baseline, Teacher 1s specific and non-specific praise statements occurred at a low rate with specific praise statements ranging fr om 0.0/minute to 0.180/minute, with a mean occurrence of 0.03/minute. (See Figure 4-1.) Th e rate of non-specific praise statements

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83 by Teacher 1 ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.780/minute, with a mean rate of 0.330/minute. Child 1s non-compliance following a teacher request was variable and ranged from 29% to 91% with a mean level of non-compliance of 65% (see Figure 4-2). Child 1s compliance following a teacher request was variable and ranged from 8% to 71% with a mean level of compliance of 35% (see Figur e 4-2). Child 1s rate of disruption and aggression occurred at very low rates and ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.60/minute with a mean rate 0.154/minute (see Figure 4-3). Fina lly, Child 1s percentage of time engaged was variable, ranging form 28% to 94% with a mean percentage of time engaged of 55% (see Figure 4-4). Intervention Once baseline data stabilized, Teacher 1 was trained using the teacher training manual (Appendix B) to use specific praise statements in her classroom. The training, which was held at the UF-ERCCD, lasted tw o hours. The teacher completed both written checks with 100% accuracy. Following training, T eacher 1 was able to give examples of 5 specific praise statements that could be used during the targeted activity. Due to the holiday weekend, the intervention was implemented 3 days following training. Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 1 were collected over 7 sessions (see Figures 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4). During interven tion, Teacher 1s use of specific praise statements dramatically increased, ra nging from 1.20/minute to 2.258/minute with a mean level of 2.00/minute (see Figure 4-1). Th e magnitude of change in Teacher 1s use of specific praise statements from baselin e to intervention increased from 0.0/minute (during baseline) to 2.22/minute (during in tervention) and an overall positive mean change of 1.70/minute. There was little di fference (mean difference = 0.133) between baseline and intervention in the rate of non-specific praise statements, which ranged from

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84 0.0/minute to 0.420/minute during interven tion, with a mean of 0.197/minute. The magnitude of change from baseline to inte rvention in Teacher 1s use of non-specific praise statements was 0.780/mi nute (during baseline) to 0.420 (during intervention). Child 1s non-compliance following an adu lt request during intervention decreased significantly, ranging from 0% to 38% with a mean of 12.28% (see Figure 4-2). This represents a decrease of 52.72% in the mean percentage of non-compliance from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of difference in Child 1s non-compliance from baseline to intervention was from 56% (during baseline ) to 0% (during intervention). Child 1s compliance following an adult request incr eased considerably, ranging from 62% to 100% with a mean of 87.72% (see Figure 4-2). This represents an increase of 52% in mean percentage of compliance from base line to intervention. The magnitude of difference in Child 1s compliance from base line to intervention wa s from 44% (during baseline) to 100 % (dur ing intervention). There was little difference between the ra te of aggression an d disruption from baseline to intervention. The mean rate of aggression and disruption during intervention was 0.055/minute (see Figure 4-3). This is a re duction of 0.078/minut e from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of difference in aggression and disrupt ion from baseline to intervention was 0.60/minute (baseline) to 0.0/minute (interven tion). Finally, the percentage of time engaged during interven tion was 92%, which represents a positive change in a mean of 37% from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of difference in engagement from baseline to intervention was 68% (baseline) to 100% (intervention) (see Figure 4-4). This represents a moderate, but significant change in the percentage of time engaged from baseline to intervention.

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85 Teacher-Child Dyad 2 Baseline During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dy ad 2 was videotaped during clean-up from a small group activity to a circle time ac tivity. Data were collected from videotapes on Teacher 2s rate of specific and non-specific praise statemen ts, Child 2s percentage of compliant and non-compliant responses following a teacher request and Child 1s rate of aggression and disruption. Fina lly, the percentage of time Child 2 was engaged was measured. As seen in Figures 4-1 to 4-4, base line data were collected for 15 sessions until a stable trend occurred in Teacher 2s rate of specific and non-specific praise statements. During baseline, Teacher 2s specific praise st atements occurred at a low rate. Specific praise statements ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.180/minute, with the mean occurrence of 0.012/minute (see Figure 4-1). Te acher 2s rate of non-specifi c praise statements was 0.0/minute to 0.420/minute, with the mean rate of 0.092. Child 2s non-compliance following a teacher request was variable and ra nged from ranged from 0% to 89% with a mean level of non-compliance of 55% (see Fi gure 4-2). Child 2s compliance following a teacher request was also variable and ra nged from 11% to 100% with a mean level of compliance of 44.67% (see Figure 4-2). Child 2s rate of disruption and aggression occurred at moderately low rates and range d from 0.0/minute to 1.38/minute with a mean rate of disruption and aggr ession of 0.268/minute (see Figure 4-3). Finally, Child 2s percentage of time engaged was variable, ranging from 20% to 90% with a mean percentage of engaged time of 65.6%. Intervention Once the baseline was stabilized, Teacher 2 was trained using the teacher training manual as described in Chapter 3 to use speci fic praise statements in her classroom. The

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86 training was held at the Educa tional Research Center for Ch ild Development and lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. The teacher completed both written checks with 100% accuracy. Following training, Teacher 2 was able to give examples of 4 specific praise statements that could be used during the targeted activit y. The principal investig ator provided a fifth example. Teacher 2 implemented the inte rvention the day following training. Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 2 were collected over 4 sessions (see Figures 4-1 to 4-4). During intervention Teach er 2s use of specific praise statements dramatically increased, ranging from 1.20/mi nute to 1.620/minute, with a mean level 1.455/minute (see Figure 4-1). The magnitude of change in Teacher 2s use of specific praise statements from baseli ne to intervention increased from 0.0/minute (baseline) to 1.620/minute (intervention) with an overall positive mean change of 1.443/minute. There was a slight difference (mean of 0.253/minute) between baseline and intervention in the rate of non-specific praise statements, which ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.780/minute during intervention, with a mean of 0.345/mi nute. The magnitude of change from baseline to intervention in Teacher 2s use of non-specific praise statements was 0.0/minute (baseline) to 0.180/ minute (intervention). Child 2s non-compliance following an adu lt request during intervention decreased notably, ranging from 0% to 25% with a mean of 15.5% (Figure 4-2). The magnitude of change in non-compliance from baseline to intervention was from 71% (baseline) to 25% (intervention). Child 2s compliance followi ng an adult request in creased significantly, ranging from 75% to 100% with a mean of 84. 5% (Figure 4-2). The magnitude of change in compliance from baseline to interven tion was from 29% (baseline) to 75% intervention. There was a slight change in the rate of aggression and disruption from baseline to intervention. The range of disr uption and aggression during intervention was

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87 0.0/minute to 0.360/minute with a mean rate of aggression and disr uption of 0.09/minute. This is a reduction of 0.178/minute from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of change in aggression and disruption from baseline to intervention was 0.180/minute to 0.0/minute. The mean percent occurrence of engagement was 90%. This represents a positive change of 24.4% in the mean percentage of engagement from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of change in e ngagement from baseline to intervention was 50% to 92%. Teacher-Child Dyad 3 Baseline During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dyad 3 was videotaped during the transition from circle time to teacher-directed liter acy activities. Data were collected from videotapes on Teacher 3s use of specific and non-specific praise statements, Child 3s percentage of compliant a nd non-compliant responses follo wing a teacher request, and rate of aggression and disruption. Finally, th e percentage of time Child 3 was engaged was measured. As seen in Figures 4-5 to 48, baseline data were collected for 4 sessions until a stable trend occurred in Teacher 3s rate of sp ecific and non-specific praise. During baseline, both Teacher 3s specific pr aise statements and non-specific praise statements occurred at a rate of 0.0/minut e (see Figure 4-5). Child 3s non-compliance following a teacher request was fairly stable and ranged from 75% to 100% with a mean level of non-compliance of 87.6% (see Figure (4-6). Child 3s compliance behavior following a teacher request was also fairly st able, ranging from 0% to 25% with a mean level of compliance of 11.25%. Child 3s rate of disruption and aggression was variable and occurred at relatively low rates, rangi ng from 0.0/minute to 1.02 /minute with a mean

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96 level of disruption and aggression of 0.45/ mi nute (see Figure 4-7). Finally, Child 3s percentage of time engaged was exceptionally low, ranging from 0% to 38% with a mean percentage of time engaged of 17.5% (see Figure 4-8). Intervention Once the baseline was stabilized, Teacher 3 was trained using the teacher training manual described in Chapter 3 to use specifi c praise statements in her classroom. The training was held at UNF-CDRC and last ed 1 hour and 30 minutes. The teacher completed written check one with 100% accuracy and written check two with 90% accuracy. Following training, Teacher 3 was able to give examples of 5 specific praise statements that could be used during the targeted activity. Teacher 3 implemented the intervention the afternoon following training. Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 3 were collected over 5 sessions (see Figures 4-5 to 4-8). During intervention, Teach er 3s use of specific praise statements significantly increased, ranging from 0.78/minute to 1.02/ minute, with a mean level of 0.924 /minute (see Figure 4-5). The magnitude of change in Teacher 3s use of specific praise statements from baseli ne to intervention was from 0. 0/minute (during baseline) to 0.780 /minute (during intervention) with an overall positive mean change of 0.780/minute. There was little difference (m ean = 0.036/minute) between baseline and intervention in the rate of non-specific pr aise statements, which ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.18 /minute during intervention with a mean of 0.036/ minute. The magnitude of change from baseline to intervention in Teach er 3s use of non-specific praise statements was 0.0/minute (during baseline) to 0.036/ minute (during intervention). Child 3s non-compliance following a t eacher request during intervention was variable, ranging from 0% to 83%, with a mean of 23.2%. (see Figure 4-6). This

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97 represents a significant reduc tion of 64.4% in the mean percentage of non-compliance from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of change in Child 3s non-compliance from baseline to intervention was 100% (during baseline) to 83% (during intervention). Child 3s compliance following a teacher reque st during intervention was also variable, ranging from 17% to 100%, with a mean of 76.8% This is a notable increase of 65.5% in the mean percentage of compliance from baseline to interventi on. The magnitude of change in Child 3s compliance to interventi on was 0% (baseline) to 17% (intervention). From baseline to intervention, there was little di fference in the rate of aggression or in the rate of disruption. The range of aggre ssion and disruption during intervention was 0.0/minute to 0.42 /minute. The mean rate of aggression a nd disruption during intervention was 0.84 /minute (see Figure 4-7). This is a reduction of 0.366 /minute of aggression and disruption from baseline to in tervention. The magnitude of change from baseline to intervention was 0. Finally, the percentage of time engaged during intervention was 95.5%. This represents a posi tive change in the mean of 53.5% baseline to intervention. The magnitude of differe nce in baseline to intervention was 26% (baseline) to 28% (intervention) (See Figure 4-8.) This represen ts very little change in the percentage of time engaged fr om baseline to intervention. Teacher-Child Dyad 4 Baseline During baseline, sessions, Teacher-Child Dyad 4 was videotaped from clean-up after free play to circle time. Data were co llected from videotapes on Teacher 4s use of specific and non-specific praise statements, Child 4s perc entage of compliant and noncompliant responses following a teacher request, and rate of aggression and disruption. Finally, the percentage of time Child 4 was e ngaged was measured. As seen in Figures 4-

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98 5 to 4-8, baseline data were collected over 6 sessions until a stable trend occurred in Teacher 4s rate of specific and non-specific praise statements. During baseline, Teacher 4s both specific and non-specific praise statem ents occurred at a low rate with specific praise statements at 0.0/minute and non-sp ecific praise statements ranging from 0.0/minute to 0.199/minute with a mean of 0.033/minute (see Figure 4-5). Child 4s noncompliance following a teacher request was va riable, ranging from 33% to 100% with a mean level of non-compliance of 85.5% (see Figure 4-6). Child 4s compliance following a teacher request was variable, ranging from 0% to 67% with a mean level of compliance of 14.5% (see Figure 4-6). Child 4s disrupti on and aggression did not occur. Finally, Child 4s percentage of time engaged wa s variable, ranging from 48% to 78% with a mean percentage of engagement of 66.7% (see Figure 4-8). Intervention Once the baseline data stabilized, Teacher 4 was trained using the teacher training manual (Appendix B) to use specific praise statements in his classroom. The training was held at UNF-CDRC and lasted 1 hour. The teacher completed both written checks with 100% accuracy. Following training, Teach er 4 was able to give examples of 5 specific praise statements that could be used during the target ed activity. Teacher 4 implemented the intervention 1 day after training. Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 4 were collected over 5 sessions (see Figures 4-5 to 4-8). During intervention, Teach er 4s use of specific praise statements increased, ranging from 0.399/minute to 0.6 /minut e, with a mean level of 0.559 /minute. The magnitude of change in Teacher 4s use of specific praise statements from baseline to intervention increased from 0.0/minute (during baseline) to 0.6/minute (during intervention) with an overall positive mean change of 0.6/minute. There was a change

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99 (mean difference=0.321 ) between baseline and intervention in the rate of non-specific praise statements, which ranged from 0.19/minute to 0.799 /minute during intervention, with a mean of 0.354 /minute. There was no magnitude of change from baseline to intervention in Teacher 4s use of non-specific praise statements. Child 4s non-compliance following a teacher request during intervention decreased considerably, ranging from 0% to 28% with a mean of 14% (see Figure 4-6). This represents a decrease of 71.5% in th e mean percentage of non-compliance from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of change from baseline to intervention was from 100% (during baseline) to 28% (during intervention). Child 4s compliance following a teacher request during intervention increased from 72% to 100% with a mean of 86% (see Figure 4-6). The magnitude of ch ange from baseline to intervention was from 0% (during baseline) to 72% (duri ng intervention). Aggr ession and disruption remained at 0.0/minute during the interventi on phase of the inves tigation. Finally, the percentage of time engaged during interven tion was 92.25%, which represents a positive change in the mean 25.5% from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of change from baseline to intervention was 68% (baseline) to 89% (interve ntion) (see Figure 4-8). This represents a small, but notable change in th e time engaged from base line to intervention. Summary of Baseline and Intervention Findings Following training, the 4 teachers who served as participants in this study increased their rate of praise statements with no a dditional coaching sessions required. However, the teachers were provided with daily feedb ack via a handwritten note or email. For example, the researcher wrote Teacher 1: You did a wonderful job giving N. specific praise statements today. Keep up the good work! I will see you on Thursday. E. As the teachers specific praise statements increas ed, the target childrens non-compliance

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100 decreased, while compliance and engagement increased. Aggression and disruption also decreased as teachers specific praise statements increased. Teacher 1 significantly increased her specific praise statements with a positive mean change of 1.70/minute from baseline to intervention. Her non-specific praise statements decreased sligh tly with a mean change of 0.133. Child 1s appropriate behavior (compliance and engagement) incr eased following the intr oduction of specific praise statements. His comp liance response following a teacher request increased considerably with a positive mean change of 52% from baseline to intervention. His engaged time increased moderately from base line to intervention with a mean change of 32%. Child 1s problem behavior (non-complia nce, aggression, and disruption) decreased following the introduction of specific praise statements. His non-compliance following a teacher request decreased with a mean cha nge of 52.72% from baseline to intervention. Although the rate of aggression a nd disruption was relatively lo w for Child 1 there was a mean decrease from baseline to intervention of 0.078/minute. Teacher 2 dramatically increased her specific praise statements with a positive mean change of 1.455/minute from baseline to intervention. Her non-specific praise statements increased slightly with a mean change of 0.345/ minute. Child 2s appropriate behavior (compliance and engagement) incr eased following the intr oduction of specific praise statements. His comp liance response following a teacher request increased moderately with a positive mean change of 39.83 % from baseline to intervention. His engaged time increased moderately from base line to intervention with a mean change of 24.4 %. Child 1s problem behavior (noncompliance, aggression, and disruption) decreased following the introduc tion of specific praise stat ements. His non-compliance following a teacher request decr eased with a mean change of 39.6 % from baseline to

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101 intervention. Although the rate of aggression and disruption was relatively low for Child 2, there was a decrease in the mean change fr om baseline to intervention of 0.178/minute. Teacher 3 noticeably increased her specific praise statements with a positive mean change of 0.924/minute from baseline to inte rvention. Her non-specific praise did not change from baseline to intervention. Child 3s appropriate beha vior (compliance and engagement) increased following the introduc tion of specific prai se statements. His compliance response following a teacher reque st increased significan tly with a positive mean change of 65.5 % from baseline to inte rvention. His engaged time also increased significantly from baseline to intervention with a mean change of 53.3 %. Child 3s problem behavior (non-compliance, aggre ssion, and disruption) d ecreased following the introduction of specific praise statements His non-compliance following a teacher request decreased considerab ly with a mean change of 64.4 % from baseline to intervention. Although the rate of aggressi on and disruption was moderately low for Child 3, there was a decrease in the mean ch ange from baseline to intervention of 0.366/minute. Teacher 4 moderately increased his specific praise statements from baseline to intervention with a positive mean change of 0.6/minute. His non-sp ecific praise changed slightly from baseline to intervention with a positive mean change of 0.321/minute. Child 4s appropriate behavior (compliance and engagement) increased following the introduction of specific praise statements. His compliance response following a teacher request increased significantly with a positive mean change of 71.5 % from baseline to intervention. His engaged time increased mode rately from baseline to intervention with a mean change of 25.5 %. Child 4s aggre ssion and disruption remained at 0.0/minute following the introduction of specific praise statements. His non-compliance following a

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102 teacher request decreased considerably with a mean change of 71.5 % from baseline to intervention. Generalization Teacher-Child Dyad 1 Transition from outside play to inside was selected as the generalization setting for Teacher-Child Dyad 1. Generalization data were collected twice during baseline and twice during intervention. Data were collect ed from videotapes on Teacher 1s use of specific and non-specific praise statements and Child 1s compliance, non-compliance, disruption, aggression, and engage ment in the activity. During baseline, Teacher 1s use of specific praise statements was 0.0/minute. Teacher 1s mean use of non-specific praise statements were 0.09/minute (0.0/minute a nd 0.180/minute). Child 1s non-compliance following a teacher request was 67% for both baseline generalization sessions. Child 1s compliance following a teacher directive was 33% for both generalization sessions. Child 1s disruption and aggression occurred at a rate of 0.180/minute and 0.420/minute (M=0.255/minute). Child 1s engagement in the activity was 40% and 86% of the time with a mean level of engagement of 63%. Similar to findings during the intervention sessions, Teacher 1s use of specific praise statements increased in the genera lization setting following intervention. Teacher 1s use of specific praise statements during generalization was 2.4/minute and 2.82/minute (M=2.61/minute). Her use of non-specific praise statements during generalization was 0.180/minute and 0.420/minute (M=0.03/minute). The rate of child non-compliance in the generalization phase dur ing intervention was 13% and 29% with a mean level of non-compliance of 21%. This represents an increase of 46% during generalization from baseline to intervention. The rate of aggression and disruption was

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103 0.0/minute and 0.180/minute (M=0.045). This is a decrease of 0.21/minute during generalization from baseline to intervention. Th e percentage of time of child engagement in the generalization setting during interventi on was 50% and 86% with a mean level of 68% of time engaged. This is an increas e of 5% from baseline to intervention. Teacher-Child Dyad 2 Transition from outside to play inside was selected as the generalization setting for Teacher-Child Dyad 2. Generalization data were collected three times during baseline and once during intervention. Data were collect ed from videotapes on Teacher 2s use of specific and non-specific praise statements and Child 2s compliance, non-compliance, disruption, aggression, and engage ment in the activity. During baseline, Teacher 2s use of specific praise statements ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.18/minute with a mean of 0.12/minute. Teacher 2s mean use of nonspecific praise statements was 0.012/minute (range 0.0/minute 0.180/minute). Target Child 2s compliance following a teacher request ranged from 25% to 65% with a m ean of 44%. Child 2s compliance following a teacher request ranged from 33% to 75% with a mean of 56%. Child 2s disruption and aggression ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.18/minut e with a mean of .06/minute. Child 2s engagement in the activity during generalizati on ranged from 74% to 96% with a mean of 88.6%. Similar to findings during the intervention sessions, Teacher 2s use of specific praise statements increased in the genera lization setting following intervention. Teacher 2s use of specific praise statements duri ng the generalization pha se was 1.399/minute. This represents an increase of 1.387/minut e during generalization from baseline to intervention. Her use of non-specific prai se statements during generalization was 0.0/minute. This represents a decrease of 0.012/minute during this phase. The rate of

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104 child non-compliance in the generalization phase during in tervention was 14%. The rate of child compliance during this phase was 86%. When compared to the mean, this represents an increase of 30% from baseli ne to intervention during the generalization phase. The rate of aggression and disrupti on was 0.018/minute. When compared to the mean, this is an increase of 0.12/minute from baseline to intervention during the generalization phase. The percentage of time of child engagement in the generalization setting during intervention was 98%. This is an increase of 9.4% compared to the mean of baseline engagement from baseline to intervention. Teacher-Child Dyad 3 Transition from a teacher-direc ted literacy activity to cl ean-up was selected as the generalization setting for Teacher-Child Dyad 3. Generalization data were collected twice baseline and twice during intervention. Da ta were collected from videotapes on the teachers use of specific and non-specific pr aise statements and Child 3s compliance, non-compliance, disruption, aggression, and enga gement in the activity. During baseline, Teacher 3s use of specific praise statemen ts was 0.0/minute. Teacher 3s mean use of non-specific praise statemen ts was 0.09/minute (0.0/minut e and 0.180/minute). Child 3s non-compliance following a teacher request was 100% for both baseline generalization sessions. Child 3s compliance following a t eacher directive was 0% for both baseline generalization sessions. Child 3s disruption and aggression occurred at a rate of 0.0/minute for both generalization sessions. Chil d 3s engagement in the activity was 0% for both generalization sessions. Similar to findings during the intervention sessions, Teacher 3s use of specific praise statements increased in the genera lization setting following intervention. Teacher 3s use of specific praise statements during generalization was 0.42/minute for each

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105 observation with a mean increase of 0.42/minut e from baseline to in tervention during the generalization phase. Her use of non-specific pr aise during the generalization remained at 0.0/minute for both sessions. The rate of ch ild non-compliance in the generalization phase during intervention was 40% and 0% w ith a mean level of non-compliance of 20%. The rate of child compliance in the genera lization phase was 60% and 100% with a mean level of compliance of 80%. This represen ts an increase of 80% during generalization from baseline to intervention. The rate of aggression and disruption was 1.2/minute and 0.0/minute (M=0.06/minute). This represen ts an increase of 0.06/minute during generalization from baseline to intervention. Th e percentage of time of child engagement in the generalization setting during interventi on was 32% and 88% with a mean level of 60% of time engaged. This is an increase of 60% from baseline to intervention. Teacher-Child Dyad 4 Transition from snack to quiet reading was se lected as the generalization setting for the Teacher-Child Dyad 4. Generalization data were collected twice during baseline and twice during intervention. Data were collect ed from videotapes on Teacher 4s use of specific and non-specific praise statements and Child 4s compliance, non-compliance, disruption, aggression and engage ment in the activity. During baseline, Teacher 4s use of specific praise statements and non-speci fic praise statements was 0. Child 4s noncompliance following a teachers directiv e was 40% and 83% (M=61.5%). Child 4s compliance following a teachers directiv e was 60% and 17% (M=38.5%). Child 4s aggression and disruption occurred at a rate of 0.06/minute and 0.42/minute (M=0.24/minute). Child 4s engagement in the activity was 44% and 50% of the time with a mean level of engagement of 47%.

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106 Similar to findings during the intervention sessions, Teacher 4s use of specific praise statements increased in the generalization setting following intervention. Teacher 4s use of specific praise statements during both sessions of generalization was 0.42/minute. This represents an increase in the mean from baselin e to intervention of 0.42/minute. His use of non-specific praise statements was 0.0/minute and 0.18/minute (M=0.09/minute). The rate of child non-comp liance in the genera lization phase during intervention was 0% for both sessions. The rate of child compliance in the generalization phase during intervention was 100% for both se ssions. This represents an increase of 61.5% during generalization from baseline to intervention. The rate of aggression and disruption was 0.0/minute for both sessions durin g generalization. This is a decrease of 0.24/minute during generalization from baseline to intervention. The percentage of time of child engagement in the generalization setting during intervention was 100% for both sessions. This is an increase of 53% of time engaged from baseline to intervention. Summary Data were taken during the baseline and intervention dur ing a generalization setting that included a second transition activity to determine if the teachers use of specific praise statements generalized to a second se tting and if target childrens behaviors changed in the generalization setting. As with the intervention setting, all teachers demonstrated an increase in specific prai se statements followi ng training. However, Teacher 1s (M=2.61) and Teacher 2s (M=1.387) rates of specific praise increased at a much higher rate than Teacher 3s (M=0.42/ minute) and Teacher 4s (M=0.42) rates of specific praise. Non-specific praise was va riable across the four teachers. Teacher 1 decreased her use of non-specific praise following training (M=0.012/minute). Teacher 2 slightly increased her non-specific praise statements (M =0.03/minute) following training.

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107 Teacher 3s non-specific praise statements remained at 0 from baseline to intervention. Teacher 4s rate of non-specific praise while relatively low demonstrated the largest increase (M=0.09/minute). Similar to the intervention setting, all the target children increased their appropriate behavior (compliance and engagement) in th e generalization setting from baseline to intervention. Following a teacher request, Child 1 (M=46%) increased his compliance. His engaged time increased slightly (M=5%) from baseline to intervention. Child 2s rate of compliance following a teacher request increased in the ge neralization setting (M=30%). His engaged time increased slightly (M=9.4%). Child 3s rate of compliance increased significantly from baseline to interv ention (M=80%), and hi s engaged time also demonstrated an increase (M=60%). Child 4s rate of compliance increased significantly from baseline to interventi on during the generalization setting (M=61.5%), and his engaged time also increased (M=47%). The 4 target childre n decreased their noncompliant behavior in the gene ralization setting, but 2 childr en increased their rates of aggression and disruption from baseline to intervention. Following a teacher request, Child 1 decreased non-compliance 46% fr om baseline to intervention during generalization. Aggression and disruption also decreased 0.2/minute in the generalization setting from baseline to intervention. Child 2 decreased non-compliance 30% from baseline to intervention in the generaliza tion setting. Aggression and disruption, while exhibited at low levels, increased slightly 0.12/minute from baseline to intervention. Child 3 decreased non-compliance 80% fr om baseline to intervention in the generalization setting. Aggression and disr uption increased during this phase of generalization (M=0.06/minute). This increase may be attributed to 1 day when the transition routine was not followed due to inclement weather. Child 4 decreased non-

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108 compliance 61.5% from baseline to interventi on during the generaliza tion setting. Child 4 also decreased aggression and disrupti on 0.24/minute from baseline to intervention. Interobserver Agreement Interobserver agreement was calculated on each dyads sessions across baseline, intervention, and generalization phases. The researcher and a secondary data collector independently viewed the videotapes to dete rmine agreement. For Teacher-Child Dyad 1, interobserver agreement was calculated on 47% of the sessions and ranged from 84.6% to 100%. Mean agreement was 95.2%. For Teacher-Child Dyad 2, interobserver agreement was calculated on 33% of the sessions and ranged from 86.8% to 100%. Mean agreement was 94%. For Teacher-Child Dyad 3, interobs erver agreement was calculated on 38% of the sessions and ranged from 89.9 % to 97.8% with a mean agreement of 93.5%. Finally, for Teacher-Child Dyad 4, interobserver agreement was calculated on 33% of the sessions. Interobserver agreement ranged from 83.9% to 98% with agreement of 91.8%. Treatment Integrity The investigator used the teacher traini ng procedures previously discussed in Chapter 3 to conduct all training sessions with the teachers (see Appendix B). The teacher and the investigator completed a treatm ent fidelity checklist (see Appendix D) at the end of each training sessi on to ensure that all traini ng steps were completed. The training steps were completed 100% of the time for all 4 teachers. Social Validation Following the completion of the investig ation, participating teachers completed a social validity questionnaire to obtain information regardi ng their satisfaction with the intervention (see Appendix D). Specifically, the teachers completed 4 questions using a

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109 5-point Likert scale. The ques tions addressed the usefulness and the effectiveness of the intervention. The results indicated that Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 found the training to be somewhat time-consuming while Teacher 3 and Teacher 4 indicated that the training was not at all time-consuming; the range of res ponses was 1 to 3 with a mean of 1.75. Three teachers indicated that the intervention was ve ry helpful to the classroom while Teacher 2 indicated that it was helpful; the range of responses was 4 to 5 with a mean of 4.75. The teachers all noted that the intervention had a positive effect on increasing the target childs appropriate behavior. A ll 4 teachers responded with a 4 rating. Finally, 3 teachers indicated that they were very likely to use the intervention in the future while Teacher 2 indicated that she was likely to use it in the future; the range of responses was 4 to 5 with a mean of 4.75. Summary The purpose of this investigation was to determine if 4 teachers holding at least a CDA certification implemented the use of speci fic praise statements following training. In addition, this investigation examined the potential effects of a change in teachers use of specific praise statements on the appropria te and problem behavior demonstrated by target children. Finally, an examination of the generalization of pr aise statements to a second untrained setting was investigated. The data indicate that the teachers implemented the use of specific praise st atements following training. The data also indicate that, following an increase in speci fic praise statements, the target childrens engagement in the activity increased a nd non-compliance decreased. Furthermore, although aggression and disruption occurred at very low rates in both baseline and intervention conditions across th e participants, there was also a slight decrease in these

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110 behaviors following the teachers use of a speci fic praise statement. A noteworthy finding was that the use of specific praise statemen ts generalized to a second untrained setting with similar results. The results of the social validation conf irmed these findings. The teachers agreed that the intervention was useful and time-effic ient. They also agreed that: (a) they were likely to use the intervention in the future and (b) target childre ns behavior improved following the intervention.

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111 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study was designed to investigate teach ers ability to implement a strategy of specific praise statements following trai ning. The study further investigated the effectiveness of teachers us e of specific praise statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children enrolled in child care centers. Finally, the study examined whether, following training, teach ers would generalize the specific praise statements to a second untrained setting. The following questions were addressed: 1. Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise statements during a teacher-identified activity? 2. What is the effect of teachers use of sp ecific praise statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children en rolled in a child care setting? 3. If specific praise statements increase after training, will teachers use of specific praise statements generalize to an untrained setting? The participants included 4 teacher-child dyads. The teachers held at least a CDA degree. Two teachers were employed at the UF-ERCCD, and 2 were employed at the UNF-CDRC. The children, who ranged in ag e from 2 years 9 months to 4 years 4 months, displayed problem behavi ors that interfered with thei r ability to participate in daily activities. Target children were judged to have problem behavior in the clinical range as indicated by a clinic ally significant score on th e CBCL-TRF (Achenbach, 1997). However, a developmental screening [BDI-S (Newborg et al., 1988)] did not indicate

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112 developmental delays ruling out a need fo r further assessment in the domains of cognition, speech-language, or motor skills. A single-subject, multiple-baseline design across subjects was used to assess teacher use of specific praise statements, the effectiveness of the specific praise statements on appropriate and problem behavi or of children, and teachers ability to generalize specific praise statements. The study began with data collection on TeacherChild Dyad 1 and Teacher-Child Dyad 2. The study was replicated 6 weeks later with Teacher-Child Dyad 3 and Teacher-Child Dyad 4. There were three phases of the invest igation: baseline, intervention, and generalization. Baseline data were collected on the teachers use of specific and nonspecific praise statements and the children s compliance and non-compliance following a teacher request. In addition, the childrens rates of aggression and disruption were measured. Finally, data were collected on th e percentage of time the children were engaged in the activity. During the base line and intervention phases of the study, generalization data on the teachers use of sp ecific and non-specific praise statements and childrens compliance and non-compliance following a teacher request were collected in the untrained setting. In addition, data were collected on the target childrens rates of aggression and disruption as we ll as their time engaged in the generalization activity. Summary of Research Findings The investigation obtained positive results regarding: (a) teache rs ability to use specific praise statements following training a nd (b) the effectiveness of specific praise statements in influencing appropriate and pr oblem behavior of young children enrolled in a child care setting. The invest igation has several strengths that may impact future investigations. First, there was replica tion across settings, teachers, and children.

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113 Although the settings were both university-aff iliated child care centers, UF-ERCCD is a larger center that serves more children of a wider age range, is more ethnically diverse, and has a larger majority of children w hose parents are students. The teachers had comparable levels of education, but they were a diverse group in gender, race, and age. For example, of the 4 teachers, 1 was ma le, 2 were African-American, and 2 were Caucasian. The study was also replicated ac ross children of varyi ng ages. The first 2 children were 2 years 11 months and 3 year s 8 months. The second 2 children were 3 years 10 months and 4 years 3 months. Sec ond, there was good intern al validity on 2 of the 4 teacher-child dyads that ruled out alternative hypotheses. Third, the intervention was generalized across settings and participants The teachers in both centers were able to incorporate the intervention into the second setting, and the children reacted positively in the second setting. Fourth, there was good social validity. Each teacher responded that the intervention was helpful in the short-te rm and useful for future children. Limitations Factors that may have impacted the findi ngs of this study should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results. The children all had problem behaviors that interfered with their ability to participate in classroom activities, but were typically developing across other developmental domains. It is unknown if similar results could be replicated for children with problem beha viors that also demonstrated developmental delays in cognition, speech-language, or mo tor domains. The teacher participants had many years of experience and high levels of education. It is not know n if similar results could be replicated for teachers with less experience and education. Furthermore, the investigation took place within NAEYC-accredite d, university-based child care centers. It is not known if similar results would be obtaine d in less-than-optimal child care settings.

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114 Therefore, the generality of the findings may be limited to participants with other characteristics and across settings. The researcher did not return to the cl assrooms to investigate any maintenance effects of the training. It is not know if the classroom teacher continued to use specific praise statements once the investigation ende d. Furthermore, it is not know if the child continued to sustain improvements after the conclusion of the investigation. This investigation was conducted on 4 teach er-child dyads. Clea rly, replication is needed in order to extend the findings. Additionally, the number of specific praise statements by the teachers was variable. Alt hough the researcher taught the teachers to embed specific praise statements within the activity, a target number of specific praise statements was not provided. The type and ra te of statements may have impacted the childrens behavioral responses; too many stat ements may have lessoned the impact of the statements while too few may not have b een enough to change the childs behavior. Another limitation may be reactiv ity to the presence of the pr incipal investigator and the video camera in the classroom during all pha ses of the investigation. The principal investigators presence may ha ve introduced a high level of r eactivity as the teachers and, to a lesser extent, the child ren knew their behavior was being monitored (Kazdin, 1982). Although the principal investigat or and the video camera were present during baseline, it was not until after interven tion training that they were aware of the behavioral expectations. Potentially, the teachers may not ha ve given specific praise statements if the principal investigator had not been present. A final limitation was that the interventions for Teacher-Child Dyad 1 and TeacherChild Dyad 2 were introduced when compliance was exhibiting an upward trend. Therefore, determining if the intervention impacted the childrens behavior in these dyads

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115 is unclear. However, the mean change as we ll as the magnitude of change from baseline to intervention was substantial, suggesting that the intervention did impact the childrens behavior. Although there are limitations, the findings indicate that, following intervention changes in teacher behaviors did occur and positive changes in the childrens behavior occurred as well. Discussion of Findings These current findings are supported by prev ious research on the use of specific praise statements as timeefficient and effective in tervention (Dobrinski, 2004). Furthermore, previous research has suggest ed that allowing the teachers to choose the child and the behavior to praise has been shown to increase the likelihood that the teachers will apply the strategy to a target child (Wills, 2002). In addition, Freeland (2003) used modeling, practice and feedback to train teachers to use a praise intervention with children exhibiting problem behavior The current study demonstrated similar findings. Therefore, including these components in a teacher training program to reduce problem behaviors may be important for su ccessful implementation of the training. For example, in the current study, the teachers were provided with information about childrens behavior as well as their own res ponses to the behavior. With the researcher, the teachers viewed videotapes of themselves interacting with the target child; and opportunities to use specific praise statements were discussed. The teachers were given verbal and written checks of understandi ng and provided themselves with reminder prompts of specific praise statements. Th roughout the intervention phase, the teachers were provided with daily feedback on their us e of specific praise statements during the identified activity. Finally, the training wa s provided on an individual basis. Following

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116 training, the findings suggested that the teacher s were able to implement specific praise statements with the children. The teachers use of specific praise statements was variable. Teacher 1 provided the highest rate of specific praise, and Teach er 2 and Teacher 3 provided a similar but slightly lower rate of specific praise than Teacher 1. Teacher 4 provided the lowest rate of praise. Although Teacher 4s specific praise occu rred at a lower rate in comparison to the other teachers, it did increase following training, but remained at a lower, but stable rate with daily feedback. One interesting finding was that Child 4 had the lowest rate of problem behavior. This finding may have impacted the teachers performance on specific praise statements. Following the intervention phase of the tr aining, Teacher 2 and Teacher 4 increased their use of non-specific praise statements as well. These resu lts are similar to a previous study where the teacher increased specific and non-specific praise (Sutherland et al. 2000). Although an increase in non-specific pr aise statements was not a part of the intervention training, both teachers began usi ng non-specific praise at a higher rate following training. It is unclear why this ch ange occurred, but this may have had an impact on the change in behavior of Child 2 a nd Child 4. It is possibl e that the changes in the childrens behavior may be attributed to an overall increase in positive feedback rather than to an increase in specific praise statements. The current investigation also evaluate d the generalization of responses across phases. Generalization probes were taken at least twice during the baseline phase and every third session during the intervention phase The probes were in place to determine if teacher training in the use of specific pr aise statements would be implemented by the teacher in a second untrained setting. The teachers did increase their use of specific

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117 praise statements in the second setting. Howeve r, Teacher 3 used a lower rate of specific praise statements during the ge neralization setting than in th e treatment setting. This may have been due to the fact that the sec ond transition followed two teacher-directed activities (large group circle time, small group literacy activity) and was particularly problematic for Child 3. Teacher 3 may have had fewer opportunities to provide specific praise statements. Overall, the findings i ndicated that all 4 t eachers were able to implement the intervention in a second sett ing. Furthermore, the children responded positively to the addition of specific prai se statements in the second setting. Future Research Directions The current study investigated the use of specific praise statem ent on the behavior of children. However, due to a slight in crease in non-specific pr aise statements by 2 teachers, the results do not firmly establish wh ether specific praise statements alone were the cause of the behavioral change in 2 of the children. Previous praise research has primarily investigated the teachers use of e ither specific praise (Drobrinski, 2004; Smith, 2004; Sutherland & Wehby, 2001; Sutherland et al., 2000) or non-specific praise (Freeland, 2003; Marten et al., 1997; Wills, 2002 ) to increase appropriate behavior in children. However, Sutherland et al. (2000) in vestigated the use of specific praise and reported results similar to the present study: the teacher also increased non-specific praise. Future research should be conducted to learn if specific praise is a more powerful intervention. The study determined that child care teacher s with at least a CDA credential can be successfully trained to use specific praise statements with a target child. Previous research studies with teachers do not provide the teachers levels of education within the early childhood setting (Hiral all & Martens, 1998; Smith, 2004; Webster-Stratton et al.,

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118 2001). Given the limited number of studies conducted in child care centers (Gross et al., 2003), future research should examine the effect iveness of the training with teachers in child care centers who do not have a CDA credential. Another area of future research may be the effect of the intervention of children with developmental delays and problem be havior. The study examined in child care centers the effectiveness of an intervention strategy on children w ith problem behavior without suspected development delays. Previ ous research has examined the effective parental use of specific praise with children with developmental disabilities (Mandal et al., 2000; Marchant et al., 2004; Smith & Lerman, 1999) as well as teacher use of specific praise in self-contained classrooms fo r children with disabili ties (Martens et al., 1997; Sutherland & Wehby, 2001; Sutherland et al., 2000). However, research has not been conducted on young childre n with development delays who demonstrate problem behaviors and are enrolled in child care centers. The current research should be extended to determine the effects of specific pr aise statements on young children with developmental delays as well as problem be haviors who are enrolled in child care centers. The use of specific praise statements gene ralized to the untrai ned setting; however, the researcher did not examine whether or not the specific praise statements generalized to other children with problem behavior enroll ed in the class or all the children in the class. Although Smith (2004) examined the eff ect of specific praise given to the group on a childs problem behavior, the effect on othe rs in the class was not examined. Future research should focus on the generalization of the intervention to other children in the classroom who are exhib iting problem behavior.

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119 Two possible research avenues for future researchers to investigate a maintenance effect include: (1) to examine trained teacher s use of specific praise statements with target children and (2) to examine trained teachers use of the in tervention with other children the following year. The intervention training was effective with all four teachers; however, the researcher was an experienced teacher trai ner. Future research should focus on the intervention training being provided by a lead teacher within the child care setting. Finally, returning to the conceptual fram ework that supports the current study, the positive teacher-child interaction taught to the teacher may have contributed to an increase in the childs appropriate behavior. As with previous research, the teachers in the current investigation were able to change th eir behavior patterns and engage in positive interactions with children exhibiting be havior problems (Howes & Richie, 2002; Patterson et al., 1992; Reid et al., 2002). Although the current research did not investigate a change in the teachers relati onships with the children or their attitudes toward the children, this is an area of study that could be added to future praise research. Summary Previous research has examined the use of specific praise statements to decrease problem behavior in young children. The pres ent study extended th e outcomes of this research by isolating specific praise statements as the sole factor of intervention in a child care setting. As with past studies, it was shown that specific praise statements did have a positive impact on increasing appropriate and decreasing problem behavior in young children. Four target children demonstrated an increas e in compliant behavior following a teacher request and increased engagement after an intervention was implemented. Furthermore, as with previous studies, following a relatively short teacher training

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120 session, teachers were able to implement th e intervention successf ully. Although positive outcomes were found with the teachers, there we re minor differences in their uses of the specific praise statements. The discrepanc ies may be explained by individual teaching styles or years of experience. The less-experi enced teachers were more consistent than the teachers with more experi ence. The current study adds to both research and practice in specific praise statements by demonstra ting that these statements are effective in increasing appropriate and decreasing problem behavior in young ch ildren enrolled in child care centers and by emphasizing the importance of providing teachers with effective intervention strategies.

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APPENDIX A CONSENT FORMS AND IRB APPROVAL

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122 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD 1. TITLE OF PROTOCOL: Examining the Effects of an Increase in Teachers Use of Specific Praise Statements on the Problem Behavior of At-Risk Toddlers Enrolled in Center Based Child Care. 2. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(s): Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton, Doct oral Student, Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 392-0701 3. SUPERVISOR : Maureen Conroy, Ph.D., Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 392-0701 4. DATES OF PROP OSED PROTOCOL: From May 21, 2004 to May 20, 2005 5. SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: Unfunded 6. SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: The purpose of this investigation is: (1) to determine if early childhood teachers in center based child care will use specific praise statements in their classrooms after training; (2) to examine the effects of teachers use of specific praise statements on problem behavior demonstrated by the children in their classrooms. 7. DESCRIBE THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN NON-TECHNICAL LANGUAGE Each teacher will nominate a child in his/her classroom who is exhibiting problem behaviors that interfere with his/ her ability to partic ipate in learning. The children will be included if they meet the following criteria: 1. The child demonstrates problem behavior that interferes with the childs ability to function in the classroom. 2. The child has a good record of attendance at the child care center as defined by 80% attendance or an average of 4 out of 5 days per week. 3. The childs guardian provides informed consent. The children will be excluded from the investigation if they meet the following criteria. 1. The child is younger than 24 months or older than 36 months at the start of the investigation. 2. The child is diagnosed with a developmental delay. In order to rule out a developmental delay, the children will be evaluated by the principal investigator using the Battelle Developm ental Inventory (Newborg et al., 1988).

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123 The investigation will occur in phases. The first phase will be individual te acher training sessions. This phase will include the definiti on of the problem behavior of each target child. The importance of using specific prai se statements with young children who are exhibiting problem behavior wi ll be provided. The meaning of specific praise statements will be provided. Examples of specific pr aise statements and non-specific praise statements will be explained and modeled by the researcher. The researcher and the teacher will role-play the use of specific pr aise statements. Two verbal checks of the teachers understanding of specific praise statements will be conducted. The second phase will include implementation of the inte rvention in the classroom. The teacher will use specific praise statements for a fift een minute period duri ng morning activities typically available in a child care center. A dditionally, data will be collected during this phase on the teachers use of specific praise statements as well as the target childs problem behavior as well as engagement in the activity. Data will be collected using partial interval reco rding procedures. The observation will be divided into 10-second intervals. The third phase will include generalization probes. In this phase the teacher and the child will be observed and data reco rded on the same behaviors as above during a fifteen minute afternoon activity typically available in a day ca re center. The fourth phase will be the maintenance phase. Six to eight weeks following the conclusion of the investigation the researcher will return to observe and collect data to discover if the teachers were able to maintain the interven tion. A single subject multiple baseline across participants will be used to conduct researc h. The first three phases: training, intervention and generalization will take approximately 8-12 weeks. The final phase, maintenance, will take approximately two weeks. Once a ll the phases have been completed, findings will be used for the principal investigators doctoral dissertation. 8. POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND ANTICIPATED RISK. This investigation poses no risks to the participants. The potential bene fits include training early childhood teachers in an effective intervention strategy to decrea se problem behavior in their classrooms. An additional benefit is a decr ease in the problem behavior of young children giving them more opportunities to participat e in the learning environment. 9. DESCRIBE HOW PARTICIPANT(S) WILL BE RECRUITED, THE NUMBER AND AGE OF THE PARTICIPANTS, A ND PROPOSED COMPENSATION (if any): The principal investigator will approach and provide a verbal explanation of the investigation to 5 early chil dhood teachers working in center based child care who will be nominated for the investigation by the admi nistrative staff at center. The principal investigator will approach and provide a verb al explanation of the investigation to the guardians of 5 children, ages 24-36 months, who have been nominated by their teachers. Each teacher will be given a $50.00 gift certificate upon completion of the investigation. 10. DESCRIBE THE INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS. INCLUDE A COPY OF THE INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT (if applicable). See Attached. Please use attachments sparingly.

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124 __________________________________________ Principal Investigator's Signature __________________________________________ Supervisor's Signature I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB: __________________________________________ Dept. Chair/Center Director Date __________________________________________

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125 University of Florida Department of Sp ecial Education P.O. Box 117050/G-315 Norman Hall Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050 Teacher Consent Protocol Title: Increasing the Teachers Use of Specific Praise Statements to Decrease the Problem Behavior in At-Risk Toddlers Enrolled in Center Based Child Care. Purpose of the research investigation: The purpose of the study is to see if trained early childhood teachers will use specifi c praise statement with ch ildren in their classrooms and if the use of specific praise statemen ts will decrease problem behavior among the children in their care. Time Required: Two hours of training, up to 2 hours of additional training if needed, daily 15-minute observation for up to 1 year. Risk and Benefits: This investigation poses no risk. Th e potential benefits include: (1) learning a new intervention strategy to improve the problem behavior of the children in your care and (2) increasi ng knowledge and skills. Teachers Role: You will nominate a child in your cl assroom who is exhibiting problem behavior that interferes with the childs pa rticipation in classroom activities. You will attend 1to 2-hour training session and an a dditional 2-hour training session if needed. Upon completing the training you will be aske d to use the strategy during a specific time during the day. The principal inve stigator or a research assist ant will observe or videotape a 15-minute session for up to 3 months. Compensation: You will receive a $50.00 gift cer tificate upon completion of the investigation. Confidentiality: Results of the investigation may be shared with colleagues in the field of education; for purposes of confidentiality, your name and identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Videotapes may be coded during the investigation and may be view ed by the primary investigator (Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton), a graduate assistant, and members of the pr imary investigators doctoral committee (Dr. Maureen Conroy, Dr. Vivian Correa, Dr. Terry Scott, and Dr. Tina Smith). Voluntary participation: Your participation is comple tely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the investigation: You have the right to withdraw from the investigation at any time without consequence. Contact persons:

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126 Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton, Doct oral Student, Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 392-0701 Maureen Conroy, Ph.D., Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 392-0701 Contact regarding your rights as a research participant: UFIRB office, Box 112250 University of Fl orida, Gainesville, Fl. 32611-2250; 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the above procedures. I give my consent to participate in the investigation. I have received a copy of this description. ____________________________________ _____________________________ Teacher Date ____________________________________ _____________________________ Witness Date

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127 University of Florida Department of Sp ecial Education P.O. Box 117050/G-315 Norman Hall Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050 Parent Consent Protocol Title: Increasing the Teachers Use of Specific Praise Statements to Decrease the Problem Behavior in At-Risk Toddlers Enrolled in Center Based Child Care. Purpose of the research investigation: The purpose of the inves tigation is to see if trained early childhood teachers w ill use specific praise statemen ts with children in their classrooms and whether the use of specific praise statements will decrease problem behavior among the children in their care. Time Required: Daily 15-minute observation for up to 3 months. Risk and Benefits: This investigation poses no risk. The potential benefits include helping your childs teacher learn a new intervention st rategy to decrease problem behavior which may improve lear ning opportunities for your child. Childs Role: Before the start of the investigatio n, your child will be evaluated using the Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI). BD I (Newborg et al., 1988) is a developmental assessment that looks at five areas of your childs development: adaptive, motor, personal-social, communicati on, and cognition. Your child s teacher will attend one 2hour training session where she/he will be traine d to use specific praise statements and an additional 2-hour training session if needed. As your childs teacher begins to use specific praise statements with your chil d, we will observe to see if your childs behavior changes. The principal investigator or a research assistant will observe or videotape a 15-minute session for up to 1 year. Compensation: There will be no compensation for participation. Confidentiality: Results of the investigation may be shared with colleagues in the field of education; for purposes of confidentiality, your name and identify will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Videotapes may be coded during the investigation and may be view ed by the primary investigator (Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton), a graduate assistant, and members of the pr imary investigators doctoral committee (Dr. Maureen Conroy, Dr. Vivian Correa, Dr. Terry Scott, and Dr. Tina Smith). Voluntary participation: You and your childs participa tion are completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the investigation: You and your child have the right to withdraw from the investigation at any time without consequence.

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128 Contact persons: Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton, Doctoral Student, Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 3920701 Maureen Conroy, Ph.D., Department of Special Education, P.O. Box 117050, G-315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7050, 392-0701 Contact regarding your rights as a research participant: UFIRB office, Box 112250 University of Fl orida, Gainesville, Fl. 32611-2250; 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the above procedures. I give my consent to participate in the investigation. I have received a copy of this description. ____________________________________ _______________________________ Parent Date ____________________________________ _____________________________ Witness Date

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APPENDIX B TEACHER TRAINING

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130 Teacher Training (Investigators Guide) Letter of Agreement Problem Behavior Explanation of problem behavior: (Attached) Definition of aggression, non-compliance, disruption, compliance, engagement: (Attached) Target childs specific probl em behavior(s): (Attached) Specific Praise Statements vs. Non-Specific Praise Statements Definition of specific and non-specific praise Examples of specific and non-specific praise View video of the child and teacher Teachers verbally identify specific and non-spec ific praise statements with 80% accuracy (Check 1). (Attached) Teachers identify specific and non-specific praise statements from a tape recording with 80% accuracy (Check 2). (Transcript Attached) Target Praise Statements Teacher will generate list of specific praise statements that may be used with the child. The teacher will post this list in the classroom as a reminder. (The target childs name will not be indicated on the visual reminder.)

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131 May 2005 Dear Teacher: Thank you for agreeing to participate in the i nvestigation of the use of specific praise statements to increase appropriate behavi or and decrease problem behavior in young children. I hope that the inve stigation will provide us with important information to help teachers of young children work more effec tively with children who have problem behavior. In order for the investigation to work effectively, it is impor tant that you do not share any aspect of the teacher training or the inte rvention with your colleagues at Baby Gator. Once the investigation in complete, you are free to share any and all aspects of the teacher training and intervention. Please sign the statement below agreeing not to share any aspect of the investigation until it is complete. Thank you for your cooperation, Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton I agree not to share any aspect of the teach er training or investigation of the use of specific praise statements to increase a ppropriate behavior an d decrease problem behavior in young children. Signature of Teacher Signature of Investigator Date

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132 Problem Behavior What is problem behavior? Problem behavior is a behavior that: causes injury to the ch ild or another person. causes damage to the classroom or playground. gets in the way of learning a new skill. keeps a child from making friends. interrupts classroom learning. Definition: Problem Behavior Aggression : Aggression is defined as any negative physical be havior directed toward another person, including: hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling or pushing, throwing an object at another pers on, or spitting at another person. Disruption : Disruption is defined as behavior that interferes with the ongoing activity, such as verbal talk that is loud or out of context, making inappropriate noises, screaming/yelling, dropping to the ground and remaining there, attempting to leave an area/room, or leaving the area/r oom without teacher permission. Non-compliance: Non-compliance is defined as fail ing to comply within 5 seconds after being given a teacher directive. The di rective may be given directly to the child or to a group of children. Appropriate Behavior Engagement: Engagement is defined as attenti on to or active participation in an activity in which th e child is involved. Compliance: Compliance is defined as the comple tion of an instruction or beginning to follow the instruction within 5 seconds after the teacher request has been given.

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133 Describe the behaviors of Name that are interfering with learning and playing with friends.

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134 Praise Praise: We give praise to tell a child that s/he did a good job. For example, after a child puts away a puzzle you might use ge neral praise and say, Good Job. This praise is known as non-specific praise because you are not telling the child the specific behaviors that s/he demonstrat ed and why you are praising him/her. A second type of praise is ca lled specific praise. Specific pr aise lets the child know the specific behavior you are praising. For exampl e, after a child puts away a toy, you might use specific praise and say, T om, you did a super job picking up the pegs and putting them in the basket. Specific praise informs the child about the speci fic behavior that s/he is being praised for and communicates to the child that you want to see the be havior in the future. It encourages the child to increase the positiv e behavior. In addition, it may increase confidence and feelings of self -esteem. It helps the child feel more positive towards you and school. Specific praise can be given for a child s effort as well as a completed task. Examples of Non-specific Praise: You did a great job! Super! Awesome! Way to Go! Thanks for being a good sport! Examples of Specific Praise: Name, you were such a good friend when you helped Tamika take off her backpack. Name, I was so proud of you when you tried to sweep up the spilled rice. Name, that was a great job putting all the little cars in the red bin. Now we are going to watch a video of you (the teacher) and (name) and look for instances where you might be able to use praise.

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135 Teacher Check #1 I am going to read 10 praise statements. Pl ease tell me if each is a specific praise statement (SPS) or a non-specific praise statement (NSPS). Statement Non-Specific Specific Praise Great Sitting, Jon! (NSPS) Tomas, I was so proud of you when you asked me to help you with your shoes. (SPS) Ellie, you did an awesome job putting all the doll clothes away. (SPS) Sara, you were a nice friend when you gave Al a hug. (SPS) Way to go Jamal! (NSPS) Thank you for cleaning up. (NSPS) Wow, Jena, you worked so hard putting the bike in the shed. (NSPS) Maria, you are a good friend. (NSPS) Marcus, I am so pleased that you held my hand when we walked outside. (SPS) Clara, amazing! (NSPS)

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136 Teacher Check #2 I want you to listen to a tape recording of specific praise statements and non-specific praise statements. Please mark whether you he ar a non-specific praise statement or a specific praise statement. Statement 1 NSPS SPS Statement 2 NSPS SPS Statement 3 NSPS SPS Statement 4 NSPS SPS Statement 5 NSPS SPS Statement 6 NSPS SPS Statement 7 NSPS SPS Statement 8 NSPS SPS Statement 9 NSPS SPS Statement 10 NSPS SPS

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137 Transcript: Statement Answer Susie, you did a super job holding my hand when we walked next door. SPS Maria, you are a good pal. NSPS Sam, it was great when you asked Tom to sit with you. You are a good friend to Tom. SPS Marcus, awesome! NSPS Terrence, it was wonderful when you asked me to help with your backpack. SPS Jaun, that was a terrific job putting the pegs in the peg bucket. SPS Thank you for sitting. NSPS Wow, Melody! NSPS Tom, you worked so hard putting all the sand toys away. I am so proud of you. SPS Mark, that was an awesome job taking turns with the truck with William. SPS Together we are going to make a list of five specific praise statements you might use with ______in your classroom. We will use the praise statements each day during __________. 1. __________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________ 4. __________________________________________________________________ 5. __________________________________________________________________ I am going to make you visual reminders with these statements to hang in your room. I will bring them tomorrow so we can get started right away.

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138 Coaching session As indicated, a coaching session is given to the teacher if the teacher did not use specific praise statements duri ng the first 2 intervention sessions following training. 1. The investigator reviews the meani ng of specific praise statements. 2. The teacher and the investigator view th e videotapes of the first two intervention sessions following training. 3. The investigator provides the teache r examples of where specific praise statements could have been used with th e target child during the first sessions. 4. The teacher gives the investigator exampl es of where specific praise statements could have been used with the ta rget child during the second session.

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139Praise Investigation Teacher Guide Problem Behavior What is problem behavior? Problem behavior is a behavior that causes injury to the ch ild or another person causes damage to the classroom or playground gets in the way of learning a new skill keeps a child from making friends interrupts classroom learning. Definition: Problem Behavior Aggression : Aggression is defined as any negative physical be havior directed toward another person including: hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling or pushing, throwing an object at another pers on, or spitting at another person. Disruption : Disruption is defined as behavior that interferes with the ongoing activity, such as verbal talk which is loud or out of context, making inappropriate noises, screaming/yelling, dropping to the ground and remaining there, attempting to leave an area/room or leaving the area/r oom without teacher permission. Non-compliance: Non-compliance is defined as fail ing to comply within 5 seconds after being given a teacher directive. The di rective may be given directly to the child or to a group of children. Appropriate Behavior Engagement: Engagement is defined as attenti on to or active participation in an activity in which th e child is involved. Compliance: Compliance is defined as the completion of an instruction or beginning to follow the instruction within 5 seconds after the teacher request has been given.

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140 Describe the behaviors of Name that are interfering with learning and playing with friends.

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141 Praise Praise: We give praise to tell a child that s/he did a good job. For example, after a child puts away a puzzle you might use ge neral praise and say, Good Job. This praise is known as general praise becau se you are not telling th e child the specific behaviors that s/he demonstrated and why you are praising him/her. A second type of praise is ca lled specific praise. Specific pr aise lets the child know the specific behavior you are praising. For exampl e, after a child puts away a toy you might use specific praise and say, T om, you did a super job picking up the pegs and putting them in the basket. Specific praise always begins with the ch ilds name and informs the child about the specific behavior that s/he is being praised for and communi cates to the child that you want to see the behavior in the future. It encourages the child to increase the positive behavior. In addition, it may increase confidence and feelings of self-e steem. It helps the child feel more positive towards you and school. Specific praise can be given for a child s effort as well as a completed task. Examples of Non-specific Praise: You did a great job! Super! Awesome! Way to Go! Thanks for being a good sport. Examples of Specific Praise: Name you were such a good friend when you helped Tamika take off her backpack. Name, I was so proud of you when you tried to sweep up the spilled rice. Name, that was a great job putting al l the little cars in the red bin.

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142 Teacher Check #1 I am going to read 10 praise statements. Please tell me if it is a specific praise statement (SPS) or a non-specific pr aise statement (NSPS). Statement Non-Specific Praise Specific Praise Great Sitting, Jon Tomas, I was so proud of you when you asked me to help you with your shoes. Ellie, you did an awesome job putting all the doll clothes away. Sara, you were a nice friend when you gave Al a hug. Way to go, Jamal! Thank you for cleaning up. Wow, Jena, you worked so hard putting the bike in the shed. Maria, you are a good friend. Marcus, I am so pleased that you held my hand when we walked outside. Clara, amazing!

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143 Teacher Check #2 I want you to listen to a tape recording of sp ecific praise statements and general praise statements. Please mark whether you hear a general praise statement or a specific praise statement. Statement 1 NSPS SPS Statement 2 NSPS SPS Statement 3 NSPS SPS Statement 4 NSPS SPS Statement 5 NSPS SPS Statement 6 NSPS SPS Statement 7 NSPS SPS Statement 8 NSPS SPS Statement 9 NSPS SPS Statement 10 NSPS SPS

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144 Together we are going to make a list of 5 specific praise statements you might use with (name) in your classroom. We will use the prai se statements each day during (activity) 1) __________________________________________________________________ 2) __________________________________________________________________ 3) __________________________________________________________________ 4) __________________________________________________________________ 5) __________________________________________________________________ I am going to make you visual reminders with these statements to hang in your room. I will bring the reminders tomorrow so we can get started right away.

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APPENDIX C DATA COLLECTION FORM A ND CODING DEFINITIONS

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146Data Collection Summary Form Name: Observer: Date: IOA Session: Yes No Time: Session #: Activity: Comments: Frequency Disruption Aggression Teacher Request Compliance NonCompliance Specific Praise Statement Non-Specific Praise Statement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Time Begin E E E E E E EEEE 1 minute E E E E E E EEEE 2 minute E E E E E E EEEE 3 minute E E E E E E EEEE 4 minute E E E E E E EEEE 5 minute

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147 Coding Definitions Code as Specific Praise Statement (SPS) Specific Praise Statement : Positive declarative specifically di rected to the target child that assesses the childs behavior. Sam, you did a nice job washing your hands. Good job, lining up as soon as I called your name. Wow, you put away all the cars. Code as Non-Specific Praise Statement (NSPS) Non-Specific Praise Statement: Positive declarative that ma y be directed to the target child, but does not assess the childs behavior. Good Job! Please Way to Go Code as Aggression (A) Aggression : Aggression is defined as any negative physical be havior directed toward another person, including hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling or pushing, throwing an object at another person, or spitting at another person. Target child hits an adult or child. Target child bites an adult or child. Target child pushes an adult or child. Target child pinches an adult or child. Target child kicks an adult or child. Target child throws an object at an adult or child that can cause the adult or child harm. Target child spits at an adult or child. Target child pulls the hair of an adult or child. Target child squeezes the f ace of an adult or child. Do Not Code as Aggression (A) Child throws a ball in the playground and it hits a child in the arm. Child knocks over a block tower and one of the blocks hits a child who is lying on the rug in the head.

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148 Code as Disruption (D) Disruption : Disruption is defined as behavior that interferes with the ongoing activity, such as verbal talk which is loud or out of context, making inappropriate noises, screaming/yelling, dropping to the ground and remaining there, attempting to leave an area/room or leaving the area/r oom without teacher permission. The child continually shouts or whines. The child bangs a door repeatedly. The target child jumps in the middle of a group. The target child sits on top of another child. The target child sits on top of a stack of cots. Do Not Code as Disruption (D) The child lies on the carpet during morning meeting. The child leaves an activity to r un to the door and greet his mother. The child leaves a teacher-directed activity to quietly read a book in another area of the room. Code as Non-compliance Non-compliance : Non-compliance is defined as the child not completing a request 5 seconds after it is made. Non-compliance will be coded if a specific request is made to the child or a general request is made to the entire group. Example of Group Request: Line up. Wash your hands. Time to clean up. Sit down for the story. Code as Engagement Engagement: Engagement is defined as attention to or active participation in an activity in which the child is involved. Example: The child sits at a table cutting with scissors. The child looks at book during free choice time. The child attends to a finger play during small group time. Non-Example: The child moves from area to area without interacting with people or materials.

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149 The child turns his body away from the teacher or group during a learning activity. Code as Compliance Compliance: Compliance is defined as the completi on of an instruction, or to begin to follow the instruction within 5 seconds af ter the teacher request has been given. The dyad will be coded for 10 minutes. Specific praise statements not given by the target teacher will not be coded. Non-specific praise statements given to th e target child or th e class will not be coded. For example, if the teachers says, Good job! when the class is finished cleaning up, it will not be coded.

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APPENDIX D TREATMENT INTEGRITY

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151 Treatment Integrity Checklist Complete Explanation of Problem Behavior YesNo Define Aggression, Disruption, Non-compliance/compliance, and Engagement YesNo Define Specific and Non-specifi c Praise Statements YesNo Provide Examples of Specific and NonSpecific Praise Statements YesNo View Video of Teacher and Child YesNo Teacher Check #1 YesNo Teacher Check #2 YesNo Generate 5 Praise Statemen ts for Target Child YesNo Post Visual Reminder in the Classroom YesNo

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APPENDIX E INTERVENTION ACCEPTABILITY

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153 INTERVENTION ACCEPTABILITY FORM Date: ______________ __________ ________ Teacher: ______ ______________ _____________ Center: ______________ ____________ ________ Age level of child: 2 years 3 years (Circle one) SECTION I Please complete the it ems below by circling the number under the question that best fits how you feel about the intervention. 1. How time-consuming was the training? Not at all Very 1 2 3 4 5 2. How helpful to your classroom was the training? Not at all Very 1 2 3 4 5 3. How much increase did you see in the tar gets childs appropriate behavior? Not at all Very 1 2 3 4 5 4. How likely is it that you w ill use the intervention in the future? Not at all Very 1 2 3 4 5 SECTION II Please tell me about yourself. Years of teaching experience: (Circle one) 0-2 3-4 5-7 8-10 more than 10 Current level of education: (Circle one) HS CDA AA BA

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154 REFERENCES Abidin, R. R. (Ed.). (1995). Parenting Stress Index manual. (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. Achenbach, T. M. (1992). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/2-3 and 1992 profile Burlington, VT: University of Verm ont Department of Psychiatry. Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. S. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile Burlington, VT: Univer sity Associates in Psychiatry. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2000). Manual for ASEBA preschool forms & profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Verm ont, Research Center for Children, Youth & Families. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Ameri can Psychiatric Association. Arnold, C., OLeary, S., Wolf, L., & Acker, M. (1993). The Parenting Scale: A measure of dysfunctional parenting in discipline situations. Psychological Assessment, 5 137-144. Arnold, D. H., McWilliams, L., & Arnold, E. H. (1998). Teacher discipline and child misbehavior in day care: Untangling causality with correlation data. Developmental Psychology, 34 (2), 276-287. Baby Gator Educational Research Center fo r Child Development. (2005). Retrieved February 11, 2005, from www.coe. edu/Departments/BabyGator Barkley, R. A. (1981). Hyperactive children: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment New York: Guilford. Barnett, W. S., & Boocock, S. S. (1998). Early care and education for children in poverty Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Beaman, R., & Wheldall, K. (2000). Teachers' use of approval and disapproval in the classroom. Educational Psychology, 20 (4), 431-446. Beck, A. T. (1992). Depression: Causes and treatment Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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164 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton grew up in West Point, New York. She has spent the past 23 years living and working throughout th e United States, Europe, Central America, and South America. Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in early chil dhood from Trinity College. She received a Master of Educa tion degree in special education with an emphasis in early childhood from the Universi ty of Florida in Gainesville. She will graduate from the University of Florida w ith a Doctor of Philosophy degree in special education in May, 2006. Elizabeth has worked for many years in th e field of early childhood education as a teacher of young children, administrator of early intervention programs, department head, parent trainer, and teacher tr ainer. Her research interests include early intervention, young children with behavioral challenges, and teacher training within the early childhood setting. Presently, Elizabeth is working as th e Early Education Coordinator at the Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru.


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Title: Examining the Effectiveness of Specific Praise Statements in Increasing Appropriate Behavior and Decreasing Problem Behavior in Young Children
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0013426/00001

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Title: Examining the Effectiveness of Specific Praise Statements in Increasing Appropriate Behavior and Decreasing Problem Behavior in Young Children
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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EXAMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SPECIFIC PRAISE STATEMENTS IN
INCREASING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR AND DECREASING PROBLEM
BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN













By

ELIZABETH KIRBY FULLERTON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank my committee cochair, Dr. Maureen Conroy, for her support throughout my

doctoral program and dissertation process. Her encouragement, while I was near and far,

has been unfaltering.

I would also like to thank my family, the Swamp Sisters, Cathrine, and Barbara for

their many words of encouragement and thoughtful advice. I am very lucky to have them

in my life.

This dissertation is dedicated to my family: to Bill, who has provided me with

everything I needed from start to finish; to Kirby, who has given many extra hours of big

brother help; to Avery and Henry, who lived without their mom for 14 months and did it

with their wonderful spirit of adventure; to Clare, for being my right-hand girl during the

past three and a half years. It is an honor to be their wife and mother.















TABLE OF CONTENTS

A CKN OW LED GEM EN TS.............................................................. .....................iii

L IST O F TA B L E S .......... .......................... ................................................................. vii

LIST OF FIGURES .................................. ........................ ..................... viii

A B S T R A C T ........................................................................................... ........................ .......ix

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N .......................................................................... .......................... 1

Early Onset of Problem Behavior in Young Children.......................................... 1
Incidence of Problem B behavior .................................................. .......................... 1
Impact of Problem Behavior............................................................ 2
Early Intervention to Address Problem Behavior in Young Children...................... 3
Im portance of Early Intervention.................................................. ... ............... ...... 3
Evidence-based Intervention Strategies to Address Problem Behavior in Young
Children....... .... .............. .............. ...... .....................4
The Effects of Praise as an Intervention Tool......... .............................................. 5
State ent of the Problem ................................................................ .................... 6
Purpose of the Current Investigation .............................................. .................... 6
Sum m ary .................................................................. ............. ........ ... .............. 7
E xperim mental Q question s ............................................................................ .................... 7

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................................ .................... 9

Conceptual Fram ew ork.............................................................................................. 10
Interventions for Young Children with Problem Behavior........................................ 13
Packaged Training Program s .................................................... ........................ 15
Individual Intervention Studies........................................................ 39
Parent-Child Dyad Studies......................................................... 39
T eacher-C hild D yad Study ....................................................... .......................... 49
Summary of Adult-Child Dyad Studies................................... ................. ......... 49
Sum m ary .................................... ..... ........................................................ ....... 50
Review of Research Using Praise as an Intervention Strategy ..................................... 54
Summary and Implications for Future Research ............................ ........... 61
Future Research D irections......................... ....................................... ......................... 63
Purposes of the Investigation ........................................................... ......................... 64









3 M E T H O D S ...................................................... ...................................................... 6 6

P articip an ts.................................................................................... ................... ....... 6 6
T teacher Participants............................................................... ......... ........................ 66
Child Participants.................................................................................................... 67
S getting .............................................................. ....................... .......... ........ 69
Materials ......................................................... 70
M easurem ent Procedures ............................................................................................. 71
D ep en dent V ariables ................................................................................................. 7 1
Independent Variables .............................................................. .................... 72
Data Collection Procedures....................................................... 73
Interobserver Agreement .......................................................... .................... 74
Experimental Procedures ............................................................... .................... 74
Pre-experimental Phase............................................................. .................... 74
Baseline Phase ......................................................... ..................................... 75
Training Phase ......................................................... ..................................... 75
Intervention Phase..................................................................... .................... 77
G eneralization ........... .................................................................... ........................ 78
Treatment Integrity ...................................................... ..................................... 78
D design ................................................................ ....................... ................. 78
S o cial V alid ity .................................................. ...................................................... 7 9

4 R E S U L T S ................................................................. .............. ...................... 8 1

Baseline and Intervention ............................................................. .................... 82
Teacher-Child Dyad 1 ........................................... ........................................ 82
Teacher-Child Dyad 2............................................. ...................................... 85
T eacher-C hild D yad 3 ......... ..................................................... .......................... 87
Teacher-Child Dyad 4.................................................. ............................... 97
Summary of Baseline and Intervention Findings.......................... .................... 99
G eneralization ........... .................................................................... ......................... 102
Teacher-Child Dyad 1 ............................................................... .................... 102
Teacher-Child Dyad 2............................................................. .................... 103
Teacher-Child Dyad 3 ........................................................... ......................... 104
Teacher-Child Dyad 4............................................................. .................... 105
Summary ...................................................................................................... ..... 106
Interobserver Agreement ........................................ ....................................... 108
Treatm ent Integrity ................................................. ........................................ 108
Social V alidation ......................................................................... ....... ........... 108
Sum m ary ................................................... .................................. ................. ............. 109

5 D IS C U S S IO N .............................................................................. ......................... 111
Summary of Research Findings..................... ........................................................... 112
L im station s .................................................................. .......................... ............ 113
D iscu ssion of F indings......................................................................... .................... 115
Future Research Directions.......... .................................................. ...................... 117
S u m m ary ................................................... .................................. ................... ....... 1 19


v











APPENDIX

A CONSENT FORMS AND IRB APPROVAL ....................................................... 121

B TEA CH ER TRA IN IN G ................................................................ ................... 129

C DATA COLLECTION FORM AND CODING DEFINITIONS .............................. 145

D TREATMENT INTEGRITY .......................................................... 150

E INTERVENTION ACCEPTABILITY ....................................... 152

R E F E R E N C E S ..................................................... ..................................................... 154

BIOGRA PH ICA L SKETCH ............................................................ .................... 164






































vi















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

2-1. Studies of Intervention Strategies to Decrease Problem Behavior in Young
C h ildren ............................................................ .. ......... ........... ...... .............. 16

2-2. Studies of Praise as a Classroom Intervention Tool to Decrease Problem Behavior
C h ildren ................................................................ .. ............ ... ...... ............ 5 6

3-1. Demographic Data on Teacher Participants.............................................. 68

3-2. Demographic Data on Day Care Centers ..................................................... 69

3-3. Demographic Data on Child Participants....................................... .......... ..... 69















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1. C onceptual Fram ew ork .............................................. ......................... .................... 10

4-1. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Specific/Non-Specific Praise Statements..... 88

4-2. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Non-Compliance and Compliance ............. 89

4-3. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Aggression and Disruption......................... 90

4-4. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Engagement.................. ....... ........... .. 91

4-5. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Specific/Non-Specific Praise Statements..... 92

4-6. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Non-Compliance and Compliance ............. 93

4-7. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Aggression and Disruption......................... 94

4-8. Teacher 3-Child 3/Teacher 4-Child 4: Engagement.................. ....... ........... .. 95















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

EXAMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SPECIFIC PRAISE STATEMENTS IN
INCREASING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR AND DECREASING PROBLEM
BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN

By

Elizabeth Kirby Fullerton

May 2006

Chair: Maureen A. Conroy
Cochair: Vivian I. Correa
Major Department: Special Education

The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of an increased use of

specific praise statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children

enrolled in a chid care center. Two teachers and 2 children at the Educational Research

Center for Child Development at the University of Florida and 2 teachers and 2 children

at the Child Development Research Center at the University of North Florida were

selected to participate in the investigation. The teachers selected held a minimum of a

Child Development Associate certificate. The children chosen to participate exhibited

problem behavior that interfered with their ability to participate in classroom routines and

activities as designated by their teachers. The teachers were trained to increase their use

of specific praise statements during a transition activity. In addition, generalization

probes were taken to investigate the teachers' use of specific praise statements in an

untrained setting. Data were collected on the effects of teachers' increased use of specific









praise statements and the children's behavior. A single-subject, multiple baseline design

across participants was used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Child care centers are the fastest-growing component of non-parental child care

(Liang, 1998), already providing care for over 50% of all 1-year-olds, 60% of all 2-year-

olds, and 70% of all 3-year-olds in the United States (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Along

with this growing trend in increased child care enrollment is a reported increase in the

overall number of young children exhibiting problem behavior. Campbell (1995)

estimated that 10% to 15% of preschool children have mild to moderate problem

behavior. More recently, Webster-Stratton (1998) estimated that 10% of young children

have problem behavior. These are important statistics, given that young children who

arrive in child care settings with problem behavior may be subjected to negative

interactions with teachers as well as an escalation of problem behavior over time

(Gershoff, 2003; Raver & Knitzer, 2002).

Early Onset of Problem Behavior in Young Children

Incidence of Problem Behavior

The early onset of problem behavior may be seen well before age 5. Campbell and

Ewing (1989) examined a group of young children identified beginning at age 3 who

were identified as having problem behavior. By age 6, approximately half of these

children continued to display problem behavior; at age 9, two-thirds continued to have

problem behavior.

Additional evidence suggests that children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant

Disorder (ODD) (see American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical






2


Manual [DSM-IV], 2000) for definition) during the early childhood years often develop

Conduct Disorder (CD) (see DSM-IV [2000] for definition) during elementary school

(Loeber, 1991; Webster-Stratton, 1996). Furthermore, early onset of problem behavior

often remains stable over time, but may change form. Patterson, Reid, and Eddy (2002)

suggest that early problem behavior, such as aggression and non-compliance, may

escalate to behavior such as lying and stealing, eventually leading to school failure. This

is an important factor because problem behavior in young children is linked to negative

school outcomes, such as grade retention or special education placement, as children

move through early elementary school (Burchinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Pianta, & Howes,

2002; Hamre & Pianta, 2001; Pianta, 1999; Raver & Knitzer, 2002). Unfortunately,

evidence suggests that if intervention is not provided at an early age (before age 8),

problem behavior becomes a lasting condition that does not respond well to intervention

(Marchant, Young, & West, 2004). Therefore, given the increase in the number of

children with problem behavior in child care settings, the need for evidence-based

intervention to address these behaviors has never been greater (Sampers, Anderson,

Hartung, & Scambler, 2001; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).

Impact of Problem Behavior

Problem behavior such as aggression, disruption, and non-compliance are difficult

for teachers of young children to manage as well as for the children themselves.

Teachers often react negatively (i.e., increased restrictions and more punitive care) to

children who demonstrate problem behavior (Bamett & Boocock, 1998; Scott-Little &

Holloway, 1992). Furthermore, as children with problem behavior are often difficult to

teach, teachers offer them fewer learning opportunities and provide fewer positive

responses than to their peers who do not demonstrate problematic behavior (Raver &









Knitzer, 2002). Therefore, young children with problem behavior are often less engaged

in classroom activities and may be missing important school readiness skills (Howes &

Smith, 1995; Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Webster-Stratton, 2000). Thus, researchers have

suggested that early onset of problem behavior may begin a cycle of negative patterns

that influence future teacher-child interactions and lead to an increase in problem

behavior as well as poor school performance (Birch & Ladd, 1997; Campbell, Shaw, &

Gilliom, 2000).

Early Intervention to Address Problem Behavior in Young Children

Importance of Early Intervention

Teachers and parents often report difficulty managing young children's problem

behavior (e.g., disruption, aggression, and non-compliance) (Campbell, 1995). Since

these behaviors display high levels of stability and may influence future outcomes, it is

critical to target them for early intervention (Stormont, 2002). Although early childhood

may be the crucial time to prevent or de-escalate early onset problem behavior, there is an

unfortunate dearth of evidence-based research focusing on interventions that address

these behaviors in children ages 2 to 3 (Nixon, 2002). Regrettably, it is those years prior

to school entry when children are learning skills needed to meet the more rigorous

demands of the early school years (Patterson et al., 2002). From 2 to 3 years old,

children's age-appropriate levels of temper tantrums and defiance either develop into

age-appropriate skills, such as sharing and turn-taking, or devolve into inappropriate

skills, such as increased levels of aggression, disruption, and non-compliance (Campbell

et al., 2000). Although early intervention has been identified as necessary to stop problem

behavior (Stormont, 2002), there continue to be few evidence-based interventions









available for early childhood teachers working in child care settings (Gross, Fogg,

Webster-Stratton, Garvey, Julion, & Grady, 2003).

Intervention strategies designed for young children, for the most part, are focused

on training the parent or guardian to manage his/her child's behavior at home (Sampers et

al., 2001). Intervention strategies designed for teachers are, for the most part, focused on

children already enrolled in school (Nixon, 2002). These strategies provide varying

approaches and methods of delivery that target children who are demonstrating problem

behavior or who are at risk for the escalation and stabilization of these behaviors.

Evidence-based Intervention Strategies to Address Problem Behavior in Young
Children

Current intervention strategies available for use by teachers and parents focus on

teaching adults to increase their appropriate responses to the child's problem behavior in

order to increase appropriate behavior and decrease in problem behavior. The purpose

of these interventions are two-fold: (1) to decrease negative interactions between the

adult and child through a change in adult behavior, and (2) to promote appropriate

behavior through positive reinforcement (Sampers et al., 2001).

The intervention strategies are available to parents and early childhood teachers in

the form of packaged training programs or individual training programs. Two of the most

widely used and evidence-based packaged training programs are the Incredible Years

Training Series [IYTS] (Webster-Stratton, 2000) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy

[PCIT] (Eyberg, Boggs, & Algina, 1988). IYTS provides group training to parents and

teachers, teaching them strategies for interacting with children who engage in problem

behaviors. In these two programs, the children receive interventions to address their

problem behavior through the adults who have been trained. The target adults are taught









to reinforce children's appropriate behavior via positive attention (e.g., effective praise)

and eliminate problem behavior via appropriate discipline techniques (e.g., privilege

removal) (Webster-Stratton, 2000). PCIT offers parents training with their child and a

trained therapist present. PCIT therapists work directly with parents to change negative

parent-child interaction patterns (e.g., decrease critical statements and increase labeled

praise) while also teaching discipline skills (e.g., providing choices) to increase

appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior (www. PCIT.com, 2004).

In addition to the packaged training programs, individual intervention strategies are

available to parents and, to a lesser degree, early childhood teachers. These interventions

focus on providing the parent or teacher with a skill or skills to increase appropriate

behavior and/or decrease problem behavior in young children. The skills may include

praising appropriate behavior, providing effectual commands, ignoring problem behavior,

and disciplining consistently (McNeil, Capage, Bahl, & Blanc, 1999).

The Effects of Praise as an Intervention Tool

Praise as an intervention tool is supported in the literature as an effective tool to

use when working with children who demonstrate problem behaviors. Praise is a strategy

that has been incorporated within the early intervention training packages or programs

provided to adults working with young children to increase an appropriate behavior in

these children. In addition, praise may be used by an adult in conjunction with guided

compliance or as part of an instructional sequence to increase compliance in young

children (Hiralall & Martens, 1998; Smith & Lerman, 1999). Finally, praise may be used

as the sole method of intervention employed by a teacher to increase appropriate (e.g.,

on-task) behavior during classroom activities (Sutherland, 2000). While there is

evidence-based research on the use of praise, both as a component of the early









intervention literature and as an effective classroom-based strategy for increasing

appropriate behaviors, there is limited research on the use of praise as an intervention

strategy used by teachers within a child care setting. Given the number of young children

with early onset behavior problem and the number of children enrolled in child care,

introducing a praise strategy as an intervention tool in the child care setting may offer an

important extension to the literature.

Statement of the Problem

Evidence supports an overall increase in the number of young children with

problem behavior (Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997).

Although teachers in child care centers are dealing with a significant number of children

with problem behavior, there is a relative lack of evidence-based intervention strategies

for their use to reduce the problem behavior of children in their care (Arnold,

McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998). Furthermore, teachers often rely on reactive, punitive

strategies when interacting with young children with problem behaviors (Hamre &

Pianta, 2001). When teachers respond to problem behavior in a punitive manner, children

may not learn appropriate replacement behavior, resulting in persistence and possibly

exacerbation of the problem behavior (Chazen-Cohen, Jerald, & Stark, 2001). The

development of evidence-based strategies teachers can use, such as praise, may prove to

be an effective intervention tool that not only encourages appropriate behavior but also

discourages problem behavior.

Purpose of the Current Investigation

Given the need for developing evidence-based intervention strategies teachers can

use with young children in early child-care settings, the current investigation had two

purposes. First, this investigation studied the effect of the use of specific praise









statements on the appropriate and problem behavior of young children. Next, this

investigation examined the teachers' ability to generalize specific praise statements to an

untrained setting.

Summary

A significant number of young children spend the majority of their day in child

care centers. Research suggests that up to 20% of these children are entering early

childhood classrooms with an early onset of problem behavior (Webster-Stratton, Reid,

& Hammond, 2001). These children may be at risk for early school failure if further

escalation of problem behavior is not addressed through effective intervention strategies.

There is a growing awareness among parents, educators, and policymakers that child care

at its best provides children with critical experiences that prepare them for preschool,

kindergarten, and beyond (Liang, 1998; Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Shonkoff & Phillips,

2000). But evidence-based interventions for improving young children's problem

behavior within the context of the child care setting are limited. Strategies or

interventions that have been developed to ameliorate problem behavior at home, in the

clinic, or in the classroom may provide important information for the advancement of

interventions targeted for child care centers.


Experimental Questions

1. Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise
statements during a teacher-identified activity?

2. What is the effect of teachers' use of specific praise statements on the appropriate
behavior and problem behavior of young children enrolled in a child care setting?

3. If specific praise statements increase after training, will the teachers' use of specific
praise statements generalize to an untrained setting?






8


The goal of this investigation was to provide evidence of the usefulness of

training teachers in child care centers to use specific praise statements to increase

appropriate behaviors and the possible influence of using this strategy on the reduction of

problem behavior in young children. The review of literature pertinent to this

investigation is offered in Chapter 2. The methodology is provided in Chapter 3. The

results and their implications are discussed in Chapters 4 and 5.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

As discussed in Chapter 1, some young children enter child care centers with an

early onset of problem behavior. These children may be at risk for early school failure if

problem behavior is not remediated. Given the large number of children currently

enrolled in child care centers, there is a need to develop evidence-based intervention

strategies and train teachers to intervene in these children's problem behaviors (Gross,

Fogg, Webster-Stratton, Garvey, Julion, & Grady, 2003). Presently, early childhood

teachers of children ages 2 to 3 in child care centers have a limited number of evidence-

based intervention strategies to increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem

behavior. Several intervention strategies have been developed for parents, home-based

teachers, or elementary school teachers, suggesting that there are evidence-based

intervention strategies that can reduce problem behavior in young children. These

intervention strategies may also be applicable for teachers in child care settings to use

when working with young children with early onset problem behavior.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide (a) a conceptual framework for the

proposed investigation; (b) a literature review of intervention strategies for young

children with problem behavior, including the use of praise; and (c) a rationale for the use

of praise as an intervention strategy to increase appropriate behavior and examine the

effects on problem behavior in young children.









Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework for the proposed investigation is based on the model of

coercive relationships developed at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC)


Conflictual Interactions Positive Interactions
Poor Limit Setting Appropriate Limits
Lack of Supervision Supervision
Lack of Reward for Behavior Early Reciprocal Age Appropriate Rules
Arguing latinhiPositive Participation
Excessive Teasing Relationships Praise


Pattern of Interaction

Negative, Positive, non-
coercive coercive

Intervention
Strategy

Problem Behavior Appropriate Behavior


Figure 2-1. Conceptual Framework

(Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992; Reid, Patterson, & Snyder, 2002). The model offers

two paths for the development of adult-child interactions, conflictual interactions, or

positive interactions. Conflictual interactions may include a lack of adult supervision,

poor limit-setting, or lack of reward for age-appropriate behavior. These interactions may

reinforce problem behavior, such as non-compliance to an adult request. Positive

interactions may include age-appropriate supervision, limit-setting, and praise for

appropriate behavior. These interactions may teach children appropriate behavior through

reinforcement of the expected behavior. A diagram of the conceptual framework is

presented in Figure 2-1.

The OSLC coercive relationship model provides an important element of the adult-

child relationship that may result in an increase of problem behavior in young children-









i.e., coercive interactions. Children growing up in home environments that foster coercive

interactions are at greater risk for the development of problem behavior due to ineffectual

parenting, as defined by ineffective limit-setting (e.g., ignoring early non-compliant

behavior) and conflictual family relationships (e.g., arguing or excessive teasing)

(Patterson et al.,1992). These coercive interactions within the context of the family may

lead to young children exhibiting problem behavior (e.g., non-compliance, inappropriate

aggression) that has been found to escalate into serious offenses (e.g., fighting and

stealing) in the early elementary school years.

The conceptual model presented in this chapter extends beyond Patterson's

parent-child coercive relationship model illustrating that children entering child care with

problem behavior often interact with their teachers in the same way as they do with their

parents (Patterson et al., 1992; Reid et al., 2002). If the teacher responds in a similar

manner as the parents by providing conflictive interactions, this may perpetuate a cycle of

coercion that encourages problem behavior to continue into the child care setting. If the

coercive cycle is not stopped, the child is at risk for the development of serious problem

behavior associated with poor school outcomes (i.e., peer rejection, poor academic

performance) (Patterson et al., 1992). Fortunately, coercive interaction patterns can be

interrupted if the adults interacting with the child change their behavior patterns and

engage in interactions that are based on positive interactions such as praise or age-

appropriate supervision (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995; Howes & Ritchie, 2002;

Patterson et al., 1992; Reid et al., 2002; Webster-Stratton, 2000).

The conceptual framework for the proposed investigation provides a basis for how

intervening to change a teacher's response to a child's behavior may increase appropriate

behaviors and result in a decrease in problem behavior in young children enrolled in child









care. Children's earliest relationships are built on their interactions with adults, most

importantly, parents and teachers (Greenspan, 1999). These early relationships teach

young children how to interact with others-adults and children-in their lives (Howes &

Ritchie, 2002; Lieberman, 1993; Parlakian & Seibel, 2002). In fact, researchers show

that adult-child relationships formed in the first 3 years of life influence not only the

social-emotional development of the child but also language and cognitive

development-areas that are critical for later school success (Chazen-Cohen et al., 2001;

Zeanah & Doyle, 2001). When young children enter child care, an established parent-

child interaction pattern of behavior is usually in place. The toddler and early preschool

years (age 2 and 3) are a time when children are learning to become independent;

however, this is also a time when children engage in a number of problem behaviors,

such as tantrums, non-compliance, and aggression (Campbell et al., 2000; Lieberman,

1993). A supportive and nurturing adult-child relationship during this period provides a

child with the skills needed to negotiate the early school environment (Campbell et al.,

2000; Elicker & Fortner-Wood, 1995; Lieberman, 1993; Parlakian & Seibel, 2002).

However, when the early relationship is coercive, the child may continue to exhibit

problem behavior that impedes development (Briggs-Gowan, Carter, Skuban, & Horwitz,

2001; Howes & Matheson, 1992; Zeanah & Doyle, 2001).

Within the context of the conceptual framework, the model of coercive

relationships highlights the fact that the adult in the relationship has the ability to engage

in a new pattern of interaction. When the adult provides positive interactions, the child

may adjust his interaction pattern, thus setting the stage for an increase in appropriate

behavior and a decrease in problem behavior. In the case of teacher-child interactions,

constructive change can take place through a pattern of positive, teacher-initiated









interactions (Elicker & Fortner-Wood, 1995; Howes & Ritchie, 2002; Kontos & Wilcox-

Herzog, 1997). For children entering child care with an early onset of problem behavior,

the teacher may be able to form a new adult-child pattern of interaction that teaches the

child to interact using appropriate behavior while at the same time decreasing the child's

problem behavior. Intervention strategies that are effectively applied may help create

positive adult-child interactions and thus increase appropriate behavior that may lead to a

decrease in a child's problem behavior.

Given the number of young children enrolled in child care and the current emphasis

on school readiness, interventions to improve teacher-child relationships offer an

excellent opportunity to reduce the development of problem behavior prior to preschool

or kindergarten entry (Gershoff, 2003; Raver & Knitzer, 2002). Children who enter child

care with problem behavior may benefit from positive, affirmative interactions with their

teachers. The following section provides a critical analysis of the existing literature on

intervention strategies addressing adult-child interactions that may increase appropriate

behavior and decrease problem behavior.

Interventions for Young Children with Problem Behavior

There are a limited number of evidence-based interventions designed to train

teachers to reduce the problem behavior of children in child care centers (Brooks-Gunn,

Fuligni, & Berlin, 2003; Helbum & Bergmann, 2002). However, interventions used in

homes, university clinics, and early childhood classrooms with parents and teachers to

reduce problem behavior in young children may offer tactics for intervention that can be

applied to child care centers. The interventions discussed in this section are designed to

change an adult's response to a child's problem behavior. Although the methods of









intervention are unique, each targets changing adult (i.e., parent or teacher) behavior to

increase appropriate behavior and/or decrease children's problem behavior.

To identify pertinent literature for this review, a comprehensive search was

conducted. Three electronic databases were searched: Article First, ERIC, and PsychInfo.

The key words-young children, behavior problems, applied behavior analysis, early

intervention, behavior management, behavior modification, parent training, teacher

training, teacher-child relations, parent-child relations, teacher education, parent

education, and positive reinforcement-were used in several combinations. An archival

search of relevant journals was completed. Finally, researchers in this area of intervention

were contacted for additional information. The search focused on evidence-based studies

that met the following criteria: (a) problem behavior was a target behavior in the study,

(b) participants 5 years of age or under were included in the study, (c) an intervention

program designed to change adult behavior resulting in a change of the child's problem

behavior was evaluated, and (d) the change agent in the study was an adult. Seventeen

studies were identified that met these criteria. Packaged training programs, such as the

Incredible Years Training Series [IYTS] (Webster-Stratton, 2000) and Parent-Child

Interaction Therapy [PCIT] (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995) as well as intervention

studies that examine isolated interventions were identified in the search. A detailed

review of the interventions including strengths, limitations, and implications for the

proposed investigation follows.

Table 2-1 presents an overview of the literature, including descriptions of the

authorss, participants/setting, dependent measures, experimental design, training, and

results. The setting description includes the location (i.e., home, school, or clinic) and the

type of training (i.e., group or individual). The training description provides a summary









of the type of training as well as the amount of time needed to complete the training (if

reported). The training components of IYTS and PCIT are not summarized in the table

because a complete summary is provided within the narrative that follows. However,

modifications to the IYTS and PCIT programs are indicated (if applicable) in the table.

The complete names of the measures as well as the authors are found in the narrative

summary of each study. Finally, the intervention studies are presented in the table as they

appear in the narrative: packaged training programs, parent-child studies, and a teacher-

child study.

In the following section a comprehensive review of each of the studies outlined in

Table 2-1 is provided. The studies are presented as in Table 2-1 beginning with

standardized training programs, followed by intervention studies targeting individual

intervention programs for parents and then teachers.

Packaged Training Programs

Packaged training programs that are available for parents and teachers to reduce

problem behavior in young children are reviewed in Table 2-1. These training programs

provide procedures to assess adult-child interactions and to teach the adults skills to

change their interactions with the target child or children (James & Scotti, 2000). There

is extensive evidence for two programs, the Incredible Years Training Series [IYTS] and

Parent Child Interaction Therapy [PCIT], as reviewed above. IYTS and PCIT are

accessible to teacher and parent trainers as well as teachers and parents themselves via

books, training materials, and the worldwide web (see Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995;

Webster-Stratton, 1999; Webster & Herbert, 1994; www.phhp.ufl.edu/seyberg;

www.incredibleyears.com/index-content.htm; The incredible years, 2005). A brief

description of these programs and their accompanying research base is highlighted below.












Table 2-1. Studies of Intervention Strategies to Decrease Problem Behavior in Young Children

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Gross et al., Child: 208 Child: Non- Random PT = 12 wks (24 Child: problem
2003 Ages: 2-3 compliance, assignment to PT, hours total) decreased; behavior
Environmental aggression, PT + TT, TT, or weeks of IYTS improved in the
Risk destruction, wait list control TT = 12 wks (24 classroom via teacher
whining, yelling Growth Curve hours total) report. No improvement
Adult: Parent:208 Modeling/ANOVA weeks of PT at home on measures or
and Teacher: 77 Parent: Self- Child: ECBI (IYTS) observation.
efficacy, coercive Kohn's, PT + TT= 12 (48
Setting: discipline, parent Observation hours) wks of Parent: Self-efficacy
Group Training stress Parent: TCQ, PS, IYTS improved, coercive
DPCICS, ESI, Modifications: practices decreased, but
Depression Scale, PT for teachers, not maintained.
Observation Vignettes not
DAP eliminated
Webster- Child: 272 Child: Aggression Random PT= IYTS 12 Child: Increase in
Stratton et al., Ages: 4 and non-compliance assignment to weeks (2.5 hours compliance and a
2001 Environmental IYTS or standard per week, 30 decrease in aggression
Risk Parent: Interact with HS group hours total) with toward peers at school
child, provide help, Construct Score an additional 8 and a decrease in conduct
Adult: Parent: 272 praise, and hours of booster problems at home
and Teacher: 61 encouragement. Child: CBCL, sessions Parent: Increase in praise
Provide ECBI, DPCIS-R, TT= 6 sessions of and encouragement,
Setting: consequences for SCBE, ADHD IYTS (36 hours) decrease in harsh
Group Training inappropriate discipline, increase in
behavior school involvement
Note. ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, CD Conduct Disorder, DAP Developmentally Appropriate Practice, DD Developmental Delay,
ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder, MR Mental Retardation, PT Parent Training, PDD Pervasive Developmental Disorder, TT Teacher Training.












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Teacher: promote Checklist, Modification: Teacher: Increase
positive observations of Booster session in positive behavior
relationships, teacher, social Year Two strategies (praise),
strengthen social health profile decrease harsh and
skills of children, critical techniques
use incentives, be Parent: PPI,
proactive (use DPICS-R, CII,
praise), handle INVOLVE-P
misbehaviors, teach
children to Teacher:
problem-solve, INVOLVE-T,
collaborate impression
inventory, rate per
30-minute session
of praise,
encouragement,
and criticism












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Nixon, Child: 54 Child: non- Randomly PCIT=12 weeks Child: Increase in
Sweeney, Age: 3-5 compliance assigned to 1 of 3 (15.5 hours) compliance in PCIT.
Erickson, & disruptive groups: PCIT, Decrease in conduct
Touyze, 2003 Adult: Parent behavior modified PCIT(M) = 5 problem in PCIT and
PCIT(M), WL sessions with PCIT(M)
Inclusion: diagnosis Parent: discipline ANOVA therapist/parent, 5
ODD methods, use of video sessions with Parent: Increase praise,
praise while Child: ECBI, technique modeled decrease criticism
Setting: interacting with CBCL, HSQ and explained, (PCIT), decrease in
Individual Training child, parental telephone follow-up parental stress (PCIT)
Clinical Setting or stress Parent; PSI, (9.5 hours) and commands (PCIT)
Home Consultation PSCS, PS and PCIT(M)

Interaction:
DPICS-II
McNeil et al., Child: 32 Child: Disruptive Random PT: 14 sessions of Child: Decrease in
1999 Age: 2.5 to 8.6 behavior assignment: PCIT (3.5 months) disruptive behavior
years Treatment or WL
Parent: Parental MANOVA Parent: Improvement in
Adult: 2 Parent stress parental stress
Child: CBCL
Setting: ECBI
Individual Training
Clinical Setting Parent: PSI












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Schuhmann, Child: 64 Child: Problem Random PT: 14 sessions of Child: increase in
Foote, Eyberg, Age: 3-6 behavior, non- assignment: PCIT (3.5 months) compliance, no longer met
Boggs, & compliance Treatment or WL ODD criteria.
Algina, 1998 ANOVA
Parent: marital
Adult: Parent satisfaction, Child: DSM-III- Parent: Increased praise,
parental stress, R, DPICS-II, followed child's lead, less
Setting: locus of control, ECBI, PPVT-R critical of child, decreased
Individual Training depression. stress, improved locus of
Clinical Setting Parent: PLCS, control
Parent-Child Beck, DAS, TAI
Interactions
Inclusion:
Diagnosis of
(ODD,
ODD+ADHD,
ODD+ADHD+CD,
OD+CD) plus
medication for
hyperactivity












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Funderburk, Child: Child: Conduct Random PT: 14 sessions of Child: Decrease in
Eyberg, Age: 4.8 (mean) problem and assignment to PCIT problem behavior at
Newcomb, compliance school treatment or school following
McNeil, Adult: Parent control group Follow-up: at 12 treatment
Hembree-Kigin, ANOVA and 18 months Follow-up: Decrease
& Capage, 1998 Setting: maintained at 12 months;
Individual Training at 18 months, only
Clinical Setting Child: ECBI, compliance maintained.
RCTRS, SESBI,
Walker-
Inclusion: McConnell,
ODD Observation
ADHD
ODD+ADHD
ODD+ADHD+CD












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Feinfield & Child: 47 Child: aggression, Random PT: 12 weeks (9 1.5- Child: Decrease in
Baker, 2004 Age: 4.3 to 8.3 non-compliance, assignment to hour group sessions problem behavior as
oppositional immediate or + 4 40-minute reported by parents
Adult: Parent delayed sessions)
Parent: (1) reduce treatment group Parent: Decrease in
Setting: negative and MANOVA Role-play, lecture, aggressive parenting,
Group Training increase positive group discussion, consistent discipline,
with individual behaviors, Child: CBCL, video, homework improved parenting
support (2) improve ECBI, HSQ, attitudes, less stress
Clinical Setting consistency, CBCL-TRF,
(3) decrease SSQ, Walker- Teachers did not report a
negative response, McConnell decrease in problem
(4) positive behavior immediately
parent-child Parent: APQ, following treatment, but
relationship, PCRQ, IPA, did report a decrease at
(5) practice, PSOC, PSI 5-month follow-up
(6) improve
confidence

Marchant et al., Child: 4 Child: compliance Multiple PT: 1 (2-hour) Child: compliance
2004 3 children with DD; baseline probe modeling, direct behavior increased.
1 developing within Parent: (1) across 4 dyads coaching and Parent: increased use of
normal limits effective praise, feedback 2 to 3 effective and instructional
Age: 4 (2) instructional times per week praise, direct and
Adult: Parent praise, (3) direct corrective teaching, and
teaching (4) positive reinforcement












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Setting: corrective
Individual Training teaching (5)
Home positive
reinforcement
Inclusion: referred
by school for non-
compliance, high
score on PKBS >
50% compliance at
home
Bradley, Jadaa, Child: 198 Child: Problem Random PT: 3 (2-hour) Child: Decrease in
Brody, Landy, Age: 3-4 behavior assignment to weekly group problem, notably non-
Tallet, & treatment of wait sessions followed by compliance
Watson, 2003 Adult: Parent Parent: (1) list control 1 booster session.
rewards, (2) time- RMANOVA Parent: Decrease in
Setting: out, (3) reduce Videotape, group yelling, increase in
Group Training negative Child: PBQ, discussion, and rewards and time-out
parenting, (4) PCQ, BSI written material
reduce coercive
practices Parent: PS












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting


Hancock,
Kaiser, &
Delaney, 2002


Child: 5
Age: 3.2 to 3.10

Adult: Parent

Setting:
School
Individual Training

Inclusion: at risk
for language delay,
at risk for behavior
problem, low
income


Child: Language:
(% of utterance of
<3, mean length
utterance, diver-
sity of utterances,
number of utter-
ances, % of self-
initiated utterances
Behavior: non-
compliance,
negative physical
or verbal behavior
Parent: balance
turn-taking, child
response, adult
response, simple
directions, reduce
commands,
increase positive
to compliance,
increase correction
to non-
compliance,
decrease negative,
increase praise,
model appropriate
language


AB single-
subject design
replicated across
5 participants:
frequency of
response of
behaviors
reported as a
percentage

Child: PLS-3,
CBCL273,
CTRF, WPPSI
IQ

Parent:
(1) parental
ability to use
intervention,
(2) child's
observed
behavior and
communication,
(3) assessment of
language,
(4) parental
satisfaction


PT: 30 individual
sessions 30 to 45
minutes mean
time=8 months

Hand-outs, role
plays, videotapes,
coaching, and
specific feedback


Child: Increase on 5
language measures during
parent interactions, but
not on standardized
measures and compliance,
decrease in negative
verbal and physical
behaviors

Parent: learned and
applied strategies during
play sessions with limited
generalizations at home; a
significant increase in
praise with modest and
inconsistent changes on
language skills












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Behavior(s) Design/Measures Training Results
Setting
Mandal, Olmi, Child: 4 Child: Non- Multiple Written information, Child: Compliance
Edwards, Age: 2.5-4 compliance baseline direct teaching, role increased
Tingstom, & 2 severe language Parent: EID-eye crossover design modeling, and
Benoit, 2000 delays; 1 child with contact, praise for with three immediate Parent: Implemented
mild MR and eye contact, conditions: corrective feedback intervention
language delay directives, close frequency of (bug in ear) during
proximity, compliance and Effective Delivery
Adult: Parent descriptive treatment Instruction/Time In
Grandparent instruction, integrity
response time, reported as a
Setting: praise for percentage
Individual Training compliance
Clinic TI- verbal/
Inclusion: >40% physical praise for
compliance compliance
Greene, Kamps, Child: 4 Child: Multiple PT: 2 to 3 times per Child: Increase in
Wyblie, & Ellis, Age 5-7 inappropriate baseline across week for an average compliance, decrease in
1999 1 with ADHD behavior, com- participants, of an hour for 8 to aggression, on-task
2 fraternal twins pliance, on-task frequency data 13 weeks. behavior increased
Adult: Parent were obtained in Written information,
Setting: Parent: praise 10-minute discussion, role- Parent: Increased praise
Individual Training samples play, and modeling.
Home Goals: use praise,
provide clear
instructions, model,
consequences, rein-
forcement, time-out












Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Design/Measures Training Results
Setting Behavior(s)
Painter, Cook, Child: 4 Child: non- A nonconcurrent PT: therapeutic story Child: 3 of 4 children
& Silverman, Age: 5-7 compliance multiple baseline is provided to allow increased compliance
1999 crossover design; the dyad to identify according to parent
Adult: Parent Parent: Adherence frequency data the problem and report not reflected in
and satisfaction were reported for strategize alternative; BASC
Setting: Stress non-compliance behavioral training
Clinical Setting/ as well as to develop parenting Parent: Adhered to
Individual Training behavior intensity skills intervention, reduce
Child: BASC stress, satisfied with
Parent: PSI training
Smith & Child: 2 Child: non- PT: Two 1-hour Child: increase in
Lerman, 1999 Age: 4- 5 compliance sessions compliance in both
1 with autism and Parent: treatments
moderate MR, 1 Guided Handout, modeling,
with PDD and mild compliance: clear role-play, guided Parent: able to introduce
MR instructions, practice both strategies, but a
gestural prompt, decrease in non-
Adult: Parent physical prompt, compliance showed
praise greater improvement
Setting: High-probability under the guided
Home/ request: compliance treatment
Individual Training High-probability
followed by low-
probability
command, ignore
non-compliance,
provide praise









Table 2-1. Continued.

Author(s) Participants Target Design/Measures Training Results
Setting Behavior(s)
Richman, Child: 5 Child: non- PT: 1 to 11 sessions
Harrison, & Age 4-7 compliance Multiple probes Child: compliance
Summers, 1995 2 with DD design Definitions and increased
Parent: examples of the
Adult: Parent appropriate Child: Frequency child's behavior, Parent: increased
response to measure of didactic instruction, appropriate response to
Setting: compliance: compliance and rehearsal, and both compliance and
praise, physical non-compliance, interaction with non-compliance
Clinic affection, access CBCL trainer present
Individual Training to an activity; Generalization: results
non-compliance: Parent: generalized to a second
restate direction Frequency nonclinical setting
measure of correct
and incorrect
responses
Hiralall & Child: decrease Counterbalanced TT: 2-hour with a 10- Child: off-task behavior
Martens, 1998 Child: 14 off-task behavior multiple baseline minute practice decreased, on-task
Age: 3.8 to 4.10 design session the following behavior and attending to
Adult: Teacher Teacher: use Teacher: day instruction increased
Setting: instructional Continuous-event Teacher: implemented
Classroom sequence: eye recording Handouts, modeling, sequence
Group Training contact, for 10-14 minutes checklist Generalization: modeling
instruction, Child: 10-second and praise to other
model, praise, momentary time settings
redirect sampling









The Incredible Years Training Series [IYTS] developed by Webster-Stratton is

designed to work with parents and teachers of young children showing early onset of

problem behavior (Webster-Stratton & Hammond, 1997). The framework for the model

is based on the notion that parents and teachers who interact with children with problem

behavior must change their behavior if the children's problem behavior is to decrease.

Briefly, the parents and/or teachers of children ranging in age from 2 to 10 years old are

taught (a) to provide positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior and (b) to employ

appropriate discipline to reduce problem behavior.

The parent training program and the teacher training program include proactive

teaching, positive relationship-building, and behavior management techniques. The

parent component (Incredible Years Early Childhood, ages 2-7, BASIC Parent Training

Program, 2005; The incredible years, 2005) targets four skills areas with one to three

subsets of skills in each area: play (i.e., how to play with a child, helping children learn);

praise and rewards (i.e., use of effective praising, tangible rewards); effective limit-

setting (i.e., how to set limits, helping children learn to accept limits, dealing with non-

compliance); and handling misbehavior (i.e., avoiding and ignoring misbehavior, timeout,

and preventative strategies). The standard parent training component lasts for 12 weeks

and incorporates group discussion and activities guided by a series of videos of parenting

skills to facilitate instruction. The teacher training component for ages 4-10 is offered as

a 6-day workshop or as 24 weekly sessions lasting 2 hours per session. The teacher

training package targets six components of classroom management techniques (i.e.,

providing teacher attention, encouraging and praising, motivating children through

incentives, preventing behavior problems, the proactive teacher, decreasing students'

inappropriate behavior, building positive relationships with students, teaching social









skills, problem solving, and managing anger in the classroom). The teacher and parent

components utilize a didactic method of training: direct instruction, modeling, coaching,

and homework. Specifically, a certified facilitator uses videotape modeling, role-playing,

and rehearsal to teach IYTS. Practicing specific strategies and conducting follow-up

sessions at home (parents) or in the classroom (teachers) are encouraged. Parents and

teachers are also given visual reminders of the strategies taught in the form of refrigerator

magnets or blackboard notes. Of the 17 studies identified in this literature review, 3

studies investigated the use of IYTS intervention program. Summarized below are

findings from these 3 studies.

Gross and her colleagues (2003) examined the effectiveness of the IYTS with 208

low-income parents, 77 teachers, and 2- to 3-year-old children at risk for the development

of problem behavior due to their home environment. The families and teachers were

randomly assigned across 4 groups: (a) parent training and teacher training (PT + TT); (b)

parent training (PT); (c) teacher training (TT); and (d) a control. The groups were

assessed four times during a 15- to 18-month period: baseline, post-intervention, 6-

month, and 1-year follow-up. The parents were assessed for self-efficacy (Toddler Care

Questionnaire-parent interview); discipline strategies (Parenting Scale, Arnold, O'Leary,

Wolf, & Acker, 1993; parenting skills (Dyadic Parent-Child Interactive Coding System-

Revised [DPCICS], Parent child interaction therapy, 2004; Webster-Stratton, 1998);

depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, Radloff, 1977); and

everyday stress (Everyday Stressor Index, Hall & Farel, 1988). The children's problem

behavior was examined using parent report (Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory [ECBI],

Robinson, Eyberg, & Ross, 1980); teacher report (Kohn's Problem Checklist, Kohn,

1977); and an observer rating of child behavior based on a 15-minute videotape of parent









and child interaction. The interventions were taught to the 3 groups using the previously

described strategies (via videotaped vignettes followed by discussion and homework).

However, the teachers were given the parent training (designed for children ages 2-7) in

place of the teacher training (designed for children ages 4-10). Furthermore, videotape

vignettes deemed inappropriate for use with toddlers were excluded. The strategies were

then carried out at home or in the classroom by the parent, teacher, or both. The findings

indicate that there was no effect on the parent's report of child's problem behavior or on

the researcher's observations of problem behavior at home. However, parenting self-

efficacy scores improved as did positive parent-child interaction scores. Coercive

discipline also decreased, but was not maintained. The classroom behavior of the toddlers

improved for all three groups with no significant effect noticed between groups (PT, TT,

PT + TT). Teachers did not report increased collaboration, but reported that contact with

parents was minimal. While the teachers and the parents reported satisfaction with the

training, one-fifth of the parents and one-third of the teachers dropped out of the study

before completion. Half of the parents who completed the program reported that it was

difficult to complete the homework assignments, and a third reported that it was not easy

for them to attend the training at the child care center. A small percentage of the teachers

who completed the study (3%) reported difficulty with attendance or completion of the

homework assignments.

A second study examined the effectiveness of IYTS within a Head Start (HS)

program (Webster-Stratton et al., 2001). The study included 272 mothers and their 4-

year-old children as well as 67 HS teachers and 13 HS family service workers (FSW).

The children did not have a specific behavioral diagnosis but were considered at risk for

the development of ODD/CD due to criteria for Head Start placement. Parents and









teachers were assigned randomly to IYTS or a control group. FSW were trained to

provide the parent training. The children were assessed via home observation as well as

parent and teacher report twice (fall and spring) during the school year. The follow-up

year (kindergarten) parent report and home observation were included in the assessment,

but the teacher report was not. The following assessments were used to evaluate the

children's behavior at home: Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL] (Achenbach &

Edelbrock, 1991); ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980); Dyadic Parent-Child Interactive Coding

System-Revised [DPICS-R] (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981); CII-child (parent

questionnaire). The following assessments were used in school to assess the child's

behavior at school: SCBE-preschool (LaFreniere, Dumas, Dubeau, & Capuano, 1992);

Teacher ADHD checklist (DuPaul, 1990); independent observations of behavior in the

classroom (child engagement during unstructured time, classroom conduct with teachers

and peers); and social health profile (school readiness and antisocial behavior).

For the teacher classroom management as well as overall classroom atmosphere,

the following assessments were given: classroom atmosphere measure; independent

observations of teachers' behaviors in classroom (praise and encouragement, critical

statements); and teacher coder impression inventory. The mothers' behaviors were

assessed using: PPI (parent questionnaire); DPICS-R (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981); and

CII-parenting style (parent questionnaire). Finally, parent-teacher bonding was measured

using INVOLVE-P (questionnaire) and INVOLVE-T (questionnaire). Mothers received

the standard 12 parent training sessions (1 time per week for 12 weeks) as previously

described. As an addition to the standard IYTS, 4 booster sessions (group or individual)

were offered the following school year (kindergarten). The booster session addressed a

review of child-directed play, helping your child make friends, reading using an









interactive approach, problem solving with children, and working successfully with

teachers. Teachers were given six 1-day workshops over a 6-month period as previously

described without any reported modifications. When compared to the mothers in the

control group, there was an increase in positive parenting (e.g., an increase in praise), a

reduction in harsh discipline, and improved school involvement to include parent-teacher

bonding. The teachers who received the training used more positive behavior

management strategies (e.g., an increase in praise) than the control teachers. The children

whose parents and teachers participated in the training showed an increase in compliance

with teachers and a decrease in aggressive behavior toward peers in school. Fewer

conduct problems were reported at home as well. Teacher as well as mother satisfaction

was reported as very high. Mothers in the intervention group attended an average of 6 of

12 classes with partners attending an average of 3 out of 12 sessions. Teachers did not

miss more than one class, and viewing a video of the training made up the missed class.

Overall family enrollment in the program was lower than projected. The researchers

concluded that the families who were most at risk may not have participated.

Additionally, families in the control group continued to receive the HS parent education

curriculum that included information on stress management, nutrition, self-care, and

dental health.

A third study examined the effects of a randomized study evaluating the parent

training component of IYTS on children's problem behavior at home and school as well

as home-school connections (Webster-Stratton, 1998). The study looked at 426 families

(n=296 experimental and n=130 control) with 426 children (average age: 4 years 8

months) who were enrolled in Head Start (HS). The children, who did not have a specific

diagnosis, were deemed at risk for the development of ODD/CD due to the criteria for









enrollment in HS. Families in the control group continued to receive the HS parent

education curriculum that included information on stress management, nutrition, self-

care, and dental health. The children's social competencies as well as conduct problems

at school were assessed using the Social Competence Scale-Teacher Report (teacher

interview) and Teacher-Report Form-CBCL (Edelbrock & Achenbach, 1984). Parental

competencies were assessed using the Discipline Style and Techniques (questionnaire),

[DPICS-R] (Robinson & Eyberg, 1981), CII-Parenting Style (impression inventory) as

well as INVOLVE to measure parent-school involvement (questionnaire). The

intervention group worked in partnership with parents, teachers, and family service

workers, while the control group received regular HS services. Participating parents

received a shortened (8-9 weeks) version of the IYTS (specific components of the

shortened version were not reported), which included weekly parent meetings with

videotape, role-play activities, and homework assignments. All participating classroom

staff received a 2-day workshop that provided an overview of the parent workshops as

well as classroom behavior management techniques. The mothers in the intervention

group decreased harsh and negative parenting and increased praise as well as discipline

competence. Teachers reported a significant increase in parental school involvement as

compared to the control parents, and involvement was maintained in kindergarten. The

children whose parents participated showed an increase in compliance with a decrease in

deviant behavior and misbehavior at home. Teachers did not report a decrease in problem

behavior at school, but did note an increase in social competence. Parents were reported

to be very pleased with the program. The mothers attended an average of 6 of the 8-9

sessions, and the fathers (34% participated) attended an average of 5 sessions. The

teachers who participated received complete training sessions. The researchers concluded









that the limited teacher training component may have had an impact on the lack of

improvement in problem behavior at school.

Although the overall results of the research examining the effectiveness of the

IYTS are promising, there are limitations. First, there is no component analysis within

each of the training series. For example, it is not known within the parent training

program if play involvement, praise and rewards, or limit-setting either alone or in

combination provide the most powerful intervention. Second, parents reported

satisfaction with IYTS, but many did not complete the training or were unable to follow-

up with the homework. It is not known if such a lengthy intervention (12 sessions) with

many skills to learn is needed to provide a decrease in problem behavior. Third, 2 of the 3

studies involve HS parents or teachers, and this may not be a representative sample of

parents because they are parents who are motivated to seek services, and HS strongly

encourages active parent involvement and training. Additionally, parents continued to

receive regular HS services while participating in parent training.

The second training standardized intervention program included within the review,

Parent Child Interaction Therapy [PCIT] (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995), is a clinic-

based program emphasizing parenting techniques to improve parent-child interactions to

decrease problem behavior in young children ages 2 to 8 years. A comprehensive

treatment takes 10 to 16 weekly sessions of 1 hour per session. The treatment package

encompasses five components: (a) an assessment of child and family functioning

pretreatment; (b) child-directed interaction [CDI] phase; (c) parent-directed interaction

(PDI) phase; (d) generalization; and (e) an assessment of child and family functioning

post-treatment assessment (Herschell, Calzada, Eyberg, & McNeil, 2002).









PCIT incorporates intervention goals in a two-phase process: (a) strengthening the

parent-child relationship via positive interaction strategies and (b) teaching parents the

skills needed to manage their child's problem behavior by providing effective

consequences. The program works with parents and their children who display an array

of problem behavior (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995). The parents play with their child

while trained therapists via radio ear piece provide specific interventions to improve

parental behavior management techniques. The techniques used during the controlled 5-

minute play sessions include using specific praise of appropriate behavior, labeling,

describing child's appropriate behavior, reflecting appropriate talk, imitating appropriate

play, decreasing commands, questions or criticism, and ignoring inappropriate behavior.

In addition, discipline techniques are taught. Specifically, parents are trained to give

effective directions, determine compliance, provide two choices when giving a request,

and use time-out (several stages from time-out to spanking during time-out to isolation).

Furthermore, parents are taught to use labeled praise if a child complies during the

discipline phase. PCIT favors a direct coaching approach as the program (a) provides

immediate feedback, (b) gives parents encouragement to continue the job, and (c) allows

for fast paced learning. Of the 17 studies identified, 4 studies investigated the use of

PCIT. Summarized below are findings from these PCIT studies that have been conducted

with target children and parents. (The investigators from each of the PCIT studies

excluded children who were diagnosed with a physical or mental disability or

impairment.)

A study of 54 children (ages 3-5) with problem behavior and their parents

evaluated the effectiveness of standard PCIT training and a modified version (Nixon et

al., 2003). The children randomly were assigned to one of three groups: PCIT, PCIT









modified (PCITM), and wait list control. Children were included in the study if they (a)

were in the clinical range of the ECBI (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999); (b) met the diagnostic

criteria for ODD; and (c) displayed disruptive behavior for 6 months. The children's

behavior was assessed using the following measures: ECBI (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999);

CBCL (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000); and the Home Situation Questionnaire-Modified

[HSQ-M] (Matthey & Bamett, 1999). The parents' attitudes as well as discipline methods

were assessed using the following measures: Parenting Stress Index [PSI] (Abidin, 1995);

Parent Sense of Competence Scale [PSCS] (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978);

Parental Locus of Control Scale [PLCS] (Campis, Lyman, & Prentice-Dunn, 1986); and

the PS (Arnold et al., 1993). Finally, an observation of parent-child interaction was

completed in the clinical setting using the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding

System II [DPICS-II] (Eyberg, Edwards, Bessmer, & Litwins, 1994). The training for the

standard PCIT group was followed as previously described. The modified group did not

attend a clinic but instead received the training via videotape (i.e., the principal

investigator videotaped himself discussing and modeling the previously described skills)

with alternate face-to-face or telephone meetings provided. The standard program took

15.5 hours to administer per target dyad while the modified program took 9.5 hours per

dyad. The results indicate that, immediately following treatment, mothers in PCIT

reported significant changes in oppositional behavior and a reduction in parental stress.

Mothers in both treatment groups gave their children more praise and fewer commands

with PCIT mothers greatly reducing criticisms. Children in the standard group showed

more compliant behavior than children in PCITM. Follow-up data for this investigation

reported that 1 and 2 years after the completion of PCIT as well as PCITM the treatment

gains were mostly in place with no significant differences noted between the two groups









(Nixon, Sweeney, Erickson, & Touyz, 2004). This is an important addition to the PCIT

research literature because parents who are not able to travel to or are not comfortable in

a clinical setting may benefit from the modified version of the training.

A second study evaluated the effectiveness of PCIT training on 32 children with a

mean age of 5 years and their parents (McNeil et al., 1999). Children who were referred

for disruptive behavior problems were placed in a treatment group (n=18) or a wait list

control group (n=14). The children's behavior was assessed using the following

measures: CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991) and ECBI (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999).

Parental stress was assessed via the PSI (Abidin, 1995). The families followed the

standard treatment program as previously described. The results indicated that children

in the treatment group decreased disruptive problem behavior while children in the wait

list control group continued to exhibit disruptive behavior. Parental stress also improved.

However, the decrease in problem behavior as well as parental stress levels was based

solely on parent report. This may introduce bias into the results because the treatment

parents may have expected a positive effect following treatment. In addition, effect of

treatment was not generalized to a second setting (e.g., school).

A third study illustrated the results of PCIT on a group of 64 children ages 3 to 6

years old diagnosed with ODD, ADHD/ODD, CD/ ADHD, or CD/OD (Schuhmann et al.,

1998). In addition, the children were taking medication for hyperactivity. Children were

assigned to an immediate treatment (n=37) or a wait list control (n=27) group. The

investigators were looking at the effect of PCIT on the following: parent-child

interactions, child behavior problems, marital satisfaction, parenting stress, parental locus

of control, and parental depression. Child and parent behaviors were assessed using the

following instruments: DSM-III-R Structured Interview for Disruptive Behavior









Disorders [DPICS-II] (Eyberg et al., 1994); ECBI (Eyberg, 1992); PSI (Abidin, 1995);

Parent Locus of Control Scale [PLCS] (Campis et al., 1986); The Peabody Picture

Vocabulary Test-R [PPVT-R] (Dunn & Dunn, 1981); Beck Depression Inventory (Beck,

1992); Dyadic Adjustment Scale [DAS] (Spanier, 1976); and Therapy Attitude Inventory

[TAI]. The families followed the standard treatment program as described previously.

The average length of treatment was 13 sessions. After treatment, parents successfully

changed their interaction style with their child. For example, the parents used praise

significantly more often, were better able to follow their child's lead during play, and

were less critical of their child. Furthermore, the children's non-compliance decreased

following treatment. The parents reported great improvement at home, and the children

no longer met the criteria for ODD. Parents in the study did not report high levels of

depression or marital problems, although these findings were not significant. However,

parents did report a decrease in parenting stress as well as an increase in their ability to

control their child.

Funderburk and colleagues (1998) extended the PCIT literature as they examined

the generalized effects of PCIT on the target children's school behavior. Eighty-four

children with a mean age of 4.8 years referred for treatment of conduct problems at home

were included in the study. The treatment group (12 males) was compared to three

control groups (72 males) identified as low problem behavior, average problem behavior,

and high problem behavior. The children in the treatment group were diagnosed with

ODD, ADHD, ODD/ADHD, or ODD/ADHD/CD. The children in the control groups

were placed in each group based on teacher rating. The children's behaviors were

assessed using the following measures: ECBI (Eyberg, 1992); Revised Conners Teacher

Rating Scale [RCTRS] (Goyette, Conners, & Ulrich, 1978); Sutter-Eyberg Student









Behavior Inventory [SESBI] (Eyberg, Boggs, & Algina, 1998); Walker-McConnell Scale

of Social Competence and School Adjustment (Walker & McConnell, 1987); and

classroom observation of the children's behavior. The parents participated in the standard

clinical treatment as previously described. At the end of the 14-session treatment, the

children's problem behavior at school decreased. This is a significant finding because

treatment was not provided for students within the classroom setting or to the teacher.

Twelve months after treatment the children maintained a decrease in problem behavior.

However, 18 months after treatment, only compliance behavior maintained at school. The

investigators concluded that while PCIT improved the children's school behavior, as the

children moved from preschool and first-grade academic requirements increased, and the

treatment effect decreased in the school setting.

While the results of the PCIT studies are promising, there are limitations. The

studies are conducted on controlled target populations within a university-based clinical

setting. This eliminates parents and children who are unable to participate in a clinical

setting due to travel requirements or monetary restraints, such as lack of insurance

coverage for mental health services. Furthermore, phase and component analysis has not

been investigated so it is not known which phase or component may have the strongest

treatment effects. Additionally, the discipline phase of PCIT might not be generalized to

the school setting as a classroom teacher may be unable to incorporate the more severe

forms of discipline (e.g., spanking, basket hold in time-out, and isolation).

In summary, while the two packaged training programs have promising outcomes

for parent and teacher educators, there are additional practical limitations. Both programs

provide a packaged program of treatment; therefore, individual parent-child and teacher-

child differences may not be taken into account when planning and implementing









treatment. Both programs require a generous commitment of time on the part of the adult

enrolled in training. Additionally, both programs require a personal or program-level

monetary commitment, either in the form of funding for clinical services (PCIT) or

payment of trained facilitators and the purchase of standard training materials (IYTS).

Furthermore, with the exception of the short-term results of the Funderburk et al. (1998)

study, the programs offering only parent training report little or no generalization to the

school environment. Finally, the parents participating in the two programs are those who

are seeking help for their child's behavior problems. It is not known if less motivated

parents would receive the same positive results.

Individual Intervention Studies

In addition to the two standardized training programs reviewed, several individual

intervention studies meeting the search criteria targeting reduction of problem behavior in

young children have been conducted. Nine studies focus on altering the parent-child dyad

while the remaining study focuses on altering the teacher-child dyad. Parent-child and

teacher-child studies are reviewed in the next two sections.

Parent-Child Dyad Studies

Feinfield and Baker (2004) studied the effect of a 12-week group parent training

program on young children (ages 4 to 8 years) with persistent and significant problem

behavior (aggression, non-compliance, and oppositional behaviors) as identified by

CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991) or the ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980) parental

report scores. Children were excluded from the study if they were developmentally

delayed. The following measures were used to assess the children's behaviors at home

and school: CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991); ECBI (Robinson et al., 1980); Home

Situation Questionnaire [HSQ] (Barkley, 1981); Behavior Global Change Rating (parent









questionnaire); CBCL-TRF (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991); SSQ (Barkley, 1981); and

Walker-McConnell (Walker & McConnell, 1987). Parenting practices were assessed

using the following measures: Alabama Parenting Questionnaire [APQ] (Frick, 1991);

Parent-Child Relationship Questionnaire [PCRQ] (Furman & Buhrmester, 2001); Index

of Parental Attitudes [IPA] (Hudson, 1982); Parenting Sense of Competence [PSOC]

(Gibaud-Wallston, 1978); and PSI (Abidin, 1995). The 39 participating parents were

assigned to either a treatment or a delayed treatment group. The length of the parent

training consisted of 30 minutes with their child followed by nine 1.5-hour group sessions

and three 40-minute individual sessions. The parents were taught the following

techniques: (a) to reduce negative behaviors and increase positive behaviors, (b) to

consistently respond to their child's behavior, (c) to decrease negative responses to

behaviors, and (d) to build a positive parent-child relationship. Parents were encouraged

to practice the skills with their child. The curriculum was taught via role-play, lecture,

and group discussion. Furthermore, parents were given weekly homework assignments.

During the individual session, parents worked with a trainer on the skills previously

mentioned. (A videotape of the parent and child playing together was available as a

training tool.) Group and individual child sessions were also provided while the parents

attended training, but the results of this additional intervention are not reported. The

results indicated that parents reported a decrease in problem behavior (i.e., aggression,

non-compliance, and oppositional behavior) at home. Parents also reported an

improvement in parenting techniques with a more consistent pattern of discipline and less

aggressive parenting (i.e., spanking, yelling, nagging). Parents' attitudes about their

parenting improved while their stress decreased. The parents reported high levels of

satisfaction with the training. Immediately following treatment, teachers of the target









children reported no decrease in problem behavior, but 5 months after treatment teachers

noted a decrease in problem behavior. The authors concluded that the adults and the

children learned a new pattern of adult-child interaction when parent-child interactions

improved at home and were able to apply this pattern of interaction at school, thus

helping them respond to classroom demands.

Marchant, Young, & West (2004) used a multiple baseline probe design to examine

how effectively four parents were able to learn and use strategies to reduce the problem

behavior (i.e., non-compliance) in their 4-year-old children. Three of the children

attended a HS program and one attended a self-contained classroom for preschool

children with disabilities. Three of the children were reported to have significant

developmental delays. The children were included in the study if they: (a) had been

referred by school personnel for behavior problems including non-compliance; (b) had a

moderate to significant score on the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale [PKBS]

(Merrell, 1994); and (c) had less than 50% compliance as observed in the home setting.

One child behavior was targeted for intervention: increase compliance. Five parent

behaviors were targeted for intervention: effective praise (contingent, specific and

immediate); instructional praise); direct teaching; corrective teaching; and positive

reinforcement. Parents were trained at home to use the target behaviors to decrease non-

compliance in their children. Training was conducted using videotapes, modeling skills,

role-playing, as well as positive and corrective feedback. The initial training lasted 2

hours followed by modeling and feedback 2 to 3 times per week, which was decreased to

phone calls and less frequent visits as the study progressed. Observational data were

collected throughout the investigation. Following training, the parents increased their use

of praise strategies as well as appropriate teaching skills, and children decreased non-









compliant behavior. The researchers concluded that parents learned new skills that

decreased non-compliant behavior in their children. The greatest improvement was in the

parent's increased use of praise when interacting with their children. The parents were

able to use effective (i.e., contingent, specific, immediate) praise as well instructional

(i.e., contingent, specific, immediate, with a reason provided) praise with their children.

While the outcomes at home were promising, the results did not generalize to the school

setting. The parents indicated that they were satisfied with the treatment.

A third study examined the effectiveness of a brief group parent training on the

problem behavior of 3- and 4-year-old children (Bradley et al., 2003). The parents were

self-referred because they felt they were having difficulty managing their children's

behavior. Parents (n=198) were randomly assigned either to an experimental (n=89) or to

a wait list control group (n=109). The following measures were given prior to and at the

conclusion of intervention: PS (Arnold et al., 1993); The Preschool Behavior

Questionnaire [PBQ] (Behar & Stringfield, 1974); Preschool Characteristics

Questionnaire [PCQ] (Finegan, Niccols, Zacher, & Hood, 1989); and the Brief Symptom

Inventory [BSI] (Derogatis, 1993). A video was used to facilitate group discussion on

ways to manage difficult behavior. The training consisted of three 2-hour group sessions

followed by 1 booster session. The strategies provided in the curriculum include the use

of rewards and time-out as well as the importance of reducing negative parenting (i.e.,

yelling, hitting, and criticism) and coercive interactions. Additionally, positive and

negative examples of parenting behavior were given as well as methods to reduce child-

resistant behavior. The measures of child behavior indicated a decrease in

hyperactive/distractible behavior, but not on aggressive behavior. Parents reported a

decrease in problem behavior, notably non-compliance. Parents reported improved









parenting skills with a decrease in yelling and better management skills. However, all

results are based solely on parental report of a self-referred population.

A fourth study assessed the results of an intervention taught to 5 parents with

children ages 38 to 46 months who exhibited both an early onset of problem behavior and

mild language delays (Hancock et al., 2002). The children were included in the study if

they were (a) at risk for a language delay as measured on the PLS-3 (Zimmerman,

Steiner, & Pond, 1992); (b) at risk for the behavior problems as measured on the

CBCL/2-3 (Achenbach, 1992); and (c) low income as reported by the parent. In addition

to the previously mentioned assessments, the children were given the CTRF (Achenbach,

1992) and the WPPSI IQ (Wechsler, 1989). Four variables were assessed: (a) the parent's

ability to use the intervention strategies, (b) the child's observed behavior and

communication, (c) developmental assessments of the child's language, and (d) parental

satisfaction. Parent intervention goals included balance turns, increase opportunity for

children to respond, increase adult responses to child's language, provide simple

directions, decrease commands during play, increase positive responses to compliance,

increase correction to non-compliance, decrease negative verbalization, increase praise,

and model appropriate language. The parents attended 30 (30- to 45-minute) individual

sessions for approximately 8 months at the child's care center. Generalization

observations were made in the home four times during the study. During the sessions the

training was provided via handouts, videotape to provide specific examples, modeling,

direct coaching, and immediate feedback. The results of the study indicated that parents

were able to implement the strategies during the sessions at the child care center with

limited generalization to the home. For example, parents praised their children four times

more from baseline to intervention. Although teachers and parents reported that the target









children had high levels of problem behavior, this was not observed during baseline or

intervention. However, during the play sessions all the children decreased non-compliant

and negative behaviors from baseline to intervention. Children showed improvements in

language skills during play sessions, but significant changes were not seen on

standardized measures of language ability. Parents reported satisfaction with the training,

but investigators reported the parents in the study did not consistently attend training

sessions, had a difficult time meeting criterion as well as maintaining the target

behaviors. Furthermore, in addition to poor generalization of skills to the home, the skills

were not well maintained in the follow-up phase.

A fifth study assessed the effects of an individual parent training program in a

clinical setting using positive procedures on the problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance)

of 4 preschool children (Mandal et al., 2000). Their primary caregiver referred the

children. Children were included if they complied with an adult request less than 40% of

time. Two of the children were diagnosed with severe language delays; one child was

diagnosed with mild mental retardation and a language delay. A multiple baseline

crossover design was used to evaluate effective instruction delivery [EID] (i.e., eye

contact, praise for eye contact, directives, close proximity, descriptive instruction,

response time, and praise for compliance) and time in [TI] (i.e., verbal/physical praise for

appropriate behavior). Parent training sessions included: written information, didactic

teaching, role modeling, and immediate feedback (i.e., "bug in the ear"). In each

condition (EID, TI, and combined EID/TI), a decrease in problem behavior (non-

compliance) was observed; the greatest improvement was in the combined phase.

However, the parents reported the immediate feedback provided via the "bug in the ear"

was unpleasant to them. Additionally, the TI phase did not specify if verbal or physical









praise was more effective. The parents had difficulty implementing the treatment

effectively during the EID phase. Furthermore, the investigators did not report the length

of time for each session or total length of time needed to complete the intervention phase.

Greene, Kamps, Wyble, and Ellis (1999) examined the effects of a home-based

program to train 3 mothers to manage the problem behavior of their 4 children (ages 5-7).

The children were participating in an in-school behavior prevention program at the time

of recruitment. The mothers in the study were self-referred to learn additional techniques

for managing behavior at home. One child was diagnosed with ADHD. The mothers

reported the following problem behavior in the children: physical and verbal aggression

as well as non-compliance. Five behaviors were targeted for intervention: inappropriate

child behavior, child compliance, on-task behavior, child and parent interaction, and

parent praise. Observations of the child-parent and sibling interactions were completed in

the home, and parents filled out a weekly child behavior report. A multiple-baseline

design across participants was used to study the outcomes. The in-home program

incorporated written information, discussion, modeling, role-playing, and practice. Home

visits occurred two to three times per week lasting 8 to 13 weeks; the number of sessions

ranged from 11 to 18 sessions. To decrease problem behaviors, the parents were taught to

use praise, give clear instructions, model appropriate behavior, provide effective

consequences, employ a reinforcement schedule, and use a time-out method. After

treatment, a decrease in problem behavior (aggression and non-compliance) was

observed and reported by the parent. Notably, all parents increased their use of praise

after training. The parents were highly satisfied with the program. However, the parents

volunteered for treatment and were familiar with the therapist at the start of the home-

based program because they had a prior relationship in the in-school prevention program.









Furthermore, the children and the parents were already participating in a prevention

program. Generalization information to an out-of-home setting (e.g., school) was not

provided.

A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design was used to assess the effects of an

individual parent training in a clinical setting using therapeutic storytelling [TST] and

behavioral management (BPT) on the problem behavior (non-compliance) of 4 boys

(ages 5 to 7) (Painter et al., 1999). The parents and the children were self-referred for

treatment. Parents took the following measures of their child's problem behavior

(frequency and intensity of non-compliance) and their own ability to adhere to treatment

(i.e., adherence and satisfaction). The children's recall of a therapeutic story was also

assessed. Two additional measures were given to the parent: PRS version of the

Behavioral Assessment System for Children [BASC] and the PSI (Abidin, 1995). During

the TST phase, the parents were provided with a story that correlated to the problem

behavior of the child. The parent and child read and discussed the story to learn

alternative solutions to the problem behavior. During the BPT phase, each parent worked

individually with a therapist on strategies to decrease non-compliance (i.e., give specific

directions, provide natural consequences, ignore inappropriate behaviors, use time-out,

and provide a stable routine). The results indicated that both treatments were effective in

reducing the non-compliance of 3 of the 4 target children as reported by the parents.

However, the findings were not evident in the BASC results given post-treatment.

Parents were highly satisfied with the treatment.

Smith and Lerman (1999) studied the effectiveness of a parent training to decrease

the problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance) of two boys (ages 4 and 5). One boy was

diagnosed with autism and moderate mental retardation and the other with pervasive









developmental disorder (PDD) and mild mental retardation. Therapists trained parents

during two home visits (1-hour each) to use guided compliance and a high-probability

instructional sequence to decrease rates of non-compliance and increase compliance. The

goal was to provide short-term training to teach both strategies to the parents and to

compare the effectiveness of the strategies on the children's non-compliance and on the

parents' ability to acquire the new skill and their satisfaction. Parents and children were

observed prior to the start of the study to determine levels of non-compliance. The

parents were also interviewed. In the guided compliance phase, the parent was instructed

to: (a) give clear direct instructions, (b) deliver a gestural prompt if the child did not

comply, (c) provide physical guidance if the child did not comply, and (d) give praise in

the event of compliance. In the high-probability phase, the parent was taught to (a) give a

series of high-probability commands followed by a low-probability command, (b) ignore

non-compliance, and (c) praise immediately following compliance. The training

procedures were the same during both phases: (a) a handout with all procedures outlined

was given to the parent; (b) the therapist provided modeling; (c) role-playing was

conducted; and (d) guided practice with therapist, parent, and child present occurred. The

training took place in two home visits lasting 1 hour each. A comparison of the

effectiveness of treatments as well as parental satisfaction was made. Parents easily

learned to implement both treatments following short-term training, but a higher rate of

improvement (decrease in non-compliance) was seen in the guided compliance phrase.

The parents found the procedures easy to implement and were satisfied with both

treatments.

A ninth study examined the results of a parent training program to decrease the

problem behavior of 5 young children (ages 4 to 7) (Richman et al., 1995). The primary









cause for referral was non-compliance, but the children also exhibited tantrums,

aggression, disruption, and verbal aggression. Two of the 5 children were diagnosed with

developmental delays. The CBCL (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1991) was completed prior

to the start of treatment. Researchers worked with the parents and children in a simulated

play setting within a medical facility. The target behavior for the parents was appropriate

response to compliance (i.e., praise, physical affection, access to an activity) as well as

restating the directions if the child continued to be non-compliant. However, for the 2

children with developmental delays, the parental response for non-compliance was a

prompt sequence (i.e., verbal, gestural, and physical prompt). The target behavior for the

children was completion of the request within 10 seconds and task completion within 5

minutes. The training ranged from 1 to 11 sessions. The training involved four

components: (a) definitions and examples of the child's behavior with the parent were

provided by the trainer; (b) didactic instruction of appropriate responses to the child's

behavior was taught; (c) rehearsal of the response with the child, parent, and trainer

present; and (d) application of parent-child interactions without the trainer present. The

parents were taught to use praise, give clear instructions, model appropriate behavior,

provide effective consequences, employ a reinforcement schedule, and use a time-out

method. Findings after training indicated that parents increased positive responses to the

child's appropriate behavior and non-compliance decreased. Additionally, the parents

successfully generalized the responses to a second non-clinical setting and maintained the

behaviors for 6 months. This investigation is a worthwhile addition to the literature

because modification to the treatment was made based on each child's developmental

level as well as the family's ability to learn the intervention successfully.









Teacher-Child Dyad Study

A study using a multiple baseline design examined the effects of a five-step

instructional sequence given by the teacher to address off-task behavior of children in a

preschool classroom (Hiralall & Martens, 1998). Four teachers and 14 children (3 to 4

years old) participated in the study. Teachers nominated their students with problem

behavior. The target behavior for the teacher was the use of the instructional sequence

during a teacher-directed art activity. The target behaviors for the children were: attend

to instruction and be on-task. A 2-hour teacher training in the classroom was provided to

the teachers. The training included verbal and written descriptions of the strategies as

well as modeling and role-playing. The teachers were given a checklist to remind them of

the instructional sequence during the chosen activity. They were taught to implement in a

prescribed order: demand eye contact, give step-by-step instructions, model, praise, and

redirect. After training, the results indicated that the teachers used the sequence

successfully (i.e., eye contact, modeling, and praise showed the greatest increase) and

that the children's problem behavior (off-task) decreased; furthermore, child engagement

increased. Although generalization data were not reported, the teachers stated that they

used modeling and praise during free play and transitions.

Summary of Adult-Child Dyad Studies

The parent-child studies and teacher-child study reported several positive findings.

First, the majority of parents and all teachers were able to learn and to implement all or

part of the intervention steps or strategies. Second, an increase in appropriate behavior

(i.e., compliance) and a decrease in problem behavior (i.e., non-compliance and

aggression) were reported in the majority of the target children. Third, in all studies the

parents and teachers reported satisfaction with the training. These positive outcomes









should be viewed with caution because the studies have limitations. First, the studies that

required a longer commitment of time on the part of the adults reported mixed results in

parent attendance and their ability to learn and implement the entire skill set. Second,

many parents were self-referred, and the results were self-reported. The parents

participating in the intervention may have expected to see an improvement in the child's

behavior and therefore reported an increase in appropriate behavior and a decrease in

problem behavior. Third, although the toddler and early preschool years (ages 2 and 3)

may be a critical time to intervene with children exhibiting an early onset of problem

behavior, the majority of the studies focus on children ages 4 and older. The training

provided adults and children over the age of 4 may not be developmentally appropriate

for toddlers and young preschoolers (Sampers et al., 2001). Furthermore, the majority of

the training is provided for the home setting with little generalization data provided

regarding an outside setting such as a child care classroom. Finally, like the standard

training programs, the parent-child and teacher-child studies offer multi-component

interventions, so the effect of a single component is unknown.

Summary

In summary, promising evidence-based interventions to train adults to implement

strategies that increase appropriate behavior and decrease problem behavior in young

children are available. Results of the 17 studies reviewed indicate that a variety of

interventions and strategies have been utilized with varying levels of success. The

strengths of the studies in addition to their limitations may offer a direction for future

intervention research. The following section provides a summary of the strengths and

limitations of studies reviewed with suggestions for future research.









There are encouraging findings within the body of intervention studies reviewed.

First, most of the intervention studies emphasized the need for the parent or teacher to

change his or her behavior to increase appropriate behavior and decrease the problem

behavior of the target children. Second, the interventions, for the most part, emphasized

positive intervention strategies, such as the use of praise, prompting, redirection, or

modeling to increase a child's appropriate behavior. Third, adults were taught appropriate

discipline strategies (i.e., ignore, give a choice, provide effective directions, provide

appropriate consequences) to decrease a child's problem behavior. Fourth, while the

majority of the intervention studies required a substantial time commitment, three studies

provided the adult with a relatively brief training that resulted in a decrease in the

problem behavior of young children (Bradley et al., 2003; Hiralall & Martens, 1998;

Smith & Lerman, 1999). Finally, each of the reviewed programs or studies incorporates

components of direct instruction when teaching intervention strategies to parents or

teachers. Direct instruction provides the parent or teacher with modeling, prompts,

feedback, and reinforcement (Hiralall & Martens, 1998). As a result, the parent or teacher

implements a standard procedure so they are well prepared and consistent when

interacting with the target child.

While the overall results of the parent-child and teacher-child intervention studies

reviewed are promising, the body of literature is not without limitations. The first

limitation is the relative absence of intervention studies with children ages 2 and 3 and

their child care teachers. Given the large number of young children in child care centers

who are exhibiting problem behavior, this is a need to address in future research. Second,

the majority of the interventions provided require a large commitment of time on the part

of the adult. For example, 13 of the interventions require over 13 hours of training, often









outside the child's home environment. This may not be possible for parents who are

unable to attend training sessions during the work day, after work, or on the weekend.

Parents often report that other commitments such as a second job, child care issues, or

unmet transportation needs prevent them from attending or completing training (Hancock

et al., 2002). Third, very few of the intervention studies (not adult group training) take

place in the child's natural environment (home or school). For example, 8 studies

conducted intervention sessions in a therapeutic setting such as a university clinic.

Therefore, the effectiveness of the intervention in the child's natural environment is often

unknown. Fourth, the interventions are multi-component, involving many steps for the

adult to learn. This may be difficult to sustain over time or to generalize to another adult

(e.g., second teacher or parent); child (e.g., sibling); or setting (e.g., school). Fifth, several

interventions used time-out or more coercive discipline practices (isolation or spanking)

as a behavior management strategy. The National Association for the Education of

Young Children [NAEYC] recommends that time-out not be used with children who are

toddlers (age 2) (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1996). In

addition, NAEYC recommends time-out as a "last resort technique" for managing

problem behavior in young preschoolers (age 3) (NAEYC, 1996). Furthermore, recent

Head Start guidance recommends adults use positive behavior techniques to guide

children's behavior with time-out put in place in a limited capacity by a trained adult in

an adult-supervised separation (Hill, 2004). These recommendations may make it

difficult for a teacher to use time-out as a part of an intervention strategy. Sixth, the

majority of the interventions are multi-component without analysis provided on each

component. It is not known which component may be the most effective, either alone or

in combination with another strategy. Seventh, several of the studies used the parent, the









teacher, or a risk category (i.e., enrollment in Head Start) to determine the presence,

severity, and intervention outcome of the target child's or children's problem behavior.

This may introduce a bias because the adults may over- or under-report the presence and

severity of the behavior prior to intervention as well as the impact the intervention has on

the target behavior(s).

Based on this review, a number of factors appear to be effective components to use

when intervening on young children's problem behaviors. These three factors

consistently appear throughout the literature reviewed:

1. use of the adult as a change agent

2. reliance on praise or another form of positive interaction to increase appropriate
behaviors and the use of appropriate discipline (i.e., ignore, provide consequences,
give choices, provide effective directions) to decrease problem behaviors

3. use of direct programmatic instruction to teach adults new strategies.

These components appear throughout the reviewed studies; therefore, they may be key

strategies for developing successful interventions to increase appropriate behavior that

may replace the problem behavior in young children enrolled in child care.

One of these factors-reliance on praise as an intervention tool-will be further

addressed in the next section. While the studies reviewed each explore unique

intervention strategies, praise is used in 14 out of 17 studies (82%). This is not surprising

because praise has been used as a child management technique for many years (Gettinger,

1988). For example, PCIT teaches parents about the importance of praise as a way to

increase appropriate behaviors that can replace problem behaviors and the value of using

labelled or specific praise as a teaching tool (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995). In fact,

PCIT instructs parents "that praise is one of the most powerful tools available for

improving young children's behavior" (Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995, p. 37).









Furthermore, teachers as well as parents find praise to be an acceptable form of

intervention (Martens, Hiralall, & Bradley, 1997). Incorporating a praise strategy within a

child care environment may provide a simple yet effective intervention strategy for

teachers of young children to teach replacement behaviors to children who are

demonstrating problem behavior. The following section reviews praise as an intervention

strategy within the classroom setting.

Review of Research Using Praise as an Intervention Strategy

The previous section reviewed research related to intervention packages and

strategies that has been conducted with young children and adults directed toward

increasing appropriate behavior and decreasing children's problem behaviors. One

strategy that was included in most of the studies was the use of praise to teach appropriate

behaviors that serve to replace problem behaviors. Praise is often used as a tool to

manage children's behavior in the home, school, and clinical setting. This section further

examines praise as an important and viable strategy to increase appropriate and decrease

problem behavior in children.

As previously discussed, praise is a component of many of the interventions used

with children who engage in problem behaviors. Praise has been used extensively within

classrooms as a way to address problem behavior by teaching replacement behaviors

(e.g., increasing on-task behavior to replace off-task behavior) (Brophy, 1981;

Sutherland, Wehby, & Copeland, 2000). However, research conducted over the past 35

years has shown praise to be an effective, but not an often or well used, classroom

management tool (Beaman & Wheldall, 2000; Brophy, 1981; Sutherland et al., 2000).

Furthermore, much of the praise literature is based on correlational or inferential

information, not experimental evidence (Filcheck, McNeil, & Herschell, 2001; Swinson









& Harrop, 2001). A literature review of studies using praise within the classroom setting

as well as possible implications for use within a child care setting follows.

A thorough search of the literature was conducted to identify studies for this section

of the review. Three electronic databases were searched: Article First, ERIC, and

PsychInfo. The key words: praise, problem behavior, behavior problems, behavior

management, behavior modification, classroom behavior modification, classroom

discipline, intervention, and teacher were searched in various combinations. A hand

search of relevant journals was performed. In addition, researchers in this area of

intervention were contacted for additional information. The search of the intervention

literature focused on evidence-based studies that met the following criteria: (a) praise was

the only intervention used; (b) an adult was responsible for introducing or increasing

praise statements; (c) target children in elementary school (Grade 5) or younger were

included in the study; and (d) target children exhibited problem behavior. The search

was limited to 1994 through 2004. Seven studies meeting the criteria were found. A

review of the interventions and implications for future research are given.

Table 2-2 presents the authorss, participants, setting, dependent measures, design,

intervention, and results for each of the identified studies.

Dobrinski (2004) studied the efficacy of using specific (delayed) praise on the

appropriate (on-task) behavior of 4 second-grade students with problem behavior (off-

task behavior). The four children (nominated by their teachers) were in 2 different classes

and were identified by their teachers as having off-task behavior during academic time.

Behavior-specific praise (i.e, verbal statement of the reinforced behavior) was given to

the students as a delayed directive for on-task behavior during academic time. The results

indicated that the introduction and use of specific (delayed) praise increased the 4









Table 2-2. Studies of Praise as a Classroom Intervention Tool to Decrease Problem
Behavior in Children.
Authors Participants Dependent Design Intervention Results
Measures
Dobrinski, Child: 4 Child: Multiple Delayed Child:
2004 Grade: 2 Interval baseline specific Increase in
(General recording of design praise given on-task
Education) on-task across to students behavior
behavior participants for on-task during
Teacher: 2 behavior academic
Teacher: during instruction
Inclusion: Interval academic
Teacher recording of instruction Teacher:
nomination specific Increase in
delayed praise specific
delayed
praise during
academic
instruction

Smith, Child: 3 Child: Multiple Teacher use Increase in
2004 Grade: Frequency and baseline of teacher use
Prekindergarten duration of design precorrects, of
(Head Start) non- across behavior- precorrects,
compliance, participants specific as well as
Teacher: 3 aggression, and praise, praise;
on-task behavior- increase in
Inclusion: behavior specific on-task
Teacher praise with (compliant)
nomination Teacher: behavior behavior as
Frequency of expectations well as
precorrects, directed at decrease in
behavior- target child aggression
specific praise, during a
behavior- large group
specific praise activity
with behavior
expectations 60- to 90-
minute
training
Note: EBD=Emotional Behavior Disorder, LD= Learning Disability, MR=Mental
Retardation










Authors Participants Dependent Design Intervention Results
Measures
Freeland, Child: 3 Child: Multiple Teachers Child:
2003 Grade: Interval baseline taught via Increase in
Prekindergarten recording across direct appropriate
(Head Start) appropriate settings instruction behavior
behavior to increase
Teacher: 3 praise given Teacher:
Teacher: to students' Increase in
Inclusion: Interval appropriate praise
Problem recording behavior.
behavior, Praise Generalization:
teacher Teacher skill
nomination and student
behavior
generalized to
a second
setting
Wills, Child: 5 Child: Multiple Teacher set Child:
2002 Grade: 2 and 3 Frequency of baseline praise goal, Increase in
(General inappropriate across students engagement
Education) behavior students record
Teacher: 2 (disruption), number of Teacher:
duration of praise Increase in
Inclusion: engagement statements praise,
Teacher given by decrease in
nomination Teacher: teacher, if reprimands
Frequency of numbers
praise, match, prize
frequency of given to
reprimands student

15-minute
training
Sutherland Child: 216 Child: Random Self- Child:
& Wehby, Grade: K-8 Correct assignment evaluation, Increase in
2001 (Self-contained response to teacher correct
EBD) treatment recorded response
112 EBD Teacher: or control rate of
48 LD Effective group; effective Teacher:
20 MR praise ANOVA praise from Increase in
26 Other 5-minute effective praise
tape,
Teacher: 20 1 training
session


Table 2-2.


Continued.









Table 2-2. Continued.
Authors Participants

Sutherland Child: 9
et al., 2000 Grade: 5
(Self-contained
EBD)

Teacher: 1

Inclusion:
EBD diagnosis


Martens et
al., 1997


Child: 2
Grade: 1
(Self-contained
EBD)

Teacher: 1

Inclusion:
EBD diagnosis


Dependent
Measures
Child:
Frequency of
on-task
behavior


Teacher:
Frequency of
Behavior-
specific
praise, non-
behavior-
specific
praise

Child:
Appropriate
behavior

Teacher:
Praise


Design

ABAB
withdrawal


Multiple
baseline
across
participants


Intervention

Teacher set
praise goal,
feedback
given
following
1 session
with brief
meeting
before and
after each
observation


Teacher
(1)
identified
behavior to
increase,
(2) set a
goal of
number of
times to
praise,
(3) daily
feedback


Results

Child:
Increase in
on-task
behavior

Teacher:
Increase in
behavior-
specific praise
and non-
behavior


Child:
Increase in
appropriate
behavior

Teacher:
Increase in
praise


students' on-task behavior during the intervention phase of the study. Teachers were

satisfied with the intervention. Generalization to a second setting was not examined.

Smith (2004) investigated the effectiveness of 3 teachers' increased use of

precorrects and praise on the appropriate (on-task) and problem behavior (physical

aggression) of 3 children enrolled in Head Start. A brief training (60 to 90 minutes) was

given to each teacher to explain the intervention. The teacher was trained to provide the

entire class as well as the target child with precorrects, behavior-specific praise, and









behavior-specific praise with behavioral expectations during a large group activity (circle

time). The teachers did increase their use ofprecorrects and behavior-specific praise. A

less significant increase in behavior-specific praise with behavioral expectations was

noted. Following an increase in teacher precorrects and praise, an increase in student on-

task behavior and a decrease in problem behavior were demonstrated. The results

indicated that the use of large group precorrects and praise did have an effect on the

behavior of target children. Teachers were reported to be satisfied with the training.

Although generalization data were not provided, the researcher reported that teachers

used the strategies in additional settings within the classroom.

Freeland (2003) examined the effectiveness of 3 teachers' increased use of praise

on the problem behavior of 3 children enrolled in Head Start classrooms. Direct

consultation (modelling, feedback, and practice) was used to train teachers to increase

praise when the students used appropriate behavior in the classroom and to generalize the

praise to two other settings. The results indicated that as teacher praise increased,

problem behavior decreased. The increase in teacher praise and the decrease in children's

problem behavior generalized to a second, but not a third setting.

Wills (2002) investigated the effect of a praise game on the problem behavior of 5

second- and third-grade students (nominated by their teachers) and 2 teachers.

Specifically, the game was introduced to increase teacher praise and to reduce students'

problem behavior (disruption) as well as to increase their engagement in the learning

activity. The researcher met with each teacher for 15 minutes to teach the game, discuss

the behavior the teacher would like to increase, and decide the time of day to implement

the game. The children were taught the rules of the game in a 5-minute meeting with the









researcher. Following the intervention phase, the teachers were able to increase their use

of praise, and the problem behavior (disruption) decreased. Furthermore, the teachers'

use of reprimands decreased. The teachers and students were satisfied with the game.

A fourth study examined the effectiveness of rates of teacher praise on children's

problem behavior (Sutherland & Wehby, 2001). Twenty elementary school teachers

(grades K-8) and 216 children diagnosed with EBD (ages 5 to 15) participated in the

study. The participants were divided into two groups: treatment (self-evaluation) and no

treatment. As the intervention, the teacher was provided with current rates of praise

(measured during pre-treatment) and the importance of using effective praise. During the

treatment phase, the teacher was provided with a tape recorder, taught coding procedures,

and then coded and graphed the number of praise statements they used in a 5-minute

period (multiplied by 3). The use of praise increased for the treatment group as did the

number of correct answers given by students. Furthermore, the number of teacher

reprimands decreased for the treatment group. In addition, while generalization data were

not reported, teachers in the treatment group considered the intervention (increased use of

effective praise) to be practical to use during the course of the day.

Sutherland et al. (2000) researched the on-task behavior of 9 fifth-grade students

diagnosed with EBD, specifically: (a) the effect an intervention had on the teacher's rate

of praise (behavior-specific) and (b) the effect of increased praise (behavior-specific).

The intervention consisted of one meeting between the teacher and the researcher to

discuss examples of behavior-specific praise and to determine a teacher-chosen level for

criterion. A brief booster session (reminder of criterion and examples of praise) was

provided prior to each observation. During a teacher-directed activity (social skills









training), both the teacher's rate of praise and on-task behavior of the students increased.

However, the teacher increased non-behavior-specific praise as well, so it is not clear if

specific praise was the determining factor. Furthermore, because the children were not

participating in an academic task, it is unclear whether or not the intervention would be

successful in a more demanding setting. Nevertheless, the finding that teachers easily

incorporated praise with a positive result after a relatively brief intervention is a

worthwhile avenue for future research.

A seventh study examined the effect of an increase in teacher praise on increasing

appropriate behavior in 2 students (Martens et al., 1997). One teacher and two 6-year-old

boys with EBD participated in the study. In the intervention the teacher (a) chooses 4

positive behaviors to improve in each of the two students, (b) sets a daily goal to praise

each behavior a certain number of times during the activity, and (c) receives a feedback

note at the end of each day about goal attainment. Results indicated that the teacher

increased the use of praise and the 2 students increased the teacher-chosen behavior.

Furthermore, the teacher found the intervention to be acceptable.

Summary and Implications for Future Research

In summary, evidence-based interventions to train teachers to implement praise

within the classroom are available. Results of the study review indicate that praise does

have a positive effect on increasing appropriate behavior in children who demonstrate

problem behavior. The strengths of the studies in addition to their limitations may offer a

direction for future intervention research. The following section summarizes the strengths

and limitations of the praise studies reviewed with suggestions for future research.

The seven studies reviewed do provide a few common strategies that may be useful

for future intervention planning. First, when the teacher implemented specific effective









praise, there was a positive effect on increasing appropriate behavior (i.e., on-task or

correct response) in the target children. Specific praise provides the target children

feedback about appropriate behaviors that can be demonstrated to replace problem

behaviors as well as expected future behaviors (Mangin, 1998). Second, all studies

provided the teacher with a relatively short and immediately applicable intervention.

Praise appears to be an easily applied intervention that does not require a great deal of

time or money to implement (Dobrinski, 2004). Three, the teachers were able to learn and

implement the intervention strategy. Four, the interventions were teacher-driven, meaning

that the teacher, for example, chose the number of praise statements to make in a session,

chose the behavior to increase, or nominated the target children. Finally, the teachers

found the intervention to be acceptable, increasing the likelihood that they may continue

to use the intervention with other students or with the target children in other settings.

Although the results of the praise studies are promising, there are limitations. First

is the relative paucity of studies on young children and teachers. With the number of

children in child care centers with early onset behavior problems, investigating the use of

praise within a child care setting is a worthwhile addition to the literature. Second,

because most studies take place in an elementary school classroom, the level of teacher

education is higher than commonly found in a child care center. Implementing an easily

learned and applied strategy with child care teachers may increase their ability to address

the behaviors of the children in their classrooms. Third, although praise is considered an

important tool for increasing appropriate behaviors in children demonstrating problem

behavior, there is a relative lack of research on the use of praise in isolation. Finally,









despite the fact that praise is an easily learned and implemented strategy, there is little

information on the teacher's use of praise generalized to a non-trained setting.

Results of the review indicate that the following factors are important components

to consider when using praise as an intervention:

1. implementation of specific praise by the teacher

2. introduction of a short intervention resulting in teacher change

3. inclusion of the teacher in designing the intervention process

4. acceptability of the intervention.

These components may offer strategies for developing successful interventions to

increase appropriate behavior in young children demonstrating problem behavior. In the

following section, based on the reviewed literature, suggestions for further research are

provided.

Future Research Directions

The intervention studies reviewed provide directions for future research to train

teachers to increase appropriate behavior in young children who demonstrate problem

behavior. The studies present a variety of intervention methods. One strategy-specific

praise that reinforces an appropriate behavior-is included in 13 of the 24 studies.

Specific praise (effective, labeled, instructional) has been effectively applied to increase

appropriate behavior in children. Increasing appropriate behavior is an important goal of

an intervention strategy for children demonstrating problem behavior. An appropriate

behavior may provide the child with a replacement for the problem behavior. Giving

teachers a specific intervention strategy that may increase children's appropriate

behaviors and decrease problem behaviors may be an effective method to intervene in the

child care classroom. Praise may be an appropriate strategy to use, especially in child









care classrooms, because it is a proactive, preventative intervention that can be easily

used by child care teachers. Furthermore, although many studies required lengthy

training, several studies indicated an increase in appropriate behavior following a

relatively short training period (e.g., a single session of 90 minutes or less). This allows

the teacher to learn and implement an intervention strategy without lengthy multi-

component training sessions. Additionally, in the majority of the studies, adult training

included written or verbal instruction, videotape, guidance, practice, and feedback.

Efficient intervention training may provide teachers with a new skill in a helpful and

cost-effective manner. Finally, an intervention strategy that is free, easy to implement,

and available to the teacher in most classroom settings may generalize to a second

untrained settings.

Purposes of the Investigation

Given the paucity of research examining the use of specific praise statements on

increasing appropriate behavior with young children demonstrating problem behavior in

child care centers, there is a need to further examine this line of research. Therefore, this

investigation addressed the following research questions:

1. Following training, will teachers in a child care center implement specific praise
statements during a teacher-identified activity?

2. What is the effect of the teachers' use of specific praise statements on the
appropriate and problem behavior of young children enrolled in a child care
setting?

3. If specific praise statements increase after training, will teachers' use of specific
praise statements generalize to an untrained setting?

By investigating the effects of using specific praise statements to decrease problem

behavior in young children enrolled in child care, this investigation extended the current

research by examining the use of training to teach child care teachers to use specific






65


praise statements with children ages 2, 3 and 4 demonstrating problem behaviors within

the child care setting. The next chapter presents the methodology for the investigation.















CHAPTER 3
METHODS

This study was designed to investigate teachers' ability to implement a strategy of

specific praise statements following training. The study further investigated the

effectiveness of teachers' use of specific praise statements on the appropriate and

problem behavior of young children enrolled in child care centers. Finally, the study

examined whether, following training, teachers would generalize the specific praise

statements to a second untrained setting. The chapter presents information regarding the

participants, setting, and materials, independent measures, dependent measures, data

collection procedures, experimental procedures, and research design.

Participants

Teacher Participants

Four teachers working with children between the ages of 33 and 51 months

participated in the investigation. Two teachers and children were from the Educational

Research Center for Child Development on the campus of the University of Florida (UF-

ERCCD) and 2 teachers and 2 children were from the Child Development Research

Center at the University of North Florida (UNF-CDRC). Several teachers from two

classrooms at UF-ERCCD were asked by the center director to participate in the study.

The two teams of classroom teachers selected one member of their classroom team to

participate. The selection was based on teacher schedule and their availability to work

with the two children the teachers wanted to be included in the study. The center director

at UNF-CDRC asked two lead teachers in two classrooms with children exhibiting









problem behavior to participate in the study. Furthermore, in order to be included in the

investigation, each participating teacher met the following criteria:

1. The teacher held a minimum of a Child Development Associate [CDA] credential
and a maximum of a Bachelor of Arts.

2. The center director nominated the teacher.

3. The teacher had a good work attendance record as defined by 80% attendance or an
average of 4 out of 5 days per week.

4. The teacher signed an informed consent form (see Appendix A).

Demographic information about each teacher was obtained from the teacher (Table 3-1).

Child Participants

Four children between the ages of 33 and 51 months participated in the

investigation. Two target child participants were enrolled in the Educational Research

Center for Child Development on the University of Florida campus. The two children at

the University of Florida were chosen by their respective team of teachers to participate

in the study. The center director concurred with the decision. The two children at UNF-

CDRC were chosen by the lead teacher in their respective classrooms, and the center

director concurred with the decision. Baby Gator offers child care for children ages 6

weeks to 5 years who have at least one parent or guardian associated with the University

of Florida (student, staff, or faculty).(See Table 3-2) Eighty percent of the spaces are

reserved for the children of full-time students (Baby Gator Educational Research Center

for Child Development, 2005). Florida Department of Education (2005) indicates that for

the 2004-2005 school year, 32,948 students enrolled full-time at the University of Florida

with 24,692 students at the undergraduate level and 8,256 at the graduate level. Two

target child participants were enrolled at the Child Development Research Center

(CDRC) at the University of North Florida campus. CDRC offers child care for children









ages 2.5 to 10 years of age. The center is available to students, staff, and faculty at UNF

as well as the general public. However, the majority of children have parents who are

students at UNF. Florida Department of Education (2005) indicates that for the 2004-

2005 school year, 14,641 students enrolled with 12,2005 at the undergraduate level and

1,639 at the graduate level. According to the Florida Department of Education (2005), the

ethnic make-up of the students enrolled in the Florida university system is 60% White

non-Hispanic, 15% Black, 16% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 4% International.

In order to be included in the investigation, each participating child met the

following criteria:

1. The child demonstrated problem behavior that interfered with his/her ability to
participate in learning activities and classroom routines as designated by the
teacher.

2. The child had typical development as demonstrated by scores on a standardized
screening instrument, the Battelle Developmental Inventory [BDI] (Newborg,
Stock, Wnek, Guidubaldi, Svinicki, Dickson, & Markley, 1988) given by the
investigator, who is a certified early childhood and special education teacher.

3. The child was between 2 years and 6 months and 4 years and 6 months.

4. The child had good record of attendance as defined by 80% attendance or an
average of 4 out of 5 days per week.

5. The child's guardian provided informed consent (see Appendix A).

Demographic information about each child as well as the child's specific problem

behavior was obtained from the teacher (Table 3-3).

Table 3-1. Demographic Data on Teacher Participants
Teacher Race* Gender** Level of Education Years of Experience
1 C F AA 4
2 AA F AS 12
3 C F AA 6
4 AA M AA 13
Note: *Race: C=Caucasian; AA=African American
**Level of Education: AA=Associate of Arts; AS=Associate of Science









Table 3-2 Data on Child Care Centers
UF-ERCCD UNF-CDRC
Ages of Children 8 weeks to 5 years 2.5 years to 5 years
Enrolled
Number of Children 131 95
Enrolled
Total Number of 4 4
Classrooms
Percent of Student 80% 60%
Parents
Number of Teaching 21 8
Staff
Payment Sliding Scale for Sliding Scale for Students
Students
Ethnicity 25 Countries 75% Caucasian, 20% African
Represented American, 5% Other
Accreditation NAEYC NAEYC, Gold Seal (Children and
Families)


Table 3-3. Demographic Data on Child Participants
Child Age Race* Gender BDI(S)- CBCL-Results Teacher
(yr-mo) Results Reported
Behaviors(s)
of Concern
1 2-11 C M Pass Clinical Attention/ Non-
Aggressive Behavior Compliance
2 3-8 AA M Pass Clinical Attention Non-
Compliance
3 4-3 C M Pass Clinical Emotionally Non-
Reactive, Compliance,
Anxious/Depressed, Aggression,
Withdrawn Disruption
4 3-10 C M Pass Clinical Attention Non-
Compliance,
Aggression
Note: *Race: C=Caucasian; AA=African American


Setting

This investigation was conducted across 2 teacher-child dyads in 2 classrooms at

the University of Florida Educational Research Center for Child Development (UF-

ERCCD) and 2 teacher-child dyads in 2 classrooms at the University of North Central









Florida Child Development Research Center (UNF-CDRC). The classrooms contained

routine care items (such as cots or mats for resting, a kitchen, tables for eating, and child-

sized bathrooms). In addition, each classroom had learning centers that included activities

for quiet and active play. The learning centers included (but were not limited to) a book

center, a housekeeping center, a manipulative center, an art center, and an area for gross

motor play. Access to a large outside play area was available to the classrooms daily.

The investigation took place in the setting prescribed during a transition time. This

activity was chosen to target for intervention due to high rates of problem behavior

during transition times. The transition times were identified by the teachers. The

classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 1 at UF-ERCCD contained 7 full-time teachers with 32

children ages 12-35 months. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 2 contained 6 full-

time teachers with 47 children ages 3 to 5 years. The classroom of Teacher-Child Dyad 3

at UNF-CDRC contained 2 full-time teachers and 18 children age 4. The classroom of

Teacher-Child Dyad 4 contained 2 full-time teachers and 16 children age 3.



Materials

Materials were those typically found in a child care center classroom. The

materials included (but were not limited to) books, housekeeping toys, small motor

manipulatives, art supplies, and indoor gross motor apparatus. The child and the teacher

used the classroom materials available during the transition activity. Additional

classroom materials were not needed for the proposed investigation.

Materials required for teacher training included the teacher training guide

developed by the investigator (Appendix B), a tape recorder, a video camcorder, a

television, a video, five index cards, magnet strip, marker, and pencil or pen.









Measurement Procedures

Dependent Variables

The dependent variables for the investigation were child and teacher behaviors. The

coding definitions as well as examples and non-examples of the behaviors can be found

in Appendix C.

Child behavior

The following child behaviors were measured as defined:

Appropriate behavior.

Engagement. Engagement is defined as participating in an activity, interacting

with peers and teachers, or looking at or using materials in an appropriate manner

(McBride & Schwartz, 2003).

Compliance. Compliance is defined as completing an instruction or beginning to

follow the instruction within 5 seconds after the teacher request has been given

Problem behavior.

Non-compliance. Non-compliance is defined as failure to complete an instruction

or to begin to follow the instruction within 5 seconds after the teacher request has been

given.

Aggression. Aggression is defined as any negative physical behavior directed

toward another person including hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling or pushing,

throwing an object at another person, or spitting at another person.

Disruption. Disruption is defined as behavior that interferes with the ongoing

activity, such as verbal talk that is loud or out of context, making inappropriate noises,

screaming/yelling, dropping to the ground and remaining there, attempting to leave an

area/room, or leaving the area/room without teacher permission.









Teacher behavior

The following teacher behaviors were measured as defined:

Specific praise statement. Specific praise statements were defined as a positive

declarative statement specifically directed to the target child that describes the child's

behavior (e.g., I was so proud of you when you tried to clean up the spilled rice).

Non-specific praise statement. Non-specific praise statements were defined as a

positive declarative statement specifically directed to the target child that does not

describe the child's behavior (e.g., awesome, super, way to go).

Independent Variables

Training in the use of specific praise statements by the teacher in a child care

center was the independent variable. For the purpose of this investigation, a specific

praise statement was a positive declarative statement specifically directed to the target

child that describes the child's behavior (e.g., "Great job putting all the cars in the red

bin"). Each teacher was trained to use specific praise statements with the target child as

described in the following section.

Teachers were trained individually by the investigator in the use of specific praise

statements. The teacher training was conducted during a 1- to 2-hour training session.

The training included: definitions and examples of specific praise, videotape analysis,

and guidance. The teachers were provided with a training manual, and videotapes of the

teacher-child dyad during baseline data collection were to facilitate learning. A brief

description of the teacher training follows in experimental procedures with a more

detailed description provided in Appendix B.









Data Collection Procedures

Baseline and intervention sessions were videotaped for 5 minutes at least three

times a week. Each session began with the prompt "3-2-1 begin" in order to alert the data

collectors) to begin recording. Each session ended with the prompt "stop" in order to

alert the data collectors) to stop recording. Videotaping of 5-minute generalization

probes occurred at least twice during the baseline phase and every third session during

the intervention phase. The same prompts indicating the beginning and end of the session

were utilized for the generalization probes. Teacher praise statements (specific and non-

specific); target children's appropriate behavior (compliance); and problem behavior

(aggression, disruption, and non-compliance) were measured by examining the frequency

of these behaviors during each videotaped session. The investigator viewed the

videotapes and used paper and pencil to record tally marks each time the teacher or the

child demonstrated one of the behaviors. The data collection form for recording

frequency of these behaviors can be found in Appendix C.

Engagement was recorded using a partial interval recording system. The 5-minute

session was divided into 100 intervals of 6 seconds each. While viewing the same

videotaped sessions previously described and using paper and pencil, the investigator

recorded engagement if it occurs at any time during the 6-second interval. The

investigator used an audiotape that cued 6-second intervals during the 5-minute sessions.

The data collection form for measuring engagement can be found in Appendix D.

Frequency measures were converted into rate per minute of behavior by dividing

the frequency of behavior by the number of minutes observed and multiplying by 60. The

percentage of intervals was calculated for engagement. To obtain a percentage of

intervals, the number of intervals the target behavior occurred was divided by the total









number of observed intervals. The ratio multiplied by 100 provided the percentage of

intervals in which engagement occurred (Kazdin, 1982).

Each session was viewed twice: (1) to measure the percentage of times the target

child complied and the rate of: target child problem behavior, teacher praise statements,

teacher non-specific praise statements; and (2) to complete the measure of engagement.

The dependent variables were coded on a data-recording sheet. The data collection form

can be found in Appendix C.

Interobserver Agreement

The investigator served as the primary data collector for all 4 dyads. Videotapes

were used to train a second data collector. The investigator trained the second data

collector until an 80% agreement was reached on three consecutive sessions across all

behaviors.

Interobserver agreement data were gathered on 33-42% of the sessions across the

baseline, intervention, and generalization phases across participants. Interobserver

agreement for frequency behaviors was determined by computing a frequency ratio. The

smaller total was divided by the larger total. The ratio was multiplied by 100 to form a

percentage (Kazdin, 1982). Agreement for engagement, compliance, and non-compliance

was calculated by dividing total agreements by the total agreements plus disagreements

multiplied by 100 to provide a percentage (Richards, Taylor, Ramasamy, & Richards,

1999).

Experimental Procedures

Pre-experimental Phase

Prior to beginning the investigation, investigator observed the target child during

a transition time for sessions to confirm the target child demonstrated problem behavior









that interfered with his/her ability to participate in the transition activity as designated by

the teacher. In addition, during the pre-experimental phase, the investigator completed the

Battelle Developmental Inventory [BDI] screening to rule out children who have a

developmental delay (Newborg et al., 1988). The BDI screening is a comprehensive

screening instrument that checks a child's current level of development in the personal,

social, adaptive, motor, communication, and cognition domains. In addition, the Child

Behavior Checklist (CBCL) Teacher Rating Form (TRF) (Achenbach, 1997) was given to

the teacher by the investigator. The CBCL TRF provides ratings from child care

providers and teachers on what concerns them most about the child. The areas rated are:

emotionally reactive, anxious/depressed, somatic complaints, withdrawn, attention

problems, and aggressive behavior.

Baseline Phase

A transition time was videotaped for 5-minute sessions, with a minimum of 3

sessions per week. Baseline data were gathered for at least 3 sessions, until a stable trend

was established. Data were gathered on the following behaviors: (1) teacher specific

praise statements; (2) teacher non-specific praise statements; (3) target child's problem

behavior (non-compliance, aggression, disruption); (4) target child's engagement

behavior; and (5) target child's compliance and non-compliance behavior. For Teacher-

Child Dyad 1 and Teacher-Child Dyad 2, baseline data began on the same day.

Collection of baseline data continued with Teacher-Child Dyad 2 until a consistent trend

was observed in the Teacher-Child Dyad 1 intervention data, at which time intervention

with Teacher-Child Dyad 2 began. The same pattern was replicated for Teacher-Child

Dyad 3 and Teacher-Child Dyad 4. During baseline, the teacher was instructed to interact

with the child as he or she normally would during the transition activity.









Training Phase

Following the establishment of a stable baseline, each teacher individually

attended a 1- to 2-hour training session. The session was conducted one day before the

teacher began to use the intervention with the target child. The teacher chose the time and

place of the training session (within the child care setting). The teacher was trained

individually by the investigator and was instructed not to share the intervention with

other teachers in their classroom or the child care center throughout the course of the

investigation. To assist in controlling for carryover effects and independence, prior to the

start of teacher training each participating teacher signed a statement that they would not

share the intervention with the other teachers in their classroom or the center throughout

the course of the investigation. The teacher training was conducted during a 1- to 2-hour

training session. A brief description of the teacher training follows with a more detailed

description provided in Appendix B.

Training sessions. Teacher training included:

1. A brief definition of appropriate and problem behavior for the target child was given
to the teacher by the investigator.

2. An explanation of using specific praise statements to increase appropriate behavior
and decrease problem behavior with young children who are exhibiting problem
behavior was discussed.

3. The meaning of specific praise statements was presented.

a. Examples of specific praise statements and non-specific praise statements
were explained.

b. Videotaped segments of the teacher and the child (videotapes from the
baseline phase of the investigation) were viewed by the investigator and the
teacher to find situations where specific praise statements might have been
utilized.

4. Two verbal checks of understanding of specific praise were conducted for a criterion
of 80% accuracy.









a. The investigator read 10 praise statements aloud while the teacher read them
silently. After each statement, the teacher indicated (using paper and pencil)
if the statement was a specific praise statement or a non-specific praise
statement.

b. The teacher listened to 10 praise statements previously recorded by the
investigator. After each statement, the teacher indicated (using paper and
pencil) if the statement was a specific praise statement or a non-specific
praise statement.

5. Five cards with teacher-chosen examples of specific praise statements that might be
used with the child were made for the teacher by the investigator. The cards were
laminated and magnetized (if needed) and posted near the transition activity.

During training, the teacher was encouraged to ask questions and contribute

information. As soon as training was complete, the teacher was instructed in the use of

specific praise statements during a transition activity. The investigator, during the pre-

experimental phase, observed the target child during the transition activity to confirm that

the target child demonstrated problem behavior that interfered with his/her ability to

participate in the transition activity. The teacher's use of specific praise statements was

videotaped daily or as often as the dyad was available. Following teacher training, if the

teacher was not using specific praise statements after sessions, a coaching session was

planned; however, an occasion to implement this component of the intervention was

never warranted.

Intervention Phase

As soon as training was completed, the teacher was instructed to use specific praise

statements during the transition activity. The teacher was instructed to post the previously

made specific praise statement cards in easy view. The child's name was not visible on

the cards. Additionally, the investigator provided a written note or email to the teacher

following each intervention session to briefly review the session. The note or email

provided the teacher encouragement to continue to use specific praise statements during









the following session. Furthermore, the note or email reminded the teacher of the next

session.

Once intervention data with Teacher 1 was stable or demonstrated an upward trend,

intervention began with Teacher 2. Following the completion of the intervention phase

with Teacher 1 and Teacher 2, the procedures were replicated with Teacher 3 and

Teacher 4.

Generalization

Generalization probes during the baseline and intervention phases of the

investigation were conducted to determine if the teacher's use of specific praise

statements generalized to a second transition. Sessions were videotaped for 5 minutes.

Generalization probes were conducted at least twice during baseline and every third

session during the intervention phase. The same data procedures previously described

were followed. Data and interobserver agreement were collected on the teacher's use of

specific and non-specific praise statements, as well as the child's appropriate and

problem behavior.

Treatment Integrity

The investigator, using the teacher training procedures previously discussed,

conducted all training to ensure consistent training across teachers. To identify the parts

of the training conducted, the teacher and the investigator completed a treatment integrity

checklist (which was developed by the investigator) at the end of each teacher praise

training session. The treatment integrity checklist can be found in Appendix D.

Design

A single-subject multiple baseline design across participants was used to conduct

this investigation. Data collection began with the baseline phase for two of the dyads.









Once the baseline behaviors were stable for Dyad 1, intervention began with Dyad 1

while baseline continued for Dyad 2. Following a clear pattern in intervention data for

Dyad 1, intervention began for Dyad 2. Generalization probes were taken during the

baseline and intervention phases of the investigation. A replication began with the second

two dyads after completing the investigation with the first two dyads. A multiple

baseline design across participants was appropriate for this investigation because it

demonstrates the effectiveness of an intervention with more than one participant who

display similar behaviors targeted for change (Richards et al., 1999). The goal of this

investigation was to learn if the effects of individual intervention, training, and

implementation can effect change in a small group of participants (Kazdin, 1982).

In order to examine the effectiveness of the intervention on the teacher's behaviors

as well as child target behavior, the baseline and intervention were graphically displayed

for visual inspection of the results. The data were graphed following each observation as

line graphs that included baseline and intervention data as well as generalization data.

Visual inspection of the data was used to determine the reliability and consistent

effectiveness of the intervention (Tawney & Gast, 1984). Each graph was inspected for

(a) the magnitude of change from baseline to intervention, (b) the level of stability within

the data points across phases, and (c) the trend of the data (Kazdin, 1982).

Social Validity

In order to examine each teacher's perceptions of the intervention, a questionnaire

was completed at the end of the investigation. This 4-item questionnaire was

administered to determine if the teachers found the training and intervention to be a

worthwhile addition to their child management techniques. A 5-point Likert scale was






80


used to determine the social validity and teachers' opinions of the intervention. The

intervention acceptability form can be found in Appendix E.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of an

intervention provided to teachers in a child care center to use with children exhibiting

problem behavior. The research questions were: (a) Following training, will teachers in a

child care center implement specific praise statements during a teacher-identified

activity? (b) What is the effect of teachers' use of specific praise statements on the

appropriate and problem behavior of young children enrolled in a child care setting? (c) If

specific praise statements increase after training, will teachers' use of specific praise

statements generalize to an untrained setting?

To investigate these questions, 4 teacher/child dyads participated in the research.

The participating teachers, who were selected by the directors of two child care centers

UF-ERCCD and the UNF-CDRC, held at least a CDA certification. The participants were

selected by their teachers based on the presence of problem behavior that interfered with

their ability to participate in classroom routines and activities. Children's development

and degree of their behavior problems were evaluated using standardized measures.

Baseline data were collected regarding the teachers' use of specific and non-specific

praise statements, the participant's appropriate behavior (compliance and engagement)

and participant's problem behavior (non-compliance, disruption, aggression). During the

intervention phase, the teachers were trained to use specific praise statements during a

transition time. The effectiveness of the intervention was measured by comparing teacher









use of specific praise statements, child compliance, and child engagement as well as

problem behavior before training and after training. Data were also collected in an

untrained setting during a second transition time to determine generalization of the

intervention on teacher and participant behavior.

A single-subject multiple baseline across participants was used. The dependent

variables across all phases of the study were the teachers' statements and the children's

behavior. Baseline and intervention data were completed with two dyads at the UF-

ERCCD. The investigation was replicated 6 six weeks later at the UNF-CDRC.

The remainder of the chapter reports results of the investigation by phases,

including interobserver agreement data graphically displayed in Figures 4-1 through

Figure 4-8.

Baseline and Intervention

Teacher-Child Dyad 1

Baseline

During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dyad 1 was videotaped during a clean-up

activity from a small group activity to a circle time. Data were collected from videotapes

on the teacher's use of specific praise statements, the target child's percentage of

compliant and non-compliant response following a teacher request, and rate of aggression

and disruption. Finally, the percentage of time the child was engaged was measured. As

seen in Figures 4-1 to 4-4, baseline data were collected for 6 sessions until a stable trend

occurred in Teacher l's rate of specific and non-specific praise statements. During

baseline, Teacher 1's specific and non-specific praise statements occurred at a low rate

with specific praise statements ranging from 0.0/minute to 0.180/minute, with a mean

occurrence of 0.03/minute. (See Figure 4-1.) The rate of non-specific praise statements









by Teacher 1 ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.780/minute, with a mean rate of 0.330/minute.

Child l's non-compliance following a teacher request was variable and ranged from 29%

to 91% with a mean level of non-compliance of 65% (see Figure 4-2). Child l's

compliance following a teacher request was variable and ranged from 8% to 71% with a

mean level of compliance of 35% (see Figure 4-2). Child 1's rate of disruption and

aggression occurred at very low rates and ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.60/minute with a

mean rate 0.154/minute (see Figure 4-3). Finally, Child l's percentage of time engaged

was variable, ranging form 28% to 94% with a mean percentage of time engaged of 55%

(see Figure 4-4).

Intervention

Once baseline data stabilized, Teacher 1 was trained using the teacher training

manual (Appendix B) to use specific praise statements in her classroom. The training,

which was held at the UF-ERCCD, lasted two hours. The teacher completed both written

checks with 100% accuracy. Following training, Teacher 1 was able to give examples of

5 specific praise statements that could be used during the targeted activity. Due to the

holiday weekend, the intervention was implemented 3 days following training.

Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 1 were collected over 7 sessions (see

Figures 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4). During intervention, Teacher l's use of specific praise

statements dramatically increased, ranging from 1.20/minute to 2.258/minute with a

mean level of 2.00/minute (see Figure 4-1). The magnitude of change in Teacher l's use

of specific praise statements from baseline to intervention increased from 0.0/minute

(during baseline) to 2.22/minute (during intervention) and an overall positive mean

change of 1.70/minute. There was little difference (mean difference = 0.133) between

baseline and intervention in the rate of non-specific praise statements, which ranged from









0.0/minute to 0.420/minute during intervention, with a mean of 0.197/minute. The

magnitude of change from baseline to intervention in Teacher l's use of non-specific

praise statements was 0.780/minute (during baseline) to 0.420 (during intervention).

Child 1's non-compliance following an adult request during intervention decreased

significantly, ranging from 0% to 38% with a mean of 12.28% (see Figure 4-2). This

represents a decrease of 52.72% in the mean percentage of non-compliance from baseline

to intervention. The magnitude of difference in Child 1's non-compliance from baseline

to intervention was from 56% (during baseline) to 0% (during intervention). Child l's

compliance following an adult request increased considerably, ranging from 62% to

100% with a mean of 87.72% (see Figure 4-2). This represents an increase of 52% in

mean percentage of compliance from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of

difference in Child 1's compliance from baseline to intervention was from 44% (during

baseline) to 100 % (during intervention).

There was little difference between the rate of aggression and disruption from

baseline to intervention. The mean rate of aggression and disruption during intervention

was 0.055/minute (see Figure 4-3). This is a reduction of 0.078/minute from baseline to

intervention. The magnitude of difference in aggression and disruption from baseline to

intervention was 0.60/minute (baseline) to 0.0/minute (intervention). Finally, the

percentage of time engaged during intervention was 92%, which represents a positive

change in a mean of 37% from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of difference in

engagement from baseline to intervention was 68% (baseline) to 100% (intervention) (see

Figure 4-4). This represents a moderate, but significant change in the percentage of time

engaged from baseline to intervention.









Teacher-Child Dyad 2

Baseline

During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dyad 2 was videotaped during clean-up

from a small group activity to a circle time activity. Data were collected from videotapes

on Teacher 2's rate of specific and non-specific praise statements, Child 2's percentage of

compliant and non-compliant responses following a teacher request and Child l's rate of

aggression and disruption. Finally, the percentage of time Child 2 was engaged was

measured. As seen in Figures 4-1 to 4-4, baseline data were collected for 15 sessions until

a stable trend occurred in Teacher 2's rate of specific and non-specific praise statements.

During baseline, Teacher 2's specific praise statements occurred at a low rate. Specific

praise statements ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.180/minute, with the mean occurrence of

0.012/minute (see Figure 4-1). Teacher 2's rate of non-specific praise statements was

0.0/minute to 0.420/minute, with the mean rate of 0.092. Child 2's non-compliance

following a teacher request was variable and ranged from ranged from 0% to 89% with a

mean level of non-compliance of 55% (see Figure 4-2). Child 2's compliance following

a teacher request was also variable and ranged from 11% to 100% with a mean level of

compliance of 44.67% (see Figure 4-2). Child 2's rate of disruption and aggression

occurred at moderately low rates and ranged from 0.0/minute to 1.38/minute with a mean

rate of disruption and aggression of 0.268/minute (see Figure 4-3). Finally, Child 2's

percentage of time engaged was variable, ranging from 20% to 90% with a mean

percentage of engaged time of 65.6%.

Intervention

Once the baseline was stabilized, Teacher 2 was trained using the teacher training

manual as described in Chapter 3 to use specific praise statements in her classroom. The









training was held at the Educational Research Center for Child Development and lasted 1

hour and 45 minutes. The teacher completed both written checks with 100% accuracy.

Following training, Teacher 2 was able to give examples of 4 specific praise statements

that could be used during the targeted activity. The principal investigator provided a fifth

example. Teacher 2 implemented the intervention the day following training.

Intervention data for Teacher-Child Dyad 2 were collected over 4 sessions (see

Figures 4-1 to 4-4). During intervention Teacher 2's use of specific praise statements

dramatically increased, ranging from 1.20/minute to 1.620/minute, with a mean level

1.455/minute (see Figure 4-1). The magnitude of change in Teacher 2's use of specific

praise statements from baseline to intervention increased from 0.0/minute (baseline) to

1.620/minute (intervention) with an overall positive mean change of 1.443/minute. There

was a slight difference (mean of 0.253/minute) between baseline and intervention in the

rate of non-specific praise statements, which ranged from 0.0/minute to 0.780/minute

during intervention, with a mean of 0.345/minute. The magnitude of change from

baseline to intervention in Teacher 2's use of non-specific praise statements was

0.0/minute (baseline) to 0.180/minute (intervention).

Child 2's non-compliance following an adult request during intervention decreased

notably, ranging from 0% to 25% with a mean of 15.5% (Figure 4-2). The magnitude of

change in non-compliance from baseline to intervention was from 71% (baseline) to 25%

(intervention). Child 2's compliance following an adult request increased significantly,

ranging from 75% to 100% with a mean of 84.5% (Figure 4-2). The magnitude of change

in compliance from baseline to intervention was from 29% (baseline) to 75%

intervention. There was a slight change in the rate of aggression and disruption from

baseline to intervention. The range of disruption and aggression during intervention was









0.0/minute to 0.360/minute with a mean rate of aggression and disruption of 0.09/minute.

This is a reduction of 0.178/minute from baseline to intervention. The magnitude of

change in aggression and disruption from baseline to intervention was 0.180/minute to

0.0/minute. The mean percent occurrence of engagement was 90%. This represents a

positive change of 24.4% in the mean percentage of engagement from baseline to

intervention. The magnitude of change in engagement from baseline to intervention was

50% to 92%.

Teacher-Child Dyad 3

Baseline

During baseline sessions, Teacher-Child Dyad 3 was videotaped during the transition

from circle time to teacher-directed literacy activities. Data were collected from

videotapes on Teacher 3's use of specific and non-specific praise statements, Child 3's

percentage of compliant and non-compliant responses following a teacher request, and

rate of aggression and disruption. Finally, the percentage of time Child 3 was engaged

was measured. As seen in Figures 4-5 to 4-8, baseline data were collected for 4 sessions

until a stable trend occurred in Teacher 3's rate of specific and non-specific praise.

During baseline, both Teacher 3's specific praise statements and non-specific praise

statements occurred at a rate of 0.0/minute (see Figure 4-5). Child 3's non-compliance

following a teacher request was fairly stable and ranged from 75% to 100% with a mean

level of non-compliance of 87.6% (see Figure (4-6). Child 3's compliance behavior

following a teacher request was also fairly stable, ranging from 0% to 25% with a mean

level of compliance of 11.25%. Child 3's rate of disruption and aggression was variable

and occurred at relatively low rates, ranging from 0.0/minute to 1.02 /minute with a mean



















Intervention


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Figure 4-1. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Specific/Non-Specific Praise Statements


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Figure 4-2. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Non-Compliance and Compliance





















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Figure 4-3. Teacher 1-Child 1/Teacher 2-Child 2: Aggression and Disruption