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This study attempts to generalize the findings of laboratory studies of modeling and instructions by comparing their effects for modifying verbal behavior of actual clients referred to a family service agency. The findings suggest that in a population with less homogeneous verbal skills than found in a typical college population, verbal fluency will influence response to these interventions. Specifically, when a rule is supplemented by either verbal examples (instructions) or behavioral examples (modeling), both interventions have utility. However, for highly verbal clients, verbal examples are appropriate. For less verbal clients, more elaborate audiotape or videotape examples represent the more useful strategy.