USING PARENTS AS THERAPISTS TO EVALUATE APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR OF THEIR CHILDREN: APPLICATION TO A TERTIARY DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC

Authors


251 University Hospital School, Division of Developmental Disabilities, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

Abstract

We conducted a preliminary analysis of maintaining variables for children with conduct disorders in an outpatient clinic. Eight children of normal intelligence between the ages of 4 and 9 years were evaluated during 90-min sessions. The children's parents conducted the assessments by varying task demands (easy and difficult) and parental attention (attention and no attention) within a multielement design. The assessment focused on appropriate child behavior and was conducted to formulate hypotheses regarding maintaining contingencies. Results demonstrated that the children's appropriate behavior varied across assessment conditions and, for 7 of the 8 children, occurred at a higher rate during one condition than during other conditions. In addition, treatment integrity data demonstrated that parents were able to implement the procedures as intended. The recommended treatments were rated as being both effective and acceptable to parents for up to 6 months following the evaluation. Our results extend previous studies of functional analytic procedures conducted by trained experimenters with severely handicapped children in more controlled settings.

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