Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Kevin J. Armstrong

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. J. Scott Allen Jr.


Several clinical researchers have documented the benefits of evaluating reinforcer preference prior to the implementation of behavioral parent training programs. However, this has not been specifically tested with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disordered (ADHD) population in relation to parent training. This between groups study investigated whether systematically altering parent delivered reinforcers to match children’s preferred reinforcers would result in an even greater increased compliance and decreased noncompliance.

One group received a brief (4-6 session) parenting program based on Patterson’s (1974) model. A second group received the same program with an added component wherein the child completed a reinforcer survey prior to the beginning of treatment. Subjects included 14 families with medicated ADHD children ages 6-12 who were randomly assigned to groups. Parents in the group that systematically incorporated the children’s reinforcer preferences into their program reported significantly fewer noncompliances on a weekly report form than those parents in the traditional treatment control group. During the one hour independent home observations of families, there were significantly higher levels of noncompliance observed in the reinforcer preference group than in the traditional treatment control group.

Results of the study are discussed in terms of the implications for the use of reinforcer surveys as an additional component of parent training in ADHD children.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access