Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Chris Koronakos

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Wilson


The present research grew out of a larger study, The Transgenerational Project for Parents and Children (TG) (Epps, 1986), which was conducted at the Howard University Child Development Center in Washington, D.C. This study provided the model for simultaneously addressing the needs of parents as well as their preadolescent children who exhibited specific learning disabilities that significantly decreased achievement levels. The present research compares the effectiveness of combining behavioral strategies, which previous research has shown to individually contribute toward enhancing patient compliance, in order to increase parental compliance with referrals for child psychotherapy.

Twenty-one parents or guardians of children whose ages ranged from 10-12 years served as subjects for the study. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: a control group, an overt commitment plus incentive group, and an overt commitment plus supportive session group. Compliance was measured in two ways: (1) appointment scheduling within one week of the initial interpretation conference, and (2) attendance by the subject to at least one counseling session within one month following the interpretation conference.

It was hypothesized the overt commitment and supportive counseling would produce greatest compliance on both dependent variables than would either overt commitment plus incentive or control procedures. Chi-square analyses of the performance data revealed no significant differences between treatment groups although there was consistent evidence that overt commitment and counseling were effective components when combined in a treatment package.

Demographic information regarding those who failed to comply with treatment regimens were discussed. The concept of behavioral community psychology as an alternative approach toward enhancing patient compliance is outlined for practitioners who face the issues of noncompliance with this population.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons