Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. Bill Armstrong

Third Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower


Three experiments were conducted to validate the effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Consultation (CAC)--a computer-based problem identification interviewing system for use in conducting school-based behavioral consultation. The specific goals of problem identification are to establish behavioral objectives and initial assessment characteristics. Experiment I functioned as a pilot which: (1) validated the need for problem identification, (2) demonstrated the general utility of CAC, and (3) provide a basis for program improvement. Experiment II provided a more rigorous analysis of CAC by comparing it with an actual problem identification interview. Two groups of three consultees each were exposed to one of two counter-balanced sequences of the following conditions: Baseline, CAC1, CAC2 (abbreviated version), Consultation (interview), and Acquisition Probe. Dependent variables employed were response quality, response errors, development duration, and response remediations. Results indicated comparable performances in both CAC and Consultation conditions. A detailed analysis revealed a more effective teaching function of CAC than consultation with respect to teaching consultees to conduct problem identification independently. Experiment III demonstrated generality of the findings of Experiments I and II to actual consultation situations, as opposed to contrived consultation situations (i.e., vignettes as employed in Experiments I and II). All three experiments demonstrated that the Computer-Assisted Consultation system was a useful tool in completing the problem identification component of a problem-centered behavioral consultation. Disadvantages of using CAC for problem identification may be the longer durations than those resulting from consultation. Results are also discussed with respect to typical obstacles of conducting problem identification and generality of findings to other situations (populations, problems, and types of consultation services).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access