Date of Award

8-1997

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Parent trainers are often left to rely upon parent report to determine if parents (a) understand the training objectives at the time of training, (b) actually implement skills at home that are taught in the clinic, and (c) create the desired behavior change in the target child. Unfortunately, few data are available to assess the validity of measures addressing these issues. Data are reported for 11 families who completed a brief 4-6 session parent strategies program based on the model of Gerald R. Patterson. Parents were taught observation skills, how to use a positive point program to increase positive behaviors, and how to use a time-out program to decrease non-compliance behaviors. Findings suggest that: (a) Parents significantly increased knowledge of the specific parenting strategies that were taught as measured by post-session quizzes, (b) independent home-based observations failed to confirm that parents actually used the skills that had been taught in the clinic, and (c) independent home-based observers reported no change in compliance or non-compliance rates following treatment. Interestingly, on a measure of satisfaction with the program, these parents consistently endorsed items indicating they were "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with the program and that it led to "some increase in positive time" with their child. Discussion addresses implications of the discrepancies between parent report and home observations.

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