Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Galen J. Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristal Ehrhardt

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda LeBlanc

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The term "nonprescription" behavior therapies was first used by Rosen (1979) to describe behavioral interventions that could be totally self-administered without professional consultation. In his article, Rosen warned that empirical validation of self-help programs was needed. The present study examines the effectiveness of one such self-help program intended to help parents manage a minor pediatric feeding problem - "picky eating". "Picky Eating" (i.e., mild selectivity or selective eating) appears to be a common and relatively persistent feeding concern of otherwise typically developing children. Mild selectivity is usually regarded as a sub-clinical feeding problem. In the present study, five families with children 2-6 years old identified as "picky eaters" were asked to follow the suggestion in a self-help book for parents of "picky eaters" (the independent variable in the study). Results indicate that while all subjects reported that the self-help book was helpful enough to recommend the book to a close friend or family member (a rough measure of social validity) the symptom report data rarely reflected the sign data collected.

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