Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #73
Preventive Behavioral Parent Training: Establishing an Empirical Base in the Primary Prevention of Children’s Conduct Problems
Saturday, May 29, 2010
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Clint Field (Utah State University)
Abstract: Behavioral parent training(BPT) is an evidence-based practice for children with conduct problems(CP), yet, less than 50% of families benefit from it. An alternative to BPT is to approach the problem from a prevention perspective. Prevention efforts targeting very young, at-risk children and their parents during a critical period of development could yield positive outcomes. Preventive Behavioral Parent Training(PBPT) is an approach to the primary prevention of CP that targets children between 1.5 and 2.5 years of age and prior to the onset of clinical levels of CP. Presented here are four studies describing the effectiveness of PBPT. The first assessed parental ability to modify positive and negative interactions with their children. The second describes initial longitudinal outcomes for PBPT. Positive outcomes in this pilot study led to the third study which emphasized recruitment of younger children with notable risk factors. The efficacy of PBPT in yielding immediate positive outcomes was examined in this study. The fourth study replicated the results of the third study and advanced our understanding of PBPT by examining 6-month longitudinal outcomes. The impact of parent-child interactions and familial-based risk factors on common are emphasized as universal aspects of any approach in the primary prevention of CP.
Promoting Positive Parent-Child Socialization Processes by Altering Positive and Negative Interaction Ratios
ANDREW ARMSTRONG (Utah State University)
Abstract: A popular notion exists that social relationships thrive when the number of positive interactions greatly exceeds the number of negative interactions within a relationship. The commonly suggested ratio of five positive interactions for each negative interaction may stem primarily from the classic marital research of John Gottman. Were similar ratio findings to be validated for relationships between parents and young children, explicit ratio advice may be incorporated as an integral component of clinical practice with children. This presentation reviews the empirical literature pertaining to parents’ ability to achieve specified levels of positives, the measurement of naturally occurring ratio behavior of parents and caregivers, and the effects of manipulating ratios in various contexts. Presented are the results of a recent study which examined the ability of mothers to achieve prescribed ratios after being randomly assigned to one of two training conditions. Observational data was collected as mother-child dyads were observed in a laboratory environment. Mothers attempted to achieve 5:1 interaction ratios, as instructed by researchers. All participants improved their ratios significantly with half achieving the target ratio. Strategies utilized by mothers in the study will be reviewed and prevention strategies targeting fundamental socialization processes will be discussed.
Preventive Behavioral Parent Training: The Feasibility of Primary Prevention Efforts Targeting Early Parent-Child Social Interactions
GRETCHEN SCHEIDEL (Utah State University)
Abstract: The treatment for conduct problems that possesses the greatest amount of empirical support is referred to as behavioral parent training (BPT). Data indicate that CP often represents well-rehearsed extensions of disruptive behaviors of early childhood, a time in which the parent-child relationship heavily influences socialization trajectories. Presented are the results of a pilot study in which the parents of young children (ages 2-3.5) exhibiting high rates of noncompliance and tantrums implemented a primary prevention strategy (Preventive Behavioral Parent Training, PBPT) that directly targeted parent-child social interactions. Data for seven families (five treatment, two control) are presented indicating immediate and maintained changes in parent-child social interactions. Single-case methodology was utilized in displaying pre-, post-, and longitudinal data describing the effectiveness of PBPT in altering 1) maternal social attending (DRA of child pro-social behavior), and 2) social consequences contingently linked to CP display. This project contributed to our understanding of the positive effects of PBPT by documenting functional changes in the parent-child relationship due to exposure to PBPT. The potential impact of PBPT on early socialization processes is discussed in relation to the primary prevention of child CP.
Preventive Behavioral Parent Training I: Immediate Effects and Risk Factors Associated with Socialization Processes
KERRY PROUT (Utah State University)
Abstract: Prevention of conduct problems(CP) development in young children is imperative for youth to develop into mentally healthy adults. Behavioral Parent Training (BPT) is currently the most effective treatment of CP for children aged 3 to 8 years. However, research indicates that children with CP respond to treatment better at an earlier age. This study employed Preventive Behavioral Parent Training (PBPT), to address developmentally-typical displays of CP. PBPT can be considered a preventative extension of BPT. The current study differed from previous pilot work with PBPT in three ways. First, the age of children participating was decreased to 1 ½ to 2 ½ years of age. Second, several risk factors that possess potential to jeopardize parent-child socialization processes, were identified and utilized as inclusion criteria. Finally, an emphasis was placed on assessing the magnitude of immediacy effects as this is critical to observing meaningful longitudinal outcomes. Data collected included home-based participant observational data and parent report across child behavioral measures. Discussion will focus on parent-child social interactions as a fundamental aspect of childhood socialization processes and the dire impact of familial risk factors on such social interactions.
Preventive Behavioral Parent Training II: Replication of Immediate Outcomes and Longitudinal Effects on Socialization Processes of At-Risk Children
JESSICA MALMBERG (Utah State University)
Abstract: This study adds to previous findings regarding PBPT by recruiting very young children (ages 1½ to 2½) and their parents to participate in an initial longitudinal assessment examining the merits of Preventive Behavioral Parent Training (PBPT) as a primary prevention strategy in the development of CP. This study also advanced our knowledge regarding the efficacy of PBPT by replicating previously observed immediate outcomes. This study differed from previous studies of PBPT by emphasizing controlled longitudinal outcomes (minimum 6 months) among very young children possessing at least two significant socialization risk factors. Specifically, parents and children were randomly assigned to a wait-list control (n=5) or PBPT (n=6) condition. Immediate and longitudinal data describing the effectiveness of PBPT in altering 1) parenting-child social exchanges and 2) children’s target behaviors (e.g. noncompliance and tantrums) were collected. Dependent measures included standardized observational data, participant observational data, and several parent-report measures of child behavior. The long-term impact of PBPT on child and parent behavior is discussed in relation to critical parent-child socialization processes and the impact of this preventative model on risk factors that jeopardize social development.



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