Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Truscott

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Fredrick

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew Roach

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Steed

Abstract

The evidence clearly indicates that, not only is the learning process affected by many factors including students’ mental health and social-emotional learning (SEL), but also zero tolerance methods of managing students’ problem behaviors are largely ineffective. This dissertation introduces a suggested model for supporting educators’ efforts in the implementation and sustainability of SEL programs using a response-to-intervention (RTI) model for educators. Additionally, the current study examined the effects of conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC) on (a) the role of teachers’ classroom practices, (b) the home-school partnership, and (c) the relationship these two factors have on young children’s challenging behaviors. Participants in this study were four triads, each consisting of one pre-k teacher, one preschool student with challenging behaviors, and one set of preschool students’ parents from a suburban county in the southeast. Three dependent variables were measured in this study: (1) teachers’ target behaviors were measured using direct observation; (2) students’ target behaviors were measured using direct observation (i.e., daily by teachers and parents) and ratings on the Social Skills Improvement System Rating Scale (SSIS-RS; Elliott & Gresham, 2008); and (3) the impact of the intervention on the home-school relationship was measured both pre- and post-intervention using the Parent-Teacher Relationship Scale - II (PTRS-II; Vickers & Minke, 1995). The independent variable was a multi-component intervention package that incorporated the four stages of CBC (Sheridan & Kratochwill, 2010) with a social skills intervention plan. A relationship was established between the intervention and teachers’ use of select positive behavior support (PBS) strategies. Furthermore, results indicated that the intervention package was effective in improving all students’ challenging behaviors in the school setting and for three of the four students challenging behaviors in the home setting. Finally, results from the PTRS-II indicated that parents and teachers’ perceptions of the home-school relationship actually declined. However, this outcome was unexpected because the anecdotal reactions from the participants throughout this study were very positive. Ratings on the social validity of the intervention as measured by the Treatment Evaluation Inventory – Short Form (TEI-SF; Kelley, Heffer, Gresham, & Elliott, 1989) were high.

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