Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Special Education

First Advisor

May, Michael

Abstract

Problem behaviors are one of the most common issues competing with school readiness skills for young children. There are numerous curricula created to address social-emotional needs of young children..However, many studies evaluating the effectiveness of social -emotional curricula have relied on indirect measures to report changes in behavior, did not objectively define problem behaviors they sought to change, or did not include children with disabilities. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum to decrease aggression, noncompliance, and tantrums of four preschool students with disabilities by teaching an alternative self-regulation technique. Results showed a reduction in aggression and tantrums in three students. One student demonstrated appropriate alternative behaviors when prompted but this behavior was not maintained throughout the intervention. Considerations are addressed related to the implications of the results of social skills training in preschool children with disabilities.

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