Master of Science
Department or Program
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Greene, Brandon, F
AN ABSTRACT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER OF
MITCHELL D. MAST, for the Master of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
TITLE: EFFECTIVENESS OF STAFF MODELING ON INCREASING APPROPRIATE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN A MOTHER AND A CHILD WITH BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Brandon Greene
The present study was an attempt to determine the effect of a training program on altering the frequency and type of verbal interactions exhibited by a parent of a child with behavior problems. Data on verbal interactions between a mother and her child was gathered using the Systematic Observation of Family Interactions, a partial interval system for recording verbal interactions that evaluates interactions as either positive or negative. On some days staff assumed the role of parent during the meal routine in order to demonstrate a more positive interaction style. A focus was placed on decreasing the amount of negative affect and verbal statements, while increasing positive verbal statements and positive affect. Although this procedure was effective at reducing statements with negative affect made by the mother, it was found to be less effective at reducing her negative verbal statements. On other days, a more intensive prompting/modeling procedure was implemented where both staff and parent shared the parenting role during the meal. The degree to which interactions learned during mealtime generalized to a period when the dyad discussed the child’s day at school was then assessed. Additional training in the form of an after school discussion was conducted in order to provide a more appropriate way to debrief with the child after his school day.