Teaching Conflict Resolutions Skills to Parents with a History of Psychiatric Diagnosis and Marital Discord
Master of Science
Department or Program
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Greene, Brandon F.
The present study involved teaching conflict resolution and child management skills to a couple experiencing severe marital discord and serious challenges raising their two children. The mother had been diagnosed with a variety of mental health disorders including, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. The couple had a history of failing to supervise and manage their two adolescence children's behavior. Training was undertaken at certain times of certain days and unannounced probes were undertaken on other days to determine if these skills were generalizing to days staff were not present.The parents were trained in conflict resolution skills and on how to render childcare and supervision in the course of the family's daily routine. Assessment of supervision and child management consisted of directly observing the family during in-situ observations at the family home during daily routines on both announced and unannounced visits. Conflict resolution skills were assessed during parent role-plays around areas of potential conflicts. Training entailed staff providing parents with a variety of written materials that outlined the steps required to present, discuss and resolve conflicts diplomatically. Role-plays were also performed by staff to demonstrate how to complete steps within the routine. Training in connection with child management included written materials, which described how to engage and supervise the children in appropriate activities. Training also included modeling by staff, rehearsal by the parents while being shadowed by staff, and feedback. Staff conducted announced visits with the family as well as unannounced visits in order to determine if these skills were generalizing. The results suggest that although both parents mastered the daily routine and conflict resolution protocol, they failed to generalize during times when staff was not scheduled to be present.