Date of Award:

1988

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Glendon Casto

Abstract

The present study was conducted over a two-month period and used a three-group post-treatment quasi-experimental design to compare the relative effectiveness of teacher training only, to teacher training plus parent training, upon the aggressive and social competency behaviors of teacher-identified aggressive preschoolers. In addition to a non-intervention control group of teacher-identified aggressive preschoolers, children who teachers identified as being non-aggressive were also observed for comparison purposes. The training that both parents and teachers received was general and focused on providing an understanding of the techniques of social learning theory and child behavior management. Parents also implemented behavior programs to increase desirable child behaviors. The dependent measures used in the present investigation included: observed child aggression, observed teacher reinforcement of parallel and cooperative play of target children, teacher ratings of social competency and problem behaviors, parents' ratings of problem behaviors, and parent satisfaction ratings of children's daycare/preschool programs. Due to several problems with research design and methodology (e.g., quasi-random assignment, no baseline or pre-treatment data, a small sample size, etc.), it was impossible to draw definitive conclusions from the obtained results. However, it appeared that both teacher training and teacher and parent training were as equally effective in reducing aggression as was no treatment at all. Furthermore, teacher training did not appear to increase teachers' rate of reinforcement of appropriate child behaviors.

Another finding was that parent training may have increased parents' knowledge of behavioral principles as applied to children and may have improved parents' satisfaction with children's daycare/preschool programs. Suggestions made for further research included: increasing the sample size, random assignment of subjects, development of specific individual treatment programs, and collection of baseline pretreatment data.

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