Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Gretchen A. Gimpel


Gretchen A. Gimpel


Carl Cheney


Mark Innocenti


Several researchers have begun to investigate early intervention and prevention programs, seeking to alter the trajectory of early-onset behavior problems. While it appears that multi-modal programs are the most promising approach, researchers have only recently begun to evaluate programs that use a similar treatment approach across settings and there is currently little information about classroom-based treatments for disruptive behaviors among preschoolers. The purpose of this study was to develop a classroom-based intervention based on the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) model developed by Eyberg. In addition, this study provides an initial investigation of the efficacy of this program with an emphasis on evaluating changes in teacher behavior and treatment acceptability. The intervention was provided to a group of 26 teachers from 13 Head Start classrooms. Results indicated minimal changes in observed teaching behavior and no significant changes in teachers' self-efficacy. Although the intervention was rated as being acceptable by teachers overall, ratings were somewhat lower for sessions dealing with child-directed activities; teacher comments indicated that this component was difficult to implement in the classroom. Observations of child behavior indicated reductions in both prosocial and disruptive behaviors. Teacher-completed rating scales indicated statistically significant reductions in disruptive child behaviors and child behavior problems, although the magnitude of these changes was generally small. The implications of these findings will be discussed and modifications will be proposed for increasing the effectiveness and acceptability of this intervention.



Included in

Psychology Commons