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School psychologists' engagement in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems

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Title:
School psychologists' engagement in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems
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Sarlo, Rebecca
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University of South Florida
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Parent involvement
Intervention
Consultation
Anti-social behavior
Training
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychological & Social Foundations -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Abstract:
ABSTRACT: The purposes of this research were to determine the rate at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to determine the relationships between school psychologists' demographic variables, professional practice, training, and perception of barriers and their engagement in such activities. These variables have been found to be related to types of service delivery practices and were hypothesized to also be related to the rate and type of engagement in parent training/education activities by school psychologists. Five hundred school psychologists were randomly sampled from the membership of the National Association of School Psychologists and mailed a survey. One-hundred-fifteen (23%) of the targeted school psychologists returned a usable survey. Five school psychologists indicated that they engaged in parent training/education at least weekly and volunteered to engage in a phone interview with the researcher. The phone interview was conducted in order to gather more specific information regarding facilitators of the school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlational, linear, and qualitative methods. Results indicated that school psychologists' rate of engagement in parent training interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems occurred on average less than once per semester. The data also suggested that intensity of training and perception of barriers were most strongly related to school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education activities. Other variables including school psychologists' perception of available time, problem solving skills, and ability to communicate with school-based administrators also were indicated as impactful on school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education activities. These findings have important implications for school psychology training programs. Specifically, school psychology training programs may wish to examine the intensity of training provided to trainees in not only parent training/education but also in time management, problem solving, and consultation.
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Dissertation (PHD)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Rebecca Sarlo.
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ABSTRACT: The purposes of this research were to determine the rate at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to determine the relationships between school psychologists' demographic variables, professional practice, training, and perception of barriers and their engagement in such activities. These variables have been found to be related to types of service delivery practices and were hypothesized to also be related to the rate and type of engagement in parent training/education activities by school psychologists. Five hundred school psychologists were randomly sampled from the membership of the National Association of School Psychologists and mailed a survey. One-hundred-fifteen (23%) of the targeted school psychologists returned a usable survey. Five school psychologists indicated that they engaged in parent training/education at least weekly and volunteered to engage in a phone interview with the researcher. The phone interview was conducted in order to gather more specific information regarding facilitators of the school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlational, linear, and qualitative methods. Results indicated that school psychologists' rate of engagement in parent training interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems occurred on average less than once per semester. The data also suggested that intensity of training and perception of barriers were most strongly related to school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education activities. Other variables including school psychologists' perception of available time, problem solving skills, and ability to communicate with school-based administrators also were indicated as impactful on school psychologists' engagement in parent training/education activities. These findings have important implications for school psychology training programs. Specifically, school psychology training programs may wish to examine the intensity of training provided to trainees in not only parent training/education but also in time management, problem solving, and consultation.
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School Psychologists Engagement in Parent Training/Education Activities with the Parents of Children with Ch ronic Behavior Problems by Rebecca K. Sarlo A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychological and Social Foundations College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Linda Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D. Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D Shannon Suldo, Ph.D. Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D. Date of Approval: June 24, 2010 Keywords: parent involvement, intervention, consultation, anti-social behavior, training Copyright 2010, Rebecca K. Sarlo

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Table of Contents List of Tables v List of Figures viii Abstract ix Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Intervention for Chronic Behavior Problems 3 Availability of School-Based Parent Training/Education Programs 4 Purpose of the Current Study 4 Contribution of the Current Study to the Lite rature 7 Chapter 2: Literature Review 9 Chronic Behavior Problems and Disruptive Behavior Disorders 9 Effects on the family 10 Effects in the classroom 11 Effects on the community 12 Disruptive Behavior Disorders 13 Oppositional Defiant Disorder 13 Conduct Disorder 15 Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 17 Development and Prognosis for Children with Antisocial Behavior 19 Risk Factors for the Development of Antisoc ial Behavior Problems 21 Genetic, hormonal, and autonomic nervous system factors 22 Temperamental factors 23 Sleep disorders 23 Social-cognitive factors 24 Peer rejection 26 Deviant peer influence 27 Socio-cultural factors 28 Family process factors 29 Parental psychopathology 32 Parental Supervision 35 Prevention and Intervention of Chronic An tisocial Behavior 35 Variables to consider for interv ention planning 36 Common intervention approaches 37 Parent-training programs 40 Empirically-supported parent training models 41 i

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Availability of Parent Training Inte rventions 46 Factors Affecting the Availability of Parent Training/Education Program s 47 Professional practice 47 Demographic variables 48 Degree level 48 Years of experience 49 Employment setting 49 Caseload 50 Gender 50 Training 51 Presence of barriers 54 Summary 60 Chapter 3: Methods 63 Purpose 63 Research Design 64 Participants 64 Demographics of survey participants 65 Non-response bias analysis 68 Interview participants 71 Materials 71 Survey 71 Item Development 72 Demographic information 72 Professional practice 72 Perception of barriers 73 Training 76 Current practices 79 Instrument reliability 83 Phone interview questions 85 Data Collection 86 Data Analysis 88 Survey data 88 Interview data 92 Chapter 4: Results 93 Descriptive Statistics 93 Professional practice 93 Perception of barriers 94 Training 98 Current practices 103 Inferential Statistics 108 Demographic variables and current practices 112 Intensity of training and current practices 115 Professional practice and current practices 117 Perception of barriers and current practices 120 ii

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Contribution of predictor variables 123 Facilitators of parent training/e ducation engagement 124 Type, rate, and location of engagement 126 Barriers to engagement 126 Facilitators of engagement 129 Advice 132 Chapter 5: Discussion 135 Parent Training/Education Activities 136 Demographic Variables and Rate of Parent Training/Education Engagement 137 Employment setting 138 Number of schools and students served 139 Intensity of Training and Rate of Engagement in Parent Training/Education 140 Professional Practice and Rate of Engagement in Parent Training/Education Engagement 144 Assessment 142 Consultation 143 Perception of Barriers and Parent 144 Beliefs and parent training/education engagement 144 School and district support and reso urces 148 School personnels attitude regarding parents 150 Role focused on assessment 150 Time 152 Contribution of Predictor Variable s to Engagement in Parent Training/Education 153 Limitations 155 Future Research 158 Conclusions and Implications for Future Research 160 References 165 Appendices 192 Appendix A: Parent Training Survey 193 Appendix B: Project Information & Informed Consent for Participation 200 Appendix C: Post Card 202 Appendix D: Script for Tele phone Conference 203 Appendix E: Pattern and Structure Ma trixes and Scree Plot for Current Practice Factors 204 Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matr ixes and Scree Plot for Training Factors 211 Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matr ixes and Scree Plot for Barrier Factors 216 Appendix H: ANOVA Tables for Demographi c Variables and Current Practice Overall and Factor Scores 225 Appendix I: Variables Excluded from Stepwise Regression Analysis 232 iii

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About the Author End Page iv

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List of Tables Table 1: Descriptive S tatistics for Individual Demographic Va riables 66 Table 2: Standardized Mean Difference of Response Groups 1 and 2 69 Table 3: Effect Size Differen ces of Mailing Groups 1 and 2 on Categorical, Interval, and Ordinal Variab les 70 Table 4: Item s Included in Each Barriers Factor 75 Table 5: Items Included in Each Training Factor 78 Table 6: Items Included in Each Curr ent Practice Factor 81 Table 7: Cronbachs Alpha Levels for Training, Barrier s, and Engagement Variables 85 Table 8: Descriptive Statistics for Profe ssional Practice Categories 94 Table 9: Barriers Factor Means and St andard Deviations 94 Table 10: Percent of Sample Indicating the Presence of Specific Barriers 94 Table 11: Training Factor Means and Standard Deviations 96 Table 12: Percent of School Psychologist s Indicating Each Intensity Level of Training for Specific Training Items 100 Table 13: Mean Engagement Scores for Each Curre nt Practice Item by Factor 105 Table 14: Rates of Engagement for Each Parent Tr aining/Education Activity 109 Table 15: Demographic Group Means, Standard Deviations, and Samp le Sizes 114 Table 16: Correlation Matrix of Training Factors and Current Practices Factors 117 Table 17: Multiple Regression Matrix for Professional Practice and Overall Engagement 118 v

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Table 18: Multiple Regression Matrix for Professional Practice and Each Engagement Factor 119 Table 19: Correlation Matrix for Perception of Barriers and Current Practice Factors 122 Table 20: Regression of Mean Perception of Barrie rs and Mean Intensity of Training 124 Table 21: Summary and Representative Quote for Interview Question 1 125 Table 22: Summary of Identified Barriers a nd Representative Quotes 127 Table 23: Summary of Identified Facilitat ors and Representative Quotes 130 Table 24: Summary of Advice Offered by Pa rticipants 133 Table 25: Pattern Matrix for Current Pr actice Factors 204 Table 26: Structure Matrix for Current Practice Factors 206 Table 27: Pattern Matrix of Traini ng Factors 211 Table 28: Structure Matrix of Training F actors 213 Table 29: Pattern Matrix of Perceptio n of Barriers Factors 216 Table 30: Structure Matrix for Perception of Ba rriers Factors 219 Table 31: ANOVA Table for Gender and Overall Engagement 225 Table 32. ANOVA Table for Gender and Current Practice Factors 225 Table 33: ANOVA Table for Degree and Overall Engagement 225 Table 34: ANOVA Table for Degree and Curre nt Practice Factors 226 Table 35: ANOVA Table for Recency of Degree and Overal l Engagement 226 Table 36: ANOVA Table for Recency of Degree and Cu rrent Practice Factors 227 Table 37: ANOVA for Employment Setting and Overall Engagement 227 Table 38: ANOVA Table for Employment Setting a nd Current Practice Factors 227 Table 39: ANOVA Table for Years of Experience and Overall Engagement 228 vi

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Table 40: ANOVA Table for Years of Experience a nd Current Practice Factors 228 Table 41: ANOVA Table for Number of Schools and Over all Engagement 229 Table 42: ANOVA Table for Number of Schools and Cu rrent Practice Factors 230 Table 43: ANOVA Table for Caseload and Overall Engagement 230 Table 44: ANOVA Table for Caseload and Cu rrent Practice Factors 231 Table 45: Variables Excluded from the St epwise Regression Analysis 232 vii

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List of Figures Figure 1: Scree Plot of Current Practice Factors 210 Figure 2: Scree Plot of Training Factors 215 Figure 3: Scree Plot of Perception of Barriers Factors 224 viii

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School Psychologists Engagement in Pare nt Training/Education with Parents of Children with Chronic Behavior Problems Rebecca Sarlo ABSTRACT The purposes of this research were to determine the rate at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to dete rmine the relationships between school psychologists demographic variables, profe ssional practice, traini ng, and perception of barriers and their engagement in such activities. These variables have been found to be related to types of se rvice delivery practices and were hypothesized to also be related to the rate and type of engagement in pa rent training/education activities by school psychologists. Five hundred school psychologists were randomly sampled from the membership of the National Association of School Psychol ogists and mailed a survey. One-hundredfifteen (23%) of the targeted school psychologists returned a us able survey. Five school psychologists indicated that they engaged in parent training/e ducation at least weekly and volunteered to engage in a phone interview w ith the researcher. The phone interview was conducted in order to gather more specifi c information regarding facilitators of the school psychologists engagement in parent training/education w ith the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. ix

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x Data were analyzed using descriptive, correlational, lin ear, and qualitative methods. Results indicated that school psyc hologists rate of engagement in parent training interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems occurred on average less than once per semester. The data al so suggested that intensity of training and perceptio n of barriers were most strongly related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education ac tivities. Other vari ables including school psychologists perception of available tim e, problem solving skills, and ability to communicate with school-based administrators also were indicated as impactful on school psychologists engagement in parent tr aining/education activit ies. These findings have important implications for school ps ychology training progr ams. Specifically, school psychology training programs may wish to examine the intensity of training provided to trainees in not only parent training/education but also in time management, problem solving, and consultation.

PAGE 12

Chapter I Introduction Childhood chronic behavior problems re present a major social problem for American society. Ramifications of chronic behavior problems are far reaching, resulting in severe negative effects for families, schools, and the community at large. Childhood chronic behavior problems negatively a ffect family functioning and are strongly associated with high levels of family stress, family conflict, marital discord, and negative parent-child interactions. Child chronic behavior problems and parental inability to manage the family may affect each other in a circular fashion with one increasing the likelihood of the other. Parents of children w ith chronic behavior problems often express a low level of confidence in their ability to change their childrens problem behavior (Alizadeh, Applequist, & Coo lidge, 2007) and report increased parental stress levels (Aikens, Coleman, & Barbarin, 2008; OLear y & Vidair, 2005; Patterson, DeGarmo, & Forgatch, 2004), depression (Aikens et al., 2008), and marital disc ord (Aikens et al., 2008; OLeary & Vidair, 2005) as well as a decr eased tendency to seek out or implement effective interventions (DeMore, Adams, Wilson, & Hogan 2005; Patterson, DeGarmo et al., 2004; Nock & Photos, 2006). High levels of stress and decreased ability to deal effectively with their childrens negative beha vior may result in less warmth within the parent-child relationship and inconsistent and or harsh discipline practices (Chang, Schwartz, Dodge, & McBride, 2003; Dodge & Petit, 2003; Patterson, DeGarmo et al., 1

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2004). This lack of warmth when paired with in consistent and harsh discipline within the first five years of life has an important a nd enduring effect on childrens development, negatively affecting childrens ability to regulate their emotions, increasing the likelihood of future chronic behavior problems (Chang et al., 2003). On the other hand, parents positive attention, emotional investment, and consistent behavior management are predictive of healthy childhood and adolescent social and emo tional development (Dishion & Bullock, 2002). Chronic behavior problems also nega tively impact the classroom learning community. Children who exhibit behavior problems consistently interfere with their own learning and the learning of others as well as their teachers ability to provide instruction and manage the clas sroom environment. The loss of instructional time due to chronic behavior problems is significant. Seventeen-percent of teachers reported consistently losing four or more hours of instructional time per week dealing with children with chronic behavior problems while 19% reported losing 2 to 3 hours of instructional time per week (Hart, 1995). The percentages were even more striking among teachers who taught in urban schools, with 21% reporting losing 4 or more hours per week. No doubt, the loss of instructional and learning time has a negative effect on academic achievement and classroom climate as well as the emotional well-being of teachers and students alike. Chronic behavior problems result in exorbi tant monetary costs every year for the community at large in terms of health, mental health, juvenile justice, and school expenses. By the end of high school, year ly costs per child with conduct problems exceed yearly costs for children without conduct problems by more than $11,000 2

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(Foster, Jones, & The Conduct Problems Pr evention Research Group, 2005). Due to the chronic nature of conduct pr oblems, many youth with conduc t problems become adults who continue to accrue high public expenditures in terms of criminal justice and welfare costs. Intervention for Chronic Behavior Problems Parent training is a critical component of any comprehensive intervention package designed to address the needs of children with chronic behavior problems. Because parents are one of the few constant adult fi gures in a childs life, they can provide consistent and long-term intervention. Further, parents are their childrens first teachers and thus may be able to be gin behavior training early in their childs developmental process, increasing the likelihood for positive out comes. Because of the high levels of parental frustration and stre ss resulting from their childre ns behavior problems, most parents welcome assistance with the academic and behavioral needs of their children (Redmond, Spoth, & Trudeau, 2002). The Provision of School Psychology Serv ices (NASP, 2000), which was adopted on July 15, 2000, urges school psychologists to become responsible for the delivery of parent education, training, and involvement programs for all families of children with disabilities or who are at risk for the de velopment of academic and or behavioral problems. In general, these parent-focus ed interventions should center on building positive parent-child relationships, teaching eff ective parenting skills, promoting fair and reasonable expectations, deali ng with noncompliance, teaching appropriate social skills, developing effective parent-child comm unication, and teaching conflict resolution strategies (Teeter, 1991; Teeter, 1998). In a ddition to these parent training activities, 3

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support groups may provide parents with essential outlets for sharing stressful experiences with other parents with similar experiences. Further, such settings may provide the school psychologist with an appr opriate setting to teach stress reduction techniques, problem-solving strategies and behavior management options. Availability of School-Based Pare nt Training/Education Programs Although behavioral parent training is one of only two intervention strategies recognized by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures (Chambless, Sanderson, Shoham, & Bennett et. al, 1997) as meeting criteria for effective inte rventions for the treatment of childhood behavior problems (Pelham, Wheeler & Chr onis, 1998), such interventions typically are not provided in the schools (Teeter, 1991; Teeter, 1998). Despite the importance and effectiveness of parent training, school ps ychologists report spending only 1% of their time providing these services (Bramlett, Mu rphy, Johnson, Wallinford, & Hall, 2002). Purpose of the Current Study Existing literature lends only limited inform ation as to which variables are related to school psychologists engagement in parent -focused interventions. The purposes of the current research were to determine the ra te at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to determine the relationships between school psychologists demographic variables, professional practice, training, and perception of barriers a nd their engagement. These variables were selected based on an extensive review of the literature that indicated each to be related to the implementation of other types of service deliver y practices. It was hypothesized that these variables influence not only the frequency with which school 4

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psychologists offer education/training opportun ities but also the t ype of interventions provided. Specifically, the following re search questions were examined: 1. How often are school psychologists currently engaging in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? Hypothesis: School psychologists will report engagement levels of between once per week and once per month. 2. What are the relationships between demogr aphic variables (i.e., sex, degree level, years of experience, recency of traini ng, number of students served, number of schools served, and employment setting) a nd the rate of engagement in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? Hypothesis: Sex, degree level, and years of experience will not be found to be significantly related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education. Hypothesis: Number of students served and the number of schools served will be found to be significantly negatively related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education. Hypothesis: School psychologist s serving elementary schools will report higher rates of engagement in parent training/edu cation than school psychologists serving secondary schools. 5

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3. What is the relationship between intensity of training and the rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? Hypothesis: The intensity of school psychologi sts training in formal parent training strategies, behavioral interventions, and colla borating with parents will be found to be significantly positively related to their e ngagement in parent training/education interventions with the pare nts of students with chr onic behavior problems. 4. What is the relationship between a school psychologists professional practices (i.e., percent of time spent engaging in assessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professiona l development or other activities) and their rate of engagement in parent training/education activitie s with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? Hypothesis: The percent of time school psychologists re port engaging in assessment will be found to be significantly negatively related to their engagement in parent training/education interventions with the parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems. Hypothesis: The percent of time school psychologists report engaging in case management will be found to be significantly negatively related to their engagement in parent training/education interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Hypothesis: The percent of time school psychologists re port engaging in consultation will be found to be significantly positively related to their engagement in parent 6

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training/education interventions with the parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems. Hypothesis: The percent of time school psychologists report engaging in direct intervention will be found to be significantly negatively related to their engagement in parent training/education interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. 5. What is the relationship between th e perception of barriers and school psychologists rate of engagement in pa rent training/education activities with parents of children with chr onic behavior problems? Hypothesis: School psychologists who pe rceive more barriers will report less frequent engagement in pare nt training/education interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. 6. Which of the variables or combination of variables above accounts for the most variance in the rate of engagement of school psychologists in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? Hypothesis: Training variab les and perception of barrier s variables will account for the most variance in rate of engageme nt of school psychologists in parent training/education activities wi th parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Contribution of the Curren t Study to the Literature This study contributes to the literature by providing descriptive information regarding school psychologists engagement in parent tr aining/education activit ies with families of children with chronic behavior problems. Th e research also lends information regarding 7

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variables that are related to this engagement An understanding of variables that predict school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activ ities provides useful information for both pre-service traini ng programs and in-service professional development. 8

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Chapter II Literature Review This chapter will provide a review of th e literature relate d to childhood chronic behavior problems. Specifically, the chapte r will review the impact of childhood chronic behavior problems on families, schools, and the community. A review of variables related to the development of chronic behavi or problems in childhood will be provided in order to highlight the complex epidemiology of such problems. Intervention approaches, both common and uncommon, will be reviewed in terms of application and effectiveness. The implementation and effectiveness of pa rent training/educati on interventions in particular will be examined, and specific parent training programs will be outlined. Finally, variables which have been found to impact school psychol ogists professional practice will be reviewed with the anticipation that these variables may also be related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education w ith the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Chronic Behavior Problems and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Chronic behavior problems represent a major social problem for American society. Ramifications of behavior problems are far reaching, presenting severe negative effects on families, schools, and the community at large. Chronic behavior problems account for the majority of outpatient mental health referrals (Loeber, Burke, Lahey, Winters, & Zera, 2000) and a large proporti on of school-based referrals to school psychologists (Bramlett, Murphy, Johnson, Wallinsford, & Hall, 2002), as well as the 9

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largest proportion of placemen ts in full-time special educat ion classes (Anderson, Kutash, & Duchnowski, 2001; Landrum, Katsiyannis, & Archwamety, 2004). Further, chronic behavior problems in childhood are strongly correlated with continued violent and aggressive behavior du ring adolescence and adulthood (Broidy et al., 2003). Effects on the family. Youth who demonstrate chronic behavior problems tend to be excessively noncompliant and aggressive to ward others. Chroni c behavior problems are often associated with high le vels of family stress, family conflict, marital discord, and negative parent-child interactions (Aikens, Coleman, & Barbarin, 2008; OLeary & Vidair, 2005; Chang, Schwartz, Dodge, & McBride, 2003; Patterson, 1992). Not surprisingly, chronic behavior problems often have a detrimental effect on the family social ecology and a parents ability to adequa tely manage the family (Reid, Patterson, & Gerald, 2002; Richman, Ha rrison, & Summers, 1995; Snyder, Cramer, Afrank, & Patterson, 2005). Child behavior problems (e.g., noncompliance) and parental inability to manage the family may affect each other in a circular fashion with one increasing the likelihood of the other. Fo r instance, a calm parental demand followed by passive resistance from the child may eventually evolve into a parent yelling commands at his or her child followed by physical resistance from the child. High levels of frustration, which reportedly result from such interactions, further complicate relationships between parent and child and also may negatively a ffect relationships be tween the parent and other members of the family (e.g., spouse) (Barkley, 1997b; Chang, Schwartz, Dodge, & McBride, 2003; Patterson, DeGarmo, & Forg atch, 2004). Because particular response patterns to negative behavioral incidences of ten reinforce the behavior, underlie negative 10

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interactions within the family, and reduce pare ntal functioning, it is necessary to target these response patterns during intervention. Effects in the classroom. The effects of chronic behavior problems on the classroom learning community also are ex tremely negative. Children who exhibit chronic behavior problems consistently interf ere with their own learning and the learning of others as well as their t eachers ability to provide inst ruction and effectively manage the classroom environment. Seventeen-percen t of teachers report consistently losing 4 or more hours of instructiona l time a week dealing with st udent behavior problems while 19% reported losing 2 to 3 hours of instructional time per w eek (Hart et al., 1995). Loss of instructional time due to chronic behavior problems is even more likely within the urban classroom with 21% of teachers teachi ng in urban schools reporting losing 4 or more hours of instructional ti me per week. No doubt, the loss of instructional and learning time has a negative impact on academic achievement and classroom climate and significantly interferes with the emotional we ll-being of teachers and students alike. Interestingly, of the 43% of teachers who reported having children with discipline problems in their classroom, more than half reported that classroom disruptions were caused by the same 1 to 3 students (Hart et. al., 1995). While these students behavior negatively effects the learni ng environment for others, th e impact on their own school experience is profound, as they are the most likely to be excluded from school and classroom activities, isolated from their peers, suspended from school (Morrison, Anthony, Storino, & Dillon, 2001), and experien ce school failure (Barkley, 1998; French & Conrad, 2001). 11

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Effects on the community. Beyond the price paid in the classroom, huge monetary costs are assessed by the community every year in terms of health, mental health, juvenile justice, and school expenses. By the e nd of high school, yearly costs exceed $14,000 per child for children with conduct problems co mpared to $2300 for children without conduct problems (Foster, Damon, & Jones, 2005). Inpa tient and outpatient mental health costs accounted for nearly 70% of the variance between children with conduct problems and other groups, as chronic behavior proble ms are amongst the most common reasons for children to be referred for mental health services (Shanley, Reid, & Evans, 2008). Differences in school expenditures also accounted for a significant proportion of variance between children with conduct problems and thos e without conduct problems (Foster, Jones, & The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 2005). These differences resulted largely from the higher costs of special edu cation and retentions associated with children with conduct problems. Finally, 20 % of the total expenditures for children with conduct problems occurred w ithin the juvenile ju stice system and far exceeded the cost of juvenile justice involvement for children without conduct problems. When summed across the seven years of wh ich the participants were followed, expenditures for children with conduct pr oblems totaled nearly $70,000 more than expenditures for children without conduct proble ms. It is important to note that these figures held true even when common risk factors associated with chronic behavior problems, such as low socio-economic status (SES) were controlled. No doubt without intervention, given the chronic nature of conduct problems, many children with conduct problems become adults who continue to accrue high public expend itures in terms of 12

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criminal justice and welfare costs (Mo ffit, Caspi, Harrington, & Milne, 2002; Soderstrom, Sjodon, & Carlstedt, 2004). Disruptive Behavior Disorders Because of the far reaching nature of chronic behavior problems, children who demonstrate such behavior have demanded the attention of professionals from various social institutions including those within the mental health, education, and juvenile justice fields. Children and adolescents who demonstrate chronic behavior problems have been categorized as Oppositional Defian t, Conduct Disordered, Emotionally or Behaviorally Disturbed/Diso rdered, and Juvenile Delinquents depending on the social institution or discipline. There clearly is a high level of overlap betw een these categories. For instance, given the very definition of C onduct Disorder, it is likely that a child who meets criteria for this disorder may also be i nvolved with the juvenile justice system (i.e., juvenile delinquent) and require additional s upport to be successful at school (i.e., through services provided to students with emotional or behavioral disorders in a special education setting). For the purposes of this research, Disruptive Behavior Disorders will be defined as in the Diagnostic and Stat istical Manual, Forth Edition, Text Revision, DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Associ ation, 2000). This classification system includes three primary diagnoses under Disr uptive Behavior Disorders: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Atte ntion-Deficit/Hyperac tivity Disorder. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is characterized by consistent disp lays of defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures. This persistent negative pattern of behavior ma y include losing ones temper, arguing with adults, actively defying or refusing to comply with adult requests or 13

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rules, deliberately annoying others, blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior, and being irritable, easily annoyed by others, angry, resentful, spitefu l, or vindictive. In order to meet the criteria for an ODD diagnosis, th e negative behavior must have been present within the 12 months prior to the diagnosis, must have last ed for at least 6 months, and must cause clinically sign ificant impairments in social, academic, or occupational functioning. In addition, behaviors must not occur complete ly during the course of a Psychotic or Mood Disorder and may not meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Documented rates of ODD range from 2% to 16% depending on the sampled population and the method by which data were gathered (Egger & Angold, 2006; Rowe, Maugham, Costello, & Angold, 2005) ODD is more prevalent in males than females during childhood while prevalence rates appear more simila r as boys and girls enter adolescence (Alvarez & Ollendick, 2003). ODD is expressed very similarly in boys and girls with boys being slightly more likely to display confrontational and aggressive behavior than girls (Alvarez & Ollend ick, 2003; Maughan, Rowe, Messer, Goodman, & Meltzer, 2004). In addition, boys tend to disp lay more persistent symptoms than girls and have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed later with the more serious Conduct Disorder than their female counterparts. The etiology of ODD remains larg ely unknown. Common known risk factors include a difficult temperament, high motor activ ity, low self-esteem or an overly inflated self-esteem, mood lability, and low frustra tion tolerance (DSM-IV-TR). In addition, parents of children diagnosed with ODD often report a parental hist ory of alcohol and 14

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drug use conflicts with their own peers, teacher s, and parents; and harsh, inconsistent, or neglectful parenting prac tices (DSM-IV-TR). Conduct Disorder. Conduct Disorder (CD) is de fined as a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the ba sic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated (DSM -IV-TR). This pattern of behavior may include aggression to people or animals in whic h the individual with CD often bullies or intimidates others or initiates physical altercations. In addi tion, an individual may fit this diagnostic criteria if he or she has been known to use a weapon to harm others, be physically cruel to people or animals, stea l from someone while confronting them, or force someone into a sexual activity. Other criteria for the diagnos is of CD involve deliberately destroying others pr operty and stealing or conning others in order to obtain property. The final criterion involves serious vi olation of rules. Sp ecifically, individuals with CD may often stay out at night without parental appr oval beginning before the age of 13, may run away from home overnight on more than two occasions or at least once for a lengthy period, or may be truant from school often beginning before the age of 13. The presence of these criteria must create a cl inically significant im pairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning in orde r for a diagnosis of CD to be applied. Two sub-types of Conduct Disorder exis t depending on the age of onset of the disorder. If age of onset is determined to have occurred prior to the age of 10, then the individual with CD is diagnosed with Childhood-Onset Type CD. Individuals with Childhood-Onset CD are predominately male. I ndividuals within this subtype typically display clinically significant levels of physical aggression toward others as well as 15

PAGE 27

problems relating to peers. Many of these individuals have comorbid ADHD and several will have been diagnosed with ODD prior to meeting the full criteria for CD. Individuals with Childhood-Onset Type CD are more likely to develop adult Antisocial Personality Disorder than those in dividuals whose onset of CD occurred after the age of 10 (Moffit, Caspi, Harrington, & Milne, 2002). Individuals who do not display criteria of CD prior to the ag e of 10 but meet criteria for di agnosis after the age of 10 are diagnosed with Adolescent-Onset Type CD. Individuals within this subtype are less likely to engage in serious aggr essive behavior. They also te nd to have more typical peer relations, displaying conduct problems along wi th their chosen peer group. Individuals within this subtype are less likely to display persistent behavioral problems and are less likely to meet criteria for An tisocial Personality Disorder in adulthood than individuals with Childhood-Onset CD. While the majority of individuals diagnosed with ChildhoodOnset CD are male, the number of males a nd females diagnosed with Adolescent-Onset CD is almost equal (Goldstein, Grant, Ru an, Smith, & Saha, 2006; Zoccolillo, 1993). Overall, the prevalence rates of individua ls with CD vary widely depending on the population sampled. For example, some studi es report a prevalence rate of 1% while others report prevalence rates as high as 10% within the gene ral population. Nonetheless, CD remains a high prevalence disorder, as it is one of the most frequently diagnosed disorders in childhood (US Depa rtment of Health and Huma n Services, 1999). DSM-IV states that a diagnosis of CD should be made only when the symptoms are caused by an internal psychological dysfunction and are not a reaction to a negative environment. For example, an abused child may run away fr om home, steal food to eat, and engage in violent behavior in order to protect him or herself on the st reets. The childs behavior 16

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may constitute an adaptive reaction to a negati ve social context and not indicate internal psychological dysfunction. Thus, several fact ors should be considered before making a diagnosis of CD including socio-economic st atus (SES), rural versus urban settings, ethnicity and culture, cognitive development, and expectation for behavior. A failure to consider the effects of such variables on a childs or adoles cents behavior may result in a false positive diagnosis of CD. Wakefield, Pottick, and Kirk (2002) suggest incorporating a negative envir onment exclusion clause directly into the DSM criteria for CD. Such an exclusion woul d require clinicians to judge whether or not the childs behavior is the result of an internal ps ychological dysfunction or the result of a normal response to a negative social environmen t before formally diagnosing CD. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most often di agnosed childhood mental health disorders, with an estimated occurrence rate of between 2% and 18% of school-aged children in the United States (Rowland, Lesesne, & Abra mowitz, 2002). Typically, children with ADHD are characterized as having chronic di fficulties in the areas of inattention, impulsively, and hyperactivity. In addition, res earch has indicated that the disorder also may be associated with deficits in the abil ity to follow rules and to work independently on one task for an extended period of time (Barkley, 1990; Barkley, 1997a; Barkley, 1998). Children with ADHD experience serious impairments in many domains, including academic achievement, relationships w ith parents, and relationships with peers. Impairments in these areas often are com pounded by a high level of co-morbidity with other disorders such as Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Research has shown a comorbidity rate among these di sorders ranging from 30% to 50% (Barkley, 17

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1990; Hurtig et al., 2007; Jensen, 2001; Pe lham, Wheeler & Chronis, 1998). Thus, children with ADHD not only show evid ence of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, but many also demonstrate deviant behavior in areas such as noncompliance and aggression. Children with ADHD display a greater degree of difficulty with oppositional and conduct prob lems than children without the disorder, with approximately two-thirds of children with ADHD presenting with co-morbid externalizing problems. In fact, up to 60% of chil dren with ADHD and 65% of adolescents with ADHD meet full diagnostic cr iteria for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (Barkley, 1990; Hurtig et al., 2007). Furthe r, between 30% and 50% of children with ADHD will eventually meet the criteria fo r the more serious diagnosis of Conduct Disorder (Barkley, 1990; Hurtig et al., 2007). As children with ADHD grow up, they ofte n do not grow out of their tendency to display the symptoms of ADHD. This is especially true for children who do not experience effective intervention. Approximate ly 75% of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have problems in school, at their jobs, with their family, and possibly with the legal system well in to adulthood (Barkley, 1997b; Barkley, Fischer, Smallish, & Fletcher, 2002). As teenagers, children w ith ADHD are more prone to engage in risktaking activities such as drug use, and almost 60% of them will fail at least one grade (Morrison, Anthony, Storino, & D illon, 2001). As adults, as ma ny as 50% of individuals with ADHD will still show evid ence of the symptoms of th e disorder. Adults with ADHD are more prone than adults without ADHD to engage in antisoci al activities, have difficulty getting along with supervisors, and change jobs often (Barkley, 1990; Fischer, Barkley, Smallish, & Fletcher, 2005; Pelham, Greiner, & Gnagy, 1997). 18

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Development and Prognosis for Children with Chronic Behavior Problems Although issues with noncompliance, a ggression, and school failure are common major issues for individuals w ith chronic behavior problems, symptoms associated with such problems vary according to a childs ag e and development (Barkley, 1998; Broidy et al., 2003; Cote et al., 2001; Patterson, Shaw, Snyder, & Yoerger, 2005; Teeter, 1991). An understanding of these developmental change s is essential to the identification and subsequent treatment of children who demons trate chronic behavior problems (Teeter, 1998). Changes in the relationships between th e child and his or her caregivers (e.g., teacher and parent) may function to both exacerbate and highlight specific problem behaviors. For instance, over time, intera ctions between a child who display chronic behavior problems and his or her caregi ver tend to become increasingly negative, involving increased noncomplian ce and defiance by the child and increased stress and frustration on the part of the caregiver (Morgan, Robinson, & Aldr idge, 2002). These changes are noted whether the specified caregive r is a parent or a te acher, indicating that the behaviors these children display affect adults similarly in school and home settings (Green, Beszterczey, Katzenstein, Park, & Goring, 2002). Thus, similar skills and interventions are need ed in both settings. In infancy, risk factors for the developm ent of chronic behavior problems include having a difficult temperament, feeding pr oblems, sleep disturbances, and as being unresponsive to a caregivers attempt to soothe. These symptoms may make bonding between child and parent difficult and may most likely also result in increased stress and frustration for the caregiver (Gross, Sambrook, Fogg, 1999; Morgan, Robinson, & 19

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Aldridge, 2002). By the time a child b ecomes a toddler, mothers of children who demonstrate frequent conduct problems are more likely to feel negatively toward their child, interact less frequently and less a ffectionately (DuPaul, McGoey, Eckert, & VanBrakle, 2001), and be charac terized as having higher st ress and lower self-esteem than mothers of children without frequent behavior problems (Johnston, 1996; Tamanik, Harris, & Hawkins, 2004). Interactions between parents and chil dren with frequent conduct problems, particularly those between mother and chil d, often become increas ingly negative during the preschool years (Barkl ey, 1998; DuPaul et al., 2001; Gross, Sambrook, & Fogg, 1999). Reports of problems at school and with peers act to further exacerbate a stressful home situation. Children who are at risk for the development of chronic behavior problems are often excessively active, aggressive, noncom pliant, and disruptive in school, and lack the social skills necessary to establish and maintain positive peer and teacher relationships. As a result, they may develop low self-esteem and depression related to school performance during this time (Barkley, 1998; Roeser, Eccles & Sameroff 2000). Though only a small minority of children initiall y display severe conduct problems during their preschool years (i.e., 3-11%), the prognosis for this group of children is particularly grave. Early childhood conduct problems are one of the best predictors of adolescent and adult crim inal behavior, including violent offending (Herrenkohl, Guo, Kosterman, Hawkins, Ca talano, & Smith, 2001; Nagin & Tremblay, 2001). Boys who display chronic physic al aggression, conduct problems, and oppositional behavior in early childhood (i.e., prio r to age 6) are significantly more likely to engage in both violent and nonviolen t offending during adolescence (Nagin & 20

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Tremblay, 2001). For girls, however, the relati onship between early aggressive behavior, conduct problems, and oppositional behavior and later violent and nonviolent offending is less clear (Broidy et al., 2003). Not su rprisingly, adolescents who display chronic behavior problems are more likely to fail a grade, be expelled from school, become involved with the juvenile justice system, and engage in high-risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse (Barkley et al., 1990; Foster, Jones, & The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 2005; Morrison, Anthony, Storino, & Dillon, 2001; Wender, 2000;). Risk Factors for the Developmen t of Chronic Behavior Problems Chronic behavior problems are believed to result from a va riety of variables including genetic, neurobiological, family, and community factor s (Granic & Patterson, 2006; Reid, Patterson, & Snyder, 2002). Resear chers have worked to understand how overlying risk factors (e.g., difficult temperam ent and socioeconomic disadvantage) relate to life experiences (e.g., harsh parenting a nd peer rejection) and lead to negative emotional reactions and negatively biased c ognitive interpretations, ultimately resulting in chronic behavior problems (Dodge & Pettit, 2003; Granic & Patterson, 2006). As one might expect, neurobiological factors often overlap with and are exacerbated by environmental causes of chronic behavior prob lems. For example, a parent may display less warmth and patience with a child who has a difficult temperament than he or she would with a child who was more easy-going an d adaptable. In response, the child may become increasingly difficult and hard to mana ge. Over time, the re ciprocal influence of the parents and childs behavi or lead to ingrained patterns of interactions which act to promote the development of chronic beha vior problems (Dodge & Pettit, 2003). 21

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Genetic, hormonal, and autonomic nervous system factors. A growing body of research has revealed a moderate degree of heritability for a ggression, delinquency, and chronic behavior problems from childhood to adulthood (Eley, Lichtenstein, & Moffit, 2003; Johnson, McGue, & Iacono, 2005; Taylor Iacono, & McGue, 2000). Researchers using data from the Minnesota Twin Family Study to examine the relationship between disruptive behavior and genetic factors obser ved that about 75% of the variance in behavior variables was accounted for by genetics (Johnson et al., 2005). Other researchers have revealed genetic influences on a variety of individual differences which are thought to be related to the developmen t of conduct problems such as impulsivity, attention deficits, and temperament (Silberg, Miguel, Murrelle, & Prom et al., & Eaves, 2005; The ADHD Molecular Genetics Network, 2002). Thus, certain children may be born at-risk to develop chronic behavior problems because they are genetically predisposed toward impulsivity, inatte ntion, and difficult temperaments. In addition to genetic predispositions, ch ildren who are exposed to toxic prenatal environments are at greater risk for the development of conduct problems than children whose prenatal environment was healthy. Speci fically, research has revealed that fetuses who are exposed to opiates (Accornero, Anthony, Morrow, Xue, & Bandstra, 2006 Watson & Westby, 2003), methadone (Accornero, Anthony, Morrow, Xue, & Bandstra, 2006; Watson & Westby, 2003), alcohol (Watson & Westby, 2003), marijuana (Goldschmidt, Day, & Richardson, 2000; Watson & Westby, 2003), and cigarette byproducts (Day, Richardson, Goldschmidt, & Co rnelius, 2000) during pregnancy are more likely to develop conduct problems in childhood than those who are not exposed to such toxins. In addition to these to xins, prenatal and postnatal ex posure to lead has also been 22

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linked to chronic behavior problems in adolescence, a fact which is particularly troubling for children from low SES families who are at a greater risk for lead poisoning (Kroger, Schettler, & Weiss, 2005). Temperamental factors. Aspects of a childs temperam ent also are related to the occurrence of chronic behavior problems. Specifically, a child who has a difficult temperament (i.e., irritable, easily frustrate d, hard to soothe) is more likely to be identified by both teachers and parents as de monstrating higher leve ls of externalizing behavior problems than peers who are identi fied as having an easy temperament (Keily, Bates, Dodge, & Pettit, 2001). A difficult temperament at 6-months of age has been found to be predictive of externalizing behavior problems at 5 years of age (Anderson, 1999), 7 years of age (Benzies, Harrison, & Ma gill-Evans, 2004), and even through late adolescence (Leve, Hyoun, & Pears, 2005). Sleep disorders. Research has revealed a st rong relationship between sleep disorders and child and adolescent chronic behavior problems. Ch ildren who sleep less than 8 hours per day are more likely to experience externalizin g and internalizing behavior problems than children who sleep 9.6 hours or more per day, particularly in terms of aggressive and delinquent behaviors, attention problems, social problems, and somatic problems (Aronen, Paavonen, Fjallber g, Soininen, & Torronen, 2000). This is especially noteworthy when one considers that an estimated 20-25 percent of the pediatric population in the United States have some type of sleep disorder some time within their childhood or adoles cence, totaling more than 14 million youth (Meltzer & Mindell, 2006; Owens, Spirito, McGuinn, & Nobile, 2000). Not only are youth with sleep problems more likely to have poorer impulse control, sustained attention, behavior 23

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regulation, emotion regulation and academic performance, these problems are often severe enough to result in a psychiatric diagnosis (e.g., ADHD, depression, ODD, CD, Bipolar Disorder), a medical diagnosis (e.g., failure-to-thrive mild mental-retardation) and or placement in a special education pr ogram. Middle school students with a sleep disorder demonstrate nearly three times as many behavior and attention problems as students without sleep disorders (Owens, Mehlenbeck, Lee, & King, 2008; Selman & Rappley, 2005). They are also more irritable, oppositional-defiant, and hyperactive than youth without sleep disorders. In fact, a gr owing body of research indicates that a sleep disorder may cause the ADHD symptoms (i.e., hyperactivity, impulsivit y, inattention) of between 25 and 64 percent of children who ar e diagnosed with ADHD (Chervin et al., 2002; Cortese, Konofal, & Lecendreux, 2005). Wh en these sleep disorders are corrected, symptoms that are characteristic of ADHD, CD, and ODD often decline and may disappear all together (Sadeh, Gruber, & Ravin, 2003). A study of 25 children diagnosed with both a psychiatric diso rder of ADHD, CD, or ODD and with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) resulting in sleep disruption and sleep deprivation revealed that the children who had surgery to correct the structural abnormalities that caused the OSAS no longer demonstrated clinically signi ficant behavior problems while the children who continued to experience OSAS showed no improvement in behavior (Sadeh, Gruber, & Ravin, 2003). Social-cognitive factors. Children who display chronic behavior problems frequently demonstrate deficits and distortio ns at various stages of the information processing model. Specifically, these children tend to underutilize pe rtinent social cues, generate fewer assertive solutions, assume hostile intent from peers, and choose 24

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aggressive rather than prosocial responses to problems. As a child repeatedly engages in these behaviors, the cognitive structures wh ich support these responses are strengthened. Strengthening of these cognitive structures increases the likelihood that the child will engage in the maladaptive behaviors in the future and may result in virtually automatic maladaptive behavioral responses (Dodge 1986; Wilkowski & Robinson, 2008). Childrens cognitive and emotional processes, including knowledge acquisition and social information processing patterns, mediate the relationship between life experiences and conduct problems. Specifically, temperament factors and contextual variables paired with life experiences lead children to develop idiosyncratic social knowledge and beliefs. When presented with a so cial situation such as a peer interaction, children use their social knowledge to guide the processing of social information. This social information processing pattern leads directly to specific prosocial or chronic behavior problems and mediates the effect of early life experiences on later conduct problems (Dodge & Pettit, 2003). Information processing patterns are devel oped in early childhood and are strongly related to early life experiences. For exampl e, children who have been physically abused often demonstrate a bias toward the attribut ion of hostile intent (Brown & Kolko, 1999; Dodge et al., 1995). In addition, physically a bused children frequently fail to encode relevant social cues, report th at they would engage in aggr essive behavior, and indicate that aggression is an acceptable response with in aversive social situations (Dodge, Bates, & Petit, 1990). Peer rela tions during early childhood al so have an influence on information processing patterns. Children who experience peer rejection during the early school years tend to demonstrate selective atte ntion of hostile cues and hostile attribution 25

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biases (deCastro, Veerman, Koops, Bosch, Monshouwer, 2002; Dodge et al., 1990; Vito, Asher, & DeRosier, 2004). These cognitive processing patterns mediate the relationship between peer rejection and the developmen t of chronic behavior problems. Peer rejection. The relationship between peer e xperiences and chronic behavior problems has been well documented. Social rejection by peers during the elementary school years is strongly correlated with adoles cent chronic behavior problems. Further, the less a child is accepted by his or her peers, the more likely the he or she will engage in chronic behavior problems during adolesce nce (Laird, Jordan, D odge, Pettit, & Bates, 2001; Laird, Pettit, Dodge, & Bates, 2005). La ird et al. (2005) f ound that subgroups that were least often accepted by their peers (i.e ., African-American boys) were most likely to engage in chronic behavior problems during adolescence. On the other hand, subgroups who were most accepted by their peers (i.e., European American girls) were the least likely to engage in chronic behavior probl ems during adolescence. The relationships between peer experiences and chronic be havior problems were equivalent across subgroups, indicating that the leve l of peer rejection rather than the cultural subgroup from which a child came was predictive of late r chronic behavior prob lems (Laird et al., 2005). Chronic behavior problems are most co mmon when peer rejection is experienced repeatedly during early childhood (i.e., prior to second grade). Children who experience peer rejection for at least 2 years prior to third grade have a 50% chance of displaying chronic behavior problems during adolescen ce, while children who do not experience peer rejection in early childhood have just a 9% chance of developing such problems (Dodge et al., 2003). Izard (2002) poses that a child may experience feelings of shame in response to repeated rejection from his or her peers. Children and adolescents may 26

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manage these shameful feelings by becoming a ngry and aggressive. This pattern of peer rejection followed by feelings of shame follo wed by anger and aggression toward peers is circular in nature with aggr ession toward peers serving to intensify the pe er rejection. While peer rejection is linked to the de velopment of chronic behavior problems, peer acceptance serves as a protective fact or in the prevention of chronic behavior problems. Peer acceptance and high levels of friendship quality moderate the detrimental effects of ecological disadvantage, violen t marital conflict, low supervision and awareness, and harsh discipline (Criss, Pe ttit, Bates, Dodge, & Lapp, 2002; Lansford, Criss, Pettit, Dodge, & Bates, 2003). Deviant peer influence. Experiencing peer rejecti on during elementary school increases the likelihood that a child will become involved with peers with chronic behavior problems during adolescence (Laird et al., 2001). This deviant peer affiliation is strongly related to adolescen t chronic behavior problem s (Toro, Urberg, & Heinze, 2004). Not only do deviant peers model antisocial behavior, they also positively reinforce peer antisocial be havior and talk about devi ant topics (e.g., taking drugs, stealing, aggression). While the deviant pe ers exchange stories of their antisocial behavior, the exchange becomes more and more excited, as each adolescent tries to tell a more dramatic story of their own antisocia l behavior. These emotional exchanges, termed deviancy training, bond the deviant peers together an d reinforce the likelihood of future talks about deviant behavior (Snyder, Schrepferman, McEachern, Barner, Johnson, & Provines, 2008). Continued talk about de viant topics over time predicts serious antisocial behavior (e.g., number of arrests, school expulsion, and drug use). This was 27

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especially true when the durat ion of these deviant dyadic inte ractions increased over time (Granic & Patterson, 2006). Sociocultural factors. An indirect link exists between the sociocultural context into which a child is born and risk for later conduct problems. Rate s of conduct problems vary along with differences in soci etal, community, neighborhood, and family sociocultural variables. When group rates of conduct problems are used as the unit of analysis, societal factors such as availabi lity of handguns, media exposure to violence (Shahinfar, Kupersmidt, & Matza, 2000), and cultural attitudes toward violence (Shackelford, 2005) are positively correlated w ith conduct problems. Risk factors for individual antisocial behavior include cultu ral norms that support childrens exposure to harsh physical discipline (B ender, Allen, McElheney, Antonishak, Moore, & Kelly, 2007), that facilitate a lack of respect for others (David & Kistner, 2000), and that value defending ones honor (Shackelford, 2005). Co mmunity-level risk factors for chronic behavior problems include poverty, ethnic heterogeneity, an d high residential mobility (Beyers, Bates, Pettit, & Dodge, 2003). Th ese variables are most likely related to individual chronic behavior problems because these high poverty, high mobility communities tend to have a greater proportion of single parent homes and individuals who are unemployed, divorced, and uneducated, all of which are risk factors for the development of chronic behavior problems themselves. In fact, parental income, occupation, and education level at the time of a childs birth ar e some of the strongest and most consistent risk factors for the deve lopment of childhood and adolescent conduct problems (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Corwyn & Bradley, 2005). Other significant familial risk factors for the development of chronic behavior problems include having a 28

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mother with a history of ch ronic behavior problems duri ng her school years, having a teenage mother, and having a mother who sm oked during her pregnancy (Tremblay et al., 2004). Family process factors. Inconsistent and harsh discipli ne within the first 5 years of life has an important and enduring effect on childrens development. Harsh parenting styles, particularly mothers harsh parenting, affect childrens ability to regulate their emotions, resulting in increas ed likelihood of childhood and a dolescent chronic behavior problems (Chang, Schwatz, Dodge, & McBr ide, 2003). Not surprisingly, physically aggressive parenting (e.g. spanking) is positively correlated with child aggression (Aucoin, Frick, & Bodin, 2006; Stormshak et al., 2000). When harsh physical discipline crosses into physical abuse, the effects are pa rticularly acute and are highly related to future conduct problems (Lansf ord et al., 2003). This is espe cially true for children who also have a genetic risk for conduct probl ems. For example, physically maltreated children who also had a first-degree relative with antisocial behavior were more likely to develop chronic behavior problems than chil dren who did not share this genetic risk (Jaffee et al., 2005). The relationship betw een harsh parenting and escalation of child conduct problems has been shown to be circular in nature with each reliably predicting the presence of the other. Child cond uct problems demonstrated upon entry into kindergarten reliably predicted ineffective (i.e., inconsistency and noncontingency) and irritable (i.e., frequent criticism, anger, and scolding) discipline. As child conduct problems escalated, parenting became increasingl y ineffective and irritable. Similarly, it was shown that as a parents discipline b ecame more ineffective and irritable, their childs chronic behavior problems at home increased in intensity as well (Snyder, 29

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Cramer, Afrank & Patterson, 2005). Increases in conduct problems at school were noted when parents reported negative, hostile at tributions regarding their child conduct problems and also engaged in inconsistent, irritable parenting. In ot her words, children whose parents engaged in harsh parenting and reported believing that their childs conduct problems were careless, selfish, purposef ul, defiant, inconsider ate or hostile were more likely to demonstrate chronic behavior problems at school. Similarly, frequent child chronic behavior problems at home at the time of school entry increased the likelihood that parents attribute intentionality to child rens misbehavior. Thus, parents of children with early conduct problems ar e more likely to report that the source of their childs problems are within the child and less likely to consider environmental circumstances or normative development as possible explanati ons for misbehavior (Snyder et al., 2005). Many negative interactions between pare nt and child are initiated by a command given by the parent and followed by a rela tively common response pattern known as the coercive family process (Patterson et al., 1992 ). The coercive family process typically proceeds in the following manner: 1) The parent gives command to engage in a task that is not considered enjoyable by the child (e.g., to clean room), 2) the child fails to comply either by passive or active resistance to the task, and 3) the parent reissues the command and often threatens negative consequences if the child fails to comply. Typically, this pattern of responding repeats se veral times before the parent gives up and completes the demand his or her self or punishes the child, often severely. Such escalation of events has been known to lead to vi olent episodes between the parent and his or her child. Even when a child does comply on the first request parents are not likely to reinforce the compliant behavior, thus failing to increase th e likelihood that the child will comply with 30

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demands in the future (Barkley, 1997b; Pa tterson, 1992; Richman, Harrison, & Summers, 1995; Richman et al., 1994). These res ponse patterns pose many problems for the likelihood of increased compliance or positive pa rent-child interaction. First, the childs noncompliant behavior is being both negativ ely and positively reinforced by parental reactions. For instance, by refusing to engage in an activity that is considered aversive, the child is allowed to continue to engage in his or her cu rrent, more reinforcing activity (positive reinforcement) while effectively postponing or avoiding altogether the more aversive activity (negative reinforcement). Because thre ats of punishment and actual delivery of punishment are not tightly linked (i.e., threat of punishment does not lead directly to punishment), a threat posed by a parent is not likely to be very effective (Barkley, 1997). Because the noncompliant behavior is being reinforced by parental responses, current rates of noncompliance or even increased rates of noncompliance are likely to be demonstrated by the child. Perh aps even more important, because compliant behavior is not often reinfo rced by parents and is usually ignored, compliant behaviors will likely extinguish and be replaced with more reinforc ing noncompliant behavior. Over time, increased frustration on the part of both the parent and the child in response to these common patterns of interaction may lead to negative feelings toward one another, raised voices, and even aggression. The way in which parents manage a childs noncompliant behavior is a key factor in whether or not the child will display aggr essive behavior (Reid, Patterson, & Gerald, 2002). Parents of children who display aggressive and noncompliant behavior are more likely to manage their childrens behavior with either aggressive be havior or submissive behavior. Much like the coercive family pattern that often emerges in response to 31

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noncompliant behavior, an almost identical cy cle is likely to occur following aggressive episodes. Specifically, a child engages in de fiant or aggressive be havior in order to escape aversive demands placed on him or her by his or her parent. If the child is allowed to escape from demands following th e aggressive behavior, he or she is negatively reinforced and thus is more likely to engage in such behavior in the future. After hundreds of these types of child-parent interactions, aggressive behavior may become a permanent faction of the childs behavioral repertoire (Barkley, 1990). Parental psychopathology. Parental psychopathology al so is related to the development of child and adolescent chronic behavior problems. Children of depressed parents have been found to be less socially co mpetent and more likely to display behavior problems at school (Ashram, Dawson, & Panajiotides, 2008; Ramchandani, Stein, OConnor, Heron, Murray, & Evans, 2008), demonstrate aggressive behavior, and experience negative peer inter actions and peer rejection (L eiferman, 2002). Research suggests that parental depre ssion negatively impacts parentin g behavior which in turn adversely effects the parent-child relati onship (Knitzer, Theberge, & Johnson, 2008; Mezulis, Hyde, & Clark, 2004). For example, depressed mothers tend to be less tolerant and more critical of their childrens behavior and to have less positive interactions with their children (Bigatti, Cronan, & Anaya, 2001; Hill & Herman-Stahl, 2002). Depressed mothers also tend to be less affectionate (Bigatti et al., 2001), less nurturing, more inconsistent, and more punitive with their ch ildren than mothers who are not depressed (Chang, Schwatz, Dodge, & McBride, 2003; Knitzer, Theberge, Johnson, 2008). Depressed parents increased li kelihood to engage in ineff ective discipline and parenting practices is strongly related to child behavior problems (Malik et al., 2007; Mezulis, 32

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Hyde, & Clark, 2004). Children of depressed parents are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior, particular ly toward their depressed pare nt. It has been hypothesized that children of depressed women may engage in higher levels of aggressive behavior aimed toward the mother because the aggres sive act is often followed by a reduction in the mothers dysphoric affect (Hops, Sherma n, & Biglan, 1990). Thus, the child is negatively reinforced for his or her aggre ssive behavior by temporary improvements in his or her mothers mood and subsequent parent-child interactions. Though considerable research links parental depression to childhood and adolescent chronic behavior problems, the nature and direction of the relationship between the variables rema ins unclear. For example, it remains unknown whether parental depression leads to child behavior problems or if chronic child behavior problems lead to parental depression, though it is likely that depression serves as both a cause and a consequence of child behavi or problems (Dodge, 1990; Hammen, 2003). Additionally, recent research indicates the pres ence of a covariate variable (i.e., parentchild relationship quality) which is significantly related to both parental depression and chronic child behavior problems, particularly for African American families. This research indicates that the relationship betw een parental depression and child behavior problems is partially mediated by the quality of the parent-child relationship, suggesting that the quality of the parent-c hild relationship is at least as important to child outcomes as parental depression (Aikens, Coleman, & Barbarin, 2008). As with depressed parents, parents of children with conduct problems are less likely to report feelings of warmth toward their children. This lack of warmth w ithin the parent-child relationship as well as parental inconsistency, and failure to superv ise and monitor their childrens behavior 33

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negatively impacts parent-child relationship qu ality and increases the likelihood of child behavior problems (Stormshak, et al., 2000). Children are more likely to display oppositional behavior when there is a low level of warmth between parent and child (Stormshak et al., 2000). Interventions aime d at improving the parent-child relationship such as teaching parents effective conflict resolution skills may help to mediate the negative impact of parental depressi on on child behavioral functioning. The relationship between parental de pression and chronic child behavior problems appears to be significantly imp acted by both protective and risk factors (Mezulis, Hyde, & Clark, 2004). Families who experience acute stressors such as a divorce or death of a family member are at greater risk for both pa rental depression and child chronic behavior problems, likely because acute stressors tend to negatively impact parental functioning (Hammon, 2003). Chr onic stressors such as marital discord, economic disadvantage, and poor health are also risk factors for bot h parental depression and child behavior problems (Petterson & Albers, 2001). Chronic stressors negatively impact parental mental health (Siefert Bowman, Heflin, Danziger, & Williams, 2000) and alter parent perceptions and management of their childrens behavior (DeMore, Adams, Wilson, & Hogan, 2005; Hops et. al., 1990). Research has found that when depressed mothers experience negative interactions with other adults in their lives, they are more likely to engage in aversive interactions with their children including unresponsiveness, inattention, intr usiveness, inept discipline, and negative perceptions of their children (Naerde, Tambs, & Mathiese n, 2002; Patterson, DeGarmo, & Forgatch, 2004). Conversely, parental depression is le ss predictive of parenting dysfunction and child behavior issues when parents report the existence of a social and emotional support 34

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system (Aikens, Coleman, Barbarin, 2008; M ezulis et al., 2004; Pa tterson, DeGarmo, & Forgatch, 2004). Parental supervision. Failure of parents to monitor and supervise their childrens behavior is linked to higher levels of child and adolescent chronic behavior problems. Active monitoring of childrens behavior allo ws parents to engage in social coaching practices during which the parent explains appropriate behavior or the reason why inappropriate behaviors are not desirable. This type of social coaching emerges as particularly important during young childrens initial social in teractions with peers (Ladd & Pettit, 2002) and predicts lower levels of chronic behavior problems in middle childhood and adolescence (Mounts, 2004). Not only is monitoring of adolescent behavior related to less beha vior problems but was related also to greater relationship satisfaction between parent and child, more time spent together, and more positive acceptance of parental monitoring (Laird, Pettit, Gregory, Dodge, & Bates, 2003). The decreases in behavior problems associated w ith more parental monitoring is even more pronounced for youth living in high crime neighborhoods (Beyers, Bates, Pettit, & Dodge, 2003). Prevention and Intervention of Chronic Behavior Problems It is not surprising, given the multiple variables that contribute to the development of chronic behavior problems, that a multi-modal intervention approach is strongly recommended. A multi-modal intervention package implemented jointly and preventatively at home and at school ensures the best outcomes for children with chronic behavior problems (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999). The most promising multi-modal 35

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intervention packages will likely include medication, parent trai ning, behavioral and social skills training in sc hool, and academic strategies (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999). Variables to consider fo r intervention planning. A childs development should be considered when developing interventions due to the fact that primary symptoms and environmental demands will most likely cha nge with development (Teeter, 1998; Teeter, 1991). Prevention and interven tion practices during a child's infancy or toddler years should focus primarily on building positive parent-child relationships. In order to accomplish this, Teeter (1991) suggests incr easing parental awareness of behavior problems and helping parents develop "warm, responsive, flexible, and consistent parental interaction styles" (p. 275). Support groups may pr ovide parents with essential outlets for sharing stressful experiences with other parents with similar problems. In addition, such groups may provide the school psychologist with an appropriate setting to teach stress reduction techniques, problem-solving strategies, and behavior management options. For elementary aged children, prevention and intervention practices should focus on promoting effective parenting skills including limit-setting, developing and communicating fair and reasonable expectations, dealing with noncompliance, and teaching appropriate social skills (Teeter, 1998 ; Teeter, 1991). In particular, social skills training, both at home and at school, should focus on teaching skills that will improve peer interactions, self control, and problem-solving skills. In addition to these skills, children who display chronic behavior problems may require training in organization and study skills (Teeter, 1998; Teeter, 1991). Beha vior management and social skills training should be used in conjunction with these interventions in order to reduce problematic 36

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classroom behavior and prom ote consistency across setti ngs (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999). Adolescents may require serv ices that were not deemed as being as important during their elementary years. These serv ices may include providing information and problem-solving skills involving dating, sexual behavior, and drug and alcohol use. Parent training which focuse s on developing effective parent-child communication and conflict resolution strategies may prove to be essential to any preven tion or intervention package (Teeter, 1998; Teeter, 1991). Inte rventions focusing on academic competency and responsibility also may c ontinue to be necessary. Common intervention approaches. There is a large body of evidence on the effectiveness of treatments for children who display chronic behavior problems, several of which are large-scale meta-analyses that co mpare the effect sizes of various treatment approaches (Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2000; Bradley & Mandell, 2005; Conner, Glatt, Lopez, Jackson, & Melloni, 2002). Pharmacological interventions are by far the most widely employed strategy used to address chronic behavior problems in children, especially when comorbid ADHD symptomology is present. This is likely because stimulant medication has been shown to have large beneficial effects on multiple domains of functioning and is the easiest and least expensive intervention available (Jensen et al., 2005). An analysis of 28 studies of children who displayed aggressive and oppositional behavior within the context of ADHD f ound that stimulant medication produced an overall weighted effect size of .89, corres ponding with approximately one standard deviation improvement in oppositional and aggr essive behavior (Conner, Glatt, Lopez, Jackson, & Melloni, 2002). Unfortunately, there is little evidence that stimulants have 37

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any real effects on a childs long-term adjust ment, as the majority of children with ADHD continue to experience academic, soci al, and behavioral difficulties well into adolescence and adulthood whether or not they are treated medically (Barkley, Fischer, Smallish, & Fletcher, 2002). Also notable is that only between 70 to 80% of children who are prescribed stimulant medications have even a short-term response to stimulants (MTA Cooperative Group, 1999; Pelham et. al., 2000; Swanson, McBurnett, Christian & Wigal, 1995). Others show either an adverse response or no response at all. For children who do respond to stimulants, their behavior may improve in the short-term, though this improvement still leaves them well below thei r peers in academic and social functioning levels (Frankenberg & Cannon, 1999; Pelham et al., 2000; Majewicz-Hefley & Carson, 2007). Perhaps one reason for th e lack of long term gains, especially in the area of noncompliance, is that pharmacological interv entions fail to address problems associated with negative parent-child interactions, wh ich play an integral part in maintaining noncompliant behavior (Barkley, 1990; Ba rkley, 1997b; Pelham, Wheeler & Chronis, 1998). Thus, previously reinforced patterns of behavior are likely to continue despite the introduction of a psychostimulant. Positive effects (e.g., improved attention to task, reduction in noncompliant behavi or) are enhanced when stim ulant medication is paired with behavioral interventi ons and parent training (Hinshaw et al., 2000; MTA Cooperative Group, 1999). Child-centered, evidence-based interventi ons for chronic behavior problems include anger management training and trai ning in problem-solving skills (Goldstein, Glick, & Gibbs, 1998; Lochman 1992; Sukhodolsky, Kasinove, & Gorman, 2004). Interestingly, when parents were trained in problem-solving in conjunction with their 38

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children, results were more significant than wh en the children were trained independently of their parents. One review of interventions for children with chronic oppositional and aggressive behavior problems found that the combination of parent training with child problem-solving skills traini ng produced clinically significant improvements in child behavior that were maintained after a 1 year period (Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2000). Another meta-analysis of treatment effectiv eness examined the effect sizes of seven studies in terms of intervention effect on symptoms at home, symptoms at school, academic functioning, social functioning, parent strain/stress, and parenting environment (Bradley & Mandell, 2005). The largest tr eatment effects on symptoms at home, parenting stress/strain, and parenting envir onment were seen when the focus of the intervention was the parent (i.e ., parent training). Child-cen tered interventions were most effective in terms of academic functioning a nd social functioning. Another particularly rigorous review examined the effect of pare nt training programs on child externalizing problems across 16 randomized controlled trials (Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2000). Effect sizes for parent trai ning programs ranged from .6 to 2.9, revealing parent training as a highly effective treatment for oppositio nal and defiant behaviors among children. Research on the effectiveness of parent training programs is so strong that the National Association of School Psychologist s (NASP) has written a parent training provision into its practice guide lines. According to NASP Practice Guideline 4.7, school psychologists should assist parents and other caregive rs in the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavior change programs in the home in order to facilitate the learning and behavioral growth of their child. The American Psychological Association Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures 39

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deemed parent training and behavioral classroom intervention to be the only strategies to meet criteria for effective interventions for chronic behavior problems (Pelham, Wheeler & Chronis, 1998). The benefits of working with parents are vast. Parents are one of the few constant adult figures in their childs life and, as a result, can provide consistent and long-term intervention. Further, parents are their childrens first teachers and thus may be able to begin behavior training early in their childs developmental process, increasing the likelihood for positive outcomes. Additionally, because of the high levels of parental frustration and stress resulting from the behavior problems of their ch ildren, most parents welcome assistance with the academic and be havioral needs of their children. Thus, parent training should be considered a cr itical component of any comprehensive intervention package designed to address the needs of children with chronic behavior problems (Barkley, 2000; MTA Cooperative Group, 1999). Parent-training programs. In general, parent-training interventions attempt to positively affect parent functioning and parent-child interactions that, in turn, positively affect child behavior. More specifically, parent training programs are most often designed to help parents develop an unders tanding of the etiol ogical issues and the possible causes of their childs behavior, to identify and manage family stress resulting from this behavior, to deal with noncompliance and teach compliance, and to increase the quality of parent-child interactions (C orcoran, 2000; Kumpfer, 1999) Most parent training programs are standardized, short-te rm interventions that focus on teaching parents positive attending skills, planne d ignoring, the use of reinforcement and punishment to shape behavior, and token economies. 40

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Empirically-supported parent training models. Some of the earliest and most widely recognized methods of parent training models include those designed by Barkley (1990; 1997), Patterson (1992) and Forehand and McMahon (1981). Newby, Fisher, and Roman (1991) summarized these programs and noted that all three models share common characteristics including assigned homework for parents, a series of at least 5 weekly meetings, instruction in appropriate deliv ery of reinforcement (token economies, contingent attention, and attending to play) a nd instruction in the de livery of appropriate punishment procedures (time-out, planned ignoring, and response-cost procedures). The parent-training programs differ, however, in the format through which parents are trained. For example, Barkleys model can be used with either single family or group administration, while Pattersons model is designed to be used with a single family, and Forehands model is meant to be applied with a parent-child dyad. The models also differ in the formality of the reinforcemen t used. For instance, Barkleys model and Pattersons model call for a more structured and formal token economy or point systems to be used while Forehands model relies upon less formal social reinforcement. Additionally, one aspect that is unique to Barkleys model of parent training is a parent counseling component. Despite these differences, in preversus post-treatment ratings, all three programs have been found to be e ffective in improving levels of compliance in children with chronic behavior problems (Cunningham, Bremner, & Boyle, 1995; Newby et al., 1991; Patterson, 1982). Further, improve ments in behavior have been shown to generalize across settings including improveme nts both at home and at school (Pelham, Wheeler & Chronis, 1998). In addition to these gains, parent training can have significant effects on several areas of parental psychosoc ial functioning. These areas 41

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included reduced parental stress and improved parental self-esteem and confidence in parenting abilities, re sulting in higher levels of both child and parent functioning (Anastopoulous, Shelton, DuPaul and Guev remont, 1993; Reid, Webster-Stratton, & Hammond, 2003). Other, more recently developed, evidenced-based parent training programs include the Incredible Years program (Web ster-Stratton & Reid, 2003) and the ParentChild Interaction Therapy program (Brinkmeyer & Eyberg, 2003). The Incredible Years program is comprised of a set of three comprehensive, multifaceted, and developmentally-based curriculums for parents, teachers, and children. The program is designed to promote emotional and social competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavior and emotional problems in young child ren. The program is intended to prevent behavior problems for at-risk children age two to eight years old and remediate presenting problems including high rates of aggression, defiance, and oppositional and impulsive behavior within this population. Th e Incredible Years pare nting series consists of three programs including the BASIC program, the ADVANCE program, and the Supporting Your Childs Education (SCHOOL) program. The BASIC program emphasizes parenting skills known to promote childrens social competence and reduce behavior problems including how to play w ith children, helping children learn, effective praise and use of incentives, effective limit-sett ing, and strategies to handle misbehavior. The ADVANCE program emphasizes parent in terpersonal skills such as effective communication skills, anger management, problem-solving between adults, and ways to give and get support. The SCHOOL program emphasizes teaching parents methods for 42

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promoting childrens academic skills such as reading skills, establishing predictable homework routines, and building collabor ative relationships with teachers. The Incredible Years parenting program consist of 13, 2-hour sessions in which eight to twelve parents meet with a therapist. During tr eatment, parents view 250 video vignettes which are each approximately 1 to 2 minutes in length. The vignettes demonstrate social learning and child developm ent principles and serve as a catalyst for focused discussions and problem solving. Randomized control group eval uations of the parenting se ries indicate significant increases in parental use of pr aise and reduced use of critic ism and negative commands as well as significant increases in parent use of effective limit-setti ng, increased monitoring of children, and reduced use of harsh and vi olent discipline practices. Other positive effects of the parenting series include reduc tions in parental depression, increases in parental self-confidence, and increases in positive family communication and problemsolving. In addition to positive parent eff ects, parent engagement in the parenting program is also associated with reduced c onduct problems in childrens interactions with parents and increases in their positive aff ect and compliance to parental commands (Webster-Stratton, Mihalic, Fagan, Arnold, Taylor, & Tingley, 2001). In addition to the parenting series, the Incredible Years program also includes a training program for teachers a nd a training program for childr en (Webster-Stratton et al., 2001). The Incredible Years Training fo r Teachers emphasizes effective classroom management skills including the effective us e of teacher attention and praise, use of incentives for difficult behavior problems, how to manage inappropriate classroom behaviors, the importance of building positive relationships with students, and how to 43

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teach empathy, social skills, and problem-solving in the classroom. Randomized control group evaluations of the teacher training series indicated significant increases in teacher use of praise and reduced use of criticism and harsh discipline. Teacher training was shown to increase childrens pos itive affect and cooperation with teachers and positive interactions with peers; improve school read iness and engagement with school activities; and reduce aggression toward classroom peers (Webster-S tratton et al., 2001). The Incredible Years Training for Children program (Dinosaur Curriculum) emphasizes training children in skills such as emotional literacy, empathy or perspective taking, friendship skills, anger management, interpersonal problem-solving, school rules, and how to be successful at school. The Dinosau r Curriculum consists of 18-22 weekly, twohour sessions. Each session includes video vignettes of real-life conflict situations at home and school that model child problem so lving and social skills. Sessions also include activities and games and the use of puppets to teach concepts and allow participant to practice skills. Weekly homework activities involve children talking to their parents about what they ha ve learned to encourage positive parent-child interactions. Evaluations of the child traini ng series indicate that the pr ogram results in significant increases in childrens appropriate cognitive problem-solving strategies, more prosocial conflict management strategies with peers, and reductions in conduc t problems at home and school (Hutchings, Bywater, Daley, & Lane, 2007; Webster-Stratton et al., 2001). The Parent-Child Interaction Therapy progr am is an evidence-based intervention program designed for parents of young children (age 2-7 years) with chronic behavior problems. The program has two distinct phases, Child-Directed Interaction (CDI) and Parent-Directed Interaction (PDI). For each phase of the program, parents attend one 44

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didactic session during whic h the therapist describes the new parenting skills and describes the rationale for their use. Follo wing the initial didactic meeting, parents and their child attend weekly coaching sessions t ogether. Between sessions, parents are asked to practice the parenting skills while interacti ng with their child for 5 to 10 minutes at home (Brinkmeyer & Eyberg, 2003). During the CDI phase of the intervention, parents learn to us e the PRIDE skills (i.e., Praise, Reflection, Imitation, Description, and Enthusiasm ) frequently and to avoid questions, commands, and criticism while playin g with their child. The play situation at home and in the clinic is carefully designed a llowing the child to lead the play interaction while the parent is instructed to simply pl ay along with the child. Parents are coached through the use of a bug-in-theear hearing device by a ther apist who is observing the parent-child interaction from behind a one-w ay mirror. The emphasis of in the CDI phase is to increase positive pa renting and warmth in the pa rent-child relationship. The strengthened parent-child relationship accomp lished through the CDI activities serves as a foundation for the PDI phase of the interv ention program. Movement from the CDI phase to the PDI phase is assessment driven and is not time limited. Once, parents have mastered the skills of the CDI phase, the PDI phase of the intervention program is initiated. The PDI phase focuses on teachi ng parents a structured and consistent approach to discipline. Within this pha se, parents learn and practice giving clear instructions and following through with spec ific praise or time-out during in vivo discipline situations. Therapists coach parents as they intera ct with their child. Coaching continues until parents demonstrate that they can calmly and consistently respond to their childs behavior. 45

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Outcome research on the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy program demonstrates clinically and statistically significant improve ments in parenting behaviors and in child behavior problems at home and at school (Nixon, Sweeny, Erickson, & Touyz, 2003). Availability of Parent Training Interventions Although research has recognized the impor tance of family life in childrens academic achievement and social-emotional f unctioning, psychological services provided by school psychologists and other school professionals have not typically included parent training within intervention packages (Bra mlett, Murphy, Johnson, Wallinford, & Hall, 2002). This is possibly because traditional parent training models are not viewed by school officials as being very cost-effective in terms of actual monetary cost of the programs and or time required by the school psychologist for implementation (Chronis, Chacko, Fabiano, Wymbs, & Pelham, 2004). Ev en when parent training programs are available, they often are pl agued with problems including high dropout rates, incomplete tasks, and resistant parental behavior. These problems are especially evident when parents come from low socioeconomic backgr ounds, are single parents, or suffer from depression (Cunningham, Bremner, & Secord-Gilbert, 1993; Rayno & McGrath, 2006;). Thus, it is pertinent to consid er both cost-effectiveness for schools and accessibility for parents within the design of school -based parent-training programs. Research indicates that community-bas ed parent training courses reduce the likelihood of high parental dropout rates and re sistance to treatment. Parents from lowsocioeconomic backgrounds, parents whose sec ond language is English, and parents of children with severe behavior problems were more likely to enroll in and complete community-based programs held in their ne ighborhood schools than in clinic-based 46

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parent training programs. Further, parental depression and family dysfunction were less predictive of poor treatment outcomes for parents who completed community-based parent training courses than for those who were enrolled in clinic-based programs (Cunningham, Boyle, Offord, & R acine et al., 2000). This ma y indicate that communitybased parent training courses, which are held in neighborhood schools, place fewer demands on parents especially in terms of time and travel costs, psychological adjustment, and family functioning. Though the benefits of parent training programs for the families of children with chronic behavior problems are well documented, such programs often are not available to parents. Existing literature lends little information as to why such programs are not being implemented by school psychologists. Th e current study attempts to determine to which degree specific variables (i.e., demographic, profession al practice, training, beliefs, and perception of barriers) are related to the parent training practices of school psychologists. These variables were select ed based on an extensive review of the literature, as they have been found to influen ce other types of service delivery practices. Factors Affecting the Availability of Parent Training/Education Programs Professional practice. According to a survey of regular NASP m embers, school psychologists continue to spend the majo rity of their time (46-80%) conducting psychoeducational evaluations relating to special education (Bramlett, Murphy, Johnson, Wallingford, & Hall, 2002; Curtis, Lopez, Castillo, Batsche, Minch, & Smith, 2008). School psychologists also reported spending ti me engaging in consultation, interventions, counseling, conferencing, superv ision, in-service training, research, and parent training. However, they reported spending more than twice as much time engaging in assessment 47

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than all other professional ro les. Specifically, school psychologists reported spending 16% of their time engaging in consultation, 13% implementing interventions, 8% of their time providing counseling, and 7% of their time conferencing. Much less time was devoted to supervision (3%), in-service traini ng (2%), research (1%), and parent training (1%). Demographic variables. Demographic variables such as degree level, years of experience, primary work setting, caseload, a nd gender have been found to be related to school psychologists professional practices (Curtis, Grier, & Hunley, 2004; Curtis, Hunley, & Grier, 2002; Crosnoe, 2001; Sh river & Watson, 2000; Wilson & Reschly, 1996). Current research lends information regarding the relati onship between these demographic variables and school psychologist s beliefs regarding the importance of involving parents of at-risk students in th eir childs educati on and intervention. However, little is known about the intera ction between these variables and school psychologists engagement in parent training and education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Degree level Conflicting data have been found regarding the effects of degree level on the perspectives and practices of school psychologists. Carlson and Sincavage (1987) found that doctoral level school psycholog ists were more likely to report a familyoriented approach to intervention than we re non-doctoral level sc hool psychologists. Thirteen years later, Shriver and Wa tson (2000) found doctoral and non-doctoral practitioners to report similar perspectives and practices in family-school partnership activities. Shriver and Watson (2000) hypothesi zed that this finding may indicate that degree level no longer affects th e perspectives and practices of school psychologists as it 48

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once did. More recent research revealed significant positive relationships between highest degree earned and amount of time spen t in consultation. This research also indicated a significant negativ e relationship between highest degree earned and amount of time spent conducting special education activities (Curtis et al., 2002). It is currently unknown whether or not additional time spent in consultation coupled with reduced time spent conducting special educat ion activities would result in more frequent engagement in parent training and education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems by more highly educated school psychologists. Years of experience. Beginning level school psychologists are more likely than more experienced psychologists to report a be lief that parent invol vement increases the likelihood that a child will have a successful educational experience (Pelco & Reis, 1999). However, these findings may lack practical signif icance, as both groups of psychologists reported high levels of support fo r family-school partnership activities. Further, years of experience did not rela te to actual involvement in home-school partnership activities (Shriver and Watson, 2000) School psychologists with more years of experience spend more time completing sp ecial education re-eva luations, engaging in consultation, and receiving in-service traini ng than less experienced school psychologists (Curtis et al., 2002). The relationship between years of experience and school psychologists engagement in parent training and education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems remains unknown. Employment setting. School psychologists who work primarily with elementary school students are more likely to be involved in family-school partnership activities than psychologists working in secondary schools. Although school psychologists serving 49

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elementary schools and those serving seconda ry schools report similar perspectives regarding the importance of parent involvement research has found decreasing levels of parent-involvement activities among edu cators with each successive grade level (Crosnoe, 2001; Pelco & Ries, 1999). The relationship between school psychologists employment setting and their engagement in parent training and education with the parents of children with chronic behavi or problems is currently unexamined. Caseload. Higher student to school psychologist ratios are significantly related to the number of initial evaluations and re-evaluations completed for special education as well as the percent of time spent in speci al education related activities. These relationships indicate that th e greater students to school psyc hologist ratio, the greater the number of activities related to special e ducation services. School psychologists with smaller student ratios are more likely to provide indivi dual and group counseling and to complete psychoeducational evaluations fo r purposes other than special education eligibility determinations (Curtis et al., 2002). The re lationship between a school psychologists caseload and his or her rate of engagement in parent training and education with the parents of children with chronic beha vior problems is currently unknown. Gender. As the field of school psychology continues to become more and more dominated by women, differences in employment conditions and professional activities continue to exist, with male psychologi sts reporting a higher likelihood of having a doctorate degree, more years of experience and higher salaries than their female counterparts (Curtis et al., 2004; Wilson & Reschly, 1996). In addition, male school psychologists reported spending less time on assessment and more time on systems50

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organizational consultation than female ps ychologists (Wilson & Reschly, 1996). When years of experience, highest degree earned, and total number of graduate hours in school psychology were statistically cont rolled, the service delivery pr actices of male and female psychologists revealed no significant differences between gender and services delivered (Curtis et al., 2002). Whethe r or not male and female sc hool psychologists engage in different rates of parent tr aining and education with pare nts of children with chronic behavior problems remains unknown. Training. According to Banduras social learning theory, most human behavior is learned through observing others (i.e., modeling). In order for modeling of behavior to be effective in teaching or sh aping behavior, the observer must pay attention to what the model is doing, remember or retain the info rmation, have the opportunity and ability to reproduce the actions and be motivat ed to do so (Bandura, 1977). As school psychology trainers teach school psychology trainees how to work with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems, special attention should be paid to pointing out the most important facets of interventions and techniques. This will increase the likelihood that key components will be coded into memory to be used by the school psychology trainee at a later time. In addition, recall of intervention skills learned in graduate training may be aided by subseque nt post-graduate education and in-service training. Beyond simply observing others engaging in parent training/education, trainees who have the opportunity to practice skills that have been modeled are more likely to code the behaviors into long-term memory th an learners who do not have an opportunity to practice (Bandura, 1977). This is especi ally true when practice is accompanied by 51

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self-correction, immediate feedb ack, and repeated demonstrations of the skill. New skills are more likely to be implemented in novel se ttings and situations when a learner has had the opportunity to practice th e skills in a variety of environments (Bandura, 1977) Thus, school psychology trainees should have had th e opportunity to practic e consultation with parents during training within a variety of settings, including a school setting, in order to increase the likelihood th at they will engage in consulta tion in professi onal practice. Even after a trainee has observed a mode l engaging in parent training/education activities, coded the information into memory, and had the opport unity to practice the behaviors him or herself, he or she may still fail to engage in pa rent training/education activities independently. This may be due to a lack of motiv ation to do so. According to Bandura (1977), trainees will be more likely to engage in behaviors that result in immediate positive results, especially when th ese behaviors are either self-satisfying or extrinsically rewarded. Unfortunately, interv entions within educational settings do not always result in immediate positive results. This fact may prove challenging to school psychologists who spend weeks working with parents before positive behavior changes are demonstrated by the child. Thus, it ma y be of particular importance for school psychologists to receive continuous positive fe edback and support from fellow educators and school administrators. Often, school psychologists do not receive the necessary trai ning in behavioral interventions needed to meet the demands of their expanding roles (Shernoff, Kratochwill, & Stoiber, 2003; Shriver & Watson, 2000). In fact, on a list of top five areas needing improved training, interv entions in regular education for behavioral/emotional problems were rated s econd. In addition, preservice training 52

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programs often fail to adequately prepare students to engage in consultation with parents, limiting their ability to effec tively work with parents and lessoning the likelihood that school psychologists will engage in consultatio n-based practices such as parent training (Anton-LaHart & Ronsenfield, 2004). Even when school psychologists do receive training in behavioral interventions and parent consultation, the method of trai ning may vary and directly affect the likelihood that he or she will implem ent the interventions in practice. Wilson and Reschly (1996) surveyed 1600 school psychology practitioners and 239 school psychology faculty members in order to assess the relationship between the current use of assessment instruments, the practitioners self-perceived skill level with the instruments, and the facultys reported level of training on the instruments. Significant positive correlations were found between the use of assessment instru ments and the practitioners self-perceived skill level. The practitioners use of assessment instruments and the intensity of training (i.e., s upervised practice, demonstrate d, lecture/reading, not covered) also were related. Practitione rs who received supervised pr actice of an assessment tool reported feeling more comfortable with the t ool and actually used the tool more often than practitioners who received only demonstration, lecture/reading, or no training at all. Shapiro and Lentz (1985) found similar results in relation to school psychologists use of behavioral interventions. School psychology pr actitioners were more likely to use an intervention in practice if they received supervised practice during training. For example, when a school psychologist implemented an intervention during trai ning while receiving supervision, the mean probability that he or she would use the pro cedure in practice was .91, compared to a probability of .61 when he or she was exposed to an intervention 53

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through coursework alone and .32 when expos ed by the interventi on through independent reading. Thus, it would make sense to hypothesize that when a school psychologists training in parent consultation and training involves supervised practice, he or she will be more likely to replicate the same interven tions in practice than a school psychologist whose training in these areas consists of coursework only or i ndependent reading. Necessary skill proficiency is possible only through multiple opportunities of supervised practice (Rosenfeild, 2002). Presence of barriers. Multiple factors have been revealed as barriers to the delivery of mental health programs within the schools and negatively impact the quality of family-school partnerships. It is likely that these same va riables affect the delivery of parent training interventions. However, th e relationships between the perception of specific barriers and school ps ychologists engagement in pa rent training interventions remain to be investigated. Research by Suldo, Friedrich, and Michalow ski (2010) indicate that barriers to the delivery of school-based mental health servic es fall within three ma in categories: using the school as a site for service delivery, in sufficient training, and lack of support from department and district administrators and school personnel. Barriers involving the use of the school for the delivery of mental he alth services were mentioned frequently by school psychologists. These barriers include d lack of access to sufficient space within the school to provide mental he alth services and feeling un comfortable when there is a perceived overlap between the mental health services school psyc hologists provide and those provided by other school personnel (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker); (Suldo et al., 2010). Many school psychologists reported insuffi cient training as a barrier 54

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to their implementation of mental health se rvices. As a result of their insufficient training, school psychologists lack content knowledge, applied skill, and confidence in the delivery of mental health services (S uldo et al., 2010). Other identified barriers included school psychologists perception of insufficient support from their department administrator, school-based administrato r, and other school personnel. School psychologists reported frustration regarding thei r departments concep tualization of the school psychologist role, which focused primar ily on assessment and often excluded or at least did not make clear school psychologists involvement in the delivery of schoolbased mental health services (Suldo et al., 2010). A lack of monetary support for the provision of mental health services, particul arly in regards to lack of money to buy curriculum, was also viewed by school psycholog ists as a barrier to their implementation of mental health interventions. Insufficient time and integrat ion into the school site also were cited as barriers to sc hool psychologists delivery of me ntal health services (Suldo et al., 2010). School psychologi sts reported that insufficient time within their schools, resulting from being assigned to multiple school s, impaired their ability to adequately complete all of their job res ponsibilities. In addition, school psychologists indicated that insufficient time within each assigned school negatively impacted their ability to fully integrate into the school community. As a result, school personnel were thought to not understand the school psychologists role or the full range of interventions that the school psychologist could deli ver (Suldo et al., 2010). Other less prevalent, yet important, ba rriers included some school psychologists personal preference for assessment, role strai n, and the challenges rela ted to working with some referred students (Suldo et al., 2010). A minority of sc hool psychologists identified 55

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assessment as their preferred professional activ ity, citing that assessment is an easier and more comfortable role than th e role of direct service pr ovider (Suldo et al., 2010). In addition to a preference for assessment, some school psychologists reported role strain associated with completing all of their job re sponsibilities in the amount of time allotted as well as maintaining an appropriate level of professional competence in multiple areas such as intervention, assessment, and special education procedures as a barrier to implementation of mental health interventions (Suldo et al., 2010). Barriers to family-school collaborati on have been well documented and include educators beliefs regarding th e importance of collaborati ng with parents (Davis-Kean & Eccles, 2005; Hornby, 2000; Mills & Gale, 2004; Pelco, Ries, Jacobson & Melka, 2000), lack of family and school resources (As hby, 2006; Bridgemohan, van Wyk & van Staden, 2005; Hoover-Dempsey, Walker, Sandler, Whetse l, Green, & Wikins et al., 2005; Joshi, Eberly & Konzal, 2005), negative school cl imate (Bemak & Cornely, 2002; HooverDempsey et al., 2005; Lord Nelson, Summers & Turnbull, 2004) cultural and language differences (Lai & Ishiyama, 2004; Laosa, 2005; Salas, Lopez, Chinn, & MenchaceLopez, 2005), and a lack of training in how to work collaboratively with parents (Amatea, Smith-Adcock, & Villares, 2006; Be mak & Cornely, 2002; Bridgemohan et al., 2005; Darch, Miao, & Shippen, 2004.). It is li kely that these same barriers impact the provision of parent training a nd education for parents of st udents with chronic behavior problems. Although school psychologists likely face si gnificant barriers to engagement in parent training and education, a significant percent continue to report high levels of support for partnering with parents. A su rvey of 417 school psychology practitioners 56

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regarding their perspectives and practices toward family-school partnership activities indicated high levels of support for the gene ral concept of family -school partnerships amongst the practitioners (Pelco et al., 2000). For example, 90% of the respondents strongly agreed with the stat ement, Parent involvement can help increase student success in school. Results also indicate d that school psychol ogists are currently engaging in a range of family-school partners hip activities, especia lly those roles which entail providing resources and education to families. Over 95% of school psychologists reported consulting with families about specific ways that they can support their childs learning or behavior at school (p. 241) and over 80% reported teaching families about child development, discipline, or parenti ng (p. 243) within the last 12 months. However, over 50% of respondents reported th at school psychologist s do not have the time to help educators involve families (p. 241). This finding was consistent with other research which reported lack of time as a ma jor barrier to involvement in family-school partnership activities (Christenson, 1995). Pelco et al. (2000) found th at school psychologists w ho were more likely to endorse the item, Every family has some strength that could be tapped to increase student success in school were more likel y to have participated in family-school partnership activities than were practitioners wh o were less likely to endorse the item. Though ample research exists pertaini ng to school psychologists beliefs regarding the importance of parent involveme nt for student educational and behavioral success, minimal research exists addressing to what extent these beliefs are predictive of actual practice. For example, it is unknow n whether or not a sc hool psychologist who reports that parental involvement in interven tion for children with be havioral problems is 57

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vital for successful student outcomes is more likely to provide educational programs for parents than a school psychol ogist who finds parental i nvolvement less important. Family involvement practices are highly correlated with th e availability of resources within the family, particular ly money, time, energy, and knowledge (HooverDempsey et al., 2005). Mothers who experien ce economic problems are less likely than more financially secure mothers to maintain consistent family routines and have an emotional support system and are more likely to demonstrate hars h parenting, all of which reduce the likelihood of parent involveme nt at school (Taylor, 2005). In a survey of New Jersey educators, teachers reported th at as much as 35% of school parents were unable to participate in school activities becaus e they were struggling to provide for their families basic needs (Joshi et al., 2005). Many studies indicate that families who lack access to child-care and transportation are le ss likely to participate in school-sponsored events (Ashby, 2006; Bridgemohen et al., 2005 ; Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005, Joshi et al., 2005; NCES, 1998). When barriers such as lack of transportati on or childcare are removed, parental involvement in school -sponsored events in creases (Ashby, 2006; Bridgemohen et al., 2005). It is unknown whet her or not a school psychologists ability to secure funding or resources to provide ch ildcare and/or transportation for parents to attend parent training is relate d to his or her rate of enga gement in parent training and education with the parent s of children with chronic behavior problems. Both teachers and school administers report that parents, particularly low SES parents, do not have the time to collaborate w ith schools. Time cha llenges are in fact a barrier to parent involvement for parents in general and in particular for low SES parents who often have demanding, inflexible work schedules (Taylor, 2005). In response to 58

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demanding schedules, parents report that teachers need to be more flexible with the times they are available and make more effort to contact parents at times convenient to the parent (Lord Nelson, Summers, & Turnbull, 2004). The relationship between school psychologists perception of parental availabi lity for parent traini ng and their engagement in parent training and education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems is unknown. Parents who feel that they lack the skills or education to effectively contribute to their childs education are le ss likely to become involved at their childs school (HooverDempsey, Battiato, Walker, Reed, Dejong, & Jones, 2001). At the same time, teachers are less likely to encourage parent involvement when they believe that parents lack the skills, intelligence, or education to make meaningful contributions (Bemek & Cornely, 2002). It is unclear whether or not school psychologists who hold these same beliefs are less likely to engage in pa rent centered interventions. A positive school climate is essential in encouraging parental involvement (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005). Parent invol vement has been found to be significantly higher in schools which demonstrate a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents. Schools that regard parents as partners in educating children and that actively pursue parent involvement report better quality family -school collaboration and higher levels of parent involvement than schools that see parents and educators as having different agendas (Lewis & Forman, 2002). Half of th e parents in a study of special education parents reported feeling that teachers held nega tive views of their child and family (Zionts, Zionts, & Bellinger, 2003). The pare nts went on to report that they thought that teachers blamed them for their childrens di sabilities. These feelings are likely 59

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perpetrated by the tendency of educators to contact parents only when a child experiences a problem at school (Ametea et al., 2006). The relationship between school climate issues and school psychologists engagement in parent training and education remains unexamined. As schools in the United States become increasingly diverse, language and cultural differences between educators and fami lies become increasingly evident (Salas et al., 2005). Language barriers ne gatively impact the ability of school personnel and families to communicate with each other a nd significantly impacts the likelihood that parents will become involved in their childs education (Lai & Ishiyama, 2004). Communications to home are often presented only in English, leaving many families unable to respond (Salas et al., 2005). Numerous studies cite educators lack of training and subsequent knowledge of how to work with diverse student populations and their families as a major barrier to parent involveme nt for culturally diverse families (Joshi et al., 2005; Zionts et al., 2003). Without e ducation, teachers tend to blame the home environment for low academic achievement a nd believe that ethnic minority parents do not care about their childs education (DeC astro-Ambrosetti & Cho, 2005). The impact of language barriers and lack of experience working with diverse populations on school psychologists engagement in parent training and education with the parents of students with chronic behavior problems has not been studied. Summary Chronic behavior problems represent a major social problem for American society. Ramifications of chronic behavior problems are far reaching, resulting in severe negative effects for families, schools, and the community at large. Although behavioral 60

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parent training is one of only two interven tion strategies recognized by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Prom otion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures as meeting criteria for effectiv e interventions for the treatment of childhood behavior problems (Pelham, Wheeler & Chronis, 1998), parent training/education remains largely unavailable to parents within the school se tting (Teeter, 1998; Teeter, 1991). Despite an overall agreement amongst sc hool psychologists that working with the parents of children with chronic behavior pr oblems is essential to improving student behavior, school psychologists re port spending very little of their time engaging in such activities (only 1% of their time); (Bra mlett, Murphy, Johnson, Wallinford, & Hall, 2002). Current research lends only cursory information as to why interventions focusing on parent training and educati on are rarely implemented with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. The current study will examine the relationship between specific demographic, professional practice, pe rception of barriers, and training variables and the parent training/education practices of school psychologists with these families. This study will contribute to the literature by providing descriptive information regarding school psychologists engagement in parent tr aining/education activit ies with families of children with chronic behavior problems. The study will lead to a more precise understanding of variables that impact school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activities. This info rmation will benefit both pre-service and professional development training program s as well as district school psychology departments, as it will inform the developmen t of training curric ula and assignment of 61

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professional activities, and allo w departments to more precisely problem-solve barriers to engagement. 62

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Chapter III Method Purpose The purposes of the current research were to determine the rate at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to dete rmine the relationships between school psychologists demographic variables, profe ssional practice, traini ng, and perception of barriers and their engagement. Specifically, the following six research questions were posed: 1. How often are school psychologist s currently engaging in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? 2. What are the relationships between demogr aphic variables (i.e., sex, degree level, years of experience, recency of traini ng, number of students served, number of schools served, and employment setting) a nd the rate of engagement in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? 3. What is the relationship between intensity of training and the rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? 63

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4. What is the relationship between a school psychologists professional practices (i.e., percent of time spent engaging in assessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professiona l development or other activities) and their rate of engagement in parent training/education activitie s with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? 5. What is the relationship between th e perception of barriers and school psychologists rate of engagement in pa rent training/education activities with parents of children with chr onic behavior problems? 6. Which of the variables or combination of variables above accounts for the most variance in the rate of engagement of school psychologists in parent training/education activitie s with parents of childre n with chronic behavior problems? Research Design The study employed a mixed method de sign including both correlational and qualitative methodology to answer the research questions. This particular design was chosen because the researcher was interest ed in ascertaining the relationship between variables which could not be ma nipulated and to gather inform ation regarding facilitators of engagement directly from participants. Participants The names and addresses of five-hundre d, randomly selected, practicing school psychologists were provided by the Nationa l Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The researcher requested the contact information of these 500 school psychologists as it was believed that this num ber of potential partic ipants would produce 64

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a large enough sample size to detect a medium effect size with power of .8 and an alpha level of .05 (i.e., N=131). Only 64 participants we re needed to detect a large effect size. At the time of the study, there we re more than 20,000 NASP members, representing approximately 70% of all sc hool psychologists across the United States (Curtis et al., 2004). According to the most recent NASP survey, seventy-seven percent of practicing school psychologists are female. The mean number of years of experience is 14 years. Approximately 36% of pract itioners hold a masters degree, 40% hold a specialist degree, and 24 % hold a doctoral degree (Curtis et al., 2008). Five-hundred practicing school psychologists were randomly selected from all practicing psychologists within the NASP membership. Of the 500 surveyed NASP members, 115 returned completed surveys resulting in a respons e rate of 23%. Twenty-two surveyed psychologists (4.4%) returned the survey uncompl eted and indicated that they had retired prior to the 2007-2008 school year Nineteen surveys (3.8%) were returned with missing data and consequently discarded. The researcher sought additional info rmation from school psychologists who engaged in parent training/e ducation activities at a rate of once per week or more by asking these participants to engage in a telephone interview with the researcher. The researcher specifically targeted school ps ychologists with high rates of engagement because she was interested in gathering in formation regarding the facilitators of consistent and frequent parent training/education engagement. Demographic characteristics of survey participants. Basic demographic information was gathered in order to dete rmine the relationship between demographic variables and school psychologist s level of engagement in parent training/education 65

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activities. Demographic data for participants are shown in Table 1. Table 1 also shows how the participants in this study compare to the NASP membership. Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for In dividual Demographic Variables ________________________________________________________________________ Variable Variable Levels Percentage of Sample NASP Demographics ______________________________________________________________________________________ Sex Male 28.7% 23% Female 71.3% 77% ______________________________________________________________________________________ Experience Less than 5 years 23.5% 5-15 years 31.3% Average Years 16-25 years 22.6% Experience = 14 years 26 or more years 22.6% ______________________________________________________________________________________ Degree Masters Degree 22.6% 36% Specialist Degree 41.7% 44% Doctorate Degree 32.2% 24% Other 3.5% N/A 66

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Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for Indivi dual Demographic Variables (Continued) ______________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Variable Levels Percentage of Sample NASP Demographics ______________________________________________________________________________________ Recency of Training Less than 5 years ago 27.8% N/A 5-15 years ago 29.6% N/A 16-25 years ago 26.1% N/A 26 or more years ago 16.5% N/A ______________________________________________________________________________________ Number of Schools Served 1 school 33.9% N/A 2 schools 21.7% N/A 3 schools 16.5% N/A 4 or more schools 27.8% N/A ______________________________________________________________________________________ Caseload 1-20 students 7.0% N/A 21-40 students 8.7% N/A 41-60 students 20.0% N/A 61-80 students 11.3% N/A 81-100 students 11.3% N/A 101 or more students 45.2% N/A ______________________________________________________________________________________ 67

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Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for Indivi dual Demographic Variables (Continued) ______________________________________________________________________________________ Variable Variable Levels Percentage of Sample NASP Demographics ______________________________________________________________________________________ Employment Setting Elementary Only 33.0% N/A Secondary Only 14.8% N/A Both Elementary and Secondary 49.3% N/A Other 7.8% N/A ______________________________________________________________________________________ Participants demographic variables were found to be quite similar to those found in the NASP demographics. For instance, the NASP demographics survey found that 77% of school psychologists are female. Demo graphic information of the current survey found that 71% of respondents were female. While the NASP demographics survey found that on average school ps ychologists reported practicing for 14 years, the current study found that 60% of school psychologists indicated practicing 15 years or less while 40% reported practicing 16 years or more. Fo rty-percent of school psychologists hold a specialist degree. Similarly, forty-one percent of study par ticipants reported holding a specialist degree. Study participants were more likely to hold a doctorate degree and less likely to hold a masters degree than was i ndicated by the NASP demographics survey results. Non-response bias analysis. A non-response bias analysis was conducted in order to ascertain if school psychologists who return ed a survey after the first mailing differed significan tly from school psychologists who returned a survey after the second mailing. 68

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Eighty-two school psychologists returned a surv ey after the first mailing. Twenty-three school psychologists returned a survey after the second ma iling. Table 2 includes a comparison of group means, standard deviati ons, and the standardized m ean difference for continuous variables incl uding the percent of time spent engaging in assessment, direct intervention, consultation, and professional development, the rate of engagement in parent training/education activit ies, the perception of barrier s to engagement in parent training/education activities, and the intensity of training related to parent training/education. Table 2. Standardized Mean Difference of Response Groups 1 and 2 Percent of time spent in activity Variable Mean Pooled Standard Devi ation Standardized Mean Difference Assessment* Group 1 36.1 Assessment* Group 2 38.66 21.7 -.11 Direct Intervention* Group 1 17.4 Direct Intervention* Group 2 17.39 15.9 .0006 Consultation* Group 1 13.8 Consultation* Group 2 13.9 13.78 -.007 Case Management* Group 1 14.09 Case Management* Group 2 16.84 13.96 -.19 Professional Development* Group 1 6.39 Professional Development* Group 2 6.78 4.3 -.09 Engagement** Group 1 2.24 Engagement** Group 2 2.3 .705 -.08 Perception of Barriers*** Group 1 3.45 Perception of Barriers*** Group 2 3.39 .277 .21 Training Group ****1 3.16 Training Group**** 2 2.89 .6939 .38 *Rate of engagement in parent training/education activities ***Perception of barriers to engagement in parent training/education ****Intensity of training related to parent training/education 69

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Standardized mean differences between school psychologists who returned a survey after the first mailing and those who returned a survey af ter the second mailing ranged from .0006 to .38, indicating no or minimal differences between groups on noncategorical variables (i.e., assessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professional development, e ngagement, perception of barriers, and training). Cohens effect size W scores were calculated to determine if participants from mailing cycle one and participants from maili ng cycle two differed on the categorical, interval, or ordinal variab les. Cohens W scores ranged from .01 to .09 indicating minimal or no difference between participan ts who responded to the first mailing and those who responded to the second mailing. Table 3 contains the effect sizes of the ordinal, interval, and categoric al variables. Based on these analyses, it is assumed that there are no statistically si gnificant difference between re sponders and non-responders which indicates a non-biased sample. Table 3. Effect Size Differences of Response Groups 1 and 2 on Categorical, Interval, and Ordinal Variables Variable Chi-Square Value Cohens W Score Years of Experience .206 .04 Degree Level .993 .09 Recency of Training .352 .05 Gender .260 .04 Number of Schools .034 .01 Caseload .211 .04 Elementary Setting .837 .085 Middle School Setting .747 .08 High School Setting .060 .02 70

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Interview participants Of the 500 surveyed particip ants, only 5 indicated that they engaged in parent training/education at least once per week and returned a postcard with their contact information. These five participating sc hool psychologists were called by the researcher in order to collect info rmation regarding what facilitated their engagement in parent training/education activ ities. All phone calls were made in the evening by the researcher. All five school psychologists were able be contacted by phone and agreed to participate in the interview. Each phone call lasted an average of 20 minutes. Extensive interview notes were taken by the researcher with an attempt to capture the participants words as accurately as possible. At se veral points during the interviews and following each interview questio n, the researcher asked for time to finish recording the response and read back to the participant wh at had been recorded. The participant then reported back a ny necessary changes or additions. Of the five school psychologists who part icipated in the phon e interview, four were fem ale and one was male. All female school psychologists worked in an elementary setting while the sole male school psychologist reported working in a center school which he described as serving children with emotional handicaps. Materials Survey. A 98-item survey was developed to analyze the proposed research questions (see Appendix A). The survey c onsists of five sections: Demographic Information, Professional Practices, Percep tion of Barriers, Training, and Current Practices. The survey was adapted from an instrument designed by the researcher for previous research that examined the work of school psychologists with the parents of children with ADHD (Sarlo, 2006). 71

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Item Development The items for this survey were develope d following a review of the literature by the researcher. This review aided in the identification of specific variables found to be related to the professi onal activities of sc hool psychologists. Demographic information. The demographic information section was modeled after the format used in the 2004-2005 NASP demographic survey (Curtis, Hunley, Walker & Baker, 1999). Demographic informa tion was collected for two reasons: 1) to examine the relationship between various demographic variables and school psychologists engagement in family-school pa rtnership activities, and 2) to determine whether or not a representative sample was obtained through the sampling process. Specifically, seven questions were included in order to gather information regarding a respondents sex, degree level, years of experience, recency of training, number of students served, number of schools served, and employment setting(s) was collected. Professional Practices. The second section, Profe ssional Practices, was modeled after a survey developed by Curtis, Grier, Abshier, Sutton, and Hunley (2002) and asked participants to write in the percent of tim e they spent engaging in assessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professional development, and other activities. Participants were asked to sp ecify activities indicated within the other category. Participants were informed th at the percent of time spent engaging in assessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professional development, and other activ ities should add up to one-hundred percent. Assessment was defined as administering norm-referenced measures, conducting curriculum-based measurement, and conducting behavioral observations. Direct Interventions was 72

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defined as counseling, crisis intervention, providing academic intervention, providing behavioral intervention. Consultation wa s defined as consulting with teachers or parents, parent training/education, inte rvention planning, and working on problemsolving/response to intervention teams. Case Management was defined as writing reports, independently reviewing data, cont acting pediatricians and other pertinent community professionals, and making referra ls to outside resources. Professional Development was defined as attending conferences, reading articl es, receiving feedback from colleagues and/or supervisors. De finitions of each role were provided for clarification. Perception of barriers. The Perception of Barriers section was developed after reviewing research indicating ba rriers to school-based mental health services and familyschool partnership activities. Questions were designed to measure participants perception of barriers within th e following areas: Logistical problems, lack of training, lack of support from school personnel, beliefs regarding the importance of parent involvement, lack of family and school resources, negative school climate, and cultural and language differences. Participants were asked to indicate their level of agreement on forty specific barrier questions using a Likert scale (i.e., strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree). Individual responses were assigned a score of 5 for strongly disagree, a score of 4 for disagree, a score of 3 for neut ral, a score of 2 for agree, and a score of 1 for strongly agree. Summary scores were calculated by adding together the values of each individual item within the Barriers section. Mean Barrier scores were calculated by dividing the Ba rrier summary score by the to tal number of items in the Barriers section. 73

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A Maximum Likelihood factor analysis of the perception of barriers variable was performed in order to determine school psyc hologists perception of different types of barriers. A Promax rotation was included in this analysis in order to increase interpretability of the factors as it was believed that the perception of barriers factors would be correlated. A post-hoc analysis of the perception of barri ers factors revealed that they were, in fact, significantly correlate d with each other. These correlations ranged from -.081 to .330. The factor analysis of th e perception of barriers variable revealed thirteen factors with eigenvalues of 1 or gr eater. Scree plot anal ysis supported a five factor solution. Interpretability of multiple factor structur es between five factors and thirteen factors were examined. The five factor solution was found to have the most robust interpretability of all the factor solu tions and thus was chosen. The five factor solution explained 41.5% of the variance in perc eption of barriers. A qualitative analysis of items within the five factors indicated th at the general barrier categories represented included parent involvement and participation (factor 1), school and district support and resources (factor 2), school psychologists attitude regarding pa rent involvement and parent training (factor 3), school personnels attitude regardin g parents (factor 4), and the extent to which school psychologi sts role is focused on assess ment (factor 5). See Table 4 for a complete account of items included w ithin each Barriers factor. See Appendix G to review relevant pattern and structure matr ixes and scree plot. Mean Barrier scores for each Barrier factor were calculated by dividi ng the summary Barrier score for each factor by the total number of items within the factor. 74

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Table 4. Items Included in Each Barriers Factor Barriers Factor 1: Parent Involvement and Participation I have sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions My school administrator (principal) supports my engagement in parent training interventions I have too many job responsibilities to provide parent training interventions My department supervisor supports my engagement in parent training interventions I have access to sufficient space within the school building to provide parent training interventions The number of children in need of assessment at my school limits my ability to provide parent training interventions My school has the resources to provide childcare during parent training meetings There are clearly defined responsibilities among schoo l employees who can provide parent training interventions (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker) I communicate regularly with parents regarding parent training opportunities at my school Schools can afford to provide transportation for parents to attend meetings Barriers Factor 2: School and District Resources I am culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school School personnel are culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school Parents at my school are actively involved in their childs education The basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, safety) of the families at my school are met Parents at my school have the necessary ability and education to benefit from parent training interventions Parents at my school regularly attend school-sponsored events (e.g., open house, conferences) Language barriers make parent training interventions difficult to implement with families at my school Parents have sufficient time to participate in parent training interventions Teaching parents of children with behavior problems about child development, discipline, or parenting will result in improved child behavior at home and at school Parent involvement can help increase success fo r a student with chronic behavior problems I need additional professional development in parent training interventions Barriers Factor 3: Attitude Regarding Parent Involvement and Participation I am interested in providing parent training interventions I have been trained in how to establish and maintain positive collaborative relationships with parents I feel comfortable working collaboratively with fami lies from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language back grounds I have sufficient training in parent training interventions School psychologists should assume the bulk of responsibility for parent training interventions Parents would utilize parent training interventi ons if they were available at my school School psychologists are the best professionals to provide parent training interventions 75

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Table 4. Items Included in Each Ba rriers Factor (Continued) Barriers Factor 4: School Personnels Attitude Regarding Parents Parents of children with behavior problems want to be involved in their childrens education more than they are currently involved My school has a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents My school values the involvement of parents in interventions for children with behavior problems School personnel welcome and appreciate parent s involvement in thier childs education School personnel at my school know when, how, and why to contact me and appear comfortable collaborating with me Barriers Factor 5: School Psychologists Role Focused on Assessment My preferred professional role is psycho-educational assessment My professional role is focused on psycho-educational testing It is reasonable to expect me to meet with parents after school hours School personnel understand my role and full range of interventions that I can deliver Educators at my school contact parents primarily when their child has a behavior or academic problem Training. The Training section of the survey included fifteen items designed to assess participants training experiences in general behavior cha nge practices, formal parent training and support, and sup porting home-school collaboration and communication. Respondents were asked to in dicate the method of their training for specific practices or concepts (e.g., formal pa rent training programs, the use of a token economy). The training methods were arrange d from least intense to most intense. Options for responding included not cove red, coursework, directly observed, implemented without feedback, and implemen ted with feedback. Not Covered was defined as having not been exposed to the ac tivity or intervention through coursework or observation. Coursework was defined as obtaining knowledge of an activity or intervention through course-based research and lecture. Directly Observed was defined as watching an intervention or activity being implemented by a teacher, supervisor, or qualified personnel. Implemented without Feedback was defined as personally 76

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implemented intervention or activity independe ntly without ever recei ving feedback from a supervisor or trainer. Implemented with Feedback was defined as personally implemented intervention with feedback and/or assistance from a supervisor or trainer. Definitions of each training method were provided for clarification. Individual items were assigned scores depending on the intensity of training indicated by the participant. Not Covered was valued at 1. Coursework wa s valued at 2. Directly Observed was valued at 3. Implemented without Feedb ack was valued at 4. Implemented with Feedback was valued at 5. Summary scores were calculated by adding together the value scores of each individual item. Mean in tensity of training scores were calculated by dividing the training summary score by the total num ber of training items. A Maximum Likelihood factor analysis of the training variable was performed in order to ascertain training within general activity categories. A Promax rotation was included in this analysis in order to increase interpretability of the factors. The Promax rotation was included because it was believe d that the training factors would be correlated. A post-hoc analysis of the training factors revealed that they were, in fact, significantly correlated with each other. These correlations ranged from .089 to .501. The factor analysis of the tr aining activities revealed three factors with eigenvalues of 1 or greater. These three f actors explained the majority of variance in training (i.e., 60.88%). Both a Scree plot analysis and an examination of the inte rpretability of the factors supported a three factor solution. A qualitative analys is of items within the three factors indicated that the general activity categories represented included general behavior change practices (f actor 1), formal parent trai ning, (factor 2), and supporting home-school collaboration and communication (factor 3). See Table 5 for a complete 77

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account of items included within each Trai ning factor. See Appendix F to review relevant pattern and structure matrixes and scree plot. Mean factor scores for identified traini ng factors (i.e., genera l behavior change, formal parent training, and supporting home-school colla boration and communication) were correlated with mean engagement f actor scores in order to determine the relationship between intensity of training within specifi c categories and rate of engagement in each parent training activity category (i.e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-school collaboration and communication, and implementing parent training and support groups) Because multiple analyses were required to examine this question, a Bonfe rroni correction procedure was employed to control for family-wise error. As a result of this correction, correlations were considered statistically significant if th e probability coefficient was equal to or smaller than .005. Table 5. Items Included in Each Training Factor Training Factor 1: General Behavior Change Practices Using positive reinforcement (e.g., gi ving praise, attention, prizes, etc. ) to maintain, t each, or encourage desired behaviors Observing and noting the relationship betwee n antecedents, behavior, and consequences Using time-out from positive reinforcement procedure (i.e., removing a child from a desirable activity or environment following their inappropriate or undesirable behavior) Implementing a token economy (i.e., re warding a childs positive, appropriate behavior with tokens such as toy money which can later be exchanged for desired items, activities, or privile ges) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behavior Implementing evidence-based interventions for children with chronic behavior problems 78

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Table 5. Items Included in Each Tr aining Factor (Continued) Training Factor 2: Formal Parent Training Facilitating meetings to create more cooperation betw een the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and educators Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and teachers Consulting with the parents of children with chronic be havior problems about ways they can support their childs learning and behavior at school Providing training for teachers regarding ways to involve the parents of children with chronic behavior problems in their childrens school work Helping teachers and administrators provide information to the parents of children with chronic behavior problems on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations Training Factor 3: Supporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication Coordinating a parent support group for the parents of children with chronic behavior problems Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist children with chronic behavior problems in the classroom Implementing a formal parent-training program that includes regular, scheduled meetings and a planned parent training curriculum Developing or coordinating a family resource center that serves parents of children with chronic behavior problems Helping schools create participatory roles for parents of children with chronic behavior problems on school advisory committees Mean Intensity of Training scores for each training factor were calculated by dividing the summary Training sc ore for each factor by the to tal number of items within the factor. Higher training scores indicate more instance training. Current practices. The Current Practices section was developed to examine the rate of school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activities including their involvement in activities designed to involve parents in in terventions, provide training or education for parents, or facilitate other educators work with parents. Thirty items were derived from previous research (Pelco, Jacobson, Ries & Melka, 2000), the NASP practice guidelines for involving parents in the educational experiences of their 79

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children, and a review of prac tices common to major parent training curricula used to address chronic behavior problems (i.e., Ba rkleys model, Pelhams STP model, and Pattersons model). Specifical ly, Barkleys, Pelhams, and Pattersons parent training curricula were reviewed for this section. Parent training compone nts that were common among the three curricula (e.g., teaching parents to reinforce positive behavior) were included in this section. Major components of any single curriculum also were included even when these components were not pres ent in the othe r curricula (e.g., Barkleys parent counseling component). Respondent s were asked to circle the frequency statement that most closely approximated th eir typical engagement (i.e., once a day or more, once a week, once a month, once a semester once a year or less) in each activity. Once a day or more was valued at 5. On ce a week was valued at 4. Once a month was valued at 3. Once a semester was valued at 2. Once a year or less was valued at 1. Summary scores were calculated by addi ng together the values assigned to each individual item within the current practices section. Mean overal l Engagement scores were calculated by dividing the Current Prac tices summary score by the total number of Current Practices items. The average rate of engagement within specific categories of parent training activities as defined by factor analysis was also determined. A factor analysis of the current practices variable was performed in or der to identify general activity categories. Five factors were identified with eigenvalues of 1 or greater. A sc ree plot was produced and reviewed. The scree plot supported a three fact or solution. The in terpretability of the three factor solution was found to be more robust than the interpre tability of either a four or a five factor soluti on, and thus a three factor solution was chosen. The three 80

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factors accounted for approximate ly 58% of the total variance in current practices. The items within each factor were analyzed a nd found to represent 3 general categories of parent-focused activities including: 1) Teach ing parents behavior management practices, 2) Supporting home-school collaboration and communication, and 3) Implementing formal parent training and support groups. Factor one, teaching parents behavior management prac tices, consisted of items that focused on promoting behavior manageme nt skills such as teaching parents how to reward appropriate behavior, ignore minor inappropriate be havior, and implement a token economy. Factor 2, supporting home-school collabora tion and communication, consisted of items that involved comm unicating with parents regard ing the importance of their involvement in their childs education and intervention and working with school personnel to promote parent participation in school act ivities and decision making. Factor 3, implementing formal parent training and support programs, included items that involved developing or coordi nating a family resource cente r or parent support group and implementing a formal parent training program. See Table 6 for a complete account of items included within each Current Practice fa ctor. See Appendix E to review relevant pattern and structure matrixes and scree plot. Table 6. Items Included in Each Current Practice Factor Current Practices Factor 1: Teaching Pa rents Behavior Management Practices Teaching parents how to use time-out appropriately Teaching parents positive attending skills to appropriate independent play Teaching parents positive attending skills to thei r childs compliance with parental requests Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public places Teaching parents effective meth ods for communicating commands Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system) 81

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Table 6. Items Included in Each Current Practice Factor (Continued) Current Practices Factor 1: Teaching Pa rents Behavior Management Practices Teaching parents how to avoid adding to their child s escalating problem behavior such as tantrums Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems Teaching parents to reward positive behavior Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public places Counseling parents regarding their emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child Teaching parents about chronic behavior probl ems core symptomology and epidemiology Helping parents understand what factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs problem behavior Teaching families about child devel opment, discipline, or parenting Current Practices Factor 2: Supporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication Helping schools provide information on gradelevel academic and behavioral expectations Helping schools create participatory roles for parent s on behavior intervention/problem solving teams Consulting with families about specific ways that they can support their childs learning and behavior at school Planning, coordinating, and monito ring interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of interventions for their children Contacting parents who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contacts Helping schools provide information on gradelevel academic and behavioral expectations Explaining to parents the connection between chro nic behavior problems and academic underachievement Current Practices Factor 3 : Implementing Formal Parent Training and Support Groups Implementing a formal parent training program Organizing a parent volunteer prog ram to assist teachers, administ rators, and children in classroom Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions Developing or coordinating a family resource center Coordinating a parent support group for parents of children with chronic behavior problems 82

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Mean Engagement scores for each Current Practices factor were calculated by dividing the summary engagement score for each factor by the total number of items within the factor. Highe r current practices scores indicat e higher rates of engagement. Instrument reliability. Reliability analysis of the su rvey when used for previous research revealed moderate to strong intern al consistency within all subdomains, with Cronbachs alpha levels ranging from .63 to .93 (Sarlo, 2006). Because only minor changes were made to the survey incl uding changing the words Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to chronic behavior problems and the addition of 5 questions to the Perception of Barriers section, it was assume d that the survey used for the current research would possess similar moderate to strong internal consistency within all subdomains. Because of this assumption, the decision was made not to pilot the survey instrument prior to using it for th e current research. Instead, a panel of ten practicing school psychologists was assembled by the research er to review and provide feedback regarding the interpretability of th e survey. All panel members were currently practicing school psychologists. Years of experience ranged from 3 years to 27 years with the majority of panel members in pract ice for between 8 and 12 years. Seven panel members were female and 3 were male. Fi ve panel members currently worked only in elementary settings while 2 panel member s served both elementary and secondary schools and 3 worked only in secondary school s. The number of schools served by each panel member ranged from 1 to 4 with th e majority (i.e., 7) panel members reporting serving 3 schools. Six of the panel memb ers were employed in Florida, two panel members worked in North Carolina, one pane l member worked in Maryland, and another panel member worked in Illinois. As a resu lt of the panels feedback, eight questions 83

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were rewritten to improve clarity, three questi ons were added to the barriers section, and two questions were removed from the barriers section. Internal consistency reliability coefficients were calculated for each study variable. Cronbachs alpha coefficients were produced to determine the extent to which participants consistently answer similar quest ions. This analysis yielded moderate to strong internal consistency within all subdomains with Cronbachs alpha levels ranging from .759 to .954. Cronbachs alpha levels of variable factors were also calculated in order to determine the reliability of questions which constitute each factor. Reliability of factors ranged from .648 to .829 with the ex ception of Barriers Factor 5 which possessed a reliability level of .461. Specific Cronbachs alpha levels of the survey used for the current research are noted in Table 6. Table 7. Cronbachs Alpha Levels for Training, Ba rriers, and Current Levels of Engagement Variables Variable Cronbachs Alpha Perception of Barriers Barriers Factor 1: Parent i nvolvement and participation Barriers Factor 2: School and district resources Barriers Factor 3: Attitude regard ing parent involvement and parent training Barriers Factor 4: School personne ls attitude re garding parents Barriers Factor 5: School psycholog ists role focused on assessment .759 .775 .723 .718 .648 .461 84

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Table 7. Cronbachs Alpha Levels for Training, Ba rriers, and Engagement Variables Variable Cronbachs Alpha Intensity of Training Training Factor 1: General be havior change principles Training Factor 2: Formal parent training Training Factor 3: Supporting home-school collaboration and communication .853 .880 .829 .740 Current Practices Current Practices Factor 1: Teach ing parents behavior management practices Current Practices Factor 2: Suppor ting home-school collaboration and communication Current Practices Factor 3: Implem enting formal parent training and support groups .954 .880 .829 .740 Phone interview questions. A phone interview script was designed by the researcher in order to gather additional inform ation from school psychologists who reported engaging in parent training/educati on with parents of children with chronic behavior problems at a rate of once per week or more frequently. The interview questions were open-ended and designed to prompt discussion regarding participants engagement in parent training/education activit ies. Specifically, four interview questions were designed by the researcher which asked pa rticipants to discuss their current rate of engagement, barriers to their engagement, f acilitators of their engagement, and advice that they would offer other school psychologi sts regarding parent training. A list of specific interview questions is provided in Appendix D. 85

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Data Collection An application was submitted to the University of South Floridas Institutional Review Board (IRB) to obtain approval for the research study. Following approval from the IRB, a NASP research application was completed in order to obtain permission to survey NASP members. Once the NASP Research Board approved the sampling of its membership database, five hundred practic ing school psychologists were randomly sampled from the NASP general population. In the spring semester of the 2008-2009 school year, all psychologists included in the sample were mailed a survey packet including a cover letter expl aining the purpose of the study and ensuring confidentiality (see Appendix B), a copy of the study survey (see Appendix A) and a pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope. A code number corresponding with each potential participant was placed on the return envelope. A list of potential participants and their assigned code number was kept in a locked file cabinet to assure security of participant names. When a survey was returned, the completed survey was immediately removed and placed in a data entry file in order to ensure confidentiality of part icipants responses. The code number on the envelope was then used to delete the respondent from the list of psychologists who would be mailed a second su rvey packet. The code number allowed the researcher to determine which participan ts did not respond to the initial mailing and to randomly select winners of the incentive award. Participants who did not respond to the initial mailing were mailed a second survey packet during the summer of 2009 which included a cover letter, a surv ey, and a pre-addressed, postage -paid return envelope. The secondary mailing took place approximately tw o months after the initial mailing. 86

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In addition to a cover letter, survey, and return envelope, both initial and secondary mailings also included a postag e-paid postcard (see Appendix C). The postcard served as an invitation for psychologi sts whose rate of engagement in parent training/education activities was at leas t once per week to engage in follow-up conversation with the researcher via the telephone. The postcard provided space for psychologists to write their te lephone contact information. Psychologists were instructed on the postcard to mail the postcard separate from the survey so that identifying information would in no way be attached to the survey responses, guaranteeing that the survey responses remained anonymous. Five school psychologists returned the pos tcards and volunteered to engage in a telephone conference with the re searcher regarding their pa rent training experiences. These psychologists were contacted by phone. The researcher asked each contacted psychologist to discuss their current rate of engagement in pare nt training/education activities, as well as barriers to and facil itators of their engagement. The researcher prepared for and conducted the interviews following a interview protocol suggested by McNamara (1999). The researcher began by choosing a setting that was free of distractions before telephoning the interviewees. When the interviewees were contacted, the researcher explained the purpose of the interview and assured confidentiality of responses. The researcher also explained the format of the interview and informed the interviewees that each interview was expect ed to take approximately 20 minutes. The researcher allowed the interviewees to ask questions and concerns about the interview prior to posing the first interview question. A standardized, openended question format was used while allowing for some clarifyi ng, probing, and follow-up questions. The 87

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standardized format allowed for efficient co llection of relevant information and allowed for the interviewees responses to be more easily analyzed and comp ared. Clarifying and probing questions allowed the researcher to clarify responses and develop a more indepth understanding of the interviewees point of view (Kavale, 1996). The researcher took extensive field notes and attempted to ca pture the interviewee s responses verbatim whenever possible. The researcher conducte d informal member checks by frequently stopping the interview to read back to the interviewee the recorded responses. The interviewees were asked to comment on accuracy and clarify any misreported or misunderstood information (Lincoln & Guba 1985). After all open-ended question was posed, interviewees were thanked for their participation and give n the researchers contact information so that the interviewees could contact the researcher with additional information not provided in the initial intervie w. None of the inte rviewees contacted the researcher following the initial interview. Data Analysis Survey data Descriptive, correlational and linear models were employed to analyze the survey data. This model was mo st appropriate because the researcher was interested in determining the relationship betwee n variables using complete group data. Research Question #1: How often are sc hool psychologists currently engaging in parent training/education activ ities with parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems? The first research question was examined by analyzing the information reported in the Current Practices portion of the survey. Analysis of information reported in this section included the percentage of school psychologists engaging in parent training 88

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activities with parents of children with chroni c behavior problems as well as the average rate of that involvement. For each item repr esenting a particular activity, mean rates of engagement and proportions of psychologists se lecting each involveme nt rate (i.e., once a day or more, once per week, once per month, once per semester, or once a year or less) were determined. Research Question #2: What are the rela tionships between demographic variables and school psychologists rate of enga gement in parent training/education activities with parents of children wi th chronic behavior problems? An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was util ized to determine differences in mean engagement between participants belonging to specific demographic groups determined by sex, degree level, years of experience, rece ncy of training, number of students served, employment setting, and number of schools served. Because multiple analyses were required to examine this question, a Bonfe rroni correction procedure was employed to control for family-wise error. As a result of this correction, correla tions were considered statistically significant if th e probability coefficient was equal to or smaller than .002. Research Question #3: What is the rela tionship between intens ity of training and the rate of engagement in parent trai ning/education activitie s with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? This question was analyzed using Pe arson product moment correlations. Participants overall mean intensity of traini ng scores were correlate d with mean rate of engagement scores in order to determine the relationship between intensity of training in parent training/education activ ities and the overall implementation of such activities. Mean intensity of training factor scores we re correlated with mean rate of engagement 89

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scores and each current practices factor mean score in order to determine the relationships between content of training and overall engage ment and engagement within specific types of parent tr aining/education activities. Research Question #4: What is the relationship between sc hool psychologists professional practices and th eir rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children wi th chronic behavior problems? Research question #4 was examined by co rrelating school psyc hologists overall mean rate of engagement in parent training ac tivities with the percent of their time spent engaging in each professional practice (i.e., a ssessment, direct intervention, consultation, case management, professional development and other activities determined by participants). In addition, the percent of time spent engaging in each professional practice was correlated with mean engagement factor scores in order to determine the relationship between percent of time spent engaging in specific professional practices and rate of engagement within specific categor ies of parent training activities. Because multiple analyses were required to examin e this question, a Bonferroni correction procedure was employed to control for family-wise error. As a result of this correction, correlations were considered statistically significant if the probability coefficient was equal to or smaller than .002. Research Question #5: What is the relationship between the perception of common barriers and school psychologists rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with the pare nts of children with chronic behavior problems? 90

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Research question #5 was examined by correlating school psychologists mean perception of barriers with thei r mean rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Mean perception of barriers scores for each barrier factor were correlated with mean current practices factor scores (i .e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-sc hool collaboration and commu nication, and implementing parent training and support groups) to determ ine the relationship be tween the perception of specific types of barriers and engageme nt in specific types of parent training interventions. Because multiple analyses were required to examine this question, a Bonferroni correction procedure was empl oyed to control for family-wise error. As a result of this correction, corre lations were considered stat istically significant if the probability coefficient was equal to or smaller than .004. Research Question #6: Which of the vari ables or combination of variables above accounts for the most variance in the engagement of school psychologists in parent training/education activities with the parents of ch ildren with chronic behavior problems? Question #6 was addressed using a stepwi se multiple regression analysis. The correlation between the combination of predictor variables (i.e., demographic, professional practice, perception of barriers, and training) and the criterion variable (i.e., current level of engagement) was determin ed. A coefficient of determination ( R2) was calculated to determine the amount of varian ce accounted for by each predictor variable and by the combination of variables. The statistical significance of R2 and Beta weights 91

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for each variable in the multiple regression equation were analyzed to answer this question. Interview data. The researcher utilized an ad hoc approach to analyzing the interview data including narra tive structuring, meaning conde nsation, categorization, and meaning interpretation (Kavale, 1996). First, the researcher read each interviewees responses and began to structure the narratives to create a more coherent story. Next, the researcher abridged the meaning expressed by e ach interviewee into briefer statements. The researcher then categorized the intervie w data and summarized it into a few tables. Once the data was organized into tables rela ting to frequency and type of engagement, barriers to engagement, fac ilitators of engagement, and advice for other school psychologists, the researcher began to interp ret the data by identifying common themes in the data as well as aspects of the interview ee responses which were unique yet important. The researcher also sent a copy of the su mmary tables to her major professor who independently interpreted the interview data. Working separately, they each summarized the commonalities amongst participants re sponses for each question. Each also identified unique but important informati on provided by individual participants. They then compared their summaries and resolv ed any discrepancies in interpretation by collaboratively reviewing the interview transcripts. 92

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Chapter IV Results This chapter describes the findings resulting from the analysis of survey and interview data. Specifically, descriptive statistics are reported for participants demographic characteristics, professional prac tices, perception of barriers, training, and engagement in parent training/education activities. Information regarding the relationships between school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activities and their demographic characteristic s, professional practic es, and perception of barriers are described. Descriptive Statistics Professional practices. School psychologists pr ofessional practices were assessed by asking each individu al to identify the percenta ge of time that he or she typically engages in assessment, direct in terventions, consultation, case management, professional development, and other activit ies. Participants reported spending more time engaging in assessment than any other professional practice. The percentage of time during the 2007-2008 school year in which school psychologis ts reported engaging in assessment ranged from 0% to 94% with a mean percentage of 36.85%. Sixty-five percent of school psychologi sts reported spending 25% of their time engaging in assessment. Twenty-five percent of psychologists reported engaging in assessment 50% 93

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or more of the time. School psychologists reported spending significantly less time engaging in direct interv ention (17.4%), consultation (20.38%), case management (16.22%), and professional development (6.5%). Table 8 includes descriptive information for each type of professional practice activity. Table 8. Descriptive Statistics for Professional Practice Categories ______________________________________________________________________________________ Activity Category M Min Max ______________________________________________________________________________________ Assessment 36.85% 0% 94% Direct Intervention 17.40% 0% 75% Consultation 20.38% 0% 60% Case Management 16.22% 0% 75% Professional Development 6.50% 0% 20% ________________________________________________________________________ Perception of barriers. Participants barrier scor es ranged from 2.3 to 3.95 with a maximum possible mean score of 5. The ove rall mean barriers score was 3.44. School psychologists who perceived fewer barriers to engagement in parent training/education obtained higher mean barrier scores than school psyc hologists who perceived many barriers to his or her engagement. The mean barriers score was 2.88 for pare nt involvement and participation, 2.96 for school and district resources, 3.35 for schoo l psychologists attitu de regarding parent involvement and training, 4.03 for school person nels attitude regard ing parents, and 3.10 for role focused on assessment. These scores indicate that school psychologists perceive the most barriers to their engagement in pare nt training/education in the areas of parent 94

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involvement and participation and school and district resources. Table 9 contains mean and standard deviation of each barriers factor. Table 9. Barriers Factor Means and Standard Deviations Barriers Factor M SD Factor 1: Parent Involvement and Participation 2.88 .497 Factor 2: School and District Resources 2.96 .438 Factor 3: School Psychologists Attitude Regarding Parent Involvement and Training 3.35 .485 Factor 4: School Personnels A ttitude Regarding Parents 4.03 .576 Factor 5: Role Focused on Assessment 3.10 .923 School psychologists reported that school personnels atti tude regarding parents presented the least amount of barriers to th eir engagement in parent training and education. The percent of school psychologists indicati ng the presence of specific barriers by item is provided in Table 10. Table 10. Percent of Sample Indicating the Presence of Specific Barriers Perception of Barriers Item Percent Indicating Barrier by selecting disagree or strongly disagree Factor Schools can afford to provide transportation for parents to attend meetings 75.7% 1 I have sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions 73.9% 1 I communicate regularly with parents regarding parent training opportunities at my school 59.1% 1 School psychologists should assume the bulk of responsibility for parent training interventions 52.2% 3 My school has the resources to provide childcare during parent training meetings 51.3% 1 There are clearly defined responsibilities among school employees who can provide parent training interventions (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker) 46.1% 1 95

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Table 10. Percent of Sample Indicating the Pres ence of Specific Barriers (Continued) Perception of Barriers Item Percent Indicating Barrier by selecting disagree or strongly disagree Factor School personnel understand my role and full range of interventions that I can deliver 43.5% 5 I have access to sufficient space within the schoo l building to provide parent training interventions 38.3% 1 Parents have the time to participat e in parent training interventions 37.7% 2 The basic needs of (food, shelter, cl othing, safety) of the families at my school are met 30.7% 2 It is reasonable to expect me to meet with parents after school hours 27.9% 5 I am culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school 26.3% 2 School personnel are culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school 22.8% 2 Parents at my school regularly attend school-sponsored events (e.g., open house, conferences) 22.6% 2 Parents at my school are actively involved in their childs education 20% 2 Parents would utilize parent traini ng interventions if they were available at my school 17.4% 3 School psychologists are the best professionals to provide parent training interventions 15.7% 3 Parents of children with behavior problems want to be involved with their childrens education more than they are currently involved 13.9% 4 My department supervisor supports my engagement in parent training interventions 12.4% 1 My school regularly communicates with parents in their dominant language 12.3% 2 96

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Table 10. Percent of Sample Indicating the Pr esence of Specific Barriers (Continued) Perception of Barriers Item Percent Indicating Barrier by selecting disagree or strongly disagree Factor My school administrator (principal) supports my engagement in parent training interventions 11.3% 1 I am interested in providing parent training interventions 11.3% 3 Parents at my school have the necessary ability and education to benefit from parent training interventions 9.6% 2 I have been trained on how to establish and maintain a collaborative relationship with parents 7.0% 3 My school values the involvement of parents in interventions for children with chronic behavior problems 7.0% 4 School personnel welcome and appreciate parents involvement in their childs education 6.1% 4 My school has a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents 6.1% 4 I feel comfortable working collaboratively with families from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language backgrounds 4.4% 3 School personnel know when, how, and why to contact me and appear comfortable collaborating with me 3.5% 4 Parent involvement can help increase success in school for a student with chronic behavior problems 1.7% 2 Teaching parents of children with chronic behavior problems about child development, discipline, or parenting will result in improved child behavior at home and at school 0% 2 Percent Indicating Barrier by selecting agree or strongly agree Factor I need additional professional development in parent training interventions 61.7% 2 My professional role is focused on psycho-educational testing 51.3% 5 Language barriers make parent training interventions difficult to implement with parents at my school 28.9% 2 The number of children in need of assessment at my school limits my ability to provide parent training interventions 27.9% 1 97

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Table 10. Percent of Sample Indicating the Pr esence of Specific Barriers (Continued) Percent Indicating Barrier by selecting agree or strongly agree Factor I have too many job responsibilities to provide parent training interventions 23.5% 1 Educators at my school contact parents primarily when their child has a behavior or academic problem 21.9% 5 My preferred professional role is psycho-educational assessment 18.3% 5 Behavior problems are the result of poor parenting 14.8% 3 Training. School psychologists overall in tensity of training in parent training/education, parent i nvolvement activities, and beha vior modification procedures as well as their level of tr aining within each general category were assessed. Data were collected within this section by asking school psychologists to indicate the nature of their training experiences with regard to specific parent training/education activities. Results indicated that mean in tensity of training sc ores ranged from 1.53 to 4.53 with a maximum mean intensity of training score of 5. A mean score of 5 would indica te that a participant implemented all assessed activities/interventio ns with feedback from a supervisor or trainer. The overall mean intens ity of training score was 3.08. The mean intensity of training scor e was 4.12 within the general behavior change practices, 1.8 within the formal parent training factor and 3.32 within the supporting home-school collab oration and communication f actor. Table 11 includes means and standard deviations of each training factor. 98

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Table 11. Training Factor Means and Standard Deviations Training Factor M SD Factor 1: General Behavior Change Practices 4.12 .852 Factor 2: Formal Parent Training 1.80 .838 Factor 3: Supporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication 3.32 1.06 Nearly 25% of school psychologists re ported that their training in general behavior change practices included implemen ting the practices with feedback from a trainer or supervisor. Thirty-two percent of school psychologists reported receiving no training in formal parent training and no school psychologists reported implementing all aspects of formal parent training programs w ith feedback from a trainer or supervisor. Nearly 60% of school psychologists reported th at they had at least directly observed strategies for supporting home-school collaboration and communication while approximately 27% reported implementing mo st strategies without feedback, and 10.5% reported implementing all home-school collaboration and communication support strategies with feedback from a supervisor or trainer. See Table 12 for the percent of school psychologists indicating each level of training intens ity for each training item. 99

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Table 12. Percent of School Psychologists Indicating Each Intensity Level of Training for Specific Training Items Factor Percent of School Psychologists Indicating Training Intensity Level Training Factor 1: General Behavior Change Principles Not Covered CourseWork Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback Using positive reinforcement (e.g., giving praise, attention, prizes, etc.) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behaviors 0% 6.1% 11.3% 23.5% 58.3% Observing and noting the relationship between antecedents, behavior, and consequences 0% 9.6% 9.6% 26.1% 53.9% Using time-out from positive reinforcement procedure (i.e., removing a child from a desirable activity or environment following their inappropriate or undesirable behavior) 0% 11.3% 17.4% 26.1% 44.3% Implementing a token economy (i.e., rewarding a childs positive, appropriate behavior with tokens such as toy money which can later be exchanged for desired items, activities, or privileges) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behavior 0% 11.3% 17.4% 26.1% 44.3% 100

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Table 12. Percent of School Psychologists Indicati ng Each Intensity Level of Training for Specific Training Items (Continued) Factor Percent of School Psychologists Indicating Training Intensity Level Training Factor 1: General Behavior Change Principles Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback Implementing evidence-based interventions for children with chronic behavior problems 6.1% 9.6% 9.6% 33% 40.9% Training Factor 3: Supporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication Facilitating meetings to create more cooperation between the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and educators 9.6% 13% 20% 24.3% 32.2% Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and teachers 13.9% 18.3% 15.7% 24.3% 27% Consulting with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems about ways they can support their childs learning and behavior at school 6.1% 19.1% 10.4% 26.4% 37.4% Providing training for teachers regarding ways to involve the parents of children with chronic behavior problems in their childrens school work 27% 25.2% 13.9% 17.4% 15.7% 101

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Table 12. Percent of School Psychologi sts Indicating Each Intensit y Level of Training for Specific Training Items (Continued) Factor Percent of School Psychologists Indicating Training Intensity Level Training Factor 3: Supporting HomeSchool Collaboration and Communication Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback Helping teachers and administrators provide information to the parents of children with chronic behavior problems on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations 15.7% 14.8% 14.8% 29.6% 24.3% Training Factor 2: Formal Parent Training Coordinating a parent support group for the parents of children with chronic behavior problems 59.1% 12.2% 11.3% 10.4% 6.1% Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist children with chronic behavior problems in the classroom 74.8% 9.6% 10.4% 2.6% 1.7% Implementing a formal parenttraining program that includes regular, scheduled meetings and a planned parent training curriculum 45.2% 14.8% 10.4% 16.5% 12.2% Developing or coordinating a family resource center that serves parents of children with chronic behavior problems 66.1% 14.8% 10.4% 4.3% 3.5% Helping schools create participatory roles for parents of children with chronic behavior problems on school advisory committees 65.2% 13% 10.4% 7.0% 3.5% 102

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Current practices. Thirty Current Practice item s were designed to examine the rate at which school psychologists engage in pa rent training or education with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Sp ecifically, school psychologists were asked to indicate approximately how often they typically engaged in each parent training/education activity with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. For the purposes of this research, each level of engagement was assigned a numerical value. For example, engaging in an activity o nce a day or more was valued at 5 points. Engaging in the activities once a week was valued at 4 points, once a month was valued at 3 points, once a semester was valu ed at 2 points, and once a year or less was valued at 1 point. A mean rate of engagement of 5 would i ndicate that school psychologists engage in all parent training /education activities once per day or more. A mean score of 1 would indicate that scho ol psychologists engage in all parent training/education activities on ce a year or less. School ps ychologists revealed a mean overall rate of engagement in parent tr aining/education activities of 2.26, which indicated that, on average, school psychologi sts engage in parent training/education practices approximately once per semester. Only 1.8% of school psychologists reported an average engagement level of once a year or less. However, approximately 85% of school psychologists reported an overall enga gement level of less than once a month. Approximately eleven percen t of school psychologists re ported engaging in parent training/education activities once a month on av erage. Only .9% of school psychologists averaged weekly engagement, and none re ported averaging daily engagement. The activity in which school psychol ogists were most frequently engaged was consulting with families about specific ways that they can s upport their childs learning or behavior at 103

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school. This activity occurred on aver age once per month, with 43.5% of school psychologists reporting engaging in this activit y once per week on average and 11.4% reporting averaging daily engagement. The act ivities that school psychologists engaged in least frequently included coordinating a parent support group for parents of children with chronic behavior problems, coordina ting childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions, arranging transportation to school in order for parent s to attend parent training sessions, and implementing a formal parent training program These activities occurred on average once a year or less. On average, school psychologists reported teaching parents behavior management skills between once a month and once a semester ( M = 2.52). Approximately 34% of school psychologists reported teaching parents behavior management skills less than once per semester on average while 7% of school psychologists reported teaching these skills to parents at least once per week. School psychologists reported teaching parents to reward positive behavior more frequently (i.e., once per month on average) than any other activity within factor one. The least enga ged in activity within factor one was role playing with parents their pl anned response to their child s behavior. This activity was engaged in by school psychologists on aver age slightly more than once a year. The mean level of engagement in th is type of activities was 2.82, which represented a rate of engage ment of between once a month and once a semester. Fiftyfour percent of school psychol ogists reported an average enga gement of less than once a month while less than 4% of school psychologists reported an average engagement rate of once a week or more. School psychologi sts most often engaged in communicating 104

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with parents regarding the expect ed outcomes of interventions ( M =3.07) and helping parents understand the factors th at contribute to the emerge nce and maintenance of their childs problem behavior (M =3.01). See Table 13 for a summary of factor means, standard deviations for each Current Practice F actor as well as mean engagement scores by item. Table 13. Mean Engagement Scores for Each Current Practice Item by Factor Mean Engagement Score Standard Deviation Current Practices Factor 1: Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practices 2.52 .933 Teaching parents how to use time-out appropriately 2.29 Teaching parents positive attending sk ills to appropriate independent play 2.02 Teaching parents positive attending skills to their childs compliance with parental requests 2.27 Teaching parents how to manage th eir childs behavior in public places 1.92 Teaching parents effective meth ods for communicating commands 2.55 Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system) 2.49 Teaching parents how to avoid addi ng to their childs escalating problem behavior such as tantrums 2.57 105

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Table 13. Mean Engagement Scores for Each Cu rrent Practice Item by Factor (Continued ) Mean Engagement Score Standard Deviation Current Practices Factor 1: Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practices 2.52 .933 Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems 2.70 Teaching parents to reward positive behavior 3.01 Counseling parents regarding their emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems 2.28 Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child 2.72 Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child 2.95 Teaching parents about chroni c behavior problems core symptomology and epidemiology 2.00 Helping parents understand what factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs problem behavior 3.01 Role playing with parents their planned response to their childs behavior 1.47 Teaching families about child devel opment, discipline, or parenting 2.60 106

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Table 13. Mean Engagement Scores for Each Current Practice Item by Factor (Continued ) Mean Engagement Score Standard Deviation Current Practices Factor 2: Su pporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication 2.82 .870 Helping schools provide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations 2.84 Helping schools create participatory roles for parents on behavior intervention/problem solving teams 2.30 Consulting with families about specific ways that they can support their childs learning and behavior at school 3.45 Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers 2.90 Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of interventions for their children 3.07 Helping schools or teachers develop frequent, varied, and understandable methods for communicating with families 2.39 Contacting parents who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contacts 2.57 Explaining to parents the connection between chronic behavior problems and academic underachievement 2.76 107

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Table 13. Mean Engagement Scores for Each Cu rrent Practice Item by Factor (Continued ) Mean Engagement Score Standard Deviation Current Practices Factor 3: Implem enting Formal Parent Training and Support Groups 1.10 .269 Implementing a formal parent training program 1.10 Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist teachers, administrators, and children in classroom 1.08 Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions 1.11 Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions 1.06 Developing or coordinating a family resource center 1.14 Coordinating a parent support group for parents of children with chronic behavior problems 1.13 On average, activities within factor th ree occurred less than once per semester ( M = 1.10). All activities within f actor 3 were reported to occu r slightly more often than once per year on average. No school psychol ogist reported implementing formal parent training and support programs more often th an once a semester. Specific rates of engagement for each parent training/educat ion activity are provided in Table 14. The information provided in Table 14 is useful in that it allows readers to review whether specific activities were engaged in frequen tly by some school psychologists (e.g., daily or weekly) and very infrequently by others (e.g., once a year or less). This type of 108

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information may be missed if one reviews onl y the mean level of engagement in each current practice activity. Table 14. Rates of Engagement for Each Pa rent Training/Education Activity Current Practice Item Once per day or more Once per week Once per month Once per semester Once per year or less Teaching parents how to use timeout appropriately 11.4% 43.9% 28.1% 12.3% 4.4% Teaching parents positive attending skills to appropriate independent play 7.0% 21.1% 25.4% 18.4% 28.1% Teaching parents positive attending skills to their childs compliance with parental requests 10.5% 8.8% 25.4% 20.2% 35.1% Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public places 7.0% 19.3% 29.8% 12.3% 31.6% Teaching parents effective methods for communicating commands 12.3% 21.9% 24.6% 20.2% 21.1% Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system) 92.1% 4.4% 0.9% 1.8% 0.9% Teaching parents how to avoid adding to their childs escalating problem behavior such as tantrums 12.3% 22.8% 26.3% 22.8% 15.8% 109

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Table 14. Rates of Engagement for Each Parent Training/Education Activity (Continued) Current Practice Item Once per day or more Once per week Once per month Once per semester Once per year or less Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems 5.3% 16.7% 24.6% 14.0% 39.5% Teaching parents to reward positive behavior 0.9% 0% 0.9% 3.5% 94.7% Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public places 0% 1.8% 0.9% 6.1% 91.2% Counseling parents regarding their emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems 5.3% 8.8% 19.3% 14.0% 52.6% Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child 7.0% 18.4% 38.6% 15.8% 20.2% Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child 4.4% 14.9% 24.6% 16.7% 39.5% Teaching parents about chronic behavior problems core symptomology and epidemiology 7.0% 29.8% 36.8% 16.7% 9.6% Helping parents understand what factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs problem behavior 6.1% 30.7% 34.2% 16.7% 12.3% 110

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Table 14. Rates of Engagement for Each Parent Training/Education Activity (Continued) Current Practice Item Once per day or more Once per week Once per month Once per semester Once per year or less Teaching families about child development, discipline, or parenting 7.0% 29.8% 27.2% 23.7% 12.3% Helping schools provide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations 5.3% 23.7% 28.9% 22.8% 19.3% Helping schools create participatory roles for parents on behavior intervention/problem solving teams 2.6% 11.4% 19.3% 19.3% 47.4% Consulting with families about specific ways that they can support their childs learning and behavior at school 6.1% 11.4% 23.7% 21.1% 37.7% Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers 7.9% 28.1% 33.3% 19.3% 11.4% Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of interventions for their children 4.4% 18.4% 30.7% 21.1% 25.4% Contacting parents who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contacts 3.5% 23.7% 33.3% 19.3% 20.2% Helping schools provide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations 4.4% 18.4% 32.5% 20.2% 24.6% 111

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Table 14. Rates of Engagement for Each Parent Training/Education Activity (Continued) Current Practice Item Once per day or more Once per week Once per month Once per semester Once per year or less Explaining to parents the connection between chronic behavior problems and academic underachievement 4.4% 13.2% 33.3% 25.4% 23.7% Implementing a formal parent training program 4.4% 10.5% 26.3% 28.1% 30.7% Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist teachers, administrators, and children in classroom 0.9% 8.8% 22.8% 16.7% 50.9% Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions 0.0% 4.4% 13.2% 7.9% 74.6% Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions 0.0% 0.0% 1.8% 7.9% 90.7% Developing or coordinating a family resource center 0.0% 0.9% 0,0% 3.5% 95.6% Coordinating a parent support group for parents of children with chronic behavior problems 0.0% 0.0% 1.8% 7.0% 91.7% Inferential Statistics Demographic variables and current practices. The second research question asked, What are the relationships betw een demographic variables and school 112

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psychologists rate of engagement in parent training/education activit ies with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? This research question was examined by util izing an Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) to determine differences in mean engagement between participants belonging to specific demographic groups determined by sex, degree level, years of experience, recency of training, number of students served, employ ment setting, and number of schools served. Results of these analyses revealed that none of the demographic differences between groups significantly affected th e rate of overall enga gement in parent training/education. For example, whether a school psychologist was male or female was not related to overall rate of engagement in pa rent training/education activities ( F =.354, p=.553). Differences in rate of engagement in parent training/education activities between school psychologists with varying number of years experience were not found ( F =.118, p=.950). There also was no significant differenc e found between school psychologists with different degree levels ( F =.705, p=.551). In addition, no signi ficant differences were found in rate of engagement between school psychologists who served different numbers of schools ( F =.791, p=.501) or caseloads ( F =1.457, p=.210). Finally, no significant differences were found between school ps ychologists who served only elementary schools, those who served only secondary school, those who served both elementary and secondary schools, or those who work in a set ting other than a tradit ional elementary or secondary school ( F =.798, p = .498). Table 15 contains specific demographic group sample sizes, means, and standard devi ations. Complete ANOVA tables for each demographic variable are found in Appendix H. 113

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Table 15. Demographic Group Means, Standard Deviations, and Sample Sizes Group Description N Mean Engagement Rate SD Male 33 2.32 .814 Female 82 2.24 .659 Less than 5 years experience 31 2.23 .711 5-15 years of experience 34 2.35 .699 16-25 years of experience 30 2.17 .647 26 or more years of experience 19 2.31 .820 Masters Degree (MA/MS) 26 2.13 .623 Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) 47 2.24 .699 Doctorate Degree (Ph.D./PsyD./Ed.D). 37 2.34 .756 Other Degree 4 2.55 .876 1 school 39 2.39 .796 2 schools 24 2.19 .704 3 schools 19 2.27 .524 4 or more schools 32 2.15 .685 Caseload= 1-20 students 8 2.77 1.00 Caseload= 21-40 students 10 2.34 .744 Caseload= 41-60 students 22 2.19 .817 Caseload= 61-80 students 13 2.01 .540 Caseload= 81-100 students 9 2.04 .388 Caseload= 100 or more students 52 2.30 .654 Elementary setting only 38 2.15 .641 Secondary setting only 17 2.25 .609 Both Elementary and Secondary settings 50 2.31 .672 Other Setting 9 .252 1.20 114

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Table 15. Demographic Group Means, Standard Deviations, and Sample Sizes (Continued) Group Description N Mean Engagement Rate SD Received Degree less than 5 years ago 31 2.23 .711 Received Degree 5-15 years ago 34 2.35 .699 Received Degree 16-25 years ago 30 2.17 .647 Received Degree 26 or more years ago 19 2.31 .820 In addition to determining the rela tionship between individual demographic variables and overall engagement in parent training/education activ ities, ANOVAs were computed for each demographic variable and eac h of the three factors within the current practices variable. This analysis was completed in order to determine if school psychologists with different demographic ba ckgrounds engaged in different rates of specific types of parent training/education pr actices. No signifi cant mean differences were found between any of the demographic variables and any of the three current practices factors (i.e., teaching parents beha vior management practices and supporting home-school collaboration and communication). Full ANOVA ta bles containing data on the differences between demographic groups (e.g., male versus female) in engagement rates within each current practice fa ctor are provided in Appendix H. Intensity of training and current practices. The third research question, What is the relationship between intensity of training and the rate of engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? was analyzed by examining Pear son product moment correlations. Specifically, mean intensity of training scores were correlated with mean current practices rates in order to 115

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determine the relationship between intensity of training and engagement in parent training/education activities as a whole. This analysis resulted in a correlation coefficient of r =.384 ( p<.000). This correlation coeffici ent indicates a moderate, positive relationship between training intensity and rate of engagement in parent training/education activiti es. In addition to this analys is, intensity of training scores within each training factor (i.e., general behavi or change practices, fo rmal parent training, and supporting home-school collaboration an d communication) were correlated with mean rate of engagement within each pare nt training/education factor (i.e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-school collaboration and communication, and implementing formal parent training and support groups) in order to determine the relationship between intensity of training within a specific category and engagement with specific types of parent-centered activities. These analyses revealed no statistically significant correlations between the intensity of training within training factor 1 (i.e., general behavior change practices) an d the extent of engagement in teaching parents behavior management practices ( r =.064), supporting home-school collaboration and communication ( r =.125), or implementing formal pa rent training and support groups ( r =-.110). The intensity of school psychologists tr aining in implementing formal parent training and support programs was significantly correlated with engagement in teaching parents behavior management practices ( r =.350), supporting home-school collaboration and communication ( r =.280), implementing formal parent training and support programs ( r =.358), and promoting effective communi cation between home and school ( r =.287) at a .004 level. Finally, the intensity of school psychologists traini ng in supporting home116

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school collaboration and communica tion (i.e., training factor 3) was significantly related to their rate of engagement in te aching parents behavior management ( r =.349) and supporting home-school collabor ation and communication ( r =.413). School psychologists intensity of training in pract ices which support home-school collaboration and communication was not signific antly related to their rate of implementation of parent training and support groups ( r =.183). See Table 16 for a comp lete correlation matrix of training factors and current practices factors. Table 16. Correlation Matrix of Training Fact ors and Current Practices Factors Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practices (Current Practice Factor 1) Supporting HomeSchool Collaboration and Communication (Current Practice Factor 2) Implementing Formal Parent Training and Support Groups (Current Practice Factor 3) Correlation Coefficient .064 .350* .371* General Behavior Change Practices (Training Factor 1) Significance .500 .000 .000 Correlation Coefficient .125 .280* .413* Formal Parent Training (Training Factor 2) Significance .184 .003 .000 Correlation Coefficient -.110 .287* .183 Supporting Home School Collaboration and Communication (Training Factor 3) Significance .246 .002 .052 *Significant at the .004 level Professional practices and current practices. Research question number four asked, What is the relationship between school psychologists profe ssional practices and their rate of engagement in parent training/ education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? 117

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This research question was addressed by correlating the percent of time school psychologists reported engaging in a variety of professional pr actices with their reported rate of engagement in parent training/educa tion with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. The perc ent of time engaging in asse ssment, consultation, case management, direct intervention, and professi onal development for ea ch participant was entered into the regression model. Th is model resulted in an adjusted R2 value of .028, ( F (1.657), p=.151), which indicates that school psychologists professional practices explains only 2.8% of the vari ance in overall engagement in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior prob lems. Table 17 contains the Multiple Regression Summary Matrix for professional practice and overall engagement. Table 17. Multiple Regression Summary Matrix for Professional Practice and Overall Engagement. ________________________________________________________________________ Variable b x t p ______________________________________________________________________________________ % Assessment -.006 -.178 .005 -1.084 .281 % Direct Intervention .004 .095 .006 .707 .481 % Consultation -.008 -.150 .006 -1.203 .232 % Case Management -.005 -.108 .006 -.858 .393 % Professional Dev. .013 .078 .016 .793 .429 ________________________________________________________________________ In addition to determining the amount of variance in ove rall engagement explained by professional practice variables, the amount of variance explained within each engagement factor by school psychologists professional practices was calculated. This analysis revealed that role profile acc ounted for only 3.8% of th e variance in current 118

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practices factor 1 ( F (1.892), p=.102) 0.1% of the variance in engagement factor 2 ( F (.970), p =.439), and 3.8% of the varian ce in engagement factor 3 ( F (1.905), p =.099). These correlations indicate virtually no re lationship between school psychologists overall professional practices and their e ngagement in teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-sc hool collaboration and communication, or implementing parent training and parent support groups. Table 18 contains the R2 Matrix for professional practice and each engagement factor. Table 18. Multiple Regression Matrix for Professional Practice and Each Engagement Factor. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Factor 1: Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practice ______________________________________________________________________________________ Variable b x t p ______________________________________________________________________________________ % Assessment -.007 -.170 .007 -1.036 303 % Direct Intervention .006 .098 .008 .733 .465 % Consultation -.013 -.198 .008 -1.592 .114 % Case Management -.008 -.118 .008 -.940 .349 % Professional Dev. .015 .071 .021 .726 .470 ______________________________________________________________________________________ Factor 2: Supporting Home-School Collaboration and Communication ______________________________________________________________________________________ Variable b x t p ______________________________________________________________________________________ % Assessment -.009 .007 -.234 -1.400 .164 % Direct Intervention -.002 .008 -.037 -.271 .787 % Consultation -.003 .008 -.047 -.374 .709 % Case Management -.006 .008 -.099 -.778 .438 % Professional Dev. .013 .020 .066 .659 .511 ______________________________________________________________________________________ 119

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Table 18. Multiple RegressionMatrix for Professional Practice and Each Engagement Factor (Continued) ________________________________________________________________________ Factor 3: Implementing Formal Parent Training and Support Groups ______________________________________________________________________________________ Variable b x t p ______________________________________________________________________________________ % Assessment .000 .012 .034 .206 .837 % Direct Intervention .005 .002 .289 2.157 .033 % Consultation .000 .002 -.012 -.097 .923 % Case Management .000 .002 -.014 -.113 .910 % Professional Dev. .001 .006 .021 .210 .834 ______________________________________________________________________________________ Perception of barriers and current practices. The fifth research question, What is the relationship between the perception of barriers and school psychologists rate of engagement in parent training/education ac tivities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems? was analyzed by correlating school psychologists mean barriers scores with their mean rate of engagement in parent training/education activities. This analysis revealed a Pearson correlati on of .367 which indicates a moderate positive relationship between the percepti on of barriers and overall rate of engagement in parent training/education activities. Lower perception of barriers scor es indicate more perceived barriers overall or within a pa rticular barrier factor. As school psychologists perceived less barriers to their engagement in parent training/education activities, their overall engagement in parent training/ education activities increased. In addition to examining the relationship between mean perception of barriers scores and overall engagement in parent tr aining/education activitie s, the relationships between mean perception of barriers within each barrier factor and mean rate of 120

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engagement within each current practices f actor were examined. These analyses were performed in order to determine the relations hip between the percep tion of specific types of barriers and school psychologists engageme nt in specific pare nt training/education activities. The results of these analyses re vealed that school psyc hologists perception of barriers in the area of parent involvement and participation (factor 1) is not significantly related to school psychologists engagement in teaching parents behavior management practices (r = .033, p= .729), to supporting home-school co llaboration and communication ( r = .019, p= .840) or to implementing parent training or support groups ( r =.118, p= .210). School psychologists perception of barriers in the area of sch ool and district support and resources (factor 2) was significantly related to their engagement in teaching parents behavior management practices ( r =.347, p= .000), to supporting home-school collaboration and communication ( r =.273, p= .004), and to implemen ting parent training and support groups ( r = .312, p= .001). School psychologists attitude toward parent involvement and parent training (factor 3) was also found to be significantly related to their engagement in all three current practices areas. The strongest correlation was found between school psychologists at titude toward parent involveme nt and parent training and their engagement in teaching parent s behavior management practices ( r = .490, p= .000). Moderate, positive correlations were also indicated between school psychologists attitude toward parents and parent training and their en gagement in supporting homeschool collaboration and communication ( r = .389, p= .000) and their engagement in implementing parent trai ning and support groups ( r = .273, p= .003). School psychologists perception of barriers in th e area of school personne ls attitude toward parents (factor 4) was signifi cantly related only to their engagement in supporting home121

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school collaboration and communication ( r =.293, p= .003). Thus, school psychologists were less likely to facilitate collaboration between home and school when they perceived that school personnel regarded parent communi cation and collaboration as unimportant. School psychologists direct work with pare nts was not significantly impacted by their perception of school personnels attitude toward parents ( r = .180, p= .056; r = .047, p = .618). See Table 19 to review the complete correlation matrix between Perception of Barriers factors and Curr ent Practice factors. Table 19. Correlation Matrix for Perception of Ba rriers and Current Practice Factors Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practices (Current Practice Factor 1) Supporting HomeSchool Collaboration and Communication (Current Practice Factor 2) Implementing Formal Parent Training and Support Groups (Current Practice Factor 3) Correlation Coefficient .033 -.019 .118 Parent Involvement and Participation (Barriers Factor 1) Significance .729 .840 .210 Correlation Coefficient .347* .273* .312* School and District Resources (Barriers Factor 2) Significance .000 .004 .001 Correlation Coefficient .490* .389* .273* School Psychologists Attitude Regarding Parent Involvement and Training (Barriers Factor 3) Significance .000 .000 .003 Correlation Coefficient .180 .293* .047 School Personnels Attitude Regarding Parents (Barriers Factor 4) Significance .056 .002 .618 122

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Table 19. Correlation Matrix for Perception of Barriers and Current Practice Factors (Continued) Teaching Parents Behavior Management Practices (Current Practice Factor 1) Supporting HomeSchool Collaboration and Communication (Current Practice Factor 2) Implementing Formal Parent Training and Support Groups (Current Practice Factor 3) Correlation Coefficient .160 .205 .193 Role Focused on Assessment (Barriers Factor 5) Significance .089 .029 .040 *Statistically Significant at the .004 level Contribution of predictor variables. The final research question was Which variable or combination of variables accounts for the most variance in the rate of engagement of school psychologists in parent training/education activit ies with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? This research question was addressed using a Stepwise regression analysis. All variables were initially included in the regression analysis. Variables with probability scores eq ual to or less than .100 were statistically excluded from the analysis. This resulted in the exclusion of all variables except mean intensity of training and mean perception of ba rriers. This analysis indicated that the overall intensity of training variable accounted for the mo st variance in extent of engagement. Specifically, Intensity of Training had an adjusted R2 value of .141, indicating that a part icipants intensity of training accounted for 14.1% of the total variance in engagement. School psychologists total perception of barriers accounted for an additional 8.6% of the vari ance in engagement. Together, intensity of training and perception of barriers accounted for 22% of the total variance in rate of engagement in parent training/education activ ities with parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems ( R2= .220, F (12.288), p=.001). See Table 20 for in-depth results of the regression analysis. See Appendix I for details regarding excluded variables. 123

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Table 20. Regression of Mean Perception of Barr iers and Mean Intensity of Training ______________________________________________________________________________________ Regressor b x t p ______________________________________________________________________________________ Intensity of Training .334 .323 .089 3.763 .000 Perception of Barriers .768 .300 .220 3.497 .001 ______________________________________________________________________________________ Facilitators of parent tr aining/education engagement. An attempt was made to recruit all school psycho logists who engaged in parent tr aining/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems at a rate of at least once per week to participate in a phone interview with the researcher. Five sc hool psychologist s returned a postcard indicating that they engaged in pare nt training/education at least weekly and would be willing to participat e in a telephone interview. The first question posed to the five participants was How often are you currently engaging in parent training/e ducation with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. All five school psychologists reported engaging in parent training/education activities at least weekly with parents of ch ildren with chronic behavior problems. Three of the five school psychologists reported da ily engagement in pare nt training/education activities. Table 21 summa rizes the participants res ponses to this question. 124

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Table 21. Summary and Representative Quot e for Interview Question 1 Participant Number Type, frequency and location of Parent Training/Education Representative Quote School Psychologist 1 (Female) Formal Weekly before school At assigned elementary schools I call it Coffee with Connie It is really informal but the parents really seem to like it. I post a topic that we are going to be talking about on my office door and in the main office. Some parents come almost weekly and others come just when they are interested in the topic School Psychologist 2 (Female) Formal Once per week At district office building I was actually asked to do parent training classes by the head of community involvement in my district about 3 years agoWe advertise at all of the elementary schools in the district. I usually have parents sign up for an 8 week program. Some parents come back a couple of times a year. School Psychologist 3 (Male) Informal Daily individual meetings with parents At Center serving children with Emotional Handicaps I am constantly conferencing with them, making home visits, having meetings. Parents are so important and we leave them out way too much. I have found that the best way to get children to behave and make better choices is to get parents on your side, help them set boundaries, help to reward their children when they do the right thing. We encourage our parents to come to school and spend time whenever they can. School Psychologist 4(Female) Informal Daily At assigned elementary schools Formal 3 times per year (10 week program) At assigned elementary schools There is a really large PreK unit at my school. PreK parents have so many questions about parenting. Sometimes I just park myself outside of the PreK rooms and field questions all morning about thing like How do I get Jessi to get dressed in the morning, Why does Jane cry every morning when I drop her off. Is she ever going to like school? I encourage the parents to come to my parenting sessions School Psychologist 5 Female Informal Daily At assigned elementary schools Formal Weekly At assigned elementary schools I meet with parents all of the time to talk about ways that they can help their child do better in school academically and behaviorally. I talk to parents on the phone often. I run a lunch bunch group where parents come in and have lunch with their child and then stay for a group. The parents suggest topics for the weekly meetings from week to weekevery other week I conduct the meeting in Spanish. I think it is the first time for a lot of the parents that they can be involved in something like that. 125

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Type, rate, and location of engagement. Common themes across participants suggest that all five school psychologists recognized the im portance of parents in their childrens development (e.g., Supporting parent s is so important, The more I work with parents, the less evaluations that are n eeded because the kids start doing better, Parents are so important and we leave them out way too much). Further, they had each devised creative and nonthreatening ways of providing training and education opportunities for parents (e.g., I call it Coffee with Connie, I run a lunch bunch group where parents come in and have lunch w ith their child and then stay for group, Sometimes I just park myself outside of the PreK rooms and field questions all morning). For example, three of the five participants described their engagement in parent training/education activit ies as informal in nature including the implementation of before and during school m eetings (i.e., Lunch Bunch, Coffee with Connie) and consistently being visible and available to pa rents (i.e., regularly st anding outside of PreKindergarten classrooms). They were responsi ve to parents needs and collaborated with parents to select topics for weekly meetings While some of the participants focused on formal parent training (i.e., school psyc hologists 1 and 2), others were using a combination of informal and formal training (i.e., school psychologists 4 and 5) with one participant using the informal parent traini ng opportunities to recrui t parents into more formal parent training programs (i .e., school psychologist 5). Barriers to engagement. The second interview question asked the participants to identify barriers that impeded their implement ation of parent traini ng/education activities and describe how they were able to overco me the potential barriers. Although all five participants reported engaging in parent tr aining/education at a rate well above the 126

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average rate, all noted specific barrier s to their implementation of parent training/education activities. Interestingly, many of the barriers cited by the 5 participants were the same ba rriers noted by a large percentage of the survey participants including a lack of time (73.9% of survey participants), the amount of time spent completing assessments (28% of survey particip ants), lack of transportation for parents to attend meetings (75.7% of survey participants ), and a lack of childcare during parent meetings (51.3% of survey participants). All five participants identified a lack of time as a barrier to their implementation. Four participants described this lack of time as resulting from the pressure to engage in assessment (Participants 1, 2, 4, and 5). One pa rticipant (3) describe d the amount of time spent responding to crises as negatively im pacting his ability to engage in parent training/education. Two participants (Participants 2 and 5) cited a lack of transportation for parents to attend parent training/education meetings as a barrier to their engagement in parent training/education. Participan t 5 identified a lack of ch ildcare during parent training meetings as a barrier to his implementati on. Table 22 summarizes the participants responses to this question. Table 22. Summary of Identified Barriers and Representative Quotes Participant Number Barriers Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 1 (Female) Barrier: Time Pressure to engage in assessment Well, time is always a difficult one. I still feel like I am pulled every which way most days. I am not really sure that I have overcome the fact that there is not enough time in the day. Sometimes people are confused about what my role is. They think that I am supposed to spend my day in a room testing kids. 127

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Table 22. Summary of Identified Ba rriers and Representative Quotes (Continued) Participant Number Barriers Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 2 (Female) Barrier: Space Lack of Training Time Meetings are difficult for parents to get to because of the distance At first finding space to meet was really hard. I was trying to hold the classes at my elementary school but I couldnt always find a space. Other things were going on at the school that took priority. Sometimes I couldnt use the school because no one was there to close up after the classes. I had to cancel the meetings at the last minute sometimes. I almost gave up but then it was suggested that I could use a room at the district o ffice. It has really worked out well. Unfortunately, now that the classes are downtown, I have parents that cant come because they cant get there. It would be easier for them if we met at the schools by their home Another thing that was hard when I first started is that I really didnt do a lot of parent training in school. I wasnt sure how it was going to go. I wasnt even sure that I wanted to do it. I just wish that I had even more time to meet with parents, especially during the school day. School Psychologist 3 (Male) Barrier: Limited parental trust Time spent responding to crisis at school Pressure to engage in assessment Getting parents to trust you. Many of our parents have had bad experiences in school themselves and definitely with their children. They dont trust us that we want to do the right thing for their children. It takes a long time sometimes to show them that you are on their team. The bad part is that I spend a lot of time dealing with crisis at my school. So, much of the parent training happens after there has been a big blowup. I wish that I had more time to work with parents before the blowups happen.It used to be before I was working at the center school that there was a lot of pressure to test the children who had behavior problems and get them out of the class. I got a lot of urgent demands to evaluate children whose teachers werent sure how to deal with them. School Psychologist 4 (Female) Barrier: Time Pressure to engage in assessment Time, time, time. No one ever has enough time. I have three schools and each one of them feels like a full time job. At one of my schools I have a lot of evaluations and it takes up a lot of my time. School Psychologist 5 Female Barrier: Time due to competing job demands Pressure to engage in assessment Difficulty getting parents to come to meetings Lack of childcare during meetings It is always hard to stick to the meeting schedule when you get pulled in so many directions. At one of my schools, the staff really sees my job as testing. They request a lot of evaluations every year especially for behavior. I think it is especially important to do parent training at that school.Its hard to get parents to come and keep coming sometimes. Sometimes they cant get there because they work or because they dont have a car. A lot of times they wont come becau se they have no one to watch their kids. 128

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Facilitators of engagement. Throughout the interviews, all discussion of barriers to parent training/education implementation was followed closely by a discussion of facilitators to engagement. Thes e facilitators served to remove or lessen the impact of the identified barriers on the partic ipants engagement in parent training/education activities. Interviewee responses indicated a high level of personal pe rseverance and commitment to the implementation of parent training/educati on activities. Two participants (1 and 5) indicated that time spent working with parents facilitated the availability of more time for parent training/education activities in that th e more time spent working with parents led to less time required for assessment. Three par ticipants (1, 4 and 5) indicated that they had received intense training in parent training /education during graduate school which included opportunities to provide parent training with feedback from a supervisor. This training was referenced as a facilitator of the participants engageme nt in parent training, as it allowed them to feel comfortable impl ementing parent training on their in practice. One participant (3) reported th at his graduate training experi ences prompted him to seek a school psychology position that would allo w him to provide parent training and education to parents of children w ith chronic behavior problems. All 5 participants identifie d their ability to garner the support of their school principal as an essential facili tator to their ability to provide parent training/education. Four participants (1, 2, 3, and 4) spoke of th eir ability to secure food and childcare for meetings as important in thei r facilitation of parent trai ning/education. Two of these participants relayed that they had secu red food for meetings through donations and childcare through volunteers. Tw o participants (2 and 4) in dicated that grant writing skills allowed them to provide food and ch ildcare during meetings. Other unique but 129

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important facilitators include d a parent-friendly school envi ronment, sufficient space to meet with parents, flexibility of schedules to allow for convenient meeting times, and ability to communicate with parents in th eir dominant language. Table 23 summarizes the participants responses regarding facili tators of their engagement in parent training/education. Table 23. Summary of Identified Facilitato rs and Representative Quotes Participant Number Facilitators Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 1 (Female) Facilitators: Overall commitment to providing parent training for parents More time spent in parent training leads to less time needed for evaluations Intense training in parent training during graduate school Support from school administrators and teachers Parent friendly school climate Ability to secure donations of food from local restaurants I am willing though to put in extra time to work with parents because it is important. Actually I have found that the more I work with parents the less time I have to run all over campus chasing a kid who has had a meltdown.Fortunately, the more I do parent training, the more support I get from the principals and teachers. They really see that it works. As far as training, I was lucky. My program required all of us to work in a clinic for a year. I worked with parents all of the time there. One of my professors was really into parent training and she helped me learn the ropes. One of the schools that I work at is very parent friendly. It was pretty easy to convince the principal that parent training would help kids. He gave me a lot of flexibility to change my schedule.He also provides coffee, cookies, muffins and things like that for my morning meetings. Many of the restaurants around town donated food and gift certificates, so we always have good food. School Psychologist 2 (Female) Facilitators: Space provided at district office for trainings Support of supervisor to purchase parent training materials Support of community involvement director Grant writing skills High school students to provide babysitting Students desire to come to meetings I almost gave up but then it was suggested that I could use a room at the district office. It has really worked out well.I found a program that really explained what to do at each weekly meeting which made me feel better. My supervisor really encouraged me to do it. She let me pick out and buy all of the materials that I needed. The community involvement director is really helpful too.I wrote a grant that helped pay fo r food.door prizes and raffles.I have high schoo lers watch the kids, which is a must. Sometimes, I think the parents come because the kids are asking to comeThey just have fun. 130

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Table 23. Summary of Identified Facilitators and Repr esentative Quotes (Continued) Participant Number Facilitators Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 3 (Male) Facilitator Support of school principal Assignment to a center school where there is more emphasis on intervention and less pressure to evaluate children who have behavior problems Teacher support Personal perseverance I started talking to the schools principal last year about it and we agreed to start setting aside some time each month to invite parents in to meet in a group. About three months ago we started our meetings At the center school where I am now, the children have essentially reach ed the end of the line. There isnt really pressure to test them because they wouldnt go anywhere anyway. So teachers are really appreciative of the work I do with them and their parents because they see the difference in the classroom. Dont take no for an answer. If you are told that there is no money for food or babysitting, find a way. School Psychologist 4 (Female) Facilitator Support of school principal Parent training part of school discipline plan Grant writing skills Intense training during graduate school in parent training I was able to convince the school principal to let me work with parents in place of suspending students for misbehaving. So now she gives parents the option of coming to one of my sessions in place of having their child suspended. Most of our parents work and cant really afford to stay home with their child during the day so they almost always agree. Once they come in and meet with other parents, they see how helpful it is and come back. I won a grant that paid for food, childcare, and prizes. It just makes it more fun and keeps parents coming. I had great training in graduate school. I had to provide parent training as part of my internship and had a supervisor that really helped me. At first, she held the parent classes and I just assisted. Then we did the classes together. Near the end, I did the classes, and she just gave me pointers. Because I had such great training, I felt really prepared to do it on my own when I started working. 131

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Table 23. Summary of Identified Facilitators and Repr esentative Quotes (Continued) Participant Number Facilitators Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 5 Female Facilitator More time spent in parent training leads to less time needed for evaluations Flexible schedule to meet at times convenient for parents Support of school principal and supervisor Personal perseverance Bilingual The more I work with parents, the less evaluations that are needed because the kids start doing better. Even though it takes a lot of time in the beginning to plan and get situated, I think it saves time in the end. At the very least, it is time better spent. So, you have to have sitters or figure out ways to have the kids at school with you. The good news is that I have been able to convince all of my principals and my supervisor that I need to be spending my time educating parents. If you are not sure what parent training should look like, get some training. Find someone who is doing it now and shadow them. It is better to learn by working with someone who is doing it than just reading about it or just trying it on your own. I am bilingual and many our parents at one of my schools speak Spanish. Every other week I hold the meeting in Spanish. I think it is the first time for a lot of parents that they can be involved in something like that. Advice. In addition to discussi ng their rate of engagement and identifying barriers and facilitators of th eir engagement, each participant was asked to offer advice to other school psychologists regarding the implementation of parent training/ed ucation activities. A few common themes emerged including the im portance of being persistent, asking for help from others, and providing food and child care during meetings for parents. All participants recommended that school psychologist ask for help from others to facilitate their implementation of parent training/educa tion activities. Specifically, one participant spoke of asking for help from local restaurants to provide food during meetings and encouraging parents to recruit ot her parents for parent training meetings (Participant 1). Other participants (2, 3, and 5) discussed th e importance of seeking help from district personnel to garner general support for parent training/education implementation (Participant 2), to obtain assi stance with writing grants (Participant 3), and to receive training in the implementation of parent tr aining/education programs (Participant 5). 132

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Perhaps what was most evident in the part icipants responses wa s their commitment to providing support for parents. Although they had all faced barriers to their implementation of parent trai ning/education activities, all stressed the importance of working with parents and encouraged other scho ol psychologists to be persistent in their implementation efforts. Table 24 provides a summary of the advice offered by each participant and represen tative quotes for review. Table 24. Summary of Advice Offered by Participants Participant Number Advice Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 1 (Female) Advice: Begin with informal parent training first Provide food Ask for help Be persistent Parents in the group help to recruit other parents Start small. It doesnt have to be all official to be helpful. I think that Coffee with Connie is as helpful for a lot of parents as the parenting classes. Always give them food. Feed them and they will come. Check with local re staurants. Many of the restaurants around town donated food and gift certificates, so we always have great food. Dont give up if you dont get a lot of parents at first. It took me at least a year to have a group of parents that came almost of all the time. These parents have been the best advertisers and have recruited a lot of other parents. School Psychologist 3 (Male) Advice: Be persistent Secure the support of the school principal Provide food Provide childcare Consult with a grant specialist in your district to find money Ask for help Try to find a school where the principal trusts you and will let you do what you know is right. Supporting parents is so important. It is best for them and for children and really for the school too. Dont take no for an answer. If you are told that there is no money for food or babysitting, find a way. Theres a lot of money out there if you know where to find it. If you have a grants specialist in your district they can probably help you. 133

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Table 24. Summary of Advice Offered by Participants (Continued) Participant Number Advice Summary Representative Quote School Psychologist 4 (Female) Advice: Secure the support of the schools principal Begin with willing parents Provide food Write a grant to get money for childcare, food, and prizes Work with your schools principal. If you can get them to agree and see the benefits to your work with parents, it will be much easier. Also, know who the key parents are to get involved. PreK, kindergarten and 1st grade parents are usually pretty interested in joining a parenting support group because for many of them, this is all new. Also, try to find money to give parents dinner and snacks. This is a big draw, especially if you work in a poor community. I wrote a grant that paid for food, childcare, and prizes. It just makes it more fun and keeps parents coming. School Psychologist 5 Female Advice: Provide a flexible, convenient meeting schedule for parents Provide childcare Get training if necessary Ask for help Know your community. You have to work around the familys schedule. Make sure you have babysitters for the families especially if many of your families are poor. Think about having high schoolers come over to help or maybe meet when there is still childcare available at school like an afterschool program. You want to make it as convenient as possible so that more parents will come and keep coming. If you are not sure what parent training should look like, get some training. Find someone who is doing it now and shadow them. It is better to learn by working with someone who is doing it than just reading about it or just trying it on your own. 134

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Chapter V Discussion The purposes of the current research were to determine the rate at which school psychologists engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and to dete rmine the relationships between school psychologists demographic variables, profe ssional practice, traini ng, and perception of barriers and their engagement. The independe nt variables were selected based on an extensive review of the literature, which rev ealed that these variab les were related to other types of service deliver y practices. It was hypothesi zed that the study variables (demographic variables, professional practices training, and percepti on of barriers) are related to the frequency of engagement in parent training/educati on activities by school psychologists as well as the types of parent training/education pr ovided for parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Five-hundred practicing school psychologi sts were randomly sampled from the National Association of School Psychol ogy (NASP) membership. These school psychologists were mailed a survey and a pos tcard invitation to participate in a phone interview. Of the 500 surveyed school psychologists, 115 (23%) returned a useable survey. Five school psychologists returned a postcard indicating th at they currently engaged in parent training at a rate of at least once per week and would be willing to participate in a phone intervie w with the research er. All five school psychologists were 135

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contacted by phone and provided responses to 4 discussion questions focused on their rate of engagement, barriers to their engage ment, facilitators of their engagement, and advice that they would offer other school psychologists about implementing parent training/education interventions. Descriptive, correlational, linear, and quali tative data analysis were utilized to answer the research questions. Additionall y, phone interview responses were analyzed qualitatively in order to identify partic ipant commonalities and important individual uniqueness. Parent Training/Education Activities Despite a solid foundation of research clea rly documenting the benefits of parent training and education for children with chronic behavior problems and their families (Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2000), the current st udy revealed that the average frequency of school psychologists engagement in pare nt training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems was infrequent (i.e., approximately once per semester on average). School psychologists re ported most often engaging in activities which involved supporting home-school collab oration and communication (i.e., once per month on average) while activit ies such as developing or coordinating a family resource center or implementing a formal parent training program occurred far less frequently (i.e., between once per semester and once per year). This diffe rence in the frequency of engagement is not surprising when one c onsiders the amount of time and resources required to carry out each of these activ ities. Supporting hom e-school communication and collaboration can occur during informal, impromptu interactions with parents and require far fewer tangible resources than fo rmal parent training programs which require 136

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curriculum development or purchase, extens ive planning and coordination, and liberal amounts of time for scheduled parent meetings. Further, school psychologists report receiving more intense training in home-school collaboration and communication than in implementing formal parent training and support groups. More intense training in collaborating and communication with parent s may allow school psychologists to feel more comfortable and confident in these areas than they would feel with less intense training and result in higher rates of engagement. Conve rsely, approximately 62% of school psychologists indicated the need for additional trai ning in parent training interventions. School psychologists may be less likely to engage in formal parent training activities because th ey feel ill prepared. Demographic Variables and Rate of Pa rent Training/Education Engagement A review of current research regard ing the relationships between common demographic variables and engagement in va rious service delivery practices prompted the generation of several hypotheses involvi ng the relationship between demographic variables and engagement in parent training with parent s of children with chronic behavior problems. Specifically, it was hypothesized that no significant differences would be found between particip ants of varying degree levels, years of experience, or sex. These hypotheses were supported by the cu rrent study. It wa s hypothesized that employment setting, number of schools, and number of students served would impact engagement in parent training with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Specifically, it was theorized that school ps ychologists who serve elementary schools and those with less schools and st udents on their caseload would report higher levels of engagement in parent training/education with parents of children w ith chronic behavior 137

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problems. No significant relationship was found between employment setting and overall engagement in parent training/education or engagement within specific types of parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Similarly no significant diffe rences were found between sc hool psychologists serving different numbers of schools or students. Th ese findings are discusse d in greater detail below. Employment setting. According to previous researc h, school psychologists who work primarily with elementary school students ty pically engage in fam ily-school partnership activities more frequently than psychologist s working in secondary schools (Crosnoe, 2001; Pelco & Ries, 1999). Thus, it was hypothe sized that the curr ent study would find that school psychologists who work only in elementary school settings would report a higher level of engagement in parent traini ng/education activities than psychologists who work only in secondary settings or a combin ation of elementary and secondary schools. In contrast to this hypothesis, school psychologists who reported working in only elementary schools were not found to engage in significantly different levels of parent training/education activities than school psychologists who serve secondary schools or both elementary and secondary schools. Also, school psychologists who reported working only in an elementary school were not more likely than school psychologists who work only or also in secondary schools to engage in specific types of parent training/education activities (i.e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-school collaboration and communication, implementing formal parent training and support groups). These findings are inconsistent with previous research which indicates decreasing levels of parent involvement activities with each successive 138

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grade level (Pelco & Ries, 1999). Such result s could indicate increa sed participation in parent training/education activ ities by school psychologists in secondary settings. This finding also could have occurred as a result of the overall low level of engagement by school psychologists across the board (restrict ion of range), making it more difficult to distinguish differences between groups. B ecause school psychologists as a group engage in very low levels of parent training/education, id entifying significantly different rates of engagement between varying groups of school psychologists is difficult. Number of schools and students served. It was hypothesized th at being responsible for larger caseloads or a greater number of schools would lead to less time to work with each individual child or family and thus would result in less engagement in parent training/education activities. Contrary to the researche rs hypotheses, no significant differences were found in extent of enga gement between school psychologists who served differing numbers of schools or stude nts (i.e., caseload). This result was particularly surprising to the researcher as lack of time has continually been cited as a barrier to the implementation of various ot her interventions (Christenson, 1995; Pelco, Jacobson, Ries, & Melka, 2000). Although these variables were thought to be related to available time, they were not found to be si gnificantly related to overall engagement in parent training/education activities with the pa rents of children with chronic behavior or to engagement in specific types of parent training/education activ ities. Interestingly, school psychologists perception of time was found to be more significantly related to their engagement in parent tr aining/education activities than variables that would likely be related to school psychologi sts actual time (e.g., caseload, number of schools served, and percentage of time engaging in assessmen t or case management). Specifically, as 139

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school psychologists perceive less available time, they may be less likely to teach parents behavior management practices and even mo re unlikely to implement formal parent training programs. School psychologists support of home-school collaboration and communication was not found to be significantly related to th eir perception of available time. Thus, as school psychologists perceive in sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions, they may choose parent trai ning/education activitie s which require less time, fewer resources, and less planning than is necessary for formal parent training programs or even less formal parent training in behavior management. Intensity of Training and Rate of Engagement in Parent Training/Education Research indicates that school psychologists are more likely to engage in a particular activity if they have received supervised practice with that ac tivity during training (Rosenfeild, 2002). Thus, it was hypothesized th at when a school psychologists training in parent-focused interventions and activitie s involved supervised practice, he or she would be more likely to repl icate the same interventions in practice than would a school psychologist whose training in this area consis ted of less intensive training methods such as coursework or independent reading. This hypothesis was supported by the current research. When mean intensity of training sc ores were correlated with mean rates of engagement, the analysis resulted in a moderate, positive correlation. School psychologists with more intensive training were more likely to engage in parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chroni c behavior problems than were their counterparts who received less intensive training. Study participants reported receiving the mo st intense training in general behavior change practices, less intense training in supporting home-school collaboration and 140

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communication, and the least intense trai ning in implementing formal parent training/education programs. Intensity of training scores within each training factor (i.e., general behavior change practices, formal parent training, and supporting home-school collaboration and communication) were correlate d with rate of engagement within each current practice factor (i.e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supporting home-school collaboration and communication, and implementing formal parent training and support groups) in order to determine th e relationship between type and focus of training and engagement in the specific types of parent training/e ducation activities. These analyses revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between school psychologists training in formal parent traini ng/education and their engagement in parent training/education activities acr oss all current practice factor s. School psychologists training in general behavior ch ange principles were not significantly related to their work with parents of children with chronic behavi or problems including the rate at which they teach parents behavior management pr actices. Interestingly, although school psychologists reported receiving the most inte nsive training in behavior management principles, this area was the least clos ely related to engagement in parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. These study results may indicate that knowledge of behavior management practices alone may not guarantee that this knowledge will be passed on to parents. In contrast, providing school psychologists more in tensive training in formal parent training/education may lead to a higher ra te of both formal and informal parent interventions for parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Thus, training programs may wish to consider providing inte nse training (i.e., supe rvised practice) for 141

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school psychology trainees in the coordination and implementation of formal parent training programs in order to increase the li kelihood that these type s of programs as well as other less formal parent tr aining/education activities will be implemented in practice. Professional Practices and Rate of Parent Training/Education Engagement Assessment. Data collection regarding the amou nt of time school psychologists spend engaging in assessment, consultation, direct services, case management, and professional development revealed that school psychologists c ontinue to spend a significant amount of time engagi ng in assessment activities. Sixty-five percent of school psychologists report spending at least a quarter of their time engaging in assessment, and 25% of school psychologists reported spendi ng a least half of their time engaging in assessment. Although only 18% of school psychologists indicated th at their preferred professional role is psycho-educationa l testing, approximately 50% of school psychologists indicated that th eir professional role continues to be focused on psychoeducational testing. According to approxi mately 28% of school psychologists, the demands placed on school psychologists to a ssess students to determine special education interferes with their ability to provide parent training interventions. These demands are likely placed on school psychol ogists by school administrators and teachers who continue to view school psychologists primarily as ev aluation specialists. Nearly 40% of school psychologists reported that school personnel do not understand their role or the full range of interventions that they can deliver. Further, only 11% of school psychologists agreed or strongly agreed that thei r school administrator supported their engagement in parent training interventions while approximately 38% of school psychologists indicated that their school administrator did not support their engagement in such activities. This lack 142

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of support and understanding of the full range of interventions that school psychologists can provide may make it difficult for school psychologists to venture away from the assessment role, particularly for school ps ychologists whose own training was focused heavily on psycho-educational testing (Ysse ldyke, Burns, Dawson, Kelley, Morrison, Ortiz, Rosenfield, & Telzrow, 2006). Consultation. Although school psychologists often do not receive sufficient training in consultation (Ant on-LaHart et al., 2004) to meet the demands of their expanding roles, the vast majority of pa rticipating school psychologists (i.e., 99.1%) reported engaging in consultation. On averag e, school psychologists reported spending 20.3% of their time consulting. The definition of consultation for the purposes of this research included consulting with teac her and parents. Providing parent training/education was included in the definition of consu ltation. Given that parent training/education were used to define cons ultation, it was hypothesi zed that the larger the proportion of time a school psychologist re ported engaging in consultation, the more likely he or she would be to engage in pa rent training/educati on activities. This hypothesis was not supported by th e current research in that a statistically significant correlation between percent of time devoted to consultation and enga gement in parent training/education was not found. Since the ma jority of school psyc hologists reported engagement in consultation but were not fre quently engaging in pare nt training/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems, it is hypothesized that school psychologists may be choosing to consult primaril y with other educators and not with parents. When these data are c onsidered along with information that school psychologists do not receive in tensive training in collabora ting or communicating with 143

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parents or formal parent training/education, one could conclude that training in general consultation alone may not be adequate to a ffect the likelihood that school psychologists will engage in parent training/education ac tivities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. T hus, it may be important for training programs to prepare school psychology students for consultation specifically with parents, as this may result in more frequent engagement in such practices. Overall, the combination of the percen t of time spent by school psychologist in specific professional practices (i.e., assessmen t, direct interventions, consultation, and professional development) was not significantly related to thei r extent of engagement in parent training/education activ ities and explained less than 3% of the total variance in engagement. Percent of time spent engagi ng in specific professi onal practices also explained very little of the variance in the current practices factors (i.e., teaching parents behavior management practices, supp orting home-school collaboration and communication, and implementing formal parent training and support groups). Although school psychologists consisten tly report that time spent engaging in assessment negatively impacts their ability to provide other types of services including direct intervention support for students and consultatio n with parents and teachers, percent of time spent engaging in assessment activities wa s not found to be signi ficantly related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education. Perception of Barriers to Parent Training/Education Engagement 144

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In addition to gathering information about role profile, beliefs, and training, school psychologists were asked to provide information regarding the presence of barriers of parent training/e ducation engagement. Five ge neral barrier categories were assessed including: level of pa rent involvement and partic ipation, school and district resources, school psychologist s attitude regarding pare nt involvement and training, school personnels attitude regarding parent involvement and pare nt training, and the extent to which the school psychologists ro le is focused on assessment. Of the five general barriers categories, only 3 were found to be significantly correlated with school psychologists rate of engagement in pare nt training/education activities. Although school psychologists attitude regarding pare nt involvement and parent training, school and district support and resources, and school personnels attitude regarding parents were all significantly correlated with engagement in parent traini ng, current levels of parent involvement and participation and the fo cusing of school psychologists role on assessment were not significantly related to engagement. Each of these findings is discussed in further detail below. Beliefs and parent training/education engagement. Consistent with previous research (Pelco et al., 2000), this study found that school ps ychologists general attitudes regarding the importance of supporting parent involvement through parent training and education activities were very positive in nature. In fact, it is notable that 98.2% of school psychologists reported that they agr eed or strongly agreed that parental involvement in intervention can help increase success in school for students with chronic behavior problems. The vast majority of school psychologists (i.e., 96.5%) also agreed or strongly agreed that teaching parents of children with be havior problems about child 145

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development, discipline, or parenting would result in improved child behavior both at home and at school. School psychologists were less positive regarding whether or not parents of children with chronic behavior problems would take advantage of parent training/education opportunities. For instance, only 36.5% of school psychologists agreed or strongly agreed that parents of children with behavior problems want to be more involved in their childrens educa tion, and only 39% of school psychologists reported a belief that parents would take advantage of additional parent training opportunities. Interestingly, whether or not a school psychologist believed that parents would take advantage of pare nt training opportunities was not significantly related to school his or her implementation of such interv entions. This finding suggests that school psychologists may be willing to engage in pare nt training/education activities even when parent recruitment and attrition are problematic. Although ample research exists pertaini ng to school psychologists beliefs regarding the importance of parent involveme nt for student educational and behavioral success (Pelco et al., 2000), litt le research investigates the extent to which these beliefs are predictive of actual practi ce. Despite this limited res earch base, it was hypothesized that the current study would find a signifi cant, positive correlation between school psychologists attitude toward parent involvement and th eir engagement in parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chroni c behavior problems. This hypothesis was supported by the current research. Specifically, data analysis revealed a moderate, positive, stat istically significant correlation ( r =.49) between general attitude and extent of engagement in parent training/education activit ies. Thus, the more positive a school psychologists general attit ude was regarding parent-focused activities, 146

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the more likely he or she was to engage in parent training/educati on activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior pr oblems. This finding was not surprising to the researcher as it seems logical that school psychologists would be more likely to engage in activities that they deemed as im portant and effective th an in activities that were thought to be of minimal importance or effectiveness. These results also showed, however, that believing that pa rent training is important and effective does not directly translate into high levels of engagement in parent training/educati on activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Although the majority of school psychologists reported a very positive general attitude regarding parent training/education, few frequently engaged in such activities, indi cating that variables other than beliefs negatively impact rates of engagement. One such variable may be school psychologists beliefs regarding the adeq uacy of their traini ng in parent training interventions and their need for additional pr ofessional development in this area. Many school psychologists report insuffi cient training as a barrier to their implementation of mental health services. As a result of thei r insufficient training, school psychologists lack content knowledge, applied skill, and confidence in the delivery of me ntal health services (Suldo et al., 2010). It was hypothesized that school psychologists who report insufficient training in parent training interventions would al so report a lack of content knowledge, applied skill, and confidence in the implementation of parent training interventions and will be less likely to engage in such activities than school psychologists who report being sufficiently trained. Thes e hypotheses were validated by the current study. A moderate, statistically significant re lationship was found between perception of sufficiency of training and engagement in parent tr aining interventions (i.e., r = .383), 147

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indicating that schoo l psychologists who perceive their training in parent training/education to be strong are more likely to engage in parent training/education activities. Further analysis revealed that school psychologists perceptions regarding the sufficiency of their training in parent-focused interventions was significantly related to the intensity of their training in formal parent training but was not si gnificantly related to the intensity of their training in general be havior change principa ls or supporting homeschool collaboration and communication. School and district support and resources. Barriers involving the use of the school for the delivery of ment al health services were me ntioned frequently by school psychologists in previous research (Ashby, 2006; Bridgemohen et al., 2005; Suldo et al., 2010). These barriers included lack of access to sufficient space within the school to provide parent training, lack of district and school administrator support of parent training, lack of sufficient time to engage in parent focused interv entions, and a lack of monetary resources to provide transportation and childcare for parents. The current research revealed a moderate, statistically significant correlation ( r =.354) between school and district support and resources and school psychologists enga gement in parent training/education activities, suggesting that when school psychologists perceive such barriers they may be less likel y to engage in parent traini ng/education activities then when school psychologists do not perceive these barriers. Nearly 40% of school psyc hologists reported that they do not have sufficient space to provide parent training interventions. Interestingly, while a large percentage of school psychologists indicated in sufficient space as a barrier to engagement in parent 148

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training activities, their actual engagement in parent training/educat ion activities was not significantly related to the presen ce or absence of this barrier ( r =.171). A lack of monetary support for the provisi on of mental health services has been cited in previous research as a barrier to school psychologists implementation of mental health interventions (Suldo et al., 2010). It was hypothesi zed that school psychologists who reported that their school had the resour ces to provide transportation and childcare for parents during parent trai ning meetings would be more likely to provide parent training interventions. Unfortunately, the majority of school psychologists (75%) disagreed or strongly disagreed that their school had the resources to provide transportation for parents or childcare (51%) during parent training meetings. While the majority of school psychologists reported a lack of resources to provide either transportation or childcare for parents, only the schools inability to provide transportation was significantly related to thei r engagement in pare nt training/education activities ( r =.274). Perhaps school psychologists viewed childcare as less of a barrier to their engagement in parent tr aining activities because they co uld more easily work around this barrier. For example, three of the five school psychologists interviewed regarding their high levels of engagement in parent training/education al so cited lack of transportation and childcare as barriers to their engagement. Howe ver, all three school psychologists reported finding ways to reliev e or lessen the impact of the childcare barrier. For example, two school psychologi sts reported recruiting high school students who needed to earn volunteer hours to provide childcare. Another school psychologist reported writing a grant to pay for childcare dur ing the parent training meetings. 149

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It was hypothesized that school psychologi sts who report a lack of support for their involvement in parent training inte rventions both in terms of assigned role responsibility would be less likely to engage in parent traini ng interventions than school psychologists who report higher levels of de partment and school support. This hypothesis was supported by the current study which found that school psychologists engagement in parent training/education was significantly related to their perception of their school administrators and department s upervisors support of their engagement in such activities (i.e., r =.347, r =.386 respectively). This is of particular importance when one considered the number of school psyc hologists who report little or no support for their engagement in parent tr aining/education activities from their department supervisor (50%) or school administrator (89%). School personnels attitude regarding parents. The degree to which school personnel were thought to welcome and value parent involvement in their childrens education and intervention was significantly related to school psyc hologists engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of ch ildren with chronic behavior problems. Specifically, school psychologists w ho perceived that their school valued the involvement of parents in interventions for children with behavior problems were more likely to provide parent training/education for parents. Fortunately, 78% of school psychologists reported that their school valued such parent involvement. Role focused on assessment. It was hypothesized that the majority of school psychologists would report that the number of evaluations and reevaluations was a barrier to their engagement in parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. This hypot hesis was supported by the current research 150

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in that 59% of school psychol ogists indicated that the number of evaluations and reevaluations for special education was a ba rrier to their implem entation of parent education/training activities. Because large numbers of ev aluations and reevaluations would leave little time to work with parents of children with chronic behavior problems, it was further hypothesized that school psyc hologists who indicated the number of evaluations and reevaluations as a barrier would also report less frequent engagement in parent training/education activ ities. Surprisingly, though a large percentage of school psychologists indicated that the number of eval uations and re-evaluatio ns was a barrier to their implementation of parent training/educa tion activities, data analysis revealed no statistically significant relati onship between these two variab les. Thus, while number of evaluations was perceived as a barrier to pa rent training/education engagement, it did not seem to significantly affect practice. Anecdotal information provided by the five interviewed psychologists may shed some light on this issue. Although all five psychologists reported that the number of asse ssments as well as the pressure to focus their role on assessment were potential ba rriers to their implementation of parent training/education interventions, all five reported overcoming th is barrier. Specifically, four of the five psychologists expressed a be lief that working with parents of children with chronic behavior problems resulted in improved student beha vior and thus fewer requests for or pressure to evaluate the children for exceptional st udent education. All five psychologists spoke of their success with helping their school administrator as well as school personnel see the connection betw een parent-focused intervention and improved student behavior. Through their cons ultation with administ rators and teachers, the school psychologists were able to garn er more support for implementing parent 151

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training/education interventions and felt less pressure to evaluate students with chronic behavior problems for exceptional student education. Time. Insufficient time is frequently cited as a barrier to school psychologists delivery of mental health services (Suldo et al., 2010). School psychologists have reported that insufficient time within thei r schools, resulting from being assigned to multiple schools and carrying caseloads requiring a large number of assessments and a significant amount of time with case management, negatively impacts their ability to provide direct service to st udents and consultative support to parents and teachers. Nearly 90% of the participan ts within the current study i ndicated that insufficient time was a barrier to their implementation of pa rent training interven tions. Interestingly, school psychologists perception of availabl e time was not found to be significantly related to the number of school s or students served or the amount of time engaging in assessment or case management activities. Additionally, the nu mber of school or students served and the amount of time spent engaging in assessment or case management were not significantly related to engagement in pare nt training/education interventions. At first glance, this could be interpreted to mean that availability of time is not related to work with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. A closer look, however, reveals that when participants were asked directly about having enough time to engage in parent training/education interventions, more than two-thirds reported disagreement or strong disagreement that e nough time was available. This perception of adequacy of time for parent training/educati on was significantly related to engagement in parent training/education interventions. The number of assessments and the amount of required case management may be indirec tly related to engagement in parent 152

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training/education interven tions because they may impact school psychologists perception of adequacy of time. Thus, it coul d be concluded that perception of adequacy of time, whether it be from large numbers of evaluations, paperwork, or other timeconsuming variables, is more important to consider than individual, time-consuming activities. School psychologists perception of adequacy of time for parent training/education is likely affected by se veral variables including but not limited to number of evaluations and amount of paperw ork. Training programs may wish to teach school psychology trainees time manageme nt, which may positively affect their perception of adequacy of time when in practice and increase the likelihood that they will engage in parent training/educ ation with the parents of ch ildren with chronic behavior problems. Contribution of Predictor Variables to Engagement in Parent Training/Education It was hypothesized that professional practice, training, and perception of barriers would be significantly related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education interventions with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Specifically, the final research question was as follows: Which of the variables (i.e., professional practice, training, and perception of barriers) or combination of variables accounts for the most variance in the extent of engagement by school psychologists in parent training/education activities with the parents of children w ith chronic behavior problems? Data analysis indicated that school psychologists inte nsity of training accounted for the most variance in engagement, with a participants intensity of training accounting for 13.9% of the to tal variance in engagement. School psychologists perception of barriers accounted for a signi ficant amount of variance in engagement 153

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(12.7%). The combination of variables which resulte d in the most explained variance in engagement was intensity of training and pe rception of barriers. This combination of variables accounted for 23% of the total variance in engagement in parent training/education interventions with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. These results indicate that school psychologi sts who receive more intense training and who perceive less barriers to their engagement in parent training/e ducation may be more likely to engage in such activities than school psychologists who have received less intense training and/or perceive a greater number of barriers to their engagement. Perhaps most interesting is the multitude of va riables which were not significantly related to school psychologists engagement in pare nt training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Ev en variables which were hypothesized to be related to engagement such as the amount of time spent engaging in assessment and the number of schools and students served were not found to be significan tly related to rates of engagement. While school psychologists overwhelming report that working with parents is important and valuable, they continue to enga ge in parent training/ education at very low rates. Perhaps this discrepancy is due to school psychologists multiple job responsibilities and increasingly complex j ob demands. While school psychologists in general consider working with parents important and valuable, they al so likely consider other job responsibilities (e.g., facilitating problem solving teams, consulting with teachers, providing counseling for students, etc.) as being as or perhaps even more important. The combination of these competing demands paired with the limited training in parent training/education that school psychologists receive and the multiple barriers to 154

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engagement that school psyc hologists perceive may help to explain the difference between school psychologists desire to engage in parent trai ning and their actual engagement rates. For example, a school psyc hologist may be more likely to engage in assessment than to provide parent training/education even though he/she values each activity equally because he/she has received more training in assessment than parent training/education and percei ves fewer barriers to engaging in assessments (e.g., easy access to students, support of school-administrator). Limitations Because a survey is a self -report measure, certain limita tions with this type of research method exist. For example, re searchers cannot interpret information beyond what is provided by the respondents (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). Thus, researchers are left only to hypothesize why respondents an swer questions in specific ways. Surveys are also subject to low response rates. This study resulted in a response rate of approximately 23%, which is less than ideal (Punch, 2003). The small sample size made it difficult to detect small to medium effect sizes. Thus, results should be interpreted with caution as variables which were found not to be statistica lly related to engagement in parent training/education with the current research may have been found to be statistically related with a larger samp le size. Also, because survey research is dependent on participants completing the survey, obtaining a sample that is not representative of the population is possible. This possible limitation was examined by comparing demographic information of the st udy participants with the results of the National Association of School Psyc hologists (NASP) demographic survey ( Curtis, Hunley, & Grier, 2002) and conducting a non-re sponse bias analysis. Participants 155

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demographic variables were found to be quite similar to t hose found in the NASP demographics survey in terms of gender, years of experience, and degree level. Additionally, the non-response bias analysis indicated no or minimal differences on all study variables between school psychologists who sent back a survey after the first mailing and those who sent back a survey after the second mailing. Because these response groups are not statistically different from eachother, it is assumed that the third group (i.e., non-responders) also is not statis tically significant from the responders as a whole. Additional limitations of survey research include misinterpretation of items and answering in a way that is considered socially acceptable or faking good. Because the researcher was unable to clarif y respondents misinterpretatio n of items or answer their questions, individual responses ma y not be valid. The researcher attempted to control for this limitation by making the questions as clear as possible. The clarity of questions was improved through two main processes. First, the bulk of the survey items were drawn from a survey instrument used by the resear cher for previous research (Sarlo, 2006). Analysis of the survey used in the previous research indicated modera te to strong internal consistency within all variab les and factors. Interpretability of items was further improved through the review and feedback of a panel of school psychologists. Post-hoc analysis of the reliability of survey item s indicated strong inte rnal consistency. Beyond simple misinterpretation of items, respondents may be subject to faking good, meaning that the respondents may try to provide answers that they perceive as the correct or socially approved answers instead of answering truthfully. The researcher 156

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attempted to address this i ssue by guaranteeing confidentia lity of respondents answers and communicating this protection of confidentiality to participants. An additional set of limitations arise fr om the use of correlational methods. Because an experimental design was not possi ble and participants could not be randomly assigned to groups, it was not possible in this study to control for all of the extraneous variables that may account for differences be tween groups. Thus, it is possible that the study results may have been influenc ed by uncontrolled variables. Restriction of range of scores on some variables also constituted a limitation to this study. In particular, school psychologists engagement in pare nt training/education activities demonstrated less variability than expected. School ps ychologists rate of engagement in parent training/education activ ities clustered near the low end (i.e., less than once per semester on average), indicati ng that most school psychologists engage in parent training/education activit ies very infrequently. This restriction of range affected the ability to detect if there was a sign ificant relationship between the independent variables (i.e., demographics, professional practices, intensity of training, and perception of barriers) and engagement in pare nt training/education activities. Participants were asked to report th eir rate of engagement in parent training/education activities during the 20072008 school year. Because participants received the survey during the spring or summer of 2009, it is possible that their reported rates of engagement were impacted by recall bias It is also possible that the participants actually reported their 2 008-2009 rates of engagement instead of their 2007-2008 engagement rates. The impact of this lim itation is thought to be minimal, as school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activ ities with the parents of 157

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children with chronic behavior problems is not thought to vary significantly from year to year. Generalizability of findings is significantly limited by the fact that only five school psychologists participated in the phone interview. Further, these five school psychologists were recruited based on uncharact eristically high rates of engagement in parent training/education activit ies. Thus, interview data should be interpreted with caution as the sample is not representative of the population overall. Further, because conversations with these five participants were directly re corded by the researcher and were not audio-taped, there is a possibility that particip ant responses were recorded without one-hundred percent ac curacy. The researcher attempted to address this limitation by attempting to record the participants responses verbatim and pausing frequently to report back and clarify in terview notes. Given these limitations, information provided through the phone interviews serves prim arily to indicate a need for additional research examining the impact of facilitators on engagement in parent training/education activities with the parents of children with chroni c behavior problems. Future Research Despite its limitations, this study contri butes to the literature by providing practitioners with important information regarding the etiology and treatment of childhood and adolescent chronic behavior prob lems. Additionally, the study provides descriptive information regarding the services school psychologists are engaging in with parents of children with chronic behavior pr oblems as well as the variables that are related to their engagement. This study represents an initial attempt to examine the relationships among school psychologist variables that may potentially influence the 158

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frequency of engagement in parent training/ education interventions with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. A precise understanding of factors related to school psychologists reported engagement in parent training/education activities remains unclear, indicating a need for further resear ch in this area. Along with the future directions alluded to throughout the disc ussion chapter, the following specific recommendations are offered: Perhaps the most interesting informa tion was gained through the process of interviewing the five psychologists who reported frequently engaging in parent training/education interventions. In addition to answering ques tions regarding barriers to their implementation, the interviewees provide d valuable insight into variables which facilitated their engagement. Future re searchers may benefit from dialogue with practitioners which focus not on the presence or absence of barriers to implementation but on the facilitators which increase th e likelihood of engagement in parent training/education in terventions. Future research may wish to dist inguish between training obtained during graduate school and that obtained through professional development after graduate school. This may lend information regarding whether or not includ ing intensive training on parent training/education interventions within the graduate school curriculum is more or less beneficial than providing training re garding these issues for practitioners. It is evident that there are additional variables which were not included in the current study that are related to engagement in parent trai ning/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems, as the study variables accounted for only 23% of the variance in engagement. Thus, future researchers may wish to 159

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collect information regarding other releva nt variables including school psychologists role as part of the school leadership team, the impact of and involvement with implementing a problem-solving/response to intervention framework, and school psychologists knowledge of systems/organizational level change practices. Conclusions and Implications for Future Research Although the benefits of parent training pr ograms for the families of children with chronic behavior problems are well documented, such programs are not often readily available to parents. Previous research does not lend information as to why school psychologists are not frequently engaging in pa rent training/education activities with the parents of children with chronic behavior pr oblems. The purpose of th is research was to determine to what degree school psychologists demographic variables, professional practices, training, and perception of barriers were related to their engagement in parent training/education interventions with the parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems. Data analysis revealed significant findi ngs which suggest important implications for school psychology training programs. Fo r instance, study results indicated that school psychologists as a group may not rece ive sufficient training in supporting homeschool collaboration and communi cation and receive even less training in formal parent training/education activities. Training in these areas was found to be significantly related to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Thus, training program s who wish for their students to engage in parent training/education with parents of children with chronic behavior problems may consider evaluating wh ether or not trainees are being provided 160

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with the necessary training in collaborating with and providing formal parent training for parents of children with chr onic behavior problems. Once adequate training in parent involv ement and education is insured, training programs may find it advantageous to turn their attention to the intens ity of that training, as the intensity of school psychologists traini ng in parent involvement and formal parent training was found to be significantly related to their rate of engagement in such practices. Beyond simply observing othe rs engaging in parent training/education, trainees will likely benefit from opportuni ties to practice parent involvement and training/education activities, especially when this practice is accompanied by immediate feedback from a supervisor. The results of the current research al so suggest that training in general consultation alone may not be adequate to en sure that school psychologists will engage in consultation based practices such as parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Specific training in consul ting with parents, including supervised practice of collabo rating and communicating with parents and formal parent training activities, may be necessary to in crease the likelihood that school psychologists will provide parent training and education to parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Several variables which were thought to be related to avai lable time such as caseload, number of schools se rved, number of evaluations and amount of paperwork were not found to be significantly related to engagement in pare nt training/education activities. However, the perception of having adequate ti me to engage in parent training/education with the parents of child ren with chronic behavior problems was 161

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significantly related to engagement in parent training/e ducation interventions. Thus, it may be more important to address school psyc hologists perceptions of available time rather than trying to lessen time spent doing individual time-consuming activities such as paperwork or special education evaluations. As such, training programs may wish to provide support and training in time management, which may affect school psychologists perceptions of adequacy of time for parent training and increase the likelihood that they will engage in parent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Perhaps the most interesting findings were related not to the variables which were found to be significantly rela ted to school psychologists engagement in parent training/education but in the multiple variables which were not significantly related. Even variables which have been found to be related to other professional practices of school psychologists (e.g., number of schools or students served) were not found to be significantly related to parent training /education engagement. While school psychologists generally believe that providi ng training/education for parents is both important and beneficial to st udents, engagement in parent training/educati on activities is very infrequent. The discrepancy between school psychologists attitude regarding parent training/education and th eir practice is intriguing. Pe rhaps this discrepancy could be at least partially attributed to the vast professional activit ies that school psychologists are expected to complete as part of their ever-increasingly complex job description (Curtis et al., 2008). Although school ps ychologists as a group value parent training/education there are likely multiple j ob responsibilities and ro les that are valued as highly or more highly than parent training/education. Futu re research may wish to ask 162

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school psychologists to rank order the importan ce of their various job responsibilities and indicate the percen t of time spent engaging in each job re sponsibility/role. This research may shed light on the interaction between re lative perceived importance and engagement and specifically on the impact of having multiple job responsibilities on school psychologists engagement in parent training/education. Although the generalizability of data gathered through the phone interview may be limited given the very small sample size, training programs may wish nonetheless to consider the information provided by the phone interview participants. For instance, although all participants not ed barriers to their implementation of parent training/education programs, they all repor ted rates of engagement which were well above average (i.e., once per week or more versus once per semester). Participant responses seemed to indicate that both persona l and professional ski lls facilitated their ability to provide parent trai ning/education to parent of ch ildren with chronic behavior problems. For instance, the participants ab ility to problem-solve and to come up with creative solutions to common barriers to impl ementation was evident to the researcher. In addition, most referenced their ability to communicate with their school administrator regarding the importance of parent traini ng interventions as positively impacting their engagement in parent training/education activit ies. Specifically, consultation with school administrators allowed the pa rticipants access to additiona l school support and resources (e.g., food and childcare) which facilitated the implementation of parent training interventions. Finally, the interviewed school psychologists alluded to knowledge of systems/organizational level change practices. They seemed adept at integrating into the school culture, securing the suppor t of key district and schoo l stakeholders, and building 163

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consensus regarding the importance and need for parent training/education programs. The interviewed school psychologists engagement in parent traini ng/education seemed to be related to their highly develope d problem-solving skills and knowledge of systems/organizational level change practices. Future research focused on assessing th e impact of problem-solving skills and knowledge of system/organizational level change practices on school psychologists engagement in parent training/education woul d help to determine the importance of these concepts for training. 164

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192 Appendices

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Appendix A: Dissertation Survey For the purpose of this survey, please note that the term CHRONIC BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS refers to students who display consistent patterns of disruptive, aggressive, or noncompliant behavior. 1. Please circle one response for each question. A. I have worked as a school psychologist for: a. less than 5 years b. 5-15 years c. 16-25 years d. 26+ year s ago B. My highest degree in school psychology is a: a. MA/MS b. Specialist/Ed.S. c. PhD/PsyD/EdD d. Other (specify)____________________ C. I obtained my highest degree in school psychology: a. Less than 5 years ago b. 5-15 years ago c. 16-25 years ago d. 26 or more years ago D. What is your gender? a. Male b. Female E. During the 2007-2008 school year, I served: a. 1 school b. 2 schools c. 3 schools d. 4 or mor e schools F. The estimated number of students for whom I was responsible (caseload) during the 2007-2008 school year at all of my schools combined was: a. 1-20 b. 21-40 c. 41-60 d. 61-80 e. 81-100 f. 101+ G. I was employed within the following setting(s) (Circle all that apply): a. Elementary School b. Middle/Junior High School c. High School d. Other (please specify):________________________________________________ 2. Please write in the percentage of time that you typica lly engaged in the following activities during the 2007-2008 school year. The percentages for all activities should equal 100%. Assessment Administering norm-referenced measures such as the WISC-III or WJ-III; conducting CBM; writing reports; conducting behavioral observations; etc. Direct Interventions Counseling; crisis intervention, providing academic intervention, providing behavior intervention Indirect Services/ Consultation Consulting with teachers or parents; parent training, intervention planning, worki ng on a problem-solving/Response to Intervent ion Team Case Management Writing reports, independently reviewing da ta, contacting pediatrician s and other pertinent community professionals; making referrals to outside agencies; researching community resources, etc. Professional Development Attending conferences; reading articles; receiving fee dback from colleagues and/or supervisors. Assessment _______% Direct Intervention _______% Consultation _______% Case Management _______% Professional Development _______% Other (please specify)________________________ _______% 193

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Appendix A Continued 3. Please circle your level of agreement with each of the following statements. 2A. Parent involvement can help increase success in school for a student with chronic behavior problems. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2B. Teaching parents of children with behavior problems about child development, discipline, or parenting will result in improved child behavior at home and at school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2C. Parents of children with behavior problems want to be involved in their childrens education more than they are currently involved. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2D. I have access to sufficient space within the school building to provide parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2E. There are clearly defined responsibilities among school employees who can provide parent training interventions (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker) Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2F. School psychologists are the best professionals to provide parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2G. I have sufficient training in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2H. I need additional professional development in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2I. My school administrator (principal) supports my engagement in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2J. My department supervisor supports my engagement in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2K. I have sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2L. School personnel understand my role and the full range of interventions that I can deliver. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2M. My professional role is focused on psycho educational testing. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 194

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Appendix A Continued 2N. The number of children in need of assessment at my school limits my ability to provide parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2O. My preferred professional role is psycho educational assessment. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2P. I have too many job responsibilities to provide parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2Q. I am interested in providing parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2R. School personnel at my school know when how and why to contact me and appear comfortable collaborating with me. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2S. I communicate regularly with parents regarding parent training opportunities at my school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2T. School psychologists should assume the bulk of responsibility for parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2U. It is reasonable to expect me to meet with parents after school hours. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2V. Parents would utilize parent training interventions if they were available at my school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2W. My school has a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2X. My school values the involvement of parents in interventions for children with behavior problems. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2Y. Behavior problems are the result of poor parenting. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 2Z. Schools can afford to provide transportation for parents to attend meetings. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3A. Parents at my school regularly attend schoolsponsored events (e.g., open house, conferences). Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3B. Parents at my school are actively involved in their childs education. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3C. My school has the resources to provide childcare during parent training meetings. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 195

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Appendix A Continued 3D. The basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, safety) of the families at my school are met. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3E. Parents at my school have the necessary ability and education to benefit from parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3F. Parents have the time to participate in parent training interventions. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3G. School personnel welcome and appreciate parents involvement in their childs education. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3H. Language barriers make parent training inventions difficult to implement with families at my school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3I. My school regularly communicates with families in their dominant language. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3J. School personnel are culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3K. I am culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3L. Educators at my school contact parents primarily when their child has a behavior or academic problem. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3M. I have been trained in how to establish and maintain a positive collaborative relationship with parents. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 3N. I feel comfortable working collaboratively with families from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language backgrounds. Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 196

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Appendix A Continued 4. For each of the following activities or practices, please indicate the nature of your training experiences by circling the HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING that you received. For example, if you received both coursework and the opportunity to directly observe the intervention or practice being implemented, Directly Observed because this is the more intense training method. Training methods are listed from the lowest level (not covered ) to the highest level (implemented with feedback from a supervisor or trainer). Definitions of Training Methods Not Covered -Have not been exposed to the activity or in tervention through coursework or observation. Coursework -Obtained knowledge of activity or intervention through course-based readings and lecture Directly Observed --Watched intervention/activity being implemented by teacher, supervisor, or qualified personnel. Implemented without Feedback --Personally implemented in tervention independently without ever receiving feedback from a supervisor or trainer (self-directed practicum experience). Implemented with Feeback d -Personally implemented intervention with feedb ack and/or assistance from a supervisor or trainer. Not Covered 3O. Consulting with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems about ways they can support their childs learning or behavior at school. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Imp lemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3P. Facilitating meetings to create more cooperation between the parents of children with chronic behavior pr oblems and educators Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3Q. Providing training for teachers regarding ways to involve the parents of children with chronic behavior problems in their childrens school work. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3R. Helping teachers and administrators provide information to the parents of children with chronic behavior problems on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3S. Developing or coordinating a family resource center that serves parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3T. Planning, coordina ting, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and teachers Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3U. Helping schools create participatory roles for parents of children with chronic behavior problems on school advisory committees. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3V. Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist children with chronic behavior problems in the classroom Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3W. Coordinating a parent support group for the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3X. Implementing a formal parent-training program that included regular, scheduled meetings and a planned parent training curriculum Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3Y. Implementing evidence-based interventions for children with chronic behavior problems. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 3Z. Observing and noting the relationship between antecedents, behavior, and consequences. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 197

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Appendix A Continued 4A. Using positive reinforcement (e.g., giving praise, attention, and prizes, etc.) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behaviors. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 4B. Using time-out from positive reinforcement (i.e., removing a child from desirable activity or environment following inappropriate behavior). Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 4C. Implementing a token economy (i.e., rewarding a childs positive, appropriate behavior with tokens such as toy money which can later be exchanged for desired items, activities, or privileges) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behavior. Not Covered Coursework Directly Observed Implemented Without Feedback Implemented With Feedback 5. Please circle the statement that most closely approximates how often you typically engage in each activity with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. 4D. Consulting with families about specific ways that they can support their childs learning or behavior at school. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4E. Teaching families about child development, discipline, or parenting. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4F. Helping schools or teachers develop frequent, varied, and understandable methods for communicating with families. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4G. Contacting parent s who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contacts. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4H. Helping schools pr ovide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4I. Developing or coordinating a family resource center. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4J. Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4K. Helping schools create participatory roles for parents on behavior intervention/problem-solving teams. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4L. Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist teachers, administrators, and children in the classroom. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4M. Coordinating a parent support group for parents of children with chronic behavior problems. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4N. Teaching parents about chronic behavior problems core symptomology and epidemiology. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4O. Explaining to parents the connection between chronic behavior problems and academic underachievement. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4P. Counseling parents regarding their emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4Q. Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of intervention for their child. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4R. Helping parents understand what factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs problem behavior. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 198

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Appendix A Continued 199 4S. Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4T. Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4U. Teaching parents positive attending skills to appropriate independent play. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4V. Teaching parents positive attending skills to their child s compliance with parental requests. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4W. Teaching parents to reward positive behavior. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4X. Teaching parents effective methods of communicating commands. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4Y. Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 4Z. Teaching parents how to avoid adding to their childs escalating problem behavior such as tantrums. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5A. Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system). Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5B. Teaching parents how to use time-out appropriately. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5C. Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public places. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5D. Role playing with parents their planned response to their childs behavior. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5E. Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5F. Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions. Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less 5G. Implementing a form al parent training program Once a day or more Once a week Once a month Once a semester Once a year or less

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Appendix B: Survey Cover Letter Professional Training Experiences and School Psychologists Work with Parents of Children with Chronic Behavior Problems Dear Participant, Hello, my name is Rebecca Sarlo, an d I am a doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at the Univ ersity of South Florida. As part of my dissertation research, I am surveying NASP members to gather information about their beliefs, tr aining, role profile, and current parent education/training practices with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. The purpose of this letter is to invite you to participate in my dissertation study by completing th e attached survey. You are being invited to participate in this study because you are a practicing school psychologist and a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The survey w ill ask you questions about your training, beliefs, role profile, perc eption of current barriers, and current practices in the area of pa rent training/education with the parents of children with chronic behavior problems. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. I recognize that your time is valuable and as a token of my appreciation for completing th e survey, you will be given the opportunity to enter into a lottery to win one of four $25 gift certificates to Amazon.com (an online bookstore). Involvement in this project is VOLU NTARY and I anticipate no risks of harm to you. You have the right to terminate participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits. All information provided by you will be kept confidential. All participant responses will be kept anonymous. Any presentation or publication of this research will in no way identify you. All information you provide will be coded, analyzed and summarized in such a way that you will not be identified. If you are currently providing parent training/education for parents of children with chronic behavior prob lems at least once per week, you are encouraged to take part in an additional phone interview. You can indicate that you would be willing to engage in a brief conversation about your parent training experiences by mailing back the enclosed 200

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Appendix B: Survey Cover Letter 201 post card with your contact informatio n. Participants who take part in this portion of the research project will be asked questions regarding variables which have facilitated thei r implementation of their parent training activities. All information will be kept confidential and reported as group data only. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this study, please feel free to contact me, Rebecca Sarlo, Ed.S., Principal Investigator at (727) 580-0630 or my major professor Linda Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D. at (813) 974-1255. If you would like a copy of the studys results, please contact the principal investigator at the above phone number and a copy of the research results will be sent to you. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant, please contac t the University of South Floridas Institutional Review Board at (813) 974-7363. I thank you for your time, help and support of this study. Sincerely, Rebecca Sarlo, Ed.S., NCSP

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Appendix C: Recruitment Postcard Dear NASP Mem ber, If you are currently engaging in parent training on a regular basis (at least once per week) and would be willing to conference with me on the telephone regarding your experiences, please mail back this stamped post card with your telephone contact information. I will contact you within the next few weeks. Y our participation is greatly appreciated! My Name is:_____________________________________ My Telephone Number is: __________________________ Sincerely, Rebecca Sarlo, Ed.S., NCSP School Psychology Doctoral Student 202

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Appendix D: Draft Script for Telephone Conference Standardized, Open-Ended Questions Posed to All In terviewees 1. How often are you currently engaging in parent training or education activities with parents of children with chronic behavior problems? 2. Many school psychologists cite barriers that impede their implementation of parent training and educati on activities such as a lack of time or training. How have you been able to overcome these or other potential barriers? 3. Are there variables that facilitate you r implementation of parent training and education activities? 4. Do you have any advice for school psychol ogists who want to start a parent training or education progra m at his or her school? 203

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 25. P attern Matrix for Current Practice Factors Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 FiveB: Teaching parents how to use time-out appropriately .954 -.089 -.043 FourU: Teaching parents posit ive attending skills to appropriate independent play .911 -.181 .107 FourV: Teaching parents positiv e attending skills to their childs compliance with parental requests .898 .009 .024 FiveC: Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public .888 -.202 .099 FourX: Teaching parents effective methods of communicating commands .858 .028 .004 FiveA: Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system) .850 -.032 -.109 FourZ: Teaching parents how to avoid adding to their childs escalating problem behavior such as tantrums .849 .121 -.057 FourY: Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems .812 .063 -.065 FourW: Teaching parents to reward positive behavior .782 .102 -.061 FiveD: Role playing with parents their planned response to their childs behavior .674 -.284 .328 FourP: Counseling parents regarding thei r emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems .654 .082 .071 FourT: Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child .607 .186 .031 204

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 25. P attern Matrix for Current Practice Factors (Continued) Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 FourS: Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child .578 .391 -.074 FourN: Teaching parents about chronic behavior problems core symptomology and epidemiology .557 .174 .046 FourR: Helping parents understand what fa ctors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs behavior problems .506 .455 -.086 FourE: Teaching families about child development, discipline, or parenting .496 .311 .042 FourH: Helping schools provide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations -.195 .780 -.124 FourK: Helping schools create participatory roles for parents on behavior intervention/problem-solving teams. -.144 .767 .201 FourD: Consulting with families about spec ific ways that they can support their childs learning or behavior at school .064 .764 -.002 FourJ: Planning, coordinating, and monitori ng interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers -.095 .739 .155 FourQ: Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of intervention for their child .189 .687 -.002 FourG: Contacting parents who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contact .023 .640 -.151 FourF: Helping schools or teachers develop frequent, varied, and understandable methods for communicating with families .115 .609 .053 205

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 25. P attern Matrix for Current Practice Factors (Continued) Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 FourO: Explaining to parents the connection between chronic behavior problems and academic underachievement .180 .600 .089 FiveG: Implementing a formal parent training program -.098 -.002 .873 FourL: Organizing a parent volunteer progra m to assist teachers, administrators, and children in the classroom -.002 .076 .621 FiveE: Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions .043 .067 .611 FiveF: Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions .026 .008 .559 FourI: Developing or coordinating a family resource center .006 -.019 .556 FourM: Coordinating a parent support gro up for parent of children with chronic behavior problems .119 .040 .369 Table 26: Structure Matrix for Current Practice Factors Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 FourV: Teaching parents positiv e attending skills to their childs compliance with parental requests .915 .591 .459 FourZ: Teaching parents how to avoid adding to their childs escalating problem behavior such as tantrums .898 .653 .379 FourX: Teaching parents effective methods of communicating commands .878 .581 .424 206

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 26: S tructure Matrix for Current Practice Factors Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 FiveB: Teaching parents how to use time-out appropriately .876 .515 .397 FourU: Teaching parents posit ive attending skills to appropriate independent play .846 .428 .505 FourY: Teaching parents to ignore minor behavior problems .821 .570 .341 FourW: Teaching parents to reward positive behavior .817 .590 .338 FiveC: Teaching parents how to manage their childs behavior in public .806 .391 .481 FourS: Increasing parental knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to their child .793 .745 .293 FiveA: Helping parents develop a system in which their child earns or loses points based on his or her appropriate or inappropriate behavior (a home token economy system) .777 .489 .293 FourT: Encouraging parents to set aside a daily time period to interact with their child in activities that are chosen and directed by their child .742 .583 .366 FourP: Counseling parents regarding thei r emotional reactions (e.g., sadness, guilt, anxiety) to their childs chronic behavior problems .741 .518 .404 FourE: Teaching families about child development, discipline, or parenting .717 .640 .352 FourN: Teaching parents about chronic behavior problems core symptomology and epidemiology .691 .542 .353 FiveD: Role playing with parents their planned response to their childs behavior .650 .224 .589 FourQ: Communicating with parents regarding the expected outcomes of intervention for their child .630 .808 .245 207

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 26: S tructure Matrix for Current Practice Factors Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 FourD: Consulting with families about spec ific ways that they can support their childs learning or behavior at school .554 .805 .202 FourR: Helping parents understand what fa ctors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of their childs behavior problems .757 .761 .261 FourO: Explaining to parents the connection between chronic behavior problems and academic underachievement .608 .735 .311 FourK: Helping schools create participatory roles for parents on behavior intervention/problem-solving teams. .447 .721 .305 FourJ: Planning, coordinating, and monito ring interventions implemented jointly by parents and teachers .455 .713 .276 FourF: Helping schools or teachers develop frequent, varied, and understandable methods for communicating with families .532 .694 .246 FourH: Helping schools provide information on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations .247 .627 -.042 FourG: Contacting parents who do not attend scheduled conferences or who need follow-up contact .362 .621 .005 FiveG: Implementing a formal parent training program .322 .132 .825 FiveE: Coordinating childcare for the child with chronic behavior problems and his or her siblings during parent training sessions .381 .233 .647 FourL: Organizing a parent voluntee r program to assist teachers, administrators, and children in the classroom .346 .215 .637 FiveF: Arranging transportation to school in order for parents to attend parent training sessions .301 .151 .574 208

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot Table 26: S tructure Matrix for Current Practice Factors Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 FourI: Developing or coordinating a family resource center .263 .111 .555 FourM: Coordinating a parent support gro up for parent of children with chronic behavior problems .322 .200 .435 209

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Appendix E: Pattern and Struct ure Matrixes and Scree Plot 210 Figure 1 Scree Plot of Current Practice Factors

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Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matrix and Scree Plot Table 27. P attern Matrix of Training Factors Pattern Matrixa Factor 1 2 3 ThreeO: Consulting with parents of children with chronic behavior problems about ways they can support their childs learning or behavior at school .112 -.022 .741 ThreeP: Facilitating meetings to create more cooperation between parents of children with chronic behavior problems and educators -.166 -.055 .953 ThreeQ: Providing training for teachers regarding ways to involve the parents of children with chronic behavior problems in their childrens school work .079 .326 .420 ThreeR: Helping teachers and administrators provide information to parents of children with chronic behavior problems on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations .049 .152 .412 ThreeS: Developing or coordinating a fa mily resource center that serves parent of children with chronic behavior problems -.115 .551 .013 ThreeT: Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and their teachers .183 .085 .571 ThreeU: Helping schools create participatory roles for parents of children with chronic behavior problems on school advisory committees -.107 .375 .204 ThreeV: Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist children with chronic behavior problems in the classroom -.096 .557 .064 ThreeW: Coordinating a parent support group for the parents of children with chronic behavior problems .045 .763 -.081 211

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Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matrix and Scree Plot 212 Table 27. Pattern Matrix of Training Factors (Continued) Pattern Matrixa Factor 1 2 3 ThreeX: Implementing a formal parent training program that included regular, scheduled meetings and a planned parent training curriculum .109 .702 .002 ThreeY: Implementing evidence based interventions for children with chronic behavior problems .621 .025 .086 ThreeZ: Observing and noting the relationships between antecedents, behavior, and consequences .819 -.073 .098 FourA: Using positive reinforcement (e.g., giving praise, attention, prizes, etc.) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behavior .910 .008 -.036 FourB: Using a time-out from positive reinforcement procedure (i.e., removing a child from a desirable activity or environment following their inappropriate or undesirable behavior .869 .089 -.222 FourC: Implementing a token economy (i.e., rewarding a childs positive, appropriate behavior with tokens such as toy money which can later be exchanged for desired items, activities, or privileges) to ma intain, teach, or encourage desired behavior .682 -.174 .161

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Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matrix and Scree Plot Table 28. Structure Matrix of Training Factors Structure Matrix Factor 1 2 3 ThreeO: Consulting with parents of children with chronic behavior problems about ways they can support their childs learning or behavior at school .433 .385 .778 ThreeP: Facilitating meetings to create more cooperation between parents of children with chronic behavior problems and educators .244 .427 .852 ThreeQ: Providing training for teachers regarding ways to involve the parents of children with chronic behavior problems in their childrens school work .306 .559 .627 ThreeR: Helping teachers and administrator s provide information to parents of children with chronic behavior problems on grade-level academic and behavioral expectations .249 .377 .514 ThreeS: Developing or coordinating a family resource center that serves parent of children with chronic behavior problems -.036 .543 .254 ThreeT: Planning, coordinating, and monitoring interventions implemented jointly by the parents of children with chronic behavior problems and their teachers .444 .411 .696 ThreeU: Helping schools create participatory roles for parents of children with chronic behavior problems on school advisory committees .032 .469 .355 ThreeV: Organizing a parent volunteer program to assist children with chronic behavior problems in the classroom .006 .579 .317 ThreeW: Coordinating a parent support group for the parents of children with chronic behavior problems .110 .726 .342 ThreeX: Implementing a formal parent training program that included regular, scheduled meetings and a planned parent training curriculum .203 .717 .421 213

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Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matrix and Scree Plot Table 28. Structure Matrix of Training Factors (Continued) Structure Matrix Factor 1 2 3 ThreeY: Implementing evidence based interventions for children with chronic behavior problems .662 .153 .371 ThreeZ: Observing and noting the relationships between antecedents, behavior, and consequences .853 .087 .418 FourA: Using positive reinforcement (e.g., giving praise, attention, prizes, etc.) to maintain, teach, or encourage desired behavior .895 .109 .366 FourB: Using a time-out from positive reinforcement procedure (i.e., removing a child from a desirable activity or environment following their inappropriate or undesirable behavior .783 .087 .205 FourC: Implementing a token economy (i.e., rewarding a childs positive, appropriate behavior with tokens such as toy money which can later be exchanged for desired items, activities, or privileges) to ma intain, teach, or encourage desired behavior .730 .002 .368 214

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Appendix F: Pattern and Structure Matrix and Scree Plot 215 Figure 2 Scree Plot of Training Factors

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 29. P attern Matrix of Perception of Barriers Factors Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 4 5 I have sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions .704 .087 .036 -.021 -.147 My school administrator (principal) supports my engagement in parent training interventions .700 -.101 .106 .083 .033 I have too many job responsibilities to provide parent training interventions .674 .049 .005 -.127 .039 My department supervisor supports my engagement in parent training interventions .662 -.192 .141 .262 .014 I have access to sufficient space within the school building to provide parent training interventions .610 .135 -.083 .028 -.263 The number of children in need of assessment at my school limits my ability to provide parent training interventions .548 -.034 -.106 -.276 .474 My school has the resources to provide childcare during parent training meetings .443 .234 .161 -.041 .108 There are clearly defined responsibilities among school employees who can provide parent training interventions (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker) .438 -.201 -.137 .305 -.209 I communicate regularly with parents regarding parent training opportunities at my school .331 .149 .241 -.108 .161 Schools can afford to provide transportation for parents to attend meetings .274 .157 .186 -.008 -.033 I am culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school -.006 .820 -.044 -.150 -.003 216

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 29. P attern Matrix of Perception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 4 5 School personnel are culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school -.102 .775 -.055 -.214 .004 Parents at my school are actively involved in their childs education .151 .711 -.014 .237 -.037 The basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, safety) of the families at my school are met .288 .620 -.282 .117 -.127 Parents at my school have the necessary ability and education to benefit from par ent training interventions .014 .597 .270 -.005 .246 Parents at my school regularly attend school-sponsored events (e.g., open house, conferences) .087 .554 -.032 .430 .073 Language barriers make parent training interventions difficult to implement with families at my school -.103 .552 .008 -.275 .031 Parents have sufficient time to par ticipate in pa rent training interventions .199 .509 .119 -.065 -.003 Teaching parents of children with behavior problems about child development, discipline, or parenting will result in improved child behavior at home and at school .237 -.269 .154 -.042 .059 Parent involvement can help increase success for a student with chronic behavior problems .148 -.224 .002 -.147 -.218 I need additional professional development in parent training interventions .097 -.213 .080 .152 -.070 I am interested in providing parent training interventions .121 -.041 .746 -.104 -.143 217

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 29. P attern Matrix of Perception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Pattern Matrixa Component 1 2 3 4 5 I have been trained in how to establish and maintain positive collaborative relationships with parents -.056 .141 .666 .192 .155 I feel comfortable working collab oratively with families from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language back grounds -.086 -.237 .559 .136 .112 I have sufficient training in parent training interventions .252 -.089 .547 .095 -.258 School psychologists should assu me the bulk of responsibility for parent training interventions .183 .003 .493 -.294 -.349 Parents would utilize parent training interventions if they were available at my school -.014 .300 .463 .070 .076 School psychologists are the bes t professionals to provide parent training interventions .105 -.089 .460 -.075 -.328 Parents of children with behavior problems want to be involved in their childrens education more than they are currently involved .034 -.017 .409 .005 .143 My school has a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents .125 -.004 -.027 .804 .145 My school values the involvement of parents in interventions for children with behavior problems -.036 -.019 .220 .795 .223 School personnel welcome and appreciate parents involvement in thei r childs education -.102 -.106 .041 .571 .033 School personnel at my school know when, how, and why to contact me and appear comfortable collaborating with me .045 -.285 .018 .517 .193 218

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 29. P attern Matrix of Perception of Barriers Factors (Continued) My preferred professional role is psycho educational assessment -.017 .061 -.283 .459 -.264 My professional role is focused on psycho educational testing -.418 .154 .180 .146 -.600 Behavior problems are the result of poor parenting -.193 .085 .062 .089 .581 It is reasonable to expect me to meet with parents after school hours .097 -.030 .036 -.196 -.520 School personnel understand my role and full range of interventions that I can deliver .377 .029 -.152 .026 .432 Educators at my school contact parents primarily when their child has a behavior or academic problem -.122 .001 -.064 -.167 -.350 My school regularly communicates with families in their dominant language -.192 .033 .247 .054 .251 Table 30. Structure Matrix for Perception of Barriers Factors Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 My school administrator (principal) supports my engagement in parent training interventions .721 .038 .240 .149 .121 I have sufficient time to engage in parent training interventions .701 .181 .171 .117 -.044 My department supervisor supports my engagement in parent training interventions .697 -.003 .272 .300 .077 I have too many job responsibilities to provide parent training interventions .670 .111 .132 -.027 .147 219

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 30. Structure Matrix for P erception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 I have access to sufficient space within the school building to provide parent training interventions .582 .215 .036 .171 -.182 My school has the resources to provide childcare during parent training meetings .517 .305 .270 .089 .190 I communicate regularly with parents regarding parent training opportunities at my school .407 .193 .318 -.018 .235 There are clearly defined responsibilities among school employees who can provide parent training interventions (e.g., guidance counselor, social worker) .394 -.064 -.058 .314 -.196 Schools can afford to provide transportation for parents to attend meetings .328 .210 .251 .093 .020 Parents at my school are actively involved in their childs education .279 .802 .096 .475 -.015 I am culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school .086 .769 .018 .094 .040 Parents at my school regularly attend school-sponsored events (e.g., open house, conferences) .229 .697 .071 .599 .060 School personnel are culturally and linguistically similar to the majority of families at my school -.027 .691 -.021 .003 .039 The basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, safety) of the families at my school are met .322 .667 -.167 .335 -.091 Parents at my school have the necessary ability and education to benefit from par ent training interventions .187 .631 .339 .172 .284 220

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 30. Structure Matrix for P erception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 Parents have sufficient time to par ticipate in pa rent training interventions .287 .529 .198 .125 .056 Language barriers make parent training interventions difficult to implement with families at my school -.053 .456 .019 -.124 .067 Parent involvement can help increase success for a student with chronic behavior problems .067 -.254 -.012 -.172 -.191 Teaching parents of children with behavior problems about child development, discipline, or parenting will result in improved child behavior at home and at school .230 -.231 .175 -.087 .094 I need additional professional development in parent training interventions .092 -.148 .087 .114 -.077 I am interested in providing parent training interventions .226 .008 .751 -.029 -.079 I have been trained in how to establish and maintain positive collaborative relationships with parents .140 .258 .690 .262 .166 I have sufficient training in parent training interventions .322 .016 .582 .169 -.209 I feel comfortable working collab oratively with families from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language back grounds .021 -.154 .537 .083 .105 Parents would utilize parent training interventions if they were available at my school .139 .364 .496 .186 .101 School psychologists should assu me the bulk of responsibility for parent training interventions .192 -.027 .489 -.195 -.268 221

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 30. Structure Matrix for P erception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 School psychologists are the bes t professionals to provide parent training interventions .126 -.067 .450 -.019 -.285 Parents of children with behavior problems want to be involved in their childrens education more than they are currently involved .130 .032 .421 .020 .167 My school has a positive and welcoming attitude toward parents .245 .261 .065 .802 .076 My school values the involvement of parents in interventions for children with behavior problems .139 .244 .283 .777 .145 School personnel welcome and appreciate parents involvement in thei r childs education -.030 .057 .057 .525 -.042 My preferred professional role is psycho educational assessment -.038 .161 -.259 .481 -.326 School personnel at my school know when, how, and why to contact me and appear comfortable collaborating with me .101 -.113 .049 .417 .135 My professional role is focused on psycho educational testing -.423 .131 .094 .214 -.657 The number of children in need of assessment at my school limits my ability to provide parent training interventions .551 -.029 .000 -.272 .571 Behavior problems are the result of poor parenting -.077 .111 .068 .033 .552 It is reasonable to expect me to meet with parents after school hours .002 -.092 .011 -.135 -.486 School personnel understand my role and full range of interventions that I can deliver .415 .095 -.053 .028 .474 222

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors Table 30. Structure Matrix for P erception of Barriers Factors (Continued) Structure Matrix Component 1 2 3 4 5 Educators at my school contact parents primarily when their child has a behavior or academic problem -.205 -.087 -.118 -.151 -.353 My school regularly communicates with families in their dominant language -.098 .053 .230 .030 .233 223

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Appendix G: Pattern and Structure Matrix es and Scree Plot for Barriers Factors 224 Figure 3 Scree Plot Depicting Perception of Barriers Factors

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 31. A NOVA Table for Gender and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups .177 1 .177 .354 .553 Within Groups 56.031 112 .500 Total 56.209 113 Table 32. ANOVA Table for Gender and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups .788 1 .788 .903 .344 Within Groups 97.713 112 .872 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups .177 1 .177 .232 .631 Within Groups 85.446 112 .763 Supporting homeschool collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .068 1 .068 .935 .336 Within Groups 8.153 112 .073 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 225

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 33. A NOVA Table for Degree and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.061 3 .354 .705 .551 Within Groups 55.148 110 .501 Total 56.209 113 Table 34. ANOVA Table for Degree and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 3.047 3 1.016 1.170 .324 Within Groups 95.454 110 .868 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups .928 3 .309 .402 .752 Within Groups 84.694 110 .770 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .160 3 .053 .727 .538 Within Groups 8.061 110 .073 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 Table 35. ANOVA Table for Recency of Degree and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups .597 3 .199 .393 .758 Within Groups 55.612 110 .506 Total 56.209 113 226

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 36. A NOVA Table for Recency of Degree and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.497 3 .499 .566 .639 Within Groups 97.004 110 .882 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups .447 3 .149 .192 .901 Within Groups 85.176 110 .774 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .140 3 .047 .633 .595 Within Groups 8.082 110 .073 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 Table 37. ANOVA for Employment Sett ing and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.197 3 .399 .798 .498 Within Groups 55.012 110 .500 Total 56.209 113 227

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 38. A NOVA Table for Employment Set ting and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 3.481 3 1.160 1.343 .264 Within Groups 95.021 110 .864 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups .470 3 .157 .202 .895 Within Groups 85.153 110 .774 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .256 3 .085 1.178 .322 Within Groups 7.965 110 .072 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 Table 39. A NOVA Table for Years of Experience and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups .180 3 .060 .118 .950 Within Groups 56.029 110 .509 Total 56.209 113 228

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 40. A NOVA Table for Years of Experi ence and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups .742 3 .247 .278 .841 Within Groups 97.759 110 .889 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups .196 3 .065 .084 .969 Within Groups 85.427 110 .777 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .091 3 .030 .411 .746 Within Groups 8.130 110 .074 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 Table 41. ANOVA Table for Number of Schools and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.187 3 .396 .791 .501 Within Groups 55.022 110 .500 Total 56.209 113 229

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables Table 42. A NOVA Table for Number of Schools and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 1.558 3 .519 .589 .623 Within Groups 96.943 110 .881 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups 1.339 3 .446 .583 .628 Within Groups 84.284 110 .766 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups .300 3 .100 1.39 .250 Within Groups 7.921 110 .072 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113 Table 43. ANOVA Table for Caseload and Overall Engagement ANOVA Average Engagement Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 3.553 5 .711 1.457 .210 Within Groups 52.656 108 .488 Total 56.209 113 230

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Appendix H: ANOVA Tables fo r Demographic Variables 231 Table 44. ANOVA Table for Caseload and Current Practice Factors ANOVA Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Between Groups 6.001 5 1.200 1.401 .230 Within Groups 92.500 108 .856 Teaching parents behavior management practices Total 98.501 113 Between Groups 3.807 5 .761 1.005 .418 Within Groups 81.816 108 .758 Supporting home-school collaboration and communication Total 85.623 113 Between Groups 1.369 5 .274 4.314 .001 Within Groups 6.853 108 .063 Implementing formal parent training and support groups Total 8.221 113

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Appendix I: Table of Variables Excluded through Stepwise Regression Analysis Table 45. Variables Excluded from th e Stepwise Regression Analysis Excluded Variables Collinearity Statistics Variable Beta In t Sig. Partial Correlation Tolerance Assessment -.122b -1.400 .164 -.134 .920 Direct Intervention .141b 1.653 .100 .157 .954 Consultation .037b .422 .674 .041 .933 Case Management -.013b -.156 .876 -.015 .989 Professional Development .089b 1.042 .300 .100 .953 Elementary -.122b -1.453 .149 -.138 .991 Middle .011b .130 .897 .012 .996 High .020b .240 .811 .023 .999 Years Experience .036b .427 .670 .041 .990 Degree .034b .401 .689 .039 .957 Recency of Degree .023b .269 .788 .026 .983 Gender -.046b -.538 .591 -.052 .966 Number of Schools -.074b -.878 .382 -.084 .978 Caseload -.021b -.243 .808 -.023 .989 Exclusion Criteria= probability of F equal to or less than .10 232

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About the Author Rebecca Sarlo was born in Grand Rapids, Mi chigan. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Florid a State University in 1997. She earned a Masters degree and an Edu cational Specialist degree in School Psychology from the University of South Florida. Rebecca work ed as a school psychologist in Florida for eight years prior to taking her current position with the Florida Department of Education. Currently, Rebecca works on Floridas Differentiated Accountability Team as as a Response to Intervention Specialist, provi ding support to Floridas lowest performing schools. She is a participant on the States Response to Intervention Advisory Group and the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices Work Group.