Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Training direct-care paraprofessionals to work with children who have developmental disabilities has been a prevalent concern among researchers and practitioners. Although behavioral interventions are designed by professionals, they are generally implemented by paraprofessionals. Therefore, the accuracy of program implementation by paraprofessionals depends on the quality of the training provided. In the present study, two female undergraduate practicum students were recruited through a public four-year university in Virginia to obtain training in child-directed interaction (CDI). The purpose of CDI is to help build rapport between the adult and child by teaching the adult to provide positive attention to a child’s desirable behaviors in the form of PRIDE (Praise, Reflect, Imitate, Describe, and Enthusiasm) skills, while actively ignoring the child’s undesirable behaviors. CDI will eventually be incorporated into a training program that will allow undergraduate practicum students to provide behavioral services to clients in the community under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist who is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This study documented the frequency of PRIDE skills exhibited by both participants in three distinct phases: Baseline, Training/Modeling, and BIE Feedback. Both Training/Modeling and BIE Feedback resulted in a higher frequency of PRIDE skills exhibited by both participants compared to baseline. Training/Modeling had a larger effect for both participants, while BIE feedback may serve as a method to “fine-tune” PRIDE skills.

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Psychology Commons