Creative Commons License

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

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Trevor Stokes


Developmental disabilities affect nearly one in six children in the United States; up to 30 % of these individuals have problem behaviors causing stressors in both the child and their caregiver’s lives. These problem behaviors have various topographical and functional forms, such as property destruction, aggression, tantrums, self-injurious behavior, and many others. If these behaviors are not nipped in the bud during younger years they have the capability to bring about academic failure, alienation from typical peers and other adults, and in the longer term, substance abuse issues, and a decrease in functioning skills within their communities. Evidence-based practices are shown to be effective for treating problem behaviors for children with developmental disabilities. These effective interventions can change the environment, making behavior more socially acceptable and can be implemented by various individuals in the child’s life.

This study utilized a multi-element and multiple baseline across participants, single-case research design to examine the effects of a function-based intervention (FBI) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) on child behavior outcomes. The current study examined two therapist/child dyads; both child participants were diagnosed with a developmental disability. The researcher coached the therapists on both FBI and PCIT techniques, monitoring and providing feedback on their skills while interacting with the child. researcher assistants observed a decrease in child disruptive behaviors and an increase in target appropriate behaviors during the PCIT conditions, but a stronger change in behavior level during the PCIT+FBI condition.



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