Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland

Keywords

behavioral training, foster care, parent participation, parent training, probabilistic reinforcement

Abstract

Parental participation in parent training programs is necessary for success in behavioral parent training. Prior literature has demonstrated probabilistic reinforcement as an effective intervention for improving a wide variety of behaviors. In the present study, a probabilistic reinforcement program (i.e., lottery) was implemented in order to evaluate its efficacy as part of a behavioral parent training program. The behaviors targeted for increase included attendance, participation, homework completion, and performing role-plays or completing in-class assignments for two 10 week Tools for Positive Behavior Change courses. Participants earned lottery tickets for each of the dependent measures, and drawings took place at the end of each class. An alternating treatments design was employed to determine any differences in performance on the dependent measures between baseline and lottery sessions. Results showed that participants attended and participated more with parent training under the conditions of a lottery compared to baseline class sessions although the effect was minimal; furthermore, this effect was observed more clearly for one of the two classes. Further research is needed to explore the effect of a lottery intervention on parent participation in parent training programs.

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