Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Applied Behavior Analysis

Major Professor

Trevor Stokes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy E. Pape, Ph.D.


parenting practices, parenting skills, modeling, parent-child interactions, behavioral parent training, MyTell cards, self-mediated discriminative stimuli


Parent training programs are widely used to remediate ineffective strategies being

used by parents of children with maladaptive behaviors. While there are a multitude of

parenting workshops available, it has been estimated that over half have no established

effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to advance our knowledge regarding the

effects of modeling and role-playing (in an experimentally controlled design), used to

supplement the parent workshop called “Winning at Parenting” and enhance development

of adaptive parenting skills of participants.

This study trained parents in the behavioral techniques of clear communication,

differential attention, and time-out procedures via modeling by the instructor, roleplaying

with the parents, and instructor feedback to parents. A multiple-baseline design

across four participants was used in an experimentally controlled manner to demonstrate

the positive effect of modeling and role-playing on the development of these adaptive

skills in a parent training program.

Two research questions were analyzed. The first considered whether participants

would increase their use of adaptive parenting strategies via modeling, role-playing and

instructor feedback, within the multiple baseline design. The results clearly showed a

mean increase in correct demonstration of each target behavior for each parent only after

the treatment condition was introduced, indicating a significant treatment effect.

Furthermore, because there was no overlap of data points from baseline to treatment,

changes in level were evident, providing a strong case that behavior was changed due to

treatment effects. Although trend of the behaviors in baseline varied, data points in the

treatment phase for each target behavior for each parent made such a dramatic and

immediate jump that they each were indicative of a treatment effect. These findings are

consistent with previous research demonstrating that the use of modeling and roleplaying

are superior to readings and lecture-style for parent training programs.

The second question considered whether or not parent’s ratings of competence,

depression, and life stress, as measured on the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), would

change as a result of the intervention. Results showed no clear trends in data for the

effects of treatment on the PSI scores.