Degree Granting Department
Applied Behavior Analysis
Jennifer Austin, Ph.D.
Maria dePerczel-Goodwin, Ph.D.
Darrell Bostow, Ph.D.
Coercion, Foster Parents, Foster Homes, and Coercive Family Process
Coercion within parent/child relationships can have lasting effects on the behavior
of children. The Family Safety/Applied Behavior Analysis Initiative at the University of
South Florida is part of a statewide project designed to serve foster parents and the
children in the foster care system, has developed a training program entitled .Parenting
Tools for Positive Behavior Change.. To date, the effectiveness of the parenting course
has been evaluated in two ways. First, parents have been tested in role-play situations
before and after training, and have shown improvements in their use of positive parenting
skills. Second, frequency of foster home placement disruptions has been evaluated. The
Preliminary results suggest that the parenting course was successful in decreasing the
costs associated with placement disruptions, as well as reducing the number decreasing
the costs associated with placement disruptions, as well as reducing the number of
restrictive placements. Despite the promising results thus far, research has not been
conducted to determine whether the parenting course reduces coercion in interactions
between parents and children. The present study sought to demonstrate the effectiveness
of .Parenting Tools for Positive Behavior Change. training course on the use of positive
parenting tools within the context of authentic environments (i.e., within home settings)
using parents and biological children.
Although all parent participants. appropriate responding improved during the
course of the study, results appeared more dramatic for some parents over others. In
general, the parent participants seemed to do better in decreasing coercive responses with
their child.s appropriate behaviors than their child.s inappropriate behaviors. Overall,
affect on the parent.s coercive responses to their children.s behaviors was not as dramatic
as the affect on their increase in responding appropriately to their child.s appropriate
behaviors. It seems that the increase in more appropriate responses does not necessarily
mean that this will also result in dramatic reductions in coercive responses by the parents.
Scholar Commons Citation
Powell, Lezlee, "The Effects of a Parent Training Course on Coercive Interactions Between Parents and Children" (2006). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.