Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational and Psychological Studies

Major Professor

Kathy-Bradley Klug, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julia Ogg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathleen Armstrong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, parent-child interaction therapy, preschoolers


The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of PCIT as an alternative to medication in managing symptoms and behavior problems of preschool-aged children with ADHD. Using a multiple baseline single-case design, the study measured the impact of PCIT on four preschool-aged children's problem behaviors and ADHD symptoms, parenting practices, and mothers' attitudes towards therapy. Outcome measures included the Child Behavior Checklist, Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, Behavior Assessment System for Children, ADHD Symptom Observation form, Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System, Parenting Practices Interview, and Therapy Attitude Inventory. Results from visual analyses, a visual permutation test, and hierarchical linear modeling showed partial treatment effects for mothers' use of labeled praises (b = 10.67, p < 0.0001), commands (b = -26.84, p = 0.000), behavior management skills (b = 91.21, p < 0.0001), children's behavior problems (b = -20.29, p = 0.000), and parent-reported ADHD symptoms (b = -25.76, p = 0.000). Mothers expressed high satisfaction with PCIT and reported their relationships with their children and their children's compliance and behavior problems had improved post-intervention. The consistency with which other caretaking partners (e.g., fathers) practiced the same discipline procedures as the mothers in the study played a significant role in the changes observed in mothers' use of effective discipline practices and children's behavior problems. Findings of this study indicate PCIT may partially be an effective intervention in improving children's behavior problems and ADHD symptoms.