Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Julia Ogg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Agazzi, Ph.D.


barriers to treatment, behavioral parent training, case study, engagement, online treatment


Behavioral parent training (BPT) is considered a frontline intervention for challenging behaviors in early childhood. Research on outcomes in behavioral parent training include an emphasis on participant engagement, defined as attendance, cognitive readiness, and task completion (Chacko et al., 2016; Gearing et al., 2014; Nock & Ferriter, 2005). Barriers to treatment attendance and engagement include logistical barriers, perceptions that treatment is burdensome or irrelevant, poor therapeutic alliance, and inaccurate or poor expectations for treatment (Kazdin, Holland, & Crowley, 1997; Nock & Kazdin, 2001). This case study examined parent engagement and barriers to treatment in a BPT program called Developing Our Children’s Skills for Success, or DOCS for Success (Shaffer-Hudkins & Ogg, 2010). This case study of four participants utilized thematic analysis of focus group discussions and rating scales of reported barriers to treatment participation and engagement in this BPT program delivered online. Participants in this study reported challenges with childcare, co-parenting, and practicing skills. They were motivated to learn new parenting skills, develop parent-child relationships, and connect with other parents. Participants reported having a positive relationship with the therapist and were satisfied with the program. They reported a decrease in problematic behaviors although the intensity of these behaviors slightly increased. Engagement in this program was measured by task completion, attendance, and cognitive readiness. Practitioners may consider other means to increase engagement and accessibility in BPT programs. Additional research investigating the benefits and barriers of online BPT programs and how to increase engagement is recommended.

Included in

Psychology Commons