USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

V. Mark Durand, Ph.D Professor of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences

Second Advisor

Meme Hieneman, Ph.D Courtesy Assistant Professor College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

April 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

April 2008


This study was conducted to identify self-talk themes in parents of children with developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors. Data were obtained through content analysis of videotaped therapy sessions between parents of children with developmental disabilities and a certified behavior analyst with clinical training. The therapy sessions were conducted as part of the Positive Family Intervention project. The results showed that parental perceptions could be categorized into themes that recurred,cross families and situations. A significant percentage of the self-talk identified in this study resulted in consequences that could impede behavioral support interventions aimed at the children. The results indicate that pessimistic parental attitudes can he identified and categorized, into recurring themes. By designing interventions aimed at this negative self-talk in parents we may be able to improve the clinical utility of behavioral parent training interventions.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.