Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This study examined the efficacy of cost effective and sequential training methods for teaching educational paraprofessionals to implement behavior management strategies in preschool classrooms. Investigation of the effects of increasingly complex and time consuming methods of training on both paraprofessional and student behaviors were evaluated. Training methods employed included written take-home manuals and summary cards, modeling videotapes, and performance feedback. Training materials included three behavior management strategies (e.g., instruction-giving, praise, and time out) that have shown to have extensive support in the empirical literature (Brophy, 1981; Budd, Riner, & Brockman, 1983; Flanagan, Adams, & Forehand, 1979; O’Dell, Krug, Patterson, & Faustman, 1980; O’Leary & O’Leary, 1977; Rickert, Sottolano, Parrish, Riley, Hunt, Pelco, 1988; Wahler, 1969; Walker, 1993). The efficacy of the training methods was assessed by observations of the paraprofessional’s percentage of steps correct for each paraprofessional behavior and by the percentage of intervals for each student behavior. Participants included 4 female undergraduate students who were majoring in Communication Disorders and who were employed as paraprofessionals at a preschool facility for children with speech and language delays. Results indicated that paraprofessionals could be taught to implement behavior management techniques, but that the intensity of training efforts required varied across participants and behaviors. Overall, the paraprofessionals exhibited increases in the percentage of steps correctly implemented after the implementation of varying training conditions. Changes in students’ behaviors could not be determined due to a possible ceiling effect for desirable behaviors. The results suggest that paraprofessionals are likely heterogeneous regarding what form of training is likely to be effective both among themselves and within individuals, but across behaviors. Future directions and limitations of the study are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

George H. Noell

Included in

Psychology Commons