Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship among several teacher, process, and outcome variables within school-based consultation. A total of 32 consultant-consultee dyads participated in the study until completion of a problem identification interview, a problem analysis interview, and a follow-up session. Four types of data were collected. First, sessions were tape recorded and coded to examine the effect of an "expert" versus a "collaborative" interaction style. Second, teachers completed paper and pencil measures pertaining to (a) attributions of child behavior, (b) preferred service delivery, (c) severity of behavior problem, (d) consultant verbal interactions, (e) treatment acceptability, and (f) teacher satisfaction. Third, direct observation measures of treatment integrity and child behavior change were conducted. Fourth, permanent products reflecting intervention implementation were also examined as a means of determining degree of treatment integrity. The measurement of these variables permitted an examination of the effects of teacher variables (e.g., attributions of causality), intervention variables (i.e., intervention acceptability, intervention complexity), child variables (e.g., behavior problem severity), consultant variables (i.e., expert vs. collaborative style of interaction) on treatment integrity, the outcome variable of primary interest. The relationship between treatment integrity and child behavior change was also of interest. Treatment integrity was operationalized using multiple criteria (i.e., direct observation of immediate consequences, examination of permanent products, teacher recording of target behavior). Overall, the integrity with which the interventions were implemented was low. The results suggested consultee education level was positively related teacher recording of the target behavior. On the other hand, consultee years of experience was negatively related to utilization of the permanent product. Contrary to the literature, consultees receiving an expert approach to consultation were observed to implement the immediate consequence more often than consultees receiving a collaborative approach (Gutkin & Curtis, 1990). With regard to intervention plan variables, a positive relationship was found between the complexity of the intervention and the degree to which the consequences were implemented. Observed integrity was also related to the degree of positive behavior change and teacher satisfaction. Results of the study are discussed in terms of implications for school psychologists in consultation research and practice.

Pages

175

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