Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychological Studies in Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Edward J. Daly III. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Sara S. Kupzyk


This dissertation examined the application of evidence-based tutoring for oral reading fluency (ORF) to a natural setting, using teachers as parent trainers. Measures used to determine the impact of parent tutoring included treatment integrity, student reading outcomes, attitudes towards involvement and reading, and social validity. Six teachers (second through fourth grade) were trained in a 3-hour workshop to develop individualized tutoring programs with parents. Following training, the teachers trained seven parents and students to use individualized tutoring programs. Training followed a behavior skills training model and incorporated video modeling and printed instructions to increase efficiency. A multiple-baseline design was used to evaluate the effect of training on parents’ use of evidence-based reading strategies and of tutoring on students’ ORF. During baseline, parents were asked to practice reading with their child as they typically do. During intervention, parents used the evidence-based tutoring program developed with the teacher. Multiple dimensions of treatment integrity were measured to provide a comprehensive picture of how the tutoring influenced child outcomes, and to inform future practices. The results showed that teachers’ treatment integrity of parent training was high. Six parents showed immediate improvement in their use of evidence-base strategies, but levels of adherence, quality, and dosage varied across parents. Engagement remained high during baseline reading sessions and structured tutoring sessions. Four out of seven of the students showed significant improvements in ORF. Teachers and parents indicated positive beliefs about parent involvement at baseline and post-intervention. Student attitudes towards reading were also generally high and did not show a systematic change from baseline to intervention. Social validity ratings from teachers, parents, and students were favorable, indicating that they perceived the intervention to be acceptable. Results are discussed in terms of the relationship between treatment integrity, student outcomes, and beliefs about involvement. Discussion also focuses on the need for additional research in natural settings to more closely examine the conditions needed for successful implementation of parent tutoring programs and the effect on student outcomes.