Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


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Coutts, M. J. (2015) Conjoint behavioral consultation via distance delivery (CBC-D): An evaluation of efficacy and acceptability.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Interdepartmental Area of Psychological Studies in Education (School Psychology), Under the Supervision of Professor Susan M. Sheridan. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Michael J. Coutts


Despite greater prevalence rates of child mental health and behavior problems, rural areas are often overlooked by researchers in favor of urban areas that provide larger, more diverse samples. However, rural children’s problems manifest differently across home and school than what is seen in urban and suburban contexts. Conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC; Sheridan & Kratochwill, 2008) is an evidence-based family-school partnership intervention wherein families and schools collaborate with a consultant to address child concerns. In its traditional format, the time specialized nature of delivering CBC and time and travel commitments needed by participants limits the feasibility of CBC as an option for many rural communities. Distance technology offers potential as a new method of delivering CBC that bypasses many of the barriers facing rural communities.

A concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess the efficacy of CBC via distance delivery (CBC-D) at improving child compliance. The acceptability of CBC-D to parents and teachers and the change in the parent-teacher relationship as a result of CBC-D were evaluated descriptively. Participants were four parent-teacher pairs from rural communities sharing concerns about a child’s compliance. CBC was conducted through videoconferencing with a behavioral consultant participating in the meetings remotely.

Results revealed little evidence of effects from CBC-D on child compliance. Positive mean changes in parent and teacher reports of compliance occurred for each participant; however, clear and consistent effects were only evident for one child at school. The lack of evidence supporting CBC-D may indicate that it is not an effective intervention for child compliance with rural participants; however, sample and measurement limitations make it difficult to draw a conclusive interpretation of the efficacy of CBC-D. Social validity data suggested high levels of acceptability of CBC-D to parents and teachers. Similarly, parent-teacher relationship data suggested that CBC-D can positively impact the parent-teacher relationship. Treatment integrity data indicated CBC-D can be implemented with high rates of integrity. Additionally, parent and teacher self-report of individualized intervention integrity was also high; however, there was a significant amount of missing integrity data for two participants. Limitations, implications and future directions are discussed.

Advisor: Susan M. Sheridan