Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


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Cowan, R. J., Clarke, B. L., & Sheridan, S. M. (2002, April). Achieving behavior change goals and strengthening home-school partnerships through conjoint behavioral consultation: A case study. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Nebraska Psychology Association, Lincoln. Permission to use.


Conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC; Sheridan, Kratochwill, & Bergan, 1996) is an indirect, structured model of service-delivery whereby parents, teachers, and support staff are joined to work together to address the academic, social, or behavioral needs of an individual for whom all parties bear some responsibility (Sheridan & Kratochwill, 1992). Conceptually and in practice, CBC is couched within the broader frameworks of home-school partnerships, collaborative problem-solving, ecological theory, and behavioral consultation. Through the CBC process, parents and teachers (i.e., consultees) work closely together with the guidance and support of the school psychologist to identify, analyze, and develop interventions for academic, social, and/or behavioral concerns across settings for an individual student. Additionally, the team collaboratively determines the efficacy of the intervention, and plans for generalization, maintenance, and/or termination. CBC content/outcome goals include: (a) obtain comprehensive and functional data over time across settings; (b) establish consistent treatment programs across settings; (c) improve the skills, knowledge and behaviors of all parties; (d) monitor behavioral contrast and side effects during treatment implementation; (e) enhance generalization of maintenance of treatment effects across settings; and (f) develop skills and competencies to promote further independent conjoint problem solving (Sheridan, Kratochwill, & Bergan, 1996). CBC process/relational goals include: (a) increase communication and knowledge about family; (b) improve relationship among the child, family and school personnel; (c) establish home-school partnership; (d) promote shared ownership for problem definition and solution; (e) increase parent and teacher commitments to educational goals; (f) recognize the need to address problems as occurring across rather than within settings; (g) promote greater conceptualization of a problem; and (h) increase the diversity of expertise and resources available (Sheridan, Kratochwill, & Bergan, 1996). CBC has received much empirical support to date (see Sheridan, 1997 for a review; see Sheridan, Eagle, Cowan, & Mickelson, 2001 for a large scale outcome study); however, much of the data obtained through CBC has been in relation to elementary-aged children, with limited application of CBC to pre-school aged children. More research is needed to determine the application and efficacy of CBC for use with this population.