Evaluation of a Tool to Identify the Variables responsible for Poor Parent Treatment Implementation: The Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Parent
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In applied behavior analysis, parents are often taught to implement treatment programs in order to decrease their child’s problem behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors. Unfortunately, many parents have trouble implementing these programs correctly. It has been suggested that higher treatment integrity for a specified treatment program may be associated with higher levels of its success. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the use of an assessment tool (i.e., the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Parent, or PDC-P) to develop a treatment specifically targeted to address the variables responsible for poor program implementation by parents. First, the PDC-P was administered to three parents who were not consistently implementing their child’s mand training program correctly. An intervention designed to address the reason for poor treatment implementation identified by the PDC-P (i.e., task clarification and prompting) was then evaluated. Results of the study validated the use of the PDC-P to identify an effective intervention to increase parent implementation of mand training for all three parent participants. Correct parent implementation improved from a mean of 56% to 67% during baseline to a mean of 76.1% to 88.9% during task clarification and prompting across parents. Furthermore, performance improvements sustained for up to six weeks, and generalized to an untrained home or community setting.