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Chapter 55. Behavioral Parent Training

Linda J. Pfiffner, Ph.D.; Nina M. Kaiser, Ph.D.

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Excerpt

Behavior therapy has a long history of success in treating childhood problems. This approach is based on several core assumptions that highlight methodological rigor, empirical evaluation, a focus on observable behaviors as the most beneficial targets of intervention, and the importance of behavioral assessment in both design and ongoing evaluation of treatment plans. Behavior therapy approaches emphasize the importance of environmental and social contingencies in fostering and maintaining problem behavior—i.e., contingency theory (Patterson 1982). Contingency-based behavioral interventions involve one or more of four key concepts: Behavior is increased either by following it with something desirable (positive reinforcement) or by removing something undesirable (negative reinforcement); behavior is decreased either by following it with something undesirable (punishment) or by removing something desirable (extinction). Current behavioral treatments also draw from social learning theory (Bandura 1977), which incorporates contingency theory into a more general model that also includes modeling and imitation and cognitive factors (e.g., cognitive appraisals and attributions).

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FIGURE 55–1. Sample token economy for Melissa.

FIGURE 55–2. Sample daily report card for Melissa.

FIGURE 55–3. Time-out flow chart.
Table Reference Number
TABLE 55–1. Troubleshooting token economies
Table Reference Number
TABLE 55–2. Teaching parents about child skills
Table Reference Number
Appendix 55–1. Core parent training topics

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Which of the following is not one of the four key concepts of contingency-based behavioral interventions?
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Which of the following is a key component of functional behavior analysis?
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Which of the following is considered a supplemental topic—rather than a core session topic—of parent training programs?
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