Date of Award

Fall 2009

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy and Leadership

First Advisor

Fox, Robert

Second Advisor

Burkard, Alan

Third Advisor

Anderson, Rebecca


The purpose of the current study is to investigate the use of a new parenting program designed specifically for children of low-income families who have developmental delays and externalizing behavior problems. This program provides income treatment services. Service providers go the families' homes and help enhance the parent-child relationship by educating parents on child-directed play. After parents demonstrate skills in using child-directed play, a behavioral treatment plan is created, incorporating the use of differential reinforcement (i.e., social praise, tangible rewards, or edible rewards) to increase a prosocial behavior as well as discipline strategies (i.e., redirection, ignoring, natural consequences, or time out) to reduce the challenging behaviors. It is expected that families will complete the program, participating in at least six treatment sessions. Specifically, this research is looking to explore whether a new parenting program that incorporates aspects of social learning theory is effective in reducing behavior problems in children with developmental delays and who are from low-income families.



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