Examining the efficacy of a social skills intervention implemented in the context of conjoint behavioral consultation for preschoolers with developmental delay
Social interventions are critical for helping withdrawn children learn important skills for effectively interacting with others in their environment. Early social intervention that involves parents as meaningful participants in the treatment process can be an effective way to promote positive change in the social functioning of young children. Conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC) is an indirect model of service delivery that meaningfully involves both parents and teachers in the development and implementation of interventions for children. Although research has supported the effectiveness and acceptability of CBC at addressing various academic, behavioral, and social concerns (Cotton & Sheridan, 1998; Freer & Watson, 1999; Galloway & Sheridan, 1994; Sheridan, Eagle, Cowan, & Mickelson, 2001), few CBC studies have been conducted with early childhood populations or children with developmental delay. The purpose of this research study was to examine the effects of a social skills intervention implemented in the context of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) for at-risk Head Start preschoolers with developmental delays. A multiple baseline design was used to assess outcomes for seven children. Outcomes were investigated by comparing levels of positive social behavior and alone behavior across child participants and experimental phases. Social validation of (a) the attainment of children's social goals, (b) the efficacy and acceptability of the social skills intervention, and (c) satisfaction with the consultant and the consultation process also were assessed.
Overall, results of the study were mixed. Several indicators of effectiveness were found such as favorable mean changes in positive social and alone behaviors, increases in target social behaviors learned through the social skills training, immediacy of treatment effects for most participants, and favorable changes in parents' subjective ratings of social functioning of participants. However, significant variability within and across experimental phases was observed for all participants. Social validity data indicated that parents generally found the intervention to be acceptable and effective, and the consultant and the consultation process to be highly satisfactory. Taken together, these data reveal that further research is needed to examine the effectiveness of the current intervention.
0384: Behaviorial sciences