Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Participant Observations: Considerations and Applications Across Home, Outpatient, and School Contexts

Event Location / Date(s)

Washington, DC

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

52nd Annual Meeting of the Association of Behavior and Cognitive Therapies


In child clinical psychology, behavioral observations are a key assessment method for interventions targeting behavior problems across contexts such as home and school (Mash & Hunsley, 2005; McMahon & Frick, 2005). However, logistical burdens typically prevent clinicians from collecting direct observations across all the relevant settings of interest. Early behavior therapy interventions addressed this issue by recruiting others, such as parents and teachers, to collect data on child behaviors. These participant observations could then serve as a useful dependent variable in treatment (Patterson, Chamberlain, & Reid, 1982). While participant observations collected by parents and teachers are not currently a standard procedure in outpatient and school-based care (Conners, Arora, Curtis, & Stephan, 2015; Eyberg, Boggs & Nelson, 2008), contemporary data do support these measurement approaches (Pelham, Fabiano & Massetti, 2005).

This symposium will focus on the evaluation and implementation of participant-collected data in multiple settings. The first presentation investigates parent coding accuracy with and without a brief training procedure. Parents in the training condition learned how to observe child aggression and noncompliance in the home setting using the Behavior Record Card (BRC; Nadler & Roberts, 2013). Trained parents demonstrated increased accuracy in coding noncompliant child behaviors compared to untrained parents. This project highlights the need for training participants in coding procedures to enhance the accuracy and utility of participant-collected data. The second presentation demonstrates the use of parent-reported home data to adjust contingencies delivered within the Summer Treatment Program (STP) for ADHD. This enhanced intervention was associated with increases in parenting efficacy and decreases in disruptive child behavior at home, thus identifying a potentially useful adjunct to the standard STP. The third presentation describes the evaluation of the Daily Report Card (DRC) in school settings. Through a meta-analysis of single-subject design data, the DRC demonstrates equivalency across various outcome measurements. Collectively, this symposium will highlight the role of participant-observations with an emphasis on parent and teacher-collected data across home, outpatient, and school contexts.