Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Katie C. Hart

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Stacy Frazier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Nicole Fava

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Paulo Graziano

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


parent training, at-risk, behavior problems, school readiness, preschool, young children, treatment outcome, treatment acceptability, ethnic minority parents

Date of Defense



Behavioral parent training (BPT) is the gold standard for the treatment of externalizing behavior problems in young children. However, many programs have failed to consistently replicate positive outcomes in economically and socially disadvantaged populations. Given the lasting negative impact of early behavioral problems on youth, families, and society as well as the heightened risk such families face, it is important to examine BPT within particularly vulnerable populations. A pilot open trial of a novel BPT, the School Readiness Parenting Program (SRPP), was conducted to examine the acceptability, feasibility, and promise of the manualized treatment as a standalone intervention for economically and socially disadvantaged families implemented within early childhood education settings, and generate feedback regarding the SRPP in order to refine future iterations. In addition, a qualitative study of the program was also conducted to examine caregiver acceptability of SRPP and the adaptation and implementation of the program during the school year. The open trial consisted of six Black caregivers and their preschool-aged children who completed a pretreatment assessment, received the SRPP, completed a posttreatment assessment, and participated in a focus group or individual interview. Results indicated sufficient feasibility and acceptability of the SRPP. The qualitative study consisted of 35 caregivers (68% Black) who participated in focus groups or interviews. Results indicated that while many caregivers found some of the evidence-based strategies acceptable (e.g., planned ignoring, praise), time-out as a discipline strategy was often seen as culturally incongruent. Strengths and weaknesses of the present studies are discussed, and considerations for future research directions are noted. Findings from the current studies provide a foundation for informing intervention efforts and treatment adaptations to meet the needs of overrepresented and underserved communities.






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