Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Cheryl B. McNeil.
Externalizing behaviors are a common component of the clinical presentation of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and are typically the initial focus of treatment for children within this population. Although a number of therapies targeting behaviors characteristic of ASD exist, most do not offer a short-term, manual-based approach aimed at increasing child compliance. Although traditionally used with typically-developing children, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is one behaviorally-based, short-term (∼14 sessions) parent training program that has demonstrated success in increasing child compliance, reducing problem behavior, and improving parent-child communication. The study examined the efficacy of PCIT as a first-line treatment for children with high-functioning autism by employing a single subject, non-concurrent multiple baseline design across three subjects. Primary findings revealed significant increases in child compliance, reductions in child disruptive behavior and improved parenting skills across participants. In addition, each caregiver reported high levels of satisfaction with the intervention. Results suggested that PCIT may be a viable first-line treatment for children on the high end of the autism spectrum with co-occurring behavioral difficulties. Study findings serve as a foundation for future research in this area. Limitations, clinical implications and future directions are discussed.
Masse, Joshua J., "Examining the efficacy of parent -child interaction therapy with high -functioning autism" (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2853.