Cree Robinson

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Cheryl B McNeil

Committee Co-Chair

Melissa Blank

Committee Member

Christina Duncan


The current study attempted to evaluated the effectiveness of a one-day training workshop used to train bachelor's level mental health staff in Staff-Child Interaction Therapy (SCIT), a newly developed intervention designed to reduce problem behaviors in children 2- to -9 years of age through the use of behavioral management techniques by home-basedtrained staff. A total of 39 therapists, known as Therapeutic Support Staff (TSS), were involved in this study, 20 who received training in SCIT (i.e., experimental group) and 19 who received received training in Compassion Fatigue (i.e., attention -control group). This study was a part of a larger outcome study that included additional training workshops and an evaluation of the SCIT protocol for changing child behavior problems in the home. Therapists in both groups completed a baseine assessment at the beginning of the workshop day. To measure the skills, during which therapistsy interacted with confederate children (adult research assistants who were trained to act like children) during two 5-minute situations (Child-Led Play and Clean-Up). These interactions were live coded by a trained research assistant using the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS; Eyeberg, Nelson, Duke, & Boggs, 2005) to measure the staff skill change. T(therapists also completed the TSS Demographic Fform at baseline. ) Approximately Therapists then completed a post-training assessment 6-to-8 weeks following the baseline assessment, therapists completed a post-training assessment, which involved the same procedures as the baseline assessment. 22 ½ days of training and a variety of outcome measures. Analyses indicated that therapists who were trained in SCIT provided significantly more labeled praises, reflections, and behavior descriptions from pre- to post- assessment and significantly fewer less questions, criticisms, and commands than therapists who received a Compassion Fatigue training workshop during the Child-Led Play DPICS situation. Regarding the Clean-Up DPICS situation, analyses indicated that therapists who were trained in SCIT provided significantly fewer less questions and criticisms than therapists who received a Compassion Fatigue training workshop. There were no significant differences between the SCIT and Compassion Fatigue groups on any other dependent variables (e.g., contingent praise, effective commands). TSS from the study had difficulty learning two distinct sets of skills simultaneously. Specifically, it was challenging for TSS to master both both Child-Directed Interaction (CDI), skills (designed to improve TSS-child relationships) , and Adult-Directed Interaction (ADI), skills (designed to help therapists implement effective discipline strategies), during a one-day workshop where they received only approximately 4.5 actual hours of instruction. In future research, it may be more effective to teach positive relationship skills first and allow TSS to practice those skills before teaching discipline skills. This would allow therapists to have additional time to practice both skill sets, thus also improving their chances of meeting mastery criteria for two sets of disparate techniques. both skills. Overall, however, findings supported the use of this experiential, mastery-based workshop to teach bachelor's-level staff to manage problem behaviors in their child clients within a home-based Wraparound model. The workshop resulted in many therapists mastering their skills at the end of the day of training and demonstrating sustained skill improvements 6-to-8 weeks after the initial workshop.