The effects of the prevent-teach-reinforce for families (PTR-F) intervention with three young children.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Most young children (3-5 years) will engage in challenging behaviour during the first few years of life. However, for some children, their challenging behaviour is persistent, unresponsive to environmental supports and occurs across contexts. Without intervention, young children with challenging behaviour are at an increased risk of detrimental long-term social-emotional and behavioural outcomes such as academic difficulties, poor interpersonal relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, and mental health difficulties. The aim of this project was to investigate the effectiveness of universal home practices and the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for families (PTR-F) intervention in teaching prosocial social-emotional competence and decreasing persistent challenging behaviour in a New Zealand home setting. The second aim was to investigate the applicability of PTR-F to the New Zealand setting. Using PTR-F procedures, individual families worked collaboratively with the author to assess then implement universal home practices before designing and implementing a function-based individualised behaviour intervention plan. The project used a single-case multi-intervention design across three participants to examine changes in identified targeted challenging behaviour and desirable behaviour across baseline, universal practices, intervention 1 and 2 and follow-up phases. Results indicated that implementing universal home practices alone were not effective but when the function-based individualised PTR-F behaviour plan was implemented positive behaviour change occurred for all three children with reductions in challenging behaviour and increases in desirable behaviour. However there was variability across participants in the extent of the behaviour change. Overall findings also demonstrated that PTR-F is an appropriate behavioural family intervention that is applicable to the New Zealand setting. The overall challenges associated with implementing the PTR-F intervention and the implications of these finds for practice are discussed.