College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Cecilia Martinez-Torteya

Second Advisor

Karen Budd


Disruptive behavior problems are common in early childhood. However, despite their ubiquity, they are often quite stressful for parents and can be damaging to parent-child relationships. In addition to being disruptive to the family, research has demonstrated that early disruptive behavior problems can set children on a path to continue experiencing escalating levels of disruptive behavior throughout childhood and into adolescence. Recent research has determined prevention to be an important area of emphasis for interrupting this negative trajectory of disruptive behaviors. Secondary prevention interventions target children and families who are seeing the early signs of this negative long-term trajectory and seek to break the cycle of disruptive child behavior. Bibliotherapy adaptations of evidence-based parent training models have recently come to light as potentially useful prevention interventions. One prevention intervention that has shown potential utility is a recent pilot study on Parent Child Interaction Therapy-Anticipatory Guidance (PCIT-AG). The purpose of the proposed study is to build on the preliminary findings of the pilot study by conducting a randomized control trial that examines the utility of the PCIT-AG materials in reducing child disruptive behavior and caregiver stress, and increasing caregiver sense of competence when compared to a waitlist control group. The participants from this study consist of 37 caregivers recruited from around the Chicago metropolitan area. Participants were split into a PCIT-AG treatment group and a waitlist control group. Caregivers in the PCIT-AG group were given six weeks to review and implement the materials with their child before being asked to complete post measures. Caregivers in the PCIT-AG group saw significant decreases in child disruptive behavior as compared to the waitlist control group. However, caregivers in the PCIT-AG group did not demonstrate greater reductions in parent stress and increases in parental sense of competence, when compared to the waitlist group. The results of this study indicate potential support for the use of the PCIT-AG materials as a low-cost prevention intervention for children with disruptive behavior.

SLP Collection