The Parent-Teacher Intervention Project (P-TIP) analyzes treatment services for preschool children in Head Start programs who have been identified as at risk for social or emotional difficulties. The treatment approach involves providing consultation services to parents and teachers of Head Start children who are experiencing either social withdrawal or conduct problems.

Consultants who have been trained in behavioral consultation work with parents and teachers to deliver a treatment program. The treatment package consists of a comprehensive video-based program for parents and teachers that includes a manual and nine video cassettes that cover four programs: Play, Praise and Rewards, Effective Limit Setting, and Handling Misbehavior. The manual contains an introduction to the content of each video cassette and a summary of points to remember, while the videotapes illustrate essential child management concepts by displaying brief vignettes of parents interacting with children in various situations.

Results of the first two years of the project were reported at the 1996 meeting of the council for Exceptional Children:

  1. Parents rated the experimental children's social skills as having increased from pretest to posttest, although there was not a significant difference compared to the control children, whose social skills, nevertheless, decreased from pretest to posttest.
  2. Parents rated the experimental children's and control children's problem behaviors as having decreased from pretest to posttest, but there was no significant difference between the two groups.
  3. Teachers perceived both experimental and control children's social skills as having increased from pretest to posttest, but there were no significant differences between groups.
  4. In addition, teachers perceived both groups as having decreased problem behaviors but there was no significant difference between groups.
  5. Subjective data from parents and teachers indicated that treatment acceptability and effectiveness of behavioral consultation combined with a self-help manual-based approach was rated very highly.

Conclusions:

  1. Although results are in the expected direction, there are no significant differences between experimental children and control children on standardized measures.
  2. Generally, there was a positive relationship between independent observers' ratings of children's positive social engagement and parent/teacher ratings of attaining treatment goals.
  3. Subjective data by parents and teachers does suggest positive treatment outcomes for those children who received behavioral consultation combined with a self-help manual-based approach.
  4. The sample size was too small to detect differences, and needs to be dramatically increased.
  5. Perhaps treatment can be made more salient by combining behavioral consultation with video-based therapy.

Subjective data from parents and teachers indicate that they view their children/students as exhibiting more desirable behavior than before they participated in the treatment. But there was lack of substantial difference between the experimental and control children. This may be attributed to several factors, including sample size, treatment potency, and treatment integrity. All these factors are considered as the study continues.