|Prospective Students Our Students Visitors Faculty & Staff Alumni & Parents USF System|
|College of Arts and Sciences | Sub Page|
College of Arts & Sciences
Acrobat .pdf documents require
This web page is maintained by Page Editor:: Mark Pezzo.
We recently concluded an important five-year research study investigating the addition of optimism training to parent education in positive behavior support. Our project looked at the impact of helping parents become more optimistic about their own parenting skills as well as their child’s ability to change on the severe challenging behaviors of their children. We not only teach families the skills to better understand and treat their child’s challenging behavior, we also help them become aware of their thoughts and feelings about themselves and their child and how these might interfere with success. In our work with the parents of children with autism spectrum disorders and challenging behavior we find that many are “pessimistic.” Someone who is highly pessimistic might describe a child’s difficult trip to the supermarket this way – “Shopping with my child is a disaster”. On the other hand, parents who are more optimistic might describe it this way – “My child is not ready yet for long shopping trips.” We present pessimistic families with their styles of describing situations and have them practice more adaptive optimistic styles (Durand, Hieneman, Clarke, & Zona, 2009).
Our treatment program involves eight weekly individual sessions, lasting 90 minutes each. All families received positive behavior support (PBS), including instruction on how to identify problem behaviors, how to assess the function of these behaviors, prevention strategies, managing consequences and replacing behavior problems with communication. The cognitive-behavioral intervention component is integrated into the same sessions. The full plans for conducting these sessions are now available (Durand & Hieneman, 2008a, 2008b).
In analyzing the results of this large project, we found the following important changes.
We are finding that tailoring behavioral parent training to meet the particular needs of the family as well as the child leads to highly successful child behavior outcomes. This “help” (behavioral intervention) and “hope” (optimism training) is opening up new opportunities for reaching families that have to date not benefited from our treatments. See our ten tips for becoming a more optimistic parent. As we publish the results of this project we will list these papers on this website.
Adapted from: Durand, V.M. (in preparation). Optimistic parenting: Hope and help for you and your challenging child. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Durand, V. M., & Hieneman, M. (2008a). Helping parents with challenging children: Positive family intervention, facilitator’s guide. New York: Oxford University Press.
Durand, V. M., & Hieneman, M. (2008b). Helping parents with challenging children: Positive family intervention, workbook. New York: Oxford University Press.
Durand, V. M., Hieneman, M., Clarke, S., & Zona, M. (2009). Optimistic parenting: Hope and help for parents with challenging children. In W. Sailor, G. Dunlap, G. Sugai & R. H. Horner (Eds.), Handbook of positive behavior support (pp. 233-256). New York: Springer.