Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: An Emerging and Effective Model for Developing Home-School Partnerships

Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: An Emerging and Effective Model for Developing Home-School Partnerships

Article excerpt

Abstract

Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) is discussed as an emerging and effective model of home-school collaboration and shared problem solving. A case study is presented to demonstrate how practitioners can use CBC to deliver high quality consultation and intervention services to students, teachers, and parents in a real world setting. An evidence-based intervention (EBI) was implemented in the context of CBC to enhance the on-task and compliant behavior of a student referred for consultation. Results indicated a significant increase in teacher ratings of behavioral control (on-task and compliant behavior) following consultation. Positive treatment effects were maintained at a 4-week follow-up. Norm referenced measures produced statistically reliable and clinically meaningful changes in teacher perception of externalizing problem behavior. Consultees validated CBC as an acceptable and effective model of service delivery across home and school contexts. Limitations, future research, and implications for evidence-based practice are discussed.

Keywords: behavioral consultation, ecological-systems theory, home-school partnerships, self-management.

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The role of consultation in clinical and educational practice has expanded significantly over the past two decades. Consultation has become an important component in the shift from traditional assessment-driven structures to an ecological and problem solving paradigm of practice (Kratochwill & Stoiber, 2000; Sheridan & Gutkin, 2000). Research has established a preference for behavioral consultation (BC: Kratochwill & Bergan, 1990) among consumers and practitioners of psychological services, as well as the efficacy of this approach when compared to other consultation models (e.g., mental health, instructional, organizational). Reviews, meta-analyses, and case studies (e.g., Bramlett & Murphy, 1998; Kratochwill, Elliott, & Busse, 1995; McLeod, Jones, Sommers, & Havey, 2001; Medway & Updyke, 1985; Sheridan, Welch, & Orme, 1996; Wilkinson, 1997, 2003) have consistently documented the effectiveness of behavioral consultation as a vehicle for delivering interventions to students with a wide variety of learning and behavioral problems. The model is considered a powerful tool in remediating children's learning and behavioral problems and for delivering preventive interventions in general education settings.

Family-School Mesosystem

The empirical support for developing home-school relationships is quite strong. The benefits of parental involvement in the educational process are unequivocal (Sheridan and Gutkin, 2000). Two decades of research clearly indicate that students benefit when families are involved in collaborative relationships with educators and that a strong home-school partnership maximizes the potential for children's success in the classroom (Christenson, 1990). Active parent participation is related to positive student outcomes such as increased student achievement and less discipline problems in the school and at home (Christenson, 1995; Christenson, Rounds, & Franklin, 1992). Moreover, positive interactions between parents and school personnel based on a common interest enhance the likelihood that behavioral interventions will be effective (Clark & Fiedler, 2003). Gains in student performance are greatest when interventions focus on the reciprocal relationship between home and school rather than focusing only on the classroom or home environment (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001).

Conjoint Behavioral Consultation

Despite the support for collaborative home-school efforts, few structured models of parent consultation are available. For example, traditional behavioral consultation involves the psychologist as consultant and teacher as consultee. The model does not typically include parents or caregivers in the behavior change process, thus omitting a valuable resource and opportunity to improve treatment generalization. …

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