Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Applications of Performance Feedback: Consultation in the Home

Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

Applications of Performance Feedback: Consultation in the Home

Article excerpt

School psychology arguably began in the 1880s in the University of Pennsylvania laboratory of Lightner Witmer (Noell & Witt, 1996). Through the next 100 years, school psychology grew larger in scope, becoming recognized within the American Psychological Association (APA) and founding its own organization, the National Association of School Psychologists in 1969.

As the need for school psychologist grew, so did the need for an effective, efficient service delivery model. Bergan's, Behavioral Consultation (BC) model became the widely accepted, indirect service delivery model used in public school settings. Interestingly, the model has undergone few changes since its unification in the late 1970s (see Bergan, 1977). Noell & Witt (1996) argued that the model has undergone few changes because it was primarily a model to deliver scientifically derived interventions and therefore the empirical evidence was specific to intervention, not to consultation. Thus, the emphasis was on the client (i.e., student) and not the consultee (i.e., staff). To be sure, this emphasis places the locus of control for behavior change (i.e., response-to-intervention) within the student, not the student's environment. As such, Witt, Noell, LaFleur & Mortenson (1997) began a line of investigation that focused BC directly on consultee behavior and considered the consultee as the instrument for behavior change in the client. With the addition of Performance Feedback, Witt et. al. (1997) added intervention implementation fidelity to the BC model and shifted the locus of control for behavior change, to the student's environment.

Performance Feedback (PFB) has been described as "Information provided to individuals about the quantity or quality of their past performance" (Prue & Fairbank, 1981). Witt et. al. (1997) modified PFB procedures derived from Organizational Psychology to school settings and intervention implementation fidelity of evidence-based interventions. In that study, the authors developed academic interventions that included an end-of-intervention assessments that functioned as evidence that the interventions were completed (i.e., permanent products). A task analysis with checklist was included in the intervention packet. The teacher was asked to check off which intervention components were completed each day the intervention was implemented. The task list and the end-of-intervention assessment were indications of intervention fidelity adherence. These two permanent products were then used to graph the number of steps completed by the total number of steps in the prescribed intervention (task analysis checklist) and graph the student end-of-intervention assessment data. Then, the authors met with the teachers on a daily basis to present the graphs, provided positive statements when the interventions were completed, and discuss how implementation fidelity could be achieved when implementation adherence was low. Follow-up studies investigated the use of PFB when the intervention used peer tutors (Noell, Witt, LaFleur, Mortenson, Ranier, & LeVelle, 1997), when PFB was delivered on a weekly basis (Mortenson and Witt, 1998), with behavioral interventions (Noell, Duhon, Gatti, & Connell, 2002) in residential settings (Jones, Wickstrom & Friman, 1997) and with direct-care staff (Reedy, Luiselli & Thibedeau, 2001), in comparison to other consultation models (Noell, et., al., 2005), within a response-to-intervention pre-referral meeting (Duhon et. al. 2009), and in autistic support classrooms (Pellecciah et. al., 2010). However, investigating the use of PFB in home settings where the barriers to implementing the procedures derived from the studies above are unknown.

Program fidelity is greatly needed in home settings because many parents/guardians are confronted with significant concurrent responsibilities and demands and stay-at-home caregivers have far less support than school-based staff. …

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