Evaluating the outcome of a behaviorally based parent training program for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder

Children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display a variety of maladaptive behaviors that require intensive interventions. These interventions often include behavioral parent training, which has been found to be highly effective in teaching parents behavioral principles and skills that, when applied appropriately, can lead to a reduction of problem behaviors and an increase in positive behaviors in their child. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a parent training program that utilized a series of videos to introduce behavioral principles. The main objective was to increase the parents’ knowledge of behavioral principles. The results indicated that there was not a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test scores of the control group and the experimental group, nor was there a significant interaction between testing time and experimental condition, which indicates the parent training program may not have been effective in increasing parental knowledge of behavioral principles. Several limitations that may have contributed to this finding are discussed.