Article

Improving Behavior With Preschool Consultation: A Pilot Study of the TOTS Model

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Abstract

Preschool children may exhibit a range of problematic behaviors that may impede development and disrupt classroom functioning. As a result, preschool children are often expelled from programs when behavioral issues cannot be adequately addressed. Preschool behavioral consultation serves as a promising alternative to expulsion, as consultants can provide teachers with the expertise and skills they need to manage current and future behavioral challenges. This article presents findings from a pilot study that examined the effect of a preschool behavioral consultation model in reducing inappropriate behaviors and improving prosocial skills in 35 preschoolers. A pretest–posttest design was used. Findings revealed significantly increased positive behaviors as rated by teachers and decreased teacher reports of behavior problems. Implications of these findings and the importance of behavioral consultation in the preschool setting are discussed.

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... Two of the studies took place in public preschools (Eisenhower et al., 2016;Ocasio et al., 2015). In addition, two of the studies were conducted exclusively in community-based childcare settings (McGoey et al., 2013;Perry et al., 2008). Interestingly, several of the studies were conducted in combined locations. ...
... Specifically, in seven of the studies reviewed, consultation services were provided by a graduate student who was a member of the research team (Clarke et al., 2014;Dufrene et al., 2012;Eisenhower et al., 2016;Gilliam et al., 2016;Poole et al., 2012;Sheridan et al., 2006;Williford & Shelton, 2008). In six of the studies, consultation was provided by specialists and/or practitioners within the field of mental health or social work (Conners-Burrow et al., 2012;McGoey et al., 2013;Ocasio et al., 2015;Perry et al., 2008;Raver et al., 2009;Upshur et al., 2009). ...
... The studies by Dufrene et al. (2012) and Poole et al. (2016) also provided operational definitions to further describe students' disruptive behaviors. Additional terms used to describe the behaviors targeted by the consultation services included challenging behaviors (e.g., Gilliam et al., 2016;Ocasio et al., 2015;Williford & Shelton, 2008), inappropriate behaviors (e.g., McGoey et al., 2013), and problem behaviors . Each of those categories included behaviors such as aggression, hyperactivity, social cooperation, and social interaction. ...
Article
Early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) is a framework that continues to expand as students’ social-emotional needs emerge at younger ages. The present systematic review examines the extant literature surrounding the use of ECMHC and behavioral consultation in addressing mental health concerns and challenging behaviors in preschool students. Findings associated with this systematic review suggest that ECMHC could be a promising practice for targeting internalizing and externalizing behavioral concerns in prekindergarten students across a variety of settings. However, more research is needed in the areas of mental health/behavioral consultation and disciplinary disproportionality, as well as on the impact of such practices on preschool children of color. Implications for school psychologists are discussed, as are disciplinary practices when providing ECMHC and behavioral consultation services with students of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
... While the workings of bias and exclusionary discipline can be complex, consultation provides one key pathway through which it can be addressed. Early childhood consultation (ECC) has already established a foothold in attaining positive outcomes for young children, including decreases in problem behavior and increases in prosocial behavior (McGoey et al. 2013); increased use of positive discipline strategies by teachers; and enhanced teacher self-efficacy (Vuyk et al. 2016). Only one study specifically looked at the effects of ECC on preschool expulsion rates (Gilliam et al. 2016a). ...
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Black students comprise approximately 19% of the preschool population, yet they represent 47% of school suspensions (U.S. Department of Education 2016). Although it is posited that most teachers seek to serve all children to the best of their abilities, research indicates that many school personnel engage in implicit biases that influence their perceptions, behaviors, and interactions with students (Boser et al. 2014). Studies have also found that racial ethnic minority status influences the quality of individual education and level of access to fair and appropriate accommodations a student receives (Farkas Teachers College Record 105:1119–1146, 2003; Magnuson and Waldfogel 2008). Thus, white privilege exerts itself at the start of schooling among our youngest and most vulnerable students and can contribute to increasing racial injustice as these children develop throughout the lifespan. In the current article, we present a multifaceted consultation approach intended to target factors that underlie disproportionate rates of preschool expulsion among black and other children of color. This approach incorporates (a) a systems and contextual perspective to collaborate with preschool programs in promoting effective equity and discipline practices; (b) data-based assessment and decision-making to obtain specific information about programs’ discipline practice and to advance the use of positive behavioral strategies; and (c) interventions to reduce implicit bias and address vulnerable decision points in discipline, with an emphasis on prevention and cultural competence.
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Resumo: Problemas de comportamento denotam preocupação na educação infantil, pois afetam a aprendizagem, configurando-se como preditores de dificuldades futuras nos âmbitos social, cognitivo e acadêmico. Entretanto, há intervenções que visam promover práticas docentes que buscam preveni-los ou modificá-los. Nesse sentido, revisou-se a literatura para identificar os procedimentos metodológicos envolvidos na avaliação de processo e resultados de intervenções voltadas aos professores da educação infantil, visando o ajustamento comportamental de seus alunos. Adotou-se a diretriz PRISMA e PICO, pesquisando os descritores problem behavior, classroom, children, intervention e teacher nas bases Ebsco, APA PsychNET, Web of Science e BVS. Foram elegidos 17 estudos publicados nos últimos 10 anos em língua inglesa. Evidenciou-se a escassez de pesquisas brasileiras sobre intervenções nessa temática e o não estabelecimento de uma metodologia experimental. Ainda, uma minoria avaliou o processo da intervenção e, entre estes, apenas alguns explicitaram a metodologia utilizada. Palavras-chave: palavra intervenção; professores; educação infantil; comportamento infantil. Abstract: Behavior problems and deficits in social skills have been a concern in early childhood education because these affect learning and are predictors of future problems in the social, academic and cognitive settings. However, there are interventions aimed to promote teaching practices that have resulted in greater behavioral adjustment of students. The success of these programs is related to factors intrinsic to their implementation and evaluation. We sought to identify the methodological procedures involved in the evaluation of the process and results of interventions address at preschool teachers, aiming at the behavioral adjustment of the students. Review was developed according to PRISMA, using different bases. The PICO guideline was adopted, being the descriptors problem behavior, classroom, children, intervention and teacher. Were selected 17 studies published in the last 10 years in English. Brazilian research on interventions in this theme and the establishment of an experimental methodology were not observed. In addition, a minority of the studies evaluated the intervention process and, among these, only a few explained the methodology used. Keywords: intervention; teachers; early childhood education; child behavior.
Article
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Resumo: Problemas de comportamento denotam preocupação na educação infantil, pois afetam a aprendizagem, configurando-se como preditores de dificuldades futuras nos âmbitos social, cognitivo e acadêmico. Entretanto, há intervenções que visam promover práticas docentes que buscam preveni-los ou modificá-los. Nesse sentido, revisou-se a literatura para identificar os procedimentos metodológicos envolvidos na avaliação de processo e resultados de intervenções voltadas aos professores da educação infantil, visando o ajustamento comportamental de seus alunos. Adotou-se a diretriz PRISMA e PICO, pesquisando os descritores problem behavior, classroom, children, intervention e teacher nas bases Ebsco, APA PsychNET, Web of Science e BVS. Foram elegidos 17 estudos publicados nos últimos 10 anos em língua inglesa. Evidenciou-se a escassez de pesquisas brasileiras sobre intervenções nessa temática e o não estabelecimento de uma metodologia experimental. Ainda, uma minoria avaliou o processo da intervenção e, entre estes, apenas alguns explicitaram a metodologia utilizada. Palavras-chave: palavra intervenção; professores; educação infantil; comportamento infantil. Abstract: Behavior problems and deficits in social skills have been a concern in early childhood education because these affect learning and are predictors of future problems in the social, academic and cognitive settings. However, there are interventions aimed to promote teaching practices that have resulted in greater behavioral adjustment of students. The success of these programs is related to factors intrinsic to their implementation and evaluation. We sought to identify the methodological procedures involved in the evaluation of the process and results of interventions address at preschool teachers, aiming at the behavioral adjustment of the students. Review was developed according to PRISMA, using different bases. The PICO guideline was adopted, being the descriptors problem behavior, classroom, children, intervention and teacher. Were selected 17 studies published in the last 10 years in English. Brazilian research on interventions in this theme and the establishment of an experimental methodology were not observed. In addition, a
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T he effect of a professional development program on the quality of care pro- vided for infants and toddlers was assessed with a sample of 160 caregivers in 96 infant-toddler rooms in 48 childcare programs. Caregivers participated in a 3-month training course with a standardized curriculum of five 3-hour group classes and an out-of-class project. A total of 123 participants in 70 classrooms also received onsite consultation. Consultation was not provided for 37 participants in 26 classrooms. The effect of training program participation was judged using pre- and posttraining comparisons between mean total scale scores on the Infant/Toddler Envir- onment Rating Scale (Harms, Clifford, & Cryer, 1990). Comparisons also were made between classrooms where score differences were rated as observable change. Observable change was evident in 15 (21.4%) infant-toddler rooms in the consultation group, in comparison to 2 (7.7%) infant-toddler rooms in the no-consultation group.
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The transportability of an evidence-based teacher professional development program, the Incredible Years Classroom Management Program, was evaluated. This study compared the impact of two training methods: self-administered videotape modeling (VM) and self-administered videotape modeling plus consultation (VMC) on teachers' use of classroom management strategies, reductions in disruptive behaviors, acceptability, and contextual barriers of sustaining EBIs in practice settings. Four pairs of teachers (N = 8) were randomly assigned to VM or VMC conditions in a multiple probe design. Students (1-2 per classroom; N = 13) displaying high levels of externalizing problems also participated. Statistically significant between-groups differences in teacher confidence ratings, use of positive instructional practices, and acceptability favored the VMC condition. Positive trends favoring VMC students, including clinically significant increases in social competence, were also found. Although students in both groups exhibited reductions in disruptive behaviors, significant between-groups differences related to disruptive behavior were not observed. Findings related to contextual variables (e.g., time, cost, institutional support, adaptability of the program) have implications for future adoption of this program. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Preschool children's competency in interacting with peers has been associated with long-term school success. Little is known, however, about how this competency relates to other learning readiness domains. The study used multivariate techniques to examine whether low-income preschool children's peer play interactions relate to learning behaviors and problem behaviors, and differ according to age and gender. Positive interactive play behavior was associated with active engagement in classroom learning activities, whereas disconnection in play related to inattention, passivity, and lack of motivation. Disruptive players evidenced conduct problems and hyperactivity in the classroom. Older children and girls demonstrated greater levels of peer play interaction, with older girls exhibiting the highest levels. Implications for future research and educational practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Agreement among informants' ratings of children's and adults' internalizing and externalizing problems is moderate. Each informant contributes unique information about an individual's problems. Thus, it has been advocated to obtain ratings from multiple sources in child psychiatry, whereas adult psychiatry relies mostly on self-reports. Longitudinal studies repeatedly assessing children's psychiatric problems from childhood into adulthood and including reports from multiple informants could serve as benchmarks for studies including only selected time points or informants. We examined the development of agreement among informants' ratings of internalizing and externalizing problems using self-, parent, teacher, and partner reports in a longitudinal study with 7 assessment waves spanning an interval of 24 years and covering an age range of 4 to 40 years. The number of informant pairs is 12,059, who rated 1,875 individuals. The results revealed that correlations among informant ratings of internalizing and externalizing problems depend more on the informant pair than on problem type or age group. Second, differences among informants rating internalizing problems typically become larger when individuals get older. Third, when rating themselves, individuals typically report higher scores than do parents, teachers, or partners. These results were consistent for internalizing and externalizing problems and across age groups. The findings indicate that like in child psychiatry, assessment in adult psychiatry may benefit from a shift to multiple informant reports, as different informants' ratings may contain more information than if informants completely agree.
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This paper reports on a project aimed at providing skills and resources to support nursery staff in identifying areas of strength and need in 3‐ to 5‐year‐old children. The six participating nurseries were all in areas of high socio‐economic disadvantage. Staff were trained to administer, score and interpret a wide‐ranging screening inventory. Following the assessment of children at nursery entry, staff were given support in developing appropriate programmes of activities to address the weaknesses and build on the strengths identified for individual children. All the children were reassessed following a period of six months. Although time was a major issue, staff were generally positive about the screening process and recognised the worth of early identification and intervention. While 46% of 173 children screened at the start of the project had significant difficulties in some area of development, only 6.9% remained at risk on the screening measure following tailored input. Systematic screening was identified as important for alerting staff to difficulties that might otherwise go unnoticed.
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Typescript. Thesis (M.A.)--Loyola College in Maryland. Includes bibliography (leaves 73-77).
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Research on the prevalence, course, and correlates of behavior problems in preschool children was examined. Prospective epidemiological studies and follow-up studies of clinical/high risk samples indicate that serious externalizing problems identified early often persist. Negative, inconsistent parental behavior and high levels of family adversity are associated with the emergence of problems in early childhood and predict their persistence to school age. Studies are examined from a developmental perspective and integrated with research on optimal parent-child relationships. The severity of initial problems and family context are related to different developmental outcomes.
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To study the services for pre-school children with behaviour problems in a Midlands city and the level of co-ordination and co-operation between providers. A socially and ethnically diverse Midlands city in the UK. Survey methods were employed with city health visitors in order to determine their role and identify service providers. Service providers from different agencies were interviewed and data collected related to service offered, materials used, theoretical basis of interventions, referrals to and from the service, inclusion and exclusion criteria and co-ordination and co-operation with other providers. Themes were identified related to the content and process of the services using qualitative data analysis methods. Frequencies of themes were estimated for different provider groups. Health visitors and nursery nurses working in the primary care services were the primary point of contact for children with pre-school behaviour problems. Nursery nurses were one of the major sources of referral for children with pre-school behaviour problems and a significant majority of these providers had not received any specific training for this role. The majority of the providers used evidence-based programmes but few adhered strictly to a particular programme and instead used a mixture of materials drawn from different programmes. Many health service providers in particular offered interventions to parents on a one-to-one basis only. Most providers used behaviour modification approaches. While many providers claimed to have knowledge of other local providers and have good links, there was little evidence of co-ordination within and between agencies. While there appears to be high levels of activity by providers from both statutory and voluntary sectors in providing services for pre-school children with behaviour problems, there is evidence to suggest that some of the main providers of services are not being adequately prepared and supported in the role. There is a lack of co-ordination within and between services, and indication that evidence-based programmes are being modified and used in an ad hoc manner. It is concluded that surveys of this nature may be an important preliminary step in establishing co-ordinated services for the primary and secondary prevention of pre-school behaviour problems.
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This study examined the effectiveness of an adaptation of an empirically-supported intervention delivered using mental health consultation to preschoolers who displayed elevated disruptive behaviors. Ninety-six preschoolers, their teachers, and their primary caregivers participated. Children in the intervention group received individualized mental health consultation focused on providing teachers with behaviorally-based, empirically-supported strategies for decreasing disruptive behaviors within the classroom. Caregivers were invited to participate in parent training (35% attendance). Effectiveness was assessed in contrast to an assessment/attention comparison group where typical treatment was available. This treatment approach was more effective than the comparison condition in decreasing child disruptive behavior, increasing the use of appropriate teacher strategies, and increasing the use of appropriate parenting practices. Adapting empirically-supported treatments for use in mental health consultation may be a way to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice and increase effectiveness of mental health consultation in treating disruptive disorders in young children.
Mental health consultation services in community based early childhood settings: A survey of preschool teachers (Doctoral dissertation
  • C F Elias
Elias, C. F. (2004). Mental health consultation services in community based early childhood settings: A survey of preschool teachers (Doctoral dissertation, University of Hartford, 2004). Dissertation Abstracts International, 64, 5778.
Discovering statistics using SPSS Pre-kindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state pre-kindergarten systems Early childhood consultation partnership: Results of a random-controlled evaluation
  • A Field
Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (2nd ed.). London, UK: Sage. Gilliam, W. S. (2005). Pre-kindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state pre-kindergarten systems. New Haven, CT: Yale University Child Study Center. Gilliam, W. S. (2007). Early childhood consultation partnership: Results of a random-controlled evaluation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Child Study Center.
She completed her doctoral degree in the APA accredited and NASP approved School Psychology Program at Duquesne University in
  • Kristin Rispoli
Kristin Rispoli, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She completed her doctoral degree in the APA accredited and NASP approved School Psychology Program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Her research interests involve the neuropsychology of mathematics and the effectiveness of mathematics interventions. She completed her doctoral degree in the APA accredited and NASP approved School Psychology Program at Duquesne University in
  • Dana L Schneider
Dana L. Schneider, PhD, is a practicing school psychologist. Her research interests involve the neuropsychology of mathematics and the effectiveness of mathematics interventions. She completed her doctoral degree in the APA accredited and NASP approved School Psychology Program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
is the former Executive Director of Children's Advantage in Portage County, Ohio and former Supervisor of the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program (a.k.a., TOTS). She was instrumental in launching the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Children's Advantage in
  • Barbara Clark
  • Msw
  • Lisw
Barbara Clark, MSW, LISW, is the former Executive Director of Children's Advantage in Portage County, Ohio and former Supervisor of the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program (a.k.a., TOTS). She was instrumental in launching the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Children's Advantage in 2001.
graduated from Kent State University with a Master's in Individual and Family Studies and received an Early Childhood Mental Health credential in 2012. She is an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist at Children's Advantage in Portage County
  • Kandi J Portz Novak
Kandi J. Portz Novak, MA, graduated from Kent State University with a Master's in Individual and Family Studies and received an Early Childhood Mental Health credential in 2012. She is an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist at Children's Advantage in Portage County, Ohio and a trainer with the Ohio Professional Development Network.