Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Disruptive behaviors in children are a class of behaviors that involve problems with impulse control, regulating emotions, compliance, aggression, and respecting the rights of others or societal norms (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Nelson, 1996). The presence of these disruptive behaviors take a negative toll on the environment including the education setting, criminal justice system, public health services, and families (Tolan and Leventhal, 2013; Cuffel, 1997). Meta-analyses have shown several evidence-based treatments for disruptive behavior with cognitive-behavioral therapy being an effective approach (Eyeberg, Nelson, & Boggs, 2008; McCart & Sheidow, 2016). One such cognitive-behavioral therapy that is effective for decreasing disruptive behaviors in children is Problem Solving Skills Training (PSST) (Kazdin, 2017), however there is no published evaluation of PSST in a school setting. The study at hand examines the use and effectiveness of PSST in a school context comparing a delayed waitlist control group to a treatment group through a teacher-report measure of behavior and frequency of time out room referrals. Significant decreases in problem behavior were found in both teacher-report measures and time out room referrals for the active treatment group over time. These results demonstrate that PSST is an effective cognitive-behavioral based intervention to decrease disruptive behavior for children in the school setting.

Committee Chair

Long, Anna