Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Previous research on parent training with children who have developmental disabilities has typically failed to include fathers. Compared to research on mothers of children with disabilities and fathers of normally developing children, little is known about fathers of children who have disabilities. In the present study, effects of behavioral parent training on fathers' parenting behaviors (instruction giving, positive attention, and correct consequences) were evaluated. The experimenter trained four fathers of children with developmental delays in the home using written handouts, verbal instructions, modeling, and performance feedback. Training was directed at increasing correct use of fathers' instruction giving, positive attention following child compliance, and consequences following child inappropriate behavior. Consequences included planned ignoring of minor inappropriate behavior and time-out for behaviors such as hitting, throwing toys, and running into the street. Four fathers and their sons participated. Results of a multiple baseline design across father behaviors demonstrated that with training, all four fathers increased their correct use of instruction giving and positive attention following child compliance, and 3 fathers increased their use of consequences following child inappropriate behavior. The first father was not trained in consequences due to the low to zero rate of child inappropriate behavior. In turn, child compliance made modest increases in 3 of the 4 participants. The results replicated earlier research with mothers of children with developmental disabilities and extends research by using fathers as the principal targets of study. Limitations of the study and potential benefits of father involvement are discussed.