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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


ZAZULA, Robson  and  HAYDU, Verônica Bender. Applied behavior analysis and training for parents: A review of articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Acta comport. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.1, pp. 87-107. ISSN 0188-8145.

The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) is one of the oldest journals in behavior analysis. The journal is directed to problems with social relevance, as the investigation of the effects of procedures, techniques and intervention programs in different contexts. Training parents is defined as a way to teach parents some behaviors and strategies that enable them to modify their behavior and interaction with their children, increasing the occurrence of pro-social behaviors. It is considered an effective intervention to a lot of problems, as noncompliance, special health care needs, behavior deficits and development of parental skills. The present work intended to review studies published in JABA from 1968 to 2009 about training parents, quantifying data from the methods of the studies, and identifying the procedures/strategies used in training parents programs based on principles of behavior analysis. A survey of articles about training parents published by JABA was made in PsyINFO database. Exclusion criteria referred to articles that don't characterize empirical researches, were unrelated to directed parent training, and were related to training of others peoples, except the parents. The study reviewed 31 articles, with descriptions of 36 studies. All studies were read in full and their data were systematized in a data bank, focusing participants' information's, settings in which the intervention was realized, experimental design, type of intervention used and principals' procedures/strategies applied in studies and others characteristics of the procedures. Later, all procedures/ strategies were systematized and analyzed, in according to some of the principles of behavior analysis such as shaping, establishing operations, stimulus control and rule governed behavior. It was observed that the studies reviewed were mostly developed with single case procedures and multiple baseline designs. The studies were conducted most frequently in the participant's home, with parents between 21 to 30 years-old, and children until 3 years-old. The studies more often used procedures/strategies related with shaping, like rehearsal, which complement others procedures, as stimulus control or giving instructions training and rule governed behavior. Others procedures/strategies identified were: token economy, written manuals, time-out and others. Training parents is an important area to apply the principles of Behavior Analysis. Moreover, parents are necessary to modify children´s behavior, to train different skills, to promote health and education, and to prevent problem behavior.

Keywords : Applied behavior analysis; parent training; intervention programs; review; research methods.

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