Development of a parent training program for children with pervasive developmental disorders

Cynthia R. Johnson, Benjamin L. Handen, Eric Butter, Ann Wagner, James Mulick, Denis G. Sukhodolsky, Susan Williams, Naomi A. Swiezy, L. Eugene Arnold, Michael G. Aman, Lawrence Scahill, Kimberly A. Stigler, Christopher J. McDougle, Benedetto Vitiello, Tristram Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Parent delivered interventions based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) have been evaluated using primarily single-subject design methodology or small case series. While the results of these evaluations are encouraging, an important next step is to standardize the interventions to allow for replication across sites, in studies with large samples and measures of long-term, clinically meaningful outcomes such as improvements in children's functioning and their relationships with parents. Accordingly, the Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Psychosocial Interventions (RUPP Autism Network) assembled a detailed manual for a structured behavioral parent training (PT) program, developed treatment fidelity and training procedures, and conducted a pilot, feasibility study. The PT program is part of a large scale, multisite study intended to determine the efficacy of combined pharmacological treatment and behavioral intervention to improve behavior and adaptive functioning in children with PDD. This paper discusses the rationale for this project. A companion paper provides the results of our feasibility study on the PT program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-221
Number of pages21
JournalBehavioral Interventions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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