An investigation of the effectiveness of a home-school intervention involving Direct Behavior Ratings to decrease disruptive behavior in preschoolers

Date of Completion

January 2009


Education, Early Childhood|Education, Educational Psychology|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies




The need to address problem behaviors early in childhood has been clearly established, and the benefits of involving home-school collaboration in intervention have been demonstrated. However, limited empirical research has been directed toward examination of specific behavioral interventions that involve a home-school collaboration component for preschool populations. Given the acceptability and effectiveness of Direct Behavior Rating (DBR) as an intervention tool in elementary and secondary schools, a downward extension of the DBR to preschool age children is of interest. This study investigated the effectiveness of a home school intervention involving DBRs to decrease disruptive behavior in preschoolers. A sample of four preschool aged children, classroom teachers, and parents participated. During the intervention phase of the study, the classroom teacher rated behavior for each participant using a DBR. Ratings were shared daily with the student and parent, and positive reinforcement was provided for display of appropriate behavior. ^ A multiple baseline across-participants AB design was used to assess results. Overall results indicate DBR, as part of a home-school intervention package, to be an effective method for decreasing classroom problems behaviors in a preschool setting. Through visual analyses and effect size calculation, a positive effect of the DBR intervention is clearly defined (e.g., percent of non-overlapping data ranges from 85%–100%) across all four participants. In addition, high usability ratings and high integrity of implementation were found. This investigation offers empirical support for the downward extension of a behavior intervention previously shown to be effective for older students. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of incorporating home-school collaboration, data-driven methods, positive recognition for appropriate behavior, and simple behavior expectations, into the management of problem behavior in the preschool classroom. ^