Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology


Psychological Sciences


Dr. Kristen McCabe


Dr. May Yeh


Dr. Miya Barnett


Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) has proven to be a very effective treatment for child behavioral problems, however, PCIT does not benefit all families equally, presumably at least partly because therapists may not be equally effective in coaching their clients. Although researchers have proposed several dimensions of therapist coaching behaviors that are considered desirable, few of these have been empirically examined in relation to family engagement or child outcomes. Data from two clinical trials examining the effectiveness of culturally modified versions of PCIT (GANA and PersIn), were used to investigate which of several therapist coaching behaviors (brevity, positivity, consistency, accuracy, directive coaching and responsive coaching) are related to faster parent skill acquisition, treatment retention, and child outcomes. The findings indicate that none of these skills were significant in predicting speed of parent skill acquisition or parent reported improvement in child symptoms. However, positivity and responsiveness were significant predictors of treatment completion, while therapist directiveness was significantly related to treatment dropout. These findings suggest that these three therapist behaviors are particularly important to treatment engagement for both Spanish and English speaking families and should be important targets for therapist training.