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IES Grant

Title: A Randomized Trial of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) with Latino Students: A Replication Study
Center: NCSER Year: 2016
Principal Investigator: Sheridan, Susan Awardee: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (7/1/2016-6/30/2020) Award Amount: $3,499,987
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R324A160017

Co-Principal Investigators: Brandy Clarke (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to test the efficacy of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) for supporting the social-behavioral and academic performance of Latino elementary school students at risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD) and the family-school partnerships that support these students. Latino students, who account for nearly 25 percent of the student population in the United States, experience large disparities in educational outcomes and high rates of unmet mental health needs that exacerbate risk for school disengagement, suspension, and expulsion. Evidence-based interventions that are culturally responsive to the needs of Latino populations are lacking. CBC has the potential to be culturally responsive and although evidence for the efficacy of CBC exists across a variety of geographical settings (e.g., urban, rural), CBC has never been tested for efficacy specifically with Latino students and their families. The current study will examine the impact of CBC on Latino students' social-behavioral and academic outcomes and parent and teacher relationships and competencies for supporting Latino students.

Project Activities: In Years 1–3 of the study, 90 K–3 teachers will be recruited into three cohorts and randomly assigned to the CBC intervention condition or business-as-usual comparison condition. Within participating classrooms, approximately 270 Latino students identified as at risk for EBD will participate along with their parents or primary caregiver. Data collection will be completed prior to CBC implementation, immediately after the intervention, and at two follow-up points the following academic year to examine student behavioral and academic outcomes, parent/teacher beliefs and practices, and the family-school relationship. Researchers will also examine key variables that may moderate or mediate intervention effects and long-term impacts of CBC.

Products: This project will produce evidence of the efficacy of CBC for Latino students, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will occur in elementary schools with high Latino student populations across school districts in Nebraska.

Sample: A total of 90 K–3 teachers will participate in the study. Approximately 270 students (23 students per classroom) identified through a teacher screening as at risk for EBD, along with their parents or primary caregivers, will participate.

Intervention: CBC is an 8-week intervention that focuses on improving student behaviors through structured problem solving and collaborative, consistent implementation of evidence-based interventions across home and school settings. In CBC, parents and teachers serve as joint consultees, and the consultation process is conducted with parents and teachers as partners in addressing student behavior problems that interfere with learning. Problems are identified, defined, analyzed, and treated through mutual and collaborative interactions between parents and teachers with the guidance and assistance of a consultant. In this project, consultants will implement the CBC intervention through a sequence of interviews and activities during pre-consultation and four formal stages: (1) conjoint problem identification, (2) conjoint problem analysis and behavior plan development, (3) behavior plan implementation and fidelity support, and (4) behavior plan evaluation.

Research Design and Methods: This study will use a three-cohort cluster randomized controlled trial with repeated measures design in which teachers (30 per cohort) serve as the unit of randomization, with teachers nested within schools. Within participating classrooms, teachers will screen students to identify 2–3 Latino students per classroom identified as at risk for EBD. The immediate and long-term (i.e., the following fall semester and following spring semester) impact of CBC on student outcomes will be evaluated. Researchers will also examine key variables that may moderate (e.g., school climate, family and child risk such as family socioeconomic status and acculturation factors) or mediate (e.g., parent-teacher relationship, parent and teacher problem-solving competencies, beliefs about parent involvement in education) intervention effects and long-term impacts of CBC.

Control Condition: In the control condition, teachers and their students will receive business-as-usual instruction, services, and professional development.

Key Measures: The Behavioral and Emotional Screening System will be used to identify students at risk for EBD. Student academic achievement will be assessed with the Woodcock Johnson-IV, or if Spanish is the student's primary language, the Woodcock-Munoz (Spanish adaptation) and student report card grades. Student behaviors will be assessed with teacher and parent reports using the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2nd edition and the Social Skills Improvement System. Researchers will also conduct classroom observations and review behavioral records (e.g., disciplinary referrals). A variety of measures will be used to examine key moderators, such as Positive Perceptions about School to assess school climate, reports on family poverty status, and the Multidimensional Acculturation Scale to assess cultural identity, language, and cultural competency. Similarly, a variety of measures will be used to assess key mediators, such as the Parent-Teacher Relationship Scale to measure cohesion and communication between parents and teachers, the Competence in Problem Solving Scale, and the Parent Role Construction Scale to assess parents' roles and beliefs about involvement in their child's education. The Behavior Intervention Rating Scale will also be used to examine the acceptability of CBC to parents and teachers.

Data Analytic Strategy: Latent growth modeling with repeated measures nested within children, children nested within classrooms, and classrooms nested within consultants, will be used to analyze differences between the growth rates of treatment and control students' behavioral and academic functioning. In addition, the researchers will investigate potential mediators and moderators of intervention effects.

Related IES Projects: Evaluation of Efficacy of CBC for Addressing Disruptive Behaviors of Children at Risk for Academic Failure (R305F050284); A Randomized Trial of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) in Rural Educational Settings: Efficacy for Elementary Students with Disruptive Behaviors (R324A100115)