Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Bryce McLeod


Approximately 15-25% of children ages 3 to 5 years in early childhood settings display chronic challenging behaviors that increase their risk for developing an emotional and behavioral disorder. The early onset of emotional and behavioral disorders has long-term negative implications for these children. Therefore, it is vital to address these problems early on. One approach is through teacher-delivered practices (i.e., specific strategies, such as praise) and programs (i.e., manualized interventions that contain a collection of practices) in the classroom. Some practices and programs have shown positive outcomes for children. However, when practices and programs do not outperform business-as-usual group (BAU), it is hard to determine how to improve outcomes for children. One way to enhance programming offered to children is by describing the practices delivered by teachers in BAU early childhood classrooms. BAU is defined as existing practices teachers use without exposure to new programming at the time of the study. Characterizing the practices delivered by teachers in BAU can generate baseline data that can be used to inform quality improvement process in early childhood settings. The present study used data collected to develop and validate the Treatment Integrity Measure for Early Childhood Settings (TIMECS; McLeod et al., 2021) to examine the frequency of practices used, the average dosage of the practices, and how practices clustered together using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). The study sample included 91 children aged 3 to 5 years who displayed challenging behaviors along with 54 teachers from urban and suburban early childhood settings. The study found that teachers were using all practices found in TIMECS, but some practices were observed in more observations than others, teachers used practices at varying dosages, and were found to group practices into two groups: classroom management and supportive relationships. These findings help characterize practices teachers use in BAU early childhood classrooms with children who display challenging behaviors. Findings from this study provide baseline data that can be used to inform quality improvement process and help researchers implement practices that build on teacher’s existing knowledge of the practices delivered in the classroom.


© Navneet Kaur

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