School-based problem-solving interventions: the impact of training and documentation on the quality and outcomes

Upah, Kristi
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Limited research suggests there is a relation between quality interventions, as indicated by the presence of specific indicators, and positive student outcomes (Flugum, 1992; Flugum & Reschly, 1992, 1994); these findings, however, were based on self-report data with no intervention documentation to verify the quality or outcomes. There continues to be a need to determine which components (i.e., quality indices) are essential for school-based problem-solving interventions to result in positive outcomes for students. Research (e.g., McDougall, Reschly & Corkery, 1988; Kratochwill, VanSomeran & Sheridan, 1989) also supports the use of protocol-based training to influence the quality of these interventions positively; yet, questions remain as to the effect of the protocol versus the training;In addition to answering the above question, this study attempted to overcome the weaknesses of previous research on quality indicators of interventions and validate recommended "best practice" (i.e., Tilly & Flugum, 1995). This study also contributed to the research on the efficacy of school-based problem solving by examining the impact of intervention quality indicators on student outcomes. Specific research questions addressed are (a) Does training in designing and implementing interventions increase the quality of the intervention? (b) Do the intervention documentation materials used influence the quality of the intervention? (c) Is there a positive relation between the quality of the intervention and the outcome of the intervention?;Results support the use of protocol-based training in improving intervention quality and validate recommended "best practice" in designing and implementing quality interventions. Training in designing and implementing interventions which incorporated an intervention documentation protocol outlining quality indices resulted in higher quality interventions than those designed and implemented prior to the training. The "protocol-based" aspect of the training may have been the critical piece, since the use of the intervention documentation protocol alone resulted in improvements equal to those attained with the protocol and training. Those interventions with higher levels of quality were related to more positive student outcomes.