The effects of group communication processes on treatment outcomes in school-based problem solving teams
Verbal communication is the most fundamental activity in school-based consultation. Certain communicative behaviors may be productive in consultative problem solving teams, while the absence of these behaviors or the presence of other behaviors may hinder the problem solving process. There have been few studies of communication in school-based problem solving models involving multiple consultees. Considering the importance of group communication to this team-based approach, there is a need for more empirically derived information to guide consultants in facilitating consultative problem solving meetings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between three communicative processes and treatment outcomes between two types of consultative problem solving models, the Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) model and the Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) model. Predictions were that there would be a higher proportion of functional, directive, and behavioral communication in cases with large treatment effect sizes. Functional communicative acts are verbal behaviors that satisfy critical problem solving task requirements such as analyzing the problem to identify the nature, extent and seriousness of the problem. Directive communicative acts are verbal behaviors that overtly influence the problem solving process during consultation, such as questions directed toward consultees to gather more information. Behavioral content communicative acts are verbal behaviors that are focused on observable problem behaviors and the contexts in which they occur, such as asking questions about when a problem behavior occurs. There was a higher average proportion of Operating Procedures communicative acts in cases with small effect sizes and in FBA cases. There was a higher proportion of Behavior Setting communication, and Behavioral (i.e., Behavior and Behavior Setting combined) communication, in cases with large effect sizes. In addition, for FBA cases the proportion of Behavioral communication was higher in cases with large effect sizes, whereas for CBC cases the proportion was higher in cases with small effect sizes. A higher proportion of Process Overt and Directive communication was associated with small effect sizes and the proportion was higher in FBA cases. These results and limitations of the study are discussed along with implications for school psychology practice and future research on school-based problem solving models.
- Education - Seattle