Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder experience many stressors in their lives, including managing problem behaviors of their child. Parent training can effectively teach parents strategies to manage noncompliant behaviors; however, many parents spend months on wait lists before accessing this service. This study investigated the preliminary effects of both an expert-led and parent-led training for wait-listed parents. Thirteen parents of children currently on a waitlist to receive behavioral analytic services participated; most were highly educated, all were white and married. The study used a pyramidal training approach: a professional instructed one group of participants while a participant volunteer instructed the second group. Participants completed a training on several behavior management techniques. Training was conducted in a manner plausible for community clinics to implement. Checklists and direct observations of trainee behavior were taken to observe fidelity of training. Data were also collected using parent self-report measures using Likert-scales to report on their own behavior as well as their child’s behavior. Participants from both groups reported decreases in child noncompliant behavior and increases in parent self-efficacy, confidence and consistency in administering behavior management techniques, indicating that both expert-led and parent-led training are effective in decreasing reported noncompliant behavior and increasing parent-reported self-efficacy. Clinics and communities should seek to implement similar programs to address wait-list issues; using a pyramidal parent training module may allow more parents to access information in a more efficient fashion. Further research should be conducted on larger groups and additional levels of pyramidal training.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





applied behavior analysis, parent training, pyramidal training, noncompliance