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A Meta-Analysis of School-Based, Behavioral Consultations for Externalizing Behaviors
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Many teachers feel unprepared to handle the behavior problems that arise during the school day. School-based, behavioral consultation is one method of approaching this issue. While consultation has been demonstrated to be effective at providing teachers with the means to increase appropriate student behavior, there are still several unknown factors with which practitioners and researchers contend. In particular, questions about treatment fidelity and methods for its improvement have been noted in the literature. Of additional concern is the exclusion of single-case and unpublished studies in more recent meta-analytic research. The purpose of this paper was twofold. The first goal was to re-examine the impact of consultation on externalizing student behavioral outcomes by means of a more recent review of the school-based consultation literature. This analysis was intended to focus on single-case studies and both published and unpublished literature. Additionally, the author sought to investigate a possible moderator of this relationship: performance feedback, a method commonly used to measure and improve treatment integrity in consultations. To accomplish these tasks, a sample of 26 single-case studies, both published and unpublished, was systematically collected. The data from the sample were evaluated using nonparametric and parametric methods. The results suggested school-based, behavioral consultation can produce improvements in externalizing student behaviors, with a Baseline Corrected Tau of .46 and a statically significant p-value according to multilevel modeling analyses. The presence of performance feedback resulted in statistically significant improvements, but relatively small practical changes in behavioral outcomes. Of additional note was the publication bias identified within the sample, with larger effects seen in published literature, suggesting that meta-analyses which do not include unpublished studies may be biased. Overall, these conclusions support the use of consultation for improving behavioral problems in students and highlight the importance of considering treatment fidelity issues.
Ragan, Kelsey Marie (2019). A Meta-Analysis of School-Based, Behavioral Consultations for Externalizing Behaviors. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from