Publication Date

2012-06-11

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2014-06-11

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2012-04-27

First Committee Member

Michael Alessandri

Second Committee Member

Brian D. Doss

Third Committee Member

Shannon K. de l'Etoile

Fourth Committee Member

Anibal Gutierrez

Abstract

In 2006, the American Psychological Association (APA) appointed a Task Force that outlined the field of psychology’s commitment to the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and emphasized the importance of using EBPs in all areas of treatment and education (APA Presidential Task Force, 2006). Although the importance of utilizing these practices was identified, a wide research-to-practice gap remains, particularly in educational settings. A crucial component of advancing the use of EBPs in these settings is to understand teachers’ attitudes towards implementing EBPs in their classrooms. Prior research has identified some possible factors contributing to teacher variability in motivation to implement EBPs (e.g. Boardman, Argüelles, Vaughn, Hughes, & Klingner, 2005.; Stahmer & Aarons, 2009), but little work has examined teacher attitudes toward these practices. The unanswered question is, for teachers who are implementing EBPs, what is the impact of their attitudes towards adopting these practices in their classrooms on the students they teach? This project sought to better understand the impact of teacher attitudes towards the adoption and implementation of EBPs on the outcomes of preschool students with autism. Specifically, the current study assessed the relationship between teacher attitudes toward EBPs and student outcome in the areas of autism severity (AS), language development (LD), and overall cognitive functioning (CF). Results indicated that on average students in this sample made progress across the year in all three domains. However, there was no relationship between teacher attitudes and student outcomes in this particular sample.

Keywords

Autism, Evidence-Based Practice, Treatment

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