A Comparison of Staff Training Procedures: Behavioral Applications in the Child Psychiatric Inpatient Setting

Alan M. Delamater, C. Keith Conners, Karen C. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The present study sought to determine the most efficient means of staff management by comparing three training procedures: in-service training, using Brown and Presbie's (1974) behavior Modification Skills, direct feedback of actual staff performance, and role-playing, involving instruction, modeling, behavioral rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement with an experienced behavior therapist. Direct naturalistic observational procedures were used to obtain behavioral data to eight staff members' (nurses and aides) interactions with children on an inpatient psychiatric unit. The phases of the study, which spanned twenty-one weeks, included: baseline 1, in-service training, in-service plus direct feedback (administered sequentially across subjects), baseline 2, and role-playing. Results indicated that the in-service training had little effect on staff behavior, direct feedback in some cases resulted in increased frequency of appropriate staff responding, including greater use of positive reinforcement and vocalizations, but these gains were not maintained across time, and the greatest gains in staff behavior occurred as a result of role-playing. These results are discussed in terms of both the specific advantages and disadvantages of each of the training procedures, and the practicality and political issues involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages20
JournalBehavior Modification
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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