If you've been tuning into one of the many Inside JABA Series I've done over the last few years, you're undoubtedly familiar with today's guest, Dr. Claire St. Peter. Claire is a Professor as well as the Director of Graduate Training at West Virginia University.
According to her university bio, Claire's "primary research interest is the assessment and intervention of challenging behavior. She is particularly interested in the development of effective interventions for challenging behavior displayed in school contexts (including the effects of degraded integrity on intervention efficacy) and with the dissemination of behavioral approaches to caregivers (teachers, parents, etc.)."
And we do get to this very important topic of supporting typically developing individuals with behavior problems in school settings... but we get there in a roundabout way.
Before getting there, we talk about how she got into behavior analysis, and we spent a little more time on this than usual, because as it happens, Claire was doing her graduate training at The University of Florida at a time when many other prominent researchers and practitioners in Behavior Analysis were going through that program. I won't spoil the story here, but it's worth checking out because in my opinion it provides an interesting window into the development of an incredibly productive cohort of people.
We then transition into a primer of sorts in what's known as the "Constructional Approach" to behavioral treatment, intervention, and so forth. This approach was first described by Dr. Israel Goldiamond, and I highly recommend reading his seminal paper on this topic that was published in 1974. This topic has been getting a lot of attention in our field as of late, and I was thrilled to have Claire walk us through the basics of this perspective.
Towards the end of the podcast, Claire shares a fascinating case study in which she and her colleagues used this constructional approach to develop a novel behavioral intervention for a child who was exhibiting behavior problems in a school setting.
Again, if you're familiar with Claire's contributions to the Inside JABA Series, you know she loves a good soapbox, and in keeping with that, she offers some great advice for the newly minted at the close of the show.
Lastly, I don't want to forget to mention that Claire is the Editor in Chief of the journal, Education and Treatment of Children, which I think we mention briefly. There's a lot of good work being published there, so check it out if you get a chance. Also, Claire has made significant contributions in the area of treatment integrity (aka procedural fidelity), and I look forward to having her back on the show for a deep dive into that important topic.
Here are links to some of the resources we mentioned:
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