Evaluating Treatment Integrity Across Interventions Aimed at Social and Emotional Skill Development in Learners with Emotional and Behaviour Disorders

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This study contributes to the existing literature on treatment integrity (TI) by presenting TI findings across interventions aimed at the development of social emotional skills in learners with emotional and behavioural disorders. Social and emotional skills were selected as the target for our investigation given the significance of these skills in relation to the academic and behavioural success of learners and the challenges most often faced in these skill areas by students with emotional and behaviour disorders (E/BD). The study analysed single-subject experimental studies from 2000 to 2009 in two leading journals in the field of emotional and behaviour disorders: Behavior Disorders and The Journal of Emotional Behavioral Disorders. The degree to which studies operationally defined independent variables and evaluated and reported measures of treatment integrity and associated risk factors is reported. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria for the present study and TI was evaluated across six variables (1) year published, (2) dependent variable(s), (3) independent variables(s), (4) participant characteristics, (5) treatment agent and (6) assessment of TI. Results indicated that approximately 49% of the studies monitored and reported TI, meaning that they provided a description of the TI procedure and resultant data. Findings from the study point to the need for attention to TI both in the description of methods used and in the reporting of TI data.