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An Exploratory Study of the Utility of the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Kimberly R. ZlomkeEmail author
  • Sarah Bauman
  • Garet S. Edwards
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

Parent-child interactions are critically important for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a number of the core symptoms of ASD are specifically impacted by parental behaviors and many efficacious treatment options for children with ASD rely on altering parental behaviors. Research has reported on the use and effectiveness of Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in addressing behavioral difficulties in children with ASD. A core feature of PCIT is observations of parent-child interactions using the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System (DPICS) for assessment, treatment planning, and outcome monitoring. As the clinical usage and evidence base for PCIT with children with ASD grows, the question of the utility of the DPICS in children with ASD remains. The current study explores the reliability, validity, and utility of the DPICS in 88 parent-child dyads of children with (n = 46) and without (n = 42) autism symptomology. Results indicate fair to strong inter-correlations for all DPICS behavioral categories but do not support convergent validity with the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory or the Parent Stress Index for dyads of a child with ASD. Significant differences were found between parents of children with ASD and those without on the DPICS. Within the context of interactions of children with ASD, inter-rater reliability was broadly obtained, although more research on the convergent validity is needed. The DPICS gathers important information to characterize parent-child interactions in dyads of children with ASD, but may not be as tied to parent report of child behaviors as in typically developing samples.

Keywords

Direct behavioral observation Autism spectrum disorder Reliability Validity Parent-child interactions 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with and approved by the university affiliated Institutional Review Board and with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from the legal representatives of all individual participants included in this study.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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