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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Empirical studies of noncompliance to behavioral therapy Reynolds, Shawn Patrick


Two studies were performed to provide insight into the causes and effects of client noncompliance to behavioral treatments. An Analogue Study was performed in which undergraduate participants were taught about progressive muscle relaxation. Participants were randomly assigned to either a directive condition (which placed an emphasis on describing relaxation as an expert would) or a supportive condition (which emphasized incorporating relaxation into the person's daily life). Results indicated that participants in the supportive condition reported higher levels of enjoyment, satisfaction, and homework compliance than participants in the directive condition, but did not display significantly different levels of intrasession noncompliance. As well, a Clinical Study served as a naturalistic study involving six therapist-mother pairs where the mother was presenting with parenting difficulty and worked with the therapist during six sessions of behavioral parent training. This study surprisingly found that mothers were more likely to show noncompliance immediately following therapist supportive behavior than after directive behavior, but that overall levels of directive behavior resulted in less homework completion, and that overall levels of supportive therapist behavior corresponded with higher client satisfaction and lower overall levels of intra-session noncompliance. As well, therapists were more likely to respond to client noncompliance with supportive rather than directive behavior. Reconciliation of these results with previous research was discussed, along with limitations to these studies and potential areas for future research.

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