Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Rachel Brown

Second Advisor

Jamie L. Pratt

Third Advisor

Kelly McConnell




This study evaluated the effects of the preschool life skills program (PLS; Hanley, Heal, Tiger, & Ingvarsson, 2007) on the acquisition of pro-social skills and reduction of interfering classroom behavior in a public special education pre-school in the Pacific Northwest. The rationale for the current study is based on the reality that consultants and trained assistants may not be a common element available to the average preschool setting. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether gains in pro-social skills and reductions in challenging behavior would occur under conditions of reduced consultant or supervisor involvement in this setting. In the original PLS research (Hanley et al., 2007) supervisor contact occurred daily. In this inquiry, contact occurred on a weekly basis for no more than two hours. Ten students were nominated for participation in this study with four being omitted due to attendance. For the six remaining students, results were mixed and varied based on the individual, with students acquiring some skills but not others. Overall students had higher levels of prosocial skill demonstration and lower levels of interfering behavior post-intervention, but it is uncertain whether this change was a result of the PLS class-wide teaching due to challenges with experimental control. This study should be viewed as a pilot investigation that attempts to make the PLS program accessible to public school teachers in schools with less resources. Future research should reexamine this question and posit ideas to make PLS acquisition feasible in similar environments.