Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henington, Carlen

Committee Member

Elder, Anastasia

Committee Member

Johnson-Gros, Kristin

Committee Member

Doggett, Anthony R.

Committee Member

Devlin, Sandra

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education


The purpose of the current study was to examine the treatment acceptability ratings of teachers of adolescents on three different types of commonly used interventions: (a) positive verbal praise, (b) token economy with response cost and extinction, and (c) psychotropic medication. Ratings of treatment acceptability were also assessed according to type of disorder (i.e., externalizing or internalizing). The participants were 101 teachers of adolescents recruited from a midwestern public school district. Participants were asked to read two case studies presented in a counterbalanced format. One case study focused on a youth who displayed symptoms related to an internalizing disorder (Major Depressive Disorder), while the other focused on a youth who displayed symptoms of an externalizing disorder (Conduct Disorder). After each case study, participants were asked to read three treatment vignettes. Each treatment vignette described one of the three previously mentioned interventions. The participants then rated the treatment acceptability of each intervention using a modified Abbreviated Acceptability Rating Profile. A 2 x 3 repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data from the measures. Statistically significant differences were found among level of intervention intrusiveness, type of disorder, as well as interaction effects between the two main variables of interest. Overall, teachers indicated they found less intrusive interventions as more acceptable than the more intrusive interventions; interventions for externalizing disorders were also rated as more acceptable than interventions targeting internalizing disorders. A noteworthy exception was the most intrusive intervention, psychotropic medication, as equally acceptable for both disorders. The current study is unique in that previous researchers have not investigated treatment acceptability of internalizing disorders or among teachers of adolescents as a population. The findings of this study may be useful for teachers of adolescents experiencing classroom difficulties with youth displaying symptoms of either Conduct Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder. Recommendations for future research are discussed as well.