The Lobitz family, composed of the husband, John, age 36, the wife, Rose, age 30, and their son, Ross, age 2, presented themselves for treatment concerning the crying and tantrum behavior of their son.
The son, Ross Lobitz, had been very ill as an infant, his condition requiring a good deal of attention and special care on the part of both of his parents. Although over the last eight months, Ross' physical problems had cleared up and he had become considerably healthier, his parents stated that he still demanded the same level of attention he had been shown when he was ill and that if this attention was not forthcoming, the child would begin to scream and rage.
The parents cited bedtime as the most difficult period for all of them because Ross demanded that they remain in his room until he had fallen asleep. Apparently, when he had been ill, they felt that they had to remain in his room on and off throughout the night and they had elected to "watch" him when he fell asleep in order to "comfort" him.
Not only did Ross demand that his parents remain with him during the period in which he fell asleep; but if they did not fix their eyes directly upon him, he would begin to scream and tantrum. Behavior such as looking out a window or picking up a magazine to read while they waited for him to fall asleep was sufficient to provoke the child to rage.
The problem is the bedtime crying and tantrum behavior of the two year old child, Ross Lobit. The behavior has resulted in emotional upset for both the child and his parents. It has been continuing for a lengthy period of time during which both parents stated that they had been experiencing an increasing sense of strain, stress, and physical exhaustion.
With respect to the delineation of the problem in terms of variables, it can be noted that the dependent variables are the behavior variables of crying and tantrum behavior.