Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Ringdahl, Joel

Abstract

This study evaluated the treatment components of a conversation based Behavioral Skills Training (BST) package used to teach conversation skills to three young adults with developmental disabilities via a component analysis. Following each component, participant's performance was compared to a task analysis that included both vocal and non-vocal conversation skills, such as making comments related to the conversation topic, maintaining eye contact, maintaining and appropriate distance from the conversation partner. The components of the BST package included instructions, modeling of an appropriate conversation, rehearsal, rehearsal with feedback, in-situ training with feedback provided to the participants in a private observation room, and in-situ training with feedback plus reinforcement. The results indicated that different components were correlated with acquisition of the conversation skills for each participant. Implications of the results and areas for future research are discussed.

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