Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Baker, Jonathan

Abstract

Millions of Americans are afflicted with dementia and that number is only expected to rise. The diagnosis of dementia comes with impairments, especially in language, and dementia functional declines appear to be affected by the environment and not solely as a result of the disorder (Alzheimer's Association, 2012; American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Engelman et al., 1999; Engelman et al., 2003). Traditional language tests are not likely to assess the mand (Esch et al., 2010), and the mand is a verbal operant about which little is known among this population. The current study investigates whether contriving an EO within a preferred activity using a prompt-probe intermix procedure and a transfer of stimulus control procedure could effectively train mands in older adults with dementia. There were two participants, and varied results were obtained. The procedure was demonstrated to be effective with one participant, but results were inconsistent with the second participant. Modifications had to be made throughout training for both participants, showing the importance of making modifications to training based on data obtained and to individualize the treatment.

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