Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Ringdahl, Joel

Abstract

Study 1 evaluated the use of a behavioral skills training package (BST) to teach three adults with autism spectrum disorders job interview and conversation skills. Participants were asked to have a mock job interview and conversation with the researcher. Participants' behavior was scored according to the conversation and job interview task analyses. The BST package included instruction, modeling, rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement. A dense or lean schedule of reinforcement was assigned to each social skill based on performance during baseline. Social skills increased for all three participants when the BST package was implemented. Study 2 evaluated if dense or lean schedules of reinforcement affect maintenance of social skills. Two participants from Study 1 participated. Participants' BST data from Study 1 was used as baseline, followed by a maintenance phase. During this phase no instruction, modeling, rehearsal, feedback, or reinforcement was provided. The effect of rate of reinforcement during baseline on maintenance was evaluated.

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