Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Ringdahl, Joel

Abstract

The current studies evaluated variables affecting sharing exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder. The first study evaluated the effects of manipulating item preference on the level of assistance needed to exhibit sharing behavior for four children with autism. Item preference affected two participants' percentage of independent sharing. Preference did not have as clear of an effect for another participant. However, sharing a more preferred item required more assistance (e.g., vocal prompts) to share. The fourth participant's percentage of independent sharing was not influenced by preference, and his independent sharing behavior was similar across item preference. The second study assessed the effectiveness of a token reinforcement procedure as an intervention for increasing independent sharing of high-preferred items for the two participants who did not independently share high-preferred items during study one. Independent sharing increased for both participants when the token procedure was in place and returned to baseline levels when it was removed.

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