Date of Award

5-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne

Abstract

The current study evaluated the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help reduce anxiety experienced during an interview with three individuals with varying Developmental Disabilities (DD). A multiple baseline across participants with embedded probes was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. The intervention consisted of mindfulness and defusion exercises used directly before an interview was conducted. Data were collected during each interview using an interview checklist created specifically for this study. The checklist consisted of two parts: anxiety measures and an interview question portion. The checklist was used to help score the overall performance for each participant during an interview. A BST procedure was used for two of the three participants to help their skill acquisition of correctly answering interview questions. Secondary measures were taken for a pre and posttest that consisted of a modified state social anxiety scale. The results from the study indicated that the use of ACT helped decrease anxiety experienced during an interview and also helped increase their overall performance during an interview.

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