Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Baker, Jonathan

Abstract

Individuals with developmental disabilities often have limited verbal repertoires and may engage in maladaptive behaviors in lieu of appropriate behaviors to access preferred stimuli. Functional Communication Training (FCT), although an efficacious treatment to reduce occurrences of maladaptive behavior, may result in unmanageable rates of the communicative response. Research has shown that gradually introducing a multiple schedule of reinforcement can ameliorate these high rates. To date, no studies have attempted the gradual introduction of a multiple schedule with behavior sensitive to negative reinforcement. Moreover, although evidence exists in the basic literature for the use of auditory stimuli as discriminative stimuli for the components of a multiple schedule, there is a paucity of applied research on multiple schedules with auditory signals. In the current study, two participants with developmental disabilities and intact vision and hearing received FCT to teach a functionally communicative response (e.g., touching a "break" card). Once the participants acquired the response, they were exposed to a multiple schedule condition, in which either auditory or visual signals were arranged to signal the components, and a mixed schedule (control) condition in which neither component was signaled

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