Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth


MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a defusion exercise in combination with perspective- taking interactions as a brief protocol based on the Relational Frame Theory (RFT). The protocol was designed to alter verbal statements about the self through the implementation of training on deictic frames (I-YOU, HERE-THERE, AND NOW-THEN) in conjunction with an exercise of defusion. A pre-post design with a control group was implemented to evaluate the effects of the protocol on the frequency rate of self-as-context and self-as-content statements. Adolescents with disabilities were selected and assigned to each group based on the frequency rate of self-as-content statements. After the assignment of the participants to each group, each participant was interviewed individually through a structured interview aimed at identifying deictic frames and negative statements. Then, participants in the treatment group received the protocol of defusion and deictic frames individually, and participants in the control group received a social skills session on an individual basis. Finally, participants were interviewed individually through an interview based on the identification of deictic relationships and negative statements about the self. Results showed a significant effect in reducing the number of self-as-content statements and increasing the number of self-as-context statements for participants in the treatment group; however, changes did not reach the statistical significance when comparing the post-tests scores between the treatment and control group. Limitations of this study are discussed and future research is recommended.




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