Date of Award

8-1-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

A delay discounting questionnaire was administered where the commodity manipulated was treatment success that occurred immediately or was delayed. The delay to treatment success was exponentially manipulated and in terms of reasonable time estimates expected for a behavioral intervention to typically achieve successful outcomes with the individual. The cost titrated was the amount of time per week that staff would be willing to implement a typical behavior change strategy. Results from 32 direct care staff currently employed at a day treatment facility for adult clients suggest the subjective value of treatment outcomes is discounted as a function of the delay to treatment success. All participants had some experience implementing behavior analytic treatment strategies. The decay is appropriately modelled using a hyperbolic curve function fit to the data that was obtained and is consistent with the results of prior research in the field. The values obtained for each delay included the median indifference point at each delay, an r2 value of 0.92 was observed. The median indifference points that were determined for each delay indicate steep discounting of the subjective value of willingness to implement treatment as a function of the delay. The results can provide additional research to support the level of predicting and influencing staff buy in of behavior analytic programs by determining estimates of response cost and delay to outcome. Keywords: Delay discounting, direct care staff, treatment programs, treatment outcomes

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