Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark


The purpose of the present study was to improve participation through precision, scope, and depth of responding during Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) sessions for three individuals with autism. Following baseline observations which revealed less than optimal performance, participants received 8 relational framing training tasks prior to each ACT lesson, in which the underlying ACT relational principles were taught in a Discrete Trial Training format. Following mastery of all 8 programs and concurrent data collection on ACT participation quality, all participants were given maintenance probes to assess if ACT scores remained high in the absence of intervention. Challenging behaviors were concurrently evaluated for each participant as well as self-report assessments that measured psychological flexibility. The results of the study demonstrated an improvement in average AQAS scores from baseline for all three participants. Challenging behavior had an average decrease for two out of three participants. Self-report measures demonstrated an increase in overall psychological flexibility for one out of two participants.




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