Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Executive functioning skills, especially impulse control, have been widely studied andinterventions have been developed to improve impulse control in young children. Play has also been studied for its benefits to young children’s development. Play skills have also been taught to students with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, play has not often been utilized to teach impulse control directly. The current study attempted to define the components of impulse control as conditional discrimination, and to apply those discrimination skills in early childhood settings for students with no diagnosis. Kindergarten children participated in baseline measuring of conditional discrimination through the game “Simon Says.” Intervention involved increasing salience of stimuli for responding in the game “Freeze Dance.” Outcomes were mixed, with some students demonstrating increased impulse control during baseline, while others demonstrated increased impulse control during intervention.
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