Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne


Interrupted chain procedures have been shown to be effective for teaching initial communication skills in individuals with disabilities. In this study, we examined the effects of implementing an interrupted chain procedure to train mands. Next, determine if it would allow for the emergence of tacts without direct training. Four male children, ages 6-11 diagnosed with autism were used as participants in this study. A multiple probe design across participants was utilized to assess the effects of the interrupted chain procedure on the participant's behavior. Prior to the implementation of the study, a naturalistic assessment was conducted in order to determine potentially highly reinforcing activities for each participant. Tact pre/posttest probes were conducted prior to and following mand training. The results of the study indicated that the interrupted chain procedure allowed for the emergence of tacts for all four participants without direct training. Though, only one participant attained 100% correct responding in the tact posttest phase, the other three participants increased their tact posttest responses compared to tact pretest probes. Although the participant's behavior increased over posttest measures, it did not improve significantly due to variable responding. DESCRIPTORS: interrupted chain procedure, contrived establishing operation, autism, emergence of tacts, graduated prompt delay




This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.