Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education and Rehabilitation

Committee Chair(s)

Charles L. Salzberg, Judith M. Holt


Charles L. Salzberg


Judith M. Holt


Thomas S. Higbee


Jared C. Schultz


Gretchen Gimpel-Peacock


Treatment integrity has recently received increased attention in behavior analytic research. As more individuals with intellectual disabilities live in integrated, community group home settings, it is increasingly important that direct support staff are well trained to implement behavioral interventions, including skill acquisition programs. However, given the typically low supervisor-staff ratios and lack of prior training for most residential staff, providing the adequate intensity of training to teach sophisticated behavior skills is challenging. These studies investigated the effects of watching a video model and completing a brief quiz on staff’s ability to implement Phases I (study 1) and II (study 2) of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, the effects of this staff training on clients’ correct use of PECS was also evaluated. Each study used a nonconcurrent multiplebaseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of the intervention procedures. In study 1, all four primary staff participants increased the percentage of correctly implemented Phase I steps after viewing the video model and completing the quiz. In addition, one of the primary staff participants generalized the skills to a second client participant. Likewise, secondary staff participants also demonstrated improvement after the intervention and clients demonstrated an increase in correct picture exchanges. In study 2, all three staff participants increased the percentage of correctly implemented Phase II steps after viewing the video model and taking the quiz and these effects maintained over time.




This work made publicly available electronically on April 10, 2012.