Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas S. Higbee

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that when response variability is treated as a behavioral operant, it can be increased by implementing a reinforcement contingency on a lag schedule. A multiple baseline across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a lag schedule and manual prompting procedure on the play behavior of three children with autism. The intervention procedure was used to evaluate response variability while probes were conducted to see if variability generalized to two other similar play sets. All three participants demonstrated varied play actions in the presence of the lag schedule and prompting procedure. When the lag schedule was removed in a 2-week maintenance check, responding remained at high rates but stereotypical patterns were observed.

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