Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of peer to peer mand training on unprompted mand frequency for children with autism and intellectual/ developmental disabilities
by Kittenbrink, Rachel L., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2015, 186; 3735304
Abstract (Summary)

Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), by nature of diagnosis, demonstrate qualitative differences in communication and social interaction. Current post-secondary outcomes for individuals with autism highlight the need for intensive interventions to prepare students for improved quality of life, access to employment, and post-secondary education options. The inability to communicate one’s wants and needs effectively to adults and peers significantly limits the likelihood for independent successful navigation of one’s community and of the larger society. Interventions grounded in applied behavior analysis and designed to teach requesting or manding behaviors to individuals with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) are strongly supported in the literature. The wealth of current research in this area focuses strongly on teaching requesting behaviors from children with autism or IDD to adults. As individuals with autism and IDD age, the need to communicate wants and needs to peers, as well as to develop social skills continues to grow. The current study used a peer manding treatment package, embedding the use of differential reinforcement, controls for motivation, and time delay procedures to assess the effects on peer manding and reinforcer delivery rates in elementary school students with autism and IDD. A multiple probe across dyads design (Horner & Baer, 1978) was used to evaluate effectiveness of the peer manding treatment package on unprompted peer mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries during 12 min mand sessions. All participants were active in the baseline, intervention, withdrawal, generalization, and maintenance phases of the investigation. All participants demonstrated increased unprompted mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries following exposure to the treatment package, demonstrating a functional relation between the treatment package and increased response levels. Participants’ response levels in the phases following the intervention phase were more variable, but as a whole, response levels maintained throughout the investigation. Considerations for interpreting the results are included and recommendations for future research and practitioners are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lyon, Steve R.
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Instruction and Learning
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 77/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Special education
Keywords: Applied behavior analysis, Autism, Mand, Peer manding, Peer requests, Peer to peer
Publication Number: 3735304
ISBN: 978-1-339-24133-3
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