Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Sadie Lovett

Second Committee Member

Dr. Richard Marsicano

Third Committee Member

Dr. Heath Marrs

Abstract

A mand, often referred to as a request in lay terms, is a verbal operant that is under the control of an establishing operation and maintained by a specific reinforcer. Children with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty learning mands and need supplemental training to learn this skill. The purpose of the present study was to extend the study by Bowen, Shillingsburg, and Carr (2012) and compare two mand training procedures to determine if a question-only or item-present condition would result in more rapid acquisition of mands. A multiple baseline design across participants, with an embedded alternating treatment design, was used to evaluate mand acquisition in two preschool children with autism. Results of the study showed that the item-present condition resulted in more rapid acquisition of mands than the question-only condition.

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