An evaluation of magnitudes of reinforcement and mand variability in the treatment of problem behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder

dc.contributor.advisorFalcomata, Terry S.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberO'Reilly, Mark
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCooc, North
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRingdahl, Joel
dc.creatorFerguson, Raechal Haley
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-6359-0621
dc.date.accessioned2021-06-11T20:12:21Z
dc.date.available2021-06-11T20:12:21Z
dc.date.created2019-12
dc.date.issued2020-03-24
dc.date.submittedDecember 2019
dc.date.updated2021-06-11T20:12:22Z
dc.description.abstractInterventions aimed at increasing behavioral variability hold particular importance in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Several procedures have been demonstrated in the applied and translational literature to increase response variability including extinction and lag schedules of reinforcement. However, little is known about the relationship between reinforcer magnitude and response variability. In the basic literature, Doughty, Giorno, and Miller (2013) evaluated the effects of reinforcer magnitude on behavioral variability by manipulating reinforcer magnitude across alternating variability thresholds, with results suggesting that larger reinforcers induced repetitive responding. Recently, Ferguson, Falcomata, Ramirez-Cristoforo, and Vargas-Londono (2019) translated these findings to evaluate the relative effects of different magnitudes of reinforcement on mand variability in children with ASD. Inconsistent with basic findings, the results from Ferguson et al. showed higher levels of variable responding associated with the larger magnitude of reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different magnitudes of reinforcement on variable responding in the treatment of problem behavior. Using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design with an embedded multielement design, phase A represented baseline data with no programmed response for variability or problem behavior. In phase B, a Lag 1 schedule of reinforcement was implemented within a multielement design, with the durations of reinforcement provided for variable responding varying across small and large magnitude conditions. Results demonstrated dramatic decreases in problem behavior for all participants in both small and large magnitude conditions. The results also suggest that larger magnitudes of reinforcement may increase variable responding more effectively than smaller magnitudes of reinforcement
dc.description.departmentSpecial Education
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/86444
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/13395
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectAutism spectrum disorder
dc.subjectResponse variability
dc.subjectReinforcement magnitude
dc.titleAn evaluation of magnitudes of reinforcement and mand variability in the treatment of problem behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentSpecial Education
thesis.degree.disciplineSpecial Education
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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