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Theses Doctoral

The Effects of Social Listener Reinforcement and Video Modeling on the Emergence of Social Verbal Operants in Preschoolers Diagnosed with Autism and Language Delays

Baker, Katherine

I conducted a study comparing the effects of a Social Listener Reinforcement protocol and a video modeling protocol on the number of social verbal operants emitted by preschoolers diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and speech and language delays. The purpose of this study was to examine whether teaching the verbal operants directly would produce different outcomes than conditioning the reinforcers for social verbal exchanges. A combined experimental-control group design with two "nested" non-concurrent multiple probes across participants was used to provide two within-group single case designs simultaneously with the experimental-control group design. The dependent variables were the number of social verbal operants emitted during non-instructional sessions and the number of missed social verbal opportunities. The social verbal operants measured were vocal and non-vocal: (a) sequelics, (b) conversational units, and c) tacts. The independent variables were a Social Listener Reinforcement protocol and a video modeling protocol. Twelve participants, 5 females and 7 males, between the ages of 3-4 were selected to participate in the study. Participants were placed in matched pairs based on their verbal behavior repertoires and pre-experimental probe data. One participant from each pair was assigned to the Social Listener Reinforcement condition and one to the video modeling condition. Results are reported across both individuals and groups. Results showed that participants in both conditions increased the number of social verbal operants they emitted with peers in non-instructional settings. Participants in the Social Listener Reinforcement condition had greater gains in the total number of social verbal operants they emitted and the number of conversational units and sequelics they initiated in non-instructional settings. However, participants in the video modeling condition emitted higher rates of social verbal operants prior to the intervention procedure than participants did in the Social Listener Reinforcement condition. Results are discussed in terms of differences in potential conditioned reinforcers that result from the two social learning procedures.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, R. Douglas
Ph.D., Teachers College
Published Here
July 7, 2014
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