Theses Doctoral

The Effects of the Social Listener Reinforcement Protocol on the Audience Control of Stereotypy and Social Operants for Students with Developmental Delays

Sterkin, Victoria Lynn

In a within-subjects alternating treatments design, I tested for the presence of audience control in four participants' frequency of stereotypy in a self-contained special education setting versus a general education setting. Three students with autism, and one student diagnosed with an emotional disability were participants in the study. All students had the capability of observational learning and the cusp social listener reinforcement in their repertoires of verbal behavior. Probes were conducted at random across participants and settings, and showed high frequencies of stereotypy in the self-contained setting and low to no instances of stereotypy in the general education setting. As an extended test of audience control, Experiment 2 identified developmentally delayed nursery school students in an integrated setting and tested the effects of the social listener reinforcement protocol (Reilly-Lawson & Walsh, 2007) on the audience control of social vocal operants. All participants had speaker behavior in repertoire but few conversational units, sequelics, and mands were emitted with typically developing peers in the classroom. Participants also emitted low levels of correct choral responding during group instruction. Following the social listener reinforcement protocol all participants increased social vocal operants with classroom peers and became more integrated in the classroom environment. Correct choral responses increased, as well as sharing and mands, with each other and with typically developing classroom peers.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, R. Douglas
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 7, 2012