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Theses Doctoral

How Parent Communication and the Use of Contingencies Relate to the Responding of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder During a Compliance Task

Snell, Elizabeth

I conducted a descriptive analysis of the effectiveness of how mothers communicate with their children during a compliance task and whether the mothers’ observed effectiveness related to their self-reported, self-efficacy scores. Participants consisted of 37 mother-child dyads in which the children were preschool-aged and were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I observed and transduced the mothers’ antecedents and consequences, as well as the children’s responses, using prerecorded videos that contained a 2-min compliance task (cleaning up after a free-play session). The procedure consisted of identifying the mothers’ antecedents and the consequences for the child’s behaviors and determining their form. Mothers’ forms were classified as being either vocal, combined, or nonvocal. The children of the study were classified by their level of verbal development using the Verbal Behavior Developmental Assessment-Revised (VBDA-R). The two levels of verbal development utilized for this study were the foundational level and the listener level. Results of the study indicated: 1) mothers of children at both the foundational and listener levels of verbal development were more likely to use a combined approach for antecedents and a vocal approach for consequences, 2) mothers did not significantly differ in their form when communicating based on their child’s level of verbal development, 3) children at both levels of verbal development emitted almost equally low levels of correct responding, 4) more antecedents emitted by mothers across both levels of verbal development were correlated with higher incorrect responding by their children, 5) for children at the foundational level of verbal development, higher incorrect responses were correlated with more combined interactions (antecedents and consequences summed), and for children at the listener level of verbal development, higher incorrect responses were correlated with more vocal interactions (antecedents and consequences summed), 6) mothers of children at either level of verbal development did not significantly differ in their use of contingent consequences, 7) contingent disapprovals were positively correlated with incorrect responses for children at the listener level of verbal development, 8) contingent corrections were positively correlated with incorrect responding for children at both levels of verbal development, 9) mothers’ reported self-efficacy was not correlated to their child’s level of verbal development, nor was it correlated with their child’s correct or incorrect responding.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, R. Douglas
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 7, 2020