William H. Ahearn
Rebecca P. Fallows MacDonald, William V. Dube
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
psychology, behavioral, preference, social interaction
Social interaction in children, Autistic children - Behavior modification
Child Psychology | Social Psychology
The purpose of this study was to determine preference for social interaction, then determine if preference for social interaction can be changed. Two children diagnosed with autism participated in a split room assessment to determine a level of social interaction prior to training. The room was divided in half with a white piece of tape (Harding et al., 1999), the participant was free to move from one side of the room to the other throughout the session. Identical toys were placed on both sides of the room. On one side of the room the adult interacted with the participant, on the other side of the room the adult did not interact with the participant. Following the split room assessment a social reinforcer assessment was conducted to identify social stimuli that functioned as reinforcers. Social skills that were absent in the initial assessment were trained using prompt fading. Reinforcers identified in the social reinforcer assessment were used as reinforcers when training the social skills. Post training, a split room assessment was again conducted to determine if exposure to social stimuli would increase their preference for social interaction and the social behavior emitted in this assessment. The current study found that exposure to social consequences in the context of teaching increased preference for social interaction by about 10% for both participants.
Hillary S. Balog
Balog, Hillary S., "Determining preference for social interaction" (2011). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 65. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20001098
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