Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Andrew Samaha, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kwang-Sun Blair, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Bloom, Ph.D.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder, automated assessment, drawing, percentile schedule

Abstract

One of the defining characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is repetitive, rigid, or stereotyped patterns of behavior. A proposed approach to treating such patterns is to provide reinforcement for response variability. Though research demonstrates that the variability of responses can be influenced by contingencies of reinforcement, no studies have examined the effects of placing contingencies on different units of behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of two modified percentile schedules on variety of completed drawings and individual lines drawn by students with ASD who had been referred for engaging in rigid patterns of behavior. For all three participants that completed drawing sessions, results indicated that drawing variability increased the most when reinforcement was contingent on the variability of the completed drawing, as opposed to a random ratio schedule of reinforcement or reinforcement being contingent on individual lines being varied.

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