This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Differences in Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Stimuli on Vocal Stereotypy Inform DRO and DRA Treatments




Brogan, Kristen

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




We conducted a series of studies on the immediate and subsequent effects of stimuli on vocal stereotypy exhibited by four children with disabilities. Results of Study 1 showed that vocal and motor stereotypy of all four participants persisted in the absence of sosial consequences. Results of Study 2 showed that a free-operant competing stimulus assessment (FOCSA) identified a high-preference low-stereotypy (HP-LS) stimulus, which was predicted to decrease stereotypy, and a high-preference high-stereotypy (HP-HS) stimulus, which was predicted to increase stetreotypy, for each participant. Results of Study 3 showed that the FOCSA correctly predicted the immediate effect of the HP-LS stimulus for all 4 participants; however, the FOCSA predictions were less accurate for the HP-HS stimulus. Results of Study 4 showed that a differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure in which participants earned access to the HP-LS for omitting vocal stereotypy increased each participants’ latency to vocal stereotypy; however, clinically significant durations were only achieved for one participant. Study 5 showed that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior in which participants earned access to the HP-LS stimulus contingent upon correct responses during discrete trial training reduced levels of stereotypy and increased correct engagement for all participants. The potential utility of the FOCSA is discussed.