This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Effects of Spacing and Intensity of Behavior on Levels of Treatment Integrity




Haygood, Sarah

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Problem behavior can be extremely disruptive and can impact a person’s success in his home, school, and community. A behavior intervention plan (BIP) can be developed to reduce the problem behavior and increase appropriate behavior. However, for BIPs to be successful, behavior-change agents must implement the procedures with high levels of integrity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate two variables (intensity of problem behavior and spacing of problem behavior) on levels of treatment integrity. Participants were assigned to a BIP that used differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) or differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), as well as a test condition (spacing or intensity). During the test condition, the intensity or the spacing of the problem behavior was manipulated so that 70% of instances were irregularly spaced or occurred with increased intensity. All participants engaged in similar levels of integrity during the control and the spacing or intensity condition. Participants who implemented the DRO protocol had overall lower levels of treatment integrity compared to participants who implemented the DRA protocol.