Date of Degree

9-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Nicole M. Neil

Subject Categories

Psychology

Keywords

communication; Down syndrome; intensity; intervention; task persistence

Abstract

Maximizing outcomes for learners with Down syndrome requires an approach which is both effective and efficient. Modifying the intensity of intervention has the potential to affect the rate of skill acquisition as well as other learner behavior, such as task persistence, which alters the efficiency of intervention. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of varying intensity levels of a behavior-analytic on acquisition and task persistence for young children with Down syndrome. Three children with Down syndrome were taught expressive language targets using three manipulations of intervention intensity (dose): the number of opportunities, the spacing of opportunities, and the session duration. We measured the effects of intensity on skill acquisition and task persistence (off-task behavior and affect). Children acquired targets faster in conditions in which the spacing of opportunities was shorter than conditions in which the spacing was longer. Manipulating dose produced individual differences during the different intensity levels in the two measures of task persistence. For two children, moderate intensity levels produced greater expression of positive affect. Children showed idiosyncratic differences in off-task behavior.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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