Date of Degree

9-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Emily A. Jones

Committee Members

Patricia D'Ateno

Robert Ranaldi

April Kisamore

Daniel Fienup

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis

Keywords

autism, siblings, relationship, intervention

Abstract

Sibling relationships may be strained when one sibling is typically developing (TD) and one has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). TD siblings have been taught to encourage play in their siblings with ASD but there is limited literature examining the impact of intervention on the quality of the siblings’ relationships. In this study, we taught four TD siblings to encourage and praise play skills in their siblings with ASD as well as self-monitor those play skills. We measured changes in social-communicative behaviors during siblings’ interactions. All TD siblings learned the targeted play skills and increased social-communicative behaviors. Only one child with ASD increased in social-communicative behaviors, but three maintained or increased the proportion of their interactions in which they responded to their TD sibling at the end of intervention. Future sibling intervention research should evaluate child characteristics and intervention factors that may influence children’s response to intervention and continue to incorporate multiple measures of relationship quality.

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