Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Katie Wolfe

Abstract

With the rapid increase in the diagnostic rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there has been a growing need for evaluating the trends in training natural change agents to implement behavioral interventions and coming to a consensus on training procedures that are efficacious, efficient, and accessible. The purpose of this multiple manuscript dissertation is to describe three studies in a line of research designed to contribute to the video modeling literature as well as illuminate gaps in the literature concerning the assessment of generalization and maintenance of student mand outcomes and the components essentials to mand training. Specifically, video models were used to train natural change agents to conduct mand training interventions with children with ASD and other related developmental disabilities (DD). In Experiment 1 three African American mothers were taught to implement a mand training intervention using a brief (10-minute) video model. The results showed a functional relation between the video model and mothers' fidelity. Concomitant increases in the percent of independent mands were observed in two of the three children. Given the importance of the role of natural change agents in the treatment of individuals with ASD and the fact that children spend a significant amount of time in school settings, it was necessary to examine the extent to which mand training interventions are described in teacher implemented interventions. Therefore, in Experiment 2 I conducted a systematic review of teacher-implemented mand training interventions and summarized participant characteristics, intervention features, and generalization and maintenance of students’ and teachers’ behaviors. Eighteen studies met inclusion criteria, and results suggest that only 11% measured implementer integrity as a dependent variable. Additionally, 72% and 33% of studies measured generalization and maintenance of students’ manding respectively. Although generalization and maintenance outcomes are positive among student participants, only 5.5% of studies measured generalization of teachers’ fidelity, and 0% assessed maintenance thus justifying the need for the final study. The findings of Experiments 1 and 2 necessitated inquiry into the essential components of mand training. Therefore, I conducted a systematic review of the literature on mand training interventions with preschool-aged children to summarize participant characteristics and elements of the independent variables. The results of the review suggest that researchers inconsistently report measures of generalization and maintenance, use multiple-component intervention procedures to teach mands, and disregard some critical components necessary for establishing mands under the appropriate source of control. Implications for future research and practice are discussed in the final chapter.

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