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Title: An investigation of the effective components of applied behaviour analysis in the education of children with autistic spectrum disorder
Author: McGeady, Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 3100
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis focused on comparing paced (DTT) and free-operant (RB) teaching procedures commonly used in the education of children with ASD in ABA schools in Ireland. Investigations focused on comparing these teaching procedures in relation to specific learning outcomes of retention, endurance and application (R.E.A.), more often associated with RB procedures such as Precision Teaching (PT) and its applications (Johnson & Street, 2013). While DTT is the most commonly employed procedure in the context of these schools, there are a few schools employing RB strategies within the framework of PT in the education of children with ASD. Of interest to this investigation were the measurement criteria used by each to assess learning. Investigations involved comparison of indirect percent correct measures and direct measures of rate of response per minute in terms of the comprehensiveness of information provided to educators. This thesis also investigated one key factor that may act as a deterrent to the use of RB procedures with children with ASD, namely that these procedures may place unnecessary stress or anxiety on the learner since it is assumed that demand is increased when rate of responding is increased. Two other factors impOliant in the education of children with ASD were investigated. Alongside the central comparison of learning outcomes and differences in measurement criteria, the number and type of consequences provided to learners, as well as differences in the levels of aberrant behaviour occurring during teaching sessions in each condition were compared. Results from the three studies support the use of RB as a procedure in producing more accurate responding, as well as better retention of accurate responding after an extended period of no skill practice. DTT proved as effective when matched for practice opportunities, although took longer to deliver, required higher levels of reinforcement during sessions and overall, there were more occurrences of aberrant behaviour during the paced condition than free-operant condition. Results are presented and discussed in relation to limitations in the research and suggestions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available