Principal Component Analysis of the PEAK Relational Training System


The purpose of the present study was to examine the underlying constructs within the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) Relational Training System Direct Training Module. Ninety-eight children with Autism or other developmental and intellectual disabilities were evaluated using the PEAK Direct Training Assessment, which endorsed the presence or absence of 184 possible skills within their repertoire. Following this evaluation, a Principal Component Analysis was run which yielded a four-factor model of the PEAK Direct Training Module. Specifically, factors that possessed Eigenvalues greater than three were retained. Items were loaded onto each factor based on their correlation scores within a final rotated component structure matrix. The resulting four-factor model includes the constructs of Foundational Learning Skills, Perceptual Learning Skills, Verbal Comprehension Skills, and Verbal Reasoning, Memory, and Mathematical Skills. In an era of movement towards evidence-based practices, the present data provide support for PEAK system as a conceptually systematic approach to the treatment of children with autism.

Document Type





ABA therapy, Language, Verbal behavior therapy

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities