Date of Graduation

Fall 2016


Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis



Committee Chair

Michael C. Clayton


A behavioral skills training (BST) package consisting of instructions, modeling an appropriate conversation, participant rehearsal, and constructive feedback, was used to teach appropriate conversation skills to three adults with developmental disabilities. A task analysis was used to define the steps of having a conversation. These steps included greetings, initiations, initiating a topic, responding, and maintaining a topic as the target skills. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants was used; an A-B-C format was embedded within the design for participants 1 and 2. Participant 3 was assessed using an A-B format. In situ was measured across three settings: each participant's home; the assessment room where the sessions were held; and the lobby of the facility housing the assessment room. Latency to begin a conversation with a confederate was measured during baseline and in all in situ settings. The results of the study demonstrated the BST package was effective in increasing the appropriate conversation skills of all participants and all settings, while decreasing the amount of time it took for participants to initiate a conversation.


behavior skills training, conversation, developmental disabilities, communication, social skills

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis


© Allison L. Schmidt

Open Access