Term of Award

Spring 1977

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Grover C. Richards

Committee Member 1

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Committee Member 2

Anne M. Kleinginna

Abstract

A group of seven severely and profoundly retarded adults from a sheltered workshop program were trained in cooperative play (basketball skills and hand clapping) using social and edible reinforcement and fading procedures. The generalization effects of the training on non-reinforced (undesirable) behaviors in an extratraining setting was investigated. A reversal technique in which the reinforcement was temporarily withdrawn demonstrated the reliable functioning of the training procedures. Independent observers recorded target behaviors during five phases: Baseline; Training; Generalization Testing; Extinction; Generalization Testing. The rate of undesirable behaviors decreased significantly in the extra-training setting (activity room) following the training phase. The findings suggest that in severely and profoundly retarded adults, a group-trained leisure-time activity may be a useful means to promote generalization of training effects on undesirable behaviors to extra-training settings.

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