Term of Award

Spring 1977

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Grover C. Richards

Committee Member 1

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Committee Member 2

Anne M. Kleinginna


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 A reversal technique in which the reinforcement was temporarily withdrawn demonstrated the reliable functioning of the training procedures.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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