Date of Award

Fall 12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Heather Sterling-Turner

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Daniel H. Tingstrom

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. D. Joe Olmi

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Brad Dufrene

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 5

Dr. Sara Jordan

Committee Member 5 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Social Stories™ (Gray, 2004) is a relatively new intervention designed to teach appropriate skills to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Although there is preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of Social Stories it has typically been implemented in one target setting. As a result, there are little data to support whether or not the effects of Social Stories will generalize to other settings. The current study examined the effectiveness of Social Stories for increasing appropriate behaviors exhibited by four children diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder. Generalization effects across settings were assessed using a typical Social Story (Train and Hope) format and a story in which generalization tactics were specifically incorporated. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants with counterbalancing of conditions was utilized across two pairs of participants. A multiple probe technique was also used to assess generalization of skills to the secondary setting for each of the participants. During both the typical format and the generalized format, appropriate behavior increased for three of four participants and inappropriate behavior decreased for all targeted participants. Treatment results overall indicate that some generalization to similar settings did occur even using a train and hope approach. However, greater behavior change tended to occur in both primary and secondary settings when generalization was explicitly programmed.

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