Date of Award

Summer 8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Heather Sterling-Turner

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Joe Olmi

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Sterett Mercer

Committee Member 4 Department



This current study investigated the effectiveness of pre-teaching behavioral expectations prior to the implementation of a differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) intervention. The ultimate goal of the intervention was to decrease inappropriate behavior while simultaneously increasing appropriate behavior. Intervention that included pre-teaching with DRA was compared to the implementation of DRA in isolation using single case methodology, and intervention data suggest clear differences in beneficial outcomes for each student. The current study offers preliminary data on the utility of pre-teaching behavioral expectations to students prior to intervention. By actually teaching appropriate replacement a behavior prior to intervention, students are provided with a clear idea of how we would like their behavior to change and also gives them the resources to make that change happen. The study utilized the functional behavior assessment (FBA) process as a method to derive function-based data to be used for the development of function based intervention strategies within the differential reinforcement paradigm.