Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Daniel Tingstrom

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Joe Olmi

Committee Member 3 Department



Current research indicates that function-based treatments, based on functional analysis data can be effective for decreasing an array of problem behaviors. The vast majority of the functional analysis literature has focused on single variables that maintain problem behavior. More recently, it has been hypothesized that perhaps multiple variables may maintain a problem behavior at a given time, for example; conceivably, escape and attention could maintain a child’s problem behavior simultaneously. Research regarding multiple variables, specifically the use of an escape-to-attention (ETA) condition has been limited. Furthermore, prior studies have fallen short in reporting treatment data. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a novel functional analysis protocol that allowed for an investigation of the separate and combined effects of escape and attention contingencies on problem behavior of children in a special education classroom. Participants included three elementary-age students receiving special education instruction in a self-contained classroom. One student ruled eligible for special education under the category multiple disabilities, the second participant was identified as hearing impaired, and the third was identified as having a developmental delay. A hypothesis-driven functional analysis was conducted, and various treatments were analyzed. Results and limitations are discussed.

Doctoral dissertation: