Miami University (Ohio) Guidelines for the Design and ...
The Effect of Prompting Procedures on the Acquisition, Maintenance
and Generalization of Intraverbal Behavior
Jennifer L. Jorandby, Stephany K. Reetz, Amanda L. Buchmeier, Kathryn R. Glodowski,
Kathryn R. Larson & Dr. Kevin Klatt
Psychology Department University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
oThe inability to respond meaningfully to the language of others is a
characteristic of children diagnosed with autism (Goldsmith, LeBlanc, &
Sautter, 2006). Intraverbal behavior is defined as verbal responses that
lack point to point correspondance with the antecedent verbal stimulus
and includes social interchanges, question answering, and conversational
speech (Skinner, 1957).
oPast research has indicated that using textual prompts, tact prompts, and
echoic prompts has been effective in teaching intraverbal behavior to
children diagnosed with mental retardation and autism (Brahm & Poling,
1983; Finkel & Williams, 2001; Goldsmith, LeBlanc, & Suatter, 2006).
Only one study has compared the effect of textual and echoic prompts
and found that textual prompts were much more effective in producing
intraverbal behavior (Finkel & Williams, 2001).
oThe purpose of this study was to compare the effects of echoic, tact, and
textual prompts on the acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of
intraverbal behavior in children diagnosed with autism.
Figures 1 and 2. The total trials taken to achieve mastery for each target.
oMadeline was a 5 year-old girl diagnosed with autism.
oNora was a 5 year-old girl diagnosed with autism.
oTucker was a 4 year-old boy diagnosed with autism.
oMadeline and Nora received approximately 27 hours of in-home Applied
Behavior Analysis therapy each week and Tucker received approximately
5 hours of ABA therapy per week from a university autism clinic.
Figure 3. The total trials taken to achieve mastery for each target.
Setting & Materials
oThe study was conducted in a therapy room in the childs home or in a
private classroom at the childs school. All rooms included a table with
one chair. Materials included data sheets, timer, video camera, and
picture cards. For Margaret, Nora, and Tucker the pictures that were
printed on card stock paper and used as prompts during the tacting
condition were shark, fish, sea turtle, dolphin, crayons, scissors, and
Figures 4 and 5. The total trials taken to achieve mastery for each target.
Tact, Textual, and Echoic Assessment and Training
oAn assessment was conducted to evaluate existing tact, reading words,
and echoic repertoire.
oCorrectly tacted cards were used in intraverbal training.
oA 5 s constant prompt delay was used to teach the child incorrectly tacted
oAn alternating treatment single subject experimental design was used to
evaluate textual, tact, and echoic prompting procedures.
oThree responses were assigned to each condition. When one target was
mastered, which was defined as 6 consecutive correct responses, the
next target was taught.
oA 5 s constant prompt delay was used for each condition.
oAll trials began with the delivery of a verbal instruction (e.g., Name a
type of school supply). In the tact and textual condition, a picture or word
of the response was presented as a prompt for the first 4 trials.
oThe fifth trial was tested for an independent response. If an error
occurred, the 3 subsequent trials were prompted. This procedure
continued until mastery criteria was met.
oMastery criteria was defined as six consecutive correct responses.
Figure 6. The cumulative number of trials to meet mastery across 3 conditions.
oResults from this study suggest that tacting prompts should be used when
teaching intraverbal behavior.
oResults for the intraverbal training for two participants suggest that tacting
prompts result in fewer trials to meet the mastery criterion compared to
oThe results of this study support previous research (Finkel & Williams,
2001), showing tacting and textual prompts worked better in meeting
mastery criterion than echoic prompts.
oFor Nora, the total number of trials to meet the mastery criterion for the
echoic and tact condition were relatively the same, suggesting that the
effects of the prompting procedures are similar.
oA limitation of the current study is the small sample size .
oFuture research should examine the effects of the textual prompting
condition with more children who are able to read. Research should also
be conducted to analyze the social validity of the results and determine
preferences of prompting procedures among teachers.
o Braam, S. J., & Poling, A. (1983). Development of intraverbal behavior in
mentally retarded individuals through transfer of stimulus control procedures:
Classification of verbal responses. Applied Research in Mental Retardation,
oFinkel, A. S., & Williams, R. L. (2001). A comparison of textual and echoic
prompts on the acquisition of intraverbal behavior in a six-year old boy with
autism. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 18, 61-70.
oGoldsmith, T. R., LeBlanc, L. A., & Sautter, R. A. (2006). Teaching intraverbal
behavior to children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 112.
oSkinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Generalization and Maintenance Probes
o One trial of a generalization probe was conducted 1-2 sessions following
mastery of a target. A maintenance probe was conducted 7-10 days after
the mastery criterion was met.
Inter-observer Agreement and Treatment Integrity
oInter-observer agreement was conducted at least 60% of the sessions
and was 100%.
oTreatment integrity was conducted at least 50% of the sessions and
oFigures 1, 2, and 3 depict the total number of trials to meet the mastery
criterion for across the three prompting conditions for each participant.
oFigure 1 shows the targets were mastered in 10 trials in the textual and
tacting conditions, and 14-15 trials in the echoic condition for Madeline.
oFigure 2 shows the targets were mastered in 15, 26, and 14 trials in the
echoic condition, and 15, 20, and 15 trials in the tacting condition for
oFigure 3 shows the targets were mastered in 10, 20, 15, and 15 trials in
the echoic condition, and 20, 20, 14, and 10 trials in the tacting condition
oFigures 4, 5, and 6 shows the collapsed data of all 3 targets across
prompting conditions for each participant. Figure 4 indicates that mastery
criteria for Madeline took 45 trials for the echoic condition and 20 trials for
tacting and textual conditions. Figure 5 indicates that targets were
mastered in 60 trials and 64 trials for echoic and tact conditions
respectively. Figure 6 shows the results for Tuckers total trials to meet
mastery. He reached mastery in the tacting condition (55) slightly faster
than the echoic condition (50).
oFigure 7 shows the cumulative time in minutes across prompting
oMaintenance probes were 0% for Madeline, 50% for Tucker, and 100%
oGeneralization probes were 0% for all participants.
oNora made 6 errors on the tact condition and 4 errors on the echoic
condition. Madeline had 3 errors on the echoic condition and 0 errors on
the tact and textual condition, and Tucker erred 6 times during the echoic
condition and 4 times on the tact condition.
Figure 7. The cumulative amount of time for each condition.
o We would like to thank the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Renee Norman, and the parents and children that
participated in this study.
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