Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristal Ehrhardt

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Reijonen


The present study investigated the effectiveness of sibling-implemented pivotal response training (PRT) on the social behaviors of five children with autism. Using a multiple-baseline design across sibling pairs, participants were trained to use PRT while playing with their brother’s with autism. Measures of play skills and social behavior were assessed during baseline, training, sibling-independent play, and two-month follow-up sessions. Also, parents were asked to rate randomly selected video-tape segments from baseline and sibling-independent play sessions. The results indicated that siblings were able to learn effectively and implement PRT strategies following training. All of the children with autism demonstrated an increase in maintaining interactions and a decrease in non-engagement following training. Parent ratings indicated the acceptability of the procedures.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access