Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Wienir

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul Mountjoy


Four experienced and four newly employed psychiatric attendants were assessed on their performance of three high-risk low-frequency behaviors during simulated emergencies. The three skills measured were Convulsive Seizure Management, Fire Safety Procedures, and Self-Defense. Each of the behaviors directly affected the safety and well-being of staff and retarded residents of the facility. The experienced employees, labelled "Trainers", received a series of workshops on how to perform and teach the requisite skills to other staff. Following each workshop, according to a multiple baseline across skills experimental design, the Trainers each taught one new staff member, labelled "Trainee" how to perform the emergency skills. When all Trainees had mastered all skills and could perform them during simulated emergencies in their work areas, Trainees and Trainers were invited to continue to teach other newly hired employees, during an eighteen week Maintenance Condition. Maintenance Condition Trainers then taught only one of the three skills to the new Maintenance Condition Trainees. Results indicated that Trainers could learn and effectively teach complex emergency skills to newly hired Trainees. Trainees who in turn became Maintenance Condition Trainers were also able to effectively teach these skills to other less experienced Maintenance Condition Trainees. At the end of the eighteen week Maintenance Condition, two of the three Maintenance Condition Trainers were able to perform only the skill that they had taught at an acceptable level. A discussion of the utility and cost-effectiveness of conducting training on the maintenance of the skill taught is included. Socially validated components of the study include experts' designation of appropriate target skills and mastery performance levels, and participants' verbal report of their satisfaction with the procedures. Verbal reports of participants' satisfaction are compared to their decisions to continue to participate during Maintenance Conditions.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons