Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Alan Poling, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ron Van Houten, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jonathan Baker, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Steven Ragotzy, Ph.D.


Bag toss, cornhole, developmental disability, leisure, recreation, young adult


Leisure has long been identified as a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. One population that displays extremely low levels of leisure activity is people with developmental disabilities, which is concerning because previous research has identified a positive correlation between leisure activity and quality of life among such individuals. The purpose of the present project was to teach and assess cornhole as a leisure activity for seven young adults with developmental disabilities. Study 1 assessed points scored with four versions of cornhole and preference for those versions. Study 2 evaluated a procedure intended to teach participants to keep score. A free-operant preference assessment was also conducted before Study 1 and after Study 2 to determine whether preference for cornhole changed as a function of participating in the project. The data revealed the following: (a) while all participants scored the most points when playing cornhole at a shorter distance, they did not consistently prefer those versions, (b) praise and corrective modeling were successful in teaching all participants how to keep score, and (c) most participants demonstrated a stronger preference for cornhole after participating in the present project. The application of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access