Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Third Advisor

Dr. Al Poling

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Steve Ragotzy


This study evaluates the necessity of training multiple versus single manipulativeimitations per object in order to establish generalized manipulative-imitation. Training took place in Croyden Avenue School's Early Childhood Developmental Delay preschool classroom in Kalamazoo, MI. Two groups of 3 children each were trained to imitate in order to determine the most appropriate number of manipulations required (per object) to establish a generalized manipulative-imitation repertoire. Three children received single-manipulations training, and 3 children received multiple-manipulations training. It was anticipated that the multiple-manipulations training group would acquire a greater amount of generalized manipulative-imitation because the training required that the children discriminate between at least 2 different manipulations for each trained object, therefore, ensuring that the children's responding would be under imitative stimulus control rather than just object stimulus control.

The manipulative-imitation training resulted in the successful training of 6 imitative manipulations for each child, in both groups. Additionally, all children demonstrated at least some generalized manipulative-imitation. The children who received multiple manipulative-imitation training demonstrated more generalized manipulative-imitation than those in the single-manipulations training group. Furthermore, manipulative-imitation training resulted in some generalized physical-imitation with all children and even some generalized vocal-imitation with the three multiple-manipulations children.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access