Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. James E. Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. Linda A. LeBlanc

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Richard M. Malott


Early and intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for children with autism is a fruitful area for conducting research on clinically relevant problems in an attempt to investigate some of the unanswered questions about which procedures are most effective and efficient. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that therapists providing these services have received adequate training in conducting relevant single-case design research in this area. Providing such therapists with the skills needed to implement single-case design research protocols could improve the use of the scientist-practitioner model in these settings and greatly expand the base of scientific knowledge in the area.

Behavioral Skills Training (BST; i.e., instructions, modeling, rehearsal, feedback) approaches to staff training have been shown to be effective across a variety of behaviors and settings (Reid & Parsons, 2004). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the use of a modified BST approach for training therapists to design and implement single-case design research protocols in an EIBI clinical setting. The study aimed to answer the following questions: (a) Are participants able to learn the necessary skills? (b) Are participants able to apply those skills? And (c) Are participants satisfied with the training and experience? Results indicate that participants were able to both learn and apply the necessary skills as evidenced by statistically significant improvements on knowledge tests and high scores on practical homework assignments that required staff to engage in various research-related behaviors. Implications for such a training model on clinical practice and the volume of research being conducted in EIBI settings are discussed.


5th Advisor: Anne R. Cumminigs

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access