Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. James Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. Ron VanHouten

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Steve Ragotzy


The current study evaluated the effects of two different maintenance-training methods and one control condition on skill maintenance within a public-school classroom for children diagnosed with autism. The two training methods involved the use of either a continuous-reinforcement schedule or a thinned partial-reinforcement schedule during 20 overlearning training sessions following skill acquisition. The control condition did not involve any overlearning following skill acquisition. Three children were each taught two curricular programs, with each program involving the two training methods and the control condition using a multielement design. Overlearning using a thinned partial-reinforcement schedule reliably produced greater maintenance across all participants, while there were no consistent differences between the overlearning training method that involved continuous reinforcement and the control condition.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access