Date of Defense

Spring 4-28-2012

Date of Graduation

Spring 4-28-2012



First Advisor

Richard Malott, Psychology

Second Advisor

Lindsay Erdman, Psychology

Third Advisor

Chase Callard, Psychology


Autism, differential reinforcement


Some children diagnosed with autism engage in aggressive behavior with different functions. There is a great need to find ways to reduce these behaviors to protect these children and make them more suitable to interact with other child in classroom settings. A Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior intervention was designed in an effort to decrease aggressive behavior in child with autism. The goal of the intervention was to train Brian, the single participant, to engage in more appropriate behaviors instead of aggressing toward other children. The participant was placed in a room with another child and instances were created where Brian would normally aggress. All aggressive responses were blocked and appropriate responses were prompted. The prompts faded on as Brian progressed through phases. The results showed a significant increase in appropriate responses and a decrease in aggressive responses. This study shows that DRA procedures can be implemented to reduce aggressive behaviors.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons