Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Kelly Kohler

Third Advisor

Phylicia Ruso


prompting, full physical prompting, hand-over-hand prompting


It was hypothesized that the fading in of a prompt hierarchy coinciding with the delivery of tangibles, edibles, and attention or praise reinforcers would decrease problem behavior and noncompliance in two male children with autism who displayed problem behavior and resistance while being physically prompted. A single-subject research design was used to present the prompt hierarchy across various conditions in a school setting. Both participants initially engaged in problem behavior on 100% of the trials but quickly reduced in intensity of problem behaviors by the end of the intervention. There is no current research conducted on how to decrease problem behaviors evoked by physical prompts or physical contact. This study will help other individuals with similar situations begin to explore different ways to decrease problem behavior in this context. Decreasing problem behavior will allow individuals with disabilities to learn different academic, social, and independent living skills at a more efficient rate.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Thesis Powerpoint .pdf (391 kB)
Defense Presentation