Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The control exerted by different types of rules on the behavior of preschool children was determined. Using a variation of a multielement design, four topographically similar rules were presented to seven four-year-old children. The rules varied in the deadlines and delay of consequences (rewards) specified. The results showed that: (a) requests or mands specifying only response requirements generally exerted poor control; (b) rules specifying an immediate deadline and an immediate reward exerted strong control; (c) rules specifying deadlines and a one-week delay of the reward exerted good control; and (d) rules specifying no deadlines for completion and a one-week delay of the reward exerted very little control over behavior. Differences in the control exerted by the rules were due to the varying degrees of development of seven prerequisites.