Emily Norton

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Amanda Karsten


Dementia, geriatric, bizarre speech, functional analysis, home

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Currently within the behavioral gerontology literature there are no published studies that include a functional assessment in the home setting. The primary goal of the present study was to address this gap by conducting a functional analysis on a challenging behavior of an older adult with neurocognitive disorder in the home. This study occurred in two phases. During phase one, researchers conducted an antecedent functional analysis on the bizarre speech of an 81-year-old female with suspected dementia across four conditions (television on, no interactions initiated; television on, interactions initiated; television off, no interactions initiated; television off, interactions initiated). Results from the functional analysis showed that bizarre speech occurred most frequently during the television off, interactions initiated condition and least frequently during the television on, no interactions initiated condition. During phase two, researchers implemented a brief treatment analysis in which they alternated between a DRA and control condition. The DRA condition produced the highest percentage of talking intervals with no bizarre speech than did any other condition.