Date of Award

December 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jeffrey H. Tiger

Committee Members

Marshall Dermer, Jay C. Moore


Alternative Reinforcers, Delay Fading, Delay Tolerance, Functional Communication Training, Noncontingent Reinforcement, Problem Behavior


Functional communication training (FCT) is one of the most thoroughly researched treatments for severe problem behavior exhibited by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The earliest stages of FCT involve providing immediate and continuous reinforcement for a communicative response (FCR) that is functionally equivalent to the targeted problem behavior. However, maintaining immediate reinforcement is not practical, and the introduction of delays is associated with increased problem behavior. The present study evaluated the effects of providing alternative reinforcers during delays to reinforcement. Results indicated problem behavior was less likely when alternative reinforcers were available during delays.

Included in

Psychology Commons