Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Research has long demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral interventions based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis when working with children with a primary diagnosis of Autism. Utilizing a multiple baseline design, this study investigated the effectiveness of linking a differential reinforcement procedure to the results of a Functional Behavior Assessment on reducing challenging behaviors of one female and three male students with severe disabilities. The results show that implementing differential reinforcement procedures for students with severe disabilities can reduce the frequency of challenging behaviors and increase the use of appropriate behaviors. Implications of these results imply that special education teachers teaching in a self-contained public classroom setting can achieve meaningful reductions in the problem behaviors of students with severe disabilities.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department