Graduation Date

Summer 8-19-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Keith Allen, Ph.D.


Teaching noncompliant children to engage in compliant behavior has long been a goal for many parents, teachers, and therapists (Patterson, Shaw, & Ebner, 1969). This goal has driven the development of behavioral technology, including entire manualized treatment programs, specifically intended for the treatment of noncompliance (Forehand & McMahon, 1981; Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995). These programs have typically included time-out based interventions that are associated with resistance to instruction (Roberts, 1982;Roberts, 1984). Given children’s frequent resistance to traditional approaches (e.g., timeout; Ducharme & Popynick, 1993), alternative interventions for the treatment of noncompliance are warranted.

A modified version of incidental teaching (Hart & Risley, 1974)termed naturalistic compliance training (NCT) may have particular value during compliance training with children because it has the potential to reduce resistance to instruction. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of NCT to increase the compliance of clinically referred children. A combined multiple baseline across participants and reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of caregiver implemented NCT on child compliance. Robust and immediate increases in compliance were observed across all five participants. The benefits of NCT and future applications are discussed.