Graduation Date

Summer 8-9-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Wayne W. Fisher (Supervisor)

Second Advisor

Brian D. Greer (Advisory Committee)

Third Advisor

Cathleen C. Piazza (Advisory Committee)

Fourth Advisor

Nicole M. Rodriguez (Advisory Committee)


Intensive behavior-analytic services typically reduce behavior problems associated with autism spectrum disorder. However, there are substantial barriers to access these services, including access to behavior analysts who can conduct the training. One way to address problem behavior and barriers to services is to train caregivers to implement function-based interventions to produce sustained improvements in child behavior. We developed a computer-based module (i.e., an e-learning module) to train caregivers to implement functional communication training, a function-based intervention, with extinction and safety procedures. Caregivers conducted a functional analysis to determine the function of their child’s behavior. During baseline, caregivers responded as they typically would at home, and we determined their percentage correct caregiver responding. After completing the e-learning module, caregivers practiced implementing the training procedures in a role-play with a family member who acted like their child. Lastly, caregivers completed a posttest with their child, and we evaluated improvements in their percentage correct caregiver responding. All three caregivers demonstrated mastery of the procedures; one caregiver did not require feedback from a BCBA, and two caregivers required feedback to reach the mastery criterion. We discuss these findings and their implications for teaching caregivers to implement behavior-analytic procedures.