Graduation Date

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin Luczynski


The development of prosocial skills is considered pivotal to childhood development. The friendship unit of the Preschool Life Skills program teaches early prosocial skills likely to facilitate socially desirable behaviors in young children; however, the friendship unit is the most understudied unit and has produced modest, inconsistent outcomes across children. The current study aimed to evaluate procedures necessary to (a) teach friendship skills to four children, with and without developmental disabilities, in an applied context and (b) promote the use of the skills with a same-aged peer. Teaching five friendship skills in a one-on-one approach and adding tangible reinforcement, if necessary, was efficacious at increasing friendship skills with an adult. Additional tactics were necessary to promote prosociality with peers. We discuss refinements to the teaching procedures and additional considerations to improve the social acceptability and durability of prosocial skills.

Available for download on Sunday, May 01, 2022