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Title page for ETD etd-01012007-155120

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Trent, Jennifer Alacia
Author's Email Address alacia.trent@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-01012007-155120
Title Siblings' Use of Responsive Interaction Strategies Across Settings
Degree PhD
Department Special Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ann Kaiser Committee Chair
Mark Wolery Committee Member
Mary Louise Hemmeter Committee Member
Patricia Snyder Committee Member
  • siblings
  • disabilities
  • language
  • interactions
Date of Defense 2006-12-15
Availability unrestricted




Dissertation under the direction of Professor Ann P. Kaiser

The effects of an intervention designed to facilitate interactions between three older typically developing siblings and their younger siblings with disabilities were investigated using a multiple probe across behaviors design. Typical siblings were taught to use three responsive interaction strategies through the use of written materials, modeling, role-play, and oral feedback. Following training in the three responsive interaction strategies, target siblings increased their use of mirroring, nonverbal turn-taking, and verbal responding during social toy activities.

Two of the typical sibling generalized use of the responsive interaction strategies to independent toy activities and shared-product routines without explicit training. The third typical sibling demonstrated generalization of responsive interaction strategies following explicit training I nthe two generalization contexts. The measures of the communicative performance of the children with disabilities revealed some increases in the number of comments made by the children in each session. Two of the siblings with disabilities demonstrated improvement in mean length of utterance (MLU), diversity of vocabulary, and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) scores from pre- to post-intervention.

Data from the 1-mo follow-up observations indicate that two of typical siblings were able to maintain use of the responsive interaction strategies during that period. The paper concludes with a discussion of issues related to siblings as interventionists, implications for practice, and implications for research.


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