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Title page for ETD etd-05042017-151628

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Staubitz, Johanna Lee
URN etd-05042017-151628
Title Effects of Progressive Delay Self-Control Training on Impulsive Choices of Elementary Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Degree PhD
Department Special Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Blair P. Lloyd, Ph.D., BCBA-D Committee Chair
Derek D. Reed, Ph.D., BCBA-D Committee Member
Joseph H. Wehby, Ph.D. Committee Member
Joseph M. Lambert, Ph.D., BCBA-D Committee Member
Paul J. Yoder, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • emotional and behavioral disorders
  • impulsivity
  • progressive delay training
  • self control
Date of Defense 2017-05-03
Availability unrestricted
Impulsivity may be conceptualized as the choice of a smaller, sooner reward (SSR) at the cost of a larger reward available after a delay. Progressive delay training (PDT) has been used to teach people with a variety of developmental characteristics (e.g., intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries, typically developing children) to select the larger, later reward (LLR) in this choice paradigm even when delays are relatively lengthy (e.g., several minutes). However, PDT has not been evaluated for its efficacy for treating impulsive choice making in children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Given that impulsivity often co-occurs with EBD, PDT may be an avenue for treatment worth investigating for this particular population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of PDT with a classroom rule-following requirement on the impulsive choices of six first- and second-grade children with EBD. We implemented a number of research-based approaches to progressive delay training, and found that participants were generally resistant to treatment. However, PDT with a rationale and rule for selecting the LLR increased delays at which three of our six participants made self-controlled choices (i.e., selected the LLR). Our results differ from those of previous evaluations of PDT in which a variety of approaches to PDT were effective across most participants. We discuss potential explanations and implications of our discrepant results, as well as directions for future research on treating impulsivity in children with EBD that are indicated by our findings.
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