Date of Award

Spring 3-25-2021

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science


Health Professions

Committee Member(s)

Kara Wunderlich

Stephanie Kincaid

Angie Campanale


Children may develop maladaptive behaviors to obtain attention from adults. With respect to problem behavior, research has shown that noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is an effective intervention that reduces problem behavior through disruption of the relation between the behavior and the consequence. This study evaluated the treatment effects of NCR without extinction across extended, 2 hour, sessions for participants whose problem behavior is maintained by social-positive reinforcement, specifically attention. In addition, this study also emphasized the importance of extended sessions due to the reality of the caregiver/child interaction being longer than the typical 5- to 15-min sessions. The results of this study suggest that implementing NCR across extended sessions will reduce problem behavior maintained by social-positive reinforcement in the form of attention.


Portions of this research project were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. Appropriate precautions were implemented to protect the health of both researchers and participants. Consequently, the thesis requirements and expectations for Rollins College students were modified during this academic year to ensure quality research experience while also maintaining safety.

Rights Holder

Kelly O'Donnell