Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2021

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science


Health Professions

Committee Member(s)

Dr. Michele Williams

Dr. Kara Wunderlich

Stephanie Gonzalez

Supervising Faculty Member

Dr. Michele Williams


Numerous mand training procedures have proven effective in developing mand repertoires in children with developmental disabilities, but selection of treatments is usually arbitrary. Bourret et al. (2004) created and tested a vocal mand assessment to systematically determine an effective mand training procedure, thereby reducing the likelihood of implementing ineffective treatments. However, because a comparison between treatments was not completed, the validity of the assessment requires further investigation. This study sought to replicate and extend the findings of Bourret et al. (2004) by including a comparison between two treatments. Study 1 consisted of a replication of the vocal mand assessment and Study 2 consisted of a comparison of two vocal mand procedures, one suggested from the assessment (shaping) and one arbitrarily selected procedure from the original study (prompting and reinforcement). The participant emitted mands more reliably when the mand training procedure suggested by the assessment (Study 1) was implemented, compared to the randomly selected treatment.


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

Toni O'Connell