Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2021

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science


Health Professions

Committee Member(s)

Dr. Kara Wunderlich, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Michele Williams, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. David Richard, PhD, MBA

Supervising Faculty Member

Dr. Kara Wunderlich, PhD, BCBA-D


Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently play video games. Social deficits underlying the disorder make this population more vulnerable to safety threats online than neurotypical children. Behavioral skills training (BST) has proven to be an effective methodology to teach safety skills to children with ASD to use in response to abduction lures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using BST to teach a youth with ASD safety skills to use in response to lures presented to him as he played an online video game. The results were consistent with the findings of previous studies using BST to teach safety skills. The participant’s safety scores increased during BST and he earned the maximum safety score across consecutive sessions. However, responding did not maintain during posttest assessments. In-situ training (IST) was included during the final posttest assessment and the results suggested that in-situ training could be a promising intervention to increase maintenance.


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

John R. Zinicola