Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

Ashley M. Lugo

Second Advisor

Kaitlynn Gokey

Third Advisor

Vida L. Tyc

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


This study aimed to teach rule-governed behavior to children with autism. Few studies have examined rule-governed behavior in children with autism. Of the few studies that exist, results have shown that using behavior-consequence rules produce quicker acquisition of learning than using antecedent-behavior rules. In the current study, participants were given two behavior-consequence rules, one resulting in the presentation of a preferred or nonpreferred consequence and the other resulting in avoidance of that consequence. The percentage of rules followed independently and correctly was measured. A constant prompt delay was implemented due to the lack of progress. However, some participants began exhibiting prompt dependency. Inconsistent with previous results, none of the participants acquired the skill by reaching mastery. Limitations that may have contributed include the sophistication of the participants’ repertoires, nonpreferred items not functioning as intended, and a lack of formal reinforcer assessments.