The Effects of Reinforcer Absence and Availability of Alternative Activity on Delay of Gratification in Children with Autism
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Patrick J. Aragon
Robert A. Taylor
An increase in delay tolerance can help individuals obtain more preferred items, activities, and interactions. There are also many situations in a young child's daily life in which they cannot have immediate access to items, activities, or attention that they might be seeking. This can often lead to problem behavior and a longer time to wait for the desired item. Strategies that increase self-controlled responding may help individuals make choices and respond appropriately to receive a better outcome. This study examined the effects of self-control techniques such as removing an item, and interaction with an alternative activity on a child’s ability to wait for a highly preferred item for a long time (30 s) rather than accessing it sooner for a shorter amount of time (10 s). One participant showed an increase in trials waited when the reinforcer was absent, and not in sight when they had to wait.
Prechtel, Hailey Rose, "The Effects of Reinforcer Absence and Availability of Alternative Activity on Delay of Gratification in Children with Autism" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 154.
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