Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

Christopher A. Podlesnik

Second Advisor

Corina Jimenez-Gomez

Third Advisor

Radhika Krishnamurthy

Fourth Advisor

David Wilder


Resurgence is a laboratory model of treatment relapse revealing the effects of treatment-integrity errors on problem behavior eliminated through treatment with differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). This study took a translational approach to assess the effects of an auditory extinction cue (e-cue) to mitigate resurgence of target responding in children with autism using arbitrary responses to simulate target and alternative responding. The auditory cue was a recorded praise statement introduced in Phase 2 and remained in one of the test conditions in Phase 3. In 8 of 12 resurgence test comparisons (with and without the e-cue), responding was mitigated in the e-cue condition compared to the typical resurgence condition. Incorporating a praise statement within DRA treatment could maintain alternative responding while mitigating resurgence of the target response when the reinforcer is not available. This translational study connects applied research examining praise and basic research examining extinction cues to evaluate a novel DRA-treatment strategy.


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