A Comparison of Outcomes From Criterion-Referenced and Experimental Evaluations of Verbal Behavior

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Abstract

Here, we compare the outcomes of a criterion-referenced assessment of verbal behavior with those of an experimental verbal operant analyses to determine the extent to which the two evaluations yield data supporting similar conclusions. Specifically, we compared the results of functional analyses of verbal behavior with the verbal behavior outcomes measured on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008). Five preschool to primary school-age children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder participated in this research. For each participant, we conducted the verbal operant analysis and VB-MAPP within seven days of one another. Results are presented in terms of relative response strength among four primary verbal operants: mands, tacts, echoics, and intraverbals. We found differing stimulus control ratios across these two measures of verbal behavior for each of the 5 participants. Implications for the evaluation and treatment of verbal behavior disorders are discussed within the context of construct validity.

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