Millions of Americans are diagnosed with dementia, and that number is only expected to rise. The diagnosis of dementia comes with impairments, especially in language. Furthermore, dementia-related functional declines appear to be moderated by environmental variables (Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 8:131–168 2012; American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Engelman et al., Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 32:107–110, 1999; Engelman et al., Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 36:129–132, 2003) Traditional language tests are not likely to assess or inform treatment for deficits in manding (Esch et al., The Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis 5:166–191, 2010), and the mand is a verbal operant about which little is known among this population. The current study evaluated whether contriving an establishing operation within a preferred activity using a prompt-probe intermix procedure and a transfer of stimulus control procedure was effective in establishing mands in older adults with dementia. The procedure was demonstrated to be effective with one participant, but results were inconsistent with the second participant. Modifications were made throughout training for both participants, showing the importance of individualizing interventions.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Alzheimer’s Association. (2012). 2012 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 8, 131–168. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2012.02.001.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
Baker, J. C., LeBlanc, L. A., & Raetz, P. B. (2008). A behavioral conceptualization of aphasia. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 24, 147–158.
Beattie, S., & Baker, J. C. (2014). Evaluation of preference and subsequent stimulus engagement among older adults with dementia manuscript in preparation. Manuscript in preparation.
Beukelman, D. R., Fager, S., Ball, L., & Dietz, A. (2007). AAC for adults with acquired neurological conditions: a review. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 23, 230–242. doi:10.1080/07434610701553668.
Bourgeois, M. S. (1993). Effects of memory aids on the dyadic conversations of individuals with dementia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 77–87. doi:10.1901/jaba.1993.26-77.
Bourgeois, M. S., Dijkstra, K., Burgio, L., & Allen-Burge, R. (2001). Memory aids as an augmentative and alternative communication strategy for nursing home residents with dementia. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 17, 196–210. doi:10.1080/714043383.
DeLeon, I. G., & Iwata, J. C. (1996). Evaluation of a multiple-stimulus presentation format for assessing reinforcer preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29, 519–533.
Dixon, M., Baker, J. C., & Sadowski, K. A. (2011). Applying Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior to person’s with dementia. Behavior Therapy, 42, 120–126. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2010.05.002.
Dwyer-Moore, K. J., & Dixon, M. R. (2007). Functional analysis and treatment of problem behavior of elderly adults in long-term care. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40, 679–683.
Engelman, K. K., Altus, D. E., & Mathews, R. M. (1999). Increasing engagement in daily activities by older adults with dementia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32, 107–110. doi:10.1901/jaba.1999.32-107.
Engelman, K. K., Altus, D. E., Mosier, M. C., & Mathews, R. M. (2003). Brief training to promote the use of less intrusive prompts by nursing assistants in a dementia care unit. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 129–132. doi:10.1901/jaba.2003.36-129.
Esch, B. E., LaLonde, K. B., & Esch, J. W. (2010). Speech and language assessment: a verbal behavior analysis. The Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, 5, 166–191.
Fisher, W., Piazza, C. C., Bowman, L. G., Hagopian, L. P., Owens, J. C., & Slevin, I. (1992). A comparison of two approaches for identifying reinforcers for persons with severe and profound disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 491–498.
Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E., & McHugh, P. R. (1975). Mini-Mental State: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12(3), 189–198.
Gross, A. C., Fuqua, R. W., & Merritt, T. A. (2013). Evaluation of verbal behavior in older adults. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 29, 85–99.
Hanley, G. P., Iwata, B. A., Lindberg, J. S., & Conners, J. (2003). Response-restriction analysis: I. Assessment of activity preferences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 47–58. doi:10.1901/jaba.2003.36-47.
Henry, L. M., & Horne, P. J. (2000). Partial remediation of speaker and listener behaviors in people with severe dementia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33, 631–634. doi:10.1901/jaba.2000.33-631.
LeBlanc, L. A., Raetz, P. B., & Feliciano, L. (2011). Behavioral gerontology. In W. W. Fisher, C. C. Piazza, & H. S. Roane (Eds.), Handbook of applied behavior analysis (pp. 472–488). NY: The Guilford Press.
Logsdon, R. G., & Teri, L. (1997). The pleasant events schedule—AD: psychometric properties and relationship to depression and cognition in Alzheimer’s disease patients. The Gerontologist, 37, 40–45. doi:10.1093/geront/37.1.40.
Michael, J. (1988). Establishing operations and the mand. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 6, 3–9.
Olenick, D. L., & Pear, J. J. (1980). Differential reinforcement of correct responses to probes and prompts in picture-name training with severely retarded children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13, 77–89. doi:10.1901/jaba.1980.13-77.
Resnick, H. E., Fries, B. E., & Verbrugge, L. M. (1997). Windows to their world: the effect of sensory impairments on social engagement and activity time in nursing home residents. Journal of Gerontology, 52B, S135–S144.
Roane, H. S., Vollmer, T. R., Ringdahl, J. E., & Marcus, B. A. (1998). Evaluation of a brief stimulus preference assessment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, 605–620. doi:10.1901/jaba.1998.31-605.
Schlinger, H., & Blakely, E. (1987). Function-altering effects of contingency-specifying stimuli. The Behavior Analyst, 10, 41–45.
Silverman, F. H., & Schuyler, H. J. (1994). Can AAC help persons with dementia? Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 10, 60. doi:10.1080/07434619412331276750.
Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Engelwood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Sundberg, M. L., & Michael, J. (2001). The benefits of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior for children with autism. Behavioral Modification, 25, 698. doi:10.1177/0145445501255003.
Sundberg, M. L., Loeb, M., Hale, L., & Eigenheer, P. (2002). Contriving establishing operations to teach mands for information. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 18, 15–29.
Trahan, M. A., Donaldson, J. M., McNabney, M. K., & Kahng, S. (2014). Training and maintenance of a picture-based communication response in older adults with dementia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47, 404–409.
The authors thank Sarah Lechago for her invaluable suggestions in the formation of this study and Elizabeth Rossiaky for her help with data collection.
About this article
Cite this article
Oleson, C.R., Baker, J.C. Teaching Mands to Older Adults with Dementia. Analysis Verbal Behav 30, 113–127 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40616-014-0018-7
- Older adults
- Verbal behavior