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Establishing Multiple-Control Responding of Children with Autism to People and Emotions in Context by Utilizing Derived Stimulus Relations


This study evaluated the efficacy of a set of procedures in evoking responding under multiple stimulus control (identifying emotions when provided a person and context) in a match-to-sample arrangement. Three participants with autism achieved a mastery criterion following direct training of the target relations, and two of the participants additionally demonstrated derived relations without direct training (identifying people when provided an emotion and context). Corrective procedures were effective in promoting the emergence of derived relations for the third participant. These data suggest that incorporating derived stimulus relation training and testing procedures may have utility for clinical interventions in children with autism.

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Correspondence to Mark R. Dixon.

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Mark R. Dixon receives small royalties from the sales of the PEAK curriculum. All other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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O’Connor, M.T., Belisle, J., Stanley, C.R. et al. Establishing Multiple-Control Responding of Children with Autism to People and Emotions in Context by Utilizing Derived Stimulus Relations. Behav Analysis Practice 13, 192–196 (2020).

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  • Equivalence-based instruction
  • Derived relational responding
  • Relational frame theory
  • PEAK