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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Kenneth Beauchamp

First Committee Member

Judy Agnew

Second Committee Member

Floyd O'Brien


This study evaluated two methods of conducting staff training. One method was a pyramidal training approach and the other method consisted of an outside consultant training the direct care staff. A group design consisted of two experimental conditions. In the first experimental condition, the supervisors of two community based day programs for developmentally disabled individuals were trained in the principles of applied behavior analysis and feedback techniques. The supervisors then trained their direct care staff in the material they had learned. In the second experimental condition, the direct care staff were trained in the principles of applied behavior analysis by the experimenter. The pyramidal training group was expected to show a quicker increase in the percentage of correct teaching procedures and show a longer maintenance of these skills. The results indicated that pyramidal training was more effective in teaching staff how to use correct teaching procedures with consumers in community settings. Also, the results showed that the pyramidal training group maintained the improvement in their teaching procedure at a 3-month follow up as compared to the direct staff training group. Pyramidal and direct staff training have not been compared directly in previous studies.





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