Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Psychological Science




Applied Behavior Analysis

First Advisor/Chairperson

Jacob Daar


Children with autism often demonstrate deficits with the use of pragmatic language, including prepositions. Training methods such as direct instruction have been successfully used to train prepositions, but often do not demonstrate generalization of the skill, nor use of the skill when applied to arbitrary stimuli. The present study evaluated the efficacy of using a relational training method adapted from the PEAK-Transformation module to teach the non-arbitrary and arbitrary use of prepositions “close” and “far” to three children with autism. Participants 1 and 2 were able to demonstrate the non-arbitrary, receptive use of both close and far during training, while participant 3 was able to demonstrate and generalize the non-arbitrary use of close (far needed additional training). Additionally, the first participant demonstrated the arbitrary use of close and far following the implementation of arbitrary training, as well as demonstrated the ability to make combinatorially entailed relations between the arbitrary stimuli. The results from this study indicate that relational training as adapted from the PEAK-Transformation module is effective at training non-arbitrary and arbitrary applications of the prepositions close and far.

Access Type

Open Access