Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



An abundance of research exists supporting the use of functional analyses to assess and treat problem behavior. In contrast, little research has been conducted on the application of functional analysis (FA) procedures to academic behaviors. The current study attempted to fill this research gap by conducting an FA of academic responding for five elementary students with low math fluency. Sessions were conducted using both a traditional reinforcement schedule of a fixed ratio of one (FR-1) as well as a more practical reinforcement schedule of a fixed ratio of ten (FR-10) to examine the effects of the reinforcement schedule on the FA outcomes. In addition, the study assessed the applicability of the analysis results by designing an instructional intervention to teach the students novel computation facts. In Experiment 1, four of the five participants demonstrated differentiated responding in math fluency across reinforcement conditions, although differences were small resulting in partial crossovers. Responding more closely approximated differentiation under the FR-1 schedule compared to the FR-10 schedule for four of the five participants. In Experiment 2, three of the five participants demonstrated differentiated responding across intervention conditions, although results were contrary to expectation due to optimal responding occurring in the worst condition rather than the best. The implications of these results are discussed within the context of a need for further research on the application of FA procedures to academic interventions.



Committee Chair

Noell, George