Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis


Behavior Analysis

First Advisor

Robbie Hanson

Second Advisor

Maggie Pavone


Plays skills are important within typical development and independent play has shown to lead to the development of other skills, such as increased social interactions (Edwards et al., 2018). Previous research has demonstrated increases in independent play for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who display skill deficits in this area. However, research has been largely lacking for increasing independent play for individuals with ASD who simply display a preference for interacting with adults. The current study examined the effectiveness of incorporating a multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment to increase the duration of independent play for a child with ASD. This study utilized an alternating treatment design, comparing a free operant (FO) play condition (baseline) with an FO play condition in which items identified as highly preferred were incorporated into the environment.