Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kwang-Sun Blair, Ph.D.


Music, competing items, Autism Spectrum Disorder, noncontingent reinforcement


Stereotypic behavior is often observed in children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Stereotypy can inhibit skill acquisition by leading to inaccuracy on task performance and/or slower task completion (e.g., Koegel & Covert, 1972; Morrison & Rosales-Ruiz, 1997). Several studies have demonstrated that access to preferred matched stimulation leads to a reduction of vocal stereotypical behavior (e.g., Lanovaz, Rapp, & Ferguson, 2012). However, it is paramount that treatments not only be effective in decreasing the problem behavior, but do so without further inhibiting academic progress. The current study evaluated the effects of matched stimulation (i.e., music) on vocal stereotypy and acquisition of novel skills. Non-contingent access to music decreased levels of vocal stereotypy across participants and did not hinder mastery of discrimination skills. In addition, noncontingent access to music had only a minor impact on the participant’s latency to perform mastered tasks.