Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders

First Advisor

Alycia E. Cummings


Phonological complexity and word lexicality have been shown to induce phonological change in children with speech-sound disorders (SSDs); however, no prior research has used three-element cluster treatment target to directly compare real words (RW) to non-words (NW). Thus, the current research project sets out to answer the question of treatment efficacy in terms of real words and non-words using the complex three-element target, /str-/. Using a repeated measures single-subject research design, five children (5;7 to 7;7) were split into two SSD treatment groups (RW and NW) and directly compared in terms of learning during treatment, generalization from treatment, sound segments added to their phonetic and phonemic inventories, and error variability in their production patterns. In terms of RW and NW efficacy, the results seemed to vary depending on the measure used as the different treatments led to different effects. Overall, the RWs demonstrated a greater ability to inflict system-wide generalization.