Nancy Kienzle

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to investigate the positive and negative verbal and nonverbal consequences to client responses delivered by student clinicians in the practicum situation.

The subjects included thirty-two undergraduate and graduate female student clinicians who had completed not less than ten hours of clinical case contact.

Each student clinician was videotaped for a ten-minute segment of the regularly scheduled therapy session. The videotapes were viewed by the experimenter and the nonverbal and verbal behaviors acting as consequent events were recorded onto cassette tapes. Both the nonverbal and verbal behaviors selected for this study were counted. The verbal behaviors were: absence of a verbal response or a neutral verbal response, positive evaluation of a client response, and negative evaluation of a client response. The nonverbal behaviors included: smile, positive head nod, positive touch, positive gesture, positive brow movement, presentation of a token, frown, negative head nod, negative touch, negative gesture, and removal of a token. The mean number of occurrences for each behavior was calculated. The ratio of nonverbal to verbal consequent events was determined.

A high frequency of agreement was found to exist between the positive verbal and positive nonverbal consequent events. Positive verbal consequent events were used more often than positive nonverbal consequent events. A high frequency of agreement existed between the negative verbal and negative nonverbal consequent events. Negative verbal consequent events were used more than negative nonverbal consequent events. Student clinicians used nonverbal consequent events in the absence of or with a neutral verbal response. Student clinicians with 120 hours or more of clinical case contact used more nonverbal consequent events than did clinicians with less hours of clinical practicum. Clinicians working with preschool clients used a greater number of positive touch, positive brow movement, presentation of a token and frown than did clinicians working with older clients. Student clinicians working with adult clients used the category absence of or neutral verbal response more than did the other clinicians working with children.