Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of response cost on percentage of error production with children who misarticulate.

Six elementary school children enrolled in articulation therapy were selected as subjects. Baseline measures of target phoneme error production were obtained by having the subjects construct sentences, using words presented to them verbally by the experimenter.

The effect on percentage of error production of two different ratios of token gain to token loss and positive reinforcement alone was investigated. Also, the effects during extinction of the three different contingencies were studied. During the treatment sequence, subjects were placed under each of the contingencies, one at a time, with intervening periods of extinction. Measurements were based on the subjects' percentages of error production while constructing sentences, using words presented to them. All of the subjects displayed decreasing percentages of error during treatment over time. A concomitant decrease in error production was seen during periods of extinction.

Using analysis of variance, response cost combined with positive reinforcement showed no difference in effect on percentage of error production than positive reinforcement alone, both during and after treatment. The accumulated effect of treatment rather than the contingency employed appeared to be the significant factor.