Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Marjorie Charlop

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2018 Jessica L. Padover


Many children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) engage in problem behaviors (e.g., aggression and self-injurious behavior) that present safety concerns for both the children themselves and others around them. Previous research has shown that treating precursor behaviors that precede problem behavior may prove to be an alternative, safer method for preventing and treating problem behavior. The present study used a multiple baseline design across subjects (n = 4) to assess the efficacy of relaxation interventions on reducing precursor behavior and preventing problem behavior in children with ASD. Researchers first identified precursor behaviors for all participants through observation. During the intervention phase, all four children were taught deep breathing relaxation exercises. After participants received relaxation training, researchers cued relaxation exercises when precursors occurred, and the frequency of precursor, problem, and on-task behavior was observed. Results showed that problem behavior decreased in all participants following the relaxation intervention. Additionally, for the majority of participants, precursor behavior decreased and on-task behavior increased post-intervention. Implications for practice and future research on interventions that target precursor behaviors are discussed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.