This study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of gameplay activities using a structured social skills program to increase both eye contact responses and the number of verbal responses during peer relationships for students with comorbid disabilities in a clinical setting. This SEL intervention was modified for children with comorbid autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD). A single-subject, multiple-baseline, across-participants design was used. Participants included adolescents (n = 6) with comorbid disabilities, predominantly ASD and EBD, their board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA), and six behavior technicians. The researcher established and maintained face-to-face reciprocal peer social engagements (communication) and direct eye gaze (contact) with participants in dyad groups. Each session included a 60-minute video of peer social interactions. Direct observations, differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO), and pre- and post-Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scales (SSIS-RS) were examined. Evidence of SEL intervention effectiveness was measured by percentage of nonoverlapping data points (PND). Social validity was measured using the multiple-rater SSIS-RS and intervention fidelity checklists evaluating the Sanford Harmony intervention. Results from data and visual analysis revealed all participants significantly increased their direct eye contact, verbal reciprocity, and social engagements after implementing the Harmony program. In addition, a PND value of 100% was calculated for each dependent variable indicating the Harmony program was a highly effective intervention increasing eye contact, verbal reciprocity, and social engagements for students with EBD and comorbid disabilities.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Exceptional Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Wills-Jackson, Celestial, "Implementing Gameplay Skills to Increase Eye Contact and Communication for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disorder and Comorbid Disabilities" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5979.