17th of February at 17.00
Title: Quality of Life Measures in Applied Behavior Analysis
The candidate will defend her thesis on the 17th of February at 18.30
Zoom link to the trial lecture and the public defence (oslomet.zoom.us).
Webinar ID: 676 0948 9454
- First opponent: Professor Ellie Kazemi, California State University
- Second opponent: Professor R. Douglas Greer, Columbia University
- Leader of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Sigmund Eldevik
Leader of the public defense
Head of the PhD program in Behaviour Analysis Professor Ingunn Sandaker
- Main supervisor: Professor Scott Hall, Stanford University
- Co-supervisor: Professor Per Holt, OsloMet
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common known inherited form of intellectual disability, affecting approximately 1 in 4,000 boys and 1 in 8,000 girls. The syndrome is caused by mutations to the FMR1 gene on the X chromosome, leading to a cascade of neurological problems and intellectual delays. Children with FXS are at an increased risk of displaying behaviors such as aggression, self-injury, and property destruction. The most frequent interventions for behavior of this type in this population are pharmacological treatments, whereas behavioral approaches, such as functional communication training (FCT), are rarely implemented. In the last ten years, there has been increasing research literature supporting the benefits of FCT for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who display aggression and self-injurious behaviors. In addition, caregiver-mediated interventions delivered via telehealth have become increasingly utilized to expand the reach of FCT to families of children with ASD. The current set of studies were designed to evaluate whether caregivers of children with FXS can be successfully coached to implement FCT via telehealth in their own home and whether this intervention can decrease aggression and self-injury in boys with FXS. This dissertation reports on four articles. The study reported in Article 1 was conducted to assess whether caregivers can be successfully coached to conduct functional analyses of their child’s aggression and self-injury in their own homes. Article 2 evaluates the efficacy of coaching caregivers via telehealth to implement FCT protocols with their child. Article 3 describes a randomized controlled trial showing the effectiveness of telehealth-enabled FCT provided by caregivers when the children are compared to control FXS children whose caregivers did not receive FCT. Article 4 is a methodological collection of practical tips and technology recommendations for conducting caregiver coaching over telehealth. These studies provide compelling evidence for the feasibility of telehealth-provided caregiver FCT to decrease aggression and self-injury in boys with FXS.