Improving accepting and giving compliments with individuals with developmental disabilities

Stephanie A. Hood, Atalie E. Olsen, Kevin C. Luczynski, Francesca A. Randle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, typically exhibit conversation skill deficits, with two prevailing deficits including giving and accepting compliments. The current study used an individualized approach to assess and teach accepting and giving compliments specific to performance, possession, and appearance with three adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities. We taught these skills using behavioral skills training and prompting during conversations utilizing a multiple-baseline design across participants. We also observed generalization and treatment extension of the participants' skills in conversations with adults not associated with teaching and in the absence of any teaching procedures. The results support the efficacy of the procedures used toward improving giving and accepting compliments within the context of a conversation. We discuss considerations to improve the social acceptability of and refinements to the teaching procedures and acquired skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1028
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • accepting compliments
  • behavioral skills training
  • friendship
  • generalization
  • giving compliments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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