Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Jeffery Gelfer

Second Committee Member

John Filler

Third Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Rennels

Number of Pages



Social skills are associated positive academic and well-being outcomes across the lifespan, especially for individuals with disabiliites (Carter, Sisco, Chung, & Stanton-Chapman, 2010; Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk, & Singer, 2009; Lifter, Mason, & Barton, 2011; Rubin, Bukowski, & Laursen, 2009). Without instruction, children with disabilities often have social skill delays that result in social isolation and peer rejection (Barton, 2015; Goldstein, English, Shafer, & Kaczmarek, 1997; Gresham, 1982; Nelson, McDonnell, Johnson, Crompton, & Nelson, 2007; Rogers, 2000; Travis, Sigman, & Ruskin, 2001). Direct and explicit instruction, not only for the targeted child but also for their peers, is required to support the acquisition and generalization of positive social interactions.

The purpose of this study was to answer three research questions. The first research question examined the effects of a large group video modeling intervention at increasing positive social interactions, both initiations and responses, of young children with disabilities and their peers. The second questioned examined if the effects of the intervention generalized to another setting, the outdoor playground. The third question examined teachers reported satisfaction with the acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention as measured by the Behavioral Intervention Rating Scale (BIRS, Elliot & Von Brock Treuting, 1991).

A multiple baseline design across participants was used to examine whether a functional relationship existed between a large group video modeling intervention and increased social interactions and if the skills generalized to the outdoor playground. Visual and statistical analysis were used in addition to Tau to examine effect size. Additional analysis was conducted to determine whether a functional relationship existed between the intervention and an increase in social initiations (motor and verbal) by participants. Social validity was collected from teachers and teacher assistants who implemented the interventions.

Four preschool age children with developmental delays and their classroom peers participated in the study. Results of the study suggest a functional relationship between the large group video modeling intervention and an increase in the number of intervals participants engaged in positive social interactions with peers for all participants. Data suggests a functional relationship between the classroom intervention and an increase in social interactions in the generalization setting for all participants, but to a lesser degree than post intervention. Teachers reported they were satisfied with the intervention effects, the targeted skills were important, the intervention was easily implemented with a high degree of fidelity, and the intervention lead to an increase is social interactions.


Early childhood; Head Start; Peer mediated; Social skills; Special education; Video modeling


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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