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Logo of jabaJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web SiteSubscriber LoginJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Web SiteSubscription InformationInformation for AuthorsJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web SiteJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web Site
J Appl Behav Anal. 1986 Winter; 19(4): 337–348.
PMCID: PMC1308083

Telephone conversational skills training with socially isolated, impaired nursing home residents.


We evaluated the effectiveness of a comprehensive training program for enhancing the conversational skills of socially isolated, impaired elderly nursing home residents. A multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to train four subjects (aged 87, 85, 68, and 66), on four content-related conversational components: expressing common courtesies, making positive self-disclosures, asking questions, and making interjections and acknowledgements. Training procedures included instructions, modeling, behavior rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement. Results showed positive effects with all four subjects; in two cases, changes were significant enough to affect untrained observers' perceptions of the elders' conversational skills.

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