Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Tiffany Hutchins


Episodic Memory (EM) is foundational to social cognition and social communication. Empirical evidence demonstrates impairments in EM in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Meanwhile, it is well documented that a caregiver conversational style known as elaborative reminiscing facilitates neurotypical (NT) children’s EM development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the social validity of a novel elaborative reminiscing caregiver-mediated intervention to support EM for a single dyad (a mother and her daughter with ASD). The following research questions were addressed: 1) does this caregiver’s subjective impressions of the quality of her child’s EM change over ABA (baseline, intervention, and maintenance) phases of study?; 2) does this caregiver continue intervention procedures in a maintenance phase of the study?; 3) is parent-training in elaborative reminiscing deemed socially valid based on caregiver subjective impressions of the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the intervention? We analyzed qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the social validity of the intervention. The caregiver’s subjective impressions of her child’s EM increased slightly but reliably and significantly over the course of the study. Although the caregiver did not continue implementing formal intervention procedures during the maintenance phase, she did report incorporating the caregiver intervention techniques more naturally into conversations with her daughter. The caregiver’s subjective impressions of the goals, procedures, and outcomes suggested she perceived parent-training in elaborative reminiscing as socially valid. The results suggest a high degree of social validity for this novel intervention strategy and justify the pursuit of more rigorous empirical designs to examine efficacy, acceptability, and generalizability of treatment.



Number of Pages

66 p.