Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stratton, Kasee K.

Committee Member

Gadke, Daniel L.

Committee Member

Mazahreh, Laith G.

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Educational Psychology (School Psychology Focus)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Several research studies have suggested that individuals with ID are at an increased risk of being a target of victimization (Hughes et al., 2012; Wilson et al.,1992). Therapists, caregivers, primary care providers, and school staff may also undervalue or fail to teach critical safety skills early in childhood or in the adolescent years, which increases risk of victimization in adulthood (Dembo et al., 2018). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness, generalizability, and maintenance of the use of behavior skills training to teach stranger safety skills to young adults with intellectual disabilities. Specifically, a two-step safety response in the presence of a lure from a stranger. Overall, the current study’s results demonstrate that the intervention was effective at teaching this population stranger safety skills. Results of the current study also suggest that the target skill was generalizable across settings and maintained at a 13 week follow up. Furthermore, the intervention was rated high for social validity among most participants. Future studies should continue to explore the effectiveness, generalizability, and maintenance of these results.