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Establishing a Deictic Relational Repertoire in Young Children
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Perspective-taking skills have been shown to be pivotal in a variety of social and interpersonal interactions. A better understanding of the process involved in building such a repertoire could be beneficial in a wide variety of language and social skills training programs. A relational frame theory approach to perspective taking involves a focus on deictic relations, such as I-You, Here-There, and Now-Then. The present study examined the effect of operant contingencies on deictic relational responding in 3 normally developing young (57 to 68 months old) children. In a multiple baseline across persons and tasks format, I-You, Here-There, and Now-Then deictic relational frames were successfully shaped as operant behavior. As the children acquired deictic relational frames at the Reversed and Double-Reversed levels, the children's performance on traditional perspective-taking measures generally increased.