Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Corinne M. Murphy, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Claire Verden, Ed. D.

Committee Member

Carol Rothera, M.S. Ed.


There is a general lack of research in the area of generalization of executive functioning skills. The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which executive functioning skills (EF skills) are learned and generalized across settings in students with disabilities. Schools directly teach interventions in EF through courses such as study skills. The shortcoming of the instruction is that students do not generalize the skills taught in the smaller, specialized setting, to the typical setting, i.e. the general education classrooms. Despite being directly taught the skills to succeed in regular coursework, the students do not use the strategies they have learned to be successful when placed in classes with typical peers (Young, et al 1991.)

Two 8th grade students with executive functioning deficits participated in two experiments on the generalization of executive functioning skills. The students were taught skills in engaged listening (Experiment II), and organization (Experiment II) as part of a research-based executive functioning curriculum. Following the intervention lessons, the students were observed across regular education environments for the generalization of the skills. One student (Beta) made progress from baseline in organization. The result of the engaged listening generalization data for both Alpha and Beta was inconclusive, leading the researcher to conclude that the intervention, as prescribed, was not effective in promoting the generalization of the skills to the regular education setting. Further research should study the effects of the prescribed single exposure lessons for the other lessons in the curriculum.