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Lisa M. Silliman and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of preferred verbal praise and music reinforcement on improving the soccer kick performances of youths with profound mental retardation (PMR). Subjects (N = 15) were randomly assigned to three groups. Based on visual inspection and the split-middle technique, all three groups (i.e., control, verbal praise, and music reinforcer) improved performances in their kicking accuracy. Comparison of graphed mean data of the three groups, by visual inspection and the split-middle technique, showed that the verbal praise and music reinforcement groups had higher scores than the control group. Visual inspection of 2-week follow-up data revealed that both experimental groups maintained higher scores than the control group. In addition, all of the subjects had the ability to generalize this kicking skill into a physical recreation environment.

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Gholamali Owlia, Ron French, Vic Ben-Ezra, and Lisa M. Silliman

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of audio (cassette tapes) and audiovisual (music videotapes) reinforcers on motorized bicycle ergometer time-on-task performance of 5 adolescents who were profoundly mentally retarded (PMR). The groups that received audio and audiovisual reinforcers had significantly higher time-on-task performance compared to subjects who received no reinforcement. However, there was no significant difference between audio and audiovisual reinforcers. It was concluded that music and videotapes with music can be effectively used to improve the performance of adolescents who are PMR when riding a stationary motorized bicycle ergometer.