Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt


Each year a large number of students are identified as having problems in reading. The methodology for the identification of reading problems has been established and in practice for several years, however, the tools necessary for the identification of remediation procedures appropriate for the individual student lack this level of refinement. This study is an attempt at refining current assessment practices for the purpose of identifying remediation procedures that are effective on the level of the individual student. A conceptual model of learning (instructional hierarchy) was combined with a treatment based functional assessment methodology, resulting in a behavior analytic approach to reading assessment designed to identify remediation procedures that have a known level of effectiveness for an individual student. Eighteen first, second and third graders were assessed across a range of fluencies resulting in treatment recommendations based on individual responses to treatment components. These recommendations were then evaluated in an extended validation, which was designed to ascertain the level of effectiveness of these recommendations over baseline and against each other. Results indicate that this behavior analytic approach to the assessment and treatment along with the incorporation of the instructional hierarchy produced valid treatment recommendations. When these results were compared to alternative forms of treatment recommendations the behavior analytic approach produced superior results.