An Exploratory Analysis of Quality Indicators in Adapted Alternating Treatments Designs

Collin Shepley, Melinda J. Ault, Kaylee Ortiz, J. Colin Vogler, Molly McGee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The single-case adapted alternating treatments design allows for an experimental comparison between two independent variables applied across two equally difficult, yet functionally independent, dependent variables. The design has been used prominently within the special education and behavior analysis literature since its inception. Despite its history and continued use, there are currently no formalized quality standards specific to the adapted alternating treatments design. Given the rise of evidence-based practices and the increased number of organizations developing quality and rigor standards, a discussion and evaluation of quality indicators specific to adapted alternating treatments designs is warranted. We provide an overview of quality indicators and examine their prevalence over the years within a subset of studies commonly incorporating the adapted alternating treatments design. Implications for researchers who use the design and organizations that develop standards for single-case research are discussed. Copies of coding tables and syntax in Microsoft Excel and SPSS formats may be obtained via Open Science Framework at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-237
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Amanda Hogue for her assistance with the coding process. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2019.


  • adapted alternating treatments design
  • design standards
  • quality indicators
  • single-case design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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