The aim of this study was to create a new measure that assesses potential reinforcers in the lives of older adults residing in assisted living facilities. It is important to assess what an individual finds rewarding since individuals have a greater quality of life if they are doing activities that they enjoy. The study involved a two-step process. First, a list of potential reinforcers was created and evaluated by professionals in the field. Then this list was formatted into a survey and presented to 612 older adults. Participants rated these potential reinforcers on a Likert scale. Results were then evaluated using a principal components analysis resulting in the survey being consolidated into a 28 item survey with items fitting into four categories. This survey can function as a measure to identify what an individual finds rewarding which is useful information in an assisted living facility. Staff can use this tool to increase opportunities for positive reinforcement and overall increase pleasant activities in general.


Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Daniel Houlihan

Committee Member

Sheen Chiou

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Clinical Psychology


Humanities and Social Sciences



Rights Statement

In Copyright