Document Type


Publication Date



Persons with dementia experience continual declines in a number of abilities. Language abilities are particularly hard hit and become increasingly impaired as the underlying disease progresses. These language impairments make verbal communication very challenging for family and professional caregivers. As a result, caregivers may inadvertently punish verbal behavior, thereby exacerbating the deterioration of verbal repertoires. Although the topography of language impairments associated with dementia have been well described, less empirical work has been conducted concerning how to minimize these impairments and their deleterious effects. In 1957 B.F. Skinner outlined his conceptualization of language and cognition in his book Verbal Behavior. This paper will explore the implications of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior for studying communication impairments associated with dementia.



Publication Title

Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analyis