A study was made of the influence of selected chain modifiers on both the molecular weight of grafted polyacrylonitrile and the grafting frequency of the starch–polyacrylo-nitrile graft copolymer. Gelatinized wheat starch was used with ceric ammonium nitrate as the initiator. The organic chain modifiers investigated were ethyl mercaptan, 1-dodecanethiol, methyl ethyl ketone, acetaldehyde, and chloroform. Sodium chromate, cupric bromide, cupric nitrate, cupric acetate, and cupric chloride were also tested as chain modifiers. In the presence of cupric chloride, there was a tenfold reduction in the molecular weight of grafted polyacrylonitrile; however, fewer chains were grafted to the starch backbone than were observed without cupric chloride.