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Chapter 10 Maintaining Behavior Changes. Relapses in Behavior. behavior can regress after goals have been attained a relapse is an extended return to original patterns of behavior relapse often occurs when commitment is low relapses can follow many types of treatment. Why Relapses Occur.

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Chapter 10 Maintaining Behavior Changes

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Chapter 10 maintaining behavior changes l.jpg

Chapter 10Maintaining Behavior Changes


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Relapses in Behavior

behavior can regress after goals have been attained

  • a relapse is an extended return to original patterns of behavior

  • relapse often occurs when commitment is low

  • relapses can follow many types of treatment


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Why Relapses Occur

  • relapses may occur when one encounters antecedents associated with the problem behavior

  • relapses are more likely if the new behavior is not firmly established

  • self-efficacy factors may play a role in relapses


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Thinning Reinforcement

help prevent relapse by thinning reinforcement

  • thinning is accomplished by applying schedules of reinforcement

  • schedules of reinforcement reduce the number of responses reinforced or increase the time interval between reinforcers

  • thinning should be introduced gradually enough to prevent extinction


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Schedules of Reinforcement

  • intermittent reinforcement schedules reinforce only some behaviors

  • ratio schedules reinforce based on the number of responses that occur

    • fixed-ratio schedules define a constant number of required responses

    • variable-ratio schedules vary the number of responses that must occur


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Schedules of Reinforcement (continued)

  • interval schedules reinforce the first response after a period of time has passed

    • fixed-interval schedules reinforce the first response after a fixed amount of time has passed since the last reinforcer was delivered

    • variable-interval schedules reinforce the first response after varying periods of time since the last reinforcer was delivered


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Schedules of Reinforcement (continued)

  • duration schedules require that a behavior occur for a period of time before being reinforced

  • schedules can be combined to create more complex schedules of reinforcement


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Intermittent Reinforcement


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Effects of Ratio Schedules

  • ratio schedules maintain high rates of responding

  • variable-ratio schedules maintain higher rates than fixed-ratio schedules

  • Fixed-ratio schedules maintain a post-reinforcement pause

  • generally, as response requirements increase, so do rates of responding

  • too high a requirement causes ratio strain


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Fixed Ratio Schedule Patterns


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Variable Ratio Schedule Patterns


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Effects of Interval Schedules

  • interval schedules maintain moderate rates of responding

  • fixed-interval schedules maintain rates that accelerate through each interval

  • variable interval schedules maintain consistent, moderate rates through each interval

  • fixed-interval schedules maintain a “scalloped” pattern of responding


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Fixed Interval Schedule Patterns


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Variable Interval Schedule Patterns


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Intermittent Reinforcement and Extinction

  • extinction seems to create greater resistance to extinction than CRF

  • animal research by Nevin suggests the opposite is true

  • variable schedules are more resistant to extinction than fixed schedules of reinforcement


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Delaying Reinforcement

  • delays in reinforcement interfere with acquisition of behavior

  • after a behavior is established, the introduction of brief delays may serve to strengthen behavior

  • such delays make behavior more resistant to extinction


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Increasing Natural Reinforcement: Applying Natural Reinforcers

reinforcers that naturally occur in the individual's life assist in the transition from treatment to the real world

  • assess available reinforcers in the individual's everyday environment

  • social reinforcers such as praise are a class of common real-world reinforcers


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Increasing Natural Reinforcement: Applying Natural Reinforcers (continued)

  • seek environments that provide opportunities to successfully engage in acquired skills

  • increase likelihood that appropriate consequences are available to maintain the new skills


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Increasing Natural Reinforcers: Training

when the environment can not support the new behavior, the individual and those in the environment can be taught more appropriate responses

  • target individuals can be trained to find ways to be reinforced

  • in some environments, others can be taught to use tokens and social reinforcers

  • in some environments, others can be trained in behavioral techniques


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Training with Everyday Antecedents

intervention and natural conditions should be made more similar

  • fade prompts that will not be present in the natural environment

  • conduct some of the treatment in the natural environment

  • bring aspects of the natural environment into the therapy setting


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Widening Stimulus Control

steps that widen stimulus control tend to promote generalization

  • increase the variety of individuals, materials, or settings

  • general case training is a more formalized approach to widening stimulus control

    • specify the exact situation in which behavior should occur after training


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Widening Stimulus Control (continued)

  • identify a range of teaching examples that reflect the natural settings where behavior should occur

  • teach the examples

  • general case training is one of the most effective generalization procedures


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    Enhancing Self-Regulation Skills

    enhancement of self-regulation skills may best promote generalization

    • self-regulation skills help in generalization of social skills

    • self-regulation skills help in reduction of fears


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    General Procedures to Enhance Generalization

    generalization programs can benefit from a combination of:

    • fading prompts

    • widening stimulus control

    • thinning reinforcement

    • self-regulation training


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    Posttreatment Programs

    • booster programs offer refresher sessions

    • Marlatt's lapse prevention method teaches relapse prevention in three steps:

      • learn to identify high-risk situations

      • acquire coping skills

      • practice coping skills in high-risk settings


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    Tips on Maintaining Behavior Change

    • focus interventions on behavior that will be useful in the person's natural environment

    • associate new behaviors with antecedents common to the natural environment

    • monitor behavior carefully when introducing new treatments

    • thin to a variable schedule of reinforcement


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    Tips on Maintaining Behavior Change (continued)

    • assess potential natural reinforcers prior to completion of intervention

    • target behaviors should be applicable to everyday life


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