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Alternating Treatments Designs Sample Studies. Hypothetical Classroom management study.

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We experimentally assessed the functions of hair pulling and hair manipulation of a 19-year-old woman (Kris) with moderate mental retardation and cerebral palsy. In Phase 1 a functional analysis revealed that Kris pulled and manipulated hair for the greatest amount of time in the alone condition, suggesting that the behaviors were maintained by some form of automatic reinforcement (Vaughan & Michael, 1982). In Phase 2 we assessed the nature of the sensory stimulation that maintained hair pulling by providing continuous access to previously pulled or cut hair and, thereafter, by having Kris wear a rubber glove. The results suggested that hair pulling was maintained by digital-tactile stimulation (automatic positive reinforcement). These findings are discussed, and recommendations for further analyses of automatically reinforced habit behaviors are provided.


Abstract: Although previous research indicates that certain types of attention (i.e., statements related to behavior, tickles) may be differentially reinforcing, only one or two forms of attention are typically provided contingent on problem behavior during the attention condition in experimental functional analyses. In the present investigation, various forms of attention were provided contingent on problem behavior to identify the influence of each form of attention. Results indicated that the attention forms affected problem behavior differently; these outcomes are discussed in terms of their implications for assessment and treatment.


Abstract: A multielement design was used to compare the effects of three treatments on the happiness of 3 individuals with profound multiple disabilities. The conditions were typical programming using materials selected by staff, presentation of preferred materials plus social interaction, and social interaction alone with no materials present. Both the presentation of the preferred items with social interaction and social interaction alone resulted in higher happiness indicators than typical programming. The combination of preferred items and social interactions was somewhat superior to social interaction alone.


Abstract: The delivery and subsequent withholding of tangible consequences has been previously investigated as an intervention for stereotypic behavior. The current investigation sought to extend previous research by evaluating its effectiveness and durability as treatment for stereotypy of 2 children who had been diagnosed with autism. Nonsocial functions for stereotypic behavior were identified via functional analysis. Edible items were then delivered contingent on stereotypy and were withheld in a subsequent condition. When the superimposition procedure failed to reduce stereotypy, environmental enrichment was implemented and was found to reduce the stereotypy of both participants.


Effects of Interspersal Training on the Acquisition of Sight Words by Children Diagnosed with Autism and Communication Disorders

Nicole J. Elmera, Kenneth F. Reeve,

Tina M. Sidener, & Sharon A. Reeve

Abstract: Interspersal training is a teaching procedure that alternates mastered and un-mastered material. The purpose of the current investigation was to determine which ratio of interspersed material is more effective in teaching word-to-picture matching to children with autism and/or communication disorders. An alternating treatments design was used. The 1:1 condition interspersed one mastered word-to-picture trial with 1 un-mastered word-to-picture matching trial. The 3:1 condition interspersed three mastered word-to-picture trials with 1 un-mastered word-to-picture trial. The results showed that the 3:1 condition was superior in teaching un-mastered word-to-picture stimuli across all participants.

Percentage of Un-Mastered Word to Picture Matching Trials Matched Correctly