Schedule thinning following communication training: using competing stimuli to enhance tolerance to decrements in reinforcer density.

J Appl Behav Anal 2005 ;38(2):177-93

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.

Functional communication training (FCT) is a widely used treatment for individuals with developmental disabilities who exhibit severe behavior problems. One inherent challenge of employing FCT as a treatment in the community is that reinforcement for appropriate communication cannot always be immediate or even possible in some circumstances. Of the few studies that have incorporated some form of schedule thinning for communication, most have reported disruption of communication or increases in problem behavior when the schedule of reinforcement is thinned. In the current study, we compared FCT with extinction to FCT with extinction and access to competing stimuli. After conducting a functional analysis, a competing stimulus assessment was performed to identify stimuli that produce reinforcement that ostensibly competes with reinforcement that maintains problem behavior. It was hypothesized that FCT with competing stimuli would result in more stable reductions in problem behavior during schedule thinning, which would ultimately result in quicker achievement of the treatment goal (low levels of problem behavior under the terminal reinforcement schedule for communication) than FCT without competing stimuli. Results confirmed this hypothesis.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1226154/
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1901/jaba.2005.43-04DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1226154PMC
October 2005
12 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

competing stimuli
16
problem behavior
16
schedule thinning
12
fct treatment
8
fct extinction
8
fct competing
8
behavior schedule
8
thinning communication
8
communication training
8
fct
6
communication
6
behavior
5
reinforcement
5
schedule
5
competing
5
stimuli
5
functional analysis
4
conducting functional
4
stimuli conducting
4
stimulus assessment
4

References

(Supplied by CrossRef)
On the relation of mands and the function of destructive behavior
Bowman et al.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1997
Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training
Carr et al.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1985
Integrating caregiver report with a systematic choice assessment
Fisher et al.
American Journal on Mental Retardation 1996
Functional communication training with and without extinction and punishment
Fisher et al.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1993

Similar Publications