Descriptive analysis of eating regulation in obese and nonobese children. (1/249)

Bite rate, sip rate, and concurrent activities of six 7-yr-old children, three obese and three nonobese, were observed at lunchtime over a six-month period. A procedure for decreasing bite rate, putting eating utensils down between bites, was implemented in a multiple-baseline across-subjects design. Sip rates and concurrent activities were observed to assess behavioral covariations. In addition, bite rate and amount of food completed were computed over six food categories to analyze food preferences. Results indicated the control of bite rate acorss all subjects, with a significant reduction in amount of food consumed. Correlations between the response classes indicated they were at least partially independent. Differences in eating behavior of obese and nonobese subjects were observed for breadstuffs and milk drinking.  (+info)

The effects of social punishment on noncompliance: a comparison with timeout and positive practice. (2/249)

The effects of social punishment, positive practice, and timeout on the noncompliant behavior of four mentally retarded children were assessed in a multitreatment withdrawal design. When programmed, the experimental procedure occurred contigent on non-compliance to experimenter-issued commands. Commands were given at 55-sec intervals throughout each experimental session. The results showed (1) lower levels of noncompliance with social punishment than with the positive-practice or timeout conditions, and (2) that relatively few applications of social punishment were required to obtain this effect. The advantages of social punishment over other punishment procedures, considerations to be made before using it, and the various aspects of the procedure that contribute to its effectiveness were discussed.  (+info)

Reduction of stimulus overselectivity with nonverbal differential observing responses. (3/249)

Three individuals with mental retardation exhibited stimulus overselectivity in a delayed matching-to-sample task in which two sample stimuli were displayed on each trial. Intermediate accuracy scores indicated that participants could match one of the samples but not both of them. Accuracy in a baseline condition was compared to accuracy with a differential observing response procedure. This procedure prompted participants to make simultaneous identity-matching responses that required observation and discrimination of both sample stimuli. These observing responses were never followed by differential consequences. When observing responses were prompted, participants' accuracy scores improved. In a return to the baseline condition, when differential observing responses were no longer prompted, accuracy returned to intermediate levels. The results show that stimulus overselectivity can be greatly reduced by a behavioral intervention that controls observing behavior and verifies discrimination, but that exposure to such procedures alone may be insufficient for lasting benefits.  (+info)

Analysis of activity preferences as a function of differential consequences. (4/249)

Individuals who do not possess the verbal skills to express meaningful choice in the absence of its consequences may have difficulty indicating their preference for protracted activities that are unavailable until some time in the future (e.g., taking a walk, riding a bike). When we examined the preferences of 4 individuals with developmental disabilities by showing them pictorial representations of various activities, their initial choices showed no clear preferences. In a subsequent condition, selecting a photograph resulted in brief access to the depicted activity. When selections produced differential consequences (i.e., access to the activity), clear preferences emerged. In addition, 3 individuals' preferences were later shifted to an initially less preferred but more socially desirable option by superimposing additional reinforcement contingencies for engaging in the less preferred activity. Results are discussed in terms of the conditions under which choice functions as an indicator of preference and how those conditions may be altered to improve the quality of choice making without limiting access to preferred options.  (+info)

Evaluating self-control and impulsivity in children with severe behavior disorders. (5/249)

Impulsivity and self-control involve a choice between a smaller, more immediate reinforcer and a larger, more delayed reinforcer. Impulsive behavior occurs when responding produces the more immediate, relatively smaller reinforcers at the expense of delayed larger reinforcers. Self-control occurs when responding produces delayed larger reinforcers at the expense of immediate smaller reinforcers. Recently, researchers in applied behavior analysis have suggested that evaluations of self-control and impulsivity are relevant to socially important behaviors. Further, common behavioral treatments such as differential reinforcement may be influenced by variables such as reinforcer delay. In this study, we showed that aggression, reinforced by access to food, could be maintained as impulsive behavior. The participants were 2 young boys with severe developmental disabilities. For both participants, descriptive observations, care provider report, and functional analyses suggested that aggression was reinforced by food access (and television access for 1 participant). Next, we introduced a differential reinforcement procedure in which appropriate mands were reinforced. After various manipulations, we showed that aggression occurred when it produced immediate but small reinforcers even though mands produced larger, more delayed reinforcers. However, both participants displayed self-control when the delay to reinforcement was signaled (with a hand gesture or a timer).  (+info)

A systematic evaluation of preferences identified through person-centered planning for people with profound multiple disabilities. (6/249)

Person-centered planning is becoming a popular means of designing supports for people with disabilities. However, very little research evaluating person-centered planning exists. We evaluated the degree to which items and activities reported to be preferred in person-centered plans represented accurate preferences based on how individuals responded when presented with the items and activities. Person-centered planning meetings were conducted with 4 individuals with profound multiple disabilities to develop preference maps and to identify leisure-related preferences. A sample of the reported preferences in the plans was then systematically assessed by observing each participant's approach and avoidance responses to the items and activities. Of the sampled items and activities reported to be preferred in the plans, 42% represented moderate preferences based on the latter assessment process and 33% represented strong preferences. With 2 participants, several preferences identified in the plans were nonpreferred items and activities based on the preference assessments, and some were frequently avoided. These results suggested that although person-centered plans may identify some accurate preferences for people with profound multiple disabilities, this approach should be used cautiously. Results also suggested that such plans should be supplemented with systematic preference assessments to ensure the accuracy of identified preferences. Future research areas focus on evaluating other aspects of person-centered planning.  (+info)

Relative versus absolute reinforcement effects: implications for preference assessments. (7/249)

We compared results obtained in two previous studies on reinforcer identification (Fisher et al., 1992; Pace, Ivancic, Edwards, Iwata, & Page, 1985) by combining methodologies from both studies. Eight individuals with mental retardation participated. During Phase 1, two preference assessments were conducted, one in which stimuli were presented singly (SS method) and one in which stimuli were presented in pairs (PS method). Based on these results, two types of stimuli were identified for each participant: High-preference (HP) stimuli were those selected on 75% or more trials during both preference assessments; low-preference (LP) stimuli were those selected on 100% of the SS trials but on 25% or fewer of the PS trials. During Phase 2, the reinforcing effects of HP and LP stimuli were evaluated in reversal designs under two test conditions: concurrent and single schedules of continuous reinforcement. Two response options were available under the concurrent-schedule condition: One response produced access to the HP stimulus; the other produced access to the LP stimulus. Only one response option was available under the single-schedule condition, and that response produced access only to the LP stimulus. Results indicated that 7 of the 8 participants consistently showed preference for the HP stimulus under the concurrent schedule. However, when only the LP stimulus was available during the single-schedule condition, response rates for 6 of the 7 participants were as high as those observed for the HP stimulus during the concurrent-schedule condition (1 participant showed no reinforcement effect). These results indicate that, although the concurrent-schedule procedure is well suited to the assessment of relative reinforcement effects (preference for one reinforcer over another), absolute reinforcement effects associated with a given stimulus may be best examined under single-schedule conditions.  (+info)

On the displacement of leisure items by food during multiple-stimulus preference assessments. (8/249)

Previous studies have demonstrated that when food and leisure stimuli are combined in multiple-stimulus preference assessments, individuals typically select food more often, although the leisure stimuli also have known reinforcing properties. The purpose of the current study was to replicate this effect and determine its durability by examining the effect after mealtimes. Four adults who had been diagnosed with severe mental retardation were given three initial multiple-stimulus (without replacement) preference assessments (i.e., food, leisure stimuli, and combined). All participants selected food items as the most preferred stimuli in the combined assessments. Combined assessments were then administered immediately before and after the evening meal for each participant for 1 week. The results showed similar data both before and after mealtimes.  (+info)