Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 111-126

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (Impact Factor: 1.19). 02/1985; 18(2):111-26. DOI: 10.1901/jaba.1985.18-111
Source: PubMed


It is generally agreed that serious misbehavior in children should be replaced with socially appropriate behaviors, but few guidelines exist with respect to choosing replacement behaviors. We address this issue in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we developed an assessment method for identifying situations in which behavior problems, including aggression, tantrums, and self-injury, were most likely to occur. Results demonstrated that both low level of adult attention and high level of task difficulty were discriminative for misbehavior. In Experiment 2, the assessment data were used to select replacements for misbehavior. Specifically, children were taught to solicit attention or assistance or both verbally from adults. This treatment, which involved the differential reinforcement of functional communication, produced replicable suppression of behavior problems across four developmentally disabled children. The results were consistent with an hypothesis stating that some child behavior problems may be viewed as a nonverbal means of communication. According to this hypothesis, behavior problems and verbal communicative acts, though differing in form, may be equivalent in function. Therefore, strengthening the latter should weaken the former.

Download full-text


Available from: Vincent Durand,
  • Source
    • "The high prevalence and increased incidence of autism spectrum disorder combined with the demonstrated effective results of FCT, compels a response from researchers in the field of applied behavior analysis. Much of the research remains similar to that of Carr and Durand (1985) in that it follows similar protocols and is conducted in clinical contexts (Mancil, 2006a). While the incidence of professionals working in the home with children with ASDs has become prevalent, academic researchers are providing very little in the way of evidenced-based results in this setting. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract: Persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display difficulties interacting with their peers and care providers. In fact, social deficits are an essential diagnostic feature of ASD. Functional Communication Training (FCT) is one of the most common and effective treatments for communication and behavioral needs of children with developmental disabilities. Its application to children with ASD is robust. An essential feature of FCT is that it has been shown to result in generalized effects. That is, positive social interactive behaviors have been shown to increase in occurrence. The essential feature of FCT is that differential reinforcement contingencies are applied to increase a desired social response if problem behaviors are placed on an extinction schedule. Specifically, more appropriate forms of communication are consequated using identified functional reinforcers. To date, there are several treatments to increase social behaviors in children with ASD, which utilize differential reinforcement as an essential component including , pivotal response therapy (PRT) and FCT. In addition, there are a number of procedures that, although commonly used, lack empirical support in the recent literature. The purpose of this review is to examine the treatment effectiveness of differential reinforcement based treatments designed to increase communication and social skills of children with ASD. In addition, we will provide a review of two commonly used procedures, Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) and DIR/FloortimeTM that lack empirical support in the recent literature. Nevertheless, due to their widespread use, the utility of the application procedures will be discussed.
    • "The fields of positive behavior interventions and supports and applied behavioral analysis offer a substantial collection of evidence-based interventions for preventing or managing challenging behaviors. These interventions include functional assessment and functional analysis (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003); antecedent interventions such as offering choices (Kern, Vorndran, & Hilt, 1998), providing stimulus prompts (Phillips & Vollmer, 2012), altering schedules and routines through interventions such as behavioral momentum (Nevin & Shahan, 2011), manipulating stimuli thought to influence motivating operations (Vollmer & Iwata, 1991) through techniques such as presession access to reinforcement (O'Reilly et al., 2009), establishing communicative skills through functional communication training (Carr & Durand, 1985), reinforcement interventions to strengthen prosocial alternatives to challenging behaviors, behavior reductive procedures such as timeout or response cost procedures, and finally, response interruption or redirection. Reliance on evidence-based practices is a common theme in professional codes of ethics of special educators and related service professions, and the techniques listed above meet that expectation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Use of physical restraint and seclusion procedures in schools continues to be controversial, and foster proposals for federal and state legislation and regulation. Despite much discussion about what policies are needed, there has been little discussion about the professional practice issues and the ethical issues related to these practices. The purpose of this report is to present six clusters of professional practice and ethical issues that have not heretofore been specifically identified. To do so, we will examine the codes of professional practice and ethics of organizations representing educators who work with students with severe behavioral challenges. To illustrate these issues, we use real-world case examples from media stories and official reports about problems resulting from restraint and seclusion. Although individuals may disagree regarding decisions about these ethical issues, these questions should be a part of any policy discussion related to professional practice regarding these issues, and they have rarely been addressed in the restraint and seclusion policy debate. In addition, they are also questions that must be examined by all professional educators for them to assure adherence to the professional practice and ethical codes for their field.
    Journal of Disability Policy Studies 09/2015; Online First. DOI:10.1177/1044207315604366
  • Source
    • "During the 1960s and 70s, the study of operant learning treatment approaches for autism increased (Hingtgen et al. 1967; Leff 1968; Lovaas et al. 1974; Mazuryk et al. 1978). Early work in this area demonstrated the effectiveness of operant methodology to teach a variety of skills: language (Lovaas et al. 1966; Risley and Wolf 1967), social (Odom and Strain 1986; Ragland et al. 1978; Strain et al. 1979), play (Lewis and Boucher 1988; Lifter et al. 1993; Stahmer 1995), self-help (Ayllon and Azrin 1968; Baker 1984), and academic skills (McGee and McCoy 1981) as well as to reduce the occurrence of ''interfering'' or challenging behaviors (Carr and Durand 1985; Schreibman and Carr 1978). Even during these early years, parents were taught how to use strategies based on these principles of learning to improve their children's behavior at home (Berkowitz and Graziano 1972). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Earlier autism diagnosis, the importance of early intervention, and development of specific interventions for young children have contributed to the emergence of similar, empirically supported, autism interventions that represent the merging of applied behavioral and developmental sciences. "Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI)" are implemented in natural settings, involve shared control between child and therapist, utilize natural contingencies, and use a variety of behavioral strategies to teach developmentally appropriate and prerequisite skills. We describe the development of NDBIs, their theoretical bases, empirical support, requisite characteristics, common features, and suggest future research needs. We wish to bring parsimony to a field that includes interventions with different names but common features thus improving understanding and choice-making among families, service providers and referring agencies.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2015; 45(8). DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2407-8 · 3.34 Impact Factor
Show more