The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a type of interdependent group-oriented contingency management procedure, was first introduced in 1969 and has been used with overwhelming success in classrooms and other settings. Since its inception, the "game" has utilized team competition and peer influence combined with reinforcement procedures. It has been found to be popular, easy-to-use, time-efficient, and widely applicable and versatile. This review describes the game and its numerous variations and adaptations, as well as empirical findings specific to the variety of target behaviors and participants to which it has been applied. In addition, different types of reinforcers used, information on consumer acceptance, and issues related to implementation are considered.
The 4 years that Michel Hersen spent at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (1970-1974) are described in this article from the viewpoint of his place in the history of the development of behavior analysis and therapy. The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center became a leader in enhancing the role of psychologists as clinician researchers within psychiatry and applying basic findings from psychology to the bedside. A vigorous research program involving psychology residents and postdoctoral students, and psychology and psychiatry faculty emerged from this integration of science and practice. Many of the faculty members, including Michel Hersen, became leaders in the field of behavior therapy. Much of what was groundbreaking at the time is now commonplace within many medical schools.
The present study sought to evaluate the efficacy of group contingency procedures via meta-analysis. A total of 182 studies published between 1980 and 2010 were identified via PsychInfo that included group contingency as a keyword. Studies that met inclusion criteria (e.g., single-subject design, school-aged children; N = 50), were coded and effect sizes were calculated. Results strongly support the efficacy of group contingencies with an overall effect size of 3.41. Types of group contingencies were also evaluated for dependent group contingencies (ES = 3.75, n = 11), independent group contingencies (ES = 3.27, n = 8), and interdependent group contingencies (ES = 2.88, n = 35). These results clearly establish all varieties of group contingencies as efficacious for a wide range of target behaviors with school-aged children. Results are discussed with regard to practical implications.
The current study was conducted to examine the trends involved with experimental intervention research designed to modify behaviors of children and youth with emotional and/or behavioral disorders (EBD). Trends are summarized and compared to the intervention research that has been conducted in developmental disabilities (DD). The contents of 10 journals published between 1980 and 1999 were analyzed. Descriptive dimensions of the research including participant demographics, settings, research designs, dependent and independent variables, intervention agents, and measures of ecological validity were investigated. In addition, the databases were examined to determine whether interventions were based on individualized processes of assessment. The results showed strikingly similar trends across interventions with EBD and DD participants. The discussion addresses the general status of intervention research across both populations, as well as the importance of extending the current research to examine additional variables and measures with various populations.
The Gambling Functional Assessment (GFA; Dixon & Johnson, 2007) is a 20-item self-report inventory identifying four potential consequences maintaining gambling behavior. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are performed for two large, nonclinical samples of university undergraduates. For the exploratory analysis, the optimal model yields two factors: Positive Reinforcement (correlated with GFA Sensory, Attention, and Tangible scores) and Negative Reinforcement (correlated with GFA Escape scores). One GFA item fails to load on either factor adequately. Factor loadings are confirmed using structural equation modeling for the second sample. The resulting model yields a mix of adequate and suboptimal fit indicators. Although the 2-factor model of the GFA has great theoretical utility and shows significant promise, confirmation within clinical samples of gamblers will be necessary to further validate the model. GFA Escape scores are uniquely distributed in the two samples and may represent functions most likely to maintain pathological gambling.
Childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder was believed to be very rare and, until quite recently, little effort was directed toward assessment or treatment. Today, typical assessment procedures include clinical and structured interviews, self-report and therapist or staff completed inventories, self-monitoring, and direct observation. No single method has demonstrated superiority, and each has had limitations. Multiple measures are therefore recommended. The treatment literature is composed largely of uncontrolled case studies presenting combinations of three or more treatments. Although all treatment-outcome reports illustrate positive effects, no one method has been superior treating either a single facet of the disorder or the disorder in its entirety.
Outcome data are presented, grouped into 5-year cohorts, for 7,275 sexual offenders entering a cognitive/behavioral treatment program. Assessment variables included treatment completion, self-admission of covert and/or overt deviant behaviors, the presence of deviant sexual arousal, or being recharged for any sexual crime (regardless of plea or conviction). It proved possible to follow 62% for the cohort at 5 years after initiating treatment, but follow-up completion rates decreased with time. Outcomes were significantly different based on offender subtype, with child molesters and exhibitionists achieving better overall success than pedophiles or rapists. Prematurely terminating treatment was a strong indicator of committing a new sexual offense. Of interest was the general improvement of success rates over each successive 5-year period for many types of offenders. Unfortunately, failure rates remained comparatively high for rapists (20%) and homosexual pedophiles (16%), regardless of when they were treated over the 25-year period. Implications for clinical practice and future research are drawn.
In a multiple baseline design across behaviors with a control group component, insulin-dependent diabetic children were administered social skills training. Additionally, a metabolic measure of diabetic control was administered at baseline and follow-up assessments. When compared with control subjects, youngsters who received social skills training exhibited large improvements on a role-play test in their abilities to cope with stressful disease-related social situations. No changes were observed, however, on the metabolic measure of diabetic control. The implications of these findings are discussed.
This study explored some practical issues for single-case researchers who rely on visual analysis of graphed data, but who also may consider supplemental use of promising statistical analysis techniques. The study sought to answer three major questions: (a) What is a typical range of effect sizes from these analytic techniques for data from "effective interventions"? (b) How closely do results from these same analytic techniques concur with visual-analysis-based judgments of effective interventions? and (c) What role does autocorrelation play in interpretation of these analytic results? To answer these questions, five analytic techniques were compared with the judgments of 45 doctoral students and faculty, who rated intervention effectiveness from visual analysis of 35 fabricated AB design graphs. Implications for researchers and practitioners using single-case designs are discussed.
An ABAC comparison of two treatment packages for food refusal, physical guidance and nonremoval of the spoon, was conducted with two children with limited food acceptance. Both of these treatment packages included prevention of escape from presented food. Subsequent to baseline, one of the two treatment packages was implemented for each child. The treatment packages were implemented ABAC for one child and ACAB for the other child. Once the percentage of bites accepted had increased to at least 75% with the initial exposure to a treatment package, that treatment was withdrawn with a subsequent exposure to the second treatment package. The results indicated that both treatment packages were effective in establishing food acceptance. Also, initial exposure to either of the two treatment packages facilitated acquisition of food acceptance during the second exposure. Parental preference of the treatment package may have been influenced by the order of exposure to the treatment conditions.
This study evaluated predictors of dropout among men who began and attended at least 1 session of a cognitive-behavioral, skills training oriented spouse abuse abatement counseling program. Based on prior research, a number of demographic, criminal justice, partner violence pattern, and personality characteristics were studied. Dropout prediction was assessed at 2 phases of program participation, during assessment (early drop) and during intervention (late drop). Overall, few of the variables studied predicted dropout. Early dropout was predicted by high rates of police contact for violent crimes, failure to self-report an alcohol problem, and paranoid personality characteristics. Late dropout was predicted by both high and moderate levels of police contact for violent crimes, and borderline personality characteristics. An Age x Violent Crime interaction suggested that young violent offenders are more likely to complete treatment. The overall model accounted for only 7.15% of the variance. Clinical and research implications are discussed.
The purpose of this article is to provide an empirically informed but clinically oriented overview of behavioral treatment of recurrent abdominal pain. The epidemiology and scope of recurrent abdominal pain are presented. Referral process and procedures are discussed, and standardized approaches to assessment are summarized. Treatment protocols developed by Sanders and colleagues and by Finney and colleagues are described, followed by a review of treatment efficacy. The article concludes with practice recommendations that emphasize the importance of reassurance and education, appropriate and realistic treatment goals, the child's daily functional status, and treatment plans tailored to match the child and family's presentation.
A four-phase investigation was completed to analyze the utility of forced-choice preference assessments when response effort and reinforcer delays are altered within a subsequent reinforcer assessment. The results indicated that access to highly preferred stimuli continued to serve as a reinforcer when increased response effort was required. When reinforcer delay was increased, the utility of preferred stimuli to serve as a reinforcer was variable. Despite stimuli continuing to serve as reinforcers for academic task engagement, increased response effort and reinforcer delay resulted in an increased level of aberrant behavior.
The validity of using rapidly alternating multiple schedules (RAMS) as a method for assessing and treating aggression and disruptive behavior was demonstrated by using the naturally occurring reinforces identified in the RAMS to develop treatments that were experimentally tested. The RAMS consists of a series of 2-minute components in which a naturally occurring consequence is applied contingent on the target's behavior, alternated with components in which the consequence is not applied, with no break between components. The aggressive and disruptive behaviors of four 2- to 11-year-old children were analyzed and treated in school and home settings. The RAMS analyses yielded clear results about the reinforcing function of naturally occurring consequences in all cases, and the treatments using the reinforcers identified in the RAMS were all effective. The possible uses of the RAMS as an efficient, ecologically and experimentally valid tool for clinical assessment are discussed.
The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) Test uses standard prompting and reinforcement procedures to assess the ease or difficulty with which a testee is able to learn a simple imitation and five two-choice discriminations. The authors review studies that have examined performance of participants with developmental disabilities (DD) on the ABLA test to predict (a) performance on a variety of simple imitations and two-choice discriminations, (b) performance on three-choice and four-choice discriminations, (c) the relative efficacy of three presentation modes (objects vs. photographs vs. verbal descriptions) for assessing preferences, (d) compliance of adults with DD and children with and without DD, and (e) participants' ability to learn to respond to the spoken names of pictures of common objects. Across all five types of studies, the predictive validity of the ABLA test has been very high.
Behaviorism, because it has not had a theory of personality, has been separated from the rest of psychology, unable in large part to draw from or contribute to it. Traditional psychology has not had a theory of personality that says what personality is, how it comes about, or how it functions. An antagonism has resulted that weakens rather than complements each tradition. Psychological behaviorism presents a new type of theory of personality. Derived from experimentation, it is constructed from basic theories of emotion, language, and sensory-motor behavior. It says personality is composed of learned basic behavioral repertoires (BBRs) that affect behavior. Personality measurement instruments are analyzed in terms of the BBRs, beginning the behaviorization of this field and calling for much additional research. These multilevel developments are then basic in psychological behaviorism's theory of abnormal behavior and of clinical treatment. The approach opens many new avenues of empirical and theoretical work.
Normal subjects use the right insula and bilateral anterior temporal and prefrontal cortices to recognize the emotion expressed in a human face. Mood disorder subjects have a selective deficit in recognizing human facial emotion. Brain imaging studies show that they fail to activate the right insula to the same degree as controls, even when accurately assessing facial emotion. Many issues remain, however, including whether the facial emotion recognition errors in mood disorder subjects are state dependent or persist during normal mood states (and, thus, reflect a trait abnormality). To probe this issue, we repeatedly studied a male bipolar II patient's ability to recognize faces' emotional content. This patient made significantly more errors in facial emotion recognition during the depressed state. He also demonstrated a significant negative bias when he was depressed compared with nondepressed states. This case study demonstrates the state dependency of the defect in human facial emotion recognition.
The purpose of this study was to reduce stereotypy and challenging behavior during play skills instruction by adding an abolishing operation component (AOC) to the intervention strategy. An alternating treatments design compared one condition in which participants were allowed to engage in stereotypy freely before beginning the play skills intervention (AOC condition) to a second condition without this free access period (No AOC condition). Across 4 participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), levels of stereotypy and challenging behavior were lower and functional play was higher during play intervention sessions that followed the AOC. These data provided support for the inclusion of an AOC in interventions aimed at increasing the play skills of children with ASD who present with stereotypy.
An aggression replacement and self-management training package reduced the frequency of aggressive behavior among four junior high adolescents identified as seriously emotionally disturbed (SED). During baseline sessions, the students were covertly filmed as they stood unsupervised in front of the school cafeteria. The four subjects engaged in aggressive behavior during 50% of the filmed intervals. These episodes involved provocation by other students, self-initiated provocation, or continuing interaction between students once an aggressive episode had begun. Treatment procedures included instruction, modeling, and role playing of aggression replacement skills. Self-management training included self-assessment, self-recording, and self-reinforcement. Following an 8-week period, subjects demonstrated substantial improvement in prosocial skills without supervision. During reversal-to-baseline conditions, aggressive behavior increased; however, reinstating treatment conditions brought a return to prosocial behavior. Outcomes suggest that aggressive replacement skills may transfer and sustain more adequately using self-management.
Chronic absenteeism is a problem encountered by many human services organizations. Large-scale intervention projects to reduce staff absences have incorporated applied behavior analysis methods but there are few studies in the extant literature. In the present study, the authors record staff absenteeism at a specialized school for students with developmental disabilities during a baseline phase and following implementation of a systems-change intervention that included distribution of an informational brochure, lottery-based financial incentive, and public posting. Intervention is found to be associated with improved staff attendance and reduced "lost wages." Practice and research implications are discussed.
Clinical experiences show that many survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) suffer from a distressing feeling of being contaminated (FBC) even years or decades after the last experience of sexual violence. So far, this symptom has been neglected in research. The aim of this article is to illustrate this symptom and the necessity of a specialized treatment. Phenomenology, consequences, and possible concepts of explanation are described. The article presents a newly developed short-time treatment, cognitive restructuring and imagery modification, to reduce the FBC in adult survivors of CSA. Two case studies on women suffering from chronic CSA-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) plus the FBC demonstrate the outcome of the two-session program that can easily be integrated in a whole treatment program. They show that the treatment results in a reduction of the FBC and PTSD symptoms after CSA.
Administrators of community-based treatment programs are increasingly being required to utilize psychometrically validated instruments to measure the effectiveness of their interventions. However, developers of psychometric measures have often failed to report strategies relevant to the administration of these measures in nontraditional settings outside the therapy office. Moreover, with few exceptions, developers of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) have insufficiently disseminated methods for integrating assessment measures into treatment planning. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to review an assessment methodology that may be utilized to support EBT for individuals who are identified for substance abuse or related problem behaviors. The application of this methodology is demonstrated utilizing Family Behavior Therapy to exemplify "real world" scenarios involving adolescents and adults. Although many of these strategies are evidence supported, most are based on clinical experiences occurring in clinical trials and dissemination efforts within community settings.
Although many studies have examined issues relevant to reporting child maltreatment to state authorities, empirical evaluation of intervention programs to assist professionals in reporting child abuse is lacking. In the present study, a medical student was taught to perform a standardized behavioral method of reporting child abuse that incorporates nonperpetrating caregivers of child abuse victims in the reporting process. A controlled multiple baseline across behaviors (i.e., initiating child abuse report, responding to upset) experimental design was utilized to evaluate skills acquisition. Improvements in interpersonal skills related to reporting child abuse were demonstrated consequent to intervention. Future directions are discussed in light of these results.
This quasi-experimental field study assessed whether an incentive/reward intervention can change the drinking behavior and the subsequent levels of intoxication among college students attending fraternity parties. A total of 356 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) assessments, using hand-held breathalyzers. were obtained at two baseline and at two intervention parties at the same fratenity house. At the intervention parties, the students were informed they could win a cash prize if their BAC was below .05, and they were given nomograms to aid in monitoring their levels of intoxication. Mean BAC and the percentage of partiers with intoxication levels above .05 were significantly lower at the two intervention parties. More than twice as many partygoers were legally intoxicated (i.e., BAC > .08) at the two baseline parties than at the two intervention parties. indicating a clinically significant impact of the incentive/reward intervention. Greek-life students, in particular, were significantly less intoxicated at intervention parties, compared to baseline parties (p < .001).
This article describes a four-session intervention designed for persons with co-occurring substance abuse and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, to be administered as an add-on module to supplement ongoing mental health treatment in an outpatient setting. The intervention targets those dually diagnosed individuals with low readiness-to-change as indicated by current use, and/or low level of engagement in treatment for substance abuse. The intervention is designed to increase problem recognition, to enhance motivation to change maladaptive patterns of substance use, and to facilitate engagement in substance abuse treatment. To achieve these goals, the authors have adopted constructs from the Transtheoretical Model of Change, the authors used principles of motivational and harm reduction interventions, and tailored them to the target population.
This article reviews cognitive and behavioral treatment strategies that have been employed with parents who physically abuse their children. Using a developmental framework, a broadened view of abuse is presented that emphasizes targets for intervention that not only reduce aversive parental behavior but also increase behaviors that lead to more optimal child outcome. Interventions with maltreaters are then described, focusing on three periods of childhood--infancy, middle childhood, and adolescence. An argument is made for there being different goal parental behaviors during each of these periods, as well as unique child-based demands that act as obstacles to parents' successfully meeting these goals. Where behavioral treatments with abusive parents do not yet exist, treatments with similar parent populations are described. The article concludes with a discussion of the treatment issues facing the field in the future.
Although there is a little debate that victims of child abuse and neglect suffer ill effect, scientifically validated, behavioral treatment of child victims is virtually nonexistent. This article examines three pertinent facets of the child-maltreatment knowledge base: (a) national child abuse and neglect reporting, (b) empirical investigations of the psychological effects of maltreatment, and (c) a small number of treatment outcome studies. Based on this review, guidelines are presented to promote the development of practical, treatment outcome investigations that adequately reflect existing data about child victims and their life circumstances and that are responsive to their specific needs and available resources.
Home safety is a problem associated with child neglect. Previous attempts to remediate home safety problems within the context of an ecobehavioral approach to treating child abuse and neglect involved considerable counselor involvement. The present research demonstrates the effect of a less cumbersome intervention to reduce home safety hazards in three families being treated for child abuse and neglect. A multiple-baseline design across safety hazards within families and across each family was used to evaluate the effects of the treatment program. Social validation data from two of the families indicated satisfaction with the program.
Although perpetrators of child neglect often abuse illicit substances, treatment outcome evaluations in drug-abusing young mothers who have been found to neglect their children are conspicuously absent. Problem-solving interventions and family-based therapies that include skill acquisition components have demonstrated effectiveness in substance-abusing adolescents and child-neglecting mothers. The purpose of this article is (a) to review studies that have examined the relationship of drug abuse and child neglect, (b) to review clinical treatments that appear to be effective in both perpetrators of child neglect and drug-abusing adolescents, and (c) to integrate empirically validated drug abuse and child neglect interventions for use in adolescent mothers who have been found to abuse drugs and neglect their children.
A comprehensive evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and other associated problems (Family Behavior Therapy) is described, including its application to both adolescents and adults across a wide range of clinical contexts (i.e., criminal justice, child welfare). Relevant to practitioners and applied clinical researchers, topic areas include its theoretical and empirical background, intervention protocols, methods of enhancing motivation for treatment, and future directions.
Approximately 683,000 adult women are raped each year. Only one in seven of these victims report the assault to police and receive forensic exams and other professional services. For many rape victims, this may be the only professional contact with service providers; however these services are typically limited to evidence collection and prophylactic STD treatment. Yet this exam also presents a unique opportunity for a preventive intervention to help prepare women to cope with potential stress related to rape-exam procedures and to address potential post rape psycho-pathology. This article reviews psychological interventions for trauma victims used in the acute post rape time frame and provides data from an ongoing clinical trial that evaluates delivery of a preventive intervention for victims presenting for forensic rape exams.
Epidemiological research indicates that there is substantial comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Moreover, there is growing evidence that having a comorbid PTSD diagnosis is associated with greater substance use problem severity and poorer outcomes from SUD treatment. In an attempt to improve the treatment outcome for individuals with PTSD-SUD, recently developed treatments combine exposure therapy for PTSD with an empirically supported treatment for SUD. This article describes one of the treatments and discusses treatment modifications that have been incorporated when translating this research-based therapy to practice in an inner-city community mental health center.
This study examined parental satisfaction (using the Parent Satisfaction With Youth Scale) in 132 parents of adolescents who were dually diagnosed with conduct disorder/oppositional defiant disorder and drug abuse/dependence. Results indicated parental satisfaction did not vary as a function of age, ethnic minority status, or gender. Parents of younger youth were generally more dissatisfied than parents of older adolescents although younger youth were no more delinquent than older youth. These results suggest that parents of delinquent youth become tolerant of their children's behavior problems with time. As expected, parents were most dissatisfied with their youth's use of drugs, illicit behavior, school performance, and response to discipline. Parents who endorsed lower levels of satisfaction reported their youth engaged in more pronounced levels of problem behavior and more drug use than did parents who were relatively more satisfied with their youth. Study implications and future directions are discussed.
Conduct-disordered and substance-abusing adolescents (N = 132) completed the Youth Happiness With Parent Scale (YHPS). The YHPS measures youth happiness with parental behaviors across 11 domains (e.g., communication, chores, and discipline) as well as a single item reflecting overall happiness. Results indicated that youth satisfaction did not vary as a function of parents' or youths' age, ethnic minority status, or gender. Although youth were relatively dissatisfied with their parents across behavioral domains (particularly illegal behaviors, drug use, school conduct, and alcohol use), they were fairly satisfied with their parents overall. Youth happiness with parental behaviors was negatively related to externalizing but not internalizing behavioral problems of the youth. Study implications and future directions are discussed in light of the results.
A survey was made of the leaders in the Latino community from four East coast cities on the mental health, academic, and behavioral needs of Latino youth, services available to them, and recommendations to better address their needs. Of the 112 Latino leaders recruited, 46 responded to the survey, expressing their views that Latino youth experience significant stress in the United States, present behavioral and academic adjustment problems, and generally have difficulty accessing appropriate services and resources. Programs for these youth were presented as limited in number and lacking in cultural sensitivity. Community leaders endorsed the development of comprehensive and culturally sensitive programs for Latino youth in schools that address their psychosocial and academic needs.
This article examined the relationship between the accuracy of academic responding and aggression for two boys with mild mental retardation. Their teacher reported low rates of correct responding and high rates of aggressive behavior during spelling instruction. A functional analysis showed that aggression was escape maintained. Following the functional analysis, participants were tested on relations between printed, photographic, and dictated stimuli corresponding to their spelling words. On pretests, they were unable to match printed words to their photographs or to their dictated names; they could neither name the printed words nor spell the photographs or dictated words. High rates of aggression were observed during the pretests. The participants then were taught the letter-by-letter construction of the appropriate words when shown photographs. On posttests, the participants correctly matched printed words to their photographs and dictated names. In addition, they correctly named printed words and spelled dictated words orally. Data showed that rates of problem behavior negatively covaried with improvements in the participants' academic responding.
This study is a comparison of the embedded instruction of behavioral chains with more traditional (one-on-one massed trials in special education setting) instructional procedures for teaching behavioral chains to students with significant cognitive disabilities. Although embedded instruction has emerged as a promising potential instructional procedure, no literature has examined the efficacy of embedded instructional procedures to teach more complex chained behaviors. To date, all research on embedding instruction in general education settings has focused on teaching discrete skills. This study compares instruction of embedded total task chains with more traditional (one-on-one massed trials in special education setting) instructional procedures for teaching behavioral chains. The chains targeted for instruction were selected by state core educational needs and functional skill development.
Using a multiple baseline design across six academic settings, we found that teaching 4 at-risk middle school students to self-monitor markedly improved their academic performance as measured by their grades and related academic behaviors. Furthermore, these improvements generalized to settings where self-monitoring was never introduced, and they maintained the following school year. In this charter middle school setting, self-monitoring proved to be an extremely effective intervention. These findings suggest that it would be equally effective in a variety of settings.
The present study examined the effectiveness of two different school-home notes for increasing academic productivity and appropriate classroom behavior in five inattentive children. Using an alternating treatments design, students received a school-home note with or without response cost. Both notes required teachers to evaluate students and required parents to provide consequences on a daily basis. The notes differed as to whether reprimands and response cost were included. The results indicated that on-task behavior and academic work completion improved in all five elementary school-aged children. The majority of subjects achieved greater improvements in on-task behavior with the response-cost component added to the school-home note.
This study compared two strategies for increasing accurate responding on a low-preference academic task by interspersing presentations of a preferred academic task. Five children attending a preschool program for children with delayed language development participated in this study. Preferred and nonpreferred tasks were identified through a multiple-stimulus, free-operant preference assessment. Contingent access to a preferred academic task was associated with improved response accuracy when compared to noncontingent access to that activity for 3 students. For 1 student, noncontingent access to the preferred activity led to improved response accuracy, and 1 student's analysis suggested the importance of procedural variety. The implications of these findings for use of preference assessments to devise instructional sequences that improve student responding are discussed.
Errorless academic compliance training is a graduated, noncoercive approach to treating oppositional behavior in children. In the present study, three teaching staff in a special education classroom were trained to conduct this intervention with three male students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. During baseline, staff delivered a range of academic and other classroom requests and recorded student compliance. A hierarchy of compliance probabilities was then calculated, ranging from Level 1 (requests yielding high levels of compliance) to Level 4 (those typically yielding noncompliance). At treatment initiation, teaching staff delivered high densities of Level 1 requests and provided reinforcement for compliance. Subsequent request levels were faded in over time, at a slow enough rate to ensure continued high compliance. By intervention end, all three students demonstrated substantially improved compliance to classroom requests that had commonly yielded noncompliance before intervention. Covariant improvement in on-task skills was also evident.
Overcorrection procedures traditionally were designed to reduce the behavioral excesses of persons with mental retardation. However, beginning with a study of Foxx and Jones (1978), it became clear that variations of the procedure could be used to enhance academic proficiency in students with average intelligence, borderline intelligence, learning disabilities, and various levels of mental retardation. Studies were reviewed in this article that have used overcorrection procedures to enhance academic proficiency, and it was concluded (a) that overcorrection, alone or combined with positive reinforcement, significantly increased the academic proficiency of the students, and (b) that the label "overcorrection" is inappropriate, given that the procedures described in these studies did not meet the criteria for overcorrection procedures. It was suggested that overcorrection procedures used for academic remediation be called directed rehearsal in the future to reflect more accurately the procedures actually used.
As a distinguished scholar over the past 45 years, Michel Hersen has left an indelible mark on the field of behavior therapy and clinical psychology. One of his most enduring legacies is his early research work in the area of social skills assessment and training, with special attention to assertiveness training. His basic analogue and clinical outcome studies have served as essential building blocks for current evidence-based treatments. His long and distinguished career has significantly impacted the lives of colleagues, students, and patients alike.
Using a case description methodology, this study examined the effects of behavior problem severity, intervention type, and subject race on mothers' acceptability ratings of five interventions used to treat childhood depression. Results indicated that (a) all psychological (behavioral or cognitive-behavioral) interventions were rated more acceptable than pharmacological treatment; (b) among the psychological interventions, the social skills intervention was the least preferred; (c) acceptability of treatments varied as a function of subject race; and (d) severity of depressive symptoms failed to influence acceptability ratings significantly. Psychometric support was found for a revised measure of acceptability (Abbreviated Acceptability Rating Profile; AARP) developed in the context of the present study. Implications of the findings for consultation are discussed.
Vignette methodology was used to assess factors associated with decisions regarding the acceptability of treatment programs involving Response Contingent Electric Shock. Ninety-four mental retardation professionals each reviewed unique vignettes that described a program involving the use of electric shock to consequate some form of behavior. They then were asked to rate three related acceptability dimensions with regard to the vignette. The use of Response Contingent Electric Shock was rated as more appropriate if the behavior was a serious behavior, occurred frequently, and had been unresponsive to less intrusive methods of therapy.