Peter Sturmey's research while affiliated with CUNY Graduate Center and other places

Publications (278)

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The first wave of behavior therapy has a long and honorable history. This chapter outlines the intellectual basis of this approach in related functionalist approaches to behavior, namely biological evolution. As a functionalist approach to behavior, including behavior that is distressing to people, the first wave of behavior therapies was initially...
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Based on biological models of aggression and violence, there are numerous biological treatments which are reviewed in this and the subsequent chapter. Of these, psychopharmacology is probably the most commonly used and most extensively researched as treatments for aggression and violence. In addition, there are some hormonal treatments for aggressi...
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One solution to treatment of violence and aggression is to treat the individual aggressor or at least take the individual aggressor as the starting point for therapy. This chapter reviews cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), behavior modification, applied behavior analytic, and third wave behavioral interventions, such as acceptance and commitment the...
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The aim of this last chapter is to summarize the implications for prevention and treatment of aggression and violence using the selectionist framework that has been used throughout this volume. What are the biological, cultural, and individual learning interventions that can prevent and treat aggression and violence? How can we implement those inte...
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Learning is a key component of the acquisition and maintenance of aggression and violence and related social and communication behavior over the lifespan. Specific learning processes are involved and include both respondent and operant processes. Respondent processes include pain-induced aggression which has been widely studied. Operant processes i...
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This chapter examines the evidence for effective prevention and treatment of aggression and violence as applied to children and adolescents. Three areas are reviewed. The first is prevention and treatment of abuse of infants by family members including shaken baby syndrome and infanticide. Several programs that deal with the aversive nature of infa...
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This chapter reviews assessment for treatment, that is, assessment that is conducted prior to treatment of aggression and violence to guide the decision about what kind of treatment is best for each individual. The two approaches reviewed here are functional assessment and analysis and case formulation, including forensic case formulation. Function...
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A fundamental first step in understanding and explaining a phenomenon is measuring it. All measures must have certain basic properties including being appropriate to the question asked, adequate reliability, and validity. As with all measures, measures of aggression and violence that are adequate in one context may not be adequate in another contex...
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There are a very large number of psychological and sociological theories of aggression and violence. This chapter reviews several prototypical examples. Psychoanalytic theory has a very long history. It attributes observable aggressive behavior to intrapsychic forces and their inner conflicts. Psychoanalytic theory fails because of the lack of test...
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In order to understand and study a phenomenon, we must first define it and define and distinguish related concepts. Thus, this chapter reviews several different approaches to defining aggression and violence. Many different types of people—the general public, the media, various kinds of scholars (biologists, sociologists, psychologists, criminologi...
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In addition to mainstream cognitive behavior therapy, behavior modification, and applied behavior analysis, there are many other psychosocial treatments available for individual treatment of aggression and violence. This chapter reviews a selection of these psychosocial treatments. The largest group is a group of therapies focused on couples and fa...
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This chapter reviews some common approaches focused, non-behavioral approaches to altering cultural practices to reduce aggression and violence. These include adoption of certain child rearing practices; school-based interventions; evidence-based policing to reduce violence by the police; crime prevention through environmental design, such as stree...
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There is an extensive body of research on treatment of aggression and violence in a wide range of adults. This includes adults with psychiatric disorders generally and with schizophrenia in particular, adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders, individuals with traumatic brain...
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Based on biological models of aggression and violence, there are numerous biological treatments including psychosurgery, electrical and magnetic brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, and dietary interventions, including increasing sertraline and omega-3, and reducing caffeine among many other dietary interventions for aggression and violenc...
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Many societies take action to reduce aggression and violence both indirectly and directly. Attempts to design and implement utopias intuitively often address aggression and violence through implementing prevention strategies, such promoting prosocial behavior and nonpossessive parenting among other strategies. Examples reviewed include the nineteen...
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This chapter continues the exploration of biological causes of aggression and violence. It addresses the effects of different regions of the brain, including limbic and cortical structures; neurotransmitters; and, hormones, on aggression and violence. For all of these putative biological causes of aggression, caution is warranted due to the mixed e...
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This chapter will review evidence for cultural evolution of aggression and violence and the role that aggression and violence may play in human cultural survival and extinction. Evidence to support this comes from large cultural differences in violence such as homicide, evidence for large reductions in murder over both relatively long history over...
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Behavior analysis has had two approaches to cultural design related to aggression and violence: developing new cultures inspired by Skinner’s (Walden Two, 1948) utopian novel Walden Two and, more recently, analysis and design of the existing cultural practices that may support aggression and violence in the context of high rates of violence. The fi...
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Many think that the causes of aggression and violence—especially the more severe forms—are biological. This chapter reviews the logic of what constitutes a cause and kinds of causes that might be said to be responsible for aggression and violence. These include biological evolution including the selfish gene hypothesis and inclusive fitness models...
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Whereas biological evolution and development and learning aggression and violence during the organism’s lifespan seem familiar, the evolution of violent and non-violent cultures is less immediately familiar to many of us. Perhaps because naturally occurring, cultural evolution often takes place slowly over years or generations and often the relevan...
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Epidemiology refers to the systematic study of disease or disability at the level of a population and its spatial and temporal distribution. Epidemiology can be useful in understanding the extent and cost of a problem and may contribute to the understanding of its causes. Aggression and violence are widespread in humans with around half a million m...
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The term “psychopathology” is employed in a number of different ways. In the present chapter, it is used with specific reference to defining, understanding, and categorizing symptoms of mental suffering, as reported by people with intellectual disability (ID) and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and observed through their behavior. After a descrip...
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This brief commentary addresses four points that arise from the chapter “Case Formulation in the Behavioral Tradition: Meyer, Turkat, Lane, Bruch, and Sturmey” by Giovanni Maria Ruggiero, Gabriele Caselli and Sandra Sassaroli. These are What is meant be “sharing a case formulation”; what is the relationship between case formulation and therapeutic...
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This chapter provides an overview of the learning processes that are believed to underlie psychopathology. Accordingly, we provide a review of respondent and operant conditioning and the variables influencing the acquisition and maintenance of each. We describe examples of each type of learning and provide case examples to illustrate the use of tre...
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Purpose of Review To review non-behavioral and non-medical psychosocial therapies for individuals with intellectual disabilities to identify if any such approaches are effective. Recent Findings There are more randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews, and meta-analyses than in the past; however, most RCTs are of poor quality. Summa...
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One widely used approach to constructing a case formulation is to assess and integrate information relating to a range of domains, including biological, psychological, familial, social, and cultural. The validity of the forensic case formulation will depend upon the quality of the evidence upon which it is based. Some important considerations inclu...
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Safe restraint reduction is important to remove unnecessary stigmatizing and harmful behavior management practices in individuals with developmental disabilities. Despite calls to reduce such practices, they remain common. The literature was searched to identify empirical papers using interventions of any kind to reduce restraint and related restri...
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This paper reports a meta-analysis to evaluate procedures to train change agents in discrete trial teaching, preference assessment, and mand training. Behavioral skills training packages were the most commonly used and were consistently and highly effective in changing change agent behavior. Procedural variation in training overlapped in effectiven...
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Behavior intervention plans (BIPs), implemented with high treatment integrity, are effective in decreasing challenging behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). High treatment integrity requires staff training such as Behavioral Skills Training (BST). Modeling and feedback alone, however, have been shown to be briefer and as eff...
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This article was updated with the correct version of Figure 1. Due to an error in production, an older version of Figure 1 was used; Springer regrets the error.
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Completing frequent quizzes can improve exam scores; however, there is a lack of research on variables that influence quiz accuracy and whether there is an effect on exam scores. This study evaluated the effects of a contingency for quiz accuracy on quiz accuracy and exam performance. Eighty-one students enrolled in an introductory Learning course...
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We used behavioral skills training with general-case training to teach 3 caregivers to implement a behavioral feeding intervention with their children. The percentage of correctly performed steps of the feeding intervention increased for all 3 caregivers and was maintained at follow-up. For all 3 children, the number of bites consumed increased and...
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Depression, anxiety, and suicide are common problems for all humanity, but individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders may be at higher risk than the general population for these challenges. This chapter reviews prevention and treatment strategies. It takes Skinner’s work on self-management as a framew...
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Food refusal is a severe feeding problem in which children refuse to eat all or most foods, which can be treated effectively using multicomponent intervention packages. This study compared two multicomponent treatment packages on food and drink consumption , inappropriate mealtime behavior, and total intake in a child with food refusal. Bite and dr...
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In this study, the experimenter trained three teachers to implement data decision rules to detect when instructional changes should be made during the visual analysis of discrete-trial percentage graphs. The experimenter used a concurrent, multiple-baseline design across participants. The experimenter trained the teachers to follow decision-making...
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Risk assessment and case formulation are interdependent clinical activities. This chapter provides an overview of risk assessment and case formulation within the context of offender services. It describes risk assessment and illustrates the application of risk assessment of offenders. Forensic Case Formulation (FCF) is one form of case formulation,...
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Inter-teaching is teaching pedagogy that incorporates elements of behavior analytic approaches, including study guides, contingencies to induce self-regulation, students teaching each other, and the instructor only teaching materials that students report they have not mastered. Six of seven experiments in six papers found Inter-teaching to be more...
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This chapter argues that safe reduction and elimination of restraint and related restrictive behavior management practices is relatively easy and does not depend on sophisticated knowledge of behavioral technology. There are examples of people with little technical knowledge doing so quite effectively for over 200 years. We continue to use procedur...
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Institutional scandals from the 1950s till today often involved concern about the excessive and sometimes lethal use of restraint, time-out, seclusion, and restrictions of movement. In the USA, the Department of Justice oversaw many class action law suits against individual states to protect classes of individuals from violation of their constituti...
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This chapter reviews approaches to reduce restraint at the level of organizations. It begins by reviewing the six principles of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors approach to restraint reduction which have been used extensively in psychiatric services, but may be useful more generally. These principles include leaders...
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This chapter reviews the use and effectiveness of non-applied behavior analytic approaches to reduction of restraint. The first is staff training in nursing homes, which has mixed outcomes including highly effective, ineffective, and harmful effects. These studies have significant problems with treatment integrity which may account for the varied o...
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Restraint and seclusion continue to be used excessively, inappropriately, and lethally in current services in many countries. This chapter documents many examples of such problems in contemporary services in many different countries including the British education system, where some regulations, government officials, and unions may tacitly or expli...
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This chapter reviews the use of interventions based on applied behavior analysis to reduce the use of restraint. Strategies include interventions to reduce the target behavior that calls for the use of restraint. These interventions for people with intellectual disabilities and autism include function-based interventions to teach skills and reduce...
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The term “ethics” refers to both a branch of philosophy and codes of professional conduct. Philosophical ethics that are related to restrictive behavior management practices include consequential and deontological ethics and virtue ethics. Philosophical ethics intersects directly with service practices when we ask ourselves “What should we do?” Leg...
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Although often assumed that restraint and restrictive behavior management practices are no longer common and are primarily used in institutional settings, data show that they in fact continue to be used commonly at the present time, for example, in American schools, especially in special education. A minority of American schools use restraint and s...
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This chapter reviews legal and research definitions of restraint and restrictive behavior management practices. It distinguishes between culturally appropriate and culturally inappropriate forms of restraint and restrictive behavior management practices. Culturally appropriate forms of restraint and restrictive behavior management practices may inc...
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This chapter reviews the extensive evidence on organizational interventions to reduce restraint and other restrictive behavior management practices. Organizational interventions can be effective at safely reducing restraint and other restrictive behavior management practices on a large scale. Such interventions may involve hundreds of clients and s...
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Calls and successful practice to eliminate restraint can be documented as far back as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Individuals who attempted to reduce or eliminate restraint included Chiarugi, Pinel, Tuke, Hill, Prichard, and, most notably, John Connolly. Moral treatment was a broad system of management that in part sought to reduce or...
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This chapter describes the general characteristics of applied behavior analysis. These characteristics include the emphasis on the current environment, establishing operations, antecedent stimuli, and contingencies of reinforcement and punishment which influence behavior, including the problematic behavior that occasions the use of restraint and th...
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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit deficits in appropriate requesting such as manding to peers. Experiment 1 used feedback and modeling to train three mothers to increase manding between three children with ASD and their typical siblings or peers. Video modeling and feedback increased the mother's correct implementation of the tre...
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A systematic review of empirical papers comparing the application of DSM-IV and DSM5 diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders identified 12 papers. The application of DSM5 diagnostic criteria resulted in an approximately one third reduction in Autism Spectrum Disorders. The reduction was approximately two thirds for mild forms of Autism. T...
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A systematic review of empirical papers comparing the application of DSM-IV and DSM5 diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders identified 12 papers. The application of DSM5 diagnostic criteria resulted in an approximately one third reduction in Autism Spectrum Disorders. The reduction was approximately two thirds for mild forms of Autism. T...
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This chapter examines the constructs of intellectual disability (ID), psychopathology, and dual diagnosis. It explores how historical and modern diagnostic criterion of ID and past and present constructs of psychopathology, including models of understanding psychopathology and current leading definitions, have impacted modern concepts of psychopath...
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Psychological and behavioral disorders have significant impacts on the daily lives of millions of people (Kessler & Wang, 2008; Merkiangas et al., 2010) with depression alone accounting for 12.1 % of years lived with disability (Ustun, Ayuso-Mateos, Chatterji, Mathers, & Murray, 2004). Approximately half the population meets the criteria for one DS...
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Anxiety disorders are often characterized by fear that is out of proportion to the objective threat and avoidance of feared situations. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent type of psychiatric disorders in general populations. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the prototypical psychological treatment for anxiety disorders which is character...
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This chapter deals with meta-analyses and focuses on the treatment of challenging behavior. These meta-analyses are broken down into three main groups. The first group deals with general challenging behavior and is divided into three groups: (a) general meta-analyses of general challenging behavior; (b) meta-analyses of specific maladaptive behavio...
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This chapter outlines some of the issues in the application of evidence-based practice (EBP) to services for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), autism, and other developmental disabilities. It examines the general and operational definitions of EBP. The chapter analyzes the ethical and economic rationales for EBP and the methods associated...
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This chapter reviews the evidence from experiments evaluating the efficacy of treatments for offenders with ID. It presents experiments with individuals who had not been convicted of offences, but who were in forensic services because of illegal behavior similar to convicted offenders. Most offenders have borderline or mild ID. This is difficult to...
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This chapter reviews materials on adaptive behavior (AB). Two kinds of interventions are reviewed: (a) treatments that aimed to increase AB broadly, including early intervention (EI) for children with ID and EIBI for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and (b) interventions to increase specific AB, such as social skills, communication sk...
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Mood disorders are characterized by disturbances of affect that result in clinically significant impairment in daily functioning and that are not better accounted for by other psychiatric disorders and medical conditions and that are not culturally normative. Mood disorders are relatively common, and are both personally and economically costly. For...
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This chapter reviews the evidence base for treatments to reduce sleep problems in individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) using the criteria set by Chambless and Hollon. Treatment approaches were classified as either (a) effective, (b) ineffective, (c) inconclusive, or (d) lacking sufficient evidence. Treatments meeting inclusion criteria w...
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The costs of intellectual disabilities (ID) services are often very great reflecting the lifelong use of services for many individuals and the use of highly staffed services by some. Economic data are useful to evaluate service efficiency. Economic analysis does indeed concern itself with client outcomes and quality of life but states the rationale...
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This two-part study conducted preference assessments for staff members in three adults with intellectual disabilities and then paired attention from non-preferred staff with preferred stimuli. All three participants reliably identified preferred and non-preferred staff in both verbal and pictorial preference assessments, they emitted a higher rate...
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This study investigated the effects of a script-fading procedure and a Lag-1 reinforcement schedule with repeated trials contingent on repeated responses on varied responding during brief conversations by one girl and two boys with autism. The experiment used a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. During baseline (Lag-0), the experimenter...
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Current rates of autism diagnoses have been cause for concern and research as well as rumor and misinformation. Important questions surround the condition: how early can an accurate diagnosis be made? At what age should intervention start? How can parents recognize warning signs? And what causes autism in the first place? There are no easy answers,...
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Three residential staff aged 22-38years participated in this study which measured the accuracy of their data collection, following instruction, in-service, and in-service plus feedback. The experimenter trained them to collect data on targeted maladaptive behavior of one consumer at one time of the day. Following the in-service and the in-service p...
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Three mothers conducted behavioral observations of video clips of a mother conducting compliance training to varying degrees of accuracy. Subsequently, two mothers correctly conducted compliance training and their children emitted compliant behavior. Upon addition of feedback, the third mother correctly implemented compliance training and her child...
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Behavioral skills training (BST) is effective to train staff to provide intervention to people with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this study was to assess whether: (a) prior studies demonstrating the effectiveness of BST could be systematically replicated while teaching multiple teaching instructors to implement discrete trial teaching...
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Children with autism show significant deficits in joint attention (JA), which occurs when 2 people engage in verbalizations, gestures, or eye contact with each other and a common object. Children with autism also exhibit intense interests in specific topics (i.e., circumscribed interests; CI). This study investigated the effectiveness of teaching r...
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Previous studies of anger management in people with intellectual disability failed to control for the effects of the number of provocative stimuli presented and lacked direct measures of behaviour and treatment integrity data. This experiment systematically assessed and presented discriminative stimuli for aggressive behaviour, taught alternative b...
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Abstract Early intensive behavioral intervention is generally effective for children with autism spectrum disorder but is associated with variability in treatment outcome and quality of treatment delivery may contribute to this. This study examined the relationship between therapist personality, attitude toward individuals with a disability, and pe...
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The adoption of systematic reviews and meta-analyses by government agencies and professional organizations as the rational basis for investing in evidence-based practice (EBP) and guiding clinical practice attests to the continuing importance of EBP in psychological treatment and professional training. Despite its vigorous pursuit with other popula...
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The purpose of this paper is to systematically review empirical evidence for the assessment and treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Systematic searches were conducted in electronic databases, reference lists, and journals. Fifty-five studies met inclusion criteria: 21 studies inve...
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We conducted a systematic literature review of anger management in people with intellectual disabilities (ID). We identified 2 studies that used randomized controlled trials and 6 that used pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group designs. The mean between-group effect size was 1.52 for randomized controlled trials and 0.89 for the other studie...
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Introduction Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders in the General Population Meta-Analyses of CBT Studies for Anxiety Disorders in General Populations Assessment of Anxiety and Emotion Cognitive Processes and Anxiety Disorders CBT for People with IDs and Anxiety Disorders Case Study: Walter CBT Anxiety Interventions for People IDs Conc...
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Two case studies evaluated two versions of behavioral skills training on peer-to-peer manding. Case Study 1 evaluated the full package of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback, and Case Study 2 used modeling and feedback only. Both case studies employed AB designs. In both case studies, staff increased correct teaching responses, and stud...
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Objective: To review the psychosocial, pharmacological, and other treatments of psychopathology in people with intellectual disabilities (IDs), autism, and other developmental disabilities (DDs). Method: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of psychosocial, pharmacological, and other treatments for people with DDs are reviewed. Results: There...
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Challenging behaviors are among the most serious and studied problems in the field of developmental disabilities (Matson et al. 2011). An increasing number of studies are being published that have provided more insight into the nature, prevalence, and characteristics of challenging behaviors in this target group. Results of these studies have shown...
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This study examined the effects of individual and group monetary contingencies on the attendance of adolescent part-time employees. Attendance increased in both individual and group contingency phases; however staff questionnaire responses indicated a preference for the individual contingencies. Future research should consider staff acceptability r...
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Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an effective training package that consists of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Although the efficacy of BST has been demonstrated, previous research has not clearly delineated its active components. This study used an alternating-treatment design embedded within ABC and ABCD designs to evaluate t...
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Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) is a naturalistic teaching strategy for children with autism that increases immediate and delayed imitative utterances, spontaneous utterances and new words, and production of utterances. NLP includes increasing child choice, varying stimulus items, loose shaping contingencies for communicative attempts, and providin...
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We used behavioral skills training to teach parents of 3 children with autism spectrum disorder and food selectivity to conduct a home-based treatment package that consisted of taste exposure, escape extinction, and fading. Parent performance following training improved during both taste sessions and probe meals and was reflected in increases in ch...
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The literature pertaining to training staff, parents, and peers to implement interventions for individuals with developmental disabilities was reviewed for training procedures that incorporated strategies to promote generalization. The search engines for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Pubmed© were used to find relevant studies. Studie...

Citations

... Indeed, contemporary functional analysis utilizes other interventions including extinction (i.e., reducing reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior), differential reinforcement of other behaviors (i.e., reinforcement delivered to responses other than the problem behavior), and antecedent interventions (i.e., changing the environment in which a problem behavior occurs) (Cooper et al., 2020). Over the past several decades, functional analysis has been applied to treating an array of clinical concerns including addiction, eating behavior, depression and anxiety (Dymond and Roche, 2009;Sturmey, 2020). ...
... Existing treatments for PDs (mostly BPD) from the CBT family of approaches have attended to relationship variables in different ways (for an overview on case formulations with personality disorders see Kramer, 2019;Sturmey & McMurran, 2019). For example, Linehan (1993), the developer of DBT, specifies that the therapist needs to strike a "dialectical" balance between acceptance of the patient and expectation of change. ...
... The first approach implies the assessment and change of circumstances surrounding/associated with restraint, the second limits the duration of restraint by using a fixed-time release (FTR) approach [34]. More recently, Sturmey et al.'s systematic review [35] concludes that the most effective approach to date in group restraint reduction is mindfulness, although more research is needed to strengthen the evidence, as well as to identify the mechanisms of change (p.387). ...
... Researchers have used these procedures to teach caregivers to implement a variety of interventions including three-step prompting (Tarbox et al., 2007), imitation (Ingersoll & Gergans, 2007), and communication training (Hsieh et al., 2011;Suberman & Cividini-Motta, 2020). Despite being the most widely used training procedure for teaching change agents to implement interventions, BST may not be the most cost-effective or efficient method for training caregivers (Maffei-Almodovar & Sturmey, 2018), particularly those without access to a trainer. Although there is recent research suggesting that front-line staff with little training experience can learn to train others using BST , which can reduce the need for expert practitioners to conduct BST, families without any access to a service provider would not be able to contact even front-line staff for training. ...
... They are summative because they sum up learning achievement from the last quiz/test to the point where the quiz/test is taken. Dalfen, Fienup and Sturmey (2018) find that more announced short quizzes, but not pop quizzes, lead to higher exam scores, especially for high-and mid-performing students. Furthermore, graded quizzes help students remember concepts better. ...
... • Effective implementation of BIPs can lead to an increase in desired behaviors and a decrease in target behaviors (Madzharova et al., 2018) • Research indicates that the fidelity of BIP implementation in school settings is often low (Bambara et al., 2012) • 68% with a standard deviation of almost 20% (Cook et al., 2012) • Low fidelity may fail to impact student outcomes (Durlak & DuPre, 2008) ...
... When implementing behavioral skills training with a caregiver, a behavior analyst typically provides verbal or written instructions, demonstrates how to perform a procedure, provides the caregiver an opportunity to practice the procedure, and provides performance feedback to the caregiver regarding procedural aspects that were performed correctly and areas in need of improvement. The efficacy of behavioral skills training has been demonstrated with caregivers for a variety of procedures, including guided compliance (Miles & Wilder, 2009), interventions for challenging behavior (Conklin & Wallace, 2019), feeding (Alaimo et al., 2018), social skills (Hassan et al., 2018), and skill acquisition procedures (Halbur et al., 2020). ...