Decreasing maladaptive behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities: Choosing punishment procedures through stimulus avoidance assessment and caregiver report

Roseanne Sarah Lesack, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of two approaches of punishment selection with 100 individuals who engaged in maladaptive behaviors. First, results of the stimulus avoidance assessment as a means of punishment procedure selection were analyzed. The most recent empirical data support this claim, however all prior research has been based on single-subject designs. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of the stimulus avoidance assessment with a larger sample in order to expand empirical evidence regarding the use of this procedure. The second method of punishment procedure selection under examination was caregiver report. This component of the study examined whether caregiver report could aid in the identification of an effective punishment procedure and limit client exposure to unnecessary aversive stimuli.^ This study utilized extant data that were collected at an autism center in the Southeastern United States. Participants were identified for inclusion in the study through a retrospective chart review. Data collected during the chart review were not publicly available. Demographic information, including age and diagnosis, were collected, but de-identified during the data collection procedures. These data were collected solely for clinical purposes prior to this study.^ A file and data review was completed for each client who was admitted to the autism center. This included all current and discharged patients who received treatment and whose file and data contained that individual's functional analysis, stimulus avoidance assessment, treatment data, and Social Acceptability Scale scores.^ Statistical analyses indicated that the potential punishment procedures placed into treatment were successful at decreasing maladaptive behavior. However, subsequent analyses to determine if the punishment selection procedures could differentially predict a decrease in maladaptive behaviors were inconclusive due to inadequate sample sizes. Thus, while this investigation involved more subjects than past research, future research should seek to combine data across centers to permit a more robust analysis of the effectiveness of the stimulus avoidance assessment and caregiver report. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral

Recommended Citation

Roseanne Sarah Lesack, "Decreasing maladaptive behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities: Choosing punishment procedures through stimulus avoidance assessment and caregiver report" (January 1, 2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3452793.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3452793

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