Evaluating competing activities to enhance functional communication training during reinforcement schedule thinning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Arranging periods in which requests for reinforcement are denied in a multiple schedule may result in increased destructive behavior during these periods for individuals who receive functional communication training (FCT) as treatment for severe destructive behavior. Providing access to competing activities during periods of reinforcer unavailability has been shown to minimize destructive behavior. We evaluated methods to identify effective competing activities for use when thinning reinforcement availability in a multiple schedule and compared competing activities embedded within the multiple schedule using an alternating-treatments design. Results suggested at least one competing activity facilitated favorable treatment outcomes for each participant. We discuss building on this empirical approach to identify effective competing activities for use during reinforcement schedule thinning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-942
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018



  • competing activities
  • destructive behavior
  • functional communication training
  • multiple schedule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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