On the effectiveness of and preference for punishment and extinction components of function-based interventions

Gregory P. Hanley, Cathleen C. Piazza, Wayne W. Fisher, Kristen A. Maglieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations


The current study describes an assessment sequence that may be used to identify individualized, effective, and preferred interventions for severe problem behavior in lieu of relying on a restricted set of treatment options that are assumed to be in the best interest of consumers. The relative effectiveness of functional communication training (FCT) with and without a punishment component was evaluated with 2 children for whom functional analyses demonstrated behavioral maintenance via social positive reinforcement. The results showed that FCT plus punishment was more effective than FCT in reducing problem behavior. Subsequently, participants' relative preference for each treatment was evaluated in a concurrent-chains arrangement, and both participants demonstrated a clear preference for FCT with punishment. These findings suggest that the treatment-selection process may be guided by person-centered and evidence-based values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005



  • Aversive
  • Choice
  • Concurrent chains
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Evidence-based values
  • Functional analysis
  • Functional communication training
  • Punishment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this