On the establishing and reinforcing effects of termination of demands for destructive behavior maintained by positive and negative reinforcement

Cathleen C. Piazza, Gregory P. Hanley, Wayne W. Fisher, John M. Ruyter, Charles S. Gulotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The results of functional analyses suggested that the destructive behavior of two individuals was sensitive to escape and attention as reinforcement. In an instructional context, we evaluated the effects of reinforcing compliance with functional reinforcers when destructive behavior produced a break. For one participant we also evaluated the effects of reinforcing compliance with functional reinforcers when destructive behavior produced no differential consequence (escape extinction). We hypothesized that destructive behavior failed to decrease in an instructional context when compliance resulted in a break because presentation of a break evoked attention-maintained destructive behavior. The results of a reinforcer assessment supported this hypothesis by demonstrating that demands functioned as positive reinforcement when no alternative activities were available. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of establishing operations in determining the appetitive or aversive properties of stimuli when destructive behavior is multiply controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-407
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1998

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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