D. Daniel Gould
Karen E. Gould, Pamela M. Olsen
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
psychology, behavioral, malnutrition, feeding behavior, food consumed, autism
Food preferences, Nutrition - Psychological aspects, Autistic children - Behavior modification
Maladaptive feeding behaviors, such as extreme food selectivity, are often exhibited by individuals with autism. The potential consequences of long term selectivity or food refusal range from malnutrition to starvation. The behavior is often operant in nature and can be affected by environmental variables. The current study applied three non-aversive procedures to increase the variety of food consumed by a child with autism. A baseline preference assessment was conducted in Study 1 to identify food the participant would consume independent of programmed consequences. A procedure designed to reverse the effects of an aversive stimulus was applied in Study 2. A treatment package combining positive reinforcement and stimulus fading was applied in Study 3. Finally, an escape contingency combined with a token economy was applied in Study 4. Acceptance of non-preferred foods was not established in Study 2. Positive reinforcement and stimulus fading increased acceptance for two previously non-preferred foods initially but could not maintain acceptance. The escape contingency and token economy was the only effective intervention, establishing acceptance of 15 previously non-preferred foods. Results from the current study demonstrate that an escape contingency and token economy can be an effective intervention to increase the variety of food consumed independent of escape extinction procedures.
Tiffany Christine Allard
Allard, Tiffany Christine, "An investigation of non-aversive procedures to increase variety of food consumed" (2011). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 63. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20001093
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.