Karen Gould, Hanna Rue
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 sciences, autism, automatic reinforcement, differential reinforcement, functional analysis, response cost, vocal stereotypy
Previous research implies that vocal stereotypy is often reinforced automatically and is not sensitive to social consequences. Researchers have had success in suppressing vocal stereotypy through comprehensive treatment packages. The current study examined the repetitive and perseverative vocalizations of a 14 year-old boy with autism. First, an analog functional analysis was conducted to determine the function of the vocal stereotypy. Then a naturalistic functional analysis was conducted to confirm these results. It was determined that the student's stereotypic behavior was automatically reinforced, and possibly multiply maintained with social reinforcement. Following these assessments, a differential reinforcement procedure was implemented in a changing criterion design. When this procedure was unsuccessful, a token economy with a response cost was added to the differential reinforcement to comprise a treatment package. Tokens were presented contingent upon successful intervals with a quiet voice, and tokens were removed contingent upon each instance of vocal stereotypy. The treatment package of differential reinforcement plus response cost was successful in reducing the student's vocal stereotypy within measured sessions. This reduction in vocal stereotypy generalized when trained across activities and environments.
Lauren K. Palmer
Palmer, Lauren K., "The effect of differential reinforcement and response cost on vocal stereotypy" (2012). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 96. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002652
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