Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 375–394 | Cite as

Identifying Community-Based Reinforcers of Adults with Autism and Related Disabilities

  • Daniel A. AlmeidaEmail author
  • Ronald Allen
  • Russell W. Maguire
  • Kaitlin Maguire
Original Paper


A forced-choice preference assessment using pictures and no access upon selection was used to determine preferences for community-based activities with 4 young adults with autism and intellectual disability. High- and low-preference activities were then provided as delayed consequences, using a token economy, for completion of vocational tasks in a concurrent operants paradigm. All participants responded to the contingency associated with earning the high-preference activity and away from the contingency associated with earning the low-preference activity. The results suggest that a pictorial assessment without access is a valid method for identifying community-based activities that will function as reinforcers. This efficient protocol could improve treatment efficacy in applied settings.


Preference assessment Concurrent operants assessment Reinforcer assessment 



The authors would like to thank Ashley Williams, Melissa Kelly, Izumi Nishida, and Lisa Goldthwaite for their assistance with data collection and interobserver agreement data. This research was based on a doctoral dissertation by the first author toward completion of a Ph.D. degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Daniel Almeida declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ronald Allen declares that he has no conflict of interest. Russell Maguire declares he has no conflict of interest. Kaitlin Maguire declares she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Almeida
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald Allen
    • 2
  • Russell W. Maguire
    • 2
  • Kaitlin Maguire
    • 3
  1. 1.Newton, MA Public SchoolsUMASS-BostonNewtonUSA
  2. 2.Simmons CollegeBostonUSA
  3. 3.Advances Learning CenterWatertownUSA

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