Treatment Classification and Selection Based on Behavioral Function

  • Brian A. Iwata
  • Timothy R. Vollmer
  • Jennifer R. Zarcone
  • Teresa A. Rodgers
Chapter
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

Results from more than 25 years of research on behavioral approaches to the treatment of self-injury, aggression, and related disorders in developmentally disabled individuals indicate that these problems are learned behaviors and can be reduced significantly using interventions derived from operant conditioning principles. A consistent finding has been that behavior disorders are responsive to treatment across an extremely wide range of procedural variation. Because so many options are available in a given clinical situation, issues related to treatment selection have become increasingly important in recent years, and a number of decision-making models have been proposed. Yet the question of how best to proceed when attempting to reduce a serious behavior problem has been difficult to answer and is often the subject of controversy. Some treatments are viewed as more effective, intrusive, or costly than others, and there has been disagreement over the relative “ranking” of treatments based on these factors. The ultimate criteria used in making treatment decisions should take into account scientific, ethical, and economic factors, as well as consumer preference (e.g., see the extensive discussion of these factors in Repp & Singh, 1990). Much of the current controversy, however, arises from more basic misconceptions about the characteristics of treatment procedures and the behavior disorders they are designed to eliminate, resulting in either arbitrary or erroneous classification.

Keywords

Behavior Disorder Developmental Disability Treatment Selection Apply Behavior Analysis Negative Reinforcement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian A. Iwata
    • 1
  • Timothy R. Vollmer
    • 1
  • Jennifer R. Zarcone
    • 1
  • Teresa A. Rodgers
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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