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Abstract

A 43-year-old man with severe mental retardation and sensory impairments and a long history of behavior problems was taught to interact more appropriately with staff members at his community-based group home. The following behaviors were targeted for change within a multiple baseline design: use of an appropriate cueing response to initiate a conversation; keeping his hands to himself when conversing with another; and not ‘badgering’ people by repeating the same question over and over. Instructions and feedback produced small, unstable improvements in the subject's behavior. When token reinforcement was added to the treatment package, large and immediate improvements were noted. The improved levels of social interactions were maintained after token reinforcement was withdrawn, suggesting the operation of naturally occurring contingencies of reinforcement.