Utilizing a home-based parent training approach in the treatment of food selectivity


  • This investigation was completed by the first author under the supervision of the second author in partial fulfillment of a Doctorate in Philosophy degree in Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno.


Evaluating effects of utilizing parents as therapists for treating behavior problems has become increasingly important in the dissemination and practice of applied behavior analysis. However, home-based parent training approaches have been underused in treating feeding problems. In this study, mothers were trained to implement differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) combined with non-removal of the spoon and demand fading for the treatment of their childrens' food selectivity. The procedures were highly effective and generalization to untargeted foods was observed. Parent procedural integrity and parent collected interobserver agreement (IOA) data remain high throughout the study. This study also demonstrated an effective method for systematically decreasing reinforcement magnitude and schedules in an effort to mimic traditional reinforcer delivery such as intermittently providing a dessert at the end of the meal. Finally, this study successfully increased a demand fading ratio of 50–150% without noticeable side effects. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.