HYPOTHESIS-BASED INTERVENTIONS FOR TANTRUM BEHAVIORS OF PERSONS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES IN SCHOOL SETTINGS

Authors


Northern Illinois University, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education, DeKalb, Illinois 60115

Abstract

We conducted a functional assessment of problem behaviors of 2 students with developmental disabilities in their classroom environments. Results of the assessments showed that although there were more tantrums in demand than in no-demand conditions, the function of the behavior was to gain attention (positive reinforcement) rather than to avoid or escape demands (negative reinforcement); demand conditions apparently served a discriminative function for the availability of attention. Therefore, intervention was based on the positive reinforcement hypothesis, resulting in a substantial reduction of tantrums for both subjects.

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