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Keywords:

  • fixed-time schedules;
  • extinction;
  • noncontingent reinforcement;
  • self-injury;
  • aggression;
  • functional analysis

We compared the effects of extinction (EXT) and fixed-time (FT) schedules as treatment for severe problem behavior displayed by 3 individuals with developmental disabilities. First, functional analyses identified the reinforcers maintaining aberrant behavior for all 3 individuals. Next, EXT and FT schedules were compared using a multielement design. During EXT, the reinforcer maintaining problem behavior was withheld. During FT, the reinforcers were presented response independently at preset intervals. Results showed that FT schedules were generally more effective than EXT schedules in reducing aberrant behavior. FT schedules may be used in situations when extinction-induced phenomena are problematic.