• differential reinforcement of other behavior;
  • functional analysis;
  • self-injurious behavior

We conducted several comparative analyses to determine the relative effectiveness of variable-momentary differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior (VM DRO) schedules. Three individuals who had been diagnosed with mental retardation participated. Results of functional analyses indicated that their self-injurious behavior (SIB) was maintained by social-positive reinforcement. Two individuals participated in a two-stage comparative analysis within multielement and multiple baseline designs. Fixed-interval (FI) and variable-interval (VI) DRO were compared in the first stage; VI DRO and VM DRO were compared in the second. All three schedules effectively reduced the participants' SIB. Treatment for the 3rd individual was conducted in a reversal design to examine the effects of VM DRO when it was implemented in isolation, and results indicated that the procedure was effective in reducing SIB. These findings suggest that VM DRO schedules may represent attractive alternatives to traditional FI schedules because momentary schedules do not require continuous monitoring and may result in higher rates of reinforcement.