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Keywords:

  • escape-maintained problem behavior;
  • functional analysis;
  • positive versus negative reinforcement

We compared the effects of reinforcing compliance with either positive reinforcement (edible items) or negative reinforcement (a break) on 5 participants' escape-maintained problem behavior. Both procedures were assessed with or without extinction. Results showed that compliance was higher and problem behavior was lower for all participants when compliance produced an edible item rather than a break. Treatment gains were achieved without the use of extinction. Results are discussed regarding the use of positive reinforcement to treat escape behavior.