A Pilot Study to Increase Chewing in Children With Feeding Disorders

Valerie M. Volkert, Cathleen C. Piazza, Petula C.M. Vaz, Jana Frese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Children with feeding disorders often display chewing deficits. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of research examining procedures to increase or teach chewing to children with feeding disorders. The few studies on this topic have utilized multicomponent treatments typically involving a shaping procedure. In addition, to our knowledge, studies on chewing have not yet incorporated a product measure of chewing (whether the food is broken down enough to swallow after chewing), which we have termed mastication. In the current investigation, we evaluated relatively simple treatments to increase chewing with two children with a feeding disorder who were not chewing at clinically acceptable levels after treatment with nonremoval of the spoon. We also developed a product measure of chewing. In Study 1, we used a least-to-most prompting plus praise procedure to increase chews per bite in a typically developing child with a feeding disorder. We then used the results of Study 1 to refine treatment and develop our mastication measure for Study 2. In Study 2, we implemented a descriptive verbal prompt and praise procedure to increase chews per bite and percentage of mastication with one child with developmental delays and a feeding disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-408
Number of pages18
JournalBehavior Modification
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • chewing
  • feeding disorder
  • mastication
  • prompting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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