Analysis and treatment of oral-motor repetitive behavior disorders

Keith D. Allen, Jodi Polaha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Although stuttering, bruxism, and rumination all involve repetitive oral-motor behavior, they have no apparent common function. Perhaps most surprising is that in spite of the emphasis on the importance of function in applied behavior analysis, effective treatments have been developed for these three problems almost without regard to behavioral function. Procedures such as habit reversal, massed practice, and satiation have demonstrated marked improvements in stuttering, bruxing, and rumination behaviors respectively, yet we are no closer to understanding the principle function(s) of these behaviors. One might conclude that research efforts to assess and define the function(s) of repetitive oral motor behavior disorders are not important. But consider that each of these three treatments was only one of many behavioral interventions that have been explored across several decades for treatment of repetitive oral-motor behaviors. That is, the search to effective treatments for these oral-motor behaviors has not been efficient. Perhaps systematic research efforts to better understand and assess the function of repetitive oral-motor behaviors would have led more quickly to the identification and refinement of viable treatment options. It is our belief that it still can.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and Other Repetitive Behavior Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationBehavioral Approaches to Analysis and Treatment
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)0387325662, 9780387325668
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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