Assessment of children's and caregivers' preferences for treatments for escape-maintained problem behavior

Todd M. Owen, Kevin C. Luczynski, Nicole M. Rodriguez, Wayne W. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study assessed children's and caregivers' preferences for various arrangements of negative reinforcement, including differential negative reinforcement of an alternative behavior (DNRA), noncontingent escape (NCE), and escape extinction. In the first treatment comparison, the DNRA and NCE treatments similarly decreased problem behavior, but all 3 children preferred DNRA. By contrast, 3 of 4 caregivers preferred escape extinction, likely due to increased compliance in this condition. In a second treatment comparision with 1 child, a multiple schedule and then a chained schedule were introduced to increase the practically of the initial DNRA treatment. The child continued to prefer the treatment with contingent reinforcement in both comparisons, and his caregivers preferred the chained schedule. Results further support the selection of treatments that include contingent reinforcement, and the evaluation serves as a model for progressing through treatment options until child and caregiver preferences align.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-965
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • chained schedule
  • concurrent-chains schedule
  • differential negative reinforcement
  • preference
  • problem behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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