Destructive behavior increases as a function of reductions in alternative reinforcement during schedule thinning: A retrospective quantitative analysis

Timothy A. Shahan, Brian D. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The behavioral processes determining the magnitude of the resurgence of destructive behavior during reinforcement schedule thinning have yet to be described, despite an uptick in prevalence research on the topic. As predicted by Resurgence as Choice theory, recent animal research has found that resurgence increases with the magnitude of a downshift in alternative reinforcement. Here we reanalyze the data from 2 recent prevalence studies to determine whether the size of the decrease in alternative reinforcement availability predicts the magnitude of resurgence in the clinic. Results from this retrospective analysis suggest that resurgence of destructive behavior increases significantly with decreases in the availability of alternative reinforcement. Implications for future research and translations of theoretical analyses to the clinic are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Volume116
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • destructive behavior
  • functional communication training
  • reinforcement schedule thinning
  • resurgence
  • translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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