Evaluating the function of hair pulling: A preliminary investigation

Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ethan S. Long, John T. Rapp, Vicki Lumley, Amy J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Although little is known about the operant function of hair pulling associated with trichotillomania, attempts to further our knowledge in this area have not employed experimental methods. In the present study we assessed the hair pulling behavior of two individuals using a functional analysis methodology. The results showed that hair pulling was most probable in the alone condition. Based on the functional analysis results and information from behavioral interviews, we hypothesized that hair pulling was maintained by self-stimulation in these two subjects. We discuss limitations of the current investigation and the need for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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