Procedures for determining and then modifying the extinction component of multiple schedules for destructive behavior

Scott A. Miller, Wayne W. Fisher, Brian D. Greer, Valdeep Saini, Madeleine D. Keevy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As a component of reinforcer schedule thinning following functional communication training, multiple schedules of reinforcement produce desirable rates and patterns of communication responses as an alternative response to destructive behavior. However, reinforcement schedule thinning is a gradual process that can take many sessions to obtain therapeutic goals. The desired outcome is that manding occurs only during signaled intervals of reinforcement with a sufficiently lean terminal schedule of reinforcement availability and low rates of destructive behavior. The purposes of this study were to (a) evaluate an assessment for informing the initial duration of extinction for alternative responding, (b) evaluate the utility of competing stimuli during extinction for alternative responding, and (c) assess a method for fading the availability of competing stimuli. With these procedures, all 4 participants experienced terminal schedules of reinforcement with rapid, robust reductions in destructive behavior soon after baseline. We discuss the implications and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • competing-stimulus assessment
  • functional communication training
  • multiple schedules
  • progressive-interval assessment
  • reinforcement schedule thinning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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