Using food redistribution to reduce packing in children with severe food refusal

Charles S. Gulotta, Cathleen C. Piazza, Meeta R. Patel, Stagy A. Layer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Positive- and negative-reinforcement-based procedures typically have targeted acceptance for children with severe food refusal; however, these procedures do not always result in successful swallowing. Once acceptance is achieved, some children expel the food repeatedly or pack (hold or pocket) it in their mouths for extended periods of time. This study evaluated the effects of using food redistribution with a bristled massaging toothbrush to reduce packing and increase consumption in 4 children with severe feeding disorders. Packing was reduced for all children. In addition, latency to clean mouth (the duration of time from acceptance to food no longer being present in the child's mouth in the absence of expulsion) for 2 children decreased when the food-redistribution procedure was used. Results are discussed in terms of the potential operant functions of the food-redistribution procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Food redistribution
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Packing
  • Pediatric feeding disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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