Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt

Abstract

An evaluation of fixed-time (FT) schedules and extinction was conducted with children who had mild to severe developmental disabilities. The principal research question was: Does the similarity between baseline (i.e., response-dependent) and FT reinforcement rates make behavior resistant to change? During Phase I for each of 13 participants, a reinforcer assessment was conducted. Those individuals for whom a reinforcement effect was demonstrated continued to Phase II. During Phase II, the effects of FT schedules with either similar or dissimilar reinforcer rates (relative to a response-dependent baseline) and extinction were assessed for each participant. Results suggested that both extinction and FT schedules resulted in decreased responding. However, FT schedules were more effective in reducing response rates if the schedule was dissimilar (as opposed to similar) to baseline reinforcer rates. Collectively, these results might aid clinicians in the prescription of FT reinforcer delivery as treatment for problem behavior.

ISBN

9780599372672

Pages

65

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