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Behav Modif. 1992 Jul;16(3):336-71.

Severe problem behaviors related to social interaction. 2: A systems analysis.

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1
Institute for Clinical Training and Research, Devereux Foundation, Devon, PA 19333.

Abstract

The effects of problem behavior displayed by two groups of children with developmental disabilities was investigated. One group of children exhibited problem behavior under conditions of low adult attention and was referred to as the attention-seeking or AS behavior profile group. A second group of children exhibited problem behavior under conditions of high adult attention and was referred to as the socially avoidant or SA behavior profile group. A third group of nonproblem children (NP) was examined for comparison purposes. Pairs of children were placed in a teaching situation, and the effects of child problem behavior upon adult instructional behavior were measured. Results indicated that child behavior affected adult behavior and that different child behavior profiles affected adults differentially. Adults responded to the problem behaviors of the AS behavior profile group by increasing attention, providing higher levels of physical contact, and presenting academic tasks that required continuous adult-child interaction. Conversely, the same adults responded to the problem behaviors of the SA behavior profile group by reducing attention, providing lower levels of physical contact, and presenting academic tasks that required little adult-child interaction. The data indicated that these child effects were powerful, immediate, and durable. Theoretical implications concerning reciprocal social influence and the operant theory of child problem behavior are discussed. Applied implications concerning treatment selection and maintenance are also explored.

PMID:
1385702
DOI:
10.1177/01454455920163003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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