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Res Dev Disabil. 2009 Jan-Feb;30(1):44-57. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 May 7.

Noncontingent reinforcement is an empirically supported treatment for problem behavior exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities.

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Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University, MI 49008-5439, United States.


Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is a function-based treatment for problem behavior that has produced robust effects across a variety of response topographies and reinforcement functions among individuals with developmental disabilities. Several narrative reviews have adequately described this literature. The purpose of the present article was to quantitatively analyze and classify the empirical support for NCR using the criteria developed by The Task Force on the Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures [Task Force Promoting Dissemination of Psychological Procedures. (1995). Training in and dissemination of empirically-validated psychological treatments: Report and recommendations. Clinical Psychology, 48, 3-23]. Of the 59 studies identified for analysis, 24 met the criteria to be included in treatment classification. Fixed-time reinforcer delivery (plus extinction and schedule thinning) was classified as well established, while fixed-time reinforcer delivery (plus extinction) and variable-time reinforcer delivery (plus extinction) were deemed probably efficacious.

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