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Ment Retard. 1990 Jun;28(3):163-8.

Reducing direct-care staff absenteeism: effects of a combined reinforcement and punishment procedure.

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  • 1Walter E. Fernald State School, Belmont, MA 02178.


Absenteeism of 130 direct-care staff was reduced by 27% through a mixed consequence procedure consisting of positive reinforcement for reliable attendance and punishment (progressive discipline) for attendance abuse. Reduced rates of absenteeism were maintained over a 12-month period. A 17% reduction in overtime and an increase in annual staff turnover from 34% to 45% also occurred. Results extend the findings of mixed consequence procedures to residential facilities for persons with developmental disabilities. Development of a more powerful positive reinforcement component was discussed.

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