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Am J Ment Retard. 1996 Jul;101(1):15-25.

Integrating caregiver report with systematic choice assessment to enhance reinforcer identification.

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Neurobehavioral Unit, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


To determine client preferences, we asked caregivers to rank-order, according to predicted client preference, a standard list of items and a list generated using a structured interview for caregivers, the Reinforcer Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities. Systematic choice assessments were then conducted with both sets of stimuli. A concurrent operants paradigm was used to compare the reinforcing effects of the highest preference stimulus identified from each list. Results indicated that caregiver predictions of client preferences were slightly better for the set of stimuli they generated than for the standard set, and the choice assessment identified more potent reinforcers from the set of stimuli generated by the caregivers than from the standard set.

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