College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Separate and Combined Effects of Methylphenidate and a Behavioral Intervention on Disruptive Behavior in Children with Mental Retardation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 1996

Keywords

Disruptive Behavior; Children with Mental Retardation; Drug Effects; Methylphenidate; Differential Reinforcement; Guided Compliance

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

ISSN

0021-8855

Volume

29

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

We investigated the separate and combined effects of a behavioral intervention and methylphenidate (Ritalin®) on disruptive behavior and task engagement in 3 children with severe to profound mental retardation. The behavioral intervention involved differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior and guided compliance. All 3 children demonstrated decreased disruptive behavior and improved task engagement in response to the behavioral intervention. Two of the 3 children demonstrated similar improvement in response to methylphenidate. Although both interventions were highly effective for these 2 participants, the relative efficacy of the interventions varied between the 2 children. There was no evidence of an additive or synergistic effect of the two interventions, but the high efficacy of each intervention alone limited our ability to detect such effects.

DOI

10.1901/jaba.1996.29-305