College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Analysis of Environmental Determinants of Aggression and Disruption in Mentally Retarded Children

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1986

Publication Title

Applied Research in Mental Retardation

ISSN

0270-3092

Volume

7

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

This study evaluated methods for empirically identifying environmental determinants of aggressive and disruptive behavior in three developmentally delayed children. A variety of sessions conducted on an inpatient treatment unit were designed to simulate contingencies maintaining aggression and disruption in the subjects' natural environments. The basic analog conditions included: 1) instructional demands, 2) contingent social disapproval, and 3) structured play. In addition, variations of the three basic conditions were developed based on informal observation and parental reports of naturally occurring contingencies. Results showed considerable variability both between and within subjects. However, for each subject a specific analog condition was shown to produce relatively higher rates of aberrant behavior. Subsequently, behavioral treatments based on assessment results were successfully implemented with two of the subjects. Results are discussed in terms of the importance and practical limitations of conducting systematic assessment of aberrant repertoires in developmentally delayed clients.

DOI

10.1016/0270-3092(86)90006-8

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