Date of Award:

12-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Robert Morgan

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), a behavior reduction procedure, on problem behavior exhibited by three elementary school students in a general education classroom. DRA involves reinforcement of an alternative behavior while withholding reinforcement for the inappropriate behavior. The three participants were classified as experiencing mild/moderate disabilities but received most services (and participated in this research) in a general education classroom. Problem behaviors included off-task, talk-outs, and inappropriate touching. Alternative behaviors included on-task and hand-raising to get teacher attention. Results indicated that DRA decreased off-task and talk-out behavior for two participants, although effects were variable. Results for a third participant indicated minimal effects on reduction of both off-task and inappropriate touching behaviors. For two participants, differential reinforcement of lower rates of behavior (DRL) was implemented following DRA in attempt to establish stimulus control over problem behavior. However, results of the DRL intervention were mixed. Results are discussed in terms of differences between investigating the effects DRA in classroom versus clinic settings and establishing and maintaining contingencies for reinforcement.

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