Behavior Modification

Topics: Operant conditioning, Behavior modification, Behaviorism Pages: 8 (2179 words) Published: April 25, 2005
Behavior Intervention 1

RUNNING HEAD: Behavior Intervention

Behavioral intervention of a

schoolboy displaying low on-task behavior

in his classroom

Monique Douglas

Edith Cowan University

Behavior Intervention 2


The on-task behavior of a schoolboy aged 11 named Alan was monitored over an

intervention period of 39 days. This period consisted of observation, intervention and

follow-up segments. Target behaviors were defined. These behaviors were then

isolated during the intervention to extricate the functional association of antecedents

and consequences. Previous studies from the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

were referred to for the structure of the intervention model. The theories of

reinforcement and punishment were applied to gain desired behavior and clear target behavior. Verbal positive reinforcement and positive punishment was used, maintaining a firm consistency throughout the intervening period. To achieve the best result a tightly controlled environment was created to limit any possible distractions. Results obtained during the follow-up period indicated a substantial success for the intervention program.

Behavior Intervention 3

Behavioral intervention of a schoolboy displaying low on-task

behavior in his classroom

Behavior assessments are important applications for gaining insight into the motivation of individuals. By conducting these assessments, target behaviors can be defined. After defining these behaviors, functional relationships can be identified. This links the target behavior with antecedents and consequences. Once recognized these antecedents and consequences can be manipulated to influence the target behavior (Ebanks & Fisher, 2003). These behavior assessments work as the foundation for behavior modification therapy.

Antecedents consist of any events that occur immediately before the target behavior manifests. By manipulating the antecedent it is possible to cause the target behavior to become extinct. Similarly the consequences that occur immediately after the target behavior can also be controlled to eliminate the behavior. The combined manipulation of both functional relationships provides the best chance for success (Mueller, Sterling-Turner and Scattone, 2001).

Observation is an essential part of behavior modification therapy. This is because of the need to be able to recognize the need to change a behavior and distinguish the antecedents and consequences. All three factors are observable and should be monitored closely to identify the relationship and effect they have on each other. Once these relationships have been identified, behavior therapy can be employed to extinguish undesired behavior replacing it with more appropriate behavior.

To correctly observe and assess an individual for an intervention program a measuring process should be designed for the purpose of evaluating their behavior. Behavior Intervention 4
This measurement process should specify observable actions that the individual indulges in to display their mood. The number of times the action or actions are performed acts as a clear indication of the presence of the target behavior. To limit any variation within collected data, specific times and settings should be tightly controlled when conducting the observations.

This observational period acts as the first stage in the general process of any kind of behavior modification therapy. Once observed, the behavior is then identified, targeted and then stopped. Ideally while the inappropriate behavior is being stopped, another desired behavior is being identified, developed, strengthened and maintained. Various techniques can be engaged to obtain this outcome. To strengthen positive behavior both positive and negative reinforcement can prove useful. Positive reinforcement relies on rewards that encourage positive behavior. Negative reinforcement strengthens positive behavior through the...

References: Ebanks, M. E., & Fisher, W. W. (2003) Altering the timing of academic prompts to
treat destructive behavior maintained by escape
Fisher, W. W., Adelinis, J. D., Thompson, R. H., Worsdell, A. S., & Zarcone, J. R.
(1998).Functional analysis and treatment of destructive behavior maintained be
Hapogian, L. P., Toole, L. M., Long, E. S., Bowman E. G., & Lieving, G. A. (2004).
A comparison of dense-to-lean fixed lean schedules of alternative reinforcement
Mueller, M. M., Sterling-Turner, H. E., & Scattone, D. (2001) Functional assessment
of hand flapping in a general education classroom
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