Do not copy, post, or distribute
146 PART II DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS AND DISABILITIES Positive Punishment Reinforcement increases behavioral frequency; punish- ment decreases it. Positive punishment involves the pre- sentation of a stimulus that decreases the frequency of a behavior. Since positive punishment techniques are aversive, they are only used under certain conditions such as when children’s behaviors are dangerous or life threaten- ing and other methods of treatment have been ineffective at reducing the problematic behavior. Punishment is only used in combination with positive reinforcement, and its use is carefully reviewed and monitored by independent experts. Parents must consent to the use of punishment before it is used to correct their children’s behavior problem. Salvy and colleagues (2004) describe the use of punishment by contingent stimulation to reduce SIB in a toddler with ID. The girl, Johanna, would bang her head against her crib and other hard surfaces approximately 100 times each day. She had bruises on her forehead because of her behavior. Nonaversive interventions were not effective in reducing Johanna’s head banging. The therapists and Johanna’s mother decided to use punishment to reduce SIBs. The punisher was a brief electric shock that was administered by a device attached to Johanna’s leg. The therapists could administer the shock remotely using a handheld activator. The shock was unpleasant (like being snapped by a rubber band), but it did not cause injury. Treatment involved two phases. In the first phase (hospital implementation), Johanna and her mother played in an observation room in the hospital. Observers counted the frequency of her head banging during the first 10 minutes. This provided a baseline of Johanna’s behavior to evaluate the effectiveness of the punishment. Then, the shock device was attached to Johanna’s leg but shocks were not administered. Observations continued for another 10 minutes to see whether Johanna’s behavior would change merely because she wore the device. Next, therapists began administering a brief electrical shock contingent on Johanna’s head banging. As before, observations were conducted for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, the shock device was removed, and Johanna’s behavior was observed for another 10 minutes. Results showed that the frequency of Johanna’s head banging decreased from 30 times during baseline observation to 4 times after punishment. During the second phase of treatment (home imple- mentation), Johanna’s mother was taught to punish Johanna’s behavior at home. Therapists observed Johanna’s behavior in the home for 2 days to obtain baseline data. On the third day, the shock device was attached to Johanna’s leg. When Johanna began banging her head, her mother said, “No hit, Johanna”; retrieved the activator from her purse; and immediately issued a brief shock. The frequency of Johanna’s behavior was recorded over the next month, at which time the shock device was removed from the home.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 41 pages?
- Fall '16
- T. Keneni
- Intelligence quotient, SAGE Publications, Developmental disability, Mental retardation