Replacement behaviors for identified functions of challenging behaviors

Johnny L. Matson, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States.
Mary E. Shoemaker
Megan Sipes
Max Horovitz
Julie A. Worley
Alison M. Kozlowski


Functional assessment has become a major feature of learning-based research. A critical element of the majority of these studies includes not only methods and procedures to identify the cause of the challenging behavior, but to establish replacement treatment methods. By far the most common intervention in the 176 studies we reviewed was reinforcement. Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) was the most common reinforcement method, followed by differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). Reinforcement plus extinction was the second most commonly employed treatment followed by functional communication training with or without reinforcement. Researchers proved to be very creative. Forty different treatment methods were employed. The implications of these data are discussed.