Functional reinforcers that maintain the problem behavior

Functional communication training (FCT) is an antecedent intervention procedure. It aims at developing alternative behaviors that are sensitive to motivating operations (MO) or establishing operations (EO). FCT typically involves teaching a new or alternative behavior without providing reinforcement for the interfering or disturbing behavior.

Some advantages of FCT

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·       learners benefit from the reinforcement of a communicative partner’s response, regardless of who that partner is.

·       FCT increases generalization of the desired/alternative behavior and also increase social validity.

·       With FCT therapists/analyst does not have to use extinction, if the alternative communication behavior and problem behavior have the same schedule of reinforcement.

Some disadvantages of FCT

·       FCT may result in the learner emitting high rates of alternative communication response.

·       Therapist/Analyst having to ignore the inappropriate behaviors, no matter how long they last

 

 

Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCR) aims to effectively decrease problem behavior by making reinforcers that maintain the problem behavior available freely and frequently. It involves giving the learner access to a reinforcer frequently (delivered on a fixed-time (FT) or variable-time (VT) schedule) that they are no longer motivated to exhibit disruptive behavior to obtain that same reinforcer.

 

Some advantages of NCR

Decreases problem behavior and easy to implementCreates a positive learning environmentHigh rates of reinforcement delivery

 

Some disadvantages of NCR

NCR involves continuous access to reinforcers.Responding may maintain under fixed time (FT), as schedule becomes thin from continuous access to reinforcers.Decrease motivation to engage in appropriate behavior, as a result of obtaining access to free reinforcement

The authors used an innovative procedure to assess treatment acceptability within a well-controlled environment in which multiple sessions were conducted. The authors used a modified concurrent-chains procedure to evaluate two clients preferences using Functional Communication Training (FCT) and Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCR) as treatment interventions for attention-maintained destructive behavior. Results from the study showed that In Phase 1, functional analyses showed that the function of the destructive behavior displayed by the two participants was attention. Results from phase two showed both antecedent intervention procedures (FCT and NCR) rapidly decrease undesired or destructive attention-seeking behaviors. In phase three result showed that the concurrent-chains procedure used to assess clients’ preference for the treatments showed that preference of FCT over NCR.

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