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Evaluation of a Time-in Procedure for the Treatment of Escape-maintained Behaviors
AuthorBrown, Lauren Diane
AdvisorWilliams, Wilfred L.
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For years, behavior analysts have focused much of their research with intellectually disabled individuals on the reduction of escape-maintained behaviors. Various treatments for escape-maintained behaviors have been proposed and utilized in research and clinical practice, such as escape extinction and choice. Romaniuk and colleagues (2002) found that offering individuals a choice between two tasks resulted in a decrease in problem behaviors maintained by escape. However, very few studies have examined the effects of offering choice to individuals with problem behaviors maintained by escape from demands or tasks (Romaniuk et al., 2002; Vaughn & Horner, 1997), and although offering choice to individuals with escape-maintained problem behaviors has seemed to prove effective in problem behavior reduction, it is important to examine what function choice serves. Williams (1977) examined the use of an attending response in promoting cooperative work between dyads of individuals with intellectual disabilities. He found that arranging for such a response had an effect of reducing escape-behaviors and increasing participation of learners. To date, there has not been any research specifically examining the use of this attending response, or time-in response, as a possible treatment for escape-maintained behaviors. The current research aims to assess whether a time-in procedure is useful in reducing problem behaviors maintained by escape. Three intellectually disabled children between the ages of 7 and 11participated in the study. Results show that escape behavior occurred solely in the no time-in condition for one of three participants. Future research should further examine the use of a time-in response in the classroom setting.