Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area
Operant renewal is a form of relapse in which a previously extinguished response recurs due to a change in context. We designed two experiments to examine the impact of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior on ABA renewal in a translational model of relapse with 12 children either diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, an intellectual disability, or who were neurotypical. We compared levels of renewal in two, three-phase arrangements. In one arrangement, we reinforced target responding in Context A, extinguished responding in Context B, and returned to Context A while continuing to implement extinction. In a second arrangement, an alternative response produced reinforcement in Context B and during the return to Context A. Results across the two experiments indicated three general findings. First, extinction plus differential reinforcement more effectively disrupted target behavior in Context B relative to extinction alone. Second, renewal tended to be greater during extinction alone relative to extinction plus differential reinforcement. Third, the magnitude of renewal depended on a history of extinction for the alternative response in Context A. We discuss methodological implications for the treatment of severe destructive behavior.
Kimball, Ryan T., "Investigations of Operant ABA Renewal During Differential Alternative Reinforcement" (2019). Theses & Dissertations. 359.
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