An Evaluation of Operant Behavioural Economics in Functional Communication Training for Severe Problem Behaviour

Shawn P. Gilroy, Haley L. Ford, R. Justin Boyd, Julia T O'Connor, Patricia F Kurtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: This single-case experiment examined the use of behavioural economic concepts in a function-based treatment for problem behaviour. Methods: Behavioural economic analyses were used to evaluate the strength of functions of problem behaviour and this information was used to inform elements of function-based treatment for one child with a neurodevelopmental disorder. Results: Findings from this experiment indicated that the incorporation of behavioural economic measures resulted in positive treatment effects that were maintained throughout all phases of the evaluation, including those implemented by caregivers. Conclusions: These results suggest that behavioural economic concepts and procedures can be successful adjuncts to evidence-based assessments and treatments for problem behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-564
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2019



  • Behavioural economics
  • demand curve
  • demand fading
  • functional communication training
  • reinforcer assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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