Assessment and treatment of multiple behavior problems exhibited by a profoundly retarded adolescent

Keith J. Slifer, Martin T. Ivancic, John M. Parrish, Terry J. Page, Louis D. Burgio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The severe aggression and noncompliance of a profoundly retarded blind male were subjected to extensive behavioral assessment in order to identify controlling variables. The assessment, conducted across settings and therapists, suggested that these inappropriate behaviors functioned to avoid or terminate nonpreferred activities. Intervention consisted of manual guidance when there was noncompliance with instructions and edible reinforcement upon compliance; there were no direct contingencies for the inappropriate behaviors. Treatment procedures were implemented in a multiple baseline design across therapists and settings. Results show that the intervention consistently increased compliance, with concurrent decreases in inappropriate behaviors. Edible reinforcement and neuroleptic medication were withdrawn systematically with no loss of therapeutic gains. Family members and school personnel were trained to use the intervention procedures. Results are discussed in terms of functional assessment, response covariation, compliance training, parent and staff training, and behavioral assessment of the effects of neuroleptic medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment and treatment of multiple behavior problems exhibited by a profoundly retarded adolescent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this