Choice-making treatment of young children's severe behavior problems

Stephanie M. Peck, David P. Wacker, Wendy K. Berg, Linda J. Cooper, Kimberly A. Brown, David Richman, Jennifer J. Mccomas, Pamela Frischmeyer, Thomas Millard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The choice-making behavior of 5 young children with developmental disabilities who engaged in aberrant behavior was studied within a concurrent operants framework. Experimental analyses were conducted to identify reinforcers that maintained aberrant behavior, and functional communication training packages were implemented to teach the participants to gain reinforcement using mands. Next, a choice-making analysis, in which the participants chose one of two responses (either a mand or an alternative neutral response) to obtain different durations and qualities of reinforcement, was conducted. Finally, treatment packages involving choice making via manding were implemented to decrease inappropriate behavior and to increase mands. The results extended previous applications of choice making to severe behavior disorders and across behaviors maintained by positive and negative reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-290
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996



  • Aberrant behavior
  • Behavioral pediatrics
  • Choice making
  • Developmentally disabled children
  • Functional analysis
  • Functional communication training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Peck, S. M., Wacker, D. P., Berg, W. K., Cooper, L. J., Brown, K. A., Richman, D., Mccomas, J. J., Frischmeyer, P., & Millard, T. (1996). Choice-making treatment of young children's severe behavior problems. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29(3), 263-290.