Classification of injuries observed in functional classes of self-injurious behaviour

G. W. Rooker, N. L. Hausman, A. B. Fisher, M. K. Gregory, J. L. Lawell, L. P. Hagopian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Limited research has examined how the functions of self-injurious behaviour (SIB) relate to the production of injuries and the location, type or severity of those injuries. Methods: Clinical and medical records were coded for 64 individuals hospitalised for SIB. When injuries were present, the physical properties of SIB and injuries were assessed across groups of individuals with automatically and socially maintained SIB. Results: Injuries were observed for 35 of the individuals who engaged in SIB. Individuals who engaged in a single form of SIB were more likely to have injuries (P <.05). Individuals with SIB maintained by automatic reinforcement had significantly more severe injuries to the head than those in the social group (q <.05, P =.0132, H = 12.54). Conclusion: Although results are preliminary, the results provide evidence that the function of SIB may influence the severity and location of injuries produced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1096
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • automatic reinforcement
  • functional analysis
  • injury
  • self-injurious behaviour
  • social reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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