Inappropriate mealtime behavior: The effects of noncontingent access to preferred tangibles on responding in functional analyses

Melissa L. González, Emily Kate Rubio, Tessa Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An understanding of the functional variables associated with inappropriate mealtime behavior (IMB) is critical to developing an effective and efficient treatment for food refusal. To this aim, functional analysis methodology has been modified for the meal context, and previous research has shown that multiple sources of reinforcement maintain IMB. Functional analysis literature, related to severe problem behavior, suggests that access to preferred stimuli may abolish or compete with social reinforcers in some cases. The role of noncontingent access to preferred stimuli during the assessment of IMB has not been evaluated. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects noncontingent access to preferred toys/activities on IMB in the presence and absence of social consequences. The specific aims were to evaluate: (1) levels of IMB when the spoon is held stationary at the child's lips when preferred tangible stimuli are present noncontingently vs. absent; (2) levels of IMB when social consequences were provided contingent upon IMB when preferred tangible stimuli are present noncontingently vs. absent. For many participants, levels of IMB were reduced with the inclusion of preferred toys/activities; while for one, levels of IMB increased. Possible implications of these findings on functional analyses of IMB will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3655-3664
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Food refusal
  • Functional analysis
  • Inappropriate mealtime behavior
  • Noncontingent access
  • Tangible stimuli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Inappropriate mealtime behavior: The effects of noncontingent access to preferred tangibles on responding in functional analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this