Reduction of pica in young children with lead poisoning

Jack W. Finney, Dennis C. Russo, Michael F. Cataldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Pica, the ingestion of inedible materials, often leads to increased lead absorption in young children living in substandard housing. The present study investigated the use of behavioral procedures to reduce pica in young children with lead poisoning. Four children hospitalized for high blood lead levels received a sequential training program of discrimination training and DRO. In two cases, a third phase involving DRO and overcorrection was used. The results showed a reduction of pica during hospitalization. Contact with materials remained similar across conditions in all children, indicating continued environmental exploration. The results are considered in light of developmental, ethical, and educational concerns involved in behavioral treatment for young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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