Response interruption and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior for the treatment of pica

Louis P. Hagopian, Melissa L. González, Tessa Taylor Rivet, Mandy Triggs, Seth B. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pica displayed by two individuals with autism was decreased by a treatment involving differential reinforcement and response interruption that altered the chain of behavior involved in pica (i.e., picking up items and placing them in the mouth). The treatment involved establishing prompts to 'clean-up' as a new discriminative stimulus (SD) for picking up items from the floor; and holding potential pica items was established as an SD for discarding those items in a trash receptacle, putting them away, or using them appropriately. After demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment in an analog setting, the treatment package was systematically generalized to community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-325
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral Interventions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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