The Impact of Emerging Liquid Preference in the Treatment of Liquid Refusal

Alison M. Kozlowski, Tessa Taylor, Denise Pichardo, Peter A. Girolami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Treatment of liquid refusal in pediatric feeding disorders is essential for decreasing tube dependence, alleviating some medical conditions (e.g., constipation), and increasing caloric and nutritional intake (e.g., formulas). Although investigators have conducted edible preference assessments for solids, there are no studies to our knowledge in which investigators have evaluated liquid preference prior to and during treatment of liquid refusal. In the current study, we evaluated liquid preferences repeatedly over time during behavioral treatment for liquid refusal. Although none of the children demonstrated a preference for liquids during a paired-choice preference assessment, 2 of the 3 children showed a preference when we implemented an avoidance component. However, for all 3 children, latency to acceptance and inappropriate mealtime behavior decreased for liquids during behavioral treatment with undifferentiated responding between liquid types. Future research may evaluate the utility and correlation of liquid preference assessments preceding treatment for liquid refusal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-460
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Avoidance assessment
  • Drink refusal
  • Edible preference assessment
  • Inappropriate mealtime behavior
  • Liquid refusal
  • Pediatric feeding disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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