Title page for ETD etd-03302004-132906

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kuhn, Stephanie Ann Contrucci
Author's Email Address scontru@lsu.edu
URN etd-03302004-132906
Title Analysis of Factors That Affect Responding in a Two-Response Chain in Children with Developmental Disabilities
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dorothea C. Lerman Committee Chair
George Noell Committee Member
Holly Filcheck Committee Member
Joe Witt Committee Member
Joan Benedict Dean's Representative
  • response chain
  • extinction
  • chain
  • chaining
  • behavior chain
  • satiation
Date of Defense 2004-03-24
Availability unrestricted
Behaviors that are appropriate, inappropriate, or a combination of both can be linked together in a behavior chain. When the contingencies for one response change (e.g., reinforcement is withheld for the last response in the chain; the last response is reinforced even if it occurs without the other responses in the chain) or the environmental conditions change (e.g., access to the reinforcer is available independent of responding), the other responses in the chain may be affected. Little is known about these types of

effects on behavior chains. Several operant processes may disrupt behavior chains. The

purpose of this study was to examine the effect of three relevant procedures (i.e., extinction, noncontingent access to reinforcement, and unchaining) on behaviors that occur as part of a behavior chain. Results indicated that all three procedures resulted in a change in responding from baseline. Overall, extinction and satiation resulted in a decrease in both responses in the chain, although this effect was less clear with satiation.

In addition, during the unchaining procedure, decreases were observed in the first response in the chain but not in the second response.

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