Title page for ETD etd-06232007-110351

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Volkert, Valerie Marie
Author's Email Address vvolke1@lsu.edu
URN etd-06232007-110351
Title An Applied Evaluation of Resurgence: Functional Communication Training (FCT) and Treatment Relapse
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
George Noell Committee Chair
Dorothea Lerman Committee Co-Chair
Amy Copeland Committee Member
Nate Call Committee Member
Melda Kunduk Dean's Representative
  • problem behavior
  • resurgence
  • FCT
  • autism
Date of Defense 2007-03-15
Availability unrestricted
Extinction is a very important component of functional communication training (FCT). Thus, the potential undesirable effects of extinction must be considered before this type of treatment is implemented. Resurgence, the recurrence of previously reinforced behavior when another behavior is placed on extinction, is a possible undesirable effect of extinction. Resurgence may account for some instances of treatment relapse in situations where problem behavior recovers following implementation of extinction-based treatments such as FCT. Despite the potential relevance of resurgence to understanding why problem behavior may re-emerge, few applied studies have examined resurgence effects. The current study attempted to determine whether resurgence of problem behavior occurred when a newly taught alternative behavior was placed on extinction or contacted a thin schedule of reinforcement and if the resurgence effect could be repeated within an individual. The present investigation also replicated and extended the results of Experiments 2 and 4 in Lieving and Lattal (2003) by examining resurgence with human participants who engaged in aberrant behavior.
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