Persistence of treatment effects in token economies informed by dimensions of reinforcement
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI--COLUMBIA AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Problem behavior, including noncompliance with academic tasks, are a common occurrence in classroom settings, which is often addressed with the use of token economy systems. The purpose of this three phase study was to evaluate (a) the effects of the most- and least-preferred dimensions of reinforcement on problem behavior and task completion when embedded into token economy arrangements, (b) if the preferred token economy arrangement observed in isolation was effective in the classroom when implemented by the classroom teacher, and (c) the persistence of treatment effects when treatment was removed intermittently for three typically developing elementary students. Results demonstrated that participants displayed individual preferences for the dimensions of reinforcement, and that when those preferences were used to develop a most preferred token economy, reductions in problem behavior and improvements in task completion occurred for all participants. Although robust persistence effects when the token economy treatment was removed were not obtained, small effects were observed for two participants, suggesting that token economy arrangements derived from an individual's preferences for dimensions of reinforcement may enhance behavioral persistence.
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