Schedule Thinning Following Functional Communication Training: A Comparison of Chained Schedules and Multiple Schedules
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-supported, effective, function-based intervention used to reduce rates of problem behavior by teaching communicative responses that access functionally equivalent reinforcers. During the initial phase of FCT, the communicative response is typically placed on a dense schedule of reinforcement that is not likely to be maintained in the natural environment. Experiment 1 evaluated the effects of two schedule-thinning procedures (chained schedules and multiple schedules) on problem behavior maintained by escape from demands for four participants following the implementation of FCT. During Experiment 1, the multiple schedule thinning procedure produced lower rates of problem behavior and higher rates of compliance for one of four participants. The chained and multiple schedule procedures were effective in reducing rates of problem behavior for three participants. Compliance increased under both schedules for all participants, but the most effective schedule was idiosyncratic across participants. In Experiment 2 participants’ preference for the chained or the multiple schedule procedure was evaluated with three participants. Results of the assessment identified the chained schedule as a preferred procedure for first participant and the multiple schedule procedure for the second participant. No preference was determined for the third participant.