Behavior Modification: Identification of Problem Behavior and Prioritizing the Problem Behavior

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  • Behavior is any activity which is observable and measurable.
  • We learn a behavior when it is followed by a pleasant consequence or with the termination of an unpleasant consequence.

Behavior Modification

  • Behavior modification means changing/modifying behavior.
  • It is used both for increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors.
Behavior Modification

Why Do We Have to Manage Problem Behavior?

  • Injurious to self or others
  • Interferes with own learning as well as others՚ learning
  • Inappropriate for age
  • Socially unacceptable

Behavior Modification Includes the Following Steps

  • Identification of problem behavior
  • Prioritizing the problem behavior
  • Selecting the target behavior
  • Identifying rewards
  • Baseline recording
  • Functional analysis
  • Developing the package programme
  • Implementing the package programme
  • Follow up

Identification of Problem Behavior

  • Observation of the child
  • Interviewing the parents or other family members
  • Using problem behavior checklists

Prioritizing the Problem Behavior

  • Severity, frequency, and duration
  • Dangerous to self or others
  • Most disrupting for the child or others

Selection of Target Behavior

After prioritizing, select a specific problem behavior which needs modification.

Identification of Reward

  • Observing a child՚s behavior
  • Asking the child directly
  • Asking the parents/care takers
  • Using reward sampling technique
  • Using Reward preference checklists

Types of Rewards

Types of Rewards

Recording the Problem Behavior

Event Recording

Record the number of times a specific problem behaviour occurs in a given child. This is called event recording.

Duration Recording

Record the duration (or how long) of a given problem behaviour in a child.

Functional Analysis of Problem Behaviors

A-B-C Model – 3 Components

1. What happens immediately BEFORE the behavior?

This is called as ANTECEDENT factors.

2. What happens DURING the behavior?

This is called as BEHAVIOR.

3. What happens immediately AFTER the behavior?

This is called as CONSEQUENCE factors.

Rewards which maintain the problem behavior are:

  • Attention Seeking
  • Tangible Reward
  • Escape
  • Self-Stimulatory

Behavior Modification Techniques for Managing Problem Behavior

  • Restructuring the Environment
  • Extinction/Ignoring
  • Time out
  • Physical Restraint
  • Over Correction
  • Token Economy
  • Response Cost

Guidelines for Developing Behavior Management Programme

  • Provide reward immediately after a good or desirable behavior.
  • Remove pleasant consequences following a problem behavior.
  • In case the child has been habitually receiving benefits by indulging in a problem behavior, stop those benefits.
  • Teach desirable behaviors which may serve the same purpose that of problem behavior.
  • For long lasting effects, manage problem behaviors by not only changing or removing the antecedents, but also by changing the consequences.