Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #203
Further Advances in the Assessment and Treatment of Feeding Problems
Sunday, May 28, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gregory K. Reed (Howard University)
Discussant: Linda J. Cooper-Brown (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Three recent studies on the assessment and treatment of feeding problems will be presented. In the first study, the food selectivity of two children is treated using a repeated taste exposure procedure. The second study describes a procedure for increasing bite acceptance using a demand-fading model associated with bite placement. The third study demonstrates the utility of home-based descriptive analyses for designing effective feeding interventions.
Using Exit Criterion for Repeated Taste Exposures in the Treatment of Food Selectivity.
KEITH E. WILLIAMS (Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center & Pennsylvania State College of Medicine), Bridget G. Gibbons (Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center & Pennsylvania State College of Medicine), Katherine Riegel (Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center & Pennsylvania State College of Medicine), Candace Paul (Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center & Pennsylvania State College of Medicine)
Abstract: Repeated taste exposure has been shown to increase preference and consumption of novel foods in non-clinical samples of children. The use of repeated taste exposures as a treatment of food selectivity in two children is described. The clinical applications of the taste exposure procedure will be discussed.
The Use of Demand Fading by Varying Bite Placements to Reduce Food Refusal in a Young Girl.
DANIELLE N. DOLEZAL (University of Iowa), Linda J. Cooper-Brown (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Brenda J. Engebretson (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the use of demand fading for increasing consumption of foods. In the current study, we evaluated the effectiveness of fading various bite placements within a treatment package on a young girls food refusal behavior. The participant was a 10-month old girl diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, reflux, failure to thrive, and engaged in total food refusal. The primary independent variable examined was bite placement (different placements of the spoon with tastes of pureed food) within a demand fading treatment package that included escape extinction and noncontingent access to toys. Demand fading involved 3 successive bite placements (a) small tastes of puree swiped on a child’s upper and lower lips, (b) small tastes of puree presented just past the child’s lips, (c) small tastes of puree presented to the child’s tongue. A bite accepted with mouth closure includes all of the above responses (a-c) with the additional requirement of the child closing her or his mouth around the spoon resulting in the food being deposited in the child’s mouth. These successive bite placements were considered to reflect a hierarchy of effort required during each presentation. The child demonstrated differential food refusal behaviors when fading bite placement was implemented.
The Use of Descriptive Analysis to Identify and Manipulate Schedules of Reinforcement in the Treatment of Food Refusal.
CHRISTOPHER J. PERRIN (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Sean D. Casey (Pennsylvania State University), Stefanie Horvath (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Cheryl Merical (N/a)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the utility of manipulating schedules of reinforcement for appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behaviors in order to decrease food refusal. The purpose of this study was (a) to use descriptive assessment methods to identify existing positive and negative reinforcement schedules for appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behaviors, and then, (B), to systematically manipulate those schedules to treat food refusal. Two children diagnosed with failure to thrive participated in the study. Data were collected during meals conducted by the child’s caregivers to identify current schedules of positive and negative reinforcement. The results indicated high rates of negative reinforcement for inappropriate behavior and low rates of positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior. Next, a reversal design was used to assess the efficacy of caregiver’s implementation of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) and DRA plus escape extinction on rates of appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behaviors. Results indicated that for both participants, bite acceptance increased and refusal behaviors decreased under DRA and escape extinction contingencies. Reliability averaged above 80% across sessions for both participants.



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