Behavior Therapy SPED 835- Dr. Kasik- Spring 2001 Presented by Patrick Lovelace
Behavior Therapy The systematic application of the principles of learning to the direct modification of behaviors.
Key Figures John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) considered the “founder of American behaviorism” stated that “If psychology is to be a natural science, it must limit itself to observable, measurable events.” Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, discovered that dogs would salivate at the sound of a bell due to the fact that the sounding of the bell was associated with feeding time.
B. F. Skinner Introduced the concept of Reinforcement. “Organisms learn to behave in certain ways because they have been reinforced (rewarded) to do so” and so was born the idea of Operant Conditioning.
What is Behavior Therapy ? The systematic application of the principles of learning to the direct modification of behavior. The terms Behavior Therapy and Behavior Modification are often used interchangeably. However, in a practical sense they are different. Question: Are teachers therapist?
What is the difference? Behavior Modification can be practiced by teachers, parents, or anyone else properly trained in the basic principles and techniques. Behavior Therapy should only be offered by a licensed psychologist with a background in behaviorism.
How is behavior modification used ? Behavior modification techniques are utilized in the treatment of a wide variety of behavioral conditions. * Drug and alcohol addictions. * Social maladjustment disorders. * Eating disorders. * Phobia * ADHD and Conduct disorder
Categories of Behavior Modification Techniques Behavior modification techniques can be generally grouped into 4 categories. * Fear Reduction * Aversion Conditioning * Operant Conditioning * Self monitoring / Self control Operant Conditioning and Self Monitoring are the techniques most commonly used in the classroom.
Token Economy Students are allowed to earn tokens or points in exchange for positive behavior. Students are then allowed to use these tokens or points to “buy” treats or privileges within the classroom.
Successive Approximation The student learns to achieve goals“one step at a time”. The teacher rewards (reinforces) the students success at the completion of each task until the overall goal has been achieved. In the case of Behavior Shaping, the student is encouraged to maintain positive behavior in gradually increasing increments of time.
Social Skills Training The student learns and practices appropriate social behavior to replace negative behaviors in social situations. When the student uses the “new” skills, the student is given feedback (reinforcement or corrective action) to let the student know how he or she has done. The student also verbalizes how he or she feels after demonstrating appropriate skills.
Functional Analysis The student is encouraged to keep a journal of his or her behavior. The entries are discussed with the teacher or therapist in order to identify patterns or triggers that will help the student better understand and alter troublesome behaviors.
Programmed Learning A complex task is broken down into smaller tasks. Each task should be created to eliminate student error. The goal is to teach the student the correct behavior (action) chain to successfully complete the task. This method requires that the teacher do a complete task analysis on the targeted task to insure that each prerequisite task is covered.
Planned Ignoring This method requires that the teacher purposely ignores negative behaviors, and promptly rewards positive behavior.
Time Out Time Out requires that the student be placed in a drab, restrictive environment for a specified time period. The student is not to be allowed any attention from peers or teachers. (unless positive peer culture is used in conjunction) Time out is less effective with older students
Positive Peer Culture Students are taught to regulate and reinforce the behavior of their peers. Students give each other honest feedback about how they feel regarding the behavior of their peers. This method also allows for the peer group to create disciplinary measures for inappropriate behaviors.
Tough Love Tough Love is defined as the use of strict disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern. Tough Love is not mean spirited or demeaning. It is meant to be administered with compassion and consideration.
Tough Love is: Giving children clear, concise rules with reasonable limits . Allowing children to experience the natural consequences of their choices. Not rescuing children from the repercussions of their own poor decisions. Sticking to the rules and expectations set forth
Modeling Modeling is simply giving the students a positive role model to demonstrate the kinds of behavior expected from the student. Surround the student with positive influences. “Be the kind of person we want the child to become.”
Assessment Tools Behavior Rating Profile (Brown & Hammill, 1990) Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 2000) AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scale: School Edition(Lambert, Windmiller, Tharinger, & Cole, 1993) Devereux Adolescent Behavior Rating Scale (Spivack, Spotts, & Haimes, 1967)
Final Thoughts It is important to remember that, as teachers, we are not therapist. We can only hope to create positive learning environments for our students by maintaining the rules of behavior we have set forth in our classrooms. If behavior modification is our method of choice, we must be sure to have solid understanding of the basic principles and techniques. Like any other method, it must be tailored to the individual needs of the students. Remember, MODELING is one of the best forms of Behavior modification.
Bibliography Gilbert, Sara. What Happens In Therapy ?, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, New York., 1992. Lingren, Herbert G., PH.D “Tough” Love With Teens. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2001 Rathus, Spencer A., Psychology in the New Millennium. 6th Edition, Harcourt Brace, 1996. Schloss, Patrick J., Smith, Maureen A., Schloss, Cynthia N., Instructional Methods for Secondary Students with Learning and Behavior Problems. 3rd Edition, 2000 Weisberg, Lynne W., MD, PH.D, Greenberg, Rosalie MD., When Acting Out Isn’t Acting-Out, Understanding Child and Adolescent Temper, Anger, and Behavior Disorders, 1988