Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Resurgence is the re-emergence of a previously extinguished response following the establishment and elimination of reinforcement for an alternative response. Resurgence has been evaluated with non-human animals (Epstien, 1983; Lieving & Lattal, 2003) as well as in translational and applied studies with humans (Bruzek & Thompson, 2006; Hoffman & Falcomata, 2014; Lieving et al., 2004). Mitigating resurgence can be an important clinical concern to address when the initially extinguished response (i.e., the one that resurges) is problem behavior. The current study sought to extend previous research from Carrasquillo (2014) related to the effect teaching multiple alternative responses might have on levels of resurgence. Three participants with developmental disabilities participated in the study. One participant’s behavior did not come under control of the contingencies, thus resurgence could not be evaluated. For the remaining two participants, some level of resurgence was noted following extinction of single alternative and multiple alternative responses. When resurgence occurred, it was less pronounced in the context associated with the multiple alternative responses. These results supported previous, similar findings. The results are discussed with respect to the implications for future research and clinical practice.
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