Increasing item engagement and decreasing automatically reinforced problem behavior within a modified competing stimulus assessment

Erin S. Leif, Eileen M. Roscoe, William H. Ahearn, Jacqueline P. Rogalski, Heather Morrison

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A competing stimulus assessment (CSA) is commonly used to identify leisure items for use in treatments designed to decrease automatically reinforced problem behavior. However, this type of assessment may not yield useful information if participants do not readily engage with leisure items. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a modified CSA that included additional treatment components (i.e., prompting, prompting plus differential reinforcement of alternative behavior). The modified CSA identified the treatment components and leisure items that were most effective for increasing leisure-item engagement and decreasing problem behavior for each participant. Modified CSA outcomes maintained during an extended treatment analysis in a natural setting and when intervention components were faded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1659
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • automatic reinforcement
  • competing stimulus assessment
  • differential reinforcement
  • leisure-item training
  • prompting

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