Assessment and treatment of aggressive behavior maintained by access to physical attention.

Aggression maintained by access to physical attention was examined using two preparations of a functional analysis, after which additional assessment was carried out to identify stimuli that competed with problem behavior. The participant, Ted, was a 13-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, who attended a private specialized education facility because of underdeveloped communication skills and problem behavior. At the time of the study, his aggression had become more prevalent, unpredictable, and elevated in intensity. Following assessment, a noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) intervention using competing stimuli was implemented to reduce rates of Ted’s increasingly unmanageable aggression. Results indicated that implementation of the NCR intervention was followed by decreased rates, more predictable patterns, and diminished intensity of aggressive behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)