Hastings, Richard P., Remington, Bob and Hall, Martin
Adults' responses to self-injurious behavior: an experimental analysis utilizing a computer-simulation paradigm.
Behavior Modification, 19, (4), . (doi:10.1177/01454455950194002).
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The behavior of staff who care for people with mental retardation has been identified as a significant factor in the development and maintenance of challenging behaviors. In a recent analysis, Hastings and Remington (1994a) suggested that both environmental contingencies and rules from other people may affect staff actions. The present study tested this analysis by asking participants to respond to a computer simulation of a work situation involving the care of two individuals who engaged in self-injurious behavior. Fifty participants "interacted" with an attention-seeker and a social-avoider on a simulated teaching task. Results showed that rules were the main factor governing performance. The aversive nature of the contingencies between the self-injury and participants' "attending" behavior also appeared to be influential. The implications of these results for work with care staff, the analysis of challenging behaviors, and experimental research on rule-governed behavior are discussed.
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