Rules of engagement: toward an analysis of staff responses to challenging behavior

Hastings, R.P. and Remington, B. (1994) Rules of engagement: toward an analysis of staff responses to challenging behavior. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 15, (4), 279-298. (doi:10.1016/0891-4222(94)90008-6).


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Through observational analysis, the actions of care staff have frequently been identified as sources of socially mediated reinforcement capable of developing and maintaining challenging behavior. Accordingly, behavioral interventions have often sought to train care staff as behavioral change agents. As yet, however, there have been few attempts to conduct full functional analyses of the behavior of care staff working with people with mental retardation and challenging behaviors. We argue that although direct contingency-shaping of staff behavior has rightly been emphasized, it is possible that many aspects of staff conduct are under the indirect control of verbal formulations. If staff behavior is rule-governed (Skinner, 1969), a range of different sources of control must be considered in a complete analysis. Using this framework, we interpret existing literature on staff behavior and identify research strategies that will extend our understanding of why staff act as they do.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/0891-4222(94)90008-6
ISSNs: 0891-4222 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Human Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 58160
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 02:47

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