Classroom Treatment of Psychotic Children:Specificity of Responses to Operative Contingencies
AbstractBehavior modification procedures were employed to treat four psychotic children in a classroom setting. Four treatment phases (baseline, a teacher-attention multiple baseline, reversal, and token reinforcement multiple baseline were utilized) and extensive recordings of teacher and pupil behavior were taken. All categories of inappropriate student behavior decreased, and appropriate student behavior increased during treatment. But no multiple baseline effects within each treatment and no reversal effects were observed. Teacher behavior showed an improvement over baseline, but no reversal of teacher behavior occurred during the reversal condition. The teacher did not discriminate among inappropriate student behaviors within treatment as demanded by the multiple baseline design. This accounted for the absence of any reversal and within-treatment multiple baseline effects on student behavior. Appropriate student behavior did increase from baseline to the teacher-attention phase and from teacher-attention to the token reinforcement phase. Detailed recordings of teacher-pupil interaction revealed a remarkably specific student response to the operative teacher-delivered contingencies. The results of this study indicate that psychotic children may be maintained and educated in the classroom setting.