Rett syndrome (RS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disability that results in cognitive
impairment, loss of functional and communication skills, and an emergence of
idiosyncratic behaviors. There is little behavioral research to date using functional
analysis to examine the operant properties of behaviors exhibited by individuals with
RS. The purpose of this study was to test whether functional analysis technology could
be applied to a broader range of idiosyncratic behaviors observed in a clinical sample of
six girls and women living with RS. Brief functional analyses were conducted to
evaluate target behaviors including breath holding, vocalizations, vocal upsets, hand
mouthing, and self-injury. Results indicate that four out of the six analyses conducted
with the participants produced differentiated results. Further research is needed to
evaluate how identifying idiosyncratic behaviors that are sensitive to reinforcement
contingencies can inform treatment for this population in areas of pronounced deficits
such as communication.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. July 2012. Major: Educational psychology. Advisors: Frank J. Symons, LeAnne Johnson. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 31 pages, appendix p. 28-31.
Using functional analysis to test whether idiosyncratic and challenging behavior in Rett syndrome is sensitive to social reinforcement contingencies..
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