Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David O. Lyon

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul T. Mountjoy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Bruxism, the nonfunctional grinding, clenching or clicking of the teeth, has been viewed as a psychophysiological disorder. The literature on the incidence and effects of bruxism indicates that bruxism may affect a significant portion of both normal and retarded population. In the current study a multiple baseline, combining with an ABA design within sessions was conducted. During the generalization step, an ABAB design was used. The present study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an operant weakening (ice) and operant strengthening (tokens and praises) procedures to reduce the rate and duration of an audible teeth grinding sound in a 42 year old severely retarded male. The results of the study indicate that the use of aversive stimuli, icing or positive stimuli, tokens and praises are equally effective in the treatment of diurnal bruxism. However, the positive control tended to demonstrate greater generalization across time periods and response topographies.

Included in

Psychology Commons