Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Mountjoy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A nested multi-element within a multiple baseline design was used to evaluate potential controlling variables for the self-injurious behavior (SIB) of two severely retarded seventeen-year-old boys. Both subjects had extended histories of SIB which were somewhat unresponsive to prior behavioral programming. For each subject, four variables, attention, escape from a task, sensory stimulation, and mild punishment were evaluated. Results indicated that Subject 1's SIB was controlled by the response produced stimulation. A "package" intervention which included sensory attenuation and punishment procedures was evaluated with Subject 1 and shown to significantly suppress head hitting. A controlling variable was not identified for Subject 2's head hitting, however, contingent forced arm movements and contingent forced leg movements each caused a suppression of his SIB.

Included in

Psychology Commons