Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO)

Study: Haring & Kennedy (1990)

Study Type: Single-Subject Design

Participants: Convincing Evidence

Risk Status: Participant 1 (Sandra) engaged in frequent problem behaviors across settings including body rocking, loud vocalizations, and spitting. Participant 2 (Raff) engaged in body rocking, hand flapping, and head bobbing across settings.

Demographics:

 

Age/ Grade

Gender

Race-ethnicity

Socioeconomic status

Disability Status

ELL status

Other Relevant Descriptive Characteristics

Case 1: Sandra

15 years old

Female

Not reported

Not reported

Autism and developmental delay

Not reported

Sandra was reported to be functioning at the 1.9-year-old level according to the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. She was nonverbal but had a small repertoire of signs used to communicate needs and request items and activities (Haring & Kennedy, 1990).

Case 2: Raff

19 years old

Male

Not reported

Not reported

Down syndrome

Not reported

Raff was estimated to be functioning at the 2.6-year-old level according to the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. He used one-to two-word utterances to communicate needs, but most vocalizations were delayed echolalic utterances (Haring & Kennedy, 1990).

Training of Instructors: The interventionist was a university-based experimenter who was the second author of the paper. No information about background or training was reported above and beyond university affiliation.

Design: Convincing Evidence

Does the study include three data points or sufficient number to document a stable performance within that phase? Yes

Is there opportunity for at least three demonstrations of experimental control? Yes

If the study is an alternating treatment design, are there five repetitions of the alternating sequence? Not applicable

If the study is a multiple baseline, is it concurrent? Not applicable

Implemented with Fidelity: Unconvincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Fidelity of treatment data were not reported.

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: Fidelity of treatment data were not reported. 

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Percentage of intervals with problem behavior

Interobserver agreement data were assessed for approximately 33% of sessions across both contexts and conditions. Point-by-point occurrence and nonoccurrence agreement was calculated by dividing the number of agreements by the sum of agreements plus disagreements and multiplying by 100. Mean occurrence agreement was 94% (range, 82% to 100%) and mean nonoccurrence agreement was 86% (range, 74% to 100%).

Problem behavior included different topographies for each participant. For Sandra, problem behavior included body rocking, loud vocalizations, and spitting. For Raff, problem behavior included body rocking, hand flapping, and head bobbing. These behaviors are disruptive to instruction and are thus relevant to the program’s focus.

N/A

Rate (per min) correct responses

Interobserver agreement data were assessed for approximately 33% of sessions across conditions in the task setting. Observer's scores were compared on a trial-by-trial basis. Mean agreement was 95% (range, 87.5% to 100%).

Although DRO is primarily aimed at decreasing problem behavior, ideally appropriate behavior will increase in its place. Correct responding is relevant to the program’s focus of improving classroom performance.

N/A

 

Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

N/A

 

 

 

 

Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: N/A

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): Convincing Evidence

Description of the method of analyses used to determine whether the intervention condition improved relative to baseline phase (e.g. visual analysis, computation of change score, mean difference): Visual inspection.

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns:

Participant 1 (Sandra)

Problem behavior in the task setting: In the initial baseline condition, problem behavior occurred for moderately high proportions of intervals across sessions and was relatively stable. In the first DRO condition, problem behavior decreased immediately, although in the third session, problem behavior occurred at higher than baseline rates. In the final two sessions in this phase, problem behavior returned to low levels and a decreasing/therapeutic trend was evident. When DRO was withdrawn and timeout was introduced, problem behavior returned to baseline levels. When DRO was reintroduced, problem behavior dropped immediately to a low level and was relatively stable. In the next time out phase, problem behavior increased to levels higher than baseline. In the final DRO phase, problem behavior decreased immediately to near zero rates and remained near zero for the remaining sessions. DRO was consistently effective at reducing problem behavior compared to time outs in the task setting for Sandra (five demonstrations).

Problem behavior in the leisure setting: In the initial baseline condition, problem behavior was variable but occurred for moderately high proportions of intervals. In the first time out condition, problem behavior decreased over several sessions. When the DRO was introduced, problem behavior returned to baseline levels. Changes were immediate over subsequent demonstrations. Problem behavior consistently occurred at baseline rates during the DRO condition and at low levels during the timeout condition, indicating DRO was ineffective at reducing problem behavior relative to time out in the leisure setting for Sandra (five demonstrations that timeout was superior to DRO in the leisure setting).

Correct responding in the task setting: Sandra produced around 1 correct response per minute in the initial baseline condition. During DRO, correct responding increased to roughly double the rates of baseline responding, with a slightly increasing trend. When time out was introduced, responding decreased immediately and with a further decreasing trend toward near-zero rates. When DRO was reintroduced, rates immediately increased to previous levels. Subsequent withdrawals and introductions produced the same effect. Demonstrations of effect were consistent across opportunities, thus DRO was effective compared to time out at increasing correct responding in the instructional setting (five demonstrations).

Participant 2 (Raff)

Problem behavior in the task setting: Problem behavior occurred at high and stable rates during initial baseline and DRO conditions. Upon introduction of the timeout contingency, level of problem behavior decreased and was variable but without trend. When DRO was reintroduced, problem behavior increased moderately and then showed an increasing trend until timeout was reintroduced. Problem behavior dropped to low and slightly variable levels, indicating that DRO was ineffective compared to time out for reducing problem behavior in the task setting for Raff (three demonstrations that timeout was superior to DRO in the task setting).

Problem behavior in the leisure setting: Problem behavior occurred at moderately high and stable levels during the initial baseline and timeout conditions. When DRO was introduced, problem behavior decreased steadily to near-zero rates. When timeout was reintroduced and DRO withdrawn, problem behavior occurred at baseline levels and showed an increasing trend. In subsequent demonstrations, problem behavior dropped immediately to low levels with decreasing trends in DRO conditions, and baseline levels with an increasing trend in the remaining time out condition. DRO was effective at reducing problem behavior in the leisure setting for Raff (five demonstrations).

Correct responding in the task setting: In the initial baseline condition, responding averaged around 1 correct response per minute, and continued at this rate through the initial timeout condition. When DRO was introduced, an immediate change in level was apparent, along with an increasing trend. When DRO was withdrawn and time out reintroduced, rates of correct responding dropped to low levels and showed a decreasing trend. This pattern between DRO and timeout continued consistently across remaining opportunities for demonstrations. DRO consistently produced high rates of correct responses compared to time out for Raff, despite its failure to decrease problem behavior in the task condition (6 demonstrations).

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing

Delivery: Individual, Small groups (n<6)

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, No training required

Intervention Reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse: No

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 6 studies

Call, N. A., Pabico, R. S., Findley, A. J., & Valentino, A. L. (2011). Differential Reinforcement with and without Blocking as Treatment for Elopement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 903-907.

Conyers, C., Miltenberger, R. G., Maki, A., Barenz, R., Jurgens, M., Sailer, A., & Kopp, B. (2004). A Comparison of Response Cost and Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior to Reduce Disruptive Behavior in a Preschool Classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 411-415.

Foxx, R. M., McMorrow, M. J., Fenlon, S., & Bittle, R. G. (1986). The Reductive Effects of Reinforcement Procedures on the Genital Stimulation and Stereotypy of a Mentally Retarded Adolescent Male. Analysis & Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, 6, 239-248.

Grauvogel-MacAaleese, A., & Wallace, M. D. (2010). Use of Peer-Mediated Intervention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 547-551.

Himle, M. B., Woods, D. W., & Bunaciu, L. (2008). Evaluating the Role of Contingency in Differentially Reinforced Tic Suppression. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41, 285-289.

Luiselli, J. K., Helfen, C. S., Colozzi, G., Donellon, S., & Pemberton, B. (1978). Controlling Self-Inflicted Biting of a Retarded Child by the Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior. Psychological Reports, 42, 435-438.