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Behavior Modification

Behavior modification strategies, which operate on principles of learning and operant conditioning, are used to create measurable changes in behavior. Desired outcomes of behavior modification approaches might include increasing prosocial behaviors or decreasing maladaptive behaviors. Individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) have an increased risk of significant behavioral challenges due to social communication impairments, cognitive deficits, and behavioral symptoms that may accompany these conditions. Thus, behavior modification and related intervention practices are important for teaching new skills and decreasing behaviors that are detrimental to an individual’s daily functioning, learning, safety, and/or social development. This entry reviews the history and fundamentals of behavior modification and discusses the use of behavior modification strategies to treat and support individuals with ID/DD.

History andFundamentals of Behavior Modification

Behavior is typically ...

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