Choice making to promote adaptive behavior for students with emotional and behavioral challenges


Two analyses investigated the effects of choice making on the responding of elementary school students with emotional and behavioral challenges. In the first analysis, 2 participants were given choices from menus of academic tasks, all of which were pertinent to their educational objectives in English and spelling, respectively. Reversal designs showed that the choice-making conditions increased task engagement and reduced disruptive behavior for both students. An additional analysis was performed with a 3rd student in an effort to further distinguish the effects of choice making from preference. In this study, one of the no-choice phases was yoked to a previous choice-making condition. This analysis demonstrated that the choice-making condition was superior to baseline and yoked control phases as determined by levels of task engagement and disruptive behavior. The findings of the two analyses contribute information relevant to students with emotional and behavioral disorders, and to a growing literature on the desirable effects of choice making for students with disabilities and challenging behaviors.


Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis


  • Shelley Clarke
  • M. dePerczel
  • Glen Dunlap
  • A. Gomez
  • R. White
  • D. Wilson
  • S. Wright