An alternating treatments comparison of two intensive interventions for food refusal

William H. Ahearn, Marylouise E. Kerwin, Peggy S. Eicher, Jocelyn Shantz, Wendy Swearingin

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134 Scopus citations


We compared two treatment packages involving negative reinforcement contingencies for 3 children with chronic food refusal. One involved physically guiding the child to accept food contingent on noncompliance, whereas the other involved nonremoval of the spoon until the child accepted the presented food. Subsequent to baseline, an alternating treatments comparison was implemented in a multiple baseline design across subjects. After each child had been exposed to at least nine sessions of each treatment condition and percentage of bites accepted had increased to at least 80%, the child's caregivers selected the preferred treatment package. The results indicated that both treatments were effective in establishing food acceptance. However, physical guidance was associated with fewer corollary behaviors, shorter meal durations, and parental preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology


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