Clinical Outcomes of Behavioral Treatments for Pica in Children with Developmental Disabilities

Nathan A. Call, Christina A. Simmons, Joanna E.Lomas Mevers, Jessica P. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Pica is a potentially deadly form of self-injurious behavior most frequently exhibited by individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Research indicates that pica can be decreased with behavioral interventions; however, the existing literature reflects treatment effects for small samples (n = 1–4) and the overall success of such treatments is not well-understood. This study quantified the overall effect size by examining treatment data from all patients seen for treatment of pica at an intensive day-treatment clinical setting (n = 11), irrespective of treatment success. Results demonstrate that behavioral interventions are highly effective treatments for pica, as determined by the large effect size for individual participants (i.e., NAP scores ≥ .70) and large overall treatment effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.80).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2114
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 19 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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