Minimizing resurgence of destructive behavior using behavioral momentum theory

Wayne W. Fisher, Brian D. Greer, Ashley M. Fuhrman, Valdeep Saini, Christina A. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The resurgence of destructive behavior can occur during functional communication training (FCT) if the alternative response contacts a challenge (e.g., extinction). Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) suggests that refinements to FCT could mitigate resurgence of destructive behavior during periods of extinction. Following a functional analysis and treatment with FCT, we combined three refinements to FCT (i.e., the use of a lean schedule of reinforcement for destructive behavior during baseline, a lean schedule for the alternative response during FCT, and an increase in the duration of treatment) and compared the magnitude of resurgence relative to a condition in which FCT was implemented in a traditional manner. Results suggested that the combination of these three refinements to FCT was successful in decreasing the resurgence of destructive behavior during an extinction challenge. We discuss the implications of these findings, as well as areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-853
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology


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