Token-economy-based contingency management increases daily steps in adults with developmental disabilities

Jessica A. Nastasi, Rebecca D. Sheppard, Bethany R. Raiff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Adults with developmental disabilities are less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than typically developing counterparts. Contingency management (CM) interventions increase physical activity in sedentary adults. The current study systematically replicated previous research among sedentary adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities living in a residential group home, using a token economy in the context of a CM intervention. Using a changing criterion design, participants (N = 4) were given tokens contingent on meeting increasing step goals over 8 weeks, tracked via a Fitbit Flex™. CM increased the number of steps substantially for three of four participants. These findings extend previous research supporting the use of token-based CM interventions for increasing daily steps among individuals with developmental disabilities. Because the current study was conducted in a residential group home setting, it may offer a long-term sustainable approach to improving the health of some individuals living with developmental disabilities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)315-324
    Number of pages10
    JournalBehavioral Interventions
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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