University of Central Florida Behavior Intervention Case Study

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Session 4 Case Study Behavior Intervention Assignment

Select one of the following stories for your case study:

Kelly frequently struggles with an explosive temper. She has found that her anger has been negatively affecting her relationships at home, at work, and with friends. When Kelly is angry, she generally raises her voice, may use unkind language, and then slams down an object and/or exits the room. She finds that her anger is generally brought about by situations that cause her to wait or things that she finds inconvenient. For instance, Kelly frequently loses her temper with her husband if he is late or forgets something from the grocery store. She also deals with rage while driving and has difficulty waiting on the phone for customer service representatives. Kelly lived in a challenging home environment in her childhood and is currently estranged from both her mother and her father. She finds that, when she loses her temper, it generally causes people (specifically her husband) to pursue her and attempt to work out the problem. If she does not lose her temper, she states that she feels ignored.

Agnes, an older woman with cognitive deficits who lives in a memory care facility, exhibits loud vocalizations whenever she is presented with a task that she does not desire to do (e.g., shower, go to bed, take medication). Her family and friends have struggled to support her in reducing the frequency of this behavior, and staff are having difficulty addressing the situation as well. It is frustrating for staff when ot her residents are awakened as a result of the vocalizations. Staff and family observe that Agnes does not have these vocalization behaviors when she is doing a preferred activity (such as eating or watching TV) and that she often is successfully able to avoid the activity when she has the behaviors (for instance, she may be permitted to skip a shower if the behaviors persist for long enough).

After becoming familiar with the information provided, select one of the stories and address the following prompts:

  1. Provide two to three paragraphs of background describing the subject, problem behavior, and any other relevant data (observed antecedents, hypothesized functions, background, setting, etc.).
  2. Choose a specific intervention highlighted in this session’s assigned reading—for instance, differential reinforcement, antecedent control, or time-out (Miltenberger, 2016, Chapters 15, 16, and 17) to reduce the frequency of this problem behavior. When and how will you implement your intervention? How do you plan to measure progress? Include one to two paragraphs here to describe your intervention, your reasons for choosing it, and your plan for implementation.

Set a target for the reduction of the problem behavior (e.g., “Harry will use physical aggression no more than one time per week and will not demonstrate any aggression to others. He will instead use a safe object such as a pillow or punching bag for aggression when emotionally escalated”).

Address potential for misapplication in your selected intervention (review Misapplication sections at the end of each assigned chapter for this session in Miltenberger (2016) if you need clarification). How will you avoid these potential misapplications?

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