Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2024

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science


Health Professions

Committee Member(s)

Stephanie Trauschke, PsyD, BCBA-D

Kara Wunderlich, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Stephanie Kincaid, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Supervising Faculty Member

Stephanie Trauschke, PsyD, BCBA-D


Disruptive behavior with medical demands presents a significant challenge to accessing appropriate medical care, jeopardizing overall health and well-being, especially for autistic children and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many times, doctors revert to invasive measures to perform medical exams such as chemical and physical restraints (Wong & Chien, 2005). The purpose of this study was to compare positive and negative reinforcement to increase medical compliance and reduce disruptive behavior. A multielement functional analysis was run prior to treatment sessions with the following conditions: control, tangible, escape and attention. A reversal embedded with an multielement design was used to evaluate treatment efficacy, followed by a novel person probe using the treatment that was most effective. Results demonstrate that positive reinforcement in the form of a preferred edible was more effective in reducing disruptive behavior and increasing compliance with medical demands for both participants. Clinical implications and future research were discussed to strengthen this study.

Recommended Citation

Davidson, Michelle, "The Efficacy of Contingent Positive and Negative Reinforcement in the Treatment of Compliance and Reduction of Disruptive Behavior with Medical Demands" (2024). Thesis Projects. 42.

Rights Holder

Michelle Rebecca Davidson