Recent Developments in Behavioral Intervention Informed by Basic Research

Iser G. DeLeon, Meagan K. Gregory, Claire C. St. Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The standard of care for severe behavioral problems of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities involves conducting assessments to determine the variables that give rise to and support problem behavior and hypothesis-driven intervention that addresses these causes. Conventional interventions involve disrupting the contingency between problem behavior and the consequences that support it, while establishing or strengthening alternative behavioral repertoires to displace problem behavior. Numerous studies have shown that these interventions can be effective, but the context in which researchers have demonstrated this effectiveness has not always mirrored what is practical or practicable in "the real world". In this chapter, we describe basic, translational, and applied studies that embrace the conventional strategy, while considering the influence of basic behavioral processes to shed light on how these interventions may go awry and, in some cases, what practitioners can do to enhance their effectiveness. The implications of recent basic research on several topics are considered, but we focus on behavioral momentum theory and the burgeoning field of behavioral economics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-244
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral economics
  • Behavioral momentum theory
  • Elasticity of demand substitutability
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Matching law
  • Resistance to change
  • Resurgence reinstatement incentive shifts
  • Severe behavioral problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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