Relationship Among Challenging, Repetitive, and Communicative Behaviors in Children With Severe Intellectual Disabilities

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We used experimental and descriptive functional analyses and lag sequential analyses to examine the functional and temporal relationship among the self-injurious (SIB), potentially Injurious, repetitive, challenging, and pragmatic communicative behaviors of 6 children with intellectual disabilities. Functional analyses revealed social function for SIB, potentially injurious, and repetitive behaviors across 5, 4, and 5 participants, respectively. Sixteen functionally equivalent response classes were identified across participants using both experimental and naturalistic observation data. Repetitive, potentially Injurious, and SIB behaviors were significantly temporally associated, and pragmatic communicative behaviors were strongly temporally associated with challenging behaviors. The importance of the temporal and functional relationship between imperative communicative acts and challenging behavior is discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009