Structural and environmental characteristics of stereotyped behaviors

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Structural and environmental characteristics of multiple topographies of stereotypic behaviors shown by 8 individuals with developmental disabilities are described. Analysis of structural characteristics show that the parameters of stereotyped behavior (percentage of time, bout length, and bout length variability) were highly correlated. Analysis of the influence of environmental variables indicated that topographies of stereotyped behaviors were more likely to occur under conditions of low stimulation and less likely during conditions involving social contact. Individuals whose stereotyped behaviors were less influenced by environmental factors were more likely to engage in them for greater periods of time. Results suggest that an examination of individual topographies of stereotyped behaviors and their structural and environmental characteristics may provide useful insights for understanding the origins of these behaviors.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal on Mental Retardation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003