Whitaker, Simon (2002) Maintaining reductions in challenging behaviours: a review of the literature. British journal of developmental disabilities, 48 (1). pp. 15-25. ISSN 0969-7950

The literature on the reduction of challenging behaviours in people with learning disabilities is reviewed in order to identify studies in which there was a continued reduction in challenging behaviours after the treatment was withdrawn. It was found that most of the studies that achieved this trained the client in new skills that enabled them to access naturally contingencies of reinforcement. Fading is also used in the majority of studies. It is argued that for maintenance to occur there must be naturally occurring contingencies of reinforcement in place that will support appropriate behaviours rather than challenging behaviours. Although it may be possible to change a client™s motivation so that the contingencies that are available become effective, it is unclear how applicable this is. It is therefore likely that in most cases maintenance of a reduction in challenging behaviours will not occur unless the active treatment remains in place.

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