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Strategies for Maintaining Change Over Time

  • Beth Sulzer-Azaroff (a1)


Relapse following a behaviour modification program is not unusual, especially when contingencies indigenous to the system tend to favor baseline performance. To avoid such a risk, a preliminary analysis of current and past contingencies operating within the system needs to be conducted. Sometimes, alterations need to be made to permit specific strategies of change to match system demands. Important to examine also are the target response's schedule history, contemporary rates, degree of fluency, intrinsically reinforcing and/or punishing properties and the stimuli, such as rules, routine events and others that set the stage for its occurrence. Rule governance and time management may be especially helpful in the latter regard. Ultimately, lasting change depends upon both the immediate and ultimate long range impact of an intervention upon a system. Benefits must outweigh costs right away and later on, and be clearly reflected on the bottom line.


Corresponding author

Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Tobin Hall, Amherst MA 01003, USA


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