The effects of fluorescent and incandescent illumination upon repetitive behaviors in autistic children

Abstract

Repetitive behaviors of six autistic children were observed under two conditions of background illumination. During two sessions, the room was illuminated by fluorescent light and during two other sessions, by equal intensity incandescent light. Subjects spent significantly more time engaged in repetitive behavior under fluorescent light. Previous research suggested that these findings were related to the flickering nature of fluorescent illumination. Practical and theoretical implications were discussed. Further experimentation was suggested to assess relationships between flickering illumination and arousal.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Azrin, N. H., Kaplan, S. J., & Foxx, R. M. Autism reversal: Eliminating self-stimulation of retarded individuals.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 1973,78, 241–248.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Baumeister, A. A., & Forehand, R. Stereotyped acts. In N. R. Ellis (Ed.),International review of research in mental retardation (Vol. 6). New York: Academic Press, 1974.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Berkson, G., & Mason, W. Stereotyped behaviors of chimpanzees: Relation to general arousal and alternative activities.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1964,19, 635–652.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Forehand, R., & Baumeister, A. A. Body rocking and activity level as a function of prior movement restraint.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 1970,74, 608–610.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Foxx, R. M., & Azrin, N. H. The elimination of self-stimulatory behavior of autistic and retarded children by overcorrection.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1973,6, 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Frankel, F., Chikami, B., Freeman, B. J., Ritvo, E., & Carr, E.The reinforcing effects of photic stimulation upon the behavior of autistic and retarded children. Paper presented at the 54th annual conference of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, April, 1974.

  7. Guilford, J. P.Fundamental statistics in psychology and education. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Hutt, C., & Hutt, S. J. Effects of environmental complexity on stereotyped behavior of children.Animal Behavior, 1965,13, 1–4.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hutt, S. J., & Hutt, C. Stereotypy, arousal and autism.Human Development, 1968,11, 277–286.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Kaufman, M. E., & Levitt, H. A study of three stereotyped behaviors in institutionalized mental defectives.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 1965,69, 467–473.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Koegel, R., & Covert, A. The relationship of self-stimulation to learning in autistic children.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1972,5, 381–388.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Maris, R. S.Stereotyped body-rocking in severely retarded patients: A study of rhythm and topography. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama, 1971.

  13. Mulhern, T., & Baumeister, A. A. An experimental attempt to reduce stereotypy by reinforcement procedures.American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 1969,74, 69–74.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Ornitz, E., & Ritvo, E. Perceptual inconstancy in early infantile autism and its variants.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1968,18, 77–98.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Ornitz, E., Brown, M., Sorosky, A., Ritvo, E., & Dietrich, L. Environmental modification of autistic behavior.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1970,22, 560–565.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Ritvo, E., Ornitz, E., & LaFranchi, S. Frequency of repetitive behaviors in early infantile autism and its variants.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1968,19, 341–347.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Sorosky, A., Ornitz, E., Brown, M., & Ritvo, E. Systematic observations of autistic behavior.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1968,18, 439–449.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dr. Fred Frankel.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Colman, R.S., Frankel, F., Ritvo, E. et al. The effects of fluorescent and incandescent illumination upon repetitive behaviors in autistic children. J Autism Dev Disord 6, 157–162 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01538059

Download citation

Keywords

  • Fluorescent Light
  • Autistic Child
  • Repetitive Behavior
  • Theoretical Implication
  • Background Illumination