The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 187–196 | Cite as

What Can Behavior Analysis Learn From the Aversives Controversy?

  • J. M. Johnston


The paper argues that behavior analysis may have contributed to the aversives controversy in a number of ways. The role that the field has played and the lessons that may be learned are discussed in the areas of research, training, and politics.


aversives controversy aversive consequences punishment professional training developmental disabilities retardation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brantner, J. P., & Doherty, M. A. (1984). A review of timeout: A conceptual and methodological analysis. In S. Axelrod & J. Apsche (Eds.), The effects of punishment on human behavior (pp. 87–132). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Etzel, B. C. (1988). Message from the president: Is an intervention called for? The ABA Newsletter, 11 (1), 2–5.Google Scholar
  3. Foxx, R. M., & Azrin, N. H. (1973). The elimination of autistic self-stimulatory behavior by overcorrection. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 1–14.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Foxx, R. M., & Bechtel, D. R. (1984). Overcorrection: A review and analysis. In S. Axelrod & J. Apsche (Eds.), The effects of punishment on human behavior (pp. 133–220). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Johnston, J. M. (1972). Punishment of human behavior. American Psychologist, 27, 1033–1054.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnston, J. M. (in press). A model for developing and evaluating behavioral technology. In R. Van Houten & S. Axelrod (Eds.), Effective behavioral treatment: Issues and implementation. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  7. Johnston, J. M., & Shook, J. L. (1987). Developing behavior analysis at the state level. The Behavior Analyst, 10, 199–233.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. LaVigna, G. W., & Donnellan, A. M. (1986). Alternatives to punishment: Solving behavior problems with non-aversive strategies. New York: Irvington.Google Scholar
  9. Lovaas, O. I., Koegel, R. L., & Schreibman, L. (1979). Stimulus overselectivity and autism: A review of research. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 1236–1254.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. McGee, J. J., Menolascino, F. J., Hobbs, D. C., & Menousek, P. E. (1987). Gentle teaching: A nonaversive approach to helping persons with mental retardation. New York: Human Sciences Press.Google Scholar
  11. Morse, L. A., & Bruns, B. J. (1983). Nurturing behavioral repertoires within a nonsupportive environment. The Behavior Analyst, 6, 19–25.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. National Institutes of Health. (1989). Treatment of destructive behaviors in persons with developmental disabilities. Washington, DC: Office of Research Reporting, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Google Scholar
  13. Salzberg, C. L., Favell, J. E., Greene, B. F., Hopkins, B. L., & Schneider, H. C. (1989, May). Supply and demand of behavior analysts: Are we attending? Panel discussion conducted at the meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Milwaukee, WI.Google Scholar
  14. Schover, L. R., & Newsome, C. D. (1976). Overselectivity, developmental level and overtraining in autistic and normal children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 4, 289–298.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Schreibman, L., Koegel, R. L., & Craig, M. S. (1977). Reducing stimulus overselectivity in autistic children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 5, 425–436.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Schroeder, S. (1990). A history of the aversives controversy (1960–1990): A functional analysis. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  17. Schroeder, S. R., & Schroeder, C. S. (1989). The role of the AAMR in the aversives controversy. Mental Retardation, 27 (3), iii–v.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Sherman, R. A. (1991). Aversives, fundamental rights, and the courts. The Behavior Analyst, 14, 197–206.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations