Advertisement

The Role of Applied Behavior Analysis in Evaluating Medication Effects

  • Alan Poling
  • James Cleary
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

One need look no further than the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) to see that applied behavior analysts have largely ignored drugs as independent variables. Since the inception of the journal in 1968, less than a dozen studies primarily concerned with drug effects have graced its pages. This perhaps is understandable, for applied behavior analysis traditionally has involved the use of operant (or, less commonly, respondent) conditioning procedures to improve socially significant human behavior. Given this orientation, the majority of independent variables evaluated have consisted of response-consequence (reinforcement or punishment) operations. Pharamacotherapies are not easily conceptualized in terms of operant or respondent conditioning, and seem to imply faith in a medical model of behavioral problems that few behavior analysts share. We are nevertheless of the opinion that the research philosophy and analytical strategies characteristic of applied behavior analysis could serve as the basis for a fruitful science of clinical psycho-pharmacology. To demonstrate this, we will discuss seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis research as they relate to clinical drug evaluations. These characteristics were initially set forth by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) in the inaugural issue of JABA, and serve as a set of goals for research in applied behavior analysis.1

Keywords

Behavior Analysis Drug Evaluation Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Analyst Hyperactive Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aman, M. G., & Singh, N. N. (1983). Pharmacological intervention. In J. L. Matson & J. A. Mulick (Eds.), Handbook of Mental Retardation (pp. 317–337). New York: Per-gamon Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ayllon, T., Layman, D., & Kandel, H. J. (1975). A behavioral-educational alternative to drug control of hyperactive behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 8, 137–146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldessarini, R. J. (1980). Drugs and the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In A. Goodman Gilman, L. S. Goodman, & A. Gilman (Eds.), The pharmacological basis of therapeutics (pp. 391–447). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Berger, P. A. (1978). Medical treatment of mental illness. Science, 200, 974–981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Breuning, S. E., & Poling, A. (1982a). Drugs and mental retardation. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  7. Breuning, S. E., & Poling, A. (1982b). Pharmacotherapy with the mentally retarded. In J. L. Matson & R. P. Barrett (Eds.), Psychopathology in the mentally retarded (pp. 195–252). New York: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  8. Cant, G. (1976, February 1). Valiumania. New York Times Magazine, pp. 34–44.Google Scholar
  9. Davis, V. J., Poling, A., Wysocki, T., & Breuning, S. E. (1981). Effects of phenytoin withdrawal on matching to sample and workshop performance of mentally retarded persons. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 169, 718–725.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deitz, S. M. (1978). Current status of applied behavior analysis: Science versus technology. American Psychologist, 33, 805–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferguson, D. G., & Breuning, S. E. (1982). Antipsychotic and antianxiety drugs. In S. E. Breuning & A. Poling (Eds.), Drugs and mental retardation (pp. 168–214). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  12. Hayes, S. C., Rincover, A., & Solnick, J. V. (1980). The technical drift in applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13, 275–286.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hersen, M., & Barlow, D. (1976). Single case experimental designs: Strategies for studying behavior change. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  14. Johnston, J. M, & Pennypacker, H. S. (1981). Strategies and tactics of human behavioral research. New York: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Kazdin, A. E. (1982). Single-case research designs. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kelly, M. B. (1977). A review of the observational data collection and reliability procedures reported in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 97–102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klein, D., & Davis, J. (1969). Diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  18. Marholin, D., & Phillips, D. (1976). Methodological issues in psychopharmacological research. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 46, 477–495.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marholin, D., Touchette, P. E., & Stewart, R. M. (1979). Withdrawal of chronic chlorpromazine medication: An experimental analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 12, 159–171.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. O’Leary, K. (1980). Pills or skills for hyperactive children? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13, 191–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pelham, W. E., Schnedler, R. W., Bologna, N. C., & Contreras, J. A. (1980). Behavioral and stimulant treatment of hyperactive children: A therapy study with methylphenidate probes in a within-subjects design. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13, 221–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pierce, W. D., & Epling, W. F. (1980). What happened to analysis in applied behavior analysis? The Behavior Analyst, 3, 1–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Poling, A., & Cleary, J. (in press). Within-subject designs. In K. D. Gadow & A. Poling (Eds.), Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (Supp. 1): Methodological issues in human psychopharmacology. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  24. Poling, A., Cleary, J., & Monaghan, M. (1980). The use of human observers in psychopharmacological research. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 13, 243–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Poling, A., Picker, M., & Hall-Johnson, E. (1983). Human behavioral pharmacology. Psychological Record, 33, 473–493.Google Scholar
  26. Poling, A., Picker, M., & Wallace, S. (1983). Some methodological characteristics of psychopharmacological studies with the mentally retarded. Mental Retardation and Learning Disability Bulletin, 11, 110–121.Google Scholar
  27. Poling, A., Picker, M., Grossett, D., Hall-Johnson, E., & Holbrook, M. (1981). The schism between experimental and applied behavior analysis: Is it real and who cares? The Behavior Analyst, 4, 143–152.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Ray, O. (1978). Drugs, society, and human behavior. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.Google Scholar
  29. Shafto, F., & Sulzbacher, S. (1977). Comparing treatment tactics with a hyperactive preschool child: Stimulant medication and programmed teacher intervention. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 13–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. Sprague, R. L. (1982). Litigation, legislation, and regulations. In S. E. Breuning& A. Poling (Eds.), Drugs and mental retardation (pp. 377–415). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  32. Sprague, R. L., & Werry, J. S. (1971). Methodology of psychopharmacological studies with the retarded. In N. R. Ellis (Ed.), International review of research in mental retardation, (Vol. 5, pp. 147–219). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  33. Sulzbacher, S. I. (1973). Psychotropic medication with children: An evaluation of procedural biases in results of reported studies. Pediatrics, 51, 513–517.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Usdin, E., & Efron, D. H. (1972). Psychotropic drugs and related compounds. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  35. Van Houten, R. (1979). Social validation: The evaluation of standards of competency for target behaviors. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 12, 581–591.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Willems, E. P. (1974). Behavioral technology and behavioral ecology. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 7, 151–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 203–214.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wulbert, M., & Dries, R. (1977). The relative efficacy of methylphenidate (Ritalin) and behavior-modification techniques in the treatment of a hyperactive child. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 21–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wysocki, T., & Fuqua, R. W. (1982). Methodological issues in the evaluation of drug effects. In S. E. Breuning & A. Poling (Eds.), Drugs and mental retardation (pp. 138–167). Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  40. Wysocki, T., Fuqua, R. W., Davis, V. J., & Breuning, S. E. (1981). Effects of thioridazine on titrating delayed matching to sample performance in the mentally retarded. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 85, 539–547.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Poling
    • 1
  • James Cleary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations