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Reduction of phobic behaviour for animals in a boy with mental retardation

By Erik Arntzen, Inger Karin Almås

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Presents a treatment programme to eliminate phobic behavior in an 11-yr-old mentally retarded boy when confronted with different animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, birds, horses, sheep, and rabbits. The intention was to determine the number of different types of dogs required to reach the desired general effects and to determine whether the obtained effects were also apparent in the presence of the other categories of animals outside the treatment setting. The treatment included a pretest–posttest design combined with a multiple probe design across situations (animals) and a differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior procedure, involving reinforcement of correct reading about the animals and responses such as patting and walking the dog on a leash. This study also introduced heart rate as a dependent measure in the treatment of phobic reaction. A remarkable effect was shown across different animals and this was consistent at the follow-ups 12 and 18 mo after termination of the treatment programme. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Publication Title Scandinavian Journal of Behaviour Therapy
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 124-131
ISBN/ISSN 0284-5717
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/16506079708412478
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Case Report
  3. Communication
  4. Exposure
  5. Follow-up studies
  6. Heart rate
  7. Learning
  8. Mental deficiency
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. phobias
  11. reinforcement
  12. treatment effectiveness
  1. peer-reviewed