Behavioral Interventions

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Volume 12 Issue 4 (October 1997), Pages 157-207

A 25‐year follow‐up of a punishment program for severe self‐injury (pages 203-207)


Griffin, Locke, & Landers (1975) reported successful treatment of severe self‐injury (SIB) with a punishment program. The subject was a 15‐year‐old boy who had profound mental retardation and Down's Syndrome. Griffin et al. (1975) evaluated a variety of punishing stimuli and procedural variants. The effective intervention consisted of punishing hand raising, a precursor to SIB. This program resulted in the complete cessation of SIB for a 3‐year period.

Follow‐up observations and a review of records were conducted 25 years later. We found that SIB no longer existed 25 years after intervention was initiated. No maintenance program had been in effect during the interim. Reasons for the success of the original program and for maintenance in the absence of specific maintenance procedures are presented. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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