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Behavior Modification And The Psychoses Of Childhood. A Review.

R. Leff
Published 1968 · Psychology, Medicine

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The literature pertaining to the use of operant-training procedures with psychotic children is reviewed. Ferster's concept of "behavioral deficit" is discussed as the explicit theoretical framework that can most parsimoniously govern these behavior analyses and subsequent modification programs. With relatively simple and communicable methods, beneficial results have been rapidly achieved, even by nonprofessional workers. Despite some lack of experimental rigor, the evidence is interpreted as strongly supportive of a social-learning model of severely pathological behavior and an operant-training model of therapy. A simplified etiological hypothesis is offered, and the issue of generality of adaptive change is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon attentional reorientation and the acquistion of elementary "learning strategies."
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