Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Claire C St Peter

Committee Co-Chair

Kerri Milyko

Committee Member

Hawley Montgomery-Downs


Differential negative reinforcement of alternative behavior (DNRA) reduces escape-maintained challenging behavior, but can result in lost instructional time. Instructional time could be maintained through interventions like curricular revision (CR), but the efficacy of CR is less established. We compared DNRA and CR for 3 children with age-typical intellectual functioning whose challenging behavior was maintained by escape from academic tasks. During DNRA, we taught the child to appropriately request a different, mastered task. During CR, we broke the original task into simpler components until the child mastered each component, but still permitted escape following challenging behavior. Curricular revision resulted in less challenging behavior than DNRA for one participant. For the other two participants, DNRA was initially more effective than CR, but participants rarely engaged with the academic task. Challenging behavior was equally suppressed across conditions once extinction for challenging behavior was added to CR. Curricular revision also resulted in each child spending substantially more time engaged with the new task than the mastered task. Curricular revision did not increase the likelihood of treatment relapse relative to DNRA for any participant. Thus, CR may be a desirable option for treating escape-maintained behavior.