Effects of background music on socially reinforced problem behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofPsycholoy of music ; vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 450-456.
Prior research has shown that background music may be effective at reducing problem behaviors maintained by non-social (sensory) reinforcement in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, no study has examined the effects of background music on socially-reinforced problem behaviors, which are also common in this population. Thus, the purpose of our study was to extend previous research by examining the effects of background music on engagement in problem behaviors maintained by social reinforcement in children with ASD. Following a music preference assessment and a functional analysis, we used an alternating-treatment design to examine the effects of background music on problem behaviors in three children with ASD. Background music produced clear reductions in problem behaviors for one participant and marginal reductions in a second participant. Albeit preliminarily, our results indicate that background music may reduce engagement in problem behaviors maintained by access to other socially-mediated reinforcers.