The definition of avoidance contingency is a response you engage in that postpones or prevents a stimulus from occurring.
What is Avoidance Contingency in ABA?
Avoidance contingencies are often used to address unwanted behaviors. For instance, if a child exhibits aggressive behavior, such as hitting, yelling, or screaming when they do not get what they want, then their parent can use avoidance contingency by removing them from the situation and putting them in a time-out. This removes rewards for aggressive behavior and prevents the child from getting what they wanted. Additionally, this teaches the child that engaging in aggressive behaviors will result in a consequence.
Examples of Avoidance Contingency for Parents and Teachers
Avoidance contingencies can be used by parents as well as teachers as tools for teaching children appropriate behaviors. Parents might set up rewards for their children who stay away from certain activities that are considered unacceptable, such as gambling or drinking alcohol. Teachers can also use similar strategies with students who are having difficulty following rules or engaging in inappropriate behavior; instead of punishing them, the teacher will reward them for behaving appropriately and staying away from those activities that aren’t beneficial for them in any way.
Don’t be confused between avoidance and escape
- Avoidance: To set your alarm to go off at a later time
- Escape: To keep pressing snooze on your alarm clock
Alternative to Avoidance Contingency
Another form of avoidance contingency can involve reinforcing positive behavior rather than punishing negative behavior. For example, if a child throws food at mealtime, their parents could reinforce the positive behavior of keeping their hands on the table by giving them praise when they do so. This reinforces the desired behavior and makes it more likely that they will continue to keep their hands on the table instead of throwing food at mealtime.
Is Avoidance Contingency Effective?
Ultimately, avoidance contingencies can be effective when used properly and appropriately; however, they should not be used as a substitute for other forms of discipline or positive reinforcement techniques that could also be successful in teaching desirable behaviors in both adults and children alike.
In conclusion, avoidance contingencies involve performing actions that prevent or delay an event or outcome from occurring when something undesired is about to happen. It can be used to address unwanted behaviors by removing rewards for negative behaviors or reinforcing positive behaviors instead of punishing negative ones.
Are you having a difficult time breaking the cycle of inappropriate behavior with your child? Let Leafwing guide you through some helpful strategies that can be applied at home. Contact Leafwing today to set up an appointment.