Object mouthing is associated with several potential deleterious side effects. In the current investigation, we modified the use of noncontingent access to competing items (food) and evaluated the effects of the treatment on object mouthing across three settings. Results demonstrated reductions in mouthing associated with the modified treatment. DESCRIPTORS: automatic reinforcement, object mouthing, noncontingent rein-forcement Object mouthing is a common problem among individuals with developmental dis-abilities. When individuals both mouth and ingest items, object mouthing is often a component of pica (Piazza, Roane, Keeney, Boney, & Abt, 2002), which is a potentially life-threatening behavior (Danford & Hub-er, 1982). Although mouthing objects per se is generally viewed as less dangerous than pica, object mouthing can be associated with health risks, including aspiration, choking, and infectious diseases resulting from saliva-borne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis). A number of investigations have exam-We thank Heidi Lowe for her assistance with vari-ous aspects of this investigation.
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