Empirically derived consequences to treat rumination

Julyse A. Migan-Gandonou, Yanerys Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated a contingent oral hygiene procedure on rumination emitted by a 9-year-old boy with autism. Results of a functional analysis screening suggested rumination was maintained by automatic reinforcement. We conducted a stimulus avoidance assessment to identify a hierarchy of potential consequences to be used in treatment. During treatment, contingent toothbrushing resulted in a 97% decrease in rumination. Finally, we transitioned to a less intrusive intervention (i.e., contingent mouthwash spray) and rumination remained at near-zero levels. Treatment effects generalized to different settings and caregivers and maintained over a 4-year period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Interventions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • automatic reinforcement
  • punishment
  • rumination
  • stimulus avoidance assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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