Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Andrew Samaha, Ph.D., BCBA-D


alternative response, extinction, reinforcement history, relapse


Resurgence is the reappearance of an extinguished operant response when an alternative behavior is subsequently treated with extinction (Podlesnik & Shahan, 2009). A potential solution to this problem is training serial alternative responses. During the present study, undergraduate students were trained to engage in an arbitrary response analogous to problem behavior and two alternative responses. Each response was reinforced for a distinct duration to establish different reinforcement histories and then tested under conditions of resurgence. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of duration of reinforcement on behavior subsequently exposed to resurgence contingencies. Three subjects engaged in the target response most often, five subjects engaged in alternative responses most often, and one subject engaged in all response equally during resurgence.