Examples of Behavior Modification Plans

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A young child is sitting on the couch holding his tablet. (Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Many behavior modification plans and techniques are available for parents, teacher and other people to purchase in book form. These tools are not always necessary because behavior modification plans are often best if they are made specific to the individual. Behavior modification plans can be developed and applied with children, teens, adults, employees, animals and to the self.

Basics

Behavior modifications plans will vary depending on the individual and the behavior or behaviors that need to be changed. According to LD Online, behavior modification plans will include reinforcers, which are consequences that increase the behavior, and/or punishments, which are consequences that reduce the behavior.

Considerations

When developing any type of behavior modification plan, it is important to keep in mind the ease of use. For behavior modification plans to be effective, they must be followed with consistently. Therefore, if the plan is hard to use, the likelihood that it will be effective will decrease because there will be inconsistent follow through.

Significance

The desires and needs of the individual will play an important role in modifying a behavior. Because behavior modification requires the use of rewards or punishments to change behaviors, it is important that these be rewarding or punishing to the individual they are being used with. Some people may find attention or a smile rewarding, while others might require verbal and public recognition to positively reinforce their behaviors. Therefore, when developing a behavior modification plan, keep in mind the needs or desires of the individual or group.

Examples

The amount of behavior modification plans are numerous, and the development of a plan should not be limited to these examples.

Behavior modification plans in children or teens might include using a reward chart to increase a certain behavior, such as doing homework or chores, withholding attention when when the child is acting in undesirable ways and providing immediate positive attention when he begins behaving appropriately or simply praising the child when he engages in desirable behaviors.

Examples of adult behavior modification plans might include offering a pay bonus at work for a reaching a certain goal, taking disciplinary actions when an employee engages in unwanted behaviors on the job or arresting an adult who breaks the law.

Tips

To develop a behavior modification plan, it is important to understand why the behavior is currently occurring or not occurring. Something has to be reinforcing it. Once this is known, the natural reinforcer can be replaced or taken away.

Reinforcers or punishers should be administered right after the behavior has occurred or is occurring; this consistent pairing will help make sure the behaviors a person wants to change are targeted specifically.

The West Virginia Department of Education suggests that if a behavior modification system is not producing the desired effect, it should be reviewed and revised immediately. Also, the West Virginia Department of Education suggests that punishments, such as suspensions or removal or privileges, be avoided because they do not modify the causes of unwanted behavior they just attempt to control it.

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