Sequential analysis of the effects of naltrexone on the environmental mediation of self-injurious behavior

Frank J. Symons, Jon Tapp, Anna Wulfsberg, Kelly A. Sutton, William L. Heeth, James W. Bodfish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accumulated evidence shows that biology and the environment can mediate self-injurious behavior (SIB) in persons with mental retardation. Whether pharmacological treatment alters the environmental mediation of self-injury is unclear. Opioid antagonist effects on sequential dependencies for self-injury were studied in the context of experimental single-subject double-blind placebo-controlled designs. Direct observational data were collected for 4 adult subjects in real time on daily rate of SIB and staff interactions. Clinically significant reductions (i.e., ≥ 33%) in SIB rate were observed for 3 of the 4 subjects. For all subjects, the magnitude of the sequential dependency between staff behavior and self-injury was significantly greater during treatment with naltrexone than during treatment with a placebo. Results are discussed in relation to behavioral mechanisms of action regulating medication effects for self-injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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