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14 Apr 2012
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Habitat Reversal Procedures
Chapter21
Type of treatment procedures that is implemented by a person with a habit behavior
Habit Reversal procedures, are used to decrease the frequency of undesirable habit behaviors
Undesirable behavior tend to be an annoyance to the person to significant others in the person’s
life
When the habit behavior occurs frequently or with high intensity, person may seek treatment for
the problem habit disorder
Examples of Habit Behaviors
Joel biting his fingernails, without thinking, put his finger in his mouth and chewed on the
edges of the nail
Joel was not particularly bothered by his nail-biting behavior, but his girlfriend often told him
how awful his chewed-up fingernails looked
E.g. Jose had a head-snapping movement
E.g. Barbara was often nervous and stuttered some of her words
Defining Habit Behaviors
Three preceding examples illustrate three types of habit behaviors nervous habits, motor
tics and stuttering
Nervous Habits
E.g. nail biting is a common type of nervous habit
E.g. twirling, or stroking hair, tapping a pencil etc
Nervous habits involve repetitive, manipulative behaviors that are believed to be most
likely to occur when the person experiences heightened nervous tension
Do not typically serve any social function for the person
In some case, nervous habits may serve a self-stimulatory function
Nervous habits do not cause any problems for the person unless the frequency or the
intensity of the behavior becomes extreme
** Used the term “ body-focused repetitive behavior problems” refers to a nervous
habits that result in physical damage or negative social evaluations
Motor and Vocal Tics
Motor Tics are repetitive, jerking movements of a particular muscle group In the body
Usually involves muscles in the neck or face but may also involve the shoulders, arms,
hands, legs or torso
E.g. facial motor ticks might include squinting, forceful blinking, eye-brow raising
Motor tics are believed to be associated with heightened muscle tension
Vocal Tic is a repetitive vocal sound that does not serve a social function [e.g. throat
clearing when there is no reason to clear the throat and coughing when the person is not
sick]
Tourette’s disorder is a tick disorder involving multiple motor and vocal tics
Stuttering
Type of speech dyfluency in which the person repeats words or syllables, prolongs the
sound of a word or syllable, or blocks on a word
EACH of these habit disorders have been treated successfully with behavior modification
procedures called “ habit reversal procedures”
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