B45: Behaviour Modification
Chapter 23: Behavioural Contracts
DEFINING THE BEHAVIOURAL CONTRACT
Behavioural contract- a written document that specifies a particular target behaviour for a client and the consequences that
will be contingent on the occurrence or non-occurrence of the behaviour in a stated period of time.
Furthermore, the contract states the consequence that will be administered contingent on the occurrence (or nonoccurence)
of the behaviour.
COMPONENTS OF A BEHAVIOURAL CONTRACT
1.Identifying the target behaviours.
•Target behaviours may include undesirable behaviours to be decreased, desirable behaviours to be increased,
2.Stating how the target behaviours will be measured.
•Clients must be able to prove that the target behaviours did or did not occur so that the contingencies can be
•Acceptable methods include permanent products of the behaviours or direct observation and documentation
of the behaviour by the contract manager or by an agreed upon third party
•Other types of permanent product measures that may be used include body weight in a contract for weight
loss, fingernail length in a contract to stop fingernail biting, and number of units assembled in a contract to increase
3.Stating when the behaviour must be performed.
•Each contract must have a time frame that states when the behaviour must occur (or not occur) for the
contingenies to be implemented.
4.Identifying the reinforcement or punishment contingency.
•The contract manager uses positive or negative reinforcement or positive or negative punishment to help the
client perform (or refrain from) the target behaviour stated in the contract.
5.Identifying who will implement the contingency.
•One party agrees to engage in a specified level of the target behaviour, and the other party implements the
reinforcement or punishment contingency stated in the contract.