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  • Huntsville Behavior Assoc

The 3-term Contingency

Achieving better understanding of your child's and/or student's behavior starts with this basic concept: The 3 Term Contingency.

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Considering your own behavior and the behavior of others around you in this way can help you practice analyzing how you can best support your loved ones and arrange the environment around them.

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Let's practice: You are behaving right now by scrolling through Facebook. Why are you on Facebook? Your phone/computer was in front of you (antecedent), and because of the history of reinforcement (repeated consequence) of gathering interesting information on Facebook (cute pictures, news updates, positive affirmation from friends, whatever is of interest to you), you keep coming back for more! Your history of reinforcement has developed your behavior of "reading Facebook posts" and you engage in that behavior only when your phone/computer is in front of you.

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So, approach your child's behavior in this way: How can you develop a "history of reinforcement" in your his/her behavior, so that they are more likely to engage in the appropriate behavior? How are you able to manipulate the antecedent (what happens right before the behavior), to help them to be more prosocial?

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Thinking this way takes practice and, sometimes, creativity. The more you think in these terms when you observe the behavior of yourself and others around you, the easier it will be to proactively get ahead of inappropriate behavior!

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Have questions or want to learn more?📩info@hsvba.com //www.hsvba.com


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