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12/01/2004

Pica: A Review of Recent Assessment and Treatment Procedures


By: Stacy L. Carter, John J. Wheeler, and Michael R. Mayton

Abstract: The phenomenon of pica has been described within the literature in many ways, from a socially acceptable practice to a life threatening behavior. Recent prevalence rates of pica indicate relatively low occurrence of this phenomenon that makes it difficult to easily identify trends in practices related to pica. Recent literature on pica (1990 to 2002) indicate a trend toward use of more reinforcement based procedures and less use of more intrusive procedures such as overcorrection, time-out and restraint as was reported in the literature prior to 1990. Most recent studies of pica appear to have an underlying basis in behavior analysis procedures for both assessment and intervention. It appears that recent literature indicates a trend toward frequent use of functional assessment procedures to identify the specific reinforcement involved with pica. This paper reviews some of the recent assessment procedures and treatments of pica based on different etiological models.
 
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