7 Questions in community&Counselling
Assessment 3 — Behavior Change Program
What change is the parent seeking? (“Does the parent want to stop an undesirable behaviour or start a desirable behaviour?”)
Jackson’s mother is seeking to start a desirable behaviour but not to stop an undesirable behaviour. In this particular situation, we cannot say the parent is seeking to stop an undesirable behaviour because Jackson’s love for things electronic cannot be treated as an undesirable behavior because, as his parent think, it is true that this is the way of the future. However, the change the parent is seeking is to start a desirable behaviour that will enable the child to spend more time working on his schoolwork but still maintain his love for electronics. In other words, this child should be encouraged to give sufficient time to academic works and not to spend all his precious time on electronics alone. This is achieved by simply instilling an appropriate behaviour that would help the kid manage his time appropriately.
How frequently does the undesirable behaviour occur and how often do the parent(s) wish for the new (desired) behaviour to occur.
The undesirable behaviour occurs on regular basis, and that is why parents are worried and always wishing for the desired behaviour to occur. A child’s undesirable behaviour that does not occur frequently cannot elicit much worry from the parents, and parents in such a situation hardly wish for the new (desired) behaviour to occur. On the other hand, undesirable behaviour that occurs frequently elicits a lot of worry in parents, and parents in such a situation frequently keep wishing for the new (desired) behaviour to occur. For Jackson’s case, it is clear that his undesirable behavior occurs on regular basis (may be daily). This is evident from the extent of worry that his mother has regarding his screen addiction behaviour.
What method of charting/tracking will you use? (Sticker chart? Point list?)
In this particular situation, I would use sticker chart as a method of charting/tracking because this method has been proven to work well with children between the age of four and twelve years. In this method, the child is given stickers in exchange for a desirable behaviour. The kid can later use the stickers accumulated to get rewards in form of outings, treats, or prizes. With the correct structure and incentives, this method has been proven to be one of the most effective way of helping kids acquire desirable behaviours.
How often will the behaviour be observed and recorded? (Will the chart be marked once a day? Twice a day?)
The behaviour of the kid will be observed and recorded everyday in order to carefully monitor the progress. The chart be marked twice a day; in the evening before Jackson goes to bed and early in the morning before he goes to school.
What reinforcer will be used? Will there be any secondary reinforcers? (ensure that these fit with the child’s interests and age).
Social reinforcers will be used in this particular situation. Social reinforcers entail expressing approval of the kid’s behavior by uttering or writing statements like “excellent job” or “good job”. On the other hand, since Jackson is a well-behaved child who is generally respectful to his parents and helpful around the house, I think it will not be necessary to use any secondary reinforce. The fact that the kid is respectful implies that he can acquire the desired behavior without any difficulty because he will obey the advices he is given. However, if it would be found that secondary reinforcement is necessary, then tangible reinforcers such as healthy snacks, toys, candy, and treats will be used. Tangible reinforcers have been proven to be highly motivating to the child.
How often will the child be reinforced? And how many immediate reinforcers are required before the child receives a secondary reinforcer (if relevant)?
The frequency of reinforcement will depend on the kind of reinforcers used. Immediate reiforcers will be used every time the child displays the desired behavior, while the secondary reinforcers when the child maintains the desired behaviour for a period not less than two weeks
What process will you use to monitor the success of the plan? (e.g. What factors will you look at to “fine-tune” the program as time goes on?)
The success of the plan will be monitored by simply observing the change in the child’s behavior. This will be done by comparing the child’s behaviour when reinforcers are used and the behaviour when reinforcers are withdrawn. The plan will be considered successful if the child maintains the desired behavior for a period not less than three months after the reinforcers are withdrawn.