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ERIC Number: EJ1025629
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Using Background Music to Reduce Problem Behavior during Assessment with an Adolescent Who Is Blind with Multiple Disabilities
Desrochers, Marcie N.; Oshlag, Rebecca; Kennelly, Angela M.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v108 n1 p61-66 Jan-Feb 2014
Children who are visually impaired (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) commonly engage in stereotypic behaviors such as rocking and repetitive hand movements to gain sensory stimulation produced by the behavior (Gourgey, 1998; Rapp, 2004; Warren, 1984). A means of quickly and easily reducing problem behaviors is important to maximize individuals' learning gains and increase the accuracy of assessments. Presenting background music may quickly lower individuals' problem behavior. Similarly, playing background music may also improve desired behavior, such as on-task performance, with children in the classroom (Hallam & Price, 1998; Hallam, Price, & Katsarou, 2002). Robb (2003) used an experiment to demonstrate the use of background music to increase attentive behavior of preschool children with visual impairments. In contrast, other researchers have found that music may increase individuals' problem behaviors. This article reports a study in which the effect of music on behaviors interfering with assessment procedures (that is, self stimulatory behaviors and standing up) was evaluated using a single-participant research design. A comparison of background music versus no music was performed on the problem behaviors of an adolescent with visual and intellectual disabilities during an assessment. The study results found that background music was effective in reducing problem behaviors and increasing desirable behavior of an adolescent who is blind with multiple intellectual disabilities during a reinforcer assessment. The finding that music is a beneficial tool to curb problem behaviors adds to past research conducted with children with visual impairments (Clark-Bischke & Crowley, 2011; Lancioni et al., 2010; Robb, 2003) and sighted children (Carey & Halle, 2002; Hallam & Price, 1998; Hallam et al., 2002).
American Foundation for the Blind. 11 Penn Plaza Suite 300, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 800-232-5463; Tel: 212-502-7600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A