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Treating self-injury: water mist spray versus facial screening or forced arm exercise.

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  • Research Article


In three experiments, the effect of water mist spray on self-injurious and collateral behaviors was compared with either facial screening or forced arm exercise. Water mist spray was as effective as facial screening in suppressing face-slapping in Experiment 1. However, it was not as effective as facial screening for self-injurious finger-licking in Experiment 2 or forced arm exercise for excessive ear-rubbing in Experiment 3. These results suggest that while water mist spray is effective, it may be less so than alternative procedures. In Experiments 2 and 3 there was a consistent decrease in the occurrence of untreated maladaptive behaviors. In addition, there was a moderate increase in appropriate social interaction in Experiment 2 and a substantial increase in Experiment 3.

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