Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Carolyn Kohn

First Committee Member

Joshua Jessel


Tolerating transitions between activities and locations is an essential daily-living skill, as transitions are inevitable in most typical settings. However, for some individuals, requests to transition may occasion problem behavior which can interfere with daily routines and result in a more restrictive lifestyle. The unpredictability of transitions is often assumed to be aversive and functionally related to transition-related problem behavior. As a result, advance notice procedures are often recommended to reduce problem behavior during transitions. However, Brewer et al. (2014) found mixed results for the use of advance notice highlighting some studies where advance notice procedures reduced problem behavior and others where the procedures were inefficacious. In this study, we reviewed the relevant literature between 1994 and 2020, including studies reviewed by Brewer et al. (2014) and extended Brewer et al.’s (2014) review in a number of ways. We first summarized the current literature, including new studies published since Brewer et al.’s (2014) review, which included a total of 28 applications of advance notice published in 14 papers. Next, we identified key features of each study, including the presence or absence of demonstrated functional relations, inclusion of additional antecedent or consequent interventions, and evaluation and control of the effects of pre- and post-transition reinforcers on responding. Then we identified gaps in current knowledge regarding predictability and made research recommendations for addressing these gaps. Finally, we discuss practice recommendations for transition-related problem behavior based on current research.



Included in

Psychology Commons



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