Communication Repair and Response ClassesReport as inadecuate

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Behavior Analyst Today, v5 n3 p291-303 2004

A communicative repair has been defined as the ability to persist in communication and to modify, repeat, or revise a signal when the initial communication attempt failed. From an operant perspective, initial communicative acts and communicative repairs can be considered members of a response class in which each response produces the same outcome. The purpose of this paper is to integrate concepts in the child language literature with those in behavior analysis by examining communicative repair in the context of response classes. Communication breakdowns and repair are described and the concept of response class as it relates to communication repair is explained. To illustrate the relationship between communication repair and response classes, data from a larger study that examined communicative repair are presented.

Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Child Language, Communication Problems, Communication Strategies, Behavior Change, Responses, Behavior Problems, Case Studies, Toddlers, Males, Delayed Speech, Observation, Video Technology, Mothers, Story Reading, Parent Child Relationship

Joseph Cautilli, Ph.D. & The Behavior Analyst Online Organization. 535 Queen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-3220. Tel: 215-462-6737; Web site:

Author: Meadan, Hedda; Halle, James W.


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