The behavioral frame of reference (FOR) emphasizes on the use of behavioral modification to shape behaviors, which purports to increase the tendency of adaptive behaviors or to decrease the probability of maladaptive learned behaviors. The key concepts in this FOR include:
Behavior modification: reward and punishment to shape human performance, emotions, attitudes, and values,
Stimulus: event which produces a behavioral response,
Unconditioned stimulus: event that produces automatic unconditioned response,
Conditioned stimulus: event that is learned with an unconditioned stimulus,
Reinforcement: a set of conditions that follow a response and increase or decrease the probability of the response,
Parameters of reinforcement: content, amount, timing, scheduling, of the reinforcement,
Extinction: removal of reinforcement,
Shaping behavior: develop new behavior by obtaining successive learning goals,
Backward chaining: develop new behavior by starting from the last step,
Systematic desensitization: muscle relaxation to control anxiety-eliciting stimuli,
Token economy: program that use median of exchange to reinforce behaviors.
To apply the behavioral FOR in occupational therapy, an occupational therapist identifies a specific client’s behavior, determines the baseline performance, designs a data collection format, selects a reinforcer and reinforcement schedule, charts the data, and finally shapes adaptive behaviors that increase occupational performance in desired occupation. The areas that occupational therapists can apply behavioral FOR includes, but limited to, social skills training with psychiatric disorders, pediatrics clients, clients with difficulty in self-regulation, and more.
Frame of reference
Domain of occupation
It is used to increase adaptive behaviors and decrease tendency of maladaptive behaviors that influences occupational performance.
Stein, F. (1983). A current review of the behavioral frame of reference and its application to occupational therapy. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 2, 35-62.
The Acquisitional frame of reference emphasizes the use of teaching-learning process and activities analysis, to achieve the goal which is the acquisition of specific skills or appropriate behaviors required for optimal performance within an environment. It also emphasizes on the context of the environment, functional behaviors, and learned skills. Behaviors are viewed as a response to the environment. People learn new skills during interactions with the environment and therefore, the role of environment in eliciting adaptive response is the main reinforcer in this frame of reference.
The Intentional Relationship Model (IRM) aims to facilitate practitioners in understanding the impact of therapeutic use of self and to provide useful approaches for maximizing the positive power of the social environment in order to facilitate occupational engagement. Therapeutic relationships comprise of an interaction between client, therapist, desired occupation, and interpersonal events that occur during the interaction.
The Dunn’s Model of Sensory Processing proposes four basic patterns of sensory processing which are emerged from the interaction of the neurological threshold and self-regulation. Neurological threshold is a personal range of threshold for noticing and responding to different sensory events in everyday life. People who have low sensory threshold would notice and respond to stimuli more often because their neurological system activates easier and more readily to sensory events.
This model aims to conceptualize children’s underlying skills and behavioral elements characteristic of play, as well as the influences that both individual and environmental factors. Embedded in the play environment and cultural and familial milieu, this model includes developmental play capacities (cognitive, physical and social play skills) and individual play style (internal control, freedom to suspend reality and intrinsic motivation) that make up the child’s contribution to the play transaction. Play reflects the child’s cognitive, motor, language and social skills.
The social participation frame of reference emphasizes the power of emotion to motivate and engage children’s social participation. Early relationship with parents provides the foundation for children’s social development, because children give meaning to their own emotions and learn strategies in regulating their emotional states based on how others and environment responses to their emotions. At the same time, the children regulate the caregivers’ behaviors and then they learn how to regulate their own and others’ emotions during future social interactions.