Increasing Pedal Duration on a Stationary Recumbent Bicycle in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Comparing the Effectiveness of Immediate Versus Delayed Reinforcement


  • David C. Anderson
  • Hester Henderson
  • Daniel P. Williams


physical activity, reinforcer, target heart rate zone


This study examined the effects of immediate vs. delayed reinforcement on time spent pedaling a stationary recumbent bicycle within the target heart rate zone (THRZ) of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The immediate reinforcement group would receive and immediate reward as the television would be turned on for viewing during the exercise session when they pedaled and reached their THRZ. Furthermore, the television would remain on as long as each participant pedaled in his or her THRZ range. The delayed group was rewarded by watching television after each exercise session. A single-subject design with a split-middle plot technique was used to analyze and compare individual trends within and between both groups.  There were differences between the contingent and the delayed reinforcement phase (p?0.03) for seven of the nine participants.  

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