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4 Causes of Behavior Explained

4 Causes of Behavior. Parenting. Understanding. Check out the enclosed links for more info!

4 Causes of Behavior Explained

4 Causes of behavior are pretty simple.  But, sometimes, it gets somewhat difficult to understand.  There really are only four motivators behind behavior.

This post is aimed to simply spell out what the causes of behavior are.  It should then, help you see the causes of our own behavior and the behaviors of those we care for.  How much fun will this post be?  Ha!!

First Cause of Behavior

The first cause of behavior is attention.  This is normally seen when a child or person acts out when someone receives a phone call, thus the person not engaged vies for attention.

Problem behaviors such as hiding, eloping, tantrums, aggression can be produced by a person who wants attention.  Sometimes, this is seen in a person who acts sickly, carries themselves oddly.  They are craving attention.

The way to reduce behaviors that are sparked by a desire for attention is extinction.  Extinction is completely ignoring the behavior.

For instance, when our new rescue dog bites too hard, we become still, sternly say, “NO,” and put our backs to the dog.  We are not reinforcing his roughness.  This is an example of extinction.

However, in instances where a person is a threat to themselves or others, intervention is needed.  The main goal is safety for everyone.

Second Cause of Behavior

The second cause of behavior is access.  Access is when a certain object or activity is wanted.

So maybe a child paces in front of a door when they want to leave.  This behavior would be seen as wanting access to the outside.

The way to curve this behavior is to deny access or to not give a tangible object until the desired behavior occurs.  This is a tough one!

We used to line up cereal choices for Champ in the morning.  I knew he wanted O’s Cereal.  But, he had to point at first before he could have any.  Next, he had to vocalize what he wanted.

In this way we didn’t give him access to cereal until he communicated.  So cereal was the antecedent.  Crying, laying on the floor, refusing to communicate was the behavior.  The consequence was no cereal or cereal, depending on him.  The hard part was with holding cereal, agony.

The Third Cause of Behavior is Avoidance

The third cause of behavior is avoidance or other times called, escape.  This is often seen at school.

In school, children will act sick, go to the restroom, balance quarters on their eye sockets instead of doing their assignments.  I was a master at this, but then, I received bad grades.

The way to curve avoidance behavior is to hand over hand bring completion to the task at hand.  Another way, is to find a positive reinforcement enough, that a person wants to do the task for a desired result.

This is where sticker charts and rewards (positive reinforcements) come into play.  Our positive reinforcement on our jobs is a pay check.  We receive reinforcements everywhere.  Let that marinate.

The Fourth Cause of Behavior is Sensory

The fourth cause of behavior is sensory or others have said it is being alone.  In the case of alone, the way to curve the behavior is not to let them engage in it.  In sensory, the way to curve the behavior takes time from my experience.

In ABA, we made Champ keep different clothing on for increasing amounts of time.  Can you say long, loud, meltdowns?  We also, practiced him not stripping down naked when he was damp with any substance.

We purposefully had him play in sprinklers and dance in the rain.  At first, he had tantrums, but now he is ok with being wet.  He still hates being damp, but he tolerates it better.

Sensory issues are not solved over night.  They take time.  Many children affected by autism have deep sensory issues.

Running into Home

Finishing off this post (running into home plate), what do you think is the major cause of your child’s behavior?  Please share in the comments below.  How have you curved their behavior?  We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by today.  Please come again soon.  In the mean time, blessing to you and yours today and always,


PS For more on this subject, check out this website: http://www.rubinetwork.org/store/, where you can buy your own handbook with more worksheets and information related to this post.  And for more of my antics, join me on Twitter!  Share this on your social media.  This is great info for families that need explanations to what the freak is going on.  Cheers to us!  We are stronger, together.

I live in Columbus, Ohio USA, grown up here all my life. I love yoga, walking, riding bike, reading, bargain shopping, serving at church. Usually though, I'm napping in a doctor's office waiting area with one or two of the Fantastic Four Children. My passion is helping other families with extra health, behavioral, and learning issues like mine. Let's enjoy life... TOGETHER. It's more fun that way =)!

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