Victim control of the aggression of an institutionalized retardate

P. L. Martin, R. M. Foxx

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23 Scopus citations


This study demonstrated that aggressive attacks on ward staff by an adult female retardate could be controlled by the victims' reactions to the attacks. The woman had daily 15-min sessions during which an experimeter (the victim) entered her seclusion room and sat beside her. Three conditions were used: (1) a social extinction condition during which the victim ignored all attacks directed at him, (2) a social reinforcement condition during which the victim verbally and physically attended to attacks, and (3) a return to the social extinction condition. All aggressive acts toward the victim were eliminated during the extinction conditions. When the victim showed attention, attacks directed at him increased. Self-aggression and object-aggression were found to be closely related to victim-aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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