Functional analysis and treatment of the diurnal bruxism of a 16-year-old girl with autism

J Appl Behav Anal. 2014 Summer;47(2):415-9. doi: 10.1002/jaba.122. Epub 2014 Apr 17.


Bruxism is defined as the clenching and grinding of teeth. This study used a functional analysis to examine whether the bruxism of a 16-year-old girl with autism was maintained by automatic reinforcement or social consequences. A subsequent component analysis of the intervention package described by Barnoy, Najdowski, Tarbox, Wilke, and Nollet (2009) showed that a vocal reprimand (e.g., "stop grinding") effectively reduced the participant's bruxism. Results were maintained across time, and effects extended to novel staff members.

Keywords: bruxism; functional analysis; vocal reprimand.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Bruxism / etiology*
  • Bruxism / rehabilitation*
  • Bruxism / therapy
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Reinforcement, Psychology