Future Directions of Behavioral Activation

A vast body of research supports the basic principle of reinforcement (Catania, 1998) that states that a given behavior will increase when followed by certain environmental changes. When this given behavior no longer produces these environmental changes or is punished, the behavior will decrease in frequency. The key element in depression according to is lack of contact with positive reinforcement, and the mechanism of change is the establishment of such contact.

After summarizing what we do and do not know, this brief review aims to act as a general guide for studying behavioral syndromes.  Although the array of possible behavioral combinations can seem overwhelming.

  • More Systematic Longitudinal Research
  • Congruent with Lewinsohn’s Behavioral Model (1974)
  • Need to corelate Reinforcement value with the development of a depressive disorder
  • More Rigorous Empirical Testing is Required
  • More Sophisticated Understanding of Behavioral Activation Dose-Response

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