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Role of the Environment in Prevention and Remediation


The environment, broadly defined, has long concerned clinicians who work with children and families because it impacts prevention and intervention with problems and disorders. In this chapter, we specifically define "environment" as the organization of the individual's immediate setting in terms of space, time, materials, activities, and people, variables that have received scant attention in the child clinical literature. Operant behavioral and ecological developmental perspectives are presented to describe the processes by which these variables can affect behavior and development, and their relationship to the more distal surroundings of community and culture. Next, we present illustrative research from behavior modification and related literatures which demonstrates that architectural features, spatial divisions, and furnishings; objects, materials, and activities; routines and schedules; and the presence, characteristics,