Kimberley Zonneveld

Associate Professor


Zonneveld Lab Website:

Dr. Zonneveld will be accepting students in Fall 2023. Interested students should email her directly at

Photo Gallery (2018)

Dr. Zonneveld is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. She has worked with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the field of behaviour analysis for over 15 years. 

Dr. Zonneveld received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Behavioural Psychology (Behaviour Analysis). Prior to earning her Ph.D., she completed doctoral coursework at the University of Nevada Reno and earned her master of science degree (Behaviour Analysis) at Florida Institute of Technology.

Her clinical and research interests include diverse applications of behaviour analysis, treatment of problem behaviour and pediatric feeding disorders, autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, early intensive behavioural intervention, and parent and teacher training.

A Comparison of Modified Food Chaining and Simultaneous Presentation plus Nonremoval of the Spoon for the Treatment of Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Authors: McHugh, C. L. & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

Feeding disorders can range from mild (e.g., food selectivity by taste or texture) to severe (e.g., total food refusal). If left untreated, feeding disorders can result in serious health ramifications, including malnutrition, growth delays, and developmental delays. Recent studies comparing commonly used occupational therapy (OT) treatments and empirically supported applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatments found that the ABA treatments were effective for all participants while the OT treatments were ineffective for all participants. We used a multielement design to compare a modified version of commonly used OT treatment, Food Chaining, and an empirically validated ABA treatment, simultaneous presentation plus nonremoval of the spoon, to treat the food selectivity of 2 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For both participants, consumption of the target foods only increased during the ABA-treatment condition. We subsequently faded the size of the preferred food within the simultaneous-presentation arrangement, moved to a sequential-presentation arrangement, then thinned the schedule of reinforcement.

Training Parents to Implement Nonremoval of the Spoon plus Sequential Presentation to Generalize Treatment Gains in the Home
Authors: McHugh, C. L., Zonneveld, K. L. M., & Tardi, L. D.

Demonstrations of the effectiveness of nonremoval of the spoon (NRS) plus simultaneous presentation to increase consumption of nonpreferred food are widespread in the behavioral literature. McHugh and Zonneveld (in progress) used these procedures to increase consumption of eight foods for two young boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a university-run clinic; however, both children continued to refuse food in the home. We are using a multiple baseline across parent’s design to assess the effectiveness of parent training in the clinic on the child’s consumption of target and non-target food both in the clinic and in the home. Data collection is ongoing.

Behavioral Dentistry: A Literature Review
Authors: Zonneveld, K. L. M., McHugh, C. L., & Carter, A. B.

Worldwide prevalence rates of cavities range between 60% to 90% of children and approximately 100% of adults (WHO, 2012). Given this widespread prevalence of cavities across the lifespan, the Canadian Dental Association (2017) and American Dental Associations (2010) recommend regular dental visits. However, for those fearful of the dentist, regular dental visits can be quite problematic. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the current status of research on behavioral dentistry to improve skills associated with participating in routine dental care. Specifically, we review and analyze the treatment strategies evaluated within this literature and provide recommendations for practice. In addition, we discuss potential areas for future research and call for research that can be carried out in a relatively brief amount of time, produce lasting effects that are socially meaningful to parents and other caregivers, and used with a range of individuals (e.g., both children and adults).

Comparison of Prompting Procedures to Teach Activities of Daily Living to Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Authors: Zonneveld, K. L. M., McHugh, C. L., Driscoll, N., & Makela, T.

Teaching adults with intellectual disabilities how to perform activities of daily living promotes independence and can improve the quality of their lives. A previous study by Pachis and Zonneveld (in press) compared the effectiveness of video modelling and text-based instruction to teach internet skills to older adults. Results showed that both procedures were effective, with text-based instructions being slightly more efficient for 1 participant and video prompting being more efficient for 2 participants. This study aims to extend this evaluation to activities for daily living with a different population to determine the most effective and efficient mode of prompting.

Comparing the High-Probability Instructional Sequence with and without Food to Increase Consumption of Nonpreferred Foods in Children with Feeding Disorders
Authors: Leathen, N. M., & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

Food selectivity is defined as a child or youth refusing to eat a sufficient variety of foods based on type, texture, or other dimensions (e.g., colour, packaging). It can have a substantial negative impact on family stress, child nutrition and health, and can lead to inappropriate mealtime behaviours. The high-probability (high-p) instructional sequence is a non-intrusive procedure that involves the presentation of three high-p instructions followed by the presentation of one low-probability instruction. To date, only eight studies – with mixed findings – have examined the effectiveness of the high-p instructional sequence to increase young children’s consumption of food. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of two iterations of the high-p instructional sequence, high-p with a preferred food on a spoon and high-p with an empty spoon, to increase food consumption in 2 children with autism spectrum disorder and food selectivity.

Decreasing Food Selectivity Using the High-Probability Request Sequence: A Review
Authors: Leathen, N. M., & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

The high-probability (high-p) request sequence is a non-intrusive procedure that consists of the presentation of a series of high-p requests followed by the presentation of one low-probability request (Mace et al., 1988). It has been shown to effectively increase food acceptance, academic and social instructions, and compliance with medical tasks across a variety of populations. To date, only eight studies have examined the effectiveness of the high-p request sequence to increase food acceptance, and this research has produced mixed results. It is possible that the existing research has produced mixed results because researchers used different (a) types of high-p requests (e.g., an empty spoon, food on a spoon, or a motor task) and (b) reinforcement procedures for compliance with the high-p and low-p requests. In this review, we examine the current literature on the high-p request sequence to treat food selectivity, highlight and discuss procedural differences across studies, and provide directions for future research.

A Comparison of Instructor Lead and Video Model to Teach Post-Secondary Students to Create Single Subject Graphs in Excel
Authors: Zonneveld, K. L. M., McHugh, C. L., Leathen, N. M., Cox, A., Asaro, M. M., Tardi, L. D.

Data organization and graph design are one of the core competencies required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. Therefore, the purpose of this between-groups design study is to compare the effects of a video-modeling tutorial and a directed-instruction tutorial on the accuracy and latency of constructing an ABAB reversal graph using Microsoft Excel. We will also assess the extent to which each tutorial type produces generalized performance of an untrained multielement graph using Microsoft Excel. Data collection is ongoing.

Increasing Young Children’s Compliance with Essential-Routine Procedures
Authors: Zonneveld, K. L. M., Carter, A. B., Pachis, J. A., Leathen, N. M., Neidert, P. L., & Harrison, K.

This study is designed to extend the findings of Conyers et al. (2004) by using a similar in-situ desensitization procedure consisting of synchronous reinforcement and demand fading. However, this study will differ from the Conyers et al. study in that (a) subjects will be young children (1-10 years of age with and without developmental disabilities), (b) will not only evaluate compliance with dental visits but also compliance with haircuts, (c) will include actual professionals in the design of the task analyses, and (d) will assess the level of compliance prior to, during, and following baseline and treatment in actual-essential routine procedure situations to assess stimulus generalization.

Comparing Two Variations of a Dependent Group Contingency to Increase Physical Activity in Elementary School Aged Students
Authors: Asaro, M. M., & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

Dependent group contingencies are designed to target the behavior of a group of individuals by arranging reinforcement for the group dependent on the behavior of one individual within the group. This individual is often referred to as the hero and can either be identified or not prior to the session. Both variations of the dependent group contingency have been effective for producing behavior change but have never been compared. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare the effects of these two variations of a dependent group contingency on elementary school-aged children’s physical activity.

Evaluating Schedule Thinning in Functional Communication Training Using Multiple Schedules and Chained Schedules
Authors: Asaro, M. M., Zonneveld, K. L. M., McHugh, C. L., Carter, A., Tardi, L. D., & Leathen, N. M.

Functional communication training (FCT) is designed to decrease problem behavior while increasing a functionally equivalent alternative communicative response (FCR). Although effective, this procedure tends to produce high rates of the FCR that may not be manageable for parents or teachers. The purpose of this evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness of two common strategies (multiple schedules and chained schedules) to thin the schedule of reinforcement for the FCR with a young child with autism spectrum disorder whose problem behavior was multiply controlled. We found that FCT plus extinction produced an immediate decrease in problem behavior in both contexts. This decrease in problem behavior was accompanied by an increase in overall rate of prompted and unprompted mands. The schedule thinning evaluation is ongoing across both functions.

Group Contingencies Plus a Decibel-Feedback System to Reduce Noise Levels Within Schools.
Authors: Asaro, M. M., & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

Group contingencies are designed to target the behavior of the group simultaneously and have been found to produce reliable changes in a wide variety of behaviors. For example, group contingencies have been used to decrease off-task behavior, increase physical activity, increase productivity in workers, and decrease negative vocalizations. In this review, we will focus on the available research on the use of group contingencies to reduce noise levels within schools. To date, 13 studies have effectively arranged a variety of group contingencies on noise levels. We will synthesize these findings and provide suggestions for future research and practical applications.

A Comparison of a Modified Food Chaining Procedure with Sequential Presentation Plus Nonremoval of the Spoon for Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Authors: Tardi, L. D., & Zonneveld, K. L. M.

Selective eating is defined as a child exhibiting total food refusal, or only eating foods of a specific type, texture, color, or food group. Food selectivity is often a concern for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as evidence has suggested that approximately 72% of children with ASD show signs of selective eating. Behavioural interventions, routed in applied behaviour analysis (ABA), are the only empirically validated interventions for treating food selectivity and inappropriate mealtime behaviour. Irrespective of the literature, there are still many advocates for alternative approaches (e.g., occupational therapy; OT) to treat food selectivity. The purpose of this study is to compare an OT intervention, food chaining, to an ABA intervention, sequential presentation with nonremoval of the spoon on food consumption in children with autism spectrum disorder. This research will provide evidence of the more effective and efficient intervention for increasing food consumption. These results could help influence governmental funding to insure the time and resources are being dedicated to the most empirically supported and efficient intervention. Given the major health risks for children with food selectivity, this research is imperative to provide valuable information regarding efficient intervention to target selective eating for this population.

A Comparison of Teaching with Acoustical Guidance and Praise to Teach Yoga Poses to Older Adults
Authors: Zonneveld, K. L. M., Tardi, L. D., Ennett, T. E., & Stuart, A.

Teaching with acoustical guidance (TAG) is a teaching procedure that has been effectively used for skill acquisition in areas such as sports, walking, yoga, and surgical procedures. TAG consists of using an auditory stimulus (e.g., click sound) to indicate that a desired behaviour has occurred. To our knowledge, the use of TAG has never been directly compared to other forms of conditioned reinforcement, such as positive praise. This study compares the effectiveness of providing an auditory stimulus to a simple praise statement (e.g., “good”) to teach older adults yoga poses. This study will provide further insight to the use of TAG to teach physical activity, and will offer evidence for the more effective teaching procedure.

  • Carter, A., & Zonneveld, K. L. M. (accepted for publication). Assessment of the displacement of leisure items by edible items: A systematic replication. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Fryling, M., Zonneveld, K. L. M., Zaragoza, A., & McHugh, C. L. (in press). Feeding disorders. In J. Matson (Ed.)Handbook of intellectual disabilities: Integrating theory, research, and practice. Springer.
  • Zonneveld, K. L. M., Neidert, P. L., Dozier, C. L., Gureghian, D. L., & Bayles, M. W. (accepted for publication). Assessing factors that influence young children’s food choices. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Pachis, J. A., & Zonneveld, K. L. M. (accepted for publication). Comparison of prompting procedures to teach internet skills to older adults. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Ennett, T. E., Zonneveld, K. L. M., Thomson, K. M., Vause, T., & Ditor, D. (accepted for publication). Comparison of two TAGteach error-correction procedures to teach beginner yoga poses to novice adult practitioners. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • Greer, B. D., Neidert, P. L., Dozier, C. L., Payne, S. W., Zonneveld, K. L. M., & Harper, A. M. (2013). Functional analysis and treatment of problem behaviour in early education classrooms. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 46, 289-295.
  • Wilder, D. A., Saulnier, R., Beavers, G., & Zonneveld, K. (2008). Contingent access to preferred items versus a guided compliance procedure to increase compliance among preschoolers. Education and Treatment of Children, 31, 297-306.
  • Wilder, D. A., Zonneveld, K., Harris, C., Marcus, A., & Reagan, R. (2007). Further analysis of antecedent interventions for preschoolers? compliance. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 40, 535-539.
  • Squires, J., Wilder, D. A., Fixsen, A., Hess, E., Rost, K., Curran, R., & Zonneveld, K. (2007). The effects of task clarification, visual prompts, and graphic feedback on customer greeting and up-selling in a restaurant. Journal of Organizational Behaviour Management, 27, 1-13.