Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #210
EAB Applications
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB
Chair: Jennifer Sweeney (Kent State University)
A Translational Study Examining Behavioral Momentum and Context in Children With Autism
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARK P. GROSKREUTZ (Utah State University), Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University), Nicole C. Groskreutz (Utah State University)
Abstract: There is a convincing body of evidence (across species, responses, and reinforcers) for the generality of behavioral momentum theory that has raised questions about applied techniques which may lead to more persistent behavior, including inappropriate behavior (Nevin & Grace, 2000). Behavioral momentum theory (Nevin, 1974; 1984) suggests that response rate and resistance to disruption are separate aspects of behavior. While the response-reinforcer relation determines rate of responding, the stimulus-reinforcer relation (i.e., total rate of reinforcement in a context) establishes resistance to disruption. To date, research on behavioral momentum has been conducted using primarily basic preparations with clear contextual cues, such as colored keylights. An important question then becomes, “What naturally occurring stimuli determine context in applied settings?” The current study uses a multiple baseline across participants design to examine whether different therapists may function as context and result in differential resistance to extinction with free operant, educational responses in children with autism. Baseline includes identical reinforcement schedules with two therapists alternating sessions. During intervention, the therapists are associated with either a relatively rich or lean schedule of reinforcement. Under disruption (extinction), absolute and relative persistence of responding is measured. Results and relevance of behavioral momentum for applied settings are discussed.
A Systematic Replication of the Effectiveness of Group Discrete Trials for Children With Developmental Disabilities
Domain: Experimental Analysis
JENNIFER SWEENEY (Kent State University)
Abstract: Group Discrete Trials (GDT) consist of a series of instructional trials delivered systematically to a group. In contrast to instruction where students passively learn, GDTs offer an active learning environment with frequent opportunities to respond. Discrete trials utilized in a 1:1 setting have been documented as an evidence-based practice. However, few studies have investigated the effectiveness and feasibility of utilizing discrete trials in a group setting. Generous efforts have been made to identify treatments that meet evidence-based standards. The current study sought to contribute to the literature by systematically replicating the findings of Taubman, Brierley, Wishner, McEachin, and Leaf (2001) and demonstrating effectiveness of GDTs. Specifically, the researcher assessed the following: (a) skill acquisition with a group of five kindergarten students with developmental disabilities, including autism, (b) teacher ability to deliver group discrete trials with integrity while collecting data, and (c) observational learning as a result of being included in group instruction. In addition, methods for assessing generalization were measured during maintenance sessions. Results indicated that all of the participants acquired the targeted skills, including skills measured for observational learning, as a result of the GDTs and the teacher was able to deliver the instruction with integrity while collecting data.



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