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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #459
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in the Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypy
Monday, May 26, 2008
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Continental C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: John T. Rapp, Ph.D.

The extent to which noncontingent access to structurally matched stimulation decreased stereotypy in children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities was evaluated in each study. Lanovaz and Rapp evaluated the extent to which both unconditioned and conditioned motivating operations could be used to alter stereotypy. Swanson and Rapp evaluated the within-session patterns of stereotypy to determine if competing stimulation exerted differential effects at the beginning, middle, or end of each session. Smith and Rapp assessed whether conjugate-controlled vs. experimenter-controlled noncontingent preferred stimulation was more efficacious for decreasing stereotypy and also which intervention was preferred by the participants. Finally, Frewing and Rapp used a conditional percentage analysis from a free-operant preference assessment to accurately predict which stimuli would be most effective for decreasing stereotypy. The behavior changes produced in each experiment are discussed in terms of the utility of procedures for altering the value of automatically reinforced behavior.

An Evaluation of Events that Alter the Value of Stereotypy: Some Preliminary Effects of Conditioned Motivating Operations.
MARC J LANOVAZ (Centre de Réadaptation Lisette-Dupras), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The effects of unconditioned and conditioned motivating operations (CMOs) on the vocal stereotypy of three participants were evaluated in two experiments using a three-component multiple-schedule. The results from Experiment 1 showed that two participants typically displayed lower levels of stereotypy in the third component than the first component, suggesting that prior access to stereotypy functioned as an abolishing operation (AO) for later engagement in stereotypy. Based on this outcome, a stimulus was subsequently paired with the third component to determine if that stimulus could acquire properties of a CMO. After several pairings, presentation of the stimulus in the first component altered vocal stereotypy for both participants, suggesting that it functioned as a CMO. The results from Experiment 2 varied across the three participants but generally showed that preferred stimulation functioned as a temporary AO for later engagement in vocal stereotypy. The behavior changes produced in both experiments are discussed in terms of the utility of procedures for altering the value of automatically reinforced behavior.
Changes in Stereotypy as a Function of Antecedent Stimulation and Access to Stereotypy.
GREGORY J. SWANSON (St. Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: The percentage of time two participants engaged in stereotypy in the presence and absence of alternative stimulation (toys and music) was evaluated using three consecutive components. For one participant, the results showed that alternative stimulation increased stereotypy and that stereotypy typically decreased across the 3 components in the presence or absence of alternative stimulation. For the other participant, data indicated that antecedent stimulation decreased one form of stereotypy and increased another. The results are briefly discussed in terms of interactions between establishing operations and abolishing operations for stereotypy.
The Effects of Conjugate Reinforcement versus Noncontingent Reinforcement on Levels of Stereotypy.
DEAN SMITH (UK Young Autism Project), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Research has shown that conducting functional analyses can identify whether or not stereotypy is maintained by automatic reinforcement, and preference assessments can be conducted to identify reinforcers that can be used to compete with stereotypy and reduce levels of the behaviour. Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) procedures that use stimuli that are matched to the stereotypy have been shown to reduce levels of stereotypy. The current study aims to compare NCR procedures with conjugate reinforcement procedures to determine whether participants’ control over levels of stimulation is more effective than response-independent procedures using a brief reversal design. In addition, this study aims to determine whether participants show a preference for the two conditions using a concurrent operants design.
Using a Stimulus Preference Assessment to Predict the Effects of Noncontingent Access to Preferred Stimulation on Levels of Stereotypic Chin-Tapping.
TYLA M. FREWING (St. Cloud State University), John T. Rapp (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: A mulitelement design with an extended baseline condition was used to evaluate the effects of noncontingent access to preferred stimuli on levels of stereotypical chin-tapping in a five-year-old boy. A 30-min free-operant stimulus preference assessment (FOSPA) was used to identify preferred stimuli that were correlated with either high or low conditional percentages of stereotypical chin-tapping. The results showed that the conditional percentages that were generated from the FOSPA accurately predicted the efficacy of preferred stimuli for decreasing stereotypy.



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