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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #46
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis Research in Safety and Health
Saturday, May 27, 2006
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: John Austin (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: R. Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.

Behavior excesses and deficits have been identified as causal or contributing factors for a the leading causes of death, injury and disability. This symposium illustrates the role of behavior analysis interventions in altering risky behavior (i.e., dangerous behavior on school playgrounds), in promoting protective behavior (i.e., wearing bicycle safety helmets), and understanding factors that contribute to injurious behavior (i.e., the influence of violent video games on aggressive behavior).

It's All Fun and Games until Somebody Gets Hurt: Reducing Risky Behavior on School Playground Equipment.
KIMBERLY SECKINGER (Western Michigan University), R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University), Geoffrey D. DeBery (Western Michigan University), Nancy J. Lindahl (Advantage Schools Inc. - Kalamazoo Academy)
Abstract: Each year, over 200,000 people receive emergency room care for injuries sustained on recreational equipment, and a vast majority of these injuries involve children under the age of 15 who have been hurt on school playground equipment. A number of strategies to reduce playground injury have been proposed but few controlled studies have been published to evaluate the impact of injury reduction proposals on safe and risky playground behavior. A notable exception was Heck, Collins, & Peterson, 2001 who reported reductions in risk-taking behavior on playground equipment when programmed consequences were implemented for unsafe behavior. The purposes of the current investigation were to replicate and extend previous research though a component analysis of an injury prevention package designed to decrease unsafe use of playground recreational equipment among elementary school children. Results demonstrated that consistent behavioral contingencies for risky behavior produced the greatest reduction in students' unsafe behavior on the slide, although a portion of this decline could be attributed to a reduction in the absolute amount of play on this particular piece of equipment. Implications of these findings and further areas for research are discussed.
Effects of Playing Violent Video Games and Young Adult's Behavior and Physiology.
R. WAYNE FUQUA (Western Michigan University), Kent D. Smallwood (Western Michigan University), Joseph Charles Dagen (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Each year, interactive technology becomes more and more advanced, offering more lifelike environments, immersive experiences, and realistic situations. Additionally, the videogame industry has over doubled in size in less than ten years, now rivaling the box office industry. However, technological advances have quickly outpaced our understanding of the effects of certain types of adult content on the game player. To date, the majority of the research on the topic was conducted before the games themselves were technologically advanced enough to draw meaningful conclusions; the few studies conducted in the last few years, while offering promising methodological advancements from previous work, still have several shortcomings, mostly in their choice of dependent measures. The purposes of the present investigation were to build off of the small research base related to effects of violent video games on behavior and physiology, as well as utilize several different types of dependent measures not used in other studies. Results demonstrated limited behavioral effects and no physiological or attitudinal difference between the group that played the nonviolent game, compared to the group that played the violent game. Implications of these findings, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
An Evaluation of the Behaviorally Based Helmet Program in Middle Schools.
RON VAN HOUTEN (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Behaviorally Based Helmet Program was evaluated at two middle schools with a history of helmet use enforcement and a third School with no background of helmet use enforcement using a multiple baseline across schools design. One of the two schools with a history of helmet enforcement also received the Behaviorally Helmet Program the previous year. Researchers scored helmet use and correct helmet use in the afternoon when students left school to ride home. Probe data were also collected in when students arrived at school in the morning, and some distance from the school in the afternoon to determine whether they took there helmets off. The treatment consisted of: 1. Group goal setting on helmet use; 2.) A short lecture on the importance of helmet use; 3.) a short DVD on how to correctly fit a helmet; 4.) peer helmet monitoring in the afternoon; 5.) Posted feedback on afternoon helmet use based on peer collected data; 6.) Shared reinforcement in the form of a party when peers for increased helmet use. Following the introduction of the treatment package afternoon helmet use increased from 82% to 98% at the school that received the program the previous year (baseline the previous year was about 50%) and from 52% to 95% at the second school which had not received the helmet program the previous year. The remaining school which only applied the Behaviorally Based Helmet Program without a history of enforcement showed an increase in helmet use from 14% to 45%. Correct helmet use was scored when the helmet was appropriately buckled, and level. Correct use increased from 64% to 80% and from to 37% to 78% at the schools with a history of helmet enforcement and from 9% to 40% at the school which did not have a history of helmet enforcement. The major reason that helmets were scored as worn incorrectly during baseline was that they were unbuckled. During treatment most were buckled but those scored as being worn incorrectly typically were not secured as tightly. These increases in helmet use were maintained after the program was terminated and in spot checks conducted some distance from the schools and transferred to the morning arrival. It is interesting to note that students were rarely ticketed for not wearing their helmets after the program was introduced at the two schools which had a policy of enforcement for non-helmet use.



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