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 #117
Strategies for Enhancing Staff Training, Performance Monitoring, and Quality of Work Life
Sunday, May 28, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
International Ballroom North
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis & Support Center, Ltd.)
Discussant: David A. Rotholz (University of South Carolina (UCEDD))
Abstract: This symposium will present results of three behavior analytic studies providing new information relevant to monitoring, training, and motivating work performance of direct support staff in developmental disabilities, respectively. The first study demonstrates how targeted staff performance can be reactive to typical monitoring procedures used in staff management. Reactivity to monitoring was demonstrated using a reversal experimental design involving conditions of apparent and nonapparent observations of work behavior. This study also demonstrates how staff reactivity to monitoring can be used proactively to maintain performance through staff self-monitoring. The second study employed a repeated measures, between groups design to demonstrate how use of a video can expedite training staff to implement behavior support plans with individuals with challenging behavior relative to exclusive reliance on a traditional, live training method. The third study demonstrates how staff motivation in terms of reported enjoyment with work can be increased by making disliked work tasks more preferred for staff. Results of all three studies are discussed in terms of research-based findings for enhancing staff training and management practices.
Effects of Staff Reactivity to Observations on Evaluating and Promoting Performance Maintenance.
DENNIS H. REID (Carolina Behavior Analysis & Support Center, Ltd.), Leah Brackett (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Carolyn W. Green (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Abstract: Reactivity of staff performance to a common observation process used to evaluate maintenance of behavior change was evaluated. Initially, the intent was to replicate an outcome management program for improving staff performance. The program was applied with 2 job coaches to decrease their completion of work-break activities for 4 supported workers with severe disabilities, and increase worker involvement in completing the activities themselves. Job coach completion of activities for the workers decreased when the management program was implemented, with effects appearing to maintain across a 16-week period. Subsequently, a comparison was made of job coach behavior during conditions of apparent versus nonapparent observations of their performance. Results indicated the coaches completed much less of the activities for the supported workers during the former condition, suggesting improved performance maintained only when it was apparent that observations were occurring. When job coaches then self-recorded their performance, their completion of break activities for the workers remained low while observations were not apparent. Results are discussed regarding implications of staff reactivity to follow-up observations in investigations reporting maintenance of staff behavior.
Preparing Staff to Implement Behavior Plans: Effectiveness and Efficiency of Live Versus Video Training.
NIAMH P. O'KANE (Arlington Developmental Center), Kenneth M. Macurik (Arlington Developmental Center), Paul Malanga (Arlington Developmental Center), Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis & Support Center, Ltd.)
Abstract: A comparison was conducted of the efficiency and effectiveness of training staff to implement treatment plans for challenging behavior among people with developmental disabilities in a residential setting using live versus video training. During initial classroom-based training, a behavior analyst trained 8 staff in live meetings in which the plan was explained vocally and with written handouts. The same information was used to train 9 staff using a VHS video. Staff knowledge of the plan was assessed with a written quiz. Subsequently, staff knowledge and performance skills were assessed on the job (as part of on-the-job training). Results showed the two types of training were essentially equivalent regarding staff acquisition of verbal and performance skills. However, the video training required significantly less time per staff member and the behavior analyst (following development of the video) than live training. These results were then replicated with another group of staff and behavior analyst. Overall results are discussed regarding advantages and disadvantages of the two types of training regarding effectiveness, efficiency, and staff acceptance.
Enhancing Quality of Work Life: Strategies for Making Disliked Work Task More Preferred for Staff.
CAROLYN W. GREEN (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Susan Passante (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Vicki S. Canipe (Carolina Behavior Analysis & Support Center, Ltd.), Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis & Support Center, Ltd.)
Abstract: A supervisory/consultative strategy was evaluated for increasing the preferred nature of disliked work tasks among 3 support staff in a residential facility. Baseline measures of preferred and nonpreferred work tasks were initially obtained by staff repeatedly ranking and rating their most common work tasks. Next, a supervisory/consultative strategy was implemented in a multiple probe fashion across staff and work tasks. Tasks were selected for the intervention based on their rankings and ratings as being the least preferred by respective staff persons. The intervention strategy involved altering each task by including desired events and items as part of the task-completion process. Results indicated that the strategy was accompanied by changes in ratings of the targeted work tasks that indicated each respective task became more preferred by each staff person. Additionally, for 2 of the 3 staff, the target task was no longer ranked as the least preferred work task following the intervention. Results are discussed in regard to enhancing the preferred nature of disliked work tasks as a potential means of increasing the quality of staff work life.



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