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 #287
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program Across Multiple Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program (BASP) is a statewide program for dependent children and their caregivers. Over 60 board certified behavior analysts from the University of South Florida and the University of Florida work with parents and staff to improve their interactions with previously abused and neglected children. Caregivers receive training in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum and learn how to implement individualized behavior plans when necessary. Three presentations within the current symposium discuss the results of the training across several settings; Foster homes, group homes, a group shelter, and a Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) Facility. The results of these studies indicated that the training was effective in producing positive outcomes (i.e., decreasing restrictive procedures and increasing positive interactions across all of these settings). The final presentation focuses on two components of the training; the in-class and in-home components. Results indicated that caregivers who received both components showed higher post-test scores and greater increases in positive interactions with their children when compared to those caregivers who only received the in-class component. In summary, the results of the current studies indicate that the BASP program can be effective across multiple settings and caregivers.

Longitudinal Evaluation of Placement Disruptions within Individual Foster Homes.
DAVID GELLER (University of South Florida), Bryon Neff (University of South Florida), Michael Cripe (University of South Florida), Terresa A. Kenney (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: There appears to be a consensus among different professionals and families in the foster care system that too many children experience multiple placement changes. Few articles have been published that have focused on foster parenting skills in relation to placement disruptions, although there is some evidence that placement disruptions could be prevented by providing more services and training to foster parents. Stone and Stone (1983) found that greater case worker contacts and rapport building with foster parents was associated with increased placement stability. The current study proposes to teach foster parents how to interact in a positive way with foster children using the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum which could result in decreases in behaviorally based placement disruptions. Behavioral disruptions prior to and after parents met competency measures in the curriculum were recorded. Results showed that 15 out of 19 foster homes showed decreases in behavioral placement disruptions after training. The overall rate of behaviorally based disruptions decreased from .75 to .47 disruptions per year from baseline to treatment. This reduction was found to be significant (z=2.12, p<.05). Although a small sample size, this study shows that teaching foster parents a behaviorally based curriculum may reduce placement disruptions.
Decreasing the use of Restrictive Procedures at a group shelter and Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program Facility.
ALFREDO BLANCO (University of South Florida), Tamela Giddings (University of South Florida), Maricel Cigales (University of South Florida), David Geller (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The use of some restrictive procedures, including physical restraint, has been controversial. The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has estimated that between 8 and 10 children in the United States die each year due to restraint, while numerous others suffer injuries such as broken bones and damaged joints (CWLA, 2002). For foster care children who have already suffered various degrees of abuse, restrictive procedures may only add to their emotional and behavioral problems. In the current study, staff from both a group foster care shelter and a SIPP facility for foster children were trained in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum. Baseline measures were conducted in which the use of restrictive procedures was recorded based on incident reports at each facility. Following training, decreases in several restrictive procedures were observed at both facilities. At the group shelter, take down procedures reduced significantly from approximately 10 per month to less than 1 per month. The SIPP facility showed a 70% or greater reduction in physical holds, restraint procedures, and psychiatric medication use. These results indicate that the training was effective in decreasing the use of the most restrictive procedures used by these facilities over several months following treatment.
Effects of Staff Training on Types of Interactions Observed within Several Group Homes for Foster Care Children.
CATHERINE WILCOX (University of South Florida), Wayne A. Sager (University of South Florida), Terresa A. Kenney (University of South Florida), Randi Pickle (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Staff training is an often used intervention designed to strengthen caregiver behaviors that may function to decrease inappropriate child behavior and increase appropriate child behaviors. Weise (1992) conducted a critical review of caregiver training research and suggested that more studies need to collect specific direct observation data on caregiver behavior change. She reported that approximately 83% of published caregiver training studies only used subjective measures, such as rating scales and self-report measures. The current study collected both baseline and treatment measures, employing both AB and multiple baseline designs across a total of five group homes. All caregivers were trained in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum. Direct observation measures were conducted in which data were collected on positive interactions, negative interactions (i.e., coercives), and tool use. Reliability measures were obtained for approximately 20% of the sessions. Increases in both positive interactions and tool use were observed in the treatment phase while decreases in negative interactions were also found for four of the group homes. For one of the group homes, positive interactions did not increase, however, tool use increased and negative interactions decreased. Overall, the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum resulted in positive changes in staff behavior.
Evaluating the Tools for Positive Behavior Change with Parents of Children Enrolled in ESE Programs.
KIMBERLY CROSLAND (University of South Florida), Amanda Keating (University of South Florida), Bryon Neff (University of South Florida), Glenn Dunlap (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The majority of parent training studies have evaluated either a group training curriculum or some form of individual behavioral training, while few studies have specifically compared the effects of group training versus individual training with the same curriculum. Two studies have suggested that some didactic group training along with home supports may provide an optimal combination of services to increase parenting skills (Hampson, Schulte, and Ricks, 1983, Kaiser et al., 1995). Using a cross-over design, the current study evaluated the effects of in-class training alone versus in-class training plus in-home training and attempted to determine when the in-home training is more effective (i.e., during or after the in-class training). Parents from the Hardee County School District attending the positive behavior change program were randomly selected for each group. Reliability measures were collected on approximately 30% of the pre- and post-test scores and 25% of the home observations and were consistently above 80% interval agreement. Results showed that parents who received both the in-class and in-home components showed greater improvement on post-test scores and also showed greater increases in positive interactions during home visits when compared to parents who only received the in-class component.



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