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 #346
Behavioral Self-Monitoring Applied to Occupational Safety and Health
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ryan B. Olson (Oregon Health & Science University)

Behavioral self-monitoring (SM) procedures are a common component of behavioral therapies, and involve having an individual observe, evaluate, and record aspects of his or her own behavior (Korotitsch & Nelson-Gray, 1999). Applications of behavioral SM in the workplace are rare but have received periodic empirical attention for over 30 years. This symposium emphasizes the application of behavioral SM procedures to improve occupational safety and health. Presentations include the most recent and comprehensive review of the relevant research literature and recent laboratory work on the effects of SM-based treatments on postural performance during simulated office work.

Behavioral Self-Monitoring in the Workplace: A Literature Review.
RYAN B. OLSON (Oregon Health & Science University), Jamey Winchester (Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract: Applications of SM in the workplace are rare but have received periodic empirical attention for over 30 years. A recent trend is to include SM as a component of occupational safety and health interventions (Hickman & Geller, 2003a; 2003b; Krause, 1997; McCann & Sulzer-Azaroff, 1996; Olson & Austin, 2001). This promising work may flounder without a critical consideration of the relevant literature. Twenty-one studies with 36 treatment conditions were reviewed and scored along dimensions relevant to research and practice. Effect sizes were calculated using raw data derived from graphs using GraphClick™ software. The majority of treatments were multi-component (n=30) and effect sizes ranged from 0.5 to 14.5 (dMw=2.6). While these effects encourage including SM in package interventions, the literature is deficient in significant areas. For example, only 5 of the 36 treatment conditions isolated SM and only one study controlled for demand characteristics. Future research should include greater control for confounding variables, broader theoretical analyses, and investigations variables that may enhance the acceptability and functionality of behavioral SM in the workplace.
The Effects of Self-Monitoring on Safe Postural Performance.
NICOLE E. GRAVINA (Western Michigan University), Lori Schroedter (Western Michigan University), Shannon M. Loewy (Florida State University), John Austin (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of self-monitoring on safe positioning of individuals performing a typing task and an assembly task using a multiple baseline design across tasks and/or behaviors. The study took place in an analogue office setting and participants were seven college students who were able to touch type 25 words per min. The dependent variable was the percentage of observations scored as safe and each session was recorded via a hidden camera. During baseline, participants received information regarding safe positions and demonstrated the positions. In the self-monitoring phase, participants were asked to record whether a targeted posture was safe or at-risk. If constraints of the study permitted it, a third phase was implemented consisting of either an overt camera condition or self-monitoring multiple behaviors. Results showed moderate improvement in safe positioning over baseline for most posture targets when self-monitoring was implemented. For example, participant 4’s baseline arm position was 6% and 16% safe for the typing and assembly tasks, respectively. During self-monitoring percentage of safe observations improved to 54% for the typing task and 26% for the assembly tasks. Similar results were yielded for other participants.
Investigating the Effects of Real-Time Visual Feedback on Computer Workstation Posture.
SIGURDUR OLI SIGURDSSON (Western Michigan University), John Austin (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This talk focuses on preliminary findings from pilot participants in a study aimed at improving posture at computer workstations. A multiple-baseline design across behaviors was used, and data were collected on the following postural behaviors: back, head/neck, arms, wrists, legs. Participants performed a transcription task during baseline. During intervention, participants also were exposed to feedback of their own posture through a web-browser window that contained a real-time feed from a digital camera. During intervention, participants also were asked to self-monitor their posture, and record their responses in a web-based self-monitoring form. Results from one pilot participant indicated that feedback and self-monitoring of all five postural behaviors simultaneously resulted in the most consistent high performance. Results for other participants were mixed and more difficult to interpret. The results are discussed in terms of using technology to enhance self-management of postures in office settings.



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