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 #382
Further Analysis of Assessment and Treatment: Progressing from Early Identification and Treatment through Functional Analysis
Monday, May 29, 2006
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
International Ballroom North
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Although much research focuses on assessing current behavioral problems, avoiding the development of problem behavior by identifying at-risk populations and providing early intervention services may prevent expensive, time-consuming assessment and treatment. The following papers offer a systematic progression of assessment and treatment methods that range from early identification of at-risk children to school-age children displaying more severe problem behavior. The first paper focuses on the identification and remediation of proto-injurious behavior, which may prevent the development of more severe problem behavior. Similarly, the second presentation offers a method for producing appropriate behavior (e.g., turn-taking) and reducing problem behavior (e.g., aggression) in children in a pre-school, suggesting that more severe behavior problems may be avoided by implementing services at an early age. The third paper focuses on outcome data on assessment of existing problem behavior in an outpatient clinic using brief-functional analysis procedures within the context of time-limited services. Finally, the fourth paper evaluated the extent to which the results of brief functional analysis results matched those of more extended analyses for children whose behavior problems warranted admission to an inpatient hospital.
Early Intervention for Automatically Maintained Proto-injurious Behavior Exhibited by Young Children with Disabilities.
DAVID M. RICHMAN (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Heather M. Teichman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Joy Kolb (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: The presentation will summarize preliminary results of an early intervention package for six young children (mean chronological age of 22 months) with developmental disabilities exhibiting proto self-injurious behavior (SIB). The intervention package was designed to (a) decrease current nonsocially mediated proto-SIB via response blocking coupled with enriched environment (Phase I); and (b) increase the participants’ response repertoire to appropriately request social consequences via early augmentative functional communication training (Phase II). Interobserver occurrence agreement for dependent variables (mean = 91%, range = 43% to 100%) was collected across all phases of the study and all participants (mean = 46% of sessions, range between participants = 23% to 75%). The effects of the intervention package on proto-SIB were evaluated via multiple baseline and reversal designs for the first six participants in the study. Phase I of the treatment package resulted in a mean 71% (range, 39% to 98%) reduction in proto-SIB from baseline levels. Four participants have completed Phase II of the treatment package, and all four participants quickly learned to exhibit mands during functional communication training. Results will be discussed in terms of future research on early intervention and prevention of some forms of SIB.
Programming Learning Opportunities to Develop Preschool Life Skills.
GREGORY P. HANLEY (University of Kansas), Nicole Heal (University of Kansas), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Kansas), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Recently, non-maternal, center-based child care has been linked to problem behavior in young children (NICHD, 2003). In an effort to derail the development of problem behavior, a comprehensive skills training program to promote critical preschool life skills (PLSs) was evaluated with a classroom of 16 children between the ages of 3.9 and 5.3 years. Classroom observations were conducted during provocative situations to determine the likelihood of problem behaviors (vocal or motor disruptions, aggression) and preschool life skills. The class-wide intervention was then implemented in a staggered manner across the areas of instruction-following, functional communication, delay tolerance, and friendship skills. More specifically, each of thirteen PLSs was conveyed to children during scripted role-play scenarios. Continued observation and opportunities for teaching the skills were then embedded into typically scheduled activities (circle, free-play, transitions, meals) throughout the day. The effects of the classwide skills-training program on the emergence of PLSs and the probability of problem behavior were evaluated in a multiple probe design (all interobserver agreement exceeded 85%). The program resulted in a 69% reduction in problem behavior and over a 3-fold increase in PLSs. Implications for the design of early childhood experiences for preempting the development of serious problem behavior are discussed.
Further Review of Brief Functional Analyses Conducted in an Outpatient Clinic.
KATHERINE V. POWERS (Marcus Autism Center), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Previous researchers have employed brief functional analyses (BFA) to examine the functional properties of aberrant behavior exhibited by children and adults with developmental disabilities (Derby et al., 1992; Northup et al., 1991), especially in outpatient clinics where access to clients may be limited. Previous research has shown that the BFA procedures successfully identified the variables maintaining problem behavior in over 70% of cases. In the current study, we present (1) outcomes of BFAs conducted in an outpatient clinic setting that used procedures similar to those described by Derby et al. and (2) data from additional analyses when BFA results were inconclusive. Results of the current analyses suggest that, in the majority of cases, BFAs did not identify the variables that maintained problem behavior, and additional analyses were warranted.
Correspondence between Brief and Extended Functional Analyses Conducted across Clinical Settings.
TODD G. KOPELMAN (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), Jayme Mews (University of Iowa), Tory J. Christensen (University of Iowa), Terry S. Falcomata (University of Iowa), Jeffrey R. Luke (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The correspondence between brief and extended functional outcomes has been of interest to clinicians and researchers providing behavioral assessment services. For example, Kahng and Iwata (1999) compared rates of responding between full functional analyses and the first session of each analysis for individuals referred for an evaluation of SIB or aggression. Findings indicated a high rate of correspondence when the results of the extended functional analyses were clear, but much lower correspondence when the results of the extended analyses were unclear. In this study, the results of brief functional analyses conducted in an outpatient setting were compared to the results of extended functional analyses completed with the same participants during subsequent short-term inpatient evaluations. Data sets from the brief and extended functional analyses were independently reviewed by behavior analysts to identify the variables maintaining aberrant behavior. For each participant, analysis results were categorized as a “match” (same function identified across evaluations), a “false positive” (a function was identified in the brief analysis but not in the extended analysis) or a “false negative” (a function was not identified in the brief analysis but was identified in the extended analysis). Results will be discussed relative to the level of match across functions.



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