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 #426
International Symposium - Functional Assessment Methods Applied to Older Adults
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: James E. Carr (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Three papers are presented as examples of functional assessment methods applied to clinical issues for older adults.
Evaluating the Relationship Between Staff Attention and Disruptive Behavior Displayed by Nursing Home Residents with Dementia.
CAROLE M. VAN CAMP (University of Florida), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Katie Cherry (Louisiana State University), Joanne Bielecki (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: We conducted descriptive analyses of disruptive behavior exhibited by 4 elderly adults residing in a nursing home. Reciprocal interactions between the nursing home staff and participants were examined using a recently refined methodology for evaluating descriptive data (Vollmer, Borrero, Wright, Van Camp, & Lalli, 2001) that builds upon previous work on descriptive analysis (e.g., Bakeman & Gottman, 1997). Data analysis revealed that the staff provided low levels of attention to the residents overall. Three participants' disruptive behavior neither increased nor decreased the amount of attention that they received from the staff. For the other participant, staff were somewhat more likely to remove their attention when the resident was engaged in disruptive behavior than when the resident was not disruptive. Results suggest that this methodology may be useful for investigating staff-resident interactions and for furthering our understanding about important relations between staff behavior and disruptive behavior. Implications of the findings for the treatment of disruptive behavior and directions for future research are discussed.
A Summary of Functional Barriers to Hydration Identified Through A Functional Assessment Interview with Community Dwelling Older Adults.
LEILANI FELICIANO (Western Michigan University), Brian J. Feeney (Western Michigan University), Paige Raetz (Western Michigan University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Poor hydration is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and death in elder populations. Researchers interviewed 15 elders using the “Behavioral Dehydration Interview” to identify trends in environmental and health variables that impact elder hydration behavior. Participant self-report and correlations between fluid density and participant report identify which variables may have the most impact on hydration behavior in elder populations.
Staff Administered Functional Analysis and Treatment of Aggression by an Elder with Dementia.
JONATHAN C. BAKER (Western Michigan University), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas), R. Mark Mathews (University of Sydney)
Abstract: Physical aggression by nursing home residents with dementia is common. The current study represents an extension of the functional analysis literature to aggression by elders with dementia. Nursing home staff were taught to administer functional analyses, the results of which indicated that aggression was evoked during bathroom routines and that escape maintained aggression during these routines. Staff then implemented a function-based treatment of noncontingent escape, which reduced aggression to near-zero levels. Implications for the assessment and treatment of problem behaviors in nursing home settings are discussed.



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