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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Poster Session #404
#404 Poster Session - EDC
Monday, May 30, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
114. Evidence Based Interventions for Students With Severe Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in School Settings
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
FRANK M. GRESHAM (University of California, Riverside), Kristy J. Rutherford (University of California, Riverside), S. Dean Crews (University of California, Riverside), Clayton R. Cook (University of California, Riverside), Kellie S. Butkiewicz (University of California, Riverside), Ramon B. Barreras (University of California, Riverside)
Abstract: Currently, little has been undertaken to increase understanding in the natural setting (i.e. classrooms) with respect to implementation of interventions with students with severe social, emotional, and behavioral problems. As this is an issue many educators face today, it is necessary to utilize applied behavioral analysis to the process of intervention with this specific population to garner information that can be used in the field. Interventions implemented should be evidence based, and methods for ensuring treatment integrity are also essential. This presentation will provide a discussion of evidence based intervention assessment, implementation, and results, via single case design, for several students with severe social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Evidence from Project REACH, which is a federally funded grant directed at investigating the implementation of evidence-based interventions with the top 1% of students in the schools that engage in the most intense social, emotional, and behavioral problems, will be used as the basis of the presentation. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of how empirically supported interventions can be implemented successfully in the natural school setting.
115. Privatizing Emotional Support: A Next Generation Classroom with Behavior Analysis at the Core
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ILEANA HELWIG (Children Crisis Treatment Center), Joseph D. Cautilli (Children Crisis Treatment Center), Nadine Harrington (Children Crisis Treatment Center), Todd Mitchell (Children Crisis Treatment Center)
Abstract: Many school districts are currently in the process of privatizing emotional support classrooms to community behavioral health agencies. Few research based models exist for the management of emotional support. One model which has been extensively researched over the last 30 years is Hill Walkers Engineered Learning Program. This model combines classroom rules, a classroom point system in which points are earned for on task behavior, work completion, and accuracy of work, with response cost for rule infraction and verbal or physical aggression, time out, a de-escalation procedure, curriculum based measurement and Direct Instruction teaching techniques. We modified this model with the use of Functional Behavioral Assessment, direct teaching of social and problem solving skills, and individualized behavior intervention plans. This paper explores our start up challenges in a large urban school district that was privatizing its emotional support program. Issues covered in this poster included training and feedback for staff, daily operations, and methods for ensuring program integrity.
116. Research on Behavioral Interventions in Schools at Individual, Classroom, School System, and District Levels
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TARY J. TOBIN (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Behavioral interventions in schools were studied in terms of effects and outcomes at four different levels. Processes and results are presented for (a) individual students identified by their kindergarten or first grade teachers as “Internalizers” or “Externalizers” and who were (or were not) provided with individualized function-based support, (b) classroom teachers’ behavior management strategies, (c) school level changes in systematic ways of organizing responses to teachers’ requests for behavioral assistance, and (d) district level options for improving the use of applied behavior analysis in schools. Although individual children whose behavior places them at risk for school failure often need support that is unique in some way, schools using teamwork, proactive planning, and data-based decision-making can find efficient ways to provide behavioral interventions without resorting to exclusion or punishment. Project FIVE (Functional Interventions in Versatile Environments), extends the work of the “Individualized Positive Behavior Support Project” (Tobin, Lewis-Palmer, & Sugai, 2002, see to promote inclusion and support for students with challenging behaviors by taking an ecological approach to organizational behavior management within districts, schools, and classrooms. For many students, combining individualized function-based support with more general behavioral strategies was the most efficient and effective approach.
117. A Technical Assistance Model for Providing Behavioral Consultation to Schools: An Analysis of Treatment Efficacy
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
BOB A. BAGGETT (Tennessee Technological University), Morgan Chitiyo (Tennessee Technological University), John J. Wheeler (Tennessee Technological University)
Abstract: The Make A Difference Project (MADP) at Tennessee Technological University is a service delivery program that provides training and technical assistance in the area of positive behavior supports to the 23-county Upper Cumberland region of middle Tennessee. MADP is grant-funded through the Tennessee Department of Education and is currently in its tenth year of operation. MADP provides schools with technical assistance in addressing individual student referrals, training opportunities in the areas of positive behavior supports/functional behavior assessment, and with the development of behavior support plans. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and social validation of MADP as perceived by school personnel.A survey was administered using a 5-point Likert-type scale with responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree and very good to very poor. First, respondents indicated the type of services they received from MADP. Second, using a Likert-type scale, respondents indicated their level of satisfaction with those services received. Data will be produced with a summary of findings as to the perceived efficacy of these services by school personnel.
118. An Examination of Variables Surrounding Use of Functional Assessment in Schools: A Meta-Analytic Review
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
FLORENCE D. DIGENNARO REED (Syracuse University), Derek D. Reed (Syracuse University), Laura Lee McIntyre (Syracuse University)
Abstract: Despite amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 1997) mandating the use of functional behavioral assessments (FBA) in some educational situations, research has suggested that the majority of published studies fail to utilize FBA in designing interventions for students with problem behavior. A review of last decade’s school-based interventions has shown that 52% of studies published in JABA failed to utilize FBA in designing student interventions. Furthermore, the inclusion of FBA data did not result in greater intervention effects when compared to studies that did not utilize FBA data (Gresham et al., 2004). The purpose of the present study was to extend the findings of Gresham and colleagues. Specifically, a meta-analysis of school-based interventions published in 17 journals between 1991 and 2004 was conducted to identify use and effectiveness of descriptive FBA and experimental functional analyses. Variables of interest included: participating student characteristics, setting, response class, type of assessment, time of intervention, and efficacy of intervention. Results will be presented in light of the passage of the 1997 amendments of IDEA. Discussion will focus on training school personnel to utilize FBA procedures in school settings and refining our functional analysis technology to be more amenable to school settings.
119. The Effects of Instructional Directives and Strategies on Compliance
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TODD G. KOPELMAN (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Abstract: A two phase experimental analysis was conducted within an outpatient clinic with three young children who displayed noncompliant behaviors. Both phases were conducted within multielement designs. Results of the functional analysis(Phase 1)indicated that problem behavior (i.e., tantrums, task refusal) was maintained by escape from demands. A brief antecedent evaluation of instructional directives (Phase 2) was then conducted in order to evaluate the effects of specific types of demands on accuracy and compliance. The results of this evaluation indicated that idiosyncratic patterns of the demands (i.e., the number of steps in a directive, the modality of the directive, or an interaction between steps and modality) emerged across participants. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 50 percent of the participants' sessions and mean agreement was not less than 80 percent across all sessions.
120. Effects of Matching Intervention to Problem of Stealing in Single Subject Case Study
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
DANA WAGNER (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: This study illustrates the usefulness of functional behavior assessment practices in the school setting. An eleven year old, sixth grade boy was suspected of stealing monetarily insignificant, but necessary items from peers and adults who were likely to react upon realization of the missing objects. A time out procedure followed by restitution resulted in no behavior change. The results of a functional assessment of the stealing behavior suggested that the behavior was maintained by positive reinforcement in the form of attention. An intervention was designed in which the student was challenged to secretly perform random acts of giving across school settings. Positive reinforcement in the form of attention from the recipients was delivered. During this intervention phase, stealing behavior decreased and was maintained at zero levels. When treatment was removed, the number of stealing incidents returned to baseline levels. Reimplementation of the intervention again extinguished the behavior. Giving behavior was generalized across settings. Results and discussion in terms of matching intervention to the results of functional assessment in a classroom setting follow.
121. Functional Analysis in a Public School Setting with an Adolescent Boy with Mental Retardation and Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
D. REED BECHTEL (Bechtel Behavioral Services), Susan J. Heatter (Sue Heatter & Associates)
Abstract: An analogue functional analysis was used to assess the variables controlling the throwing behavior of a 14 year old boy diagnosed with mental retardation and autism who attended the public school system. The role of social attention, escape, and automatic reinforcement were assessed using ten minute sessions. Idiosyncratic variables also were identified during automatic reinforcement conditions to assist in developing a successful intervention for the IEP.Classroom intervention data are presented regarding the effectiveness of the intervention as well as the occurrence of additional maladaptive behavior.
122. An Antecedent Experimental Analysis to Reduce Self-Injury in a School Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN D HOCH (University of Minnesota), Ellie Mauel (University of Minnesota), Michelle Rennie (Minneapolis Public Schools), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: We conducted a descriptive assessment (DA) and an experimental analysis (EA) to identify an effective treatment for high-rate self-injury (SIB)(head-punching) of a 7 year old, Neil, with profound disabilities. Neil's teachers spent most of the day blocking his SIB. As a result, Neil received little instruction. Instead, the teachers to engage his hands with free-play activities such as playing with sensory materials. Approximately 20 hours of video were collected during special education class, inclusion activities, and meals and were coded for engagement, self injury (SIB) and type of adult interaction. The resultant descriptive data suggested that SIB rarely occurred during structured activities. Next, an EA compared two conditions, free play and task demands, to test the hypothesis that SIB was less likely to occur during structured instructional activities. During several of the demand sessions, we taught Neil to use a microswitch to request preferred items. Rates of SIB were differentially lower across all demand sessions. Interobserver agreement averaged at least 80% (A/A+D) for 30% of all observations. Implications for behavioral consultation in applied settings are discussed.
123. Extinction of Screaming Maintained by Escape with and Without the Use of a Token Economy
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CRYSTAL BROOKE ALLEN (Northeastern University)
Abstract: Various forms of assessments have historically assisted in the identification of a behaviors particular function. Assessments are critical because it is important to understand behavior before changes are made. Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Barman, and Richman (1982) identified four general conditions of variables that maintain aberrant behavior. The varying methods, functional analysis, interviews, and/or direct observation, have found that demands can be related to aberrant behaviors, and have suggested that these behaviors can be maintained by negative reinforcement (Repp & Karsh, 1994). Many interventions employ escape extinction to some degree. In the present study, the aberrant behavior of screaming by 1 preschooler was researched using interviews, direct observations, and a functional analysis. As the behavior functioned for escape, extinction and extinction plus a token economy were utilized.
124. Use of Functional Communication Training as Treatment for Eloping Behavior of a Child that is Emotionally Disturbed
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANTONIO CONTRERAS, JR. (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) was utilized to assist with eloping behavior of a child that is emotionally disturbed, in a non-public school run by a mental health agency. It was hypothesized that the participant of this study was engaging in the problematic behavior due to deficits in communicating his desire for attention from school staff. Sessions were conducted to teach the participant to appropriately communicate this desire. These sessions consisted of eliciting the appropriate response by prompting the participant and then reinforcing the participant for successfully engaging in the appropriate response.
125. A Comparison of Multiple-Schedule Arrangements to Teach Children to Recruit Attention at Appropriate Times
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE HEAL (University of Kansas), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas), Jillian White (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Correlating salient discriminative stimuli with the availability and unavailability of attention (i.e., creating a multiple schedule of reinforcement and extinction components) and providing rules describing the contingencies is an effective means of teaching children to recruit teacher attention at appropriate times (Tiger & Hanley, 2004). The purpose of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of two multiple-schedule arrangements of reinforcement and extinction, relative to a schedule that involved no schedule-correlated stimuli (i.e., a mixed schedule). More specifically, this study examined the effectiveness of multiple schedules involving a signal correlated with reinforcement, or two signals, each correlated with periods of reinforcement and extinction. Interobserver agreement was assessed during at least 20% of sessions for all children and averaged above 85% for all measures. Both multiple-schedule arrangements were effective at generating discriminated social responses for all children, above the level observed under the mixed schedule. However, children’s preferences for each arrangement may emerge based on the number of responses emitted during extinction periods.
126. Concurrent Schedules: Using Immediacy of Reinforcement to Bias Responding Towards Use of a Communicative Device
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Joe Reichle (University of Minnesota), Tracy Bradfield Morgan (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: This study explored a child’s response allocation as a function of reinforcer immediacy. The participant was 6-year old boy with significant cognitive, communicative, and adaptive impairments following the surgical removal of a brain tumor. A functional analysis revealed that problem behavior (crying) was positively reinforced by access to preferred activities and toys. Following brief training in using a communicative switch, schedules of reinforcement were arranged to compare immediate versus delayed reinforcement contingent on switch use and crying, respectively. An ABA reversal design showed that the participant allocated responding to the immediate reinforcement contingency. Inter-observer agreement averaged better than 80% across all sessions. Treatment involved relatively shorter delay to reinforcement contingent on the use of the communicative switch then following crying. Results suggest that reinforcer immediacy can be effectively used to bias responding towards more appropriate ways of communicating in situations when extinction is not feasible.
127. Helping Behavior and Matching Law Among Elementary-Aged Children
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TAWNYA J. MEADOWS (Munroe-Meyer Institute), James Meadows (Private practice), Nancy L. Foster (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: The current study examines helping behavior of children and determine if responding corresponds to matching law. Twenty-seven participants, between the ages of 8 and 11 years, completed an analogue condition (computer task). Environmental contingencies were manipulated and static characteristics of the participants were examined in relation to helping behavior. Responding conformed to matching law given an equal schedule of reinforcement. When exposed to an unequal reinforcement schedule, participants engaged in undermatching. That is, children responded more on the key associated with the highly preferred peer even though they earned more reinforcers on the key associated with the non preferred peer. In addition, age differences were found. Implications for future research, as well as limitations, are discussed.
128. Performance Patterns of High, Medium, and Low Performers During and Following a Reward versus Non-Reward Contingency Phase
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RENEE OLIVER (University of Tennessee), Robert Lee Williams (University of Tennessee), Janet Beth Winn (University of Tennessee), Elizabeth Benhayon (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: Three contingency conditions were applied to the math performance of 4th and 5th graders: bonus credit for accurately solving math problems, bonus credit for completing math problems, and no bonus credit for accurately answering or completing math problems. Mixed ANOVAs were used in tracking the performance of high, medium, and low performers during the experimental phase across a mandatory follow-up phase and a choice follow-up phase. The two reward contingencies produced generally higher performance than the non-reward contingency (control condition) in the experimental phase, but all performance levels did better in the mandatory follow-up phase after the non-reward contingency than after either reward contingency. Plus, high performers did substantially better in the choice phase following a non-reward contingency than following either reward contingency. The pattern of results generally points to an over-justification effect for contingent bonus credit, with this effect more attributable to a perception of control than a perception of competency.
129. Effects of Reward Contingencies on Performance and Intrinsic Motivation Depend on Interpersonal Context
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
KATHERINE M. BANKO (University of Alberta), W. David Pierce (University of Alberta), Judy Cameron (University of Alberta)
Abstract: Reward procedures are neither “good” nor "bad" but depend on the context. Reward contingencies presented in a coercive context (controlling situation) are expected to reduce performance and motivation (Sidman, 2001). When the same contingencies are presented in a free-choice context (involving feelings of autonomy) performance and motivation are expected to increase (Skinner, 1971). An experiment is designed to examine the effects of rewards and interpersonal context on performance and intrinsic motivation. Undergraduate students (N=60) are randomly assigned to one of the 4 experimental conditions, in a 2 X 2 factorial design. Half of the participants receive $10 for puzzle solving, half do not receive rewards; also, half the participants solve puzzles in a coercive context involving high surveillance and time pressure while other participants perform the activity in a context emphasizing autonomy and low constraints. Next, participants have a 10 minute free-choice opportunity to do various activities (i.e. solve puzzles, read, etc.). The dependent measures are number of puzzle solutions, the amount of time spent on puzzles in the free-choice period, as well as ratings of task interest. The data are currently being collected as part of my Ph.D. requirements under the supervision of W. David Pierce and Judy Cameron.
130. A Procedure Based on the Premack Principle to Condition Books as a Preferred Activity
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
PAUL R. JOHNSON (Teachers College, Columbia University), Dana Visalli-Gold (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: This experiment tested the effect of a conditioning procedure based on the Premack Principle to condition books as a conditioned reinforcer in a middle school classroom. The participants were the entire classroom of 8 students, all diagnosed as emotionally disabled. 7 students emitted reader/writer self-editor repertoires of verbal behavior and 1 student emitted emerging reader/writer levels of verbal behavior. Students were given “Reading Coupons” contingent on reading a book in class for 10 minutes. They could exchange the coupon for 10 minutes free time performing the preferred activity of their choice. Choices in the classroom were computer use with internet access, Sony Play station, music listening, puzzles or drawing/coloring. In addition they were allowed to exchange self-management points for backup reinforcers during the 10 minutes of free time. The design was a multiple baseline across students. Students were monitored during free time which they received upon completion of classwork at the end of the day. The students increasingly manded for reading books under the contingencies of the program. Two students also emitted independent unprompted book reading during the experiment.
131. The Effects of a Book Conditioning Procedure on Stereotypy or Passivity in a Free-Play Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA M. SOLOW (Teachers College, Columbia University), JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of a book conditioning procedure on the occurrence of stereotypy or passivity in two children with developmental disabilities. Two students were studied in a multiple baseline across subjects design. A procedure for conditioning books (Greer, 2003) was used that involved pairing books with reinforcement and testing whether the student would choose books in a free-play setting with low levels of stereotypy or passivity. Generalization was also tested for to determine whether the procedure was effective in reducing stereotypy or passivity across all activities, rather than only with books. Results showed that the procedure was effective for increasing the behavior of looking at books and decreasing the occurrence of passivity for participant B. For participant A, the procedure appeared to be effective until an interruption in the procedure due to a school vacation, at which point her stereotypy returned to baseline levels.
132. Teacher Report Versus Systematic Preference Assessment in the Identification of Reinforcers for Young Children
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CATHERINE COTE (University of Kansas), Rachel H. Thompson (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas), Paige M. McKerchar (University of Kansas)
Abstract: In this study, teachers were asked to identify and rank-order 10 preferred stimuli for five toddler-aged children. Teacher rankings were then compared to results of a systematic preference assessment (Fisher et. al., 1992) that included the same items. Next, stimuli identified as most highly preferred through each method were evaluated concurrently in a reinforcer assessment. Interobserver agreement was assessed during a minimum of 25% of sessions and mean agreement was 90% or higher for all participants. For four of the five children, the correlation between the teacher rankings and the results of the preference assessments was not significant. For three participants, the stimulus identified as most highly preferred through the systematic preference assessment was shown to be a more effective reinforcer than the item identified by teachers as most highly preferred. Nevertheless, in all cases, the stimulus ranked highest by teachers was an effective reinforcer.
133. An Evaluation of the Effects of Different Levels of Medication on Preference and Reinforcer Assessment Outcomes for Children with ADHD
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CARRIE ELLSWORTH (University of Nevada, Reno), Michele D. Wallace (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: We examined the effects of two levels of medication on preference and reinforcer assessment outcomes for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disroder (ADHD). Full effects were evaluated when 1-2 hours had passed since the administration of the medication, and partial effects where evaluated when 8-10 hours had passed since medication administration. Results demonstrated that preference for some items shifted under different medication statuses; however, reinforcer effectiveness was not alterated. Implications with respect to the use of reinforcement for academic behaviors in educational settings will be discussed.



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