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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Symposium #202
Current Status of Maintenance in Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2005
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Astoria (3rd floor)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (Spectrum Center)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis is intrinsically concerned with making socially important improvements in target behaviors. In order for changes to be socially important, they must be maintained over a long period of time. Thus, maintenance of behavior change should be a fundamental concern for applied behavioral researchers and practitioners. This symposium will address the status of maintenance in applied behavior analysis. Papers will focus on (a) a conceptual analysis of the problem of maintenance, (b) current practices designed to support sustained behavior changes, and (c) a review of how maintenance is (and is not) addressed in all studies published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) in 2003 and 2004.
Conceptual Analysis of the Problem of Maintenance
CHARLES L. SALZBERG (Utah State University)
Abstract: This paper gives a conceptual analysis of the problem of maintenance. It examines important definitional issues, considers whether maintenance is a behaviorally coherent concept, locates maintenance among other behavioral concepts, and distinguishes among several maintenance paradigms. Next, the paper considers factors that strengthen or weaken maintenance of newly acquired behaviors in natural environments and proposes a framework for organizing these factors. Finally, the paper emphasizes the importance of analyzing the contingencies provided by the maintenance environment as a foundation for designing an intervention and setting criteria for target behavior.
Current Practices for Promoting Maintenance
TIMOTHY A. SLOCUM (Utah State University)
Abstract: This paper reviews and summarizes current behavior analytic practices for promoting maintenance. It is based on a systematic analysis of recommended practices in behavior analytic textbooks and other practitioner-oriented literature. The review considers issues relevant to (a) analysis of the maintenance environment and planning of interventions, (b) the intervention itself, and (c) practices that are implemented after the intervention (i.e., during the maintenance phase). Issues related to antecedents, behaviors, and consequences are highlighted in each of the phases. Finally, the overall attention and prominence of maintenance issues in behavior analytic textbooks and other practitioner-oriented literature are described.
Treatment of Maintenance in JABA Studies
KAREN D. HAGER (Utah State University)
Abstract: This paper summarizes the treatment of maintenance/sustainability of behavior change in recent studies published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA). Each research study published in JABA in 2003 and 2004 was reviewed and coded with respect to (a) the contexts in which maintenance is discussed, (b) the extent to which maintenance data collected after withdrawal of the intervention are reported, (c) researchers’ analyses of the settings in which the behavior is desired (including the natural contingencies operating in those settings), (d) procedures that are implemented to support maintenance/sustainability of the target behaviors, and (e) researchers’ analyses of why behaviors were or were not maintained after withdrawal of intervention. Results of this review will be used to describe the current status of maintenance in applied behavior analytic research.



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