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 #467
Solving Common Clinical Problems Using Behaviorally-Based Principles
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Williford A (3rd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: The push in clinical psychology to develop and implement empirically supported interventions has reached a feverous pitch. Several divisions within the American Psychological Association (e.g., Division 12: Clinical Psychology; Division 16: School Psychology; Division 53: Society for Child and Adolescent Psychology) have called for researchers to begin establishing a pool of treatments that have substantial empirical support and for practitioners to hold true to the use of these interventions when treating clinical problems. The field of behavior analysis has, for years, embraced the scientific study of treatments for common and uncommon clinical problems. Dougher and Hayes (2000) used the term clinical behavior analysis to describe the use of behavior analytic principles in treating problems most often presented in clinical settings. While clinical behavior analysis has produced a multitude of empirically supported treatments for aberrant behavior (e.g., head banging, feeding problems, physical aggression, habits), the target population for the majority of these interventions has been individuals with developmental disabilities or severe handicaps. The purpose of this symposium is to expose the audience to interventions for common clinical problems presented by typically developing children and adolescents. The interventions are derived from behavioral principles and target problems involving instructional control, off-task behavior, and peer rejection.
Increasing Compliance with Adolescents Using Behavioral Momentum
ALISHA DICKENS (Girls and Boys Town), Richard Anthony Doggett (Mississippi State University), Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town), Renee Oliver (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: Noncompliance with requests and demands among children with and without disabilities is a common problem for parents and teachers. Behavioral momentum is an effective intervention used in applied settings to increase the frequency of compliance. It is a quick, non-aversive, highly acceptable form of treatment that requires minimal resources. Momentum theory has proven effectiveness across subjects, settings, and requests; however, the participants in most studies have been individuals with severe developmental disabilities (Mace, Hock, Lalli, West, Belfiore, Printer, & Brown, 1988; Ray, Skinner, & Watson, 1999; Ramano & Roll, 2000). The purpose of this study was to expand the research on behavioral momentum with typically developing adolescents in a residential treatment setting. Direct care paraprofessionals were trained to implement a behavioral momentum protocol and to collect data on the frequency of compliance and noncompliance. The participants were delivered a 5:1 ratio of high probability requests to low probability requests. Results from this study provide further support for the utility of behavioral momentum in naturalistic settings. Discussion will focus on the practicality and applicability of behavioral momentum as a viable clinical treatment for noncompliant behavior.
Providing Breaks to Increase On-Task Behavior and Productivity During Homework Time
RENEE OLIVER (Girls and Boys Town), Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town), Alisha Dickens (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: For parents of youth who exhibit oppositional and noncompliant behavior, homework time can be especially difficult. Effective interventions are needed to increase student on-task behavior and homework productivity. Clinicians often recommend that parents give student breaks during homework time. Providing breaks alters antecedent conditions in a way that could potentially increase on-task behavior. Research is needed to answer specific logistical questions regarding how to efficiently implement breaks. Using the within-subjects, multiple treatments design (A-B-A-C-A-D), this study compared the effects of breaks varying in duration and frequency on homework productivity and on-task behavior of four youth. The baseline condition consisted of students engaging in a one hour long study time in which they were to complete their daily homework assignments. Direct care paraprofessionals introduced breaks of different lengths and frequencies during the intervention phases. Discussion will focus on the effects of the various breaks on on-task behavior and homework productivity.
Evaluation of an Exposure-based Anger Management Intervention for Typically Developing Children
CLINT FIELD (Utah State University), Nancy L. Foster (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Children and adolescents often experience difficulty managing anger appropriately. Such problems may present as verbal or physical aggression or even tantrums. Effective behavioral interventions for anger management often target adolescents by exposing them to anger-provoking situations and then providing reinforcement for appropriate responses. Further, research indicates that providing the anger-provoking event in natural environments is superior to clinical settings in promoting generalization. Unfortunately, research has not evaluated the effectiveness of similar procedures with younger children. Although anger displayed by adolescents is often more intense (i.e., severe) and therefore warrants immediate attention, modifying the anger management strategies of younger children may result in the prevention of future problematic behavior. The present study was designed to evaluate a behavioral intervention for treating anger problems in children ages 4-10. Children were exposed to anger-provoking stimuli with increased frequency and varying levels of realism (e.g., chore requests, negative feedback, non-preferred decisions) in their home environment and received reinforcement contingent on appropriate responses. This study extends the current anger management literature by targeting 1) younger, normally developing children, 2) within their home environments, 3) with a parent implemented exposure-based intervention. Results support the utility of these procedures with younger children and recommendations are provided for ensuring treatment integrity and enhancing the social validity of the intervention. Discussion focuses on the importance of early and ecologically valid interventions in the treatment of anger and aggression in children.
Evaluating Active Components of a Positive Peer Reporting Intervention for Socially Rejected Adolescents
MICHAEL L. HANDWERK (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: Positive peer reporting (PPR) has produce relatively consistent positive effects on the peer interaction of rejected youth (Jones, Young, & Friman, 2000). PPR involves rewarding positive verbal statements made by classmates or others toward a targeted rejected youth. Typically, the target youth either receives more opportunities to receive verbal acknowledgement from others, though in some investigations the targeted youth is also allowed to provide positive verbalizations to other non-rejected youths. This presentation will present data from several investigation of this procedure that help elucidate the active components of the intervention (i.e., telling vs. hearing), investigate generalization of treatment effects (beyond treatment implementation), and supplement the procedure with brief skills training in the domain of peer interaction.



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