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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #459
The effects of establishing operations on assessment and treatment outcomes
Monday, May 25, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University)
Discussant: Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: In this symposium, we will present data on the effects manipulating specific antecedents and consequences during assessment and treatment. Kelly Schieltz from The University of Iowa will present data on functional analysis and mand analysis outcomes and will discuss the whether a mand analysis can be used to identify social reinforcers for aberrant behavior. Lisa Winborn-Kemmerer from the West Virginia University will discuss the antecedent effects of parent presence on functional analysis and functional communication training outcomes. Nathan Call from The Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine will describe the effects of restricted access to preferred items on escape-maintained problem behavior. Following the presentations, Timothy Vollmer from the University of Florida will discuss the presentations.
A Comparison of Functional Analysis and Mand Analysis Results
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), John F. Lee (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether destructive behavior and manding were maintained by the same social reinforcers. A summary of 12 participants that met criteria for clear functional analysis results were included in this study. All participants were preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities who engaged in destructive behavior. All procedures were conducted in the participants’ homes by their parent with investigator coaching. Inter-observer agreement was assessed across 30% of all sessions and averaged 97%. During Phase 1, functional analyses (attention, escape, and tangible test conditions) of destructive behavior were conducted within multielement designs. During Phase 2, functional analyses of manding were conducted within multielement designs. For only 2 of 12 participants, destructive behavior and manding were maintained by the same social reinforcers. For 7 participants, the analysis of mands identified an additional social reinforcer that was not identified for destructive behavior. For 2 participants, the analysis of mands did not identify a social reinforcer that was identified for destructive behavior, and for 1 participant the analysis of mands was unclear. Results suggested that an analysis of mands should not be used to identify social reinforcers for destructive behavior.
The Effects of Establishing Operations on the Functional Analyses Outcomes of a Young Boy with Autism
LISA C. WINBORN-KEMMERER (West Virginia University)
Abstract: We assessed the functional analyses outcomes of a 5-year old boy with autism who displayed problem behavior at home. Descriptive data suggested that problem behavior was most severe when both parents were present and removed their attention by interacting with one another. During Phase 1, two separate functional analyses were conducted with each parent. Both functional analyses showed that problem behavior was maintained by positive (tangible) and negative (escape) reinforcement. No attention function was observed. During Phase 2, we evaluated the effects of attention on problem behavior when both parents were present within a reversal design. During Condition A, both parents removed their attention but problem behavior resulted in attention from the boy’s mother. Condition B was similar to Condition A, but attention was provided for problem behavior by the boy’s father. The results showed that problem behavior occurred across both conditions but was higher when mom was the reinforcer. During Phase 3, a functional communication training program for attention was implemented resulting in a decrease in problem behavior when both parents were present. Interobserver agreement was 80% or higher across all phases. The effects of establishing operations on functional analyses outcomes and the development of effective interventions are discussed.
The influence of restricted access to preferred items in the escape condition of a functional analysis
NATHAN A. CALL (The Marcus Institute), Joanna Lomas (Marcus Institute), Kelly McKnight (The Marcus Institute), Amber L. Valentino (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The escape condition of some functional analyses manipulates an establishing operation in the form of the presence of demands while delivering escape from those demands contingent upon the occurrence of problem behavior. However, in the natural environment, compliance with some demands also results in restricted access to preferred items or alternate activities, This restricted access to preferred items/activities may serve as a second establishing operation that influences problem behavior. The current study examined problem behavior that appeared to be maintained by escape from demands based on results of a functional analysis. A second analysis manipulated the presence and availability of preferred items during the demands. Data were examined to determine the occurrence of problem behavior in the presence or absence of both types of establishing operations. Results suggested that, for all 3 participants, problem behavior that occurred in the demand condition of the original functional analysis was at least partially influenced by the restricted access to preferred items establishing operation. Results from two treatments based on competing hypotheses that problem behavior was maintained by either escape from demands or access to preferred items supported this conclusion. Interobserver agreement data were collected on at least 20% of sessions for all participants and averaged greater than 80% agreement.



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