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 #154
CE Offered: BACB
Investigating Variables Related to Procedural Integrity and Remediation of Staff Behavior
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Bethany L. McNamara (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Linda Heitzman-Powell, Ph.D.
Abstract: One of the hallmarks of applied behavior analysis is its analytic approach to problems. Analytic has been described as finding a functional relation between the manipulated events and behavior. Treatment integrity is defined as the degree to which the independent variable is implemented as prescribed in the treatment protocol. This symposium addresses the issues of treatment integrity and begins to investigate the variables responsible for maintaining staff behavior. In the first study reinforcement was delivered with varying levels of integrity during a visual-visual match-to-sample task. Preliminary results suggest that lower rates of procedural integrity of programmed consequences did not interfere with skill acquisition for typical adults. The second study evaluated a training procedure for increasing teachers’ treatment integrity when implementing a student’s problem behavior program. The results suggest that video self monitoring may successfully remediate low levels of treatment integrity. The third study was successful at increasing levels of treatment integrity in the context of a discrete trial using a treatment package consisting of video and consultation. The final study conducted an experimental analysis of adult delivered reprimands. The results of this study suggest that teacher delivered reprimands were maintained by negative reinforcement through immediate termination of the problem behavior.
Varying Procedural Integrity Levels in the Delivery of Programmed Consequences during Visual-Visual Match-to-Sample tasks
JACQUELINE NICOLE POTTER (The New England Center for Children), Shawn E. Kenyon (NECC), Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon (NECC)
Abstract: The delivery of programmed consequences is a vital part of learning in the applied setting. Procedural integrity is a measure of how the independent variables are implemented and is an important component of behavior analytic application and research. Procedural integrity related to the delivery of programmed consequences has not yet received much attention in the literature. This study examined the effects of 100% and 44% levels of procedural integrity of the delivery of the programmed consequences on a visual-visual discrimination training using a progressive point prompt delay procedure (i.e., 0 seconds, 3 seconds, and 5 seconds). To date, six participants, who were newly employed as teachers at a residential school that serves children with developmental disabilities participated in the study. Three 3-stimuli classes containing visual symbols were used and presented on a computer utilizing a Power Point program. Visual-visual relations among some stimuli were initially trained using different levels of procedural integrity regarding the delivery of the programmed consequences. Tests for the emergence of new, not directly trained relations were then conducted. Preliminary results suggest that lower procedural integrity levels with regards to the delivery of programmed consequences did not interfere with skill acquisition of stimulus relations.
The Effects of Video-Self Monitoring for Increasing the Procedural Integrity for One Student’s Behavior Management Plan
AMY CONSTANTINE (New England Center for Children), Bethany L. McNamara (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Functional relations are detected through systematic manipulations of the independent variable and evaluating its’ effect on the dependent variable. Therefore when evaluating the efficacy of a student’s behavior program it is important that the program is conducted with a high level of treatment integrity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a training procedure for increasing treatment integrity of teachers when implementing a student’s clinical program for problem behavior. Four teachers who worked at a residential school for children with developmental disabilities served as participants. Video tapes of the participants during baseline revealed low procedural integrity of one student’s behavior program implementation. This program targeted motor stereotypy through response interruption and redirection combined with access to competing items. Phase one of the intervention involved the distribution of management guidelines on the student’s program to the entire team of teachers. Procedural integrity increased slightly for two participants but remained the same or decreased for the other two. During the treatment phase participants were videotaped working with this student and were asked to score their procedural integrity using a procedural integrity tool. The use of video-self monitoring showed an increase in procedural integrity as compared to traditional phases of staff training.
Increasing Treatment Integrity for Discrete Trial Teaching Using Video Performance Feedback Consultation
MICHAEL NEAL SAUNDERS (Westfield State College), Patrick F. Heick (May Institute), Shannon Kay (May Institute), Roger M. Tudor (Westfield State College)
Abstract: A multiple baseline design across participants was used to assess the effectiveness of a video performance feedback consultation model to improve treatment integrity for staff implementation of a discrete trial teaching program that targeted tacting skills. Four direct care staff and one client at a day habilitation program participated in this investigation. All baseline and intervention phase sessions were videotaped for review during consultation sessions, to assess correct implementation of teaching steps, and for inter-rater reliability. Immediate improvements in treatment fidelity were made from baseline to intervention phases across all staff.
An Experimental Analysis of Negative Reinforcement Contingencies for Adult-Delivered Reprimands
JONATHAN R. MILLER (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Previous research indicates that caregiver reprimands can function as reinforcers for problem behavior. Some studies suggest that reprimands are maintained by negative reinforcement due to immediate reductions in problem behavior; however, this has not been demonstrated empirically. Such contingencies may affect accurate implementation of behavioral interventions. More research is needed to examine the variables controlling behavior associated with procedural integrity. The purpose of this study was to conduct an experimental analysis of adult-delivered reprimands in a laboratory setting. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a special education class participated in simulated teaching sessions with an experimenter who role-played as an individual with developmental disabilities. The effects of two conditions on the frequency of adult-delivered reprimands were examined in a reversal design. During the Escape condition, the experimenter exhibited problem behavior (e.g., self-injury, property destruction) on a fixed-time (FT) schedule. Contingent on reprimands, problem behavior ceased until the next scheduled occurrence. During the Extinction condition, the experimenter exhibited problem behavior on the same schedule; however, reprimands no longer resulted in escape. Results suggested that reprimands were maintained by negative reinforcement through immediate termination of problem behavior. The findings also demonstrated the utility of conducting this type of analysis in the laboratory.



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