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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #336
Application of Behavior Analysis with Staff and Parents: Some Current Research
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W192b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth A. Harton (California State University Los Angeles)
Discussant: Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))

This symposium elucidates various nuances of the application of behavior analysis with staff and parents. The first paper compares model prompts and pictorial prompts in teaching non-English speaking parents how to implement behavioral programs. The second paper compares live group instruction to individual video instruction on parents' implementation of 3-step compliance protocol. The third paper compared didactic instruction with and without response cards to train staff on behavior analysis principles and procedures. The forth paper evaluated the use of a group contingency to promote staff adherence to work schedules. In totality, these papers provide some insight on current research in the use of behavior analysis to change both staff and parent behavior. Moreover, our discussant will provide a cogent summary of the papers and perhaps some avenues for future research.

Keyword(s): group contingencies, Parent Training, prompting, Staff Training

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words- Or is It: A Comparison of Modeling vs. Pictorial Prompts

KRISTINE SAFARYAN (California State University Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)

As the prevalence of autism and other developmental disorders continues to be on the rise, effective training techniques are required to reach a broader range of families. Non-public agencies that provided ABA services are not always able to identify staff that can communicate with families in their primary language. The purpose of this study was to conduct a component analysis to identify the most effective prompting strategy when training non-English speakers to teach a self-help skill to a child with autism. Six participants were randomly assigned to Group 1 (Model Prompts: MP) or Group 2 (Visual Prompts: VP). Participants in Group 1 met mastery criterion within 3-4 sessions as compared to the 5-8 sessions required by Group 2. These results are significant because they indicate that modeling, a quick and efficient prompting strategy, was most effective when teaching non- English speakers to teach self-help skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


Mother Knows Best: A Comparison of Video Training and Group Instruction without and with Individualized Feedback on Parents Implementation of 3-Step

MEGAN HINDS (Seek Education, Inc.), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)

We evaluated two popular training modalities, group instruction and video training, paired with individualized feedback to determine which method of training led to the best implementation of the three-step prompting procedure by parents with their child. A multiple baseline design was used with twelve participants divided into two groups. One group was trained using video instruction and the other was trained using group instruction. Any participant who did not meet mastery criterion after their respective initial instruction phase was moved into the individualized feedback phase. Results showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups, but two participants in the group instruction phase did not require individualized feedback to obtain mastery. A discussion of the benefits and limitations of each training modality is discussed as well as avenues for future research.


A Comparison of Response Cards and Traditional Lecture on Quiz Performance of Newly Hired Behavioral Interventionists

SU WONG (California State University, Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)

An alternating treatment design was used to evaluate the effects of response cards on quiz performance of new interventionists. Five participants (ages 23-37) with bachelor and master degrees in psychology, sociology and education participated in the study. A coin flip determined the condition (response cards [RC] or traditional lecture [TL]), and participants were informed of the condition at the beginning of session. Participants took an identical pre- and post-quiz every session. In RC, participants presented answers on a board to the trainer in unison. In TL, participants raised hand to answer questions. In both conditions, praise or feedback was provided depending on correct or incorrect answers. Results indicated that both methods produced higher levels of post-quiz performance. No functional relation was obtained between the two conditions. However, response cards produced more 90% and above scores. Moreover, participants preferred RC to TL.


An Evaluation of Group Contingencies in Organizational Behavior Management

MEGHAN THOMPSON HERRON (California State University, Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)

Businesses lose money every year due to employee absences. Customer service is often interrupted by employee absenteeism and companies lose money due to overtime costs for employees who cover and paying out for "paid time off." Twenty behavior therapists employed at a non-profit organization were assigned to 10 groups of two, each with a supervisor as the team leader. Teams were eligible for lottery-based incentives based on the average weekly attendance rate. The results indicated that the employees had the highest percentage of sessions attended during the first dependent group oriented contingency phase. The percentage of sessions attended by behavior therapists increased immediately following the instruction but prior to delivery of any "incentives," indicating that rule governed behavior was the mechanism of behavior change.




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