|Extensions of Interventions for Problem Behavior Maintained by Social Reinforcement|
|Monday, May 26, 2014|
|3:00 PM–4:50 PM |
|W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)|
|Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research|
|Chair: Jill Marie Harper (Melmark New Englnad)|
|Discussant: Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)|
|CE Instructor: Jill Marie Harper, Ph.D.|
Applied research continues to contribute to the refinement and extension of current treatment practices within the field of behavior analysis. The present symposium consists of four data-based presentations describing extensions of various interventions for problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement. Study 1 extends previous research on noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) by evaluating the relative efficacy of NCR using maintaining (escape) versus arbitrary (an edible) reinforcers without extinction for four individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior. Study 2 describes an extension of toleration training using extinction plus stimulus fading to the treatment of precursor behavior maintained by escape from a specific peers noises by systematically fading the duration of the aversive stimulus. Study 3 extends the literature on antecedent interventions used to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior by evaluating the effects of the high-probability request sequence, following the acquisition of a functional communication response (break request), as well as using latency as an indicator of the averesiveness of task demands. The final study, describes an extension of the literature on delay fading following Functional Communication Training (FCT) by providing alternative reinforcers during delay interval for individuals with problem behavior maintained by social positive reinforcement.
|Keyword(s): fading, functional communication, high-probability sequence, noncontingent reinforcement|
A Comparison of Two NCR Without Extinction Procedures for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
|CALEB R. DAVIS (The New England Center for Children), Nancy Errera (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)|
NCR involves the delivery of reinforcers on a time-based schedule and often includes extinction. However, given practical limitations associated with the use of extinction, it is important to evaluate NCR without extinction. The purpose of this study was to extend previous research on NCR by evaluating the relative efficacy of NCR using maintaining versus arbitrary reinforcers without extinction for four individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior. Two different NCR conditions, NCR using the maintaining reinforcer (escape) and NCR using an arbitrary reinforcer (an edible), were evaluated using multielement and reversal designs. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 31.2% of sessions. Mean agreement was 97% for problem behavior and 95.3% for compliance across participants. Treatment effects varied across participants. For two participants, both NCR conditions were equally effective in reducing aggression. For one participant, only NCR using the maintaining reinforcer reduced problem behavior. For the final participant, both NCR conditions were ineffective until extinction was included. Both NCR conditions increased compliance to similar levels for two of the four participants. NCR (arbitrary) resulted in higher levels of compliance for one participant, whereas NCR (escape) resulted in higher levels of compliance for another participant.
|Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Evoked by Noise in a Residential Setting|
|TANYA MOUZAKES (Melmark New England), Jill Marie Harper (Melmark New Englnad)|
|Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated both an effective methodology of assessment and treatment of problem behavior evoked by aversive noises. The current study extended previous research by conducting both the assessment and treatment of precursor behavior evoked by a peer’s noises within a residential setting. During the first phase, a modified functional analysis (McCord, Iwata, Galensky, Elligson, & Thomson, 2001) was conducted for four participants with autism. Problem behavior occurred during only the escape from noise condition of the functional analysis suggesting that all three individual’s problem behavior was evoked by a specific peer’s noises and maintained by escape from these noises. An intervention consisting of extinction combined with stimulus fading, during which the duration of the aversive noise was systematically increased, was then implemented. Near zero levels of problem behavior in the presence of the loud noise was observed across four participants during the final three sessions. Interobserver agreement (IOA) was collection during an average of 73.5% of assessment sessions and 63.5% of treatment sessions across participants. Average agreement scores across participants was 97.2% and 94.2%, respectively.|
|Effects of the High Probability Request Sequence on Latencies to Compliance and Escape Requests|
|AMANDA P. LAPRIME (Simmons College), Judah B. Axe (Simmons College), Ronald F. Allen (Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)|
|Abstract: Altering the nature of demands is an effective and ethical means of reducing escape-maintained problem behavior. Functional analyses (showing percentages of intervals and latencies) indicated that the problem behavior of 4 children with autism (ages 4-9) was maintained by escape from demands. We taught the participants to request a break from work and then evaluated the high probability request sequence using a reversal design. Compared with a condition with all low probability requests, the high probability request sequence resulted in shorter latencies between low probability instructions and compliance and longer latencies between low probability instructions and break requests. In addition, there were more trials with compliance, fewer trials with break requests, and more trials with correct responses in the high probability request sequence condition. Interobserver agreement data were collected on 40% of sessions and averaged 89% (range, 78-100%). The data extend the literature on antecedent interventions used to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior, as well as using latency as an indicator of the averesiveness of task demands. The results are discussed in terms of the high probability request sequence abolishing the value of escape from low probability task demands.|
Using Alternative Reinforcers to Facilitate Delay Tolerance Following FCT
|JILLIAN E. MCCANCE (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)|
Functional communication training (FCT) is one of the most thoroughly researched treatments for severe problem behavior exhibited by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The earliest stages of FCT involve providing immediate and continuous reinforcement of the functional communication response (FCR); however, maintaining continuous reinforcement is not practical as reinforcers may not always be available or appropriate. Thus, after the initial stages of treatment, therapists must teach tolerance to periods in which reinforcement is delayed or unavailable however the introduction of delays is commonly associated with increased problem behavior. The present study evaluated providing alternative reinforcers during delays following the FCR. Results indicated delay fading was more successful when alternative reinforcers were available during delay periods.