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 #182
CE Offered: BACB
Outcomes of Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions for Children with ASD
Sunday, May 25, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: M. Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D.

Applied behavior analysis is the basis for many effective interventions aimed at improving language skills and reducing problem behaviors. Often innovative and highly effective interventions are developed using single-subject experimental designs. One barrier to disseminating empirically supported behavior analytic interventions to the wider population of treatment providers is the dearth of larger scale studies examining outcomes across a larger sample. This symposium will present data from three papers examining the effectiveness of behavior analytic interventions in larger samples. The first study presents outcomes of behavioral parent training (BPT) program on parenting skills and problem behavior in children with autism in a sample of 220 families. The second study examines treatment outcomes of a behavior analytic intervention aimed at increasing mands from single to multi-word utterances in a larger sample of language-delayed children (n=30) receiving ABA intervention. The last study presents a literature review and meta-analysis on the effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing on vocalizations in children with language delays.

Keyword(s): Language Intervention, Outcomes, Parent Training

Outcomes of an in-home parent training curriculum for children with ASD

ASHLEY BAKER (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), Hannah Robinson (Marcus Autism Center), Andrew A. Fulton (Marcus Autism Center), Christopher M. Furlow (Marcus Autism Center)

Intensive behavioral interventions are effective at reducing maladaptive behavior but can be costly and procedural fidelity following sessions can be lacking (Jacobson, Mulick, & Green, 1998). An alternative is behavioral parent training (BPT) based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. These programs are relatively inexpensive, shorter in duration, and place emphasis on the importance of caregiver involvement, training, and education (Serketich & Dumas, 1996). This investigation examined the effects of a BPT program on parenting skills and problem behavior in children with autism. Participants included 220 families consisting of at least one caregiver and a child with ASD. The BPT program consisted of didactic, role-play, and in-vivo training sessions spread across 12, 2-hour sessions. The primary dependent variables were pre- and post- assessments of parenting skills, parent reported maladaptive behavior as measured by the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised and caregiver stress level measured by Parent Stress Index questionnaire. Descriptive statistics will be utilized to describe the children and parents who participated in the program across a variety of domains (e.g., age, diagnosis, marital level, etc.). Inferential statistics will be used to determine if statistically significant differences exist between pre and post when compared to acquisition of targeted parenting skills.


Outcomes of Behavioral Intervention to Increase Single Word Mands to Multiword Mands in Children with ASD

RACHEL YOSICK (Georgia School of Professional Psychology), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center)

Children with autism often require targeted intervention for development of functional language skills (Eigsti, Marchena, Schuh, & Kelley, 2011). Initial language training may focus on production of single word mands; however, it may be desirable to increase the mean length of utterance of those mands as the child progresses through treatment. Few published studies have examined treatment effects of interventions designed to increase mean length of utterance (MLU), and most have relied on single-case research design and small samples. The present study examines treatment outcomes of a behavior analytic intervention designed to increase the MLU of mands in a larger sample of language-delayed children (n=30) receiving ABA intervention. In order to quantify data across participants, the nonoverlap of all pairs (NAP) index (Parker & Vannest, 2009) was utilized to obtain an overall measure of intervention effectiveness (effect size). Our sample consisted predominantly of males (80%) ages 2 to 13 years (mean 5.4 years) who were diagnosed with autism (76.6%). Overall treatment effects were medium to large (average NAP=.89; average d=1.91). Using NAP, the majority of the sample (70%) demonstrated strong treatment effects. Results suggest that targeted intervention to increase MLU was effective for the majority of participants in our sample.


Effectiveness of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing: A Review of the Literature

DIANE HOLLANDER (Georgia Neurobehavioral Associates), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center), Lori R. Muskat (Georgia School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University Atlanta)

Stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) is an intervention designed to increase vocalizations. This procedure has been used specifically with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities; however, the single-subject research literature regarding efficacy of the procedure has produced mostly mixed results. This paper provides a current review of the SSP literature, summarizing 11 experiments published on the use of this procedure with children with severe language delays. The nonoverlap of all pairs (NAP) index (Parker & Vannest, 2009) was also used to examine treatment effectiveness of SSP with 35 participants in 8 of the studies reviewed. Results indicate that a variety of procedural variations were used across studies and participants varied in terms of age, gender, diagnosis, and level of functional language abilities. Overall treatment effects were small to medium (average NAP=.70; average d=.29). A closer examination revealed that 64% of participants with no functional language showed medium to strong NAP scores, whereas, 0% of participants with functional language showed a strong NAP score. Overall, results support the general finding that the results of the SSP procedure are mixed. However, results also indicate that the procedure may be more effective with some individuals suggesting the need for more research into profiles that will benefit.




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