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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Poster Session #97
Saturday, May 24, 2014
5:00 PM–7:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
65. Distributed Range-Bound Criterion Design: Preliminary Exploration of Utility for Self-Management
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JANIE GUNTHER (University of Nevada, Reno ), Emily Darcey (California State University Sacramento), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The distributed range-bound criterion (DRBC) design (McDougall, 2012) draws elements from three individual designs: the multiple baseline (each phase as the baseline for the following), changing criterion, reversal (bidirectional aims of performance). The DRBC design may be appropriate when the participant requires strategic reallocation of time to multiple components of behavior relating to a long-term goal. Examples include reading, athletics, music, and life activities. The DRBC design lends itself to the investigation of resource allocation. In this case, allocation was defined relevant to the target behaviorsessentially as time spent engaged in the particular component behaviors. Phase aims were participant-determined, based on long-term goals, and adherence to the phase aims were calculated as the dependent measure. Independent variables were behavioral self-management (BSM) strategies (e.g., goal-setting, self-monitoring, graphic feedback) (McDougall, 2012). The data in Figure 1 depict poor adherence to the phase aims across all components. Conversely, the data in Figure 2 depict adherence. With respect to the depicted poor adherence, the participant reported many conflicting contingencies as barriers to maintaining adherence performance within the phase aims. With respect to the depicted adherence, the participant reported few conflicting contingencies. Thus, the current data warrant further discussion as to what the independent variables are and furthermore, what constitutes a research design.
66. Cognitive Anxiety Iztacala´s Mexican University Students
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
BENITA CEDILLO (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Veronica Monroy Cedillo (student), Alejandra Pérez López (student), Paulina Espindola Domínguez (student), Norma Angelica Cortés Noguerón (student), Antonio Ramos García (student), Osvaldo Alvarez Herrera (student), Efren García Luis (student)

Anxiety is a normal emotional and physiological response to feeling threatened, it involves emotional components, physiological and cognitive. These can be important causes in the loss of motivation towards learning and poor performance in the students. The objective of this research was compare the physiological, cognitive and Behavioral anxiety between students of Biology, Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Nursing Career. To 120 voluntary students of both sexes: were applied to the Inventory of Situations and Answers to them of Anxiety (ISRA: Tobal and Cano Vindel, 1986), that the general level of anxiety evaluates: cognitive, physiological and motor components. The results demonstrated a greater level of cognitive anxiety in the students of Biology, compared with the other professionals careers. The lowest level of anxiety was present in psychology students. It is inferred, what would imply to recognize the importance of the effects of the anxiety on the scholastic yield in the students. It is concluded that the stage at which anxiety arises has implications for stages of processing will create cognitive deficits, some limitations in their concentration and attention abilities.

67. The Experiential Avoidance as Functional Dimensions of Depression, Anxiety and Psychotic Disorders
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
FELIPE PATRÓN (Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan)
Abstract: Lately, the experiential avoidance (Hayes, Wilson, Gifford, Follette, & Strosahl, 1996) has been proposed as an element shared by different psychiatric syndromes. Several studies have been conducted outside of Mexico with the aim to identify whether there is any relationship between experiential avoidance (EA) and other psychiatric disorders. Following this argument, the present study was conducted to identifying differences in the levels of experiential avoidance among people who have a psychiatric diagnosis (anxiety, depression and psychotic disorder) and non-clinical population from the city of Merida, Yucatan. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II adapted for population from Yucatan (Patron, 2010) was applied to 108 participants. The sample was divided into four groups of 27 members depending on the diagnosis: (1) anxiety, (2) depression, (3) psychotic and (4) non-clinical. Statistical analysis was performed using simple variance test. The results suggest that there were significant differences between clinical and nonclinical groups and between the group with a diagnosis of psychotic disorder and groups with depression and anxiety disorder. These findings lead to study in more depth the role that the EA. plays in the different types of schizophrenia, and to suggest possible techniques designed to influence the EA as part of the treatment of various disorders.
68. Assessment of Impulsivity and the Development of Self-Control in Obesity Children
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ARIEL VITE SIERRA (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico), Alejandra Cavita (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Anayeli Hernández (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

The objective of the research was examined a combined approach of manipulating reinforcer dimensions and delay fading to promote the development of self-control with 10 children with obesity. First, was administered a brief computer-based assessment to determine the relative influence of reinforcer rate (R), reinforcer quality (Q), reinforcer immediacy (I), and effort (E) on the students choices between concurrently presented math problems (additions) associated with healthy food. During each session, one of these dimensions was placed in direct competition with another dimension (e.g., RvI involving math problem alternatives associated with high-rate delayed reinforcement vs. low-rate immediate reinforcement), with all possible pairs of dimensions presented across the six assessment conditions (RvQ, RvI, RvE, QvI, QvE, IvE). The assessment revealed that the choices of all children were most influenced by immediacy of reinforcement and reinforcer rate reflecting impulsivity. Then implemented a self-control training procedure in which reinforcer immediacy competed with another influential dimension (RvI or QvI), and the delay associated with the higher rate or quality reinforcer alternative was progressively increased. The students allocated the majority of their time to the a alternatives yielding more frequent (high-rate) or preferred (high-quality) reinforcement despite delays of up to 24 hr. The assessment showed that self-control transferred across untrained dimensions of reinforcement and also showed changes in the choice of unhealthy to healthy food.

69. The Association between Mindfulness Levels and Performance on a Spatial Reasoning Task
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ADELINE LEON (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Race and ethnicity are factors associated with performance differences on cognitive tasks, with Caucasians outperforming minorities. One possible explanation is “stereotype threat,” a phenomenon in which inhibited performance is due to the individual’s association with a group believed to underperform on the task at hand (Steele, 1997). Active efforts to change these thoughts and feelings in ways that are inconsistent with task goals interfere with the ability to perform well on the task (Schmader et al, 2008). Mindfulness focuses on acceptance and taking a non-judgmental stance, skills that counteract negative thoughts and may facilitate stereotyped individuals’ cognitive performance. This study explores the relationship between mindfulness, measured by the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and performance on the Mental Rotation Task-3D (MRT-3D), a spatial reasoning task. An analysis of ethnically diverse women’s (N=86) performance on the MRT-3D indicates a significant relationship between total scores on the MRT (mean= 34.6) and the FFMQ (mean=130.8). Results of a correlational analysis between these two variables showed a statistically significant Pearson’s r of .219 (p= .043). Overall, there appears to be a significant association between mindfulness and spatial reasoning performance, suggesting that efforts to increase mindfulness may benefit individuals affected by stereotype threat.
70. CANCELED: Prevalence of OCD Diagnoses in Behavior-Analytic Literature
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Elizabeth Ghezzi (Student), JANIE GUNTHER (University of Nevada, Reno )

A selection of behavior-analytic journals were reviewed for "OCD" in article titles, abstracts, and keywords. Following identification of "OCD," the described behaviors with respect to the diagnosis were evaluated. The authors sought to identify common behaviors correlated with the diagnoses within the literature, as well as common interventions and the respective effects. The authors also discuss the role of behavior analysis in the treatment of OCD and how the role might be demonstrated in the literature.

71. Contemporary Changes in the Conceptualization of Mental Health: Challenges and Opportunities for Clinical Behavior Analysis
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
DAVID PHILLIPS (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The National Institute of Mental Health recently released its Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project and simultaneously announced that NIMH funding will no longer consider it satisfactory to organize research questions from the framework of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The separation of research resources (RDoC focused) from categories used in the development of existing clinical guidelines and reimbursement systems (DSM/ICD focused) presents new challenges and opportunities for the field. This poster compares and contrasts RDoCs philosophical assumptions, approaches to assessment, and treatment implications against those of the DSM and clinical behavior analysis. The RDoC initiative presents new contingencies for collaboration between basic and applied behavior analysts as the initiative holds neural circuitry research as the central unit of analysis and the experimental analysis of behavior has a long history of providing a meaningful context for investigating the physiological correlates of behavior. The discussion emphasizes the pitfalls and opportunities clinical behavior analysis must consider, as we head into a new generation of research and practice. Of particular importance is the role of physiological units of analysis in a functional analysis of clinically relevant behavior.
72. Olfactory Stimulation, Limbic System Activity and Memory Recall on Subject With Traumatic Brain Injuries
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
COREY MILBURN (Western Michigan University), Michael P. Mozzoni (Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to complete an analysis of the effects of olfactory stimulation on limbic system activity, as evidenced by pulse rate (PR) fluctuation data obtained through readings from a CMS-50DL fingertip pulse oximeter, as well as to investigate cheaper, more accessible modes of neural analysis . Memory recall data was collected as correct responses to questions taken from a story from the Logical Memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale Fourth Edition (WMS-IV) at increasing intervals after exposure to story. Olfactory system was stimulated using scents of lemon, chocolate chip cookies, and cinnamon. Results indicate increased memory recall immediately after cinnamon scent exposure.
73. A Comparison of Four Self-report Measures of Reactions to Aversive Private Experiences
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
JORDAN T. BONOW (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  ), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: A recent movement in clinical psychology, and in particular clinical behavior analysis, has focused on promoting increased acceptance of and reduced avoidance of aversive private experiences. Increased focus on the therapeutic target of response to aversive private experiences has necessitated the development of measures of this construct. Four such measures have been developed in the past decade, and each has demonstrated adequate reliability and validity. These measures are the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II; Bond, et al., 2011), the Distress Tolerance Scale (DTS; Simons & Gaher, 2005), the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004), and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ; Baer et al., 2006; Baer et al., 2008) Reactivity to Inner Experiences Subscale. This research study directly compares responses of a non-clinical sample to each of these self-report scales. Responses of 89 undergraduate students to these scales collected using online research software were compared. Specifically Pearsons correlations between total scores for each measure were calculated. Results indicated statistically significant but relatively moderate correlations among the scale total scores. These results clearly indicate that these scales do measure similar but distinct constructs, suggesting that continued research of their respective utilities and properties will be beneficial.
74. Alcohol Related and Unrelated Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, and Psychological Distress
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
LAUREN OSTARELLO (Eastern Michigan University), Cory Stanton (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Access to reinforcement is a central component of a behavioral conceptualization of psychological health. Clinical extensions of the matching law advocate improving the frequency of positively reinforcing behavior patterns to improve wellness for those with stressors including and beyond depression. An under investigated dimension of a reinforcement-based account of clinical well-being is negative reinforcement. This poster will involve an exploratory analysis of a new self-report instrument for positive and negative reinforcement in a convenience sample of 133 freshman. Participants completed a variety of self-report instruments including recent alcohol use, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS), and a reinforcement inventory involving 180 positive reinforcing events (with and without alcohol involvement) and 90 related negative reinforcing events. Initial analysis comparing those in the outer quartiles for positive reinforcement found a trend for those with higher self-reported reinforcement access to have lower total scores on the DASS (t(65) = 1.66, p = 0.10, d = 0.31, CI [5.87, 9.87]). Additional analyses will explore the importance of reinforcement rates in relation to topical domains (education, sexuality, entertainment, leisure, civic, domestic, social, employment, and deviancy) as well as relative rates of positive to negative reinforcement as these rate to the DASS.
75. What Drives the Dive? Social Goals and Barriers in Therapeutically Relevant Discounting
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
CORY STANTON (Eastern Michigan University), Lauren Ostarello (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Discounting assessment methods have been used to evaluate participant preferences for differing amounts of outcomes, such as money and illicit drugs, associated with different kinds of inconvenience such as delay and effort. The present study involves translational research with a discounting task involving therapeutically relevant outcomes (social distress) and inconveniences (changes in social functioning) and assesses related social goals and barriers. A convenience sample of 272 college freshmen rated the importance of various social goals in their lives, as well as the presence of barriers to their social goals, before completing a therapeutically relevant discounting task. Preliminary analysis using median splits for the barriers and goals assessment found no significant differences in discounting by goals (t(272) = 1.22, p = 0.22, d = 0.14, 95% CI [-0.05 to 0.50]) but marked differences by barriers (t(272) = 4.59, p <0.001, d = 0.54, 95% CI [-0.79 to 1.24]). This suggests that differential performance in this therapeutically relevant discounting task is more heavily influenced by student’s experience of the distress related to social barriers. Additional analyses will further explore the relationship between social goals and barriers in relation to this discounting task.
76. Behavioral Relaxation Training: A Stress Management Tool For Graduate Students
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE JUHLIN (Central Washington University), Savannah Warrington (Central Washington University), Sadie L. Lovett (Central Washington University), Susan Lonborg (Central Washington University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effectiveness of teaching Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) as a stress management technique for graduate students. The participants were graduate students in a non-psychology major. A concurrent multiple probe design across participants was used in conjunction with pre-test and post-test scores from the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The PSS is a subjective 10-item questionnaire that measures the participants' perception of stress and the degree to which participants perceived life situations as stressful during the previous month. Following baseline probes, participants received two BRT training sessions focusing on acquisition and proficiency of relaxed body postures. BRT postures will be taught through labeling, modeling, prompting, and corrective feedback. Results are expected to reveal that after BRT training all participants will be able to achieve 80% relaxed postures across three post-test sessions. It is also expected that measures of social validity will show BRT to be an effective tool for stress management from the perspective of the participant.
77. Testing Gallup’s Hypothesis About Semen’s Protective Effects
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA KAFFMAN (Eastern Washington University), Diana Sanchez (Eastern Washington University), Christon Floberg (Eastern Washington University), Charalambos C. Cleanthous (Eastern Washington University), Ryan Sain (Eastern Washington University)
Abstract: Gallup has presented some data that suggest that semen have protective effects against depression and anxiety. Other research indicates that depression and anxiety are higher in women during their menstrual cycle. Gallup reported that women had fewer depressive symptoms when having vaginal intercourse without a condom. In addition, approximately twice as many women had sexual relations during menses than those who had never done so, and women participated in a wider range of sexually stimulating acts during menses. More than half of the women indicated that the reason for engaging in intercourse during menses was self-oriented, such as pleasure or desire. The present study examined the frequency of unprotected vaginal and oral sex while both while menstruating and not. The results do not unequivocally support Gallup’s results; condom use remained relatively stable. The rates of oral sex remained stable. Further, a more detailed examination of the reasons for engaging in sexual activity during menses is warranted, especially as unprotected sexual activity puts one at greater risk for infection and/or pregnancy.
78. Psychopathy and Sensitivity - Examining Punishment in Children with Callous and Unemotional Traits Utilizing Electrophysiological and Task Measures
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
ANDRE MAHARAJ (Florida International University), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (Florida International University), Daniel Waschbusch (Penn State), Camilo Bandes (Florida International University), Stella Villalobos (Florida International University)
Abstract: Callous and unemotional (CU) traits in children with conduct problems have been indicated as a precursor to adult psychopathology. The analysis of the sensitivity to rewards and punishment in this population may be useful in the identification of effective behavior modifications programs and particularly the delineation of ineffective punishment procedures. Scores on the Child Psychopathy Scale (CPS) and the Inventory of Callous and Unemotional Traits (ICU) were used to evaluate 10 children, aged 7-13, recruited from FIUs Center for Children and Families (CCF). A behavioral task using either white noise (Type I) or a time-out procedure (Type II) was used to evaluate sensitivity to punishment in order to gain access to a demonstrated reinforcer. The sample was stratified based on the magnitude of CU scores, and the sensitivity to rewards and punishment were evaluated using a Behavioral Activation / Behavioral Inhibition (BAS / BIS) framework by examining task performance, galvanic skin response and parent-reported measures. Results indicated that the magnitude of CU traits was directly proportional to hyposensitivity to punishment and hypersensitivity to reward. Children with elevated levels of CU traits elected to endure a greater frequency and duration of aversive stimuli in order to maintain continued access to the reinforcer.
79. Does the Behavioral Progress made at JRC Generalize Across Settings and Over Time? A Follow-up Study of Former JRC Students.
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
NICK LOWTHER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Maryellen Newman (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: We will survey post-treatment outcomes of former students of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC), a residential care facility that employs a highly consistent application of ABA-based treatment and education. JRC students, who have often been expelled from or rejected by other treatment facilities and schools, participate in intensive treatment that includes differential reinforcement behavior contracts, behavioral counseling, social skills training, behavioral education, precision teaching, self-management instruction, and other measures drawn from applied behavior analysis. All former JRC students who are reachable and willing to participate will be surveyed. We will use both a subjective General Life Adjustment rating scale (performed by guardians and/or the former students themselves) and objective counts of certain Quality of Life (QOL) Indicators. QOL/current status indicators will include need for ongoing treatment services, family/relationship status, place of residence status, educational status, employment status, and leisure pursuit information. Data will be reported in terms of descriptive statistics.
81. A Clinical Protocol to Increase Chewing and Assess Mastication in Children with Feeding Disorders
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JASON R. ZELENY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kathryn M. Peterson (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with feeding disorders often cannot or do not chew when presented with table food as observed in our clinical experience. Children with chewing deficits typically tend to swallow the bite of food before it is masticated appropriately, which we will refer to as early swallowing. It is difficult to teach a child to chew in the presence of a bite of food if the child swallows the bite as soon as it enters his or her mouth. In the current study, we evaluated a clinical protocol to eliminate early swallowing, increase chews per bite, and assess mastication while maintaining high levels of acceptance, mouth clean, and low levels of inappropriate mealtime behavior with 1 child diagnosed with a feeding disorder. The current study adds to a limited body of literature focused on chewing and mastication of table texture food among children with feeding disorders. Suggestions for future research are also discussed.
82. Producing Meaningful Improvements in the Severe Problem Behavior of Children With Autism via Synthesized Contingency Analyses and Skill-Based Treatments
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SANDY JIN (Eastern Connecticut State University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Nicholas Vanselow (Salve Regina University), Laura Ann Hanratty (Western New England University)
Abstract: In this study, we describe an effective and parent-validated functional assessment and treatment model for the severe problem behavior of two children diagnosed with autism. Problem behavior included loud vocalizations, aggression, and disruption. We first arranged an open-ended functional assessment interview to discover the potential variables influencing problem behavior. The relevance of the suspected variables was then demonstrated via synthesized contingency analyses informed by the idiosyncratic results of the interview. Treatment involved (a) teaching a simple functional communication response, (b) increasing the complexity of the communication response, (c) introducing adult delays to and denials of reinforcers, and (d) skill-based teaching during denial and delay tolerance training. Parents were then coached to implement the treatment under both simple and complex conditions. IOA averaged 98% (range, 82% to 100%) for Dale, and 98% (range, 73% to 100%) for Bob. At the close of the treatment, zero levels of problem behavior were observed both at the outpatient clinic and in more ecologically-relevant settings. Parents were highly satisfied with the assessment and treatment process and with the amount of behavior change that resulted from the process.
83. Behavioral Medicine: Definitions and Trends
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
KATHRYN M. ROOSE (University of Nevada, Reno), Ashley Eden Greenwald (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: While behavior analysts have been developing interventions for health issues since the 1960s (Altus & Morris, 2009), the term behavioral medicine has not been adopted by the behavior analytic community at large as indicated by the relatively low use of the term in behavior analytic literature. In addition, the term is currently being used to describe research in other fields that would not be considered behavior analytic by our definition. This poster is a data presentation of the trends in the behavioral medicine research. The research in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine will be compared to research presented in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Data will be offered on the fields of study represented by the authors of research on behavioral medicine. We also examine the type of research presented in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine; utilizing categories such as correlational, single subject, literature review and others. Further analysis of The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis will examine research on topics that would be considered behavioral medicine but are not described as such, and whether there are topics in behavioral medicine research that are not being addressed by behavior analysts. We will also examine trends in topics presented at the Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Keyword(s): poster session



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