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 #297
Sunday, May 25, 2014
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
88. Phase Change Lines, Trend Lines and Scale Breaks Using Excel 2013TM
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NEIL DEOCHAND (Western Michigan University), Mack S. Costello (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The development of graphing skills for the behavior analyst is an ongoing process. Specialized software programs are often expensive, not widely disseminated, and require specific training. Dixon et al. (2009) provided an updated task analysis (Carr and Burkholder, 1998) in the widely used platform Excel 2007. Vanselow and Bourret (2012) provided online tutorials outlining some alternate methods also using Office 2007. This poster reviews an updated task analyses with alternative and under-utilized methods in Excel 2013. Twelve psychology graduate students were presented with task analyses in this study and the experimenters’ evaluated usability and utility based on their performance and feedback. The task analyses were rated favorably.
89. Modified Habit Reversal and DRO to Reduce Finger Picking in a Young Male with Asperger's
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JON SARGEANT (Elk River School District 728), Melyssa Rose McDonough (St. Cloud State University), Nicholas Weatherly (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Self-injurious behavior is a significant problem for the person that engages in it. It can cause permanent scarring, risk of infection, and spread of blood-borne pathogens. The individual in this project was a young male who engaged in finger picking. A brief functional analysis was conducted and determined that finger picking was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A multiple baseline across classroom settings design was used which included a modified habit reversal utilizing competing response training in the form of manipulating objects, and an increasing differential reinforcement for the omission of behavior was used. Results showed that the amount of time the individual engaged in finger picking was reduced to near zero levels.

Decreasing a Middle School Boy's head Rubbing Using DRO and Token Economy

Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MELYSSA ROSE MCDONOUGH (St. Cloud State University), Jon Sargeant (Elk River School District 728), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University), Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)

A modified habit reversal procedure and token economy was used as a behavior intervention protocol for a sixth grade male student who attended a mainstream middle school. The student pulled his hair and rubbed at his scalp, forming bald spots. Partial interval recording was used to assess the percent of intervals the participant engaged in head rubbing and a habit reversal procedure consisting of self monitoring and social support, along with tokens towards obtaining an electronic gaming device, was utilized to decrease the percent of intervals the individual engaged in the target behavior. Data show that implementing self-monitoring alone decreased percent of intervals of head rubbing.


Generalization of Behavioral Effects of Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy

Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
LAUREN ERION (University of West Florida; PAAL), D. Reed Bechtel (Bechtel Behavioral Services), Susan J. Heatter (Sue Heater), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)

The effects of Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) were examined on the level of vocal stereotypy emitted by an adolescent boy diagnosed with autism. Sessions were conducted in a familiar school environment and a discriminative stimulus was used to program for generalization. Data were taken on immediate and subsequent levels of vocal stereotypy as well as the rate of appropriate vocalizations. Generalization probes were conducted across three community environments including a local grocery store, fitness center, and community job site. Results show decreases in vocal stereotypy but problems with generalization across environments in the absence of direct training.

92. Comparing PECS and Speech Generating Devices (SGD) on Mand Acquisition for Children with Autism.
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGHAN MILES (University of West Florida), D. Reed Bechtel (Bechtel Behavioral Services), Susan J. Heatter (Sue Heater), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to compare the effectiveness of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and speech generating devices (SGD) on the acquisition of mands for children with autism. The study will also evaluate the children’s preference for either device. Participants will be children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder that have sufficient motor skills and no significant experience with PECS or SGD. Following a preference assessment, an alternating treatment single-case design with initial baseline will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of both PECS and SGD on the acquisition of mands. A preference assessment to determine which device is preferred will be conducted similar to the intervention conditions with both AAC systems available for the child to use. Data on the acquisition of mands with each communication device, PECS and SGD, will be graphed and visually analyzed to determine with which device each participant acquired requesting skills more rapidly and which device they preferred to use.
93. Comparing In- Vivo Versus Video Instruction to Teach Adaptive Skills to a Child With ASD
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ASHLEY EVERHART (University of West Florida), D. Reed Bechtel (Bechtel Behavioral Services), Susan J. Heatter (Sue Heater), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)
Abstract: Children with autism display impairments in skills such as imitation, verbal communication, and language. The use video modeling (VM) has helped improve skills related to these deficits. The use of video modeling has been extended by trying new ways to present videos to clients to help teach functional skills. The use of VM has been a constructive and effective tool when teaching these skills to children with autism due to their preference for visual stimuli, selective attention, and avoidance of direct face-to-face interaction. This study utilized an alternating treatments design embedded in a multiple baseline across responses to compare in vivo versus video instruction on the rate of correct responses when teaching receptive identification of objects and gross motor imitation to a child with autism. It is anticipated that video instruction will more effectively increase the rate of acquisition of gross motor imitation and receptive identification compared to in vivo instruction.
94. Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer: A Comparison of Two Pairing Procedures
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JEANINE R TANZ (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Typical practice includes using praise as a consequence for desirable behavior. An implicit assumption is that social praise and other forms of social interaction function as conditioned reinforcers. If praise actually functions as a reinforcer, the contingent delivery of praise should increase the probability of and maintain consistent responding. However, there are several unknown questions that suggest praise may not function as a reinforcer as reliably and readily as practice might imply. In addition, it is important to identify a procedure that will be effective in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for populations commonly used in applied behavioral research and for individuals for whom additional modes of reinforcement are necessary. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to compare two pairing procedures, stimulus-stimulus and response-stimulus pairing, in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for simple target responses demonstrated by individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The pairing procedure included pairing a neutral stimulus (praise statement) with an unconditioned reinforcer (highly preferred edible) to determine if the neutral stimulus would take on the reinforcing properties of the unconditioned reinforcer, thereby becoming a conditioned reinforcer.
95. Evaluating Preferred Stimuli Across Assessments and Settings
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
TIFFANY N. KILBY (Florida State University), Janelle Peck (Florida State University)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to assess preferred stimuli for a child diagnosed with autism. Therapists and family members have had difficulty identifying preferred items for this individual, which has been correlated with occurrences of problem behavior. The study utilized three preference assessments: single-stimulus, paired-stimulus, and free-operant; each was conducted across two settings (home and clinic). Results indicated that the highest preferred stimulus remained constant across preference assessments and settings, but the moderately preferred and lower preferred stimuli yielded inconsistencies. These data are valuable for practitioners when evaluating which preferred stimuli to use during sessions and across settings.
96. Use of a Treatment Analysis in Developing an Individualized Intervention for Decreasing Problem Behaviors During Feeding
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGHAN CLAUSEN (ABACS, LLC), Amanda P. Laprime (Simmons College)
Abstract: A multi-element design was used to evaluate five interventions designed to increase the percentage of bites of novel foods consumed without problem behaviors, with an overall goal of increasing the variety of novel foods consumed. Interventions included first-then presentation, first-then presentation with a high-probability request sequence, blending of preferred and non-preferred foods, blending of preferred and non-preferred foods combined with a first-then presentation, and blending of preferred and non-preferred foods combined with a high-probability request sequence. Occurrences of food refusal, expulsion, and latency to consumption were measured to determine effectiveness of each intervention. The treatment analysis yielded differentiated results that were used to design an intervention that has effectively increased this student’s consumption of novel foods without engaging in problem behaviors in a home-based setting.
97. Data-Based Decision Making: The Representativeness of Continuous Measurement During Sample Intervals
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JONATHON METZ (Bancroft), Sean Smith (Bancroft ), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Abstract: Clinical decision-making in non-behavior analytic fields is often based on parent or caregiver report or short, infrequent direct observations. While time-sampling methods offer a less demanding way to estimate behavior, they require collecting data for lengthy observation periods and the accuracy of time-sampled data remains ambiguous. The present study extends the work of Mudford et al. (1990) and Tiger et al. (2013) by evaluating the representativeness of continuously recorded sample data and determining its efficacy for clinical decision-making. Frequency data for problem behavior was continuously recorded, 24 hours a day for at least 6 months for participants with various response patterns (e.g., decreasing trends, cyclical, low and variable). Sample data was obtained by extracting 1 hour intervals from the 24 hour data and a line graph of problem behavior was created for each 1 hour sample interval. To determine the representativeness of each interval of sample of data, the researchers used visual inspection to compare each 1-hour sample graph to the 24-hour data graph at two decision points. Similar conclusions were drawn from 1-hour sample data and 24-hour continuous data for most participants.
98. The Effects of the Flower Therapy Program on Complying Behavior of an Elderly Woman With Dementia
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NOBUHIRO WATANABE (Tokiwa University), Yuta Watanabe (Migawa Nursing Home), Tetsumi Moriyama (Tokiwa University)
Abstract: We worked with a 91-year-old woman with dementia who lived in a care unit of a nursing home and often refused our care. In particular, she refused to go to a restroom. Then we programmed our own flower therapy and investigated whether she could go to a restroom as requested due to the therapy. The program was based on the A-B-A-B single-participant-design. In the baseline phase, we urged her to go to the restroom as usual. In the intervention phase, we arranged the flower therapy in which we gave her an artificial flower and asked her to deck the restroom with it. The dependent variable of the study was her travelling time from living room of the care unit to the restroom. The results were as follows. The average travelling times of the first and the second baseline phases were 221 and 365 seconds respectively. Those of the first and the second intervention phases were 150 and 166 seconds respectively. We carried out the follow-up sessions after the second intervention in which the average travelling time was 129 seconds. From the results, we conclude our flower therapy program was effective for making our client with dementia comply with our request.
99. Treatment Outcomes of Pediatric Feeding Problems: Comparing Follow-up Services in Clinic versus Via Tele-health
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
LING-YAN YANG (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kathryn M. Peterson (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jason R. Zeleny (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Rachel Ray (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: A child is typically diagnosed with a feeding disorder when he or she fails to consume sufficient nutrients and/or calories to sustain normal nutrition and growth. Recent prevalence estimates suggest that feeding disorders occur in up to 45% and 80% of children who are typically developing or diagnosed with developmental disabilities, respectively (Chung & Kahng, 2006). Behavioral interventions are supported by substantial empirical research to treat pediatric feeding disorders. However, there are a very limited number of organizations and professionals in the country that specialize in the behavioral treatment of pediatric feeding disorders and this has created a serious issue for families pursuing treatment for their child. One viable option is to use telehealth technologies, video-conferencing platforms such as Adobe connect, to train caregivers to treat their child. Few studies to our knowledge have evaluated the effectiveness of using telehealth to treat pediatric feeding disorders using behavioral techniques and caregiver satisfaction of their teleheath experience. We compared the outcomes (e.g., oral intake, percentage of goals met, caregiver satisfaction) of children discharged from an intensive day-treatment program who received follow-up in clinic versus via telehealth. Preliminary results suggest that clinically relevant outcomes are achieved regardless of the avenue of outpatient follow-up.
100. Objectively Measured Versus Self-Reported Physical Activity in College Students: Implications for Research and Practice
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW DOWNS (University of Portland), Jaqueline VanHoomissen (University of Portland), Andrew LaFrenz (Oregon State University), Deana Julka (University of Portland)
Abstract: Research suggests that physical activity levels typically decline when students transition from high school to college and a significant proportion of college students do not engage in adequate physical activity. Because the vast majority of research on physical activity conducted thus far has relied on self-report rather than objective measurements, the problem of physical inactivity in college students is likely even worse than believed. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which college students may overestimate their time spent engaged in moderate (MPA) or vigorous physical activity (VPA) when assessed via self-report as compared to objective measurement. Participants were 77 college students at a university in the northwest United States. Participants completed a validated self-report measure of physical activity on three separate occasions, and their actual physical activity levels were assessed continuously for two weeks via accelerometer. The vast majority of participants significantly overestimated their time spent engaged in MPA or VPA. Recent technological advances have provided researchers and professionals several new options for measuring physical activity behavior objectively, and the use of self-report in this domain can no longer be considered acceptable.

Comparing The Effects of Differential Reinforcement With Escape Extinction to Sequential Presentation With Escape Extinction, on Increasing Acceptance of Foods in Children With Food Selectivity

Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE REINOSO (University of Saint Joseph), Melissa L. Olive (Applied Behavioral Strategies)

Food selectivity is when individuals will only eat certain types of foods based on various characteristics of those food. Having food selectivity can affect an individual's health and well being. Research has confirmed that food selectivity occurs in children with and without various developmental disabilities. Previous research has confirmed, that using reinforcement procedures in combination with escape extinction has been effective in increasing types of foods that are consumed by those individuals with food selectivity. In this research study, the researchers used shaping, and prompting in combination with escape extinction and reinforcement procedures to treat food selectivity in three participants aged two to eleven years old. The purpose of the study, was to determine if using a tangible reinforcer or sequential presentation (edible reinforcer) increased food consumption and decreased food refusal behaviors. Data was taken on the percentage of bites that participants accepted and consumed per meal, and on the frequency of refusal behaviors per meal. Two of the participants had higher rates of consumption behavior and lower rates of refusal behaviors when using sequential presentation. One participant made more progress when they were provided a play item after the new food. The results indicated, that for some individuals using sequential presentation is more effective, and for others, a tangible reinforcer is more effective at increasing acceptance and consumption of new foods for those with food selectivity.

102. Modifying PECS to Teach Conceptually Referenced, Core Vocabulary for Initial Symbolic Communication
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA SNODGRASS (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine if a student with a severe intellectual disability concomitant with visual impairment could (a) learn to identify a conceptually referenced tactile symbol prior to learning symbols with concrete referents, and (b) generalize the use of a conceptually referenced tactile symbol across stimuli. For an single individual with a significant intellectual disability concomitant with visual impairment, tactile symbols were used for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The symbols represented the core vocabulary words "more," "done," and "new," which reference concepts, not concrete items or experiences. Modifications to Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) were made to accommodate for the participant's visual impairment and for conceptually-referenced vocabulary. A variation of a single-subject nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across three vocabulary words was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of most-to-least prompting and backward chaining to teach communication skills, and to demonstrate that he could generalized the use of a symbol to new stimuli prior to intervention.
103. The Effect of Attention During a Treatment Package to Decrease Problem Behavior Maintained by Positive and Negative Reinforcement
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE H. LUSTIG (The University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), James Green (The University of Iowa), Gunsung Lee (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: This investigation evaluated the role of attention within a treatment package to decrease problem behavior maintained by both positive and negative reinforcement for one participant. Following a functional analysis (conducted within a multi-element design) which identified escape, tangible, and attention functions for Diego, a 4-year old boy with disruptive behavior disorder, two versions of a treatment package were implemented within an AB design. The treatment package was conducted within a chained schedule of reinforcement. Diego was required to complete a small task (sorting colors), and upon completion was required to mand for an enriched break which consisted of gaining access to toys and attention. Noncompliance resulted in verbal prompts to work with prompts delivered on a fixed time 1 min schedule. Thus, attention was provided each minute. This version did not result in consistent reductions in problem behavior. The prompting and correction procedures (i.e., attention procedure) were then omitted and attention was provided contingent on accurate task completion without simultaneous problem behavior. This version resulted in increases in task completion and decreases in problem behavior. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 42% of sessions and equaled 93%.
104. Practice of Consultation for the Support of the Adults Indicated Severe Behavior Problem in the Institutions for the People With Intellectual Disability
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
AKIKO KURAMITSU (Fukuoka University of Education), Yukihiro Noguchi (seinangakuin university)
Abstract: In this study, we implemented the consultation program of the support for the severe behavior problems indicated by the adults in four institutions for the people with Intellectual Disability. First author visited each institution as a consultant once a week, lectured the staffs of each institution on the knowledge and skills about the support based on Applied Behavior Analysis, gave advice about the support plan to reduce behavioral problems indicated by the adults in each institution, and conducted feedback to the support records that the staffs wrote. The dependent variables were the score of the knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis of the staffs tested before and after the program and the frequency of occurrence of problem behavior of the target adults of all institutions, and we studied the effect of the consultation program. As a result, the improvement of the knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis of the most of the staffs was shown, and the behavioral problems of the most of the target adults in all institutions were improved. Therefore, the effectiveness of the consultation program was suggested.
Keyword(s): poster session



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