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 #384
DDA Mon Noon
Monday, May 26, 2014
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
111. Evaluating Instructor Preference in Children With Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
FORREST TOEGEL (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Lauren Speckin (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Elizabeth Sansing (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Leah Verkuylen (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Matthew Thompson (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kylie Gutknecht (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: Many children with developmental disabilities lack the ability to communicate with therapists; therefore it is difficult for therapists to evaluate the components of teaching procedures the children may prefer. The current study utilized a forced choice paired stimulus procedure to determine whether children diagnosed with developmental disabilities demonstrate a preference for instructions delivered by a parent or those delivered by a program therapist and the relative effectiveness of preferred and non-preferred instructors. Experimental sessions consisted of instructor choice trials followed by blocks of maintenance tasks. Instructor choice trials consisted of a combination of forced- and free-choice trials in which researchers instructed participants to select a picture of either a parent or a therapist. Following the instructor choice trials, the selected instructor delivered a block maintenance tasks to the participant. Instructor preference was evaluated through instructor choice during free-choice trials. Instructor effectiveness was evaluated through the percentage of maintenance trials correct throughout the experimental session. Results suggest that the current procedure is a successful indicator of preference for and effectiveness of instructors.
112. Effects of Baseline Sample Size on Proportion of Baseline and Interpretation of Behavioral Persistence
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHEN E. RYAN (The University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (The University of Iowa), Anna Ing (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Behavioral momentum theory provides a framework to study persistence of behavior when challenged by extinction. A behavior's persistence is evaluated by dividing response rate during a challenge condition by mean response rate during a baseline condition. This calculation is called proportion of baseline. The current study addressed applied issues that may affect interpretation of proportion of baseline. The participant, a 2-year old boy with developmental delays, engaged in problem behavior maintained by positive reinforcement. Functional communication training (FCT) for tangibles was implemented across two mand modalities (i.e., manual sign for please; vocal "please") within a multiple schedules design. Visual cues signaled which modality would be reinforced during each session. After establishing similar reinforcement histories, both mand modalities were placed on extinction. Proportion of baseline was calculated using all FCT sessions for both modalities, all FCT sessions for both modalities including errors in manding, and the final three FCT sessions for both modalities. A manding error was defined as a manual sign occurring during a vocal extinction session and vice versa. Interpretations of the persistence of manding varied depending on how proportion of baseline was calculated. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 30% of each condition and averaged above 90%.
113. Impact of Psychotropic Medication Changes on Functional Assessment Outcomes
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Annette Haas (Drake University), Madison Cirks (Drake University), Raizel Small (Drake University), Madalyn Troske (Drake University), Meara Henninger-McMahon (Drake University), Danielle Mroz (Drake University), Elizabeth Schieber (Drake University), MARIA G. VALDOVINOS (Drake University)
Abstract: Introduction: Pharmacological interventions are common for treating problem behaviors in individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) (Matson, Sipes, Fodstad, & Fitzgerald, 2011). The purpose of this study was to determine if changes in problems behavior were predicted by changes in psychotropic medication. Methods: The participants were Caucasian males, Randy (28yr; diagnosed with severe ID, Autism, Bipolar Disorder; discontinued thioridazine, escitalopram, started lurasidone hcl) and Bart (35yr; diagnosed with severe ID and Autism; decrease in seroquel), and Caucasian females, Lola (53yr; diagnosed with moderate ID; increase in valproic acid) and Stella (32yr; diagnosed with moderate ID and Autism; changes in olanzapine and risperidone dosage). Experimental functional analyses (FA) were conducted at the beginning of the study and at least 2 weeks after any medication changes were made. Additionally, weekly one-hour observations were conducted in the home (videotaped and scored later using Noldus Observer XT). The FA conditions included standard conditions (i.e., control, tangible, demand, ignore, attention) (Iwata et al., 1994) and additional probes to assess possible side effects (i.e., thirst, edible, fine motor, headache). Lag sequential analyses were conducted with direct observation data to identify the probability with which any given antecedent predicted problem behavior. Results: Attached are Stella’s data. In general, changes in FA results and lag sequential outcomes were observed after medication changes; however, changes were not always uniform across behaviors or antecedent conditions. Discussion: Behaviors assessed for all participants presented with different patterns across antecedent conditions and assessment types. Nonetheless, these antecedent conditions changed when medication alterations were made. Further analyses of all participant data will be conducted in order to confirm patterns across participants. References: * Matson, J.L., Sipes, M., Fodstad, J.C., & Fitzgerald M.E. (2011). Issues in the management of challenging behaviours of adults with Autism Spectrum disorder. CNS Drugs, 25(7), 597-606. *Iwata, B.A., et al. (1994). The functions of self-injurious behavior: An experimental – epidemiological analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27(2), 215-240. * This research was supported by NICHD: 1R15HD072497-01

The Effects of Different Adults as Feeders During Functional Analyses of Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY G. BLINN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Courtney Mauzy (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Caitlin A. Kirkwood (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Diane Berth (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Numerous studies have validated the use of pretreatment functional analyses as the basis for the development of highly effective interventions for a variety of problem behaviors. Several studies have reported instances in which experimenter-conducted functional analyses yielded rates of problem behavior too low to be interpretable and subsequently demonstrated that inclusion of caregivers as therapists in the sessions resulted in increases in problem behavior (e.g., Huete & Kurtz, 2010; Ringdahl & Sellers, 2000; Tiger et al., 2009). We trained caregivers to conduct functional analyses after low or no responding was observed during experimenter-conducted functional analyses of the inappropriate mealtime behavior of 2 children diagnosed with feeding disorders. In a pair-wise design, we used procedures similar to those described by Piazza, Fisher, et al. (2003). Interobserver agreement was above 80% for at least 33% of sessions for both children. Treatment integrity during parent conducted sessions was above ----% for both children. Inappropriate mealtime behavior increased during caregiver-conducted functional analyses resulting in successful identification of function. Results will be discussed in terms of potential operant mechanisms responsible for the differential outcomes and implications for research and clinical practice for the evaluation of pediatric food refusal.


Reducing Rapid Eating Using a Pager Prompt: A Replication of Anglesea, Hoch, and Taylor

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TRACI LANNER (Springbrook), Brandon Scott Nichols (Springbrook), Michele Myers (Springbrook), Hannah Jacobsen (Springbrook), David McAdam (University of Rochester)

Rapid eating is a common feeding problem displayed by persons with developmental disabilities. Rapid eating is concerning because it can result in health problems (e.g., aspiration) and can be socially stigmatizing. Anglesea, Hoch, and Taylor (2008) demonstrated that a pager prompt (i.e. a pager set to vibrate according to predetermined time interval) combined with response blocking successfully reduced the rapid eating of three teenage boys with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The current study is a systematic replication of Anglesea et al. (2008) conducted with a 14 year old boy with an intellectual disability and autism. An ABAB reversal design will be used to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention package and both interobserver agreement and treatment integrity data will be presented (Note: we are currently in the process of completing the ABAB reversal design. The data collected to date are attached). The degree to which the findings of Anglesea et al. (2008) are replicated and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

116. Assessing the Effects of Antecedent Management Techniques on Masturbatory Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
John Demanche (Melmark New England), ERICA DEMARTINO (Melmark New England), Freddie Scibelli (Melmark New England), Jill Marie Harper (Melmark New Englnad)
Abstract: The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the effects of an antecedent intervention in the form of scheduled intervals of exercise and wrist weights on the masturbatory behavior of a young man diagnosis with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. All sessions throughout the assessment and treatment were conducted in the context of ongoing daily activities within a classroom setting. Prior to the start of the evaluation, sensory extinction was in place in the form of a sporting cup worn throughout the school day. However, upon removing the cup the behavior re-emerged at high levels across the day. The initial assessment demonstrated that the masturbatory behavior was not sensitive to social consequences. The treatment package resulted in an immediate decrease in masturbatory behavior to near zero levels. A component analysis showed that although wrist weights alone produced significant decreases in behavior, all components (exercise and weights) resulted in the greatest reduction of behavior. Therefore, the treatment package was reintroduced with a plan to systematically fade the wrist weights across sessions. Reliability data was collected during 51% of assessment sessions and 27% of treatment sessions and mean agreement scores across sessions were 94.5% and 96.4%, respectively.
117. Descriptive Assessment of Token and Food Reinforcement During Discrete Trial Instruction
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JANICE CORONEL (Florida International University), Yanerys Leon (Florida International University), Claudia Campos (Florida International University), Beatriz Urcuyo (Florida International University)
Abstract: A token economy involves the delivery of a previously neutral stimulus that has been paired with, and can be exchanged for a variety of backup reinforcers (e.g., food or tangibles). Previous researchers have suggested that token economies present several advantages to direct food or tangible reinforcement (e.g., ease of delivery, maximizing work time). Although these advantages have been suggested, there are currently no data that have compared these outcomes using token economies and direct food and/or tangible reinforcement in discrete trial training (DTT). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct a descriptive assessment evaluating the consistency with which early intervention therapists deliver tokens, food, or tangibles during DTT. We measured latency to the delivery of the reinforcer, number of responses completed, time in reinforcement, and time in work during DTT. Results indicate that a) latency to token delivery was shorter than direct food and direct tangible delivery and b) the number of responses completed and time spent working was higher when food was the programmed reinforcer compared to tangible items regardless of whether or not tokens were used as immediate reinforcers and exchanged for these items or if the items were delivered directly following a response.
118. Use of a Change-Over Delay During Differential Reinforcement of Appropriate Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Jolene R. Sy (Saint Louis University), OLIVIA GRATZ (Saint Louis University), Kathleen Mack (Saint Louis University), Sarah Koerkenmeier (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Although the efficacy of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA; Hanley, Iwata, & Thompson, 2001) has been repeatedly demonstrated with individuals with intellectual disabilities, is unknown whether it is possible to suppress problem behavior and increase appropriate behavior if appropriate behavior occurs close in time to problem behavior. In these cases, it may be necessary to program a change-over delay (COD; i.e., an interval of time following problem behavior in which appropriate responses could not produce reinforcement). Although a COD has been included in some studies (e.g., Hagopian, Fisher, Sullivan, Acquisto, & LeBlanc, 1998), it's effects have never been systematically evaluated. The purpose of this study is to systematically compare DRA with and without a COD. Two children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities participated in the study. The results of the study indicate that both versions of DRA decrease the rate of problem behavior and increase the rate of independent appropriate behaviors.
119. The Effects of Delayed Punishment on the Choices of Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
JOLENE R. SY (Saint Louis University), Olivia Gratz (Saint Louis University), Kathleen Mack (Saint Louis University), Sarah Koerkenmeier (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Woolverton, Freeman, Myerson, and Green (2011) found monkeys were more likely to select reinforcers that were not followed by punishment. However, this became less likely as the punisher was delayed. Less is known about the effects of delayed punishment on human choice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of delayed punishment on the choices of three individuals with autism. Subjects chose between a small magnitude reinforcer or a large magnitude reinforcer followed by a 0-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 30-, or 60-s delayed punisher. Punishment was unsignaled, briefly signaled, or signaled for the entire delay. For one subject, the reinforcing efficacy of large magnitude reinforcement competed with the punishing efficacy of a “no” statement. For two subjects, punishment was most effective when the signal lasted the duration of the delay. However, there was some variability in results and the effectiveness of the punisher appeared to decrease over time.
120. Effects of PECS on the Acquisition of Mands for Adults with ID and Severe Communication Deficits.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: Communication skills are necessary to meet basic needs; to express wants and desires; and to exercise self-determination and independence. When an individual does not speak functionally, alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices may be employed to provide a functional communication system. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an AAC system that is based on the principles of ABA and was originally used with young children diagnosed with Autism. Recently studies have examined the use of PECS with adults with developmental disabilities. Overall, these studies have found PECS to be effective in increasing the requesting skills in this population. This study examined the effects of implementing PECS with 6 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities that did not have functional communication skills. A multiple baseline design across participants was implemented to evaluate the effects of PECS on requesting skills and reduction in problem behaviors. Results demonstrated a significant increase in mands and a decrease in undesirable behaviors.
Keyword(s): poster session



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