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 #380
EDC Mon noon
Monday, May 26, 2014
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
35. Effects of Attendance of One Disruptive Student on Classroom Wide Rates of Inappropriate Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
SAMANTHA EVANS (Youngstown State University), Katie DiCola (Youngstown State University), Kristopher Brown (Youngstown State University), Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: How much trouble can one child be? High rates of inappropriate behavior by a child in educational settings will adversely affect that childs learning and socialization. When a student is behaving inappropriately, by default the student is not behaving appropriately the student is not learning. Compounding this problem is that, through various processes such peer imitation and social reinforcement, inappropriate behaviors of just one child may spread throughout the entire classroom resulting in high rates of inappropriate behavior by many, most, or all, of the other students in the classroom, i.e., whether or not the class as a whole is considered out of control may end up being a function of the presence or absence of just one student. Here pre-intervention data is presented from a fourth grade classroom in an inner city school for children with behavioral and developmental disabilities (ADHD, Autism, etc.) showing that high classroom wide rates of out-of-seat behavior and verbal disruptions were a function of just one students attendance. Thus efforts may need to be made to increase appropriate behaviors and thus decrease inappropriate behaviors of a single student, not just for that students wellbeing, but for the sake of the entire classroom.

Noncontingent Reinforcement to Decrease Disruptive Classroom Behavior in a Student With Emotional/Behavioral Disorder

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER RUBOW (University of Florida), Christina F. Noel (Western Kentucky University), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University)

Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is the provision of reinforcing stimuli at fixed intervals, regardless of behavior, while simultaneously extinguishing a behavior that has the same reinforcing stimuli. Noncontingent reinforcement is an evidence-based practice for reducing maladaptive behaviors with a variety of maintaining stimuli in individuals with developmental disabilities (Carr, Severtson, & Lepper, 2009). Noncontingent reinforcement has previously been used to reduce disruptive classroom behaviors in students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) in a psychiatric hospital setting (Rasmussen & O�Neill, 2006). The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of NCR for decreasing disruptive classroom behaviors maintained by attention in a student with EBD. A secondary purpose was to determine the effects of NCR on teacher praise and reprimands. Using a withdrawal design, NCR was provided to a student with EBD during typical classroom instruction. Resulting data supported the effectiveness of NCR to decrease this student�s disruptive behaviors. Additionally, during intervention phases, teacher praise statements increased and teacher reprimands decreased. Results suggest NCR can be used to decrease disruptive classroom behaviors maintained by attention and improve student-teacher dynamics.

37. Teachers' Reported Use of Evidence-Based Strategies Based on Applied Behavior Analysis When Dealing With Challenging Student Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Snaefridur Drofn Bjorgvinsdottir (University of Iceland), ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Iceland)
Abstract: This poster presents findings on Icelandic teachers' views about challenging behavior and teachers' reported use of strategies based on applied behavior analysis and positive behavior support when dealing with challenging behavior. Additionally, the preservice and in-service preparation for preventing and handling challenging student behavior was examined. Data was collected using a translated and adapted version of Westling's (2010) Questionnaire About Teachers and Challenging Behavior. Participants were 124 general education and special education teachers from nine schools in the capital region in Iceland. Participants answers indicated that they were most likely to use strategies directed to changing the antecedents of behavior and consequences of behavior, such as positive reinforcement. Only 12% felt they received adequate preservice preparation to deal with challenging behavior but one third felt they had received adequate in-service preparation to deal with challenging behavior. Finally, results showed a positive correlation between teachers' preparation in selected areas of applied behavior analysis and positive behavior support and their use of effective strategies when dealing with challenging student behavior (r(70) = 0,33, p = 0,005). The results indicate that there is room for improvement when it comes to teacher preparation in Iceland to deal with challenging behavior and that in-service preparation relates to teachers' use of effective strategies when dealing with challenging behavior.
38. Challenging Student Behavior: Perceived Effects on Teachers'Well-Being
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Snaefridur Drofn Bjorgvinsdottir (University of Iceland), ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Iceland)
Abstract: This poster presents findings on Icelandic teachers' views about challenging behavior and their perceived effects on their well-being and job satisfaction. The study examined the extent of students' challenging behavior, as reported by teachers, as well as its impact on teachers and students. It also examined teachers' perceived support when dealing with challenging student behavior and level of emotional exhaustion, and whether these factors were related to students' challenging behavior. Data were collected using a translated and adapted version of Westling's (2010) Questionnaire About Teachers and Challenging Behavior, with an addition of questions about emotional exhaustion. Participants were 124 general education and special education teachers from nine schools in the capital region in Iceland. Participants reported about one in every four students showing challenging behavior and most teachers said they had to deal with it daily. In most participants' opinion, challenging behavior has negative impacts on themselves and their students. Teachers most often received support from co-workers when dealing with challenging behavior, but seldom from behavior specialists or professionals from outside their school. Finally, results showed that one to three teachers out of every ten experience symptoms of emotional exhaustion and more than half of teachers thought about leaving the profession due to student challenging behavior. Also, a positive correlation between how frequently teachers had to deal with challenging behavior and experience of symptoms of emotional exhaustion was observed (r(84) = 0,34, p = 0,001). The results indicate that challenging behavior of students is common and has a negative impact on teachers' well-being and job satisfaction.
39. The Effect of Type, Frequency, and Severity of Children’s Problem Behaviors on Teachers’ Psychosocial Adjustment
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
SOYOUNG HEO (Yonsei University), Hyeonsuk Jang (Yonsei University), Harim Kim (Yonsei University), Dayi Jung (Yonsei University), You Na Kim (free-lancer), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of type (aggression, self-injurious and stereotypic behaviors), frequency, and severity of children’s problem behaviors on psychosocial adjustment of special education teachers. Participants were 80 teachers (12m & 68f) and their age ranged from 23 to 50 (M=32.33, SD=7.6). Behavior Problem Inventory(BPI), PSS(Perceived Stress Scale), modified Parenting Stress Index(PSI), Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey(MBI-GS), and WHOQOL-BREF(World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment Instrument Brief) were administered. Correlation analysis and backward regression analysis were conducted in this study. The result showed that teachers' psychosocial adjustment, especially stress, was significantly influenced by frequency or severity of aggressive behaviors. The impact of self-injurious and stereotypic behaviors was relatively weak, though it varied across different psychological domains. For example, both behaviors significantly affected teachers' quality of life and job satisfaction. These results suggest that reducing aggressive behaviors should be prioritized when diverse problem behaviors co-exist. Although self-injurious behaviors do not affect significantly to teachers' psychosocial adjustment, it should not be less attended due to its impact on children. More research is needed to investigate the relative impact of other types of challenging behaviors including disruptive behaviors, pica, elopement, etc.

Assessment of Supportive Behavior of Assistant Teachers in a Japanese Regular Classroom

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
YUKI DOJO (Kobe Gakuin University)

The purposes of the present study were (a) to demonstrate the supportive behavior of assistant teachers in group-oriented regular classrooms in Japan using direct behavioral observation and (b) to examine assistant teachers' descriptive assessment of off-task behaviors of children with special educational needs. Two regular classrooms in a public elementary school in Kobe City were used for this study. The participants of behavioral observation were two assistant teachers: teacher "A", a 40-year-old female supporting a first grade class; and teacher "B", a 43-year-old female supporting a second grade class. We used 30-second interval recordings to observe their supportive behaviors, and antecedent and consequent events. The results of the behavioral observation showed that the most practiced behavior for both teachers was "doing things together" with an average of 25.8%, e.g., letting the target child write in a notebook and read a textbook while at the child's side. "Sitting beside the target child" was the most conducted supportive behavior for teacher A (26.9%), whereas "checking" was the most conducted supportive behavior for teacher B (28.9%). The results of the descriptive assessment revealed that many assistant teachers focused on and supported inattentive behaviors of target children.


CANCELLED: Teachers Understanding and Management of Challenging Behavior

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNE BUTLER (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Lisa Monda-Amaya (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

The purpose of this study was to examine an intervention package on teachers understanding and management of challenging behavior. The study was conducted with five general educators in elementary grades with students with and without disabilities (K-4). A multiple baseline across participants was used to examine both student behavior and teacher behavior and observational data were recorded throughout all phases. After baseline, in Phase One, teachers were provided with an inservice to model typical professional development about function-based interventions and how to recognize and identify the antecedent (and setting events), the operational behavior, and the consequences. In Phase two, teachers were provided with coaching sessions collaboratively with the researcher, to develop interventions to match the function of each students behavior. Results indicate that when teachers were provided with coaching, student challenging behavior decreased and teacher behavior to use effective interventions increased.

42. Teacher Praise and Reprimands Directed Toward Students With Problem Behavior: A Reexamination
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TARA MOORE (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University), Daniel M. Maggin (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: Findings from classroom-based observations indicate recent trends of higher overall rates of teacher approval and lower overall rates of disapproval. However, further results indicate students identified to exhibit problem behaviors generally receive greater amounts of disapproval from their teachers in both general and special education settings. Teachers use of praise and reprimands was examined for 305 elementary-age students identified as exhibiting problem behaviors across two educational settings (i.e., self-contained special education classrooms and general education classrooms). Results indicated slightly higher median rates of teacher reprimands than median rates of teacher praise in both classroom settings, with evidence of high variability in rates of praise and reprimands received by students in the sample. Results also indicated students observed in both classroom settings typically received ratios of praise to reprimands that were much lower than recommendations for effective classroom management. Results of analyses of variance components indicated some teachers were more successful than others at providing high levels of praise to the students in their special education classrooms. This finding may indicate a need for focusing future research and intervention efforts at both classroom levels and within classrooms to increase implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports for all students.

The Effects of Response Cost and Self-Monitoring on the Off-Task Behavior of Two Fourth Graders During Large Group Instruction

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TAYLEE ELESCANO (Weber State University), Natalie Allen-Williams (Weber State University)

This poster will present data from two function-based behavioral interventions that were implemented to decrease the occurrences of off-task behavior by two fourth-grade students with moderate disabilities. Both students were receiving services under IDEA 2004 having been identified with Learning Disabilities. Off-task was defined as any occurrence of the following: looking away from the board, teacher or unfinished work for longer than five seconds, eyes closed and head on students' desk, out of seat, vocal verbal non-content related statements or noises to adults or peers, eyes away from the teacher or text at the time of the observation or playing with items not related to the current lesson. The students were engaging in this behavior in order to escape unwanted tasks and/or gain peer and adult attention. A reversal design was used to verify the effectiveness of the intervention selected. For Chris, whose behavior was maintained both by escape and attention, response cost was implemented using an ABAB design. During baseline his off-task behavior occurred an average of six times during a 15-minute observation. During intervention the students average off-task behaviors decreased to 1.5 occurrences. During the return to baseline, the average off-task behaviors increased well above the initial baseline levels to an average of 11 occurrences. The final implementation phase resulted in an average of 1.68 occurrences of off-task behavior. For David, whose behavior was escape motivated an ABA design was implemented using a self-monitoring system with the MotivAider. During baseline, this student averaged 11 occurrences of off-task behavior and during intervention averaged 4 occurrences, using momentary time-sampling. At the time of submission, data for the return to baseline phase were being collected.

44. The Effect of Daily Reinforcement on Student Behavior in a Private Academic School
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
JODI DUGAN (Wesley Spectrum Services)
Abstract: Students attending a private academic school for various reasons; onsite therapeutic support, smaller classroom size/ student population, or alternative placement, pose challenges in meeting the varying needs while maintain motivation. The school is a safe and comfortable environment for students so the week leading up to break present challenges as students prepare for unstructured days equaling increase in inappropriate behaviors. The study examined the effects of daily reinforcement the week leading to break. The study consisted of an ABAB design across the student population of 76 students as well as a focus on 5 students (regular and special education, with varying diagnoses). The dependent variable is the percentage of students earning 80% or more of daily points, which are earned in the classroom by being respectful, responsible, and safe. During baseline, students had no access to a reward. During the experimental phase, students were reinforced with snacks based on having 80% or more points from the day before. Findings thus far show that the number of students earning 80% or more points increased. The 5 students also showed an increase daily through the week. Further data will be collected to confirm the functional relationship.
45. Teacher Consultation as an Intervention to Improve Classroom Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
TERYN BRUNI (Central Michigan University ), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University), Jessica Sevecke (Central Michigan University), Seraphim Mork (Central Michigan University ), Maria Alejandra Ramirez (Central Michigan University )
Abstract: Using behavioral consultation, off-task behavior of a five-year-old girl measured by the number of redirections by the teacher was decreased using environmental modification (i.e., moved to a different seat in the classroom), differential reinforcement, and token economy. Controlling variables were assessed and baseline data were collected. Variables maintaining the behavior included attention from peers and teacher. Results show that after moving the student away from reinforcing peers, off task behavior reduced dramatically. Reinforcement procedures and the token system was also introduced and seemed to help further reduce and maintain behavior. A natural reversal was implemented when a substitute teacher was present in the classroom. During this time, the number of redirections increased to baseline level. Upon return of the classroom teacher and reinstatement of the intervention, the number of redirections returned to post-baseline frequency.
46. Decreasing Talking Out Behavior Using Differential Reinforcement, Response Cost, and Token Economy Through Teacher Consultation
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
SERAPHIM MORK (Central Michigan University), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University), Maria Alejandra Ramirez (Central Michigan University ), Jessica Sevecke (Central Michigan University), Teryn Bruni (Central Michigan University )
Abstract: Through teacher consultation “talking out” behavior of an eight-year-old boy was targeted. Goldstein and Goldstein (1990) operationally defined talking out as “spoken words, either friendly, neutral, or negative in content which are directed at either the teacher without first obtaining permission to speak or unsolicited at classmates during inappropriate times or during work periods”(pp. 94-95). His behavior was maintained by teacher and peer attention. The teacher was asked to use a response cost procedure in combination with a token system and time-out from reinforcement as the intervention for a 40-minute duration during the second period of class, when reading was usually taught. Additionally a differential reinforcement procedure using attention from peers was introduced. A replacement behavior of “hand raising” was also instituted. The reinforcers used were praise, peer attention, time with the computer, and reading breaks. Despite the difficulties with fidelity, the intervention was useful in reducing the frequency of talking out in the target student.
47. A Multi-Site Efficacy Trial of the Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams-CW-FIT: A Research to Practice Agenda for Students with and At Risk for EBD-Year 2 Findings (IES # R324A120344)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
DEBRA KAMPS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Rose Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), Joseph H. Wehby (Vanderbilt University), Terrell McGuire (Vanderbilt University), Paul Caldarella (Brigham Young University Positive Behavior Support Initiative), Leslie Gunter (Brigham Young University), Blake Hansen (Brigham Young University)
Abstract: The purpose of the project is to conduct a multi-site efficacy trial of the Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams Program (CW-FIT) for elementary school students including students with and at risk for Emotional/Behavior Disorders (EBD). The CW-FIT Program includes four elements designed from hundreds of empirical studies: (1) teaching socially-appropriate communicative skills, (2) differential reinforcement using an interdependent group contingency, (3) extinction or eliminating potential reinforcement (attention, escape) for problem behavior, and (4) Tier 2 using self-management, help cards, and functional assessment. The study is based on strong prior evidence of the efficacy of the CW-FIT intervention in seventeen schools. In the current study, schools in Missouri, Utah, and Tennessee are participating in a randomized trial over four years. Year 2 findings will be highlighted with overall outcomes for the first two years as well which include improved class-wide on task behavior and decreased disruptive behaviors for at risk students. Figures present data for the first semester for four classes and at risk students at the Missouri site. Final data will be presented from classes and students across the three national sites for intervention classrooms and for individual students.
48. A Comprehensive Intervention to Support Students With Emotional Disturbance Transition to Public Education Placements
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
TRACI ELAINE RUPPERT (University of Oregon), Rohanna Buchanan (Oregon Social Learning Center), Tom Cariveau (University of Oregon), Marilynn Porritt (University of Oregon), Michael Schwartz (University of Oregon), Jill Kornelis (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Students with emotional disturbance are at-risk for multiple negative outcomes including school failure. Statistics from 2003 show that 56% of students with emotional disturbance dropped out of school (USDED, 2005). Prior research has shown that students with emotional disturbance benefit from individualized behavior interventions that include parents and data to inform treatment decisions (Vernberg et al., 2004). The Students with Involved Families and Teachers program incorporates these findings to support parents and students who are placed in treatment settings and transition back into public education placements. The goal of the current study is to increase school success and maintain or increase levels of prosocial behavior during school transitions for students with emotional disturbance. The current project supports parents and students through the development of routines, differential reinforcement, and manipulation of consequences using modeling, shaping, and role-playing during weekly sessions. Coaching sessions are informed by teacher and parent data that rates student behavior across 21 prosocial and 35 challenging behaviors. The results showed that student participants had high rates of challenging behavior before entering the current study with decreases in challenging behavior and increases in prosocial behavior during intervention. These outcomes inform educational practices during transitions for at-risk students.
49. Acceptability of Functional Assessment Procedures to Special Educators and School Psychologists: Data From National and State Samples
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT E. O'NEILL (University of Utah), Kaitlin Bundock (University of Utah)
Abstract: Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures have been widely researched, disseminated, and practiced for over 30 years. However, there are relatively little data concerning the acceptability of such procedures to various practitioners. This study reports data from both national and state level samples of special education teachers and school psychologists. They were surveyed with regard to their acceptance of various types of FBA procedures (e.g., questionnaires/interviews, observations, experimental functional analyses), their level of familiarity with such procedures, and perspectives on their suitability for students exhibiting milder and more severe problem behaviors. Results will summarize participant demographic characteristics, perceived acceptability of different procedures, and open-ended comments made by participants. (Please note: the attached data tables are a subset of all of the tables that will be presented/available at the poster presentation).

CANCELLED: Teacher Consultation: Decreasing Student Office Referrals using Self-monitoring and Token Economy

Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA SEVECKE (Central Michigan University), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University), Teryn Bruni (Central Michigan University ), Maria Alejandra Ramirez (Central Michigan University ), Seraphim Mork (Central Michigan University)

Through teacher consultation, an intervention was implemented to decrease student office referrals that were a result of excessive "blurting out" in the classroom. "Blurting out," which was defined as speaking out of turn, typically resulted in the teacher sending the student to the office. The teacher identified that referrals were highest during the 90-minute reading block period. A self-monitoring intervention and token economy reward system was implemented by the classroom teacher. Additionally, the teacher was instructed to attend to the student only if he raised his hand before speaking. If the child demonstrated "blurting" behaviors, the teacher was instructed to ignore the student. Results indicated that there were a variable number of referrals during baseline. Referrals dropped to zero per week over several weeks after the intervention was implemented. Additionally, treatment integrity observations indicate that the intervention was performed with integrity. Overall, the implementation of self-monitoring and use of a token economy reward system delivered through a consultation model improved classroom behavior.


Knowledge and Implementation of ABA Strategies: Perceptions of Rural Teachers

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Suneeta Kercood (Butler University), JANICE A. GRSKOVIC (Indiana University Northwest), Devender Banda (Texas Tech University), Jasmine Begeske (Purdue University)

This survey explored rural educators knowledge and application of applied behavior analysis and barriers to implementation. Results can guide the design of training materials and planning of professional development in rural schools. Teachers from three Midwestern rural districts participated in the survey. We currently have 64 responses but expect to collect at least 200 by April. Current survey completers were mostly general education secondary teachers (66%) from rural schools (90%). Most (50) were experienced teachers, female (76%), and half had Masters degrees. About 55% taught in inclusion classrooms. About half had taken a college course on behavior management; only 30% had taken a course in applied behavior analysis. When questioned about their knowledge of ABA, 100% of respondents rated that they were knowledgeable about positive reinforcement using teacher praise and food. More than half rated themselves as knowledgeable or very knowledgeable for each of the 17 items. A few respondents had no knowledge of 8 of the principles. Three strategies were used most: praise and social reinforcement, modeling, and prompting. Least used were over correction, group contingencies, primary reinforcement, and token economies. Identified barriers included lack of knowledge and feedback and a lack of understanding of effective use. (198 words)

52. Outcomes of Training School Personnel in Brief Experimental Analysis
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
BARBARA A. PLINE (Keystone Area Education Agency), Michelle Hinzman (Keystone Area Education Agency), Chamoni J. DeLong (Keystone Area Education Agency), Pamela A. Fields (Keystone Area Education Agency), Doug A. Penno (Keystone Area Education Agency)
Abstract: For this project, a model of professional development was developed and implemented to train 33 school personnel (i.e., school psychologists, educational consultants, social workers) to conduct Brief Experimental Analysis (BEA) in school settings. Trainees each selected two students (for a total of 66 students) who struggled in the area of reading fluency for whom to complete BEA and implement a BEA-identified intervention for an extended period. Training occurred in five sessions spanning five months with continued support throughout that time period. In addition to instruction in the tenets of experimental analysis, trainees were provided instruction in the following topics: foundations of reading instruction, evidence-based interventions, progress monitoring, data analysis, and intervention integrity. Several sources of data were analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the training in addition to student outcome data. One source of data was a survey administered as a pretest/posttest measure to determine trainees understanding of the content covered in the training. Second, the Behavior Intervention Rating Scale (BIRS) was administered to each teacher who provided instruction to students with BEA-identified interventions. This survey data was used to measure the acceptability and perceived effectiveness of the BEA-identified interventions. Finally, student data was analyzed to determine whether implementation of BEA-identified interventions produced positive reading outcomes for students. Oral reading probes were administered weekly to determine students rate of progress and intervention effect sizes. Additionally, the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT-5) was administered as a pretest/posttest measure of reading growth. This study will be completed with final data collected March 2014.
53. The Effects of Teacher Training Program for Functional Behavior Support
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KENICHI OHKUBO (Hokkaido University of Education, Asahikawa Campus)
Abstract: In Japan, many schools struggle with behavior problems. These problems are not only in the field of special education but also in a wider context. These problems include violence and bullying by students at school and the use of corporal punishment by teachers. The purposes of the present study was examination of effects of teacher training for FBA skills that enable to organize information and design BSPs properly. We evaluated effects of training program by AB design. 3 teachers who worked in preschool, elementary school, and special school participated in this study. I conducted "lectures" about basic principles of ABA, FBA, and designing BSP by using on-line video clip. And I conducted "exercises" for organizing information and designing BSP by using checklist and feedback. As a results, knowledge pertaining to Behavior Analysis of all teachers improved, and problem behavior of all students decreased and appropriate behavior of all students increased. Furthermore the points of CBCL(Child Behavior Checklist) and depressive tendency of teachers improved. These findings suggest effectiveness, validity, and necessity to train typical school personnel for conducting functional behavior support. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are presented.

An Evaluation of the Overjustification Effect Based on Task Preference in Typically Developing Preschool Children

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JEREMY DASHIELL (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Shawn Fox (Penn State Harrisburg), Catherine Cordaro (Penn State Harrisburg), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (Penn State Harrisburg)

The overjustification effect, a concept from self-perception theory, states that an individuals intrinsic motivation to engage in activities is lost following reinforcement. However, previous research suggests the level of intrinsic motivation may be an important variable in the occurrence of the overjustification effect. An individuals intrinsic motivation (or preference) may be measured directly through preference assessments. Because reinforcement is commonly used in educational settings, for activities of varying preference, it is important to evaluate this phenomenon and the effects of different preference levels. For the current study, participants preference for various tasks was evaluated using a modified-MSWO procedure. Next, an evaluation was conducted to determine if this initial preference (high, moderate, or low) would affect the prevalence of the overjustification effect following reinforcement. For one participant, the overjustification effect occurred for the high-preferred task, but it did not occur for the second participant with any task. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the overjustification effect will occur following moderate- and low-preferred tasks, the tasks for which reinforcement is most likely to be provided.

55. An Evaluation of the Reinforcing Efficacy of General Praise and Behavior-Specific Praise in Typically Developing Preschool Children
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
NINA CARRAGHAN (Penn State Harrisburg), Angela Nestico (Penn State Harrisburg), Amanda Cleveland (Penn State Harrisburg), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (Penn State Harrisburg)
Abstract: Research on problem behavior has indicated that attention will function as a reinforcer, and that certain types of attention may function as stronger reinforcers than other types. One type of attention that may function as a reinforcer is praise. It has also been suggested that behavior-specific praise, or praise that described the target behavior, is more effective than general praise, which does not describe the target behavior. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate whether behavior-specific praise will result in higher levels of behavior than general praise in typically developing preschool children. A multielement design was used to compare behavior-specific and general praise delivered for correct responses on a maintenance task. Our data indicate that both behavior-specific and general praise functioned as a reinforcer; however, behavior-specific praise resulted in slightly higher levels of correct responses. This indicates that behavior-specific praise may be a more effective reinforcer than general praise; therefore it may be beneficial for therapists and teachers to use behavior-specific praise to increase classroom and academic behavior.
56. An Evaluation of the Effects of Reinforcer Preference on the Value of Choice in Typically Developing Preschool Children
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN RHETT (Penn State Harrisburg), Samantha Dubs (Penn State Harrisburg), Szu-Chi (Jennifer) Liu (Penn State Harrisburg), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (Penn State Harrisburg)
Abstract: Recent research on choice has shown that it, in itself, is a reinforcer. However, there is little research on variables that may affect the reinforcing efficacy of it. One variable may be the preference level of the reinforcers provided. Providing choices may be more reinforcing, or only reinforcing, if the items provided are high-preferred items. The current study replicated and extended previous research on the reinforcing value of choice by evaluating the effects of reinforcer preference in isolation to determine if there is an effect on participant’s preference for making choices. Results suggest that when the reinforcers presented are of moderate- and low-preference, the participant selected the child-choice option at a high frequency and at a low frequency when the reinforcers presented were high-preferred. This indicates that choosing may be more valuable in situations in which the reinforcers provided are less-preferred. One reason may be that when low- and moderate-preferred items are available, the participant has learned the act of choosing their reinforcer increases the likelihood that the reinforcer consumed will be better than when someone chooses for them.
Keyword(s): poster session



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