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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #240
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Automatically Reinforced Self-Injurious Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD North, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Jennifer R. Zarcone, Ph.D.

The current symposium will discuss recent advances, and identify future directions with regard to the understanding and treatment of automatically reinforced SIB. The first presentation will summarize existing literature on automatically reinforced SIB, and describe a recently proposed model for subtyping this heterogeneous category. The second presentation will describe the results of a replication study applying the same subtyping criteria to published datasets of cases with automatically reinforced SIB, and discuss possible avenues for future research. The Discussant will comment on these findings as well as implications for clinical practice and research.

Subtypes of Automatically Reinforced Self-Injurious Behavior
GRIFFIN ROOKER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Christopher Dillion (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Chloe J. McKay (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nabil Mezhoudi (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Review of behavioral literature on automatically reinforced self-injurious behavior (SIB) reveals notable advances our ability to identify and sometimes treat this functional class of SIB. It has been suggested that automatically reinforced SIB involves biological variables, but our understanding of this is quite limited. Hagopian, Rooker, and Zarcone (2015) proposed and conducted a preliminary evaluation of a model for subtyping automatically reinforced SIB based on its sensitivity to changes in functional analysis conditions, and the presence of self-restraint. Subtypes differed with regard to the rate of SIB, presence of other problem behaviors and functions, competing stimulus assessment findings, and treatment outcomes. Differentiation in the functional analysis was highly correlated with response to first line treatments (r = 0.61), indicating that sensitivity of SIB evident in the functional assessment was also evident in the context of treatment. This model for subtyping will be discussed in the context of the larger literature on the assessment and treatment of automatically reinforced SIB, with specific regard to common assessment and treatment procedures.

Subtypes of Automatically Reinforced Self-Injurious Behavior: A Replication Study

LOUIS P. HAGOPIAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Andrew Bonner (Kennedy Krieger Institute  ), Alexander Arevalo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

The current study identified all cases of automatically reinforced SIB reported in the published literature since 1982. We identified 51 published datasets of automatically reinforced SIB that included sufficient data to enable us to apply the subtyping model described by Hagopian, Rooker, and Zarcone (2015). Findings from original study were largely replicated with published datasets. As reported in the original study, differentiation in the functional analysis was highly correlated with response to first line treatment (r = .71). Implications of these findings will be discussed.




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