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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #27
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Analyzing Factors That Influence Treatment Implementation With Individuals, Classrooms, and Schools
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jennifer L. Austin (University of Glamorgan)
CE Instructor: Joseph Cautilli, Ph.D.
Abstract: Researchers and clinicians working in schools often face challenges when implementing behavioral interventions at the individual, classroom, and school levels. These obstacles may include such things as provision of adequate training, maintaining treatment integrity, and perceptions about the appropriateness of proposed interventions by relevant consumers. This symposium will present four studies that demonstrate how these challenges may affect program implementation and how the challenges may be successfully addressed. Further, each presenter will provide recommendations for how researchers and practitioners may use these strategies to approach similar problems they may encounter in school settings.
Teacher Implementation of Behavior Intervention Plans: A Treatment Integrity Analysis
CLAIRE ST. PETER PIPKIN (West Virginia University), Sacha Pence (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Students with severe behavior disorders may benefit from the use of individualized behavior intervention plans (BIP). However, research conducted in the 1990s suggested that teacher implementation of BIP was extremely low, with the mean level of BIP implementation around 4%. The purpose of the current study was to replicate previous research by assessing the degree to which teachers implemented BIPs, and to compare implementation across teachers with and without training in behavior analysis. Participants were public school teachers with one or more students with a BIP. Teachers who had training in behavior analysis demonstrated consistently higher overall levels of BIP implementation than teachers without such training. Results are discussed in light of the challenges facing today’s teachers in the management of student behavior.
Assessing Children’s Perceptions of the Fairness of Individualized Behavior Programs
JENNIFER L. AUSTIN (University of Glamorgan), Rebecca Abreu (University of Glamorgan)
Abstract: When children do not respond to behavioral interventions at the school or classroom level, it often is necessary to design individualized programs to help them meet behavioral or academic goals. However, a concern that often arises in the design and implementation of these programs is whether such programs are fair to other students. In this study, we presented 75 primary school students with four scenarios describing and individualized behavior program for a hypothetical student under four different conditions of reward (i.e., same reward on same schedule, same reward on leaner schedule, different reward on same schedule, and no reward offered to other students) and asked them to rate the fairness of each. Results revealed that children were significantly more likely to view situations with equal rewards as fairer than situations in which the same rewards were given on a leaner schedule. Further, the former types of rewards were viewed as more fair than when children received different rewards or no rewards. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of what factors may influence children’s perceptions of fairness and how individualized programs may be structured so that other children do not feel like they are being treated unfairly.
Strong Start: Impact of a Systematic Implementation of a Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum on Emotional Knowledge and Behavior of First Grade Students
SARA WHITCOMB (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Abstract: This study was conducted in four first grade classrooms in two elementary schools in a suburban, northwestern school district that had implemented school-wide positive behavior support for approximately seven years. Eighty-eight students and five interventionists participated. The study was based on a within-subject, quasi-experimental design in which all classrooms were assigned to the Strong Start intervention. Students completed emotion knowledge assessments and teachers completed behavioral ratings at two baseline data points and post-intervention. This project monitored acceptability and overall fidelity and quality of implementation. Results indicated that Strong Start was implemented with integrity (ranging from 83%-100% component implementation), and statistically significant increases in students’ emotion knowledge and decreases in students’ internalizing behaviors were documented following exposure to the program. One hypothesis central to the study to be discussed in this presentation was children exposed to a social-emotional learning curriculum will experience an increase in emotion knowledge and self-management of behavior. The study additionally hypothesized these critical skills can be explicitly taught through implementation of a brief, well-designed curriculum and systematically reinforced by adults.
Systems for Implementing Function-Based Support in Schools
CYNTHIA M. ANDERSON (University of Oregon)
Abstract: In 1994 the reauthorization of IDEA called specifically for the use of functional assessment with students with behavioral challenges. This mandate resulted in an increased interest in research focused on functional assessment in schools. This small but growing body of research documents that the technology of functional assessment can be used to develop effective interventions for children in school settings and that functional assessment is appropriate for children with and without disabilities. Further, several studies document that educators without extensive training in behavior analysis can be taught to conduct functional assessments and that educators can implement functionally-derived interventions with efficacy and fidelity. To date however, most research focuses on the implementation of function-based support by highly trained individuals with one or a few students at a time. In this presentation, a system for developing district capacity around function-based support is presented. Data will be presented showing that the system (a) was implemented with fidelity, (b) resulted in significant changes in student behavior, and (c) was sustained over time in several school districts in the Pacific Northwest.



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