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.

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46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details


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Poster Session #220
EDC Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 24, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Virtual
24. Teaching Partial-Interval Recording of Problem Behavior With Virtual Reality
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
SETH KING (University of Iowa), Paul Shafer (ABAI)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Virtual reality (VR) places individuals within a simulated experience using an array of visual, auditory, and tactile interfaces. Research suggests VR, which facilitates the rehearsal of actual job duties and performance assessment during training, may improve professional development across a range of disciplines. Although studies incorporating technology into professional development for educators are increasingly common, few have examined the potential for VR as a training tool. Direct observation represents a fundamental skill for professionals involved in behavior change. The present study evaluated the effectiveness an automated simulation in teaching graduate and undergraduate students (N = 31) to collect partial-interval recording data pertaining to inappropriate behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control condition or intervention condition consisting of a brief simulated observation of a student exhibiting problem behavior. Results suggest participants who used VR exhibited improvements in the ability to collect data relative to the control group and were more confident in their ability; however, the effect of VR on data-collection was not significant. These mixed findings provide tentative support for further research in this area.

 
25. An Evaluation of Good Behavior Game Procedural Variations on Academic Performance and On-Task Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLYN NICOLE SHARPE (Berry College), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

The Good Behavior Game and The Caught Being Good Game have strong empirical evidence of reducing problem behavior. The purpose of the current study is to analyze the effects of The Good Behavior Game relative to the Caught Being Good Game on academic performance and to see if a permanent product measure for on-task will prove more effective than an observational measure. One middle school math classroom with 7 at-risk boys, referred for high rates of off-task behavior and vocal disruption served as participants. A product measure was taken by collecting completion and accuracy scores for all students on a digital assignment following each session. An alternating treatments design with an embedded reversal was used to compare effectiveness of The Good Behavior Game and The Caught Being Good Game. Three target students reported by the teacher as having the highest rates of disruption were selected for individual data collection. Both variations significantly reduced vocal disruptions, though there was less control with off-task behavior since The Caught Being Good Game places a contingency on on-task behavior. The implementation of the games slightly increased work completion and accuracy, but not much change, and varied by student.

 
26. Achieving Fluency in Socio-Emotional Skills
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
FRANCIS MECHNER (The Mechner Foundation), Laurilyn Dianne Jones (The Mechner Foundation), Adam Hockman (The Mechner Foundation)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract: Most socio-emotional skills are applicable in interpersonal interaction. All skill learning requires active responding. During learning, the targeted skilled behavior being practiced must occur in training situations that are similar to the targeted real-life situations in which the desired skilled behavior will ultimately be occurring, and it must be fluent. This theory dates back to the “audio-lingual” sales training method “Professional Selling Skills (PSS)” developed by Mechner and associates in 1962-65. It simulated sales situations, complete with a videotaped prospective customer. The trainees were challenged to respond orally as if they were interacting with that customer. They practiced the desired responses in situation after situation, each somewhat different from the others, until the skill was fluent. This same behavioral analysis guided our approach to socio-emotional skill learning for school use. Students are presented with vignettes of interpersonal situations on digital devices, like tablets. A recorded moderator coaches the learner to respond orally at key points. Those oral responses are recorded for subsequent review and possible improvement by the learner, or subsequently by a teacher. Learners achieve fluency by repeatedly uttering the desired oral responses in a succession of diverse situations that define the targeted real-life situations in which the responses would be appropriate.
 
27. A Comparison of Different Modeling Techniques to Establish Token Reinforcers in Classroom Settings
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
SPENCER GAUERT (University of South Florida), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Prior research has supported the use of reinforcer-based methods in school settings. Video based modeling methods for establishing conditioned reinforcers without the need for explicit pairing with primary reinforcers can help to extend the use of these resources in new contexts. The use video based conditioning has potential applications in school settings to increase academic skills without the use of more costly-to-implement reinforcer systems. However, conditioning of this kind might be restricted by the need to individually condition stimuli with different participants. Effects of video based conditioning were evaluated as delivered to both individuals and small groups. Participants included children between the ages of 4-12, who were evaluated for reading performance in a concurrent choice assessment embedded within a multiple baseline across subjects design. The purpose of these experiments were to, first, to compare two video based conditioning procedures to evaluate their effects on relative preference using an academic work task, and second, to evaluate a video based conditioning procedure when applied to a group.

 
28. Teaching Replacement Skills Through Visual Cues to Reduce Problem Behaviors in a Preschool Classroom
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
MAY CHRISELINE BEAUBRUN (Brett DiNovi & Associates)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract: Visual Cues are frequently used to establish rules and set expectations in classroom settings. How effective would these environmental stimuli be to reduce high rates of problem behaviors and teach appropriate replacement skills? The participants are 3 preschool students attending a full day general education classroom. Descriptive analysis or functional analysis were conducted to identify or hypothesize the function(s) of problem behaviors. During group instruction (i.e., Greeting Time), the classroom teacher will incorporate the visual cue. The teacher will present the visual cue and provide an example and non-example of the expected behavior. Throughout the school day, the classroom teacher will identify other students who demonstrated the expected behavior(s). When the participant independently demonstrates the expected behavior, the teacher will deliver positive behavior specific praise and reinforcement is applicable (i.e., request for a break or tangible item). If the participant engages in problem behavior the teacher will first remind the entire class of the expected behavior(s). If the participant continues to engage in the problem behavior, the teacher will present the visual cue to the participant and allow the participant to rehearse until the expected behavior is demonstrated or he/she cannot continue.
 
29. Relationship Between Academic Procrastination and Salivary Cortisol and Heart Ratein Researchers in Training
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA ANTONIA PADILLA VARGAS (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Procrastination is the tendency to postpone mandatory tasks that have a deadline, generally for recreational activities, even if that delay implies adverse consequences for the subject. Procrastination, besides affecting academic performance, generates higher levels of stress and poorer well-being among university students. It is considered important identifying if procrastination increased stress related physiological responses (salivary cortisol levels and heart rate), given that different studies suggest, but haven’t measure, that procrastination increased stress levels.It was analyzed whether procrastinating the performance of an academic task increased salivary cortisol and heart rate in researchers in training (in experimental psychology) who had to design a research project and present their proposal to students and professors of a Mexican research center. Twenty graduate students were exposed to the aforementioned task. Measurements of stress correlates were made before, during and after the task. Results indicate that participants procrastinated in an idiosyncratic manner; some did it in a constant manner and others never did it; heart rate and saliva cortisol levels increased with procrastination. The need for further studies regarding the effects that procrastination has on both academic performance and the psychophysiological health of students is discussed.

 
30. The Development of Evaluation Inventory for Special School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
DAEYONG KIM (Daejeon Middle School), Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to develop and validate a list of special schools-wide positive behavior support evaluation inventory and to identify the relative importance of each evaluation inventory. For the purpose of this study, the following research problems were suggested. First, what is the evaluation inventory of special schools-wide positive behavior support. Second, what is the content validity of the evaluation inventory that is set up to qualitatively evaluate the special schools-wide positive behavior support. Third, what is the relative importance of the evaluation inventory for qualitatively evaluating special schools-wide positive behavior support. To achieve the first purpose of the study, this study conducted a literature study to examine Special School-wide Positive Behavior Support and national and international prior research, and through the Focus Group interview, the opinions of experts related to Special School-wide Positive Behavior Support were collected. In this study, we drafted the evaluation criterion based on the contents derived from literature review and focus group interview. The evaluation criterion of this study has been given a hierarchical hierarchy of three levels. The hierarchical hierarchy of evaluation inventory is the evaluation area, evaluation items, andevaluation indicators in a comprehensive order. In order to achieve the second research objective, the draft of the evaluation inventory verified the content validity through a total of three delphi surveys through the modified Delphi method. The Delphi survey derived the final evaluation inventory based on the assertion of the panel responses, consensus, convergence and content validity. In the present study, the final evaluation inventory in which the content validity was verified through the Delphi survey were four evaluation areas, 16 evaluation items, and 59 evaluation indicators. In order to confirm the relative significance of each element of the final evaluation criterion for the third study, a stratified analysis was conducted. In this study, numerical integration method was used to confirm the relative importance among the stratified analysis methods. The numerical integration method is a method of geometrically averaging the responses of all respondents and converting them into a single dummy comparison matrix. The relative importance of each element of the evaluation inventory was analyzed and analyzed according to the evaluation inventory hierarchy, and the analysis results were presented by dividing them into whole, group of PBS experts,group of field teachers, group of special education administrative and research experts.

 
31. Effects of Stability Balls on Attention to Task During Instructional Activities in the Regular Classroom for Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
WILLIAM J. SWEENEY (The University of South Dakota), Carla Miller (Student at University of South Dakota)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Debate concerning whether sensory integration deficits present themselves as a comorbid feature of ADHD are espoused by multiple disciplines addressing educational needs of children in classroom settings. Research in the area of sensory integration and processing, at best, produces mixed results related to its effectiveness for improving student’s educational performance. For example, many teachers are adopting the use of stability balls as a sensory replacement for traditional chairs for students to utilize, and thus, supposedly increasing attention and on-task behavior when involved in instructional activities conducted within classrooms. Much of the implementation of these forms of sensory integration and processing approaches, such as the use of stability balls, is based upon testimonials or authoritative opinion rather than on rigorous empirical research and replication. The purpose of this study is to examine the direct impact of sitting on a stability or therapy ball versus a traditional classroom chair of 4 students identified as experiencing issues with attention and work productivity in classrooms. Evaluating the students’ on-task behavior and completion of work by comparing the effects of sitting on a stability or therapy ball versus a traditional classroom chair, using an ABAB research design, should assist at confirming the effectiveness of this approach or refuting the authoritative claims made by professionals advocating this approach. Implications and recommendations for the use of stability or therapy balls with students with ADHD in school settings, and the need for future research are discussed.

 
33. Cultural Adaptation of a Daily Behavior Report Card for Spanish-Dominant English Learner Students and Families
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
HALLIE FETTERMAN (University of Cincinnati), Daniel Newman (University of Cincinnati), Cara Dillon (University of Cincinnati), Hannah McIntire (University of Cincinnati), Julia Nicole Villarreal (University of Cincinnati)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract: Educators and researchers have identified a need for the creation and validation of culturally adapted evidence-based interventions (EBIs) due to the prominence of English Learner (EL) minority students in the school-age population. One EBI with the potential to accommodate culturally responsive adaptations is the Daily Behavior Report Card (DBRC). DBRCs are a cost-effective behavioral intervention which consist of providing students with specific feedback regarding their progress toward behavioral goals. The intervention produces a daily summary of progress which can be sent between home and school environments. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of a DBRC with culturally responsive intervention adaptations (CA-DBRC) on the academic engagement of Latinx EL students. Dimensions of home-school collaboration, including congruence of caregiver-teacher relationships, was also assessed. Data from the multiple baseline design across students suggest implementation of the CA-DBRC resulted in increased academic engagement and decreased off-task behavior for all four students. Additionally, intervention adherence and social validity was high, and perceptions of the caregiver-teacher relationship maintained or increased following CA-DBRC implementation. Outcomes of the study support the use of culturally-adapted intervention materials to increase academic engagement and caregiver adherence to commonly used EBIs.
 
34. Learning Teaching Situations to Promote a Different Level of Functional Aptitude
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana; Universidad Pedagógica Veracruzana), Francisco Xavier Pulido Pérez (Universidad Pedagógica Veracruzana)
Discussant: Scott Dueker (Ball State University)
Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to design and apply a Learning Teaching Unit (UEA) based on the concept of competence from the logic of behavior theory. The UEA was designed to establish teaching-learning situations that promote inter-individual interactions, with a different level of functional aptitude in which children's rights were exercised as behavior. Four children of both sexes of the fifth grade from a public elementary school in the City of Misantla, Veracruz, two of them with special education requirements and two without this type of requirements participated. An intrasubject design with baseline, competence test, intervention phase, follow-up phase and a final test was used. The results showed that the students with and without special requirements, met the criteria of achievement in the five levels of functional taxonomy, although a little better, the students classified as "normal". The results are discussed on the concept of competence based on behavior theory.

 
35. Reciprocal Peer Monitoring to Improve Appropriate Classroom Behaviors and Peer Relationships
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CARA DILLON (University of Cincinnati School Psychology), Renee Hawkins (University of Cincinnati), Kavya Kandarpa (University of Cincinnati), Julia Nicole Villarreal (University of Cincinnati)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

Students with emotional and behavioral disorders often exhibit challenging or disruptive behaviors that can have a significant negative impact on the amount of academic instruction they receive (McConaughy & Ritter, 2014).Behaviors including inappropriate verbalizations, aggression, property destruction, bullying, self-injury, etc. can negatively affect learning for the student exhibiting the behaviors and the other students in the classroom (Steege & Scheib, 2014). The researchers propose a reciprocal peer monitoring intervention for students with emotional and behavior disorders in a self-contained classroom in an alternative school setting. These students have reportedly low engagement, high levels of disruptive behaviors, and problems making friends and having positive peer interactions as is typical for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (Stoutjesdijk, Scholte, & 2012). While self-monitoring and peer-monitoring have been found effective methods of behavior management for classrooms hosting children with emotional and behavioral disorders (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007), another method, reciprocal peer monitoring, could also prove effective and encourage cooperation among students. A reciprocal peer intervention was implemented where peer partners monitored one another's behavior, provided performance feedback, and received reinforcement for positive behavior. Participants worked together to earn points by following the classroom expectations and were reinforced if they meet or exceeded the daily mystery number. Participants also provided performance feedback to one another at the end of the class period. The researchers hypothesized that engagement would increase in level and disruptive behaviors would decrease in level.

 
36. Using Popular Music to Teach Parts of Speech: An Alternating Treatments Design
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JONTE TAYLOR (Pennsylvania State University), Victoria Petit (Penn State University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

An unfortunate component of the US education system is the fact that some students will be taught in settings considered alternative educational placements with a portion of those students in Juvenile Justice Settings (JJS). Research suggests that poor academic outcomes are associated with students in JJS placements (Baltodano, Harris, & Rutherford, 2005). Unfortunately, students with high incidence disabilities (e.g. learning disabilities & emotional/behavior disorders) are at risk for being placed in JJS. As students with disabilities continue to be involved with JJS, the instructional practices used in these settings become important to examine. The use of music in instructional settings is not new, however, its use in JJS has had little examination. Music has been used as an academic tool to help students with achievement, engagement, and motivation (Cooks, 2004; Hoang, 2007; Jones, 2009). Depending on instructional goals and student considerations, music from various genres have shown to improve student outcomes in many instructional areas including science (Emdin, 2010), writing (Cooks, 2004), and math (ERIC, 2003). The current study examined the effectiveness of using song lyrics versus direct instruction to teach grammar skills to students with disabilities in a JJS using an alternating treatment design.

 
37. Escalating Reinforcement Schedules and Quiz Submission in College Students
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
HELOISA CURSI CAMPOS (Arkansas State University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

Escalating reinforcement schedules with reset contingencies can maintain drug abstinence and quiz submission in adults. Also, the reset contingency sustains drug abstinence. The present study investigated if the reset contingency is necessary to maintain quiz submission in college students. Participants were randomly divided into three groups—fixed reinforcement schedule (Fixed Group), escalating reinforcement schedule without a reset contingency (No-Reset Group), and escalating reinforcement schedule with a reset contingency (Reset Group). Participants could earn 40 bonus points for submitting eight quizzes. Participants in the Fixed Group earned 5 bonus points for each quiz submission while participants in the No Reset and Reset Groups earned 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 bonus points respectively for submitting quizzes 1 through 8. Also, if participants in the Reset Group missed a quiz, the bonus points reseted at 3 and escalated along with the same schedule. Results showed that the number of quizzes submitted and participants who submitted all quizzes were similar across groups. Nevertheless, the score on the exam completed after the last quiz was higher in the Reset Group. Future studies should improve this methodology to further the investigation of the component analysis of escalating reinforcement schedules and reset contingencies.

 
38. Evaluation and Treatment of Multiply Maintained Problem Behavior Dependent on the Time of Day
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SARA SNYDER (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: This study evaluates the results of a functional analysis conducted for one participant at two different times of day, the morning and the afternoon, on the target behaviors of aggression, disruption and disrobement. The functional analysis showed varying functions depending on the time of day that the researcher conducted the assessment, the morning or the afternoon. The researcher found positive reinforcement in the form of attention to be the maintaining variable in the morning functional analysis. While both negative reinforcement in the form of escape from task demands and positive reinforcement in the form of attention maintained problem behavior in the afternoon. The researcher developed a treatment to address both functions across the entire school day. Differential reinforcement of other behavior on a multiple schedule of reinforcement demonstrated effectiveness to reinforce appropriate behavior such as hands and feet to self. Upon refraining from the target behaviors for the programmed time, the participant received a break from task demands as well as an edible and high-quality attention from a preferred teacher in the classroom. The results show that one treatment can effectively addresses multiple functions and diminish problem behavior that has different maintaining variables depending on the time of day.
 
39. Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Peer Models: Effects on Interactive Play
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TANGCHEN LI (The Ohio State University), XIAONING SUN (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Studies suggested that sharing the same physical space as typically developing peers does not always promote students’ developmental growth since students with disabilities could exhibit isolate participation and little or no interaction with peers in inclusive setting. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of using Behavioral Skills Training (BST) to train peer models on increasing interactive play with students with disabilities in the inclusive classroom. This study answered the following research questions: 1.What are the effects of using behavior skills training (BST) on peer participants’ behaviors of prompting and delivering praise? 2.What are the effects of peer prompting and praise on increasing target participants’ interactive play behavior? 3.To what extent do the peer participants generalize prompting and praise skills when playing with other children? 4.To what extent do the peer participants maintain the prompting and praise delivery skills without adults’ prompts? 5.What are the participants’ opinions of the intervention?
 
40. Imitation: Conceptual Issues and a Systematic Review of Treatment Research
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER LEDFORD (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Young children with disabilities may require direct instruction to improve their use of imitative behavior. Imitation of others may lead to increased access to reinforcement for complying with a model prompt (e.g., “Do this”), learning new behaviors (e.g., observational learning), and recruiting social attention (e.g., peer interactions). Ledford & Wolery (2011) identified four procedures for teaching imitation to children with disabilities. The purpose of this systematic review was to: (1) Discuss discrepancies in definitions and uses of the term “imitation” and implications of these definitions and (2) Update the Ledford and Wolery review to identify the characteristics of included participants, whether the four categories identified 10 years ago still represent the major categories of treatment, identify what types of imitative behavior are most commonly taught to children with disabilities, and report the extent to which outcomes of studies suggest consistent improvements in imitation resulting from treatment. Thirty-six studies with 142 participants were identified. Researchers typically measured improvements in imitation of adults following adult direction (e.g., “Do this”) but more rarely measured improvements in non-cued imitation and imitation of other children. Treatment implications and research needs are identified.
 
42. College Classroom Policies: Effects of “Technology Breaks” on Student Cell Phone Usage and Grades
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA DIANE NELSON (Southern Illinois University), Ryan N. Redner (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Cell phone use has become ubiquitous in many settings, including the college classrooms. Research has shown many negative impacts of cell phone usage on classroom outcomes. For this reason, professors have implemented polices to reduce in-class cell phone use. An ABAB design was used to evaluate a reinforcement-based policy in an undergraduate course (N = 9). The policy involved allowing the students two 2-minute “technology breaks” throughout the three-hour course. Technology break conditions were alternated with baseline conditions in which there were no programmed consequences for cell phone use. Data on cell phone use was collected using the PLACHECK method in which trained observers counted the number of students physically interacting with their phones at 10 second intervals. Results showed that usage decreased during the intervention phase (M = 0.5%) from baseline (M = 0.8%). Researchers also calculated quiz scores for the two conditions. There was no statistically significant difference between intervention (M = 70.3%) and baseline conditions (M = 69.2%), (F(7) = 1.68, p = .24). Overall, the study showed technology breaks as a promising way to incorporate a reinforcement-based procedure to reduce classroom cell phone use, but the policy did not reduce cell phone usage to zero.
 
43. Evaluating the Effects of a Stimulus Equivalence Protocol to Teach Bully Identification to School-Age Children
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Courtney Sowle (Minnesota State University, Mankato), ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Bullying and its impact on mental health is a major concern in the United States (Arseneault, 2017). Multi-component bullying interventions have resulted in positive outcomes, such as teachers reporting better student behaviors (Crean & Johnson, 2013), increased teacher knowledge about bullying (Bell, Raczynski, & Horne, 2010), and increased student control of high-risk behaviors (Shure, 2001). Considering bullying behavior primarily as being a more complex behavior, one behavior intervention that has shown to be effective in teaching complex behaviors is the stimulus equivalence protocol. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a stimulus equivalence protocol on teaching different bullying types to school-age children. A match-to-sample training protocol was utilized to teach relations between bullying type, examples of bullying, and an appropriate intervening response to a bullying type. In-situ generalization probes were additionally utilized to assess the participants’ ability to identify and respond to the various types of bullying. All participants demonstrated the ability to engage in derived relational responding to mastery criteria and reporting bullying to an adult during in-situ generalization probes.
 
44. Evaluating the Effects of an Acceptance Commitment Training Exercise on Test Anxiety, Psychological Flexibility, and Academic Performance among College Students
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTA WARD (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Ann D. Rost (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: According to the American Test Anxieties Association, 48% of students in university settings report experiencing moderate to high test anxiety. These students tend to perform 12 percentile points below their peers who do not have test anxiety (Test Anxiety, n.d.). Previous research has demonstrated a negative correlation between reported test anxiety and aptitude/achievement, problem solving and memory, and GPA (Hembree, 1998). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based interventions have demonstrated utility for academic performance (e.g. Paliliunas, Belisle, & Dixon, 2018), and have been evaluated in the treatment of math anxiety; in a study conducted by Zettle (2003), college students demonstrated improvements in psychological flexibility and math anxiety, but no improvement in test performance. The present study, which included 31 college student participants, examined the effect of an ACT training intervention focused on present moment awareness and values-behavior coherence using the ACT Matrix (Polk & Schoendorff, 2014) on participants’ exam performance, psychological flexibility, and test anxiety compared to a control group. Relationships among exam performance, psychological flexibility, and test anxiety will be examined as well as changes in scores on academic and self-report measures. The utility of embedding ACT training exercises in academic settings to support achievement will be discussed.
 
45. Values-Based Self-Management Training to Improve College Student Academic Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KARMEN COLLEY (Missouri State University), Celeste Unnerstall (Missouri State University), Emily Shepard (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

A survey conducted by the American College Health Association (2018) found college students report factors such as stress (31.9%), sleep problems (20.2%), and anxiety (25.9%) as impacting their academic performance. Self-management interventions, including techniques such as self-monitoring and environmental management, have demonstrated effectiveness with university students (e.g. Dean, 1981 & Mooney et al., 2005). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions have been applied with a wide variety of populations, including college students (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). Values-based interventions have been utilized with university students in a number of different arrangements, demonstrating the benefit of such interventions with this population (e.g. Paliliunas, Belisle, & Dixon,2018; Chase et al., 2013; Sandoz, Kellum, & Wilson, 2017). The present study describes a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate a ‘Values-Based Self-Management” intervention package, combining acceptance and values-focused therapeutic exercises with a self-management plan, on behaviors related to academic performance. Results were reported as percent of daily goal achieved as well as cumulative behavior of each participant; changes in psychological well-being were also reported. The utility of developing interventions that target psychological flexibility in addition to changing specific behaviors related to academic performance for college students will be discussed.

 
46. The Use of Functional Communication Training With Picture Communication to Teach Appropriate Communication Skills and Reduce Inappropriate Behaviors for a Preschool Girl With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER M NEYMAN (Gonzaga University), Jessica Moorhouse (Gonzaga University), Megan Carroll (Gonzaga University)
Discussant: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effectiveness of Functional Communication Training (FCT) using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase communication for a girl with autism in a special education preschool. Event recording within a reversal design assessed the participant’s behavior and communication. Communication was giving the PECS card to the researcher or saying “breath”. Sessions occurred during typical preschool lessons. The FCT intervention consisted of fading prompts to teach the participant how to replace her inappropriate behaviors with appropriately taking a “breath” as a break. PECS involved the participant handing the “breath” picture to the researcher. Every 30 seconds or contingent on inappropriate behavior, a researcher told the participant to give the PECS card and take a breath. Over time, prompting reduced, and the researcher waited for the participant to respond independently. Results showed great improvement in reducing inappropriate behaviors and developing appropriate communication. Using “breath”, instead of “break”, permitted the participant to self-monitor her behavior and understanding that she needed to calm herself. This study indicated that FCT with picture communication can improve a child's behavior as the "breath" card reinforces escape-maintained behaviors and pauses a challenging situation allowing for behavior redirection and appropriate communication usage.

 
 

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