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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #313
Recent Advancements in Caregiver Training for Behavior Analytic Services
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156C
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah Elizabeth Martinez Rowe (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)

A successful behavioral intervention is not solely dependent on the relative increase or decrease of the behaviors targeted for change. Success is also determined by the extent to which all caregivers consistently implement all critical features of the treatment package (Allen & Warzak, 2000). As such, caregiver training is an integral component of successful behavior analytic services. This symposium will cover a myriad of topics related to caregiver training with comments from Dr. Joseph Lambert. The first paper will discuss translational research evaluating the impact of behavioral skills training on treatment integrity during low or high-rate destructive behavior conditions. The second paper, a review, identifies publications using single-case design and visual analysis to evaluate behavioral teaching procedures for caregiver performance on acquiring behavior analytic skills to reduce challenging behavior. The third paper presents results from applied research investigating the effects of cultural and linguistic adapted training on caregiver implementation of skill acquisition. Lastly, the final paper will detail methods for teaching parents to implement function-based interventions via telehealth. These papers exhibit some recent advancements in caregiver training within behavior analysis and identify considerations for future directions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, caregiver training, challenging behavior, treatment integrity

Translational Evaluation of Treatment Integrity Following Training With Varying Destructive Behavior Rates

ALEXANDRA HARDEE (Marcus Autism Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Riley Ruzicka (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute), Samantha Bryan (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute), Heather Anderson (University Nebraska Medical Center), Sarah Elizabeth Martinez Rowe (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)

Behavior analysts often use behavioral skills training to teach caregivers to implement treatment for their child’s destructive behavior with high levels of integrity. Even when trained to high levels of integrity, caregivers may revert to undesirable behaviors, and treatment integrity may decrease if high rates of destructive behavior occur (i.e., relapse). In the present study, we implemented a translational evaluation with adult participants to determine the impact of training under low- or high-rate destructive behavior on treatment integrity during subsequent treatment challenges involving exposure to high rates of destructive behavior only. Participants trained to implement the treatment package under conditions of high-rate destructive behavior maintained higher levels of treatment integrity during treatment challenges compared to those exposed to low-rate destructive behavior during training. We discuss potential implications of these results for clinicians to consider when training caregivers in applied settings as well as areas for future research.


Approaches to Applied Behavior Caregiver Training for Managing Challenging Behavior: A Review

SAMANTHA BRYAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute), Cynthia P. Livingston (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Aaron Christopher White (Mississippi State University )

Behavior analysts train caregivers to use evidence-based behavioral procedures to reduce challenging behavior. Applied behavior analysis interventions are well-established modalities of treatment for challenging behaviors in individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and crucial to producing clinically significant treatment outcomes, generality, and maintenance. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify peer-reviewed studies published from 2011 to 2021 which used single-case design and visual analysis to evaluate caregiver performance on acquisition of behavioral analytic skills to reduce challenging behavior of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. An initial database search produced 92 articles. Following our inclusionary search eight articles were selected. We evaluated (1) single-case design methodologies, (2) when and how caregivers were introduced to the training context and treatment context with the individual, and (3) overall treatment outcomes obtained during training. Amongst the selected articles, various single-case designs were used to evaluate the effect of behavioral procedures used and researchers adequately trained caregivers to implement and sustain reduction in challenging behavior following training. Although effective, limitations lie in the small sample size of literature produced which include visual analysis for parent training performance, and its effects on treatment outcomes.


Comparing Training With and Without Cultural Adaptations on Latino Caregivers of Children With Autism

FABIOLA VARGAS LONDONO (The University of Texas at Austin/Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA, United States), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Nataly Lim (University of Texas at Austin), Andrea Ramirez-Cristoforo (The University of Texas at Austin )

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families of children with autism face unique challenges when accessing services that match their culture and language. To reduce disparity, it is essential to understand the impact of a mismatch between the family’s primary language and the training language. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of implementing caregiver training with and without linguistic adaptations on four Latino caregivers of children with autism. An alternating treatments embedded with a concurrent delayed multiple probe design was conducted to investigate the relative effects of language on instruction, using English versus Spanish, and teaching caregivers, via Telehealth, two different skills. Results indicated that CLD families can benefit from training regardless of the language mismatch and positively impact their child’s skills acquisition. Nevertheless, the culturally adapted training was a) more efficient on the skill acquisition for both caregivers and children; b) more socially valid (e.g., caregivers found it easier and more comfortable); c) caregiver’s indices of personalismo, happiness, and involvement were higher. In conclusion, training needs to be culturally adapted to offer optimal training in a timely, efficient manner.


Behavior Skills Training Program to Teach Parents to Implement Function-Based Intervention via Telehealth

ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Ipshita Banerjee (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Casey J. Clay (Children's Hospital of Orange County), Eric Hideyuki Ishijima (Thomson Autism Center )

It is widely known that training parents to implement function-based intervention is effective in reducing problem behavior among children with autism. Research is being conducted to evaluate training programs to teach parents these skills via telehealth as this service mode provides many advantages for families. We evaluated the impact of a behavioral skills training program that consisted of video models to decrease problem behavior with parents of children with Autism. We trained parents to conduct trial-based functional analysis and functional communication training and collect data for their child's problem behavior via telehealth. Parents learned to implement procedures with fidelity and decreased their child’s problem behavior. During this presentation, review our procedures with the audience and discuss the advantages and limitations of training parents to conduct function-based treatment via telehealth.




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