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 #23
The Advancement of Functional Analysis Methodology in Outpatient Clinic Settings
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (University of Iowa Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: The functional analysis methodology developed by Iwata et al. (1982/1994) has been modified to increase its applicability to different settings. Wacker et al. (1994) outlined the use of “brief functional analyses” for evaluations in outpatient settings. The methodology continues to be employed in outpatient settings and is being extended into other venues as needs arise and technology allows. Papers in this symposium will highlight recent extensions of functional analysis in outpatient clinics and current adaptations of the outpatient model to other settings. Kelly Schieltz will present extensions of functional analysis in an outpatient setting by describing a treatment assessment that used discriminative stimuli for positive reinforcement to improve children’s compliance to work activities. Presentations by Andrew Lightner and Wendy Machalicek will highlight the extension of the outpatient model to other settings. Andrew Lightner will present the results of a four-phase project studying the generalizability of behavioral assessment results and the generalizability of treatment outcomes observed in an outpatient clinic to home settings. Wendy Machalicek will present a study utilizing video tele-conferencing to conduct a functional analysis and brief intervention comparisons at remote settings. Mark O’Reilly will discuss the advancement of the outpatient model through the years and the individual papers.
An Evaluation of Motivating Operations for Negative Reinforcement and Discriminative Stimuli for Positive Reinforcement
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa), Jessica O'Bleness (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a discriminative stimulus for positive reinforcement biased responding towards compliance for escape-maintained problem behavior. The participants were two typically developing children who engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. All procedures were conducted within a 90-minute evaluation in a behavioral outpatient clinic. Interobserver agreement was assessed for 84% of sessions and averaged 95%. Brief functional analyses of problem behavior were conducted within a multielement design. Problem behavior was evaluated under escape conditions with and without a discriminative stimulus for positive reinforcement. During all conditions, escape from the demand was provided contingent on problem behavior. During the discriminative stimulus condition, participants chose a toy or activity they obtained contingent on compliance with a demand. This toy or activity was present next to the work task. For both participants results showed that problem behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement. Problem behavior decreased under escape conditions when a discriminative stimulus for positive reinforcement was present. Results suggested that a discriminative stimulus for positive reinforcement was effective at biasing responses towards compliance under the motivating operation for negative reinforcement. Results suggested an effective intervention for escape-maintained problem behavior without the need to use extinction procedures.
From the Clinic to Home and Community: A Summary of Behavioral Assessment and Treatment Outcomes
ANDREW LIGHTNER (West Virginia University), Lisa C. Winborn-Kemmerer (West Virginia University), Amanda Shanklin (West Virginia University)
Abstract: One common criticism of outpatient clinics is that treatment success may not generalize to natural environments. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes data across settings, for clients who were assessed in our outpatient behavioral training clinic at West Virginia University during a one year period. All clients were diagnosed with a developmental disability or autism and were referred to the clinic for engaging in a variety of problem behaviors. Our evaluation consisted of four phases. During Phase 1, descriptive data were gathered using a functional analysis interview. During Phase 2, functional analyses were conducted within a multielement or reversal design to identify the maintaining variables for problem behavior. Phase 3 involved the implementation of a reinforcement-based treatment that matched the function(s) of problem behavior. Phase 4 consisted of generalization probes of treatment in the home setting. A reduction in problem behavior and an increase in appropriate social behaviors were observed clinically for all participants who exhibited problem behavior. In addition, treatment effects were observed in home settings. Interobserver agreement ranged from 80% to 100%. Implications regarding the role of outpatient clinics and future extensions of clinical services will be discussed.
Using Videoconferencing to Conduct Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior and Implement Intervention Selection Model
WENDY A. MACHALICEK (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abstract: Past research suggests that performance feedback may contribute to improved treatment adherence for parents of children with challenging behavior, but behavior specialists and families may find the cost and time involved prohibitive. This may be especially true for families residing in communities without access to behavior specialists. Video tele-conferencing (VTC) may provide an innovative tool with which expert supervision and training may be efficiently delivered to distant settings (Barretto, Wacker, Harding, Lee, & Berg, 2006; Machalicek et al., in press; Machalicek et al., 2009). With performance feedback provided via VTC (i.e., laptop computers, web cameras, broadband Internet), three parents of children with developmental disabilities who engaged in challenging behavior implemented functional analyses and brief multielement intervention comparisons. Based on the results of the multielement intervention comparisons and parent preference, individualized interventions were selected and their effects on challenging behavior evaluated in natural settings using individual ABAB designs. During intervention, parents received performance feedback via VTC. Data is to be collected.



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