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 #363
School-Based Applications of Behavior Analysis: Functional Assessments, Analyses, and Interventions
Monday, May 31, 2010
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Emily D. Shumate (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Function-based assessments and treatments are regarded as best practice in school settings. In an ideal situation, a function-based assessment would provide information as to which conditions to include during an experimental functional analysis to determine the function of a student’s problem behaviors. Then based on the results of the experimental functional analysis, a function-based intervention would be developed and implemented. This symposium will provide a review of the literature and describe function-based approaches currently being implemented in school settings. The first presentation will provide the results of a comprehensive review of the literature on school-based experimental functional analyses of problem behaviors and suggest areas for future research. The second presentation will discuss the effects of function-based interventions for a participant across multiple academic times. The third will be a presentation of a series of studies looking at the effects of training educators to implement function-based support as a pre-referral intervention. The final presentation will describe a class-wide function-based intervention program implemented across 14 urban elementary classrooms.
A Review of the Literature on School-Based Experimental Functional Analyses of Problem Behaviors
EMILY D. SHUMATE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: This presentation will review and summarize a broad range of information from 74 articles published from January 1988 through July 2009 in which a school-based experimental functional analysis was conducted to identify the maintaining consequences of problem behaviors in a variety of school settings. Overall, results from the review suggest that an experimental functional analysis is an effective method for identifying the variables that maintain problem behaviors when conducted by a researcher or school personnel aided by a researcher. However, there are no studies to date that have had school personnel conduct the experimental functional analysis independently. Moreover, few studies have presented the method in which the school personnel were trained. Furthermore, few studies have reported social validity or fidelity of implementation data. While experimental functional analyses have been demonstrated to be effective in school environments, more research is needed in several areas before it is an assessment tool that school personnel can use without the aid of a researcher.
School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Across Multiple Settings
BLAKE HANSEN (University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) based interventions have been recommended for addressing behavioral problems in schools for several years. Despite multiple examples of this type of research, little is known about the effects of function-based interventions across times of day, people, and in different instructional contexts. This study presents an example of a function-based intervention across four academic times during the day for a child at-risk for behavioral disorders in an urban elementary school. The results from the FBA identified adult attention as the reinforcer for problem behavior. The intervention included adult praise for appropriate behavior, attention and prompts for replacement behavior, and extinction for inappropriate behavior. Utilizing a multiple probes design, the same intervention was used in reading, language arts, special education, and math. Results show large decreases in disruptive behavior, and gains in replacement behavior. One finding of interest is that overall rates of attention to student behavior remained fairly stable. Changes in behavior occurred when teacher attention was shifted from problem behavior to appropriate behavior.
Bringing Research to Practice: Training General Educators to Use Function-Based Support
LYNNETTE CHRISTENSEN (Brigham Young University), Tyler Renshaw (Brigham Young University), James R. Young (Brigham Young University), K. Richard Young (Brigham Young University)
Abstract: Function-based support (FBS) is an intervention strategy aimed at decreasing problem behaviors and increasing replacement behaviors via a three component process: 1) functional behavioral assessment (FBA), 2) using the FBA to develop a behavior support plan (BSP), and 3) implementing and monitoring the BSP. Although FBS is considered best practice in school settings, students without disabilities who exhibit problem behavior seldom benefit from the practice. This occurs despite teacher reports that the high frequency problem behaviors of this group of students are as disruptive to the teaching and learning process as the problem behaviors exhibited by students with severe disabilities. In response, this series of studies investigated the effects of training elementary school general educators to implement FBS as a pre-referral intervention. A streamlined training model designed to help teachers effectively implement FBS processes will be described. Results of four single subject studies and social validity measures suggest that this is a practical way to train general educators in behavioral practices that lead to improved outcomes for an underserved population of students. Limitations, as well as future directions for research and practice, will be discussed.
The Effects of a Tiered Model of Function-Based Interventions in Elementary School Classrooms
HOWARD P. WILLS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Blake Hansen (University of Kansas), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: The current study examined the effects of the Class-Wide Function-Based Intervention Team (CW-FIT) program. The program was established to broadly target common functions maintaining problem behaviors in elementary classrooms (teacher attention, peer attention, escape). Within CW-FIT, students not responding to the primary intervention receive targeted strategies including help cards or self-management. Functional assessment and analysis is then utilized for students not responding to targeted strategies. A randomized experimental-control group design was used to examine the effects of the intervention in 88 classrooms across 14 urban elementary schools and including over 800 students. In addition to this primary design, an ABAB reversal design was conducted in 42 of the intervention classrooms. The effects of functional assessments and analyses were documented with single-subject methodology such as multi-element designs. Measures included multiple probes of student engagement and problem behavior, as well as teacher praise and reprimands. Results indicate an increase in student engagement and teacher praise with subsequent decreases in problem behaviors in intervention classrooms as compared to control classrooms and as compared to baseline rates. Results will be presented at each level (primary, targeted, and tertiary or function-based).



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