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.

34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Program by Day for Saturday, May 24, 2008

Manage My Personal Schedule


Special Event #3
Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior
Saturday, May 24, 2008
7:00 AM–11:20 AM
Stevens 5
Chair: Allison E. Reid (Wofford College)
ABAI thanks the Society for Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB) for sponsoring tutorials focusing on quantitative analysis. ABAI encourages its members to take advantage of the SQAB presentations on quantitative applications in behavior science. A separate registration fee and badge are required to attend the SQAB meeting.
Business Meeting #4
Special Interest Group (SIG) Business Meeting with the ABAI Presidents
Saturday, May 24, 2008
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Williford A
Chair: Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
Presenting Authors:
To discuss issues related to ABAI's SIGs with SIG representatives. SIGs area a critical component of ABA International and provide additional services and support to members with specialized interests. SIGs provide a forum for information exchange and a vehicle to promote a particular area of interest.
Business Meeting #5
Affiliated Chapters Meeting
Saturday, May 24, 2008
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Williford A
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School)
Presenting Authors:
Representatives of ABAI affiliated chapters meet to review the activities of the Affiliated Chapters Board, the status of chapters, and to network.
Paper Session #6
Autism Newcomer's Event: A Guide to the Autism Track at ABAI 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A
Area: AUT
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Autism Newcomer's Event: A Guide to the Autism Track at ABAI 2008
Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY H. TIGER (Louisiana State University), Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: This session is intended for newcomers to the ABAI convention but anyone is welcome to attend. An event as large as ABAI may seem overwhelming to newcomers–whether professionals or parents. The purpose of this event is to describe the types of events in the autism track as well as to highlight special events across all areas of the program that may be of particular interest to autism track attendees. The session will be chaired by Autism Program Area Co-coordinator, Jeffrey Tiger. Former Autism Program Area Coordinator, Jack Scott, and current Area Coordinator, Bill Ahearn will also provide comments and suggestions. A few minutes will be devoted to questions from the newcomers. We hope to help you make the most of this year's conference.
Special Event #7
International Development Brunch
Saturday, May 24, 2008
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
International North
Chair: Simon Dymond (University of Wales, Swansea)
The international development brunch is scheduled for the first day of the convention to welcome international members and review the international development of behavior analysis being conducted at ABAI. All members are welcome. We expect conference attendees from 30 countries to join us for food and conversation.
Special Event #8
Opening Event: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 24, 2008
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Grand Ballroom
Chair: Thomas S. Critchfield (Illinois State University)
Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: Edmund J. Fantino, Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego)
Abstract: In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy denied the possibility of altruistic behavior. His argument might be echoed by some behavior analysts today: behavior has its causes and if we understand what is motivating the altruist we can see that the altruist’s behavior is maintained by reinforcement and is therefore not altruistic. As a first step to understanding the contingencies maintaining altruism it would be desirable to develop a behavioral model of altruism. In our laboratory we have developed the Sharing Game in which a participant decides between two outcomes, for example $7 for himself and $9 for another unknown participant OR $5 for himself and $3 for the other participant. Depending on various contingencies participants choose equitably, or competitively, or optimally (in terms of maximizing their own earnings). The following choice gives participants the possibility of demonstrating altruism: $10 for the chooser and $10 for the anonymous other OR $0 for the chooser and $100 for the anonymous other. About 20% of our subjects select the altruistic option. We are currently investigating the conditions (including gender of the chooser) that foster altruism.
EDMUND J. FANTINO (University of California, San Diego)
Dr. Edmund J. Fantino received his B.A. in mathematics at Cornell in 1961 and his doctorate in Experimental Psychology at Harvard in 1964. He is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and of the Neurosciences Group at the University of California, San Diego. He is former Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and former President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. His research interests lie in the field of learning and motivation, especially choice, conditioned reinforcement, self-control, temporal discounting, and sources of multiple stimulus control in humans and in pigeons. Currently he is interested in human reasoning, especially illogical thinking, problem solving, and in human observing, including the conditions under which information reinforces human behavior. He has recently developed an economic distribution game that he hopes will permit an experimental analysis of altruism. Another major interest concerns problem solving and the ease with which problem-solving behavior transfers to new situations as a function of the nature of the original learning (rule-governed or contingency-shaped). He continues his interest in operant analogues to foraging behavior, including assessment of behavioral ecology theories with operant choice technology and optimal choice in humans and pigeons.
Award for Impact of Science on Application: Murray Sidman, Ph.D
Abstract: The relation between basic research and application is not a one-way street. As in every science, basic behavioral research is concerned with phenomena that are available to everyday observation. Everybody knows that people learn, that they remember, that symbols play important roles in our lives, that rewards and punishments influence what we do, that we interact socially, that we communicate through spoken and written words, and so on. These phenomena are as obvious to everybody as the rising and setting of the sun, the relation between clouds and rain, the dependence of life upon food, the fall of unsupported objects, and so on. Science does not accept the everyday descriptive language or the everyday techniques of observation that such phenomena have generated, but no science that ignores the phenomena and language of everyday life will keep on receiving public support. A science of behavior analysis must continue to derive its inspiration for basic research from phenomena that we observe outside the laboratory.
Dr. Murray Sidman lived a happy but otherwise unremarkable boyhood in Boston from 1923 until 1940, when he started at Columbia University. After World War II military service, he returned in 1946 to complete his AB, and went on to a Ph.D in 1952. His principal advisors, Fred S. Keller and W. N. Schoenfeld, had strong assists from Ralph Hefferline, Clarence Graham, and a small group of fellow graduate students. After that, he spent nine years in the exciting and productive interdisciplinary environment of the Neuropsychiatry Division at Walter Reed. He then joined the Neurology Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital for another nine years. His human and nonhuman behavioral research laboratories moved eventually to the E. K. Shriver Center and Northeastern University, where he remained as Professor of Psychology until he retired from Academe, continuing his research at the New England Center for Children. Although retired from there in 2001, he continues research and writing. One outcome of his lifetime of research is his conviction that extending experimental results out of the laboratory not only adds an intrinsically valuable dimension to basic research, but is essential to its survival in a world of increasing competition for ever more limited resources.
Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Amy Sutherland
Abstract: As I describe a problem I'm having with a student in my class who consistently turns in papers late, Scott responds, "Is there a way you can Shamu it?" Shamu the noun has become a verb in our house. It's become shorthand for using the principles of progressive animal training, a.k.a. behavior analysis, to solve a behavioral riddle. We Shamu friends, family and neighbors. We Shamu each other. "Did you just Shamu me?" my husband or I will ask the other. Even a couple of our friends have begun to Shamu, as they say. In fact, it was a friend, a high school teacher, who first conjugated the word. She Shamued us into using it. “But why Shamu?” I'm asked over and over. Isn't it demeaning, manipulative, to use the principles of animal training on humans, especially the noblest of beasts, husbands? Why not just tell someone—spouse, friend, co-worker or sibling—what you want? Not at all and I will explain why.
Amy Sutherland New England-based freelancer Amy Sutherland’s June 25 column entitled What Shamu Taught Me about a Happy Marriage has had a remarkable run at the top of the New York Times' most e-mailed list and enjoyed wide circulation among behavior analysts. In it, Sutherland wrote about using the techniques exotic animal trainers use on dolphins and other animals to improve her husband’s domestic behavior. Ignore the bad behavior and praise the ones you want, she wrote, and just like you can teach an aquatic mammal to jump through hoops, you can teach a hubby to put his laundry in the hamper. Sutherland came upon the applicability of behavioral methods while researching her new book, Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers (Viking, June 2006). Both the book and the column have raised public awareness of animal training and the behavioral principles used at the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at California's Moorpark College – where she spent a year following new students as they learned to work with the exotic (baboons and cougars) and not-so-exotic animals (snakes and rats) in the teaching zoo. Ms. Sutherland spent most of her childhood in suburban Cincinnati and earned her Master’s in journalism at Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism. She has held staff positions at the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, and the Burlington Free Press. Her articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Disney Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, among other notable publications. She has received numerous awards, including the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Award and the John D. Donoghue Award for Arts Criticism.
Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Linda J. Hayes, Ph.D.
Abstract: Adopting a wholly naturalistic interpretation of human behavior has profound implications for individual and societal well-being, as well as facilitates more productive relations among scholarly enterprises than is possible in its absence. This approach to the understanding of human behavior has yet to flourish in many parts the world however, whereby its benefits have yet to be realized. External support for the spread of this approach is thereby needed. A number of strategies aimed at enhancing the growth and development of behavior science in areas where this approach is lacking have been implemented by well-meaning individuals and organizations over the years, some more effective than others. This address will identify those strategies with the greatest potential of achieving these aims, and is intended to promote further efforts along these lines.
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Linda J. Hayes received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Western Michigan University. Dr. Hayes was a member of the Behavior Analysis faculty at West Virginia University while completing her doctorate, after which she took a position at Saint Mary’s University in Canada. She founded the campus-based and satellite Programs in Behavior Analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno on a self-capitalization model. Dr. Hayes has participated in the governance of ABA throughout her career, serving as Coordinator of the Education Board, founder and Director of the Council of Graduate Programs in Behavior Analysis, and multiple terms as a member of the Executive Council, including its Presidency. She is actively involved in efforts to promote the development of behavior analysis around the world. Linda is best known for her work in behavior theory and philosophy.
Award for Public Service to Behavior Analysis: Michael Keenan, Ph.D.
Abstract: In this presentation I outline some of the challenges in bringing a science of behaviour to a community. Of particular interest are the difficulties in dealing with the legacy of misrepresentation that plagues our discipline and which, in the case of autism, leads to the impression that our science is for sale. This perception is not helped by the commercialisation of ABA. Despite the obstacles, progress has been made in Ireland over the last 10 years. I argue that things might have been easier if appropriate multimedia resources had existed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
MICHAEL KEENAN (University of Ulster)
Dr. Michael Keenan is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Senior Lecturer and Distinguished Community Fellow at the School of Psychology at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northen Ireland. He is the Founder of the charity PEAT (Parents Education as Autism Therapists; ) and he received the Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity from the British Psychological Society and the Personal Achievement Award from the New York State Association for Behaviour Analysis for his work of bringing ABA to children with ASD in Ireland. He is the father of four young children.
Award for Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis: The Kennedy Krieger Institute
Abstract: The principles and basic research findings of operant learning offer considerable potential benefits to society, which can be hindered by a variety of factors, such as organizational structures and professional biases. Over a thirty-year period, a behavior analytic approach was applied to various structural, clinical, and academic variables at two institutions, one specializing in pediatric disorders of the central nervous system (The Kennedy Krieger Institute) and the other involved in the entire spectrum of medicine (The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine). Systemic “reinforcers” and “aversive conditions” affecting these variables were identified and systematically influenced. The outcomes included high rates of scientific productivity, professional development, programmatic growth, and financial success. A systemic approach to the use and promotion of behavior analysis should have generality to other institutions, organizational structures, and approaches to solving societal problems.
MICHAEL F. CATALDO (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Dr. Michael F. Cataldo will accept the award on behalf of the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
2007 International Grant Awards
Abstract: The Board of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis is very pleased to announce the winner of the 2007 International Development Grant. A project in South Africa, developed by Dr. Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
JOANNE K. ROBBINS (Morningside Academy)
Panel #9
Behavior Interventions with Minority and Ethnic Health Issues
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sherman Yen (Asian American Anti-smoking Foundation)
LEILANI FELICIANO (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
ALLISON Y. LORD (Tobacco Outreach Technology, Inc.)
ANDY CHEN (Asian American Anti-Smoking Foundation)
Abstract: During the past decades, ABA has expanded its scope to include drugs and tobacco as topics at its annual conventions. However, to date, it has lacked sessions that have explored the implications of behavioral health interventions on multicultural populations. Behavioral analyst who have experience with different ethnic groups understand the rich and diverse ethnic heritages exist in multicultural communities and that these heritages can be an asset to behavioral interventions. This panel discussion will be the first attempt to share the above mentioned matters with other behaviorists.
Paper Session #10
Behavioral Motor Skill Training
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Area: DEV
Chair: Claire L. Poulson (Queens College, City University of New York)
A Behavioral Motor-Skill-Training Model.
Domain: Applied Research
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: One of the hallmarks of expert performance of athletes, dancers, and musicians is their ability to exhibit a superior skill level under various environmental conditions. Research findings of the past three decades indicate that, in addition to physical attributes, expert performance in motor skills involves movement planning, analysis, and anticipatory control. These findings challenge conventional motor skill training, which often is characterized by the instructor-lead approach and an overwhelming emphasis on physical aspects of performance. In the instructor-lead approach, the overarching concepts of movement are not sufficiently explained and movement is taught through imitation and repetition. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the limitation of conventional motor skill training and to propose a number of complementary strategies: (a) fostering concept formation (b) education in functional and biomechanical demands of a skill and (c) development of anticipatory control of functionally successful movement components. A behavioral motor-skill-training model is proposed which combines the above-mentioned complementary strategies and conventional training. Findings are discussed in terms of possible application of the behavioral motor-skill-training model in sports, physical education, dance, fitness training, and physical therapy.
The Effects of a Behavioral Motor-Skill-Training Package on Dance Performance.
Domain: Applied Research
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, The City University of New York), Liliane DeAguiar-Rocha (Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York), Claire L. Poulson (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: The conventional motor skill training is characterized by the instructor-lead approach in which the main focus is on the way movement looks. The present study examined the effects of a behavioral motor-skill-training package on the performance of six classical ballet movements. Three female college dance students participated in the study. The behavioral motor-skill-training package contained: (a) a lecture on a given movement (b) the student experiencing both the correct and incorrect performance (c) the student classifying her own performance (d) the student describing her own performance errors and (e) the student receiving feedback on her movement performance and verbal responding. A multiple baseline experimental design across classical ballet movements was used. Three of the six movements were directly trained using the behavioral motor-skill-training package and the other three movements were used as generalization probes and they were not directly trained. The data indicate that during baseline, participants performed below the chance level on all six movements. For all participants, a systematic increase in the percentage of trials with correct classical movements was observed following the behavioral motor-skill-training procedure on all six movements. The findings suggest that the behavioral motor-skill-training package may provide complementary strategies to conventional movement training.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #11

Massage Therapy Research

Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
International North
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
TIFFANY FIELD (Touch Research Institute-University of Miami-Medical School)
is director of the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She is recipient of the American Psychological Association Boyd McAndless Distinguished Young Scientist Award and has had a Research Scientist Award from the NIMH for her research career. She is the author of Infancy, The Amazing Infant, Touch, Advances in Touch, Touch Therapy and Massage Therapy Research, the editor of a series of volumes on High-Risk Infants, and on Stress & Coping, and the author of over 450 journal papers.

Massage Therapy is increasingly being used as a complementary/alternative therapy not only because many people with psychological, behavioral, and physical problems are touch-deprived but also because of its therapeutic effects. Recent research suggests that massage therapy: 1) facilitates growth and development; 2) reduces depressive behavior and anxiety patterns and related stress hormones; 3) enhances sleep; 4) reduces pain; 5) reduces autoimmune disorders; and 6) enhances immune function. These effects have been noted in samples, for example, of preterm neonates, depressed children and adults, chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and migraine headaches, autoimmune problems including asthma and diabetes and immune disorders including HIV and cancer. A potential underlying mechanism is enhanced parasympathetic activity (increased vagal tone) following massage therapy, decreased stress hormones (cortisol) and increased serotonin (the bodys natural pain killer and antidepressant), in turn, leading to increased natural killer cell activity (front line of the immune system) warding off viral and cancer cells. In addition, cognitive performance is enhanced by massage therapy which may relate to changes noted in EEG patterns that are indicative of heightened alert behavior patterns. These data highlights the therapeutic effects and potential underlying mechanisms for this complementary/alternative therapy.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: none
Special Event #12
SQAB Tutorial: Behavior Analysis Since 1960
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Stevens 5
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: C. R. Gallistel (Rutgers University)
Presenting Author: JOHN E. R. STADDON (Duke University)

How did quantitative behavior analysis begin? What is its relation to the rest of psychobiology? What has it accomplished and where has it failed? I describe the scientific movements that influenced the development of the quantitative analysis of behavior, and a few that did not, but should have.

JOHN E. R. STADDON (Duke University)
Prof. John E. R. Staddon is James B. Duke Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Biology and Neurobiology, Emeritus. He obtained his PhD in Experimental Psychology at Harvard University, did research at the MIT Systems Lab and taught at the University of Toronto. He has also done research at Oxford University (UK), the University of São Paulo at Riberão Preto, the University of Mexico, the Ruhr Universität, Universität Konstanz, the University of Western Australia and is an honorary professor at the University of York (UK). He is a fellow of several scientific organizations including the AAAS and the Society of Experimental Psychologists, and has a doctorate, Honoris Causa, from the Université Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, France. He is a past editor of the journals Behavioural Processes and Behavior & Philosophy. His research is on the evolution and mechanisms of learning in humans and animals and the history and philosophy of psychology and biology. Recent theoretical work includes papers on operant conditioning, memory, timing and psychobiological aspects of ethical philosophy. He has written and lectured on public-policy issues such as education and the effects of social and biological processes on the political process. He is the author of approximately 200 research papers and five books.
Invited Tutorial #13
Tutorial: Response to Intervention (RtI): Diagnosing the Learning Enabled
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Grand Ballroom
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Cathy L. Watkins (California State University, Stanislaus)
Presenting Author: W. DAVID TILLY III (Heartland Area Education Agency 11)

We live in a time of unprecedented change in education. General education has been overtaken by NCLB, accountability seems to be everywhere, and we now have IDEIA 04 with a series of new provisions. What does it all mean? The answer is: It depends on what we make of it. Most of the opportunities we now find ourselves with are the culmination of a 30-year history of evolution in education. Being proactive in our response to this evolution is critical to schools and students meeting the increasing demands. For us to be successful, our past cannot be our future. This presentation will examine the foundations undergirding the movement toward Response To Intervention systems in our schools. A rationale for evolving structures in our schools will be set forth and a picture of possible futures will be painted with logic, case studies, systems data and a little self-deprecating humour. Specific topics addressed will include a different and smarter system structure for service provision to all students (3-Tiered Model), Response to Intervention (RTI) provisions in IDEIA 04 and the newly released Federal Regulations, Response to Intervention on the Ground (what does it look like in schools?)

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: N/a
W. DAVID TILLY III (Heartland Area Education Agency 11)
Dr. W. David Tilly III currently serves as Director of Innovation and Accountability for Heartland AEA 11. Heartland serves 55 public school districts and 36 accredited nonpublic schools in central Iowa. Prior to joining Heartland AEA, Dr. Tilly was a consultant for assessment, research and innovation at the Iowa Department of Education. In that role, he worked statewide to implement changes in the educational system throughout Iowa. Of particular note has been his work with Iowa’s Renewed Service Delivery System (RSDS). RSDS foundationally changed the way that special education is conceptualized and delivered in Iowa. RSDS practices and procedures are the same ones being advocated nationally as components of a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach to services. David is a school psychologist by training. He has worked as a practicing psychologist, a University trainer at Iowa State University, a state department of education consultant and an administrator. He works regularly with states, school districts, federal offices and national organizations on improving educational results for all children. He is also the author or coauthor of 31 published journal articles, book chapters or books. Dr. Tilly is the 2005 Recipient of the Martha Fields Award of Excellence from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
Symposium #14
CE Offered: BACB
Application of Behavioral Principles to Improve Performance of Staff in a Human Services Agency
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
International South
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rita M. Gardner (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center, Ltd)
CE Instructor: Rita M. Gardner, M.S.

The assessment of efficient and effective procedures to train employees is a priority for agencies that provide services to individuals with disabilities. Providing training that helps to ensure that employees fulfill their many job responsibilities has a number of benefits including, but not limited to: (1) possible amelioration of burnout often experienced by direct care staff, (2) responsible allocation of needed resources (e.g., costs associated with training), and most importantly, (3) the promotion of excellent service delivery. The purpose of the present symposium is to share findings from three studies that examined ways to improve staff performance through different models of training. The behavioral training procedures employed were varied, yet all produced beneficial outcomes for staff and students.

Using Video to Train Teaching Procedures: Examination of an Effective Training Practice.
CYNTHIA N. CATANIA (Melmark New England), Daniel Almeida (Newton Public Schools), Brian C. Liu-Constant (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
Abstract: In the field of applied behavior analysis, the development of effective and less resource-intensive training methods for staff is of critical importance. In this study, three new direct-service staff participated in a program that used a video model to train target skills when conducting a discrete trial session. Percent accuracy in completing a discrete trial teaching session during a role play with the researcher was evaluated during baseline, intervention, and maintenance and generalization probes using a multiple baseline across participants design. Single session student probes were also evaluated during each condition. During baseline, performance ranged from 12-67% accuracy. Upon introduction of video training, an immediate change in level of accuracy was observed for all participants (percentage of nonoverlapping data points averaged 100%). Performance during maintenance and generalization probes remained at high levels. In addition, the participants’ performance during sessions with students was consistent with analog sessions conducted with the experimenter. Results suggest that using video modeling to train staff can be effective in teaching them to conduct accurate discrete trial sessions.
Using Video Clips and a Training Package to Increase the Accuracy of A-B-C Completion with Staff.
KIMBERLY L. MAYER (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to replicate and extend findings by Mayer (2007) that demonstrated the effectiveness of a training package on completion of A-B-C Descriptive Analysis Tools. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to train residential staff members’ on thorough and accurate A-B-C data recording of one-minute video clips of students. During training, participants were provided a verbal review of an outline detailing all components to be included when completing A-B-C data recording followed by a question and answer session. Participants then watched a variety of video clips and completed A-B-C recording for each clip. During observation of the video clips, participants had access to the written training outline. Performance feedback was provided to participants if they obtained less than 90% accuracy in the consecutive completion of three tools. Findings support the effectiveness of this training package in teaching accurate A-B-C data recording.
Increasing Supervisor Feedback and Performance during Crisis Management.
HELENA L. MAGUIRE (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Training supervisors to provide effective feedback that enhances and maintains employees’ skills when teaching consumers is an integral component to an effective organization. Consumers benefit from staff members who utilize effective teaching skills and are consistent with the delivery of effective teaching strategies. A supervisor's ability to provide feedback to staff when behavioral difficulties are presented by consumers is especially critical. At times, simply monitoring staff performance during the incident and providing feedback after the crisis will not be sufficient to affect staff performance change. In this study, specific procedures to train three supervisors to provide feedback and change staff performance during crisis management conditions were used. A packaged intervention (consisting of classroom-based instruction, in vivo observation, modeling, and contingent feedback) was utilized to improve the type and quality of supervisory feedback delivered to employees in a private school that provided services to individuals with severe challenging behavior. Baseline data reveal low levels of appropriate feedback. Additional data to be collected.
Symposium #15
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluation of Teaching Parameters During Discrete Trial Instruction
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Continental B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: M. Alice Shillingsburg (The Marcus Institute)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
CE Instructor: M. Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D.

This symposium presents three empirical papers on specific teaching variables used during discrete trial instruction. The first two papers offer an examination of specific therapist variables related to social effect and physical orientation during teaching. The Kisamore paper examines the results of high and low quality social attention on problem behavior. The Rivera paper extend this analysis to include therapist effect and teaching position (i.e., in front, behind, beside) on rates of maladaptive behavior, percent of time on task and skill acquisition. Finally, the Valentino paper examines the effect of pace of instruction on problem behavior.

Effects of Varying the Quality of Therapist-Provided Social Interaction during Instruction.
APRIL N. KISAMORE (Western Michigan University), M. Alice Shillingsburg (The Marcus Institute), Andrew A. Fulton (The Marcus Institute), Michael E. Kelley (The Marcus Institute and Emory University)
Abstract: When teaching children with developmental delays we often employ the use of higher quality social reinforcement in the form of enthusiastic praise and physical attention. However, there is little empirical evidence for the value of this form of reinforcement. Several studies have investigated the effects of the quality of tangible reinforcers, the effects of delaying the reinforcer, and the effects of the rate of reinforcer presentation on choice responding (Mace et al., 1996, Neef et al., 1993, & Neef et al., 1992). Specifically, studies have examined the effects of high and low preference items on response rate (Graff et al., 2006) and the effects of the quality of reinforcement on problem behavior (Piazza et al., 1999; Richman & Hagopian, 1999). The current study examined the effects of varying the quality of social reinforcement during teaching with two children with language delays. The quality of therapist-provided social reinforcement varied in terms of voice intonation, physical attention, and facial expression. The effects of the varied social reinforcement on correct responding and problem behavior were examined in an instructional setting.
An Evaluation of the Effects of Instructor Behavior on Skill Acquisition and Inappropriate Behavior in Learners with Autism.
TINA ZORRILLA RIVERA (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), May Chriseline Beaubrun (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Ryan Madigan (Rutgers University), David Kieval (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center)
Abstract: During intervention with learners with autism, practitioners generally monitor the behavior of the students they are working with. Dependent variables commonly recorded include time on task, percent of trials correct, rate of correct responding, and rate of maladaptive behavior. However, teaching staff rarely evaluate the effects of their own behavior on the rate of acquisition for the learners they work with. For instance, a therapist’s position or disposition (i.e., affect) may greatly affect the attending behavior of learners with autism. In addition, the effects on the attending behavior of these learners may vary considerably across students. In the current investigation, rates of skill acquisition and inappropriate behavior are compared when therapist behavior is manipulated. Therapist variables evaluated include therapist affect (high and low intensity) and therapist position (in front, to the side, and from behind). The effects of these variables on rates of maladaptive behavior, percent of time on task and skill acquisition are evaluated. Results are discussed in terms of individualizing instruction to the needs of different learners with autism. Implications for staff training will be discussed as well.
Some Effects of Pace of Instruction on Problem Behavior.
AMBER L. VALENTINO (The Marcus Institute), Crystal N. Bowen (The Marcus Institute), M. Alice Shillingsburg (The Marcus Institute), Nathan Call (The Marcus Institute), Michael E. Kelley (The Marcus Institute and Emory University)
Abstract: Discrete-trial training (DTT) is commonly used to treat language and pre-academic skill deficits in children diagnosed with autism. Although DTT is often an effective teaching method, previous research has not produced a comprehensive analysis of the training parameters that are most likely to produce acquisition and maintain low levels of competing behavior. Previous research has suggested that length of intertrial interval (pace of instruction) is a variable that can influence the number of trials to criterion, final performance, and stability during teaching situations (Holt & Schafer, 1973). Carnine (1976) investigated the effects of pace of instruction during reading instruction and found that a fast pace was accompanied by a lower percent occurrence of off task behavior for two participants. Additionally, research has shown that faster-paced instruction may produce more rapid skill acquisition than slower-paced instruction (Koegel, Dunlap, & Dyer, 1980). In the current study, we assessed the effects of the pace of instruction on the occurrence of problem behavior for individuals exposed to DTT using a reversal design. As suggested by Koegel et al., utilizing this information can be important in selecting the optimal interval for teaching children with autism.
Symposium #16
CE Offered: BACB
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel: A Closer Look at Replicating Successful Autism Intervention Programs
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Continental C
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rebecca J. Morgan (DFW Center for Autism)
Discussant: Gail G. McGee (Emory University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Rebecca J. Morgan, M.S.

With the rise in demand for autism services utilizing approaches in applied behavior analysis, traditionalABA providers have been called to become organizational administrators, designing systems and programs that can meet the needs of a broad population. Some administrators have found replicating other empirically validated intervention programs an option that brings efficiency, efficacy, and credibility to the table right from the start. Two such programs are discussed in this symposium. The first authors evaluate the process of replicating the Walden Program that was originally established by Gail G. McGee in 1985. Data both pre- and post-replication of each program component will be reviewed. The second talk introduces the Walden Programs own within-group data on the increases in language and social skills in children with autism. Between group data is also explored across replication sites. The final presentation will review successful dissemination of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) with children with autism in Nova Scotia, Canada. Further and ongoing plans for replication of both of the programs mentioned above will be discussed.

The Anatomy of a Replication: Implementing and Evaluating the Components.
CARRIE GREER (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecca Morgan (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecka Kandice Honardar (DFW Center for Autism)
Abstract: The DFW Center for Autism began a replication of the Walden Preschool program upon its inception in 2000. Attempts to replicate components of the Walden model such as incidental teaching, environmental arrangement and systematic training were made and results of those attempts are discussed. Formal training with the Emory Autism Center was initiated in 2003 and the official process of replication began in 2004. Analysis of the components that were implemented over the last 3 years is displayed along with effects of following an established model for Incidental Teaching in a preschool program. Additional systems for organizational behavior management, teacher training, family support, and child progress were added by the DFW Center for Autism and data from those systems support the efficacy of the replication model.
A Between Groups Analysis of Engagement, Language, and Social Skills for Young Children with Autism.
MICHAEL J. MORRIER (Emory University), Sharon T. Hynes (Emory University), Carrie Greer (DFW Center for Autism), Rebecca Morgan (DFW Center for Autism), Daniel Adam Openden Ph.D., BCBA-D (Southwest Autism Research & Resouce Center)
Abstract: Since its inception in 1985 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Walden Early Childhood Center has undergone both external and internal replications. The incidental teaching model has been extended upward to prepare pre-kindergarteners for the social demands of kindergarten, as well as downwards to include toddlers with autism. Data will be provided on the social and language gains of this model, as well as a discussion of the issues encountered with extending the model to toddlers. Similar data from the subsequent replication sites using the Walden model are evaluated and will be compared both within and between sites.
Large Scale Dissemination and Community Implementation of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT).
DANIEL ADAM OPENDEN PH.D., BCBA-D (Southwest Autism Research & Resouce Center), Susan E. Bryson (Dalhousie University), Isabel Smith (Dalhousie University), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: This paper describes a collaborative effort aimed at province-wide dissemination and implementation of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Three critical components of the associated training model are described: (1) direct training of treatment teams, (parents, one-to-one interventionists, and clinical supervisors/leaders); (2) training of trainers; and (3) follow up and monitoring of treatment fidelity and child progress. A major goal of the Dalhousie University/IWK Health Centre-University of California, Santa Barbara partnership was to optimize effectiveness when translating PRT from the “lab” for dissemination in large geographical areas with community service providers. Preliminary six-month child and family outcome data and data on stakeholder satisfaction with the training workshops will be provided. Finally, features that may have contributed to success in dissemination will be identified.
Symposium #17
Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Autism: Two Models of Group Instruction
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Continental A
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ronald B. Leaf (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Difficulty with social skills and developing social relationships are defining characteristics of children and adolescents with autism. There have been many attempts to teach social skills to children with autism in order to address those deficiencies –with mixed results. This symposium will discuss the history, integration, and effectiveness of two approaches to teaching social skills to children and adolescents with autism in group settings: the Autism Partnership Teaching Interaction model and the ASSET model from the University of Kansas.
Autism Partnership’s Model of Social Skills and Friendship Development.
RONALD B. LEAF (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: One diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder is a lack of social engagement with other people. Many different interventions (e.g., social stories, video modeling, and discrete trial orientated therapy) have tried to address this issue; the results of these interventions, however, have yielded mixed outcomes. For the past decade, Autism Partnership has provided social skills training using a service model of social development that has been effective in both clinical and research applications. This model involves the implementation of Teaching Interactions, discrete trial intervention that is structured and flexible in nature, and the teaching of the skills within groups of children. This presentation will address Autism Partnership’s model of social skills training–its history, structure, and implementation.
Integrating Models of Social Skills Instruction for Children and Adolescents with Autism at the University of Kansas.
JUSTIN B. LEAF (University of Kansas), Wesley H. Dotson (University of Kansas), Nicole Rene Laudont (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Abstract: At the University of Kansas, group instruction of social skills has been done using the ASSET model. The ASSET model uses a structured teaching method to develop social skills and has been used primarily with adolescents. Benefits of these social skills groups have been seen both clinically and empirically. Recently, work at the University of Kansas has integrated the Autism Partnership service model with the ASSET model to teach social skills to groups of children and adolescents with autism. This talk will discuss the practical integration of the two models, including setting the group up, the goals of the group, and the group structure.
Winning, Losing, and Compromising: Teaching Social Skills to Adolescents with Autism in a Group Setting.
WESLEY H. DOTSON (University of Kansas), Justin B. Leaf (University of Kansas), Jenna M. Allegre (University of Kansas), Abigail M. Schwind (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The use of the integrated model of teaching social skills to adolescents with autism will be described. The teaching of appropriate social behaviors within the context of group discussions, games, sports and other activities will be described and illustrative examples of results will be presented.
Effectiveness of Group Instruction using Teaching Interactions for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism.
JUSTIN B. LEAF (University of Kansas), Wesley H. Dotson (University of Kansas), Valerie A. Johnson (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The use of the integrated model of teaching social skills to young children with autism will be described. The teaching of appropriate social behaviors such as initiation and giving compliments within the context of group discussions, games, sports and other activities will be described and illustrative examples of results will be presented.
Paper Session #18
Understanding Abstinence from Cigarette Smoking.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Inspiration Studio
Area: BPH
Chair: Richard Yi (University of Maryland)
A Brief Abstinence Test for College Student Smokers.
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA GRETA MARIE IRONS (James Madison University), Christopher J. Correia (Auburn University)
Abstract: Cigarette smoking among college students is prevalent and correlated with other unhealthy behaviors. Reinforced abstinence (e.g., contingency management) has been demonstrated to be an effective method for reducing substance use in a variety of populations and across a variety of drugs, including cigarettes. Reinforced abstinence has seldom been used with a college student population, in part, because of the costs associated with such programs. Indeed, monetary incentives for abstinence are typically arbitrarily derived and not empirically determined. A BAT has been used to effectively reduce cocaine use among methadone maintenance patients (Robles, Silverman, Preston, Cone, Katz, Bigelow, & Stitzer, 2000). However, no published studies have investigated the use of a BAT to reduce the use of cigarettes. The current study found that the BAT is a useful tool for abstinence initiation among some college smokers, as 42% of the sample met abstention criteria during the BAT.
The Value of Abstinence from Smoking Test: A Novel Choice Procedure for Assessment of Incentive Adequacy.
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA GRETA MARIE IRONS (James Madison University), Christopher J. Correia (Auburn University)
Abstract: The current study implemented a choice procedure for empirically assessing optimal incentive levels for brief abstinence among college student smokers. Monetary incentives for abstinence in contingency management programs are typically arbitrarily derived and not empirically determined. Thus programs using reinforced abstinence might be offering too little incentive for abstinence or too much to maintain cost-effectiveness. The choice procedure, called the Value of Abstinence Test (VAST), posed monetary rewards of a range of magnitudes and asked participants whether they would abstain from smoking for some time period if paid that monetary reward. Dollar amounts ranged from $1 - $1024 and time periods ranged from 1 hour to 1 month. Data revealed a qualitatively similar trend among participants where the dollar value of abstinence increased as time periods increased. Quantitative differences in adequate incentive values suggested individual variability for the value of abstinence.
Increasing Temporal Resolution in Laboratory Studies of Cigarette Relapse: Effect of Reinforcement Schedule.
Domain: Applied Research
RICHARD YI (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Benjamin P. Kowal (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Reid D. Landes (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Warren K. Bickel (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Maxine Stitzer (Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit)
Abstract: Laboratory studies of cigarette relapse have the advantage of controlling the environment during the time at which relapse to cigarette smoking may occur. These types of studies provide a rich opportunity in a controlled environment to examine variables that may affect duration of abstinence and timing of relapse. This abstract reports on a repeated-measures study evaluating the temporal resolution afforded by different schedules of reinforcement for abstinence in the laboratory: (1) reinforcement that increased per minute of maintained abstinence, (2) reinforcement that decreased, and (3) reinforcement that did not change. Heavy cigarette smokers attended 2-hour sessions following at least 6 hours of cigarette abstinence. Maintained abstinence during the session was reinforced with money, and abstinence for the duration of the session resulted in equal total reinforcement for the three reinforcement schedules. A decision to smoke resulted in a discontinuation of reinforcement for the remainder of the session. Smokers completed 2 counterbalanced sessions at each schedule. Preliminary results indicate that the decreasing reinforcement schedule provided the highest temporal resolution: this schedule resulted in the earliest relapse to smoking as well as the highest variability in relapse times. These results suggest that a decreasing schedule of reinforcement may be most appropriate for laboratory studies of relapse, where time-to-relapse is the primary dependent variable and high temporal resolution is necessary.
Symposium #19
CE Offered: BACB
History and Current Developments in Behavior Analytic Forensic Psychology.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Boulevard A
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kirk A.B. Newring (Lincoln Correctional Center)
CE Instructor: Michael Weinberg, Ph.D.

Behavior analysis and modification was hailed in the late 1960s as a way of rehabilitating prisoners. By the mid 1970s, California reported that behavior modification could no longer receive crime prevention funds. At this period APA launched an investigation as to standards for behavior modification in prisons. What went wrong? The first presenter will review the history and discuss the errors with an eye to behavior analytic policy for the future. The second presenter will offer approaches to treat adolescent offenders who would typically be placed into juvenile detention based upon recent advances in applied behavior analysis to address problem behaviors exhibited by these youth. The third presentation will familiarize the participant with Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) as an enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for treating adolescent males who have problems with opposition, conduct, personality, including physical and sexual aggression. The data concerning MDT, as an evidenced based psychotherapy, will be discussed as well. Lastly, Sex offenders! Those two words can evoke fear and apprehension in the community. Thankfully, a skillful integration of the best practices sex offender assessment and 3rd wave behavior therapies couples what works (evidence-based practice) with what matters (empirically-derived risk factors).

The History of Behavior Analysis and Behavioral Intervention with Criminals: Where We Went Wrong.
JOSEPH D. CAUTILLI (Children Crisis Treatment Center/St. Joseph's University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis and modification was hailed in the late 1960s as a way of rehabilating prisoners. By the mid 1970s, California reported that behavior modification could no longer receive crime prevention funds. At this period APA launched an investigation as to standards for behavior modification in prisons.What went wrong? In this presentation, I will review the history and discuss the errors with an eye to behavior analytic policy for the future.
A Behavior Analytic Methodology for the Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents in the Criminal Justice System: Alternatives to Juvenile Detention.
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
Abstract: Traditionally, adolescents who commit offenses, such as rape and molestation, weapons charges, assault, illegal drug use, drug sales, theft, and others, have gone into the legal system and are placed in juvenile detention centers. These centers provide minimal treatment and rehabilitation, often resulting in increased incidence of criminal involvement after release, with high recidivism rates (50% or higher). It is time we use applied behavior analysis research and practice to provide treatment for these youth, and continue research on effective behavior analytic approaches. This presentation will offer some suggestions and guidelines as published in the 2006 Handbook of Juvenile Justice.
Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) as an Evidence-Based Enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Treating Adolescent Males.
JACK A. APSCHE (Apsche Center)
Abstract: This presentation will familiarize the participant with Mode Deactivation Therapy (MDT) as an enhanced Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for treating adolescent males who have problems with opposition, conduct, personality, including physical and sexual aggression. The data suggests MDT as an evidenced based psychotherapy; will be discussed as well.
Using What Works on What Matters: 3rd Wave Behavior Therapies and Dynamic Risk Assessment with Sexual Offenders.
KIRK A.B. NEWRING (Lincoln Correctional Center)
Abstract: The current zeitgeist of sex offender treatment is rooted in the assessment static and dynamic predictors of risk for recidivism. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) map on to these known risk factors and provide sex offender treatment providers with evidence-based treatments on empirically-derived risk factors. The integration an applications of these approaches are discussed.
Symposium #20
How Words Measure Up: An Investigation of the Reliability, Validity, and Procedural Integrity of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Boulevard C
Area: CBM/EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Stephanie L. Nassar (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Chad E. Drake (Veterans Affairs Hospital, Togus, Maine)
Abstract: Use of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) has flourished since its development as the first behavioral measure of relational responding. Variations in format, method, and analytic strategy have supported rapid development and adaptation of the procedure. The papers in this symposium consider 1) the effects of procedural variations on IRAP performance, 2) the validity of the IRAP following interventions designed to disrupt patterns relational responding, and 3) the stability of the IRAP with repeated administrations. Implications for continued adaptation and standardization of the procedure will be discussed.
Variation of Instructions and Feedback on the IRAP.
ALYSSA N. WILSON (University of Mississippi), Crystal N. Armstrong (University of Mississippi), Clark Ortkiese (University of Mississippi), George A. Ball (University of Mississippi), Regan M. Slater (University of Mississippi), Chad E. Drake (Veterans Affairs Hospital, Togus, Maine), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: In this study, the effects of variations in pre-experimental instructions and feedback on IRAP performance were examined.
When Red is a Shape: Challenging the Stability of Equivalence Classes with Laboratory-Based Procedures.
KATHERINE H. MOYER (University of Mississippi), Scott Bethay (University of Mississippi), Chad E. Drake (Veterans Affairs Hospital, Togus, Maine), Regan M. Slater (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: The current study examined the impact of a variety of conditional discrimination procedures on the stability of equivalence classes of colors and shapes. Equivalence responding was measured with the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) before and after encountering either direct countertraining or an indirect disruption procedure. The potential clinical implications of the results will be discussed.
One More Time: An Examination of the Stability of IRAP Performance over Repeated Administrations.
STEPHANIE L. NASSAR (University of Mississippi), Jessica C. Barnes Nicklay (University of Mississippi), Chad E. Drake (Veterans Affairs Hospital, Togus, Maine), Scott Bethay (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Many have expressed interest in developing a measure of relational responding that is sensitive to behavioral variability at the level of the individual. The IRAP has been used in this way several times, as a measure of patterns in relational responding pre- and post-intervention. The use of the IRAP in this way assumes the reliability of the IRAP. The current study examines the stability of IRAP performance over repeated administrations both in terms of psychometric evaluations of reliability and stability of IRAP effects at the level of the individual.
Symposium #21
Social Skills Training in Diverse Settings: School, Private Practice and a Summer Treatment Program
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Continental A
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Steven Gordon (Behavior Therapy Associates)
Discussant: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Social skills impairments are evident in children with a wide range of disabilities including Autism, Asperger’s Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities. Social Skills Training (SST) has become a standard recommended intervention for those who show such deficits. Recent research findings investigating the effectiveness of SST with populations of children considered Emotionally and Behaviorally Disordered (EBD) and those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have found a weak effect. Reasons for this weak effect have been accounted for in the manner of the delivery of SST such as a low frequency of sessions delivered in a time limited fashion, a pull-out program, failure to match deficit to intervention and a lack of treatment fidelity. Innovative models of SST need to be developed that address these limitations and have the potential to contribute to the overall effectiveness of SST. This symposium will present emerging models of implementing SST in diverse settings: a public school, a private psychology practice and finally, a five-week summer treatment program.
Social Skills Training in a Public School Setting.
LINDSAY HILSEN (Hopewell Valley Regional School District)
Abstract: Students with special needs often lack social awareness and present with social skills deficits. As a result direct instruction in social skills is required so that psychological adjustment is enhanced. A public school setting lends itself to a multitude of opportunities and challenges for social skills training. The social skills program at Hopewell Valley Regional School District began at the middle school meeting twice a week and has expanded into the high school meeting five times a week. Social skills have been incorporated into all academic classes through a life skills philosophy. Administrators, teachers, parents, and typically developing peers have been brought “on board” contributing to a team approach thereby facilitating the acquisition, generalization and maintenance of social skills. Social learning principles of prompting, shaping, modeling, and reinforcement are used to promote skill acquisition. Problems of implementation and strategies to address these problems will be reviewed.
Recruitment, Retention and Results: Social Skills Training Groups in a Private Psychology Practice.
STEVEN GORDON (Behavior Therapy Associates)
Abstract: Social Skills Training groups within a private psychology practice setting present unique challenges of Recruitment, Retention and Results (The Three Rs). These specific obstacles have been addressed in an evolving model employed at Behavior Therapy Associates for the past four years with over twenty groups for children with ASD and other disorders. In contrast to school-based settings, a large number of children are not readily available in private practice, therefore special attempts are needed to form groups by age, gender, cognitive level and communication skills. Recruitment obstacles are addressed via referrals from other professionals, schools, and previous and existing clients. Retention in private practice becomes another issue since children have to leave a setting that is highly reinforcing (e.g., home) for a setting that may be less reinforcing (e.g., therapist’s office). Obstacles are addressed via high rates of individualized feedback to children and parents, tangible reinforcement, and strategies to promote generalization. Results are achieved by the use of the 3D Approach (i.e., Discuss, Demonstrate, Do) for each skill. These time-limited groups use rules, reinforcement, discussion, modeling, behavior rehearsal, homework assignments, and parent and school involvement. Future directions for this model will be delineated.
Intense Social Skills Training Within A Five-Week Summer Treatment Program.
MICHAEL C. SELBST (Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.)
Abstract: Many school districts and parents are faced with the challenge of providing effective social skills programming throughout the summer time for children with special needs. This is compounded by the fact that many children with social skills deficits have significant difficulty transitioning to and succeeding within traditional summer camp programs. In light of these issues, Behavior Therapy Associates founded Stepping Stone Summer Program in 2000 that has expanded to a five-week intensive social skills program. Stepping Stone is designed to develop children’s social-emotional and behavioral skills through specialized group training, individualized attention, recreational activities, and academic-related activities. Students learn a problem-solving approach that can be applied within everyday situations. The program also helps parents and staff members learn to effectively coach the children across a variety of social situations and settings. Components of the program include structure, group-format with role playing, natural environment opportunities for generalization, direct and incidental teaching, positive reinforcement system, daily feedback to parents, and carryover strategies shared with parents and referring school districts. The goal of this program is to help children expand their social skills repertoire by utilizing a problem-solving approach while incorporating ABA principles. An overview of the program will be discussed.
Symposium #22
CE Offered: BACB
Measuring Social Validity during Behavioral Research and Consultation
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Area: CSE/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Claire C St. Peter (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Claire C St. Peter, Ph.D.

In applied behavior analysis, social validity refers to society's judgment about the appropriateness and importance of behavior analytic goals and practices. Although social validity has been touted as a critical dimenson of applied behavior analysis since the 1970's, it remains an under-researched area. The presenters attempt to address this void by discussing the use of social validity measures in the existing literature, as well as reviewing three new research studies that assess the social validity of behavioral procedures for classroom use.

Social Validity Assessments of Behavior-Change Procedures Used with Young Children: A Review.
NICOLE HEAL (May Center for Education & Neurorehabilitation), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract: Social validity refers to the significance of the goals, the appropriateness of the procedures, and the importance of the effects of a behavior-change program to members of society. This review will describe the different features of social validity assessments conducted for the ultimate benefit of young children, note trends, and critically analyze the current state of affairs in this area, and offer directions for future social validity research. Studies were included in the analysis if (a) there was an evaluation of social validity, (b) the behavior-change procedures being assessed were applied to observable (externalized) problem behavior or issues related to learning, and (c) the behavior-change procedures being assessed were applied with young children (aged birth through 8 years). Studies that met the inclusion criteria were categorized and analyzed on the following dimensions (a) type of behavior-change procedures, (b) dimensions of social validity (i.e., goals, procedures, and/or outcomes), (c) social validity consumers, (d) types of social validity assessments (i.e., absolute vs. relative), and (e) methods for assessing social validity (i.e., indirect vs. direct assessments). Interrater agreement was assessed on 20% of the articles, and agreement above 80%.
An Evaluation of the Efficacy of and Preference for Strategies for Reducing Problem Behavior in Play Groups.
STACY A. LAYER (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract: Three common behavior management strategies for reducing the problem behavior of preschool children include the use of a rule reminder alone, a rule reminder plus talk and practice, or a rule reminder followed by a brief time out and then talk and practice. Results of a questionnaire assessing community preschool teachers’ opinions about the acceptability and relative efficacy of these 3 strategies showed that rule reminders were the most common consequence for problem behavior; teachers also reported that it was important to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of each of the strategies described. We then compared the effectiveness of and children’s preferences for each of the three behavior management strategies (all agreement measures exceeded 80%). The results indicated that for children with the highest levels of problem behavior, a comprehensive package including rule reminders, time out, and talk and practice was the most effective strategy for reducing problem behavior. Child preference varied among the strategies with some children preferring the strategy involving time out and others preferring only rule reminders; no child preferred the talk and practice component without the time out component. Implications for the design of preschool environments will be discussed.
Considerations of Treatment Acceptability in Examining Intervention Effectiveness.
FLORENCE D. DIGENNARO REED (Melmark New England), Brian K. Martens (Syracuse University)
Abstract: An investigation of social validity may include considerations of the acceptability, appropriateness, and ease of implementation of intervention procedures. The Intervention Rating Profile-15 (IRP-15; Martens, Witt, Elliott, & Darveaux, 1985) is a 15-item scale that provides a measure of general intervention acceptability as it pertains to these three areas. The purpose of this presentation is to present data from two studies that used the IRP-15 with teachers to investigate their judgments about the interventions used with their students, as well as their judgments about the feedback they received regarding the accuracy of their treatment plan implementation. Findings will be presented in light of the effectiveness of the intervention procedures and their relation to treatment acceptability.
Acceptability of Preference Assessments for Classroom Use.
ALLISON SERRA TETREAULT (West Virginia University), Claire C St. Peter (West Virginia University), Elizabeth S. Athens (University of Florida)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysts frequently develop interventions for school environments. Preference assessments may be a useful tool in the identification of potential reinforcers for use in school-based interventions. However, research has not determined the acceptability of preference assessment procedures and formats for classroom use. Given that teachers and classroom aides are the ultimate behavior change agents in school-based interventions, the use of more acceptable procedures may increase teacher compliance with an intervention plan. In the current study, we used surveys to assess the acceptability of various preference assessment methods (including single-stimulus, paired-choice, and multiple-stimulus-without-replacement), the frequency of assessment (ranging from daily to less than once per week), and the modality of items used during the assessment (including actual items, pictures of items, written names of items, or vocal names of items). Teacher preference for method, frequency, and modality of assessment did not coincide with what has been established as best-practice in the behavioral literature. Implications of these findings for school-based collaboration and intervention development will be discussed.
Paper Session #23
Developmental Disabilities Paper Session I
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Stevens 1
Area: DDA
Chair: Sarah M. Dunkel-Jackson (Southern Illinois University)
Teaching Group Cooperation to Adolescents with Brain Injuries Using Self-Control Training.
Domain: Applied Research
SARAH M. DUNKEL-JACKSON (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Amanda J. Bever (Southern Illinois University), Michael Bordieri (Southern Illinois University), Krystal Qualls (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Behavioral interventions for reducing impulsivity for persons with brain injury have been exclusively implemented at the individual participant level. While effective, this type of intervention is costly, time consuming, and potentially difficult for caregivers to replicate. The current study attempted to develop a group-based intervention to reduce impulsive choice making and promote self-control. Additionally, the group contingency attempted to develop a cooperative response between participants. Initially participants were asked to complete a cooperative task of household chores (e.g., dish sorting, clothes folding) in the absence of any programmed reinforcement. Following the acquisition of low levels of baseline performance, each group was asked to choose between a smaller amount of known conditioned reinforcers for non-engagement or a larger amount of reinforcers for completing the task at durations exponentially greater than baseline. Following observation of poor choice making (i.e., selecting the smaller reinforcer), each group was exposed to a progressive delay schedule in which the larger reinforcer was coupled with increasing amounts of cooperative responding. Results suggest that such training procedures can improve choice making for individuals with brain injury as well as teach cooperative task completion.
The Effects of Video Modeling on Staff Implementation of a Problem Solving Intervention in Residential Settings.
Domain: Applied Research
SHAWNEE D. COLLINS (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Charles L. Salzberg (Utah State University)
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of video modeling on staff implementation of a problem solving intervention in a residential setting. The treatment consisted of video modeling procedures. Data were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants. Results indicated that the percentage or correctly implemented problem solving steps increased to mastery criterion for all six participants after treatment was implemented.
Use of Latency to Problem Behavior to Evaluate Demands for Inclusion in Functional Analyses.
Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT-RYAN S. PABICO (The Marcus Institute), Nathan Call (The Marcus Institute), Joanna Lomas (The Marcus Institute)
Abstract: In contrast to potential positive reinforcers, there are few direct assessment methodologies designed to identify stimuli or events (such as demands), the escape from which may function as negative reinforcers. Such an assessment may be especially useful for identifying demands for inclusion in the escape condition of functional analyses. In the current study an assessment was conducted in which four participants were systematical