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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Program by Day for Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Manage My Personal Schedule


Symposium #412
Battling Procrastination: Self-Managing Studying and Writing For Candidacy Exams
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Private Dining Room 2 (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Terri Hessler (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Six Ph.D. students, most characteristically last minute "chunkwriters" and intimidated by the prospect of a summer studying and writing for their candidacy exams, developed self-management plans for their writing and/or studying behaviors. All students consider their plans to have been successful because they are all now Ph.D. candidates having passed their exams. The students will share graphs of their studying and/or writing behaviors and details of their self-management plans in an effort to encourage self-management as a strategy for those facing their candidacy exams or any "high-stakes" paper. Symposium participants will also share their “top ten list” for successful candidacy exam preparation.
Losing the Criteria Battle but Winning the Graphing War
SUMMER FERRERI (The Ohio State University), Terri Hessler (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Two doctoral students developed and implemented a self-management plans for their candidacy exam preparation, including writing candidacy papers. The primary components of the plans were contingency-based reinforcement and graphing of studying and writing behavior. Although both students failed to reach self-imposed criteria regularly, they found graphing to be a reinforcing activity and so feel their plans were successful despite “less than perfect” data.
Balancing Scholarly Commitments And Still Taking That Much Needed Vacation!
NATALIE ALLEN-WILLIAMS (The Ohio State University), Michele M. Nobel (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Two doctoral students shared reinforcers and helped keep each other honest while self-delivering consequences. Shared reinforcers consist of earning workout time, eating lunches together twice a week, and taking a vacation to Utah in August. Presenters will share their contingency plans and graphs of their scholarly behaviors. Advantages of sharing reinforcers and providing support for self-delivering consequences will be discussed.
What I Did Last Summer: Contingency-Based Self-Management Plans for Writing Candidacy Papers
SHOBANA MUSTI-RAO (The Ohio State University), Mary D. Salmon (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Two doctoral students set a time-based contingency to work on two comprehensive take-home papers in partial fulfillment of the requirements for their candidacy exams. The dependent measures included the number of hours worked per day and a cumulative graph of the number of words written. Additionally, each student set a deadline for completion of each paper. The self-management plans were very successful as both students met predetermined deadlines. Information regarding specific reinforcers and contingencies employed as well as graphs will be shared.
Symposium #413
Behavior Analysis, Training, and Enrichment in the Zoo
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Private Dining Room 3 (3rd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Terry L. Maple (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Zoos and aquariums have deployed behavior analytic techniques in animal managment and in research settings for many years. The laboratory at Georgia Tech has been engaged in research, training, management, and enrichment of zoo animals for thirty years. This symposium brings together the work of students, faculty, alumni and collaborators from Georgia Tech and allied institutions to examine behavior analysis for elephants, giant pandas, gorillas, orangutans, and other creatures. The series of eight talks (two contiguous symposia) range from teaching behavior analysis to conducting experimental analysis research in the zoo. The final two talks deal with the logistics of zoo research and scientific management. Dr. Marr and Dr. Maple share their experiences working with large, complex megafauna and the challenges they faced during thirty years of research in zoos and primate research centers.
The Zoo as a Venue for the Experimental Analysis Course
M. JACKSON MARR (Georgia Institute of Technology), Angela Kelling (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: For a decade, Georgia Tech has utilized Zoo Atlanta as a venue for the experimental analysis of Behavior course for undergraduates. Tech students are able to get a unique, hands-on experience shaping zoo animals. Their research also provides enrichment for the animals and help the keepers to train animals for husbandry and medical care. The opportunity to train animals in a naturalistic setting results in greater satisfaction for the students, and high ratings for the experience. In exit interviews, undergraduate majors cite this course as one of the most valuable and memorable experiences at Tech.
The Use of Technology and Behavior Principles to Enrich Captive Primate Environments
SUMA MALLAVARAPU (Georgia Institute of Technology), Andrea Clay (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Studies of nonhuman primates show that enriching captive environments increases species typical behavior and decreases aggession, sterotypies, and other behavior problems. Unlike simple objects that generate rapid habituation, computer-assisted enrichment provides for tasks of increasing complexity and unpredictability, and give the animal some control over reward acquisition. Principles of learning and positive reinforcement have been applied to shape joystick acquistiion in great apes and monkeys at the zoo. The shaping of curor movement to obtain food rewards is also described.
Behavioral and Environmental Approaches to Occupying Elephants
STEPHANIE ALLARD (Georgia Institute of Technology), Megan L. Wilson (Lincoln Park Zoo)
Abstract: Controversy surrounds the managment of elephants in American zoos. New approaches to training involve a system known as "protective contact". The training technology is operant conditioning from outside the enclosure. We studied a zoo management program that changed form free contact to protected contact, and learned how the elephants and the staff adapted to the new system. The art of animal training has dominated in recent history, but there is a trend to behavioral (scientific) management. We strongly argue that elephant management must be scientific to be successful and safe.
Preliminary Evidence for "Rule-of-Thumb" Foraging in Captive Giant Pandas
LORAINE R. TAROU (Grand Valley State University), David G. Powell (National Zoological Park), Jessamine Williams (National Zoological Park)
Abstract: Giant pandas are herbivorous carnivores whose diet consists almost entirely of bamboo. According to optimal diet theory, animals are under strong selective pressure to forage in such a way as to maaximize the net rate energy gain per unit time. Eighteen classic choice trials were conducted in which three bamboo species were randomly paired. Preference was assessed using the amoung of time spent feeding on each species during the first hour of exposure and total overnight consumption. As predicted, leasves were preferred over stems, and both pandas exhibited a preference for P. japonica. An analysis of feeding behavior indicated that handling time was signifantly shorter for this species. The findings are discussed in terms of husbandry, management, and conservation issues.
Paper Session #414
Int'l Paper Session - Community Safety and Environmental Design
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Marquette (3rd floor)
Area: OBM
Chair: Ron Van Houten (Mount Saint Vincent University)
A Field Evaluation of the Safe-T Rider School Escalator Safety Program on Children’s Escalator Use in the Community
Domain: Applied Research
RON VAN HOUTEN (Mount Saint Vincent University), J. E. Louis Malenfant (Centre for Education and Research in Safety)
Abstract: The Safe-T Rider escalator safety program was evaluated using a multiple baseline design across two cities: Tallahassee, Florida; and Saint John, New Brunswick. The purpose of this study was to determine if the Safe-T Rider program improved the behavior of pupils, grades kindergarten through 5, using escalators within the community. Behavioral strategies include, video modeling of safety behaviors, having parents go over the material with the children, and awarding students a certificate and sticker for completing the home portion of the program with the workbook. Program effectiveness was evaluated by observing children using escalators located in busy shopping malls in each city. After collecting baseline data in public shopping malls in both cities, the Safe-T Rider program was implemented in Tallahassee while the city of Saint John remained in the baseline condition. Next the treatment was introduced in the city of Saint John. The introduction of the program was associated with improvements in a number of escalator safety behaviors in each city. In both cities the percentage of children stepping on safely, facing forward, standing clear of the sides of the escalator, standing still while riding; and stepping off carefully increased.
Behavioral Engineering in the Design of Physical Technology: An Opportunity for Dissemination
Domain: Applied Research
RON VAN HOUTEN (Mount Saint Vincent University)
Abstract: One obstacle to the wide scale dissemination of behavioral technology is the difficulty inherent in changing the behavior of a large number of people in a short period of time. One technique, which has often been tried, involves influencing the behavior of public policy makers. Although this strategy is more efficient than trying to change the culture one person at a time, it often has fails to yield good results because behavior analysts find themselves competing with advocates of less empirically grounded approaches with better access to important decision makers. Another approach to producing large-scale cultural change involves the use of physical technology. Technology has arguable produces the largest changes in cultural behavior over the past several hundred years, if not over the cultural history of the species. Skinner noted the promise of this approach in The Technology of Teaching. Although the idea of a teaching machine was somewhat ahead of its time, the ubiquitous availability of microprocessor technology in a wide array of consumer and industrial products presents a unique opportunity for cultural change. In this paper I will give examples of how technology designed to implement behavior analytic principles can produce changes in myriad behaviors ranging form seatbelt use to safety practices in hospitals.
A Behavior Analysis of Walking: The Principle of Economy of Effort
Domain: Applied Research
STEPHEN C. BITGOOD (Jacksonville State University), Stephany Dukes (Jacksonville State University), Jim Shurbutt (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Walking is the most common way that humans move from one place to another. Despite how ubiquitous this behavior is, there has been little systematic study from a behavior analytic perspective. This symposium will examine the relationship between walking and the built environment. A unifying empirical principle will be proposed to account for many findings in the literature. This principle is economy of effort/movement – pedestrians take as few steps as possible to reach their destination. The three papers will provide empirical support for this principle in museums, shopping malls, and university campuses. In the case of museums, visitors tend to turn right, walk in a straight line from gallery entrance to exit, and view only one side of a two-sided exhibit. In shopping malls pedestrian choices at intersections involve the fewest number of steps (e.g., turning right from the right side of a corridor). And, on university campuses, students avoid walking between classes and attempt to park as close to the classroom entrance as possible (even when it means negotiating frustrating traffic congestion. This simple principle (economy of movement) has important implications for the design of public places that are often ignored by architects and other designers.
Paper Session #415
Int'l Paper Session - Compliance Problems in Autism and Early Intervention
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 5 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT
Chair: Tammy Hammond Natof (Effective Interventions, Inc.)
Addressing Compliance Problems in Children with Autistic-Spectrum Disorders
Domain: Applied Research
TAMMY HAMMOND NATOF (Effective Interventions, Inc.), Nicole Dibra (Effective Interventions, Inc.), Debora Harris (Effective Interventions, Inc.), Bobby Newman (AMAC)
Abstract: Many learners diagnosed with autistic-spectrum disorders display difficulties with compliance. Although lack of compliance is not part of the diagnostic criteria for autistic-spectrum disorders, it can interfere with the ability to acquire new skills in all areas of functioning. Compliance problems can be divided into two types: 1) failure to respond to instructions that are presented; and 2) problem behavior occurring after the presentation of an instruction. The current paper describes behavioral interventions targeting both types of compliance problems for three children diagnosed with autistic-spectrum disorders. Interventions were designed to improve compliance to instructions during intensive teaching and in the natural environment. Instructions were presented using errorless teaching methods to ensure that failure to respond did not result from lack of skills. The difficulty and duration of instructions were gradually increased over successive steps. For each learner, baseline and intervention data will be presented, as well as pretest and posttest measures using the Assessment for Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS). Implications for designing and implementing interventions to improve compliance will be discussed.
Public School Commitment in Western Australia to Intensive Early Intervention for Children with ASD
Domain: Service Delivery
PATRICIA GRAY (Department of Education & Training, Western Australia), John Brigg (Department of Education & Training, Western Australia)
Abstract: The Department of Education and Training in Western Australia since 1999 has provided, at no additional cost to families, provision of intensive ABA programs for selected four and five year old children with ASD. Children participate in the program, on a mainstream campus, over two years, before entering the mainstream Year 1 program. Student/staff ratio is one to one. Every support and encouragement is given to parents to promote generalisation of skills in other environments. The program incorporates Discrete Trial Training,independent work and extensive group work.Extensive data on student performance is maintained adn analysed. Independent evaluation and follow up have found that children exiting the program make outstanding gains in language,behaviour and communicaton and maintain these gains when followed up 18 months later.
An Exploration of a Suitable Way to Deliver Behavior Analysis Programs to Children with Autism in China
Domain: Service Delivery
YANQING GUO (Institute of Mental Health, Peking University), Menglin Sun (Institute of Mental Health, Peking University), Yingchun Yang (Institute of Mental Health, Peking University), Meixiang Jia (Institute of Mental Health, Peking University)
Abstract: Behavioral analysis programs have been proved to be an effective method for early intervention for children with autism. However, such programs are still underdeveloped in China. China as a developing country, social wealthy system are very incomplete, the education and training burden for children with autism heavily depend on the family who take care of them. We try to establish two kinds of ABA programs for such children in China: paretal centered and professional centered. For parental centered programs, we will train parents as the tutors for children to perform their intervention plan for their children under the following-up directions of professionals. For the professional centered programs, professionals, mainly consitituted by teachers of special education, will be trained to perform ABA programs for institutionalized children with autism. The advantages and disadvantages of these two kinds of programs will be compared and discussed.
Symposium #416
Int'l Symposium - Conjunction Fallacy and Base-Rate Error: Are Those Behaviors Controlled by Reinforcement Contingencies?
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Josele Abreu-Rodrigues (University of Brazil)
Discussant: Gregory J. Madden (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: The literature has systematically indicated that in situations of choice and decision-making, individuals do not always present optimal behavior. That is, their choices in such situations reveal often that the available information is not used effectively such that the probable payoff is not maximized. Questions related to decision-making have called the attention of some behavior analysts, and some of them have addressed specifically two types of nonoptimal behaviors, the conjunction fallacy and the base-rate error. The conjunction fallacy is observed when an individual reports that the conjunction of two events is more probable to occur than one of the events alone. The base-rate error consists of neglecting background information (base rates) in favor of more specific ones when judging the probability of a future event. Those nonoptimal behavior have been investigated mostly by cognitive psychologists that, although have contributed to the characterization of the phenomenon, little have said about the learning history responsible for it. This symposium, on the other hand, will focus on the conjunction fallacy and the base-rate error as learned phenomena and will point out some of their environmental controlling variables.
Verbal Relations and the Conjunction Fallacy
JOSELE ABREU-RODRIGUES (University of Brazil), Ana A. Baumann (Utah State University), Pablo C. Souza (University of Brazil)
Abstract: This presentation evaluates the effects of verbal contingencies upon the conjunction fallacy. In Experiment 1, college students were trained to discriminate stimuli correlated with different probabilities of reinforcement (high or low) by means of a matching-to-sample procedure. The participants were also asked to estimate the probability of reinforcement for each sample. The attribution of points for estimating was manipulated across groups such that estimates could be accurate, inaccurate, or assystematic. In the testing session, all participants were required to choose between a compound stimulus (high and low) and either one of the individual component stimuli (high or low). The Accurate Group chose the compound stimulus in all trials while the Inaccurate Group chose the compound only when it was pitted against the high probability stimulus. The Assystematic Group showed indifference between the two alternatives. In Experiment 2, all groups were initially trained with the conjunction rule and then exposed to the training and testing sessions as previously described. The conjunction-rule training decreased the occurrence of the conjunction fallacy for the accurate and inaccurate groups, but not for the assystematic one. These findings indicate that verbal contingencies interact with nonverbal contingencies in controlling the conjunction fallacy.
The Discriminative Function of Simple Stimuli: Does it Affect the Conjunction Fallacy?
LILIAN C. RODRIGUES (University of Brazil), Josele Abreu-Rodrigues (University of Brazil), Virginia Fava (University of Brazil), Roberta L. Leonardo (University of Brazil)
Abstract: This presentation evaluates the role of historical variables (high versus low probability of reinforcement, and reinforcement versus punishment) upon the conjunction fallacy. In Study 1, the probability of reinforcement correlated with simple stimuli was manipulated across conditions. During Training, two simple stimuli were correlated with a high probability while two other stimuli were correlated with a low probability. During Testing, college students chose between a compound stimulus (high-low) and either one of the simple component stimuli (high or low). The results showed a direct relation between preference for the compound stimulus and the relative probability of reinforcement of the high stimulus. In Study 2, during Training, two simple stimuli were correlated with reinforcement (Sr) while two other stimuli were correlated with punishment (Sp). During Testing, the participants chose between a compound and simple stimuli. There were three different compound stimuli: Sr-Sr, Sp-Sp, and Sr-Sp. With Sr-Sr, there was exclusive preference for the compound; with Sp-Sp, there was exclusive preference for the simple stimuli; and with Sr-Sp, preference for the compound was greater when the simple stimulus was correlated with punishment. These findings suggest that the conjunction fallacy is affected by the discriminative function of the simple component stimuli.
Decision Making: Base Rate, Context and Degree of Exposure
ANA A. BAUMANN (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University), Shawn R. Charlton (University of California, San Diego)
Abstract: One of the errors observed in decision-making situations is the base rate neglect, which refers to the fact that when asked to judge the probability of future events, people usually neglect contextual (molar) information and overemphasize specific (molecular) information. Prior studies tried to evaluate the variables that affect base rate neglect, usually assessing participants through questionnaires. The base rate neglect has been shown to be a robust phenomenon, being only slightly reduced and hardly eliminated by a variety of factors. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of order of information, degree of exposure to the problems and presence of instructions on base rate neglect. Specifically, the following were manipulated: the order of base rate and the case cue presentation, how many problems the participants were exposed to, and whether an explanation about base rate was given. Preliminary studies have shown no effect of those variables. However, there is some evidence that the content of the problem (if familiar or not to the participants) may reduce base rate neglect. Further studies are being conducted to evaluate if the content, along with other variables, affects base rate neglect.
Symposium #417
Cultural Selection of Higher Order Verbal Operants
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robin Nuzzolo (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The four papers presented tested the effects of either various establishing operations or multiple exemplar instruction/opportunities on the novel production of various verbal operants: mands, tacts, dictation, etc on preschool and elementary aged students with autism and related developmental disabilities. All studies resulted in the emergence of untaught responses post the independent variable. The results are discussed in terms of naming, stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory.
Multiple Exemplar Instruction and the Emergence of Novel Production of Suffixes as Autoclitic Frames
Abstract: Three experiments are reported that tested the effects of multiple exemplar instruction on the novel production of tacts containing suffixes as autoclitic frames for seven preschool age males with and without language based disabilities. The independent variable for the Pilot Experiment was multiple exemplar instruction that interspersed match to sample and tact instruction. The dependent variables were the number of untaught tact responses containing the target autoclitic frame -er signifying one who performs an action. The independent variable for both Experiments 1 and 2 was multiple exemplar tact instruction. The dependent variable for both experiments was the number of untaught tact responses containing target autoclitic frames across regular, irregular and "nonsense" comparative adjectives. The participant in the Pilot Experiment was a three year four month old male with a developmental disability. An intrasubject multiple probe across sets design was employed. The results showed a correlation between multiple exemplar match to sample and tact instruction and novel, untaught tact responses containing the autoclitic frame -er .The participants in Experiment I were three preschool males with developmental disabilities. A multiple probe with time lagged multiple baseline design was employed to determine if there was a functional relation between multiple exemplar tact instruction and novel, untaught tact responses containing the autoclitic -er signifyjng the comparative form of an adjective. The results of this experiment showed a functional relation between the dependent and independent variables. The experimental conditions were replicated in Experiment II for two preschool males with disabilities and one typically developing preschool male. In Experiment II, however, opportunities to respond with previously taught tacts containing the autoclitic -er were not rotated with the presentation of untaught stimuli, and there were fewer opportunities for students to respond during probe sessions. These changes were made to target motivational variables and to control for a possible confounding effect of the previously taught tacts. The results of Experiment II again showed a functional relationship between multiple exemplar tact instruction and novel) untaught tact responses containing the target autoclitic frame.
Multiple Exemplar Instruction and Transformation of Stimulus Function from Auditory-Visual Matching to Visual-Visual Matching
HYE-SUK LEE PARK (Fred S. Keller School)
Abstract: The present study was to test an effect of multiple exemplar instruction on transformation of stimulus function from pointing to symbols or pictures to tact symbols or pictures and vice versa: Transformation of stimulus function from pointing to corresponding written words to tact those words and vice versa was also tested. Finally, transformation of stimulus function from auditory-visual matching by pointing or tact to visual-visual matching by matching symbols or pictures with corresponding written words was tested. 7 three or four-year old children with developmental disabilities participated in the study. Instruction and probe sessions were conducted in a publicly funded private pre-school in a major metropolitan area. Four sets of symbols or pictures and four sets of corresponding written words were used during the study. Data were collected within a design of time-legged multiple baseline across participants with multiple probes. The results of the study demonstrated that multiple exemplar instruction facilitated transformation of stimulus function across response classes, pointing to, tact, and matching stimuli. The results were discussed in terms of naming and rudimentary reading comprehension.
An Experimental Analysis of the Transformation of Stimulus Function from Speaker to Listener and Listener to Speaker
CAROL A. FIORILE (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: In the first study, three 10-year-old students with autism were taught to textually respond to novel text. These students had the naming repertoire for 2- and 3-dimensional stimuli, but did not have the naming repertoire for the textual and comprehension repertoire. Following an intervention in which the students were taught to textually respond to sets of 3 stimuli, untaught listener responses emerged. The experimental design was a delayed multiple-baseline multiple-probe design, with counterbalanced control for the treatment condition. The results of the first experiment showed that teaching the textual response was sufficient in the transformation of stimulus function. In Experiment Two, I tested whether tact training, a single competency) was sufficient for establishing the naming repertoire for four students with autism. Prior to the implementation of this experiment, none of the four students had the naming repertoire for 2- or 3 -dimensional stimuli. A delayed multiple-baseline multiple-probe design, counterbalanced for the control and experimental conditions, was used. The results of this experiment showed that for all four students, the tact only (i.e., control) condition was not sufficient for the naming repertoire to emerge. Following MEI (i.e., experimental condition), all four students showed the naming repertoire. The test for transfom1ation of stimulus function across behavioral competencies was extended to novel sets. The results showed that following multiple exposures to ME!, all four students had the naming repertoire for novel stimuli. The outcomes of both experiments are discussed in terms of theories associated with Stimulus Equivalence, Relational Frame Theory, and Home and Lowe's Naming Theory.
The Bi-directional Relationship in the Development of Naming in Typical Two-Year Old Children
LINA GILIC (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Three experiments were conducted to investigate when children with listener and speaker repertoires functions as speaker as own listener (naming). Experiment investigated whether listener responding or speaker responding were independent or necessary together to produce speaker as own listener responding (or naming)? And second, was there a sequence for teaching listener and speaker repertoires to produce speaker as own listener responding (or naming)? Data showed that Child J and Child L did not show transfer of repertoire function from listener to speaker but did from speaker .-' to listener. Following the manipulation of the order of presentation for listener and speaker responding, Child J and Child L were then able to function from listener to speaker. Experiment n investigated first, are listener responding or speaker responding independent or necessary together to produce speaker as own listener responding (or naming) to generative behavior? And second, was there a sequence for teaching speaker -" as own listener responding (or naming) for generative responding? Following multiple exemplar instruction, Child J and Child L were able to function from listener to speaker to a group of novel stimuli. Data showed that the experience was able to produce the response. Experiment ill investigated whether multiple exemplar instruction produces I joint listener control for speaker as own listener responding? And second, does speaker as own listener responding enable children to emit generative responding when presented with multiple exemplar instruction across different sets of stimuli? Data showed the transformation of stimulus function and also stimulus generalization following the experience of multiple exemplar instruction. The responses the students did not emit following listener instruction were emitted as a result of the multiple exemplar instruction with a different set of novel stimuli.
Paper Session #418
Int'l Paper Session - Delivering Home-Based Behavioral Services
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Williford A (3rd floor)
Area: CBM
Chair: Mark A. Balazs (Learning Consultant)
Power to the People: Delivery of ABA Services to Individual Consumers over the World Wide Web
Domain: Service Delivery
CRIS T. CLAY (University of the Pacific), Peter C. Patch (Northeast Behavioral Associates)
Abstract: A model for ABA service delivery over the world-wide-web focusing on habit change is presented. Elements of service delivery include indirect analysis via questionnaire and live internet chat, behavior change plans developed and posted via automated database, implementation and monitoring of behavior change plan by the consumer, live behavioral coaching sessions for monitoring and adjustment, and graphic feedback provided via automated database. Results of an intervention case are presented, and advantages and disadvantages of the service delivery method are discussed.
Applied Behavior Analysis in Home Settings
Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis continues to make inroads into community treatment settings (e.g. schools, counseling and mental health centers, delinquency programs), but often at the hands of marginally trained staff. Generalization of such treatment into families' homes is often limited, and not specifically included in formal program plans. This presentation addresses methods and benefits of moving behavioral treatment interventions into the home. Topics include rationale for home-based services, selling the plan to parents and families, specific behavioral applications, treatment and evaluation methods, and coordination with other community services for the family. Data from case studies will be presented.
Home Programs for Developmental Disabilities: Interventions to Support Parents and Other Family Members
Domain: Service Delivery
MARK A. BALAZS (Learning Consultant)
Abstract: A child with a developmental disability has an enormous impact on parents, siblings and other family members. The impact is inevitably emotional and is also likely to involve behaviors that affect both family life and the effectiveness of a home-based ABA program. I am the father of a 5 year old boy who has autism, am a therapist on his home program, and am studying for ABA board certification. I help UK parents implement their own ABA home programs. I therefore have experience, both first-hand and professionally, of these family implications. I was formerly a psychotherapist, counselor, and college teacher of therapists. Few ABA professionals delivering home programs have experience of therapeutic counseling. As well as designing and implementing ABA programs, for which they have the repertoire, and delivering training, for which they may, they must often respond to emotionally charged requests for help from parents and may well find themselves involved in a highly stressed family situation.In this paper I will explore the forms family issues can take and their impact on home programs. I will suggest strategies for enabling analysts to respond more effectively to reduce distress and increase parents’ effectiveness in their children’s programs.
Panel #419
Escaping the Blame Game: Making the Most of Parent/Professional Collaborations
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 4 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ruth M. Donlin (Private practice)
RUTH M. DONLIN (Private practice)
DAVID A. CELIBERTI (Private practice)
ROBERT LARUE (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: This panel will address one of the most common obstacles to parent and professional collaboration: the tendency for both parties to sometimes blame the other when programming or decision making does not transpire as expected. as a result, delivery of services does not always go smoothly. The panel topic is relevant to educators, parents, clinicians, administrators, and all service providers. Oftentimes, parents and professionals do not see eye to eye or have different expectations which may have not been made clear, explicit or realistic. Characteristics and conditions such as poorly articulated goals, financial constraints, poorly developed team dynamics; family and psychosocial challenges can hinder more effective service delivery and have a negative impact on the student. Parents and professionals are encouraged to attend. Suggestions will be offered by panelists and the remainder of the time will be devoted to open discussion.
Symposium #420
Functional Analysis and Assesment of Behavior in the Natural Setting
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.
Abstract: Assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors has received much attention in the literature. As practitioners in the applied setting it is important to be able to take procedures described in the literature and adjust them for effectiveness in the community and school settings. The purpose of this symposium is to review innovative methods for conducting Descriptive and Functional analysis in the applied setting. The first paper illustrates the use of continued descriptive analysis to develop treatment for aggression with a chained controlling function. The second paper reviews the use of an analog analysis in conjunction with a structural analysis to determine the specific environmental stimuli that maintain a student’s aggression through negative reinforcement. The third study reviews the novel procedure for expanding a systematic manipulation for a behavior maintained by positive reinforcement attention seeking. Results for each study are displayed graphically.
Reduction of Challenging Behavior and Intrusiveness of Treatment Thought Descriptive Analysis and Treatment: A Case Study
LISA DUNN (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of aggression and the implementation of intrusive procedures has been an issue of much debate in the literature. While many studies have reviewed the role of descriptive analysis in the development of treatment few address the roles of ongoing assessment in the systematic reduction of the intrusiveness of intervention for aggressive behavior. On going Descriptive analysis was conducted on 13 year old boy with developmental disabilities. Descriptive analysis indicated that the student’s aggression was maintained by negative and positive attention. Do to the severity and effectiveness of the aggression a time out in conjunction with escape extinction was introduced with various levels of Reinforcement procedures. Treatment over a 12 month in conjunction with ongoing Descriptive analysis reduced the rates of aggression from a average daily frequency of 70 to and average daily frequency of 2.5 occurrences. On going descriptive analysis highlighted Antecedent behavior which allowed clinicians to implement antecedent management strategies to reduce the necessity for intrusive procedures. Data is displayed graphically.
A Comparison of Functional Analysis in Experimental Versus Applied Setting for a Child with Autism
JOHN STOKES (Melmark New England), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Currently the strongest criticism of Functional Analysis methodologies in the literature is its inability to account for all of the effects that environmental variables exert on the targeted behavior in the natural environment. A brief Functional Analysis based on the research conducted on functional analysis, (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, Richman, 1982) was developed for aggression exhibited by a 12year old boy. Analogue analysis was conducted in diagnostic room and later re- implemented in the natural classroom environment. Results indicated that Aggression was maintained by negative reinforcement” Escape from demands” in both the analogue and natural setting. Later a structural Analysis was conducted to develop a hierarchy of stimulus in which the subject attempted to escape. Based on the results a treatment package was developed including escape extinction as well as interspersal training. . Data indicated a rapid deceleration in rates of aggression in the classroom.
Expanded Functional Analysis of Aggression Maintained by Positive Reinforcement
FRANK L. BIRD (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The results of two consecutive functional analyses conducted with a 17-year old female with PDD, NOS are described. During the initial functional analysis, the highest rates of aggression occurred in the demand Social disapproval condition. In that condition the delivery of negative attention appeared to occasion aggression. A second functional analysis was conducted wherein attention was broken down into three additional conditions: Loud verbal, high body language, Low body language/Low verbal. Highest rates of aggression were recorded during the high body language condition indicating that the subject was reinforced for her aggression by the physical reaction of staff she aggressed upon. Rates of aggression were also high during the loud vocal condition indicating that staff that responded to aggression with loud re-direction were also reinforcing. Aggression was treated using staff training on verbal and physical interaction with the subject and during crisis. Results are graphically displayed.
Analysis of the Effect on Service Enviornment on Function of Behavior
LISA DUNN (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: A functional analysis was conducted in a student home, residential program and school setting to determine the maintaining environmental variable of her yelling behavior. Data indicated that her behavior was maintained by a different function in each environment. Results were used to develop a comprehensive treatment that reduced rates of yelling in two of three environments. Data is displayed graphically.
Symposium #421
How Do We Get There from Here: Empirically Supported Interventions for Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Nanette L. Perrin (Early Childhood Autism Program - CLO)
CE Instructor: Nanette L. Perrin, M.A.
Abstract: Children with autism and their families present a unique challenge to behavior analysts. It is an ongoing process to identify effective interventions for increasing adaptive behavior and reducing maladaptive behavior for the children. The process of disseminating that information to the caregivers and ensuring effective implementation is also an ongoing challenge. We will present four studies that investigate the effectiveness with which we were able to accomplish either the implementation or the dissemination. The first two presentations will investigate the implementation of empirically supported interventions and the effect on socially significant behaviors. The first will be a presentation on the use of stimulus fading on food selectivity and on receptive language skills. The next will investigate the impact of enthusiasm on the learning rate of the children as well as its social acceptance by the families.The second two presentations will investigate the effectiveness with which the interventions could be implemented by the child’s typical caregivers. First we will look at the application of a behavioral support plan and the level with which the families implemented the interventions as designated. Then we will review the implementation and effectiveness of a vocal shaping process by caregivers of young children.
The Effects of Enthusiasm on Responding During Skill Acquisition for Children with Autism
KIMBERLY A. CLAUSEN (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Elizabeth Alden-Anderson (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Angela M. Mueller (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kasey Stephenson (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: The effect of enthusiasm on the acquisition of skills for children diagnosed with autism was investigated in two studies. Enthusiasm was manipulated according to voice volume, intonation (frequency of pitch to express meaning in language), and facial expression. In one condition (enthusiasm), the experimenter praised target responses using a voice volume that was elevated above conversational level, varied intonation, and a happy/smiling facial expression. In the other condition (non-enthusiasm), the experimenter praised responses using a normal conversational voice volume, intonation with limited variability, and a neutral/straight facial expression. The results from both studies indicate little differences in acquisition rates across the two conditions of enthusiasm. Social validity measures were obtained with parents to ascertain their preference for enthusiasm or non-enthusiasm. Without knowing the results from the first two studies, parents preferred high levels of enthusiasm.
Stimulus Fading to Improve Eating and Language Skills
SHANNON KAY (The May Institute)
Abstract: Stimulus fading procedures are effective in both shaping new behaviors and helping children to generalize skills to different environments or stimuli. This presentation will focus on stimulus fading procedures that allowed children with autism to develop and generalize skills. Stimulus fading procedures were used to teach a 7 year old girl with autism and a feeding disorder to expand her eating and drinking behavior. A changing-criterion design was used, and dependent measures included the number of food bites and ounces of liquid consumed. Stimulus fading procedures were used to expand the temperature range in which she would consume food as well as the texture of the food. Additionally, a stimulus fading procedure was used to reduce adipsia and subsequently to teach her to drink from a cup rather than a spoon. Results showed that the girl was able to move from eating only 12 ounces of temperature-controlled pureed food per day to eating age-appropriate portions of typical table food and drinking 24 ounces of juice per day. In a second study, a stimulus fading procedure was used to teach a 3 year old boy with autism to successfully make auditory discriminations in the presence of background noise. The boy had learned to identify three items receptively in a very quiet environment, but could not transfer this skill to the classroom because background noise interfered with his ability to make auditory discriminations. Using a changing-criterion design, the boy was required to identify labels in his typically quiet study area set up at the family home with systematically varied levels of computer generated background noise. This stimulus fading procedure resulted in the boy successfully identifying these items in the noisier classroom.
Parental Implementation of Function-Based Behavioral Support to Decrease Challenging Behaviors in Children with Autism
AMANDA TYRELL (Community Living Opportunities), Nanette L. Perrin (Community Living Opportunities), Katie L. Zerr (Community Living Opportunities), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Abstract: This study examines the effects of the implementation of a behavior support plan on the occurrence of tantrums, non-compliance and aggression during community and home activities. This study was conducted with a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl who have been diagnosed with autism. Baseline data for child 1 included episodes of non-compliance in 17%-67% of intervals and tantrums in 8%-22% of intervals. Baseline data for child 2 indicated that tantrums occurred in 30-42%, non-compliance occurred in 15-38% of the intervals, and aggression occurred in 7-37% of the intervals.. The functional behavior assessments indicate that the behaviors were maintained by escape and attention. The behavior support plan included manipulation of consequences and antecedent interventions including transition warnings and follow through. Data was collected on the accuracy with which the parents implemented the steps of the behavior plan. Quality of Life surveys and Behavioral impact rating scales in regards to the behaviors were collected before implementation and after Reliability was collected on less than 10% of intervals, but interobserver agreement was 90%.
Teaching Caregivers to Shape Vocal Language
KATHRYNE BALCH (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Kate Laino (University of North Texas)
Abstract: A procedure for teaching caregivers (parents and grandparents) to shape vocal language was evaluated for its effects on correct shaping procedures and child vocal language progression. Caregivers were taught to teach their child to vocally request events in the environment. Procedures consisted of 20 min sessions, 2-3 days per week. Ten minute video taped samples were taken each session throughout the experiment. Following baseline, a handout and a brief description of the language program procedures were provided to the caregiver. The researcher and caregiver then reviewed the previous session’s video sample and the researcher gave descriptive, positive feedback to the caregiver on their performance. The taped segments were used to identify targets for behavior change. The caregiver and researcher discussed possible shaping goals and selected a training target. The caregiver and the researcher then practiced identified goals. Caregivers rates of opportunities arranged, correct models presented, responsive decisions with model, and responsive delivery of reinforcement, as well as the child’s rate of vocalizations, MLU, language diversity, and social validity were measured. Data suggest that the procedures were highly effective in teaching the desired instructional and shaping targets as well as producing subsequent increases in child vocal responding.
Symposium #422
Issues in Aversive Control: Spanning the Basic-to-Applied Continuum
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard A (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Adam H. Doughty (University of Kansas, Parsons)
Discussant: Joseph E. Spradlin (University of Kansas)
Abstract: This symposium will span the basic-to-applied continuum in behavior analysis and highlight several research topics in the area of aversive control. Starting on the basic end of the continuum, Dr. Critchfield will discuss how several recent advances made in the area of positive reinforcement have not been mirrored in the area of aversive control. Dr. Critchfield will describe how the absence of these advances in aversive control is detrimental to the field of behavior analysis. Turning towards the middle of the continuum, Dr. Doughty will discuss a review of the punishment literature that he and his colleagues recently conducted. The experimental and applied literatures were reviewed to delineate the different forms of stimulus control that have been established in studies of punishment. Progressing to the applied end of the continuum, Dr. Smith will discuss his research program involving punishment and problem behavior in persons with developmental disabilities. This program illustrates that punishment procedures can be useful in the arsenal of the applied behavior analyst, and that this utility can be enhanced by considering issues involving stimulus control. Dr. Spradlin will conclude the symposium with several comprehensive remarks regarding aversive control in terms of research, theory, and practice.
Aversive Control in the 21st Century: A Case of Arrested Development
THOMAS S. CRITCHFIELD (Illinois State University)
Abstract: It is well known that basic operant research on aversive control (punishment and negative reinforcement) essentially ground to a halt by the mid-1970s, but the functional implications of this state of affairs for operant theory are, I believe, badly underestimated. One way to conduct a status check is to survey advances in the study of positive reinforcement that have arisen since around the time that aversive-control research became defunct, and then examine what we know in parallel about aversive control. My survey will, time permitting, draw from among these topics: matching, molecular approaches to choice, temporal discounting, behavioral economics, behavioral momentum, and function transfer mediated via stimulus equivalence. An optimist could view these topics as opportunities just waiting to be exploited by some energetic young investigator. My assessment will be more curmudgeonly, portraying contemporary basic operant psychology as a hyper-specialized enterprise that, despite its successes, may have a limited capacity to exert scholarly influence.
Stimulus Control and Punishment: A Critical Review of the Literature
ADAM H. DOUGHTY (University of Kansas, Parsons), Jennifer M. O'Donnell (eCollege), Shannon S. Doughty (Parsons State Hospital and Training Center), Kathryn Saunders (University of Kansas, Parsons), Dean C. Williams (University of Kansas, Parsons)
Abstract: The primary purpose of the present review was to characterize the stimulus control that has developed in studies of punishment. Specifically, the goal was to determine whether the discriminative stimulus for response suppression was the antecedent stimulus correlated with punishment (e.g., stimuli correlated with different multiple-schedule components), the delivery of the punisher itself, or some combination thereof. Studies from the experimental and applied literatures, including both human and animal subjects, were reviewed. Several aspects of the studies were noted including, for example, whether the development of stimulus control was a focus of the study, and features of the punishment and reinforcement conditions (e.g., schedule of punishment). There have been relatively few unequivocal demonstrations of antecedent stimulus control over response suppression (i.e., control of punishment effects by the antecedent stimulus). Limitations in method as well as data analysis and presentation hindered firm conclusions regarding the establishment of antecedent stimulus control over punishment in a considerable number of the studies. The methodological, theoretical, and applied implications of the review are discussed.
Stimulus Control of Punished Behavior in Applied Settings: Maintenance, Generalization, and Transfer of Treatment Effects
RICHARD G. SMITH (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Although advances in function-based interventions have led to a decreased need for aversive treatments for problem behaviors in applied settings, punishment remains a viable alternative to address behavior disorders that are chronic and resistive to treatment or in cases where a mild punisher (e.g., reprimand) is effective and appropriate. Few studies have addressed the effective implementation of punishment in applied settings, and fewer still have investigated means of bringing punished behavior under stimulus control in order to generalize or maintain treatment effects. This presentation will review current applied literature on stimulus control over punished behavior, present selected data showing mediated stimulus generalization and response generalization of punishment effects, and discuss future directions for research and applications of stimulus control strategies when using punishment in applied settings.
Paper Session #423
Organizational Aspects of Service Delivery for People with Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Stevens 2 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA
Chair: Wendy L. Selnes (Brih Design, LLC)
The Core Team Process: A Multifaceted Approach Towards Team Collaboration, Self-Governance, and Responsiveness
Domain: Service Delivery
WENDY L. SELNES (Brih Design, LLC), Janice L.. Ostrom (Brih Design, LLC)
Abstract: The Core Team process is an interdisciplinary team intervention designed to enhance collaboration among members, often including those receiving services. The process entails a neutral facilitator, a specifically outlined format for discussion, and guidelines of participation. Enhanced collaboration is achieved through open discussion with emphasis on the values of the person receiving services.All members contribute to identifying the support needs and resources aligned with desired outcomes. In consequence to each meeting, members receive a copy of the actions and agreements discussed. Distribution of these actions and agreements often increases the responsiveness and integrity of the participation of team members. An initial investigation of this process as an intervention has been conducted. Results of this work find this process to be an identifiable intervention, creating measurable change in collaboration, and increasing progress towards valued outcomes. The Core Team process and study results will be discussed.
Behavioral Improvements as a Function of the Creation of Age-Appropriate Job Activities
Domain: Service Delivery
BEVIN CAMPBELL (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children), Bobby Newman (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children), Frederica Blausten (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children), Christopher D. Nadelbach (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children)
Abstract: Adult services for individual with developmental disabilities are often under-staffed and under-funded. Programs do not always feature age-appropriate activities. An adult-services enterprises program was conducted, with an increase in age-appropriate behavior being noted, as well as a decrease in aberrant behavior
Symposium #424
Procedural Clarifications and Methodological Innovations in Functional Analysis
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 1 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Eileen M. Roscoe, Ph.D.
Abstract: Although the utility of functional analysis has been well established, there are particular aspects of this type of assessment that can significantly impact its outcome. The standard procedures in functional analysis clearly establish the antecedents and contingent arrangements that behavior will meet, however, it is not uncommon that some modifications to these standard procedures are necessary to clarify the function of problem behavior. This symposium will present four investigations influenced by specific aspects of experimental functional analysis. The first paper, delivered by Abbey Carreau, will describe how the presence or absence of materials during experimental conditions can produce erroneous conclusions. The second paper, delivered by Pamela Neidert, will discuss a procedure for clarifying inconclusive analyses of elopement using trial-based procedures and assessing latency as the primary dependent measure. The third paper, delivered by Joslyn Cynkus, will describe procedures for assessing and treating functionally related problem behavior by manipulating response hierarchy. Finally, the last paper, delivered by Nathan Call, will discuss a procedure for clarifying undifferentiated analyses that was influenced by behavioral economic theory.
The Effects of Noncontingent Access to Leisure Items during Functional Analyses
ABBEY CARREAU (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (New England Center for Children), Lindsay C. Peters (New England Center for Children), David Reiner (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous research suggests that including leisure items during the attention condition of a functional analysis (FA) results in false negative outcomes for problem behavior maintained by attention (Ringdahl, Winborn, Andelman, & Kitsukawa, 2002). In the current study, four individuals’ initial FA indicated behavioral maintenance by nonsocial variables (n =3) or by attention (n=1). A duration-based preference assessment identified preferred stimuli for use during subsequent FA conditions. During a subsequent FA, four conditions were compared: Attention with leisure items; attention without leisure items; play with leisure items; and play without leisure items. Following this, two attention conditions (one with high-preference items and one with low-preference items) were compared. Results indicated maintenance by social positive reinforcement for all four individuals when the attention condition did not include leisure items or included low-preference items, whereas results did not indicate maintenance by social positive reinforcement when the attention condition included high-preference leisure items. These findings indicate that inclusion of preferred items during the attention condition resulted in false negative outcomes for attention-maintained behaviors and the absence of preferred items resulted in false positive outcomes for automatic-maintained behaviors. Interobserver agreement data were collected during at least 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%.
A Further Analysis of the Conditions of Elopement
PAMELA L. NEIDERT (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Carrie M. Dempsey (University of Florida), Jessica L. Thomason (University of Florida)
Abstract: Elopement (running away from caregivers without permission) and wandering (continuous ambulation away from specifically assigned areas) are problematic behaviors often exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities. Methodological features of some functional analysis procedures may make interpretation of results difficult. Two subjects participated in the current investigation, which used a trial-based functional analysis procedure, with latency as the response measure, to facilitate discrimination and reduce confounding due to retrieval. Initial multielement results were inconclusive. A second functional analysis, which used a sequential test-control method, suggested that elopement served multiple functions. Finally, function-based treatments were implemented across baselines to reduce elopement. Results are discussed in terms of methodological and applied implications.
Further Analysis of Response Class Hierarchies
JOSLYN N. CYNKUS (Marcus Autism Center), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Marcus Autism Center), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The term response class refers to a set of responses (e.g., aggression, disruption, screaming) that are maintained by the same reinforcement contingency (e.g., attention). In such relations, the relative probabilities of the responses may be influenced by variables such as response effort and rate or immediacy of reinforcement. As such, response classes are often arranged in a hierarchical manner in which lower probability responses occur primarily when higher probability responses are prevented (e.g., Lalli et al., 1995). Despite this pattern, little research has been conducted that examines the development and maintenance of response class hierarchies. In the current investigation, functional analysis methods were used to demonstrate that the various topographies of destructive behavior formed response classes. First, we demonstrated that topographies of destructive behavior were maintained by positive reinforcement in a predictable hierarchy (i.e., destructive behavior was positively reinforced and occurred in a specific order). Next, treatment analyses were conducted in which an alternative response was introduced into the hierarchy, which resulted in decreases in destructive behavior. These results will be discussed in terms of identifying the variables that influence response class formation.
An Economic Analysis of Functional Reinforcer Value
NATHAN CALL (Louisiana State University), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Autism Center), Ashley C. Glover (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Several challenges exist when problem behavior is maintained by multiple reinforcers. Identifying which functional reinforcer is more highly valued may help predict which treatments are more likely to be effective, and where limited treatment resources can be best spent. In the current study, functional analysis results identified multiple functional reinforcers for four participants. An economic analysis was then conducted in which two functional reinforcers were made contingent upon task completion in a concurrent operants arrangement. Both reinforcers were available on progressive ratio schedules in which the amount of the task to be completed prior to reinforcement increased each time that reinforcer was selected. Data were examined in terms of the number of tasks completed for each reinforcer prior to the break point (i.e., 5-minutes nonresponding), with higher break points equaling the higher value reinforcer. Treatments based on both functional reinforcers were then compared to evaluate the influence of reinforcer value on treatment efficacy. Interobserver agreement data were collected during greater than 20% of sessions and averaged above 80% for all participants. Results suggest that behavior maintained by lower value reinforcers may be more resistant to treatment than behavior maintained by higher value reinforcers.
Paper Session #425
Reinforcement Effects
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Robert G. Vreeland (Behavior Analysis & Intervention Services)
Magnitude of Reinforcement and Variable Reinforcing Environments
Domain: Basic Research
CARLOS F. APARICIO (University of Guadalajara, Mexico), William M. Baum (University of California, Davis)
Abstract: The study of choice in variable reinforcing environments has shown regularity in the local effects of individual reinforcers on response and time allocation. In this study we manipulated reinforcer magnitude to assess its effects on preference. Within the same session, seven unsignaled reinforcer ratios were arranged for presses on two levers. Each component ratio provided a maximum of 10 reinforcers and terminated with a 1-minute blackout. In different conditions, we manipulated reinforcer magnitude independently of the reinforcer ratio. First, the reinforcer on the left lever was four food pellets and the reinforcer on the right lever was one pellet. In the second condition, these magnitudes were reversed. In the third condition, the left lever provided three pellets and the right lever two pellets. At an extended lever of analysis, preference was described well by the generalized matching law. Local analyses showed that the most recently obtained reinforcers had substantially larger effect on preference than less recently obtained reinforcers. That larger reinforcers produced larger and longer preferences is consistent with the idea that the variables controlling choice have both short- and long-term effects.
Haloperidol, Naltrexone, Travel Requirements, and Type Reinforcer
Domain: Basic Research
FRANCISCO JUSTINIANO VELASCO (University of Guadalajara, CEIC), Carlos F. Aparicio (University of Guadalajara, CEIC)
Abstract: Whereas haloperidol acts upon the motor system impeding the initiation of movements that are necessary for the emission of operant behaviors, the interest for food reinforcers goes away under the effects of naltrexone. The present study explored these ideas with rats responding for food, or saccharine pellets in a choice situation with eight levers and different travel requirements. Experiment 1 provided food pellets in four levers according to concurrent variable interval (VI) schedules of 300, 600, 1400 and 700 seconds; with the other four levers providing saccharine pellets according to the same concurrent schedules. In Experiment 2 all levers provided a mixture of food and saccharine pellets according to the same concurrent VI schedules. To visit four out of the eight levers, rats were required to travel a distance of 75 cm; the travel distance to the other four levers was 110 cm. Results of Experiment 1 showed that rats developed a strong preference for the levers providing saccharine pellets. In Experiment 2 preference favoured the levers requiring the shortest travel distance. Total response output in the levers was not affected by naltrexone, but it was reduced by haloperidol. Preference was not affected by either naltrexone, or haloperidol.
Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Reinforcement and Behavior
Domain: Basic Research
ROBERT G. VREELAND (Behavior Analysis & Intervention Services)
Abstract: Behavior takes place in both time and space. In the “molar view” as described by Baum (2001, 2002), time is allocated to an activity according to the relative reinforcement rate associated with that activity as opposed to other available activities. However, temporal characteristics of reinforcement may also control topographical aspects of behavior. Alternatively, reinforcing topographical characteristics of behavior may have significant effects on the recorded rate of that behavior. The author presents research in which pigeons pecked a long response key for food under multiple schedules of reinforcement. When the rate of reinforcement was varied in one component, a typical “contrast” effect was observed for response rate in both the changed and unchanged components. Variability of response location also changed in both components as a function of reinforcement rate. In a second study, only responses to a certain location on the key (the reinforcement band) were reinforced in one component. As the size of the reinforcement band decreased, observed increases in response rate were as large than those observed when the reinforcement rate was increased. The author considers these findings in light of molecular and molar views of reinforcement, and in terms of the multiscaled analysis suggested by Hineline (2001).
Symposium #426
Int'l Symposium - Relational Frame Theory and Perspective-Taking in Human Psychopathology
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Waldorf (3rd floor)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Patricia Bach (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Daniel J. Moran (MidAmerican Psychological Institute)
Abstract: A Relational Frame Theory (RFT) approach to the phenomenon of perspective-taking offers a behavior analytic approach to understanding, shaping, and modifying this important verbal/social behavior. Past research on perspective taking has been most associated with social cognition and Theory of Mind approaches to understanding human behavior. Impaired perspective-taking has been implicated in a variety of maladaptive behaviors and is associated with specific psychological disorders including autism and other developmental disorders, psychosis, and more generally with deception and false beliefs. An advantage of an RFT approach to perspective-taking and the possible role of impaired perspective-taking in some forms of psychopathology is that applied applications for establishing and modifying perspective-taking repertoires follow rather directly from the experimental preparations used to study the phenomenon. The presenters in this symposium will address recent findings on perspective-taking in adults and children in basic, applied, and analogue research; will describe future directions for basic and applied research; and will discuss the applied implications of a functional contextual approach to perspective-taking and the treatment of disorders associated with impaired perspective-taking.
Investigating the Role of Perspective-Taking in Human Psychopathology: A Relational Frame Analysis
YVONNE BARNES-HOLMES (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: A series of studies to date have investigated the Relational Frame Theory account of cognitive perspective-taking. According to this view, perspective-taking skills involve a family of deictic frames that specify a stimulus relation in terms of the perspective of the speaker. The three relational frames that appear to be critical for the development of perspective-taking skills are the frames of I and YOU, HERE and THERE, and NOW and THEN. RFT may facilitate the analysis of psychological events that previously did not appear particularly amenable to a behavior analytic investigation. Perspective-taking may be usefully defined in terms of functionally distinct relational operants, and the systematic analysis of these operants might well inform a behavioral understanding of what it means to take the perspective of another. In terms of application, a behavioral approach to these phenomena also suggests possible means of establishing these repertoires in individuals for whom they appear to be absent. This development, therefore, could have broad applied applications. Although the majority of studies thus far have examined the development of perspective-taking in children and adults, Relational Frame Theorists also argue that perspective-taking plays an important role in the emergence of human psychological problems. The current paper reviews this interpretation of human psychopathology and examines findings from recent research that appear to support this view.
A Relational Frame Analysis of Impaired Perspective-Taking in Persons with Schizophrenia
PATRICIA BACH (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Most research aimed at understanding perspective-taking has employed the concepts and methods of social cognition and Theory of Mind. These theories suggest that some of the social skills deficits and attributional errors associated with symptoms of psychosis may be related to deficits in perspective-taking. A Relational Frame analysis of perspective-taking and errors in perspective-taking applied to symptoms of psychosis offers a behavior analytic approach to understanding responses to hallucinatory stimuli and to understanding the formation and maintenance of delusional beliefs. One advantage of a Relational Frame Theory approach to perspective-taking is that recent research offers insight into techniques for establishing and/or modifying perspective-taking repertoires in persons who lack or have deficient perspective-taking skills. Preliminary research findings on perspective-taking deficits in persons with delusional beliefs, future directions for further research, and treatment implications and applications will be discussed.
Verbal Processes Underlying Some Defusion/Perspective-Taking Methods: Clinical-Experimental Preparation
MARIA SONSOLES VALDIVIA SALAS (University of New Mexico), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University of Almeria, Spain), Francisco J. Molina-Cobos (University of Almeria, Spain), Marisa Páez Blarrina (University of Almeria, Spain), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Olga Gutierrez Martinez (University of Almeria, Spain), Miguel Rodriguez-Valverde (University of Almeria, Spain)
Abstract: Cognitive defusion techniques, that is, techniques for disrupting and altering ordinary meaning functions of language in order to increase contact with the environment, are a part of the clinical methods that define Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Disrupting behavior-behavior relations that are antithetical to attaining goals and fulfilling personal values, that is, destructive experiential avoidance, is one type of defusion technique. However, in spite of the wide use of defusuin techniques within ACT, an analysis of the verbal conditions defining defusion is still needed. A clinical-experimental preparation in which conditions that alter the behavioral functions of negatively evaluated privated events are analyzed in the context of defusion components. In this preparation, sub-clinical and control subjects participated in two experimental protocols that differed in the number of defusion components introduced. All protocols were introduced in the context of personal values. Results are discussed according to the relational frames that might be involved in the transformation of functions for private events. Also, results are discussed in the context of ACT interventions and the analysis of perspective taking and other verbal contexts involved in destructive emotional avoidance.
Symposium #427
Int'l Symposium - Stimulus Control
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
International South (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Anthony DeFulio (University of Florida)
Abstract: Stimulus control refers to the systematic influence of an antecedent stimulus on the probability of occurrence of a response. Stimulus control research has historically included a wide range of topics. Much of the experimental activity in psychophysics, equivalence, signal detection, and memory has been dedicated to answering questions about the ways in which antecedent stimuli relate to behavior. The present symposium is a sampling of current work in the area of stimulus control. The authors will present on diverse topics, including numerosity, transposition, generalized identity matching, and equivalence relations. The goal of this symposium then, is to gather scientists with diverse yet common interests to facilitate both problem solving and question asking.
Counting, Timing, and Stimulus Control: Control of Pigeons’ Key Pecking by Numerical Properties of Stimuli
ANTHONY DEFULIO (University of Florida), Timothy D. Hackenberg (University of Florida)
Abstract: Pigeons’ key pecks produced food according to both a fixed-interval (FI) 24 s schedule of reinforcement and a fixed-number (FN) 12 schedule in which the first peck after the twelfth in a series of events (flashes of light) produced food. Key colors served as schedule-correlated stimuli. Inter-trial intervals followed each reinforcer delivery. Flashes occurred at three different rates during both FI and FN trials, for a total of six trial types. Trials were blocked within each session such that all 10 of each trial type occurred consecutively. Within each block, eight trials terminated with reinforcer delivery and two trials continued for 100 s and terminated without reinforcer delivery (empty trials). Peak rates of responding on empty trials were used as indices of temporal or numerical control. Results indicate no effect of flash rate on performance during FI trials, and differential performance across different flash rates on FN trials. The subjects were exposed to additional conditions in which flash rate changed within trials, and in which particular flashes were omitted. The entire series of conditions were then replicated with an additional spatial cue correlated with food availability. The implications for numerical control in non-human token systems are discussed.
Transposition in Pigeons and People Using Multiple-Pair Discrimination Training
OLGA LAZAREVA (University of Iowa), Michelle Miner (University of Iowa), Edward Wasserman (University of Iowa), Michael Young (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Abstract: We studied transposition in pigeons and human adults. In training, subjects were exposed to a single training pair, to two training pairs, or to four training pairs along the size dimension. Testing included stimulus pairs that, according to theoretical simulations, distinguished absolute from relational accounts of transposition. Both pigeons' and people's relational responding rose from one- to two- to four-pair training, although the increase was more evident for pigeons. The similarity of the testing stimuli to one another also affected relational responding: transposition increased with highly dissimilar stimuli. Using post-experimental questionnaires, we evaluated people's awareness of the task and found no measurable relationship between awareness and relational responding. We conclude that multiple-pair discrimination training enhances relational responding in both pigeons and people. Such relational responding may not require verbalization of the relationship between the paired stimuli.
Are Extended Observing and Choice-Response Requirements Sufficient for the Development of Generalized Identity Matching in Pigeons?
YUSUKE HAYASHI (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Wright (1997) suggested that programming extended sample observing-response requirements (e.g., FR20) in identity matching trials led to performances describable as generalized identity matching. However, his procedure consisted of several unconventional features: stimuli were color cartoons, stimuli were presented on and responses were detected by a touch screen laid out horizontally, and the reinforcer was delivered on top of the correct comparison stimulus which stayed on for 8” as the subject ate. In the current study, four naïve pigeons learned three conditional relations with an FR20 programmed on the sample and a response-initiated FI 8-s on the comparison keys followed by tests with novel stimuli in a standard Skinner box with hues as stimuli. Although some suggestive evidence of generalized identity matching was found in the tests with novel stimuli, none of the birds showed as high accuracy with the novel stimuli as that with the training stimuli. This suggests that while extended sample observing and choice-response requirements may be necessary, they are not sufficient to produce generalized identity matching in pigeons.
Can Differential Sample-Response Patterns Become Members of Acquired Equivalence Classes?
PETER URCUIOLI (Purdue University), Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Differential sample responding is known to provide additional cue for choice in pigeons’ matching-to-sample. The experiments we will report ask whether or not two distinct sample-response patterns will join separate acquired equivalence classes if, in training, each pattern serves as one sample in a many-to-one (comparison-as-node) relation. Transfer-of-control assessments of the type commonly used to assess acquired equivalence in non-human animals revealed little or no evidence for class formation that included these response patterns as members, even though the differential patterns provided a cue for comparison choice.
Symposium #428
Strategies for Improving Accuracy and Retention of Physical Crisis Intervention Techniques
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Williford C (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robert L. Shapiro (HMEA)
Discussant: Robert L. Shapiro (HMEA)
Abstract: Adequate training in physical crisis management is a crucial component in ensuring the safety of people supported by human services agencies and the staff working with this population. Once crisis management techniques are acquired and can be implemented effectively, it becomes critical to ensure that techniques are implemented accurately at times temporally distant from the initial training. Providing adequate training and ensuring retention reduces the risk of injury to staff and those supported. This symposium focuses on different strategies for enhancing technique acquisition, and explores the degree of technique degradation over time. The topics considered include using information gained on rate of degradation to determine the optimal interval at which to provide retraining or recertification; using video self-modeling to provide remedial training and periodic review; and using extrastimulus prompts to improve the topography of techniques during initial training. The implications of using these strategies in an applied setting, where resources are limited and the population to be trained is increasingly diverse, are discussed.
Training Staff in Restraint: A Closer Look at the Accuracy and Latency of Response
Abstract: The current emphasis on educating children in the least restrictive environment brings the management of behaviors and the use of restraint techniques to the public school system. Professional training programs, such as Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, are used nationwide to train de-escalation and proper restraint procedures. In most settings, direct care staff are trained annually to ensure the safety of staff and student. During practical application, the use of these techniques is restricted to emergency situations. Thus, the opportunity for practice and feedback to guide the safety of these strategies may be lacking. Little is known about staff retention of technique, especially in settings where the frequency of use is low. In this study, a follow-up measure looking at the accuracy and latency of staff response was taken at one-month, six-month and one-year intervals post training. Performance feedback and simulation training were used to increase the accuracy and latency of staff responses. The performance of staff who received systematic feedback and practice in a simulated setting was compared to the original training group in an attempt to explore what parameters of training are needed.
Improving Retention Rates of Physical Crisis Intervention Strategies through the use of Video Self-Modeling
SUSAN O'SHEA (Simmons College), Robert L. Shapiro (HMEA)
Abstract: Although some human service environments require physical crisis intervention on a regular basis, interventions of this nature are typically implemented infrequently. This limited use often results in technique degradation over time. This is often demonstrated during the annual recertification process, where human services staff regularly requires reinstruction before successfully completing required techniques. This degradation increases the risk of injury to staff and the people we support. Video Self-Modeling has been implemented successfully to both teach new skills through the use of Video Feed Forward and to improve the efficiency or efficacy of already existing skills through the use of Positive Self-Review. The use of Positive Self-Review allows for viewing an image of yourself completing the activity/technique appropriately multiple times. Using a multiple-baseline across subjects design this research compares retention rates of subjects first without access to video positive self-review and then with access. A comparison is made of retention rates as well as improvement of skills upon onset of implementation of the intervention. Successful results offer an option for efficient and cost-effective training, which could be implemented without requiring additional trainer presence.
Using Visual Prompts to Enhance Accuracy in Implementation of Physical Crisis Management Techniques
Abstract: The use of physical crisis management techniques is a critical component in effectively supporting people who engage in potentially dangerous behavior. It affords staff with non-injurious, pain-free methods to be used within a hierarchy of least-restrictive interventions for diffusing hazardous situations and ensuring the safety of all involved. Accurate implementation of these techniques is critical to ensure safety and reduce the risk of injury and/or pain for all involved. This study investigated the use of visual extrastimulus prompts in the form of highlighting trainer body parts to cue proper location for learner foot and hand placement within the context of a five-day physical crisis intervention training program and a one-day physical crisis intervention recertification program. A multiple baseline design was utilized to demonstrate a functional relationship, with interobserver reliability of 95%. The implications of utilizing visual prompts in this teaching format are discussed, including efficiency of training and likely outcomes in actual crisis situations.
Symposium #429
Teaching Contextualism & Contextualistic Teaching: Philosophy, RFT, & ACT in the Teaching of Psychology
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Laura Ely (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Thomas L. Sharpe, Jr. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: Learning to see human behavior at the individual level, and at the broader level of the science of psychology, from a contextual perspective is fundamental to understanding Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This contextual perspective is also useful in developing an understanding of all the various theories and activities within the broad field of psychology. In addition to learning contextualism as a concept and its application to the activities within psychology, ACT techniques can inform teaching in ways that allow students to observe and experience their own behaviors from this perspective. With these techniques, teaching and learning move from focusing on the content of a course to focusing on the context within which students learn and teachers teach.
A Contextualistic Teaching Strategy: Teaching Psychology Students to Know the Knower
LAURA ELY (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: We propose a method for teaching psychology which serves to heighten students' awareness of both the content of psychological theories and of the context in which those theories emerge. Introductory level psychology students can be taught an extremely simplified version of the four basic models of philosophy of science advanced in Steven Pepper's World Hypotheses (1942/1970). When this is accomplished, all subsequent content may be scrutinized in terms of the perspective from which that instance of psychological theorizing is being carried out. This activity lends itself, quite naturally, to somewhat skeptical attitudes on the part of the students. If a given researcher can be said to be asking a question, students are trained to ask questions about the activity of the questioner (i.e., asking metaquestions). This teaching method also lends itself to more general questions about the knower (psychological theorists in this instance), as students are trained to never accept the "facts" at face value, but to always investigate the perspective of the knower. I suggest that in identifying and describing the philosophical ground upon which much accepted theorizing stands, questions about other contextual variables (e.g., social, cultural, gender biases) naturally emerge. Through this process, students can gain a richer understanding of the data produced by, as well as of the process of doing, psychological science.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in an Academic Setting
CATHERINE H. ADAMS (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been used to treat a variety of clinical phenomena (Bach & Hayes, 2002; Wilson, unpublished; Dahl, Wilson, & Nilsson, in press). However, only recently has ACT been used to address educational issues, such as poor grades, test anxiety, and poor study skills (Wilson & Ely, unpublished). Many academic difficulties present themselves as skills deficits. Treatments for skills deficits have traditionally been skills training. However, following the provision of skills training, presenting difficulties often still exist and may be related to motivation. From an ACT perspective, the solution to motivational struggles is values and valued-driven goals. The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss data collected from an undergraduate Abnormal Psychology course. During the first half of the semester, course content was directly trained via lectures and group activities. During the second half, however, ACT techniques were applied to service the value of changing the stigma of the mentally ill, without focus on course content. We will present data regarding differences between halves.ReferencesBach, P. & Hayes, S.C. (2002). The use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to prevent the rehospitalization of psychotic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70 (5), 1129-1139.Dahl, J., Wilson, K. G., & Nilsson, A. (in press). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the treatment for persons at risk for long-term disability resulting from stress and pain symptoms: A preliminary randomized trial. Behavior Therapy.Wilson, K.G. (1998). Relational stimulus control in substance abuse. Unpublished dissertation.Wilson, K.G. & Ely, L. J. (in progress). ACT for academic success. Unpublished.
Teaching RFT with RFT: Emphasizing Relations Among Abstract Concepts in an Online Tutorial
ERIC J. FOX (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavioral approaches to concept learning have traditionally focused on generalization within and discrimination between stimulus classes. This view has led to powerful instructional strategies emphasizing multiple-exemplar training and classification performance. There are limitations to relying solely on categories or stimulus classes to account for how a word or concept is used in natural language settings, however. This can be particularly true for complex abstract concepts that are defined more by verbal relations than the physical properties of their instances. The research on derived stimulus relations and relational frame theory (RFT) would suggest a general shift in emphasis from categories and stimulus classes to multiple stimulus relations and contextual control. Several strategies that go beyond classification training and emphasize multiple stimulus relations have been offered in the educational literature. These include teaching with analogies, providing inference practice, and using concept maps or hierarchical diagrams of the instructional content. This study examined the effects these newer strategies, both alone and in combination with traditional classification training, have on three different measures of concept learning (definition identification, classification, and application). A Web-based tutorial on RFT served as the instructional content, and over 200 undergraduate and graduate psychology students served as participants.
Symposium #430
Int'l Symposium - Teaching Strategies for Children with Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental C (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Geraldine Leader (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The following selection of papers outline teaching strategies for chidlren with sutism spectrum disorder. They range from interventions that increase the use of verbal operants to behavior management procedures such as DRO and self-management, to the use of equivalence procedures to teach money skills. Treatment interventions and procedures will be discussed
Pairing Mand and Tact Operants to Increase Pure Tacts and Autoclitics
OLIVE HEALY (CABAS Ireland), Claire E. Egan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Eva Sheehy Perera (CABAS Ireland), Geraldine Leader (National University of Ireland, Galway), Sharon E. Baxter (CABAS Ireland)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of pairing mand and tact operants on the frequency of pure tacts and autoclitics in generalized contexts. Participants were trained to tact, using a set of 4 autoclitics frames, and then mand, in response to establishing operations contrived by the instructor. Participants were taught each autoclitic frame, using modeling, and were trained to mastery criterion. Once mastery was achieved, students were taught to tact using a new autoclitic frame. The study was a multiple baseline design across participants, and measured the total number of pure tacts and autoclitics in generalized contexts. Results showed an increase in tacts and autoclitics for some of the participants.
Assessing the Effects of a DRO and Self-Management
CLAIRE E. EGAN (National University of Ireland, Galway), Olive Healy (CABAS Ireland), Geraldine Leader (National University of Ireland, Galway), Sharon E. Baxter (CABAS Ireland)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of a DRO, a self-management procedure, and the two procedures combined, on the frequency of assaults for a student with autism. An A-B-A-B-BC-B-BC multiple treatment reversal design was used to determine the effects of each condition on the daily frequency of instances of assaults. Baseline conditions (A) involved no treatment for assaults. Condition ‘B’ examined the effects of a DRO only. In condition ‘BC’ a DRO with a self-management procedure was used. A discussion of the controlling variables for the frequency of assaults under each condition is provided.
Teaching Money Skills Using the Matching-to-Sample Training Procedure
GERALDINE LEADER (National University of Ireland, Galway), Siobhan Dowling (National University of Ireland, Galway), Olive Healy (CABAS Ireland), Harry A. Mackay (E.K. Shriver Center), Claire E. Egan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The first phase of this thesis will involve investigating the utility of the matching-to-sample training procedure in establishing monetary equivalence. The stimuli will consist of real Irish Coins, corresponding printed words and symbols. In the first stage of this experiment the matching-to-sample training procedure will be used to establish two three-member equivalence classes (A1B1C1 and A2B2C2). In this instance A1 denotes the symbol €1, B1 the printed word “euro”, and C1, the euro coin. Similarly A2 denotes the symbol 10C, B2 the printed words “ten cent” and C3, the ten cent coin. In subsequent stages of this experiment the matching-to-sample training procedure will be used to gradually increase class size to include D1(two fifty cent coins), D2 (two five cent coins), E1(ten, ten cent coins), E2 (ten, one cent coins), F1(twenty 5 cent coins) and F2 (five, two cent coins). Equivalence tests will be followed by tests for generalisation. Generalisation tests will involve simple requests “give me a euro coin”. Following the successful use of the matching-to-sample procedure to produce momentary equivalence the procedure will be replicated with other coin combinations.
Assessing the Effects of a Relaxation Procedure on Assaults
SHARON E. BAXTER (CABAS Ireland), Claire E. Egan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Olive Healy (CABAS Ireland)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of a relaxation procedure on the number of assaults by 2 students with autism. Relaxation training was taught in neutral contexts, and involved the participants responding to the instruction ‘Relax’ by sitting down, putting head down, and counting to 20 taking deep breaths. Participants were taught to perform each step using modelling, and were trained to mastery criterion. Once mastery was achieved, students were taught to respond to ‘relax’ in response to setting events and antecedents that had previously evoked assaults. The baseline and treatment conditions measured the total daily frequency of assaults. Results showed that the relaxation procedure resulted in a decrease in total daily assaults.
Symposium #431
Technological Advancements in the Research of Repetitive Behavior Disorders: Implications for Treatment
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Private Dining Room 1 (3rd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amanda C. Adcock (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Discussant: Michael Twohig (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Due to the low prevalence rates of a variety of repetitive behavior disorders, the field of psychology and more specifically, behavior analysts have been forced to explore new options for data collection. One of these new avenues for data collection come from the use of the Internet to collect descriptive data that would otherwise be almost impossible to attain. Data will be presented from two Internet studies looking at Trichotillomainia (TTM) and Chronic Skin Picking (CSP). The use of the negative reinforcement model of chronic skin picking will be discussed with data presented from a computer programmed task examining impulse control in persons with CSP and TTM.
Antecedent Phenomena Associated with Trichotillomania: Research and Treatment Implications from an Online Study
CHAD WETTERNECK (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Douglas W. Woods (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Chris A. Flessner (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Melissa Norberg (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Andrea Bogotka (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Trichotillomania (TTM) involves hair pulling that results in noticeable hair loss. Recent reports of prevalence indicate that TTM is more common than once perceived, but occurs less frequently than most other mental health disorders. The low prevalence rate, in combination with the secretive nature of the disorder, makes the behavior difficult to study. Previous investigations of TTM have concluded that hair pulling has an escape or avoidance function. This process has been termed experiential avoidance (e.g., unhealthy efforts to escape or avoid private events) and has been found to correlate with TTM severity. To date, there is no empirical data to clearly demonstrate which private events may precede hair pulling. The present paper displays the similarities in demographic and TTM-related characteristics between a large internet sample of hair pullers (N = 381) with that of two smaller samples, one nonreferred (N = 36) and one from a clinic (N = 31), who met individually with interviewers. The internet sample also reported on the presence of antecedent phenomena. The relationship between antecedent phenomena, TTM severity, and experiential avoidance, as well as implications for treatment of TTM will be discussed.
Internet Use and its Implications for the Research of Repetitive Behavior Disorders: Chronic Skin Picking (CSP)
CHRIS A. FLESSNER (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Douglas W. Woods (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: With the advent of the internet, opportunities to incorporate new technology into behavioral research have grown exponentially. This new technology has allowed researchers to obtain increasing amounts of data regarding a variety of mental health concerns in a fraction of the time typically required. The internet has proven particularly helpful with regards to the study of repetitive behavior disorders, particularly with regards to the study of Trichotillomania (TTM) and CSP. Several organizations concerned with the research and treatment of TTM and CSP have developed internet sites designed to update clinicians, researchers, and consumers about new research and treatment studies underway throughout the United States. The purpose of this talk is to examine and evaluate a web-based survey designed to provide a glimpse into the phenomenology of CSP. Results will be discussed with regards to 100 individuals completing this web-based survey over a two-month period. Implications for the further development of behavioral interventions for CSP (and related repetitive behavior disorders), the limitations of web-based methodology, and possible avenues of future research will be discussed.
A Negative Reinforcement Model of Delay Discounting: Implications for the Clinical Research of Trichotillomania (TTM) and Chronic Skin Picking (CSP
DOUGLAS W. WOODS (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Chris A. Flessner (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Michael B. Himle (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Impulse-control is central to a number of psychological disorders including pathological gambling, substance abuse, and trichotillomania (TTM). Although numerous theoretical accounts of impulsivity have been proposed, the delay-discounting model has received the most extensive empirical support and has important implications for understanding maladaptive human behavior. The delay discounting model defines impulsivity as the choice of a smaller, immediate reward over a larger, delayed reward when the delayed reward is clearly of greater magnitude Most of the existing literature examining delay discounting utilizes methodology characteristic of a positive reinforcement model of human behavior. However, this methodology may not accurately reflect the function of hair pulling or skin picking for individuals with TTM or CSP. The aim of the current study is to develop and validate a methodology representative of a negative reinforcement model of human behavior and, in particular, to develop a methodology more characteristic of the experiences of individuals with TTM or CSP. This talk will focus on both the development and validation of this methodology, based upon data collected from controls, and continue with the presentation of data collected from individuals diagnosed with TTM and/or CSP.
Paper Session #432
Theory, Concept, and Data in OBM
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Joliet (3rd floor)
Area: OBM
Chair: Jeanne Marshall (University of Nevada, Reno)
Everything You Know About OBM Is Wrong: Part II
Domain: Applied Research
JASON T. OTTO (Greene Valley Developmental Center), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: AKA: OBM and the Three-contingency Model of Performance Management—Part II. This review of OBM articles in JABA suggests that the three-contingency model of performance management can facilitate the analysis of the relevant contingencies in OBM research. The model 1) identifies the natural contingencies that fail to support the behavior of interest and explains why they fail, 2) points out the aversive nature of most indirect-acting, performance-management contingencies in OBM and suggests those which will be most effective, 3) shows how an inferred, direct-acting contingency is needed to explain the effectiveness of most OBM performance-management contingencies, and 4) points to the importance in of rule-governance in most OBM contingencies (i.e., those with delayed outcomes).
Effects of Superior’s Power Reduction on Superior-Subordinate Interaction Rates: Theory and Data
Domain: Theory
THOMAS C. MAWHINNEY (University of Detroit Mercy)
Abstract: Four all-male superior-subordinate dyads exchanged reinforcements via button presses by the superior and trigger pulls by the subordinate that resulted in each receiving points worth money within a laboratory paradigm created by Rao and Mawhinney (1991) and validated by Mawhinney (In press). The four dyads where not entirely independent in that two superiors interacted with two different subordinates but both interacted, at different times, with another, third, subordinate. The current paradigm and conditions differed from the previous ones (referenced above) in that superiors could both give points and take them away from subordinates while subordinates could, under a low superior power condition, in concurrent schedule fashion, alternate between interacting with superiors or responding to a second trigger alternative that operated an FI-10 sec. 1.5 cent reinforcement schedule. As expected, presence of the FI alternative (low superior power condition) clearly reduced superiors’ abilities to maintain maximal rates of subordinate responding in three of the four dyads. However, one superior failed to reliably control subordinate response rates of his “independent” subordinate under either the high or low superior power condition. Results are discussed in terms of various concepts of social power and their implications for the practice of OBM.
Self-Monitoring: A Review of the Literature and Critical Analysis of the Issues
Domain: Applied Research
JEANNE MARSHALL (University of Nevada, Reno), Cristin D. Harrison (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to review the use of self-monitoring as an option to maintain the performance of targeted skills in the workplace. While it is extremely challenging for small agencies and schools to provide the level of supervision that is necessary to maintain training effects, it is clear from the research that performance feedback is a critical component to include in training and feedback packages. This paper reviews the literature on both performance feedback and self-monitoring as a special case. To date, there is no review of self-monitoring procedures in the behavioral literature, and as a result, this very viable strategy does not get the attention that is warranted. There are a great number of reasons including efficiency, low-cost, and low effort that make it an ideal tool for supplanting staff supervision and feedback procedures. An analysis of effective components and variations to the procedure will be discussed as well as future directions for research and implementation.
Invited Paper Session #434
Arranging Contingencies to Support Important and Useful Research in Education
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Williford C (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Daniel E. Hursh, Ph.D.
Chair: Daniel E. Hursh (West Virginia University)
GROVER J. WHITEHURST (Institute of Education Sciences, DOE)
Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first Director of the Institute of Education Sciences, established within the U.S. Department of Education by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002. The Institute conducts, supports and disseminates research on education practices that improve academic achievement, statistics on the condition of education in the United States, and evaluations of the effectiveness of federal and other education programs. Whitehurst previously served as assistant secretary for the office of educational research and improvement. In that role he established the What Works Clearinghouse, initiated new programs of research such as those in reading comprehension and preschool curriculum, upgraded the rigor of scientific peer review and promoted the use of scientific evidence throughout the Department. Just prior to beginning federal service, he was Leading Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics and Chairman of the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Born and reared in Washington, North Carolina Whitehurst received his undergraduate degree at East Carolina University, and a Ph.D. in experimental child psychology in 1970 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is married with two children.
Abstract: Education policy and practice are not grounded in evidence. Instead, personal experience, ideology, and social consensus are frequently relied on, and the research base is inadequate and little used. The Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education was established by Congress in 2002 to strengthen research on education, and to disseminate reliable research findings to education practitioners, policy makers, and the general public. This requires transforming education into an evidence-based field. What are the systems that support current behavior? What is the design of a system that would produce wide and deep behavior change among the producers and consumers of education research? How should that system be implemented? This presentation addresses these questions and describes what the Institute is doing to enhance the supply of rigorous and relevant research, to increase demand for that research, and to provide tools that make research findings accessible and useable.
Paper Session #435
OBM in Human Service Settings
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Joliet (3rd floor)
Area: OBM
Chair: Jamie Waldvogel (Southern Illinois University)
Rearranging the Contingencies of Reinforcement in a Shelter Home
Domain: Applied Research
ANTHONY C. STOVER (Behavior Analysis & Therapy, Inc.), Stephen P. Starin (Behavior Analysis & Therapy, Inc.)
Abstract: The study consisted of a two-part training with a follow-up component to increase the probability of maintenance and generalization. The first training consisted of a standardized course focusing on the prevention of severe problem behaviors and placement disruptions among dependent children. Results of the first training displayed continuous inconsistencies in the implementation of the shelter’s level system and continuous reliance on delivering chore cards instead of tokens. The second training consisted of the re-training of the level system and implementation based on the principles of behavior. Results displayed an increase in client performance, performance levels, and consistent distribution of tokens along with a decrease in opportunities to deliver chore cards. A follow-up component was initiated to maintain the behaviors and generalize the procedures to new staff. Results indicated maintenance and generalization across time, staff, and clients.
Preference and Reinforcer Assessments with Direct Care Staff in a Human Service Agency
Domain: Service Delivery
JAMIE WALDVOGEL (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The present study compared two variations of stimulus preference assessments: a survey in which direct service employees ranked their preferences for a variety of items, and a multiple stimulus preference assessments without replacement (MSWO), in which textual cues were used to represent the items. Results obtained for 3 participants revealedsimilar preference hierarchies across each type of stimulus preference assessment for two of the three participants, with one participant demonstrating variations in her preference hierarchy during the MSWO, when compared with the ranking survey. Subsequent reinforcer assessments revealed that, for two of three participants, both the most and least preferred items functioned as reinforcers for job performance, resulting in better performance when compared to initial levels observed during baseline. Subsequent reversals to baseline conditions failed to produce predicted decreases in performance suggesting that natural contingencies, the presence of the observer, or both may have sustained high levels of job performance.
Paper Session #436
Using Physical Activity to Promote Effective Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC
Chair: Suneeta Kercood (Butler University)
The Effects of Yoga Practice on Motor Planning Ability and on Auditory Processing Skills
Domain: Applied Research
LINA SLIM-TOPDJIAN (A Step Ahead Program, Child Development Clinic), Anjalee S. Nirgudkar (A Step Ahead Program, Child Development Clinic)
Abstract: The current study investigates the effects of the practice of yoga postures on motor planning ability and auditory processing skills. Motor planning ability is defined as the ability to accurately and fluently carry-out the sequence of events in a motor task, without interruption, within 3 sec. of the vocal antecedent. Auditory processing is defined as the ability to hear the vocal instruction and demonstrate understanding of the information heard by executing the corresponding behavior or motor task, completely. The experimental design used is a single-subject pre- and post-design. Preliminary results indicate a trend toward increased ability to accurately and fluently complete a motor task, and improved ability to comprehend aurally presented vocal antecedents, following a yoga practice regiment. This study will be useful in the treatment of children with special needs.
The Effects of Fine Motor Tactile Stimulation on the Problem Solving of Students with ADHD in Visual and Auditory Tasks
Domain: Basic Research
SUNEETA KERCOOD (Butler University), Janice A. Grskovic (Indiana University Northwest), Arlene M. Hall (Murry State University)
Abstract: Humans have a biologically determined level of optimal stimulation, and when there is insufficient stimulation, will initiate stimulation-seeking activity to create a state of homeostasis (Hebb, 1955). Students with ADHD exhibit increased verbalizations, motor activity, and lower levels of sustained attention during routine repetitive tasks (Zentall & Zentall, 1983). Use of large muscle activity, such has running (Bass, 1983), and fine motor activity (Grskovic et al., 2004) resulted in increases in sustained attention and reduction in excessive motor and problem behavior of students with ADHD. This study evaluated the effectiveness of fine motor physical activity with a tactile stimulation object during two conditions of math problem solving, visual and auditory. Eight 4th and 5th grade students with ADHD participated. Using an alternating treatments design, students solved math story problems, presented on worksheets or verbally during two conditions, with and without a tactile stimulation object (squoosh ball). Students were asked to solve as many problems as they could during a 20 minute time period. Motor behavior, recorded from videotape, and number of correctly completed word problems were measured. Results suggest, that fine motor manipulation of a tactile stimulation object reduced excessive motor movement and increased task completion of students with ADHD).
Symposium #437
185 Days of Applied Behavior Analysis: Applying the Principles of Behavior Analysis in a Public School Setting
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 5 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Leslie R. Lesko (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Applied behavior Analysis plays a very important role in education. This is perhaps most apparent in special education settings where students have a range of challenging conditions that interfere with their ability to learn and adapt to their environment. This symposium highlights four experienced special educators daily, full-time use of applied behavior analysis to address a variety of persistent and challenging behaviors in their students. These teachers work in a public school day program with students identified with special education classifications, including autism and cognitive impairment. They will illustrate their use of ABA's principles and procedures through several data-based case examples: (a) behavioral shaping to increase a student's acceptance of basic medical procedures, (b) self-monitoring to train quality control at a community work site, (c) promoting compliance through reinforcer selection, and (d) developing functionally equivalent alternative adaptive responses. The symposium presenters will also discuss ABA's role in their work as special educators and it possible future direction among such professionals.
Shaping for Success: Teaching Tolerance of Basic Medical Procedures in a Student with Autism
EDEL J. BLAKE (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Students with autism often have difficulties coping with everyday activities and demands including regular medical and dental appointments. Behavioral shaping has a long history of being used with such students to develop skills needed to successfully negotiate medical procedures, (e.g. Blake 2003). Candice, the fifteen-year-old student presented here, exhibited a range of tantruming behaviors when confronted with with typical medical procedures in and outside of school. For example, Candice would push the school nurse and other classroom staff, shout and then turn way from the thermometer or bandages. The behavioral shaping procedure instituted with her sought to help her (a) to accept routine medical procedures, (e.g. taking temperature, wound care), while in a classroom setting, and (b) to accept routine procedures when seen at the school nurse's office or in a community medical facility. The behavioral procedure was used in two phases; first, Candice's compliance with school-based medical procedures was developed, and then her compliance with and acceptance of medical treatment in a community medical facility was acquired. Candice's data illustrate the effectiveness and durability of behavioral shaping.
Self-Monitoring for Quality Control: A Community-Based Vocational Program for a Student with Autism
SHANNON PALMER (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program), Leslie R. Lesko (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program), Marissa Krisak (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Don is a fourteen-year-old student with autism who is served in a self-contained classroom at a 9th Grade public school campus. Although he uses speech to communicate, Don's communication is supplemented by the use of a picture exchange system. When working at a local movie theater, Don was able to complete the steps of a given sequence but failed to monitor for quality control. More specifically, Don's job was to wipe all surfaces of counters and cabinets with a soapy wet cloth. Don could independently complete the steps of the cleaning sequence but he failed to visually inspect the surface for any debris that remained. In order to increase Don's attention to the quality rather than the quantity of steps completed, his educational team developed a plan that utilized error correction strategies and differential reinforcement of higher rates of the desired behavior, (i.e. self-monitored quality control). The intervention consisted of a visually presented, interval-based token system where Don recieved feedback at two minute intervals. The intent of this procedure was to shape the student's self-monitoring of quality control.
Promoting Compliance Through Reinforcer Selection: A Treatment to Decrease Maladaptive Behavior and Promote Peer Acceptance
HOPE F. STOECKEL (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Students with cognitive disabilities often have difficulties forming peer relationships. Tom, an eighteen-year-old student with the special education classification of adaptive cognitive disability, had a long history of behavioral problems and adaptive skill deficits. Tom exhibited a range of maladaptive behaviors that were targeted in his Individual Education Plan, they included; (i) Verbal protest, (ii) Throwing objects, (iii) Aggression. Any attempts to redirect Tom escalated his behavior so that an aggression occurred. Tom's behavior alienated him from his classmates and his general education peer mentors. Following the completion of a functional behavior assessment, Tom's educational team developed an alternating treatment design that implemented a response-cost and response-independent-consequence program to increase compliance and decrease Tom's rate of maladaptive behaviors. Within a month of the plan implementation Tom's behavior improved to the point where he became more approachable in conversation with peers and staff.
Utilizing Functionally Equivalent Alternative Responses to Decrease Aberrant Behaviors
LINDA J. ROMANOWSKI (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program), Jo Carol Hawthorne (Sussex Consortium - Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Children with the classification of autism have problems communicating their needs to others. As a result many children will use any means necessary to "tell" others what they want or need. Communication often comes in the form of a maladaptive behaviors such as a child hitting himself out of frustration because he lacks the ability to request help from another person. This study will outline the successful use of functional communication training to teach students how to gain attention, escape a situation or obtain an item in an appropriate manner (i.e. without engaging in aberrant behaviors). The communication system utilized was a picture exchange system. Functional communication training is the foundation of many alternative responses to aberrant behavior. In this study, as the use of communication increases the rate of aberrant behavior is inversely affected.
Symposium #439
Advances in Behavioral Assessment and Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior in Children with Biologically-Based Disorders
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 2 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Patricia F. Kurtz (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Neurological and genetic disorders are often characterized not only by their genotype and phenotype, but also by the presence of overt behaviors. Some neurological and genetic disorders have as a defining clinical feature the presence of severe problem behavior, such as self-injurious tongue biting associated with Lesch-Nyhan. Though the behaviors displayed by these individuals likely have a neurological/biological etiology, some research suggests that these behaviors may be equally responsive to behavioral interventions as behaviors that have been more clearly shaped by the individual’s environment. In this symposium, four applied researchers will present work related to extending behavior analysis towards the treatment of severe problem behavior exhibited by individuals diagnosed with a medical condition where behavior problems are a defining clinical feature. One presenter will describe the utility of a simplified Habit Reversal treatment to decrease SIB associated with a sensory neuropathy. The next presenter will describe the treatment of severe problem behavior in a child with CHARGE syndrome. The third presenter will describe the treatment of severe aggression associated with Cornelia de Lange syndrome. The final presentation will summarize the assessment and treatment of self-injury and other problem behaviors in a group of children with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome.
The Treatment of Automatically-Maintained Self-Injury in a Child with Congenital Sensory Neuropathy.
DAVID E. KUHN (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Louis P. Hagopian (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Cindy T. Terlonge (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Behavioral treatments for self-injurious behavior (SIB) are generally developed based on the identified function of the behavior. Individuals whose behavior produces some change in his/her environment can learn to communicate appropriately to effect that change (e.g., FCT), or that change can be made independent of the individual’s behavior (e.g., NCR). When the contingency maintaining the behavior is hypothesized to be access to sensory stimulation, treatment options change to increasing levels of stimulation in the environment and/or implementing procedures to interrupt or prevent the behavior (e.g., protective helmet, response blocking), because the exact type of stimulation is unknown. However, for behaviors hypothesized to attenuate a painful sensation, treatment options are typically pharmacological in nature, in an attempt to reduce the pain. The current study describes a 10-year-old boy diagnosed with a Congenital Sensory Neuropathy who displayed severe SIB hypothesized to be maintained by the attenuation of a perceived itching sensation. Following a functional analysis and treatment evaluation with response blocking and competing items, a simplified Habit Reversal treatment was evaluated and found to be very effective. This treatment involved awareness training, self-monitoring, differential reinforcement, and engagement in incompatible activities. Treatment effects were generalized from 10min sessions to across the day.
Behavioral Treatment of Problem Behaviors in a Child with CHARGE Syndrome
KYONG-MEE CHUNG (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), SungWoo Kahng (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Anna E. Chirighin (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kate Litman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: CHARGE is a congenital disorder and an acronym for the constellation of medical problems that define this syndrome: coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of growth or development, genital hypoplasia, and ear malformation. The number of children diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome is increasing, and several studies have reported that children with CHARGE syndrome exhibit multiple behavioral problems (e.g., repetitive behaviors, non-compliance, and social skills deficits) and educational problems. Yet, no effective treatment has been identified for problem behaviors associated with this syndrome. In this study, principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) were used to decrease self-injurious and disruptive behaviors for a 5-year old boy with CHARGE syndrome. The results of a functional behavior analysis indicated that SIB was maintained by sensory stimulation and access to social attention, and disruptive behavior was maintained by avoidance of task demands. 96% and 30% reductions in SIB and disruptive behavior respectively were achieved after implementation of the treatment package developed based on results from FBA. Additional application of ABA principles to other problem behaviors related to CHARGE syndrome (e.g., non-compliance wearing hearing aides, breathing mask, brushing teeth, and feeding) will be briefly discussed.
Behavioral Treatment of an Adolescent Female with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
MELANIE DUBARD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Louis P. Hagopian (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdL) is a congenital syndrome that affects 1:10,000 to 1:30,000 live births. Children diagnosed with CdL have a range of clinical features from short stature to hirsutism. They also have impairments in growth and development, speech and language, hearing, and vision; dental problems; orthopedic and gastro-intestinal problems; and behavior problems. Although self-injury is the behavior most commonly associated with CdL, 41.9% of children with CdL also have aggression on a daily basis. Julie was referred for the assessment and treatment of aggressive behavior. She also presented with social skills deficits and verbal perseverations, both of which are common to children with CdL. Treatment for Julie’s aggression consisted of a combination of medical and behavioral treatments. The behavioral intervention included differential reinforcement plus extinction and response cost, social skills training, noncontingent attention and redirection of verbalizations. This intervention resulted in an 80% reduction in behavior from baseline. Interobserver agreement data were collected for a minimum of 33% of sessions with at least 80% reliability.
Assessment and Treatment of Aberrant Behaviors in Children with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome
JULIA T. O'CONNOR (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome (SLOS) is a complex genetic disorder caused by a metabolic error in cholesterol metabolism. Children with SLOS have clinical features including dysmorphic features, multiple congenital anomalies, failure to thrive and developmental delay. In addition, there are also CNS malformations including holoprosencephaly, congenital heart disease, cleft palate and renal malformations. The most common behavioral characteristics of children with SLOS include irritability, poor attention span, self-injurious behaviors and autism (Tierney, Nwokoro, Porter, Freund, Ghuman & Kelley, 2001). In the current study, 11 children with SLOS participated in behavioral assessment and treatment of problem behavior. Approximately 82% displayed self-injurious behaviors, while 54.5% displayed aggressive behaviors. A case example will be provided for one of these children, Allen. Functional analysis procedures (Iwata et al., 1982/1994) were used to determine the environmental contingencies maintaining Allen’s self-injury, aggression, and disruptive behaviors. A behavioral treatment resulted in a 96.3% reduction in problem behavior from baseline in the divided attention condition and 99% reduction in the demand situation. Interobserver agreement data were collected for a 44% of the attention sessions averaging 98% and for 32% of the demand sessions averaging 95%.
Symposium #440
Behavioral Persistence: Basic Findings and Applied Implications
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
International South (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: William V. Dube (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Maintenance can be conceptualized as a behavior's persistence under challenge. Behavioral momentum theoriy posits that distinct processes influce acquisition and maintenance of behavior. Although much is known about the influence of reinforcement on behavioral acquisition, less is known about the influence of reinforcement and stimulus control on maintenance. Three papers will be presented in this symposium, one basic, one basic human operant, and one applied to address some recent questions pertaining to the influence of schedules of reinforcement and stimulus control on behavioral persistence.
Resistance to Change and Preference for Fixed Versus Variable Response Sequences
RANDOLPH C. GRACE (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Dien Le (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Abstract: In Experiment 1 we attempted to replicate Doughty and Lattal’s (2001) result that resistance to change was greater for variable than repetitive response sequences. Pigeons responded in a two-component chain schedule in which repetitive or variable four-peck response sequences were reinforced in the terminal links. In the ‘repeat’ component, only left-right-left-right (LRLR) response sequences were reinforced, whereas in the ‘vary’ component sequences were reinforced provided that the weighted relative frequency of the sequence was low. The overall rate of reinforcement between the components was equated. After baseline training, resistance to change tests were conducted with prefeeding, response-independent food, and extinction as disruptors. Resistance to change was greater in the vary component for extinction and prefeeding tests, consistent with Doughty and Lattal (2001), but there were no systematic differences in the response-independent food test. In Experiment 2, pigeons responded in a concurrent-chains procedure in which the terminal links were identical to the repeat and vary components in Experiment 1. Relative reinforcement rate was changed across three conditions. Generalized matching analyses showed that response allocation was biased toward the variable alternative for all pigeons. These results show that pigeons prefer variable over fixed response sequences, and provide further support for the prediction of behavioral momentum theory (Nevin & Grace, 2000) that resistance to change and preference should be correlated.
The Influence of Magnitude of Reinforcement on Behavioral Persistence
ELLIE MAUEL (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Angel Jimenez (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
Abstract: Four adult female participants responded on a visual basic computer program designed to assess maintenance. During Phase I, a multiple schedule of concurrent reinforcement was held constant at VI 30 sec, while magnitude was varied across two components signaled by different colors (yellow and green). Responses on the left alternative produced a magnitude of 8 points and 2 points across respective components, while responses on the right alternative produced a magnitude of 1 point across both components. No points were delivered for any responses during the extinction phase that followed steady state responding. Based on the behavioral momentum literature, it was hypothesized that responding on the right alternative would persist more in the extinction component that had previously signaled the greater overall amount of reinforcement. Only two participants appeared to discriminate the differences in reinforcer magnitude across components. These participants’ right responses were more persistent in the component that signaled the greater magnitude of reinforcement during baseline training. The two participants whose baseline responding suggested that they did not discriminate the schedules across components did not show differences in persistence across components. Results are discussed in terms of the influence of magnitude of reinforcement on behavioral persistence. Implications for the study of behavioral maintenance are discussed.
The Influence of Stimulus-Reinforcer Relations on Behavioral Persistence
JENNIFER J. MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota), Ellie Mauel (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota), Joe Reichle (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Behavioral persistence depends prpimarily on the stimulus-reinforcer contingency signaled by a discriminative stimulus, with behavior most persistent in the presence of stimuli that signal relatively rich schedules of reinforcement. The present experiment was designed to test the influence of distinctive stimulus conditions on behavioral persistence. Multiple concurrent schedules were arranged in which both appropriate and destructive behavior produced reinforcement in the presence of different discriminative stimulus arrangements. Extinction responding was assessed across trained and novel stimulus arrangements. Results are discussed in terms of the influence of stimulus control on persistence or maintenance of behavior.
Paper Session #441
Int'l Paper Session - Clinical Behavior Analysis and Health Psychology
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Private Dining Room 1 (3rd floor)
Area: CBM
Chair: Tobias Lundgren (University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Clinical Behavior Analysis of Elevated Blood Pressure
Domain: Applied Research
MARTTI T. TUOMISTO (University of Tampere, Finland), Raimo Lappalainen (University of Tampere, Finland), Jyrki Ollikainen (University of Tampere, Finland)
Abstract: Circulation was regarded as a machine-like mechanic system in medicine for a century ago. Especially with the advent of behavioral medicine in the 70’s and 80’s it was understood that responses to environmental stimuli can both change and be changed in relation to cardiovascular responses primarily through the balance of the autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrinological functions. Some researchers (e.g., Engel, 1986) have maintained that circulation be treated as behavior (i.e., as any behavior) and explained using contingencies of survival and contingencies of reinforcement. Evidence exists that cardiovascular responses may be predicted and influenced through respondent (e.g., Fredrikson, Tuomisto, & Sundin, 1991), and operant conditioning, relational frames, and rule-governed behavior. According to this approach, cardiovascular responses such as blood pressure elevations are qualities of specific behavior (cf. emotions). Different cardiovascular-behavioral processes may be going on simultaneously and the same cardiovascular behavior may have different functions depending on the context in which it occurs. This significantly widens possibilities for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, disorders, and diseases compared to traditional surgical and drug treatment even without adding the possibilities of behavioral pharmacology. This perspective may include some basic concepts of cardiology and physiology. Such concepts are phylogenetic cardiovascular behavior and acquired physiological adjustments to pathological processes and diseases and they may be understood in terms of permanent physiological environment or establishing operations for cardiovascular and other behavior.Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for other cardiovascular problems and mortality. Clinical behavior analysis has been used in a few instances to understand and treat the problem. However, large-scale applied projects have not been undertaken even if cardiovascular diseases and hypertension are among the most costly and common problems in modern societies and behavior analysis has been a tremendous success in many areas of life. There are, however, positive signs that behavioral medicine and cardiology are advancing. We have, for instance, been able to predict hypertension and the need for antihypertensive medication (Tuomisto et al., in press) using standardized behavioral challenges in the laboratory. In our view, it is important that the great
Evaluation of a Brief Acceptance and Commitment-Based Behavior Therapy Model for the Treatment of Refractory Epilepsy in India and South Africa
Domain: Applied Research
TOBIAS LUNDGREN (University of Uppsala, Sweden), JoAnne Dahl (University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Abstract: Epileptic seizures can be traumatic, stigmatizing and disabling for the persons who have a tendency to seize. In the western countries, most persons with epilepsy will be given an anticonvulsant drug therapy which appears to reduce seizure frequency but also leaves a number of undesirable side-effects. In many non-western countries these drugs are far too expensive and unaccessable to most people. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a brief treatment model based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) applied on a group of people with refractory seizures in India and South Africa. The design of the study was a RCT ABC group design (n=48) with three conditions; ACT, Yoga and an attention control. The inclusion criteria for participation was: at least 4 seizures the last three months week, age 14 or older, no progressive disease and willing and able to participate in the study. Each condition consisted of one individual session, two group sessions followed by one more individual session. The ACT condition consisted of the treatment principles: Values identification, cognitive diffusion, exposure, commitment and behavior modification. The Yoga was based on 5 positions that stimulated the vagus nerve. The control group was given attention control based on acceptance and reflective listening. Treatment effects were measured by means of looking at life quality, experiential avoidance, seizure Index, Bulls-eye, EEG and blood serum levels. The result of the post and 6 months follow up showed a significant decrease in seizure index in the ACT group and the Yoga group compared to the attention control. There was also a significant increase in life quality and life function. The one year follow up will be presented at the conference.
Applying Behavior Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Eating Disorders and Obesity
Domain: Applied Research
RAIMO LAPPALAINEN (University of Tampere, Finland), Martti T. Tuomisto (Tampere University Hospital, Finland), Greta Turunen (University of Tampere, Finland), Elina Tuomisto (University of Tampere, Finland), Markku Ojanen (University of Tampere, Finland)
Abstract: Our aim is to present alternatives for the clinical application of behavioral analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in eating disorders and obesity. Examples will be given how behaviour analysis can be applied while the eating disorder subject is eating. Also, data of emotional and other reactions during the interviews will be summarised. Further, examples will be given how behavior analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can be applied to treatment of obesity. Data from a randomized trial of 232 subjects will be presented. Subjects were randomly divided either to ACT or non-ACT mini-interventions in order to develop a short-term treatment for obesity. Possibilities to develop mini-intervention of obesity based on behavior analytic principles will be discussed.
Symposium #442
Enhanced Milieu Teaching: A Hybrid (and Behavioral) Approach to Communication Intervention
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 1 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin)
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium will focus on the use of Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT) as a powerful communication intervention for young children with autism and other related developmental disabilities. EMT is comprised of 3 behavioral features: environmental arrangement, contingent reinforcement, and specific behavioral prompting called milieu teaching. EMT has been demonstrated to increase children’s vocabulary development and sentence length in children with language delays, including children with autism. The first paper will review the literature on several popular communication intervention strategies (e.g., Verbal Behavior, Milieu Teaching, Hanen, etc). The second paper will present the results of a study where parents were taught to implement Milieu Teaching to their young children. The third paper will present the results of a study where day care providers were taught to implement Milieu Teaching. The fourth and final paper will present the results of a study examining the effects of using Milieu Teaching to teach children to use voice output communication aids.
Critical Review of the Communication Intervention Literature
HSIAOYING CHEN (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: This paper will review the empirical evidence of several popular communication interventions in the field. These include Verbal Behavior, The Hanen Project, Milieu Teaching, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Each intervention will be described and then a brief summary of the research results will be presented.
The Effects of Training Korean Mothers to Implement Enhanced Milieu Teaching
HYUNG-MEE KIM (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin), Mark O'Reilly (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: This paper will review the results of a study where 4 Korean mothers were trained to use EMT with their preschoolers with language delays and/or autism. We analyzed our results using a multiple probe design across participants. All participants demonstrated an ability to implement the intervention and all children showed positive changes in their communication. Three of the 4 children generalized their communication to another adult.
The Effects of Training Child Care Providers to Implement Enhanced Milieu Teaching
NAYOUNG KONG (University of Texas, Austin), Melissa L. Olive (University of Texas, Austin), Mark O'Reilly (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: This paper will review the results of a study where 4 child care providers were trained to use EMT with preschoolers who demonstrated language delays and/or autism. This study adds to the literature because child care providers generally have lower levels of education and training. We hypothesize that they will be able to implement the intervention and that the children will show positive changes in their communication development. We will use a multiple probe design across participants to analyze our results.
The Effects of Using Enhanced Milieu Teaching on the Use of a Voice Output Communication Aid
MELISSA L. OLIVE (University of Texas, Austin), Christie Layton (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: This paper will review the results of a study where EMT strategies were used to teach 4 preschoolers with autism to use voice output communication aids (VOCA). A multiple probe design across children will be used to analyze the results of this study. To date, no studies have examined the use of EMT with assistive technology. This study will also contribute to the growing number of studies on communication intervention for young children with autism. We hypothesize that all 4 children will learn to use the device. We also expect that the results will generalize to the child’s parent.
Symposium #443
Extending the Effects of Negative Incentive Shifts: Pausing in Pigeons, Primates, and People
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Chad M. Galuska (University of Michigan)
Discussant: Gregory J. Madden (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: The current symposium includes research directed toward extending the finding that discriminable transitions from favorable to unfavorable conditions of reinforcement produced disruptions in behavior in the form of extended pausing on schedules of positive reinforcement. In the first set of experiments, rhesus monkeys paused for extended durations when in transition from a ratio schedule ending in a large dose of cocaine to a ratio schedule ending in a small dose. In the second set of experiments, pigeons’ pauses in the transitions from a rich to a lean schedule were modulated as the result of segmenting, or chaining, one of the two schedules. Finally, adult humans with mental retardation paused for extended durations in rich-to-lean transitions of monetary reinforcement, and this effect was attenuated when a timeout was imposed following reinforcement. Overall, the these data confirm that negative incentive shifts in reinforcement conditions may engender behavioral disruptions in populations as diverse as developmentally disabled persons and drug users, and suggests potential methods for attenuating these disruptions.
Fixed-Ratio Schedules of Cocaine Self-Administration in Rhesus Monkeys: Joint Control of Responding by Past and Signaled Upcoming Doses
CHAD M. GALUSKA (University of Michigan), Gary B. Duma (University of Michigan), Gail Winger (University of Michigan), James H. Woods (University of Michigan)
Abstract: Four rhesus monkeys self-administered cocaine according to a multiple fixed-ratio x fixed-ratio x schedule. Completion of the ratio in one component resulted in a small dose, while completion of the ratio in the other component resulted in a large dose. Components were arranged so that, following each infusion, there was an equal probability that the next dose would be large or small. This resulted in four types of transitions in which pauses were measured: From a small dose to a small dose; small to large; large to large; and large to small. The small and large doses varied across conditions (the large was always ten times that of the small) and at each dose comparison, ratio requirements ranging from 30 to 150 were investigated. At lower ratios and doses, pauses were brief and run rates were controlled by the upcoming dose. At larger ratios, pauses were pronounced, and run rates suppressed, in transitions from a large to a small dose. The behavioral disruption engendered by this transition occurred in all dose combinations investigated, but was attenuated at higher doses. The results suggest that negative discriminable shifts in drug availability may engender undesirable behavior among drug users in natural settings.
Pausing in the Transitions Between Simple and Chained Fixed-Interval Schedules: Effects of Segment Length and Reinforcer Magnitude
TAMMY WADE-GALUSKA (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Simple schedules of reinforcement typically are preferred to chained schedules of equal duration. In the current study, pigeons served in two experiments designed to test whether the juxtaposition of simple and chained schedules would engender the disruption in behavior typically observed in the transition from favorable to unfavorable conditions of reinforcement. In the first experiment, a multiple schedule was employed in which a simple fixed-interval schedule alternated irregularly with a chained fixed-interval fixed-interval schedule. Across conditions, the length of the first segment of the chained schedule was manipulated while the total duration of the links comprising the chained schedule remained equal to that of the simple schedule. Only half the pigeons paused for an extended duration in the simple-to-chain transition as predicted, and this occurred only when the first segment was short. In a second experiment, a (rich) schedule ending in a large reinforcer was juxtaposed with a (lean) schedule ending in a small reinforcer. Across conditions, either the rich or lean schedule was segmented. Pausing was extended in the rich-to-lean transition as shown in previous research. In addition, this effect was enhanced when lean schedule was chained and attenuated when the rich schedule was chained.
Experimenter-Imposed Delays Attenuate Disruptive Effects of Negative-Incentive Shifts in Humans
ADAM H. DOUGHTY (University of Kansas, Parsons), Dean C. Williams (University of Kansas, Parsons), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Four adult humans with mental retardation initially were exposed to a two-component multiple schedule. In one component, a large fixed-ratio (FR) schedule operated in which the completion of a ratio resulted in a point that was exchangeable for a penny after the session (hereafter, the lean component). In the other component, a small FR schedule was in effect in which a ratio completion resulted in the delivery of a quarter (hereafter, the rich component). Each baseline session was comprised of 40 transitions between the multiple-schedule components: 10 were lean to lean, 10 were rich to rich, 10 were lean to rich, and 10 were rich to lean. For each subject, there was considerable post-reinforcement (or, pre-ratio) pausing during the rich-to-lean transition, whereas such pausing was minimal during the other three transitions. In subsequent test conditions, a delay was imposed during each of the 40 transitions. Pausing was reduced during the rich-to-lean transitions to levels that resembled the other three transitions, and this result also was replicated. The findings are discussed in terms of both basic behavioral processes and their applied implications.
Symposium #444
Human Operant Research and Concurrent Schedules in the Lab and the Classroom
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Boulevard A (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Ami L. Miller (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Stephanie M. Peterson (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Beginning in 1957 with Ferster and Skinner’s volume Schedules of Reinforcement, schedules have been shown to be fundamental determinants of behavior. More recently, schedules of reinforcement have been used as baselines for observing choice behavior, correspondence between verbal reports and human performances, and the interaction of various reinforcer dimensions. This symposium will explore research bound by the common thread of concurrent schedules. Presenters will show data from a human operant laboratory and a classroom laboratory. The first presentation will show a study on the correspondence between verbal reporting of events as preferred or nonpreferred reinforcers and their maintenance of behavior. The second presentation will examine impulsivity and the interaction of reinforcer rate, quality, and response effort with children with or without ADHD. The third presentation will explore the frontier of concurrent Fixed Interval-Fixed Ratio schedules of reinforcement with humans.
Correspondence Between Verbal Behavior About Reinforcers and Performance Under Schedules of Reinforcement
RUTHIE L. BEKKER-PACE (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Camille Parsons (University of North Texas), Richard L. Anderson (University of North Texas), Yuka Koremura (University of North Texas), Ami L. Miller (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Important advancements have been made in the identification of reinforcers in the past decade. The use of preference assessments has become a systematic way to identify preferred events that may function as reinforcers for an individual’s behavior. Typically, preference assessments require participants to select stimuli through verbal surveys or engagement with the stimuli. Few studies then go on to test the effects of the preferred stimuli and almost none test the effects of stimuli selected as “non-preferred”. The present study systematically identified preferred and non-preferred stimuli in adult human subjects by verbal report and then proceeded to test the effects of the preferred and nonpreferred events on single and concurrent schedules of reinforcement. The results are discussed in terms of contemporary concerns regarding preference and reinforcer assessments.
Behavioral Assessment of Impulsivity: A Comparison of Children With and Without a Diagnosis of ADHD
NANCY A. NEEF (The Ohio State University), Julie Marckel (The Ohio State University), Summer Ferreri (The Ohio State University), David Bicard (The Ohio State University), Sayaka Endo (The Ohio State University), Michael Aman (The Ohio State University), Kelly Miller (The Ohio State University), Sunhwa Jung (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: We conducted a brief computer-based assessment involving choices of concurrently presented arithmetic problems associated with competing reinforcer dimensions to assess impulsivity (choices controlled primarily by reinforcer immediacy) as well as the relative influence of other dimensions (reinforcer rate, quality, and response effort), with 58 children. Results were compared for children with ADHD who were and were not receiving medication, and with typically developing children without a diagnosis of ADHD. Within-subject and between-group analyses of the ordinal influence of each of the reinforcer dimensions were conducted using both time and response allocation measures. In general, the choices of children with ADHD were influenced principally by reinforcer immediacy and quality, and least by rate and effort, suggesting impulsivity. The choices of children in the non-ADHD group were influenced principally by reinforcer quality, and the influence of immediacy relative to the other dimensions was not statistically significant. Results are discussed with respect to the implications for assessment and treatment of ADHD.
The Effects of Concurrent Fixed Interval-Fixed Ratio Schedules of Reinforcement on Human Performances
CAMILLE PARSONS (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Ruthie L. Bekker-Pace (University of North Texas), Richard L. Anderson (University of North Texas), Yuka Koremura (University of North Texas), Ami L. Miller (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This research explored the effects of concurrent Fixed Interval-Fixed Ratio experimental arrangements on the control of human behavior. Subjects were normal adults with some college education. The first phase of the experiment demonstrated computer techniques to shape two target behaviors with minimal instructions about the operandum and no instructions about the target behaviors. The second phase showed the effects of concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules of reinforcement on the performance of humans. The third phase explored the effects of extinction on performances previously maintained by concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules. Results are discussed in terms of schedule sensitivity and focus on schedules as determinants of human behavior.
Panel #445
Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Private Dining Room 3 (3rd floor)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Paul Romanowich (University of California, San Diego)
SIGRID S. GLENN (University of North Texas)
BETH SULZER-AZAROFF (Browns Group, Naples)
MICHAEL C. DAVISON (University of Auckland)
JAY MOORE (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: As behavior analysis continues to grow as both a science and an applied technology, it becomes ever more important to understand where we are headed. To facilitate a better understanding of the current trends and future of the field, this panel, composed of four distinguished researchers and practitioners, each representing different perspectives within behavior analysis (basic, applied, international, etc.) will discuss where the field has come from, where it is now, where they feel it is going, and, perhaps most important, where they feel it needs to go in order to continue contributing to general scientific growth and to continue to address important applied issues. This is a student committee organized event for the Professional Development Series.
Symposium #446
Social Responsiveness in Children with Autism: Joint Attention, Over-Generalization of Compliance, and Self-Stimulatory Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Gerald E. Harris, Ph.D.
Abstract: Despite a plethora of literature on Applied Behavior Analysis for children with autism, little work has been done to investigate behavioral strategies for addressing social deficits. The presentations in this symposium discuss research projects that contribute to the relatively small evidence base in this area. The first presentation concerns the use of a specific behavioral strategy for increasing joint attention in young children with autism and the effects that increased joint attention skills have on a global measure of social responsiveness. The second presentation discusses an important social and community safety issue. It introduces an experimental study of the tendency for children with autism, who received a compliance-based discrete trial ABA intervention, to over-generalize compliance to strangers. The final presentation addresses self-stimulatory behavior as a social issue, including the relationship between intelligence and adaptive behavior in predicting self-stimulatory behavior.
The Role of Behavior Modification in the Development of Joint Attention in Children with Autism
TREA DRAKE (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gregory Chasson (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Jamie Alleyne (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Often considered a key component of social responsiveness, joint attention has been identified as a feature that discriminates children with autism from typically developing children. The development of a procedure to mitigate deficits in joint attention may profoundly alter the aberrant developmental trajectory of those with autism. A review of the literature, however, indicates a paucity of research on potentially effective treatment procedures. The current study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific behavior modification technique in the development of joint attention behaviors in three children with autism. A multiple-baseline design was utilized to demonstrate treatment effects. Data from behavioral tracking, scores on the Early Social Communication Scale, and responses on the Social Responsiveness Scale indicate that the treatment procedure effectively increased each child’s ability to initiate and respond to joint attention bids and also indicate an increase in overall social responsiveness. In addition to maintaining appropriate levels of treatment fidelity, reliability measures were taken on 30% of the sessions with an average inter-rater reliability of 85%.
Over-Generalization of Compliance to Strangers in Young Children with Autism
FRANK B. CARLE (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Sanjuanita Pedraza (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Latrelle Rogers (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: While teaching compliance to children with autism is often considered beneficial for increasing overall social functioning, the current investigation examined the potential harmful effects of over-generalizing compliance. This study focused on how children with autism respond to unfamiliar people in their environment. The study incorporated 3 different matched groups of participants. Group 1 was comprised of 6 children with autism who received a discrete trial ABA treatment package incorporating strict compliance procedures. Group 2 consisted of 6 children with autism, but they received a non-discrete trial ABA treatment that was less stringent on compliance. Group 3 was included as a comparison group of 6 typically developing children. The study included two experimental conditions; each consisted of a participant child being approached and directed by a confederate stranger in a crowded toy store. The within-subject factor consisted of whether or not the stranger enticed the child using candy. It was predicted, and supported by preliminary data, that children who receive compliance-focused treatment will become likely to over-generalize learned responses to strangers. These findings illustrate the need to incorporate appropriate discrimination training into compliance procedures. Implications of over-generalized compliance within the context of teaching social responsiveness are discussed.
The Relationship Between Adaptive Behavior and Intelligence in Predicting Self-Stimulatory Behavior in Children with Autism
ALLISON SERRA TETREAULT (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Lauren Harrington (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gregory Chasson (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (University of Houston, Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Addressing self-stimulatory behavior in children with autism is a priority when devising treatment plans that target deficits in social responsiveness. The current investigation examined the relationship between self-stimulatory behavior, adaptive behavior, and intelligence in 64 children with autism aged 2 to 10. Self-stimulatory behavior was assessed using an index derived from multiple items on The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), adaptive behavior was measured with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and intelligence was measured with the Merrill-Palmer Scales of Mental Development. The items designated as self-stimulatory behavior on CARS were chosen a priori in conjunction with the criteria for the diagnosis of Autistic Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Revised. Using Multiple Regression, preliminary analyses indicate that adaptive behavior and intelligence significantly predict self-stimulatory behavior. Furthermore, evidence also reveals a significant interaction between adaptive behavior and intelligence in the prediction of self-stimulatory behavior. Implications of this study are discussed, including the applications of the results and the relation between the three variables to overall social responsiveness.
Paper Session #447
Int'l Paper Session - Stimulus Effects
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Adam Derenne (University of North Dakota)
When Studying Humans Fails to Explain Their Behavior: An Example from Pitch Perception
Domain: Basic Research
RONALD G. WEISMAN (Queens University), Andrea Friedrich (University of Kentucky), Thomas Zentall (University of Kentucky)
Abstract: Some students of human behavior believe that the only way to understand human behavior is to study humans. The implication is that studying other animals is pointless. Here we show that, at least in the case of absolute pitch perception (AP), studying only humans cannot lead to an understanding of human behavior. We report operant discrimination tests of AP in 3 and 8 frequency ranges in several species of birds and mammals. Species from three avian orders (songbirds and parrots that learn complex songs and calls and pigeons that do not learn their vocalizations) had accurate AP in 3 and 8-range discriminations. Two mammalian species (humans, who learn their vocalizations, and rats, who do not) had poor AP: they acquired a fairly accurate discrimination of 3 ranges and only a crude discrimination of the lowest and highest of 8 frequency ranges. The results implicate continuity across species in the AP resolving powers of birds and mammals with birds having much superior AP. Also, the general superiority of birds in AP suggests an important difference in the perceptual basis of the evolution of communication not between humans and other species but between avian and mammalian species.
Behavioral Models of Signal Detection: Punishment for Errors
Domain: Basic Research
CELIA LIE (University of Otago, New Zealand), Brent L. Alsop (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Abstract: Behavioral models of signal detection have focused almost exclusively on the effects of reinforcement for correct choices. In contrast, the effects of punishment for errors have been largely ignored. Two competing models of punishment can be derived from research using simple concurrent-schedule procedures. Subtractive models predict that punishers directly subtract from the effects of reinforcers for the same response alternative, and additive models predict that the effects of punishers add onto the effects of reinforcers obtained for the other response alternative. In this paper, I will present possible variations of current models of detection adapted to include the additive or subtractive effects of punishment for errors. Preliminary research providing support for an additive model of punishment will also be presented.
Stimulus Generalization Revisited: The Effects of Test Organization on Generalization and Postdiscrimination Gradients
Domain: Basic Research
ADAM DERENNE (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: Stimulus generalization is usually described as a function of the individual’s learning history. However, research has shown that the organization of the generalization test also influences performances. This talk is devoted to describing examples, both old and new, of how the degree to which stimulus generalization occurs depends on how stimulus generalization is assessed. The new research was conducted with college undergraduates. The major findings from this new work include that a) increasing the range of test stimuli increases the frequency of responses to the S+ and other, similar stimuli, and b) increasing the range of test stimuli serves to eliminate the peak shift.
Symposium #448
Taking it to the Streets: Technology Transfer in Applied Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Williford A (3rd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Abstract: Technology transfer involves disseminating assessment and/or intervention tools to individuals in typical settings. In this symposium, several examples of technology transfer are presented, the focus of each research study is on a different population, ranging from children with disabilities to foster families.
Factors Associated with Running away Among Youth in Foster Care
LUANNE WITHERUP (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Carole M. Van Camp (University of Florida), John C. Borrero (University of Florida)
Abstract: We conducted two studies designed to evaluate running away among children in foster care. The purpose of Study 1 was to evaluate potential risk and protective factors for running away. Participants included over 32,000 children receiving services from the Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF). Various characteristics were evaluated including gender, age, race, custodial status, dependency goal, most recent placement type, and time spent in foster care. All data were extracted from existing databases managed by FDCF. Probability analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of running away. Results highlighted several factors associated with running away that may be used to identify at risk children in need of individualized assessment and preventive intervention. In Study 2, the likelihood of running away from various placement types was evaluated for individual foster children. For each participant, we calculated the probability of running away from each type of placement they had experienced. Results demonstrated the usefulness of this analysis in identifying placements associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of running away.
Comparing Indirect and Experimental Methods of Functional Analysis
JENNIFER R. ZARCONE (Life Span Institute), Katie Hine (Parsons State Hospital), Rachel L. Freeman (University of Kansas), Marie Constance Tieghi-Benet (University of Kansas), Chris Smith (University of Kansas), Pat Kimbrough (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Different methods of conducting functional analysis or assessment were compared using children and adults with significant problem behavior. Participants were selected by trainees participating in a Positive Behavior Support statewide training program. As part of the teaching process, trainees conducted a functional assessment using several different indirect and descriptive methods of functional assessment. Based on the results of the assessment, trainees developed a hypothesis regarding the function(s) of the problem behavior. A second team then conducted an independent analog functional analysis. The degree of convergent validity was then assessed between the two evaluation methods. Data from five participants indicated fairly good convergent validity between the two evaluation approaches (70% agreement). In two cases, the hypothesis and the results of the analog functional analysis were in exact agreement and in the other 3 cases, the functional analysis identified one function whereas the trainee’s hypothesis indicated two possible functions. There were several limitations to the assessments conducted however, making a clear comparison often difficult.
Evaluating Progress in Behavioral Programs for Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Continuous Versus Intermittent Data Collection
ANNE CUMMINGS (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: It is well documented that intensive behavioral treatment of early childhood autism can result in significant improvements in adaptive behavior. The typical teaching format in such programs is based on the restricted operant (aka, discrete trial) in which the performance of an exemplar skill follows a clear instruction and precedes programmed reinforcement or error correction. Because of the often-intensive nature of behavioral treatment, it is not unusual for thousand of learning opportunities to be presented each week. There currently exists a professional debate regarding the frequency of data collection necessary in autism treatment programs. One side of the argument favors collecting data on every learning opportunity for a complete assessment of child performance. The other side favors intermittent data collection to facilitate more efficient instruction. Unfortunately, little published empirical evidence exists to inform the debate. Thus, current study was designed to evaluate continuous (i.e., trial by trial) versus intermittent (i.e., first-trial only) data collection systems across a number of curriculum areas in behavioral treatment programs for children with pervasive developmental disabilities. In our study, 6 children were taught numerous exemplars in 2-4 curricular areas using established behavioral procedures. The exemplars within each curricular area were randomly assigned to one of the data collection conditions. Each condition was evaluated based on the number of sessions to reach a mastery criterion for an exemplar and the percentage correct score for that exemplar at a 3-week follow-up assessment. Our results indicate that type of data collection generally failed to substantially impact acquisition rates or maintenance performance. Although the experimental preparation employed in this study is not representative of all teaching circumstances, our data suggest that collecting data on only the first trial of a session might be a reasonable tactic.
Evaluating Functional Assessment Outcomes Based on Hand-Scored Data Versus Computerized Data Collection
CYNTHIA M. ANDERSON (West Virginia University), Emily O. Garnett (West Virginia University), Deanna Perrine (West Virginia University), Ellen J. McCartney (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Computerized data collection allows for real time coding and a complex evaluation of environment-behavior relations. Although useful, computerized coding requires sophisticated equipment that many behavioral practitioners do not have access to. The purpose of this research study was to comopare outcomes from descriptive functonal asssessments using hand-scoring and computerized data collection systems. Results suggest that hand-scoring is a useful way to develop hypotheses about environment-behavior relations.
Symposium #449
The Aspen Center for Autism: A Program Description and Report of Outcome Data
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Karen Miracolo (The Aspen Center for Autism)
Abstract: The Aspen Center for Autism is a non-profit center opening it's doors in June, 2003 in Denver, CO. Our treatment focus is on the development of social and communication skills, with an emphaisis on having fun! We are interested in presenting our treatment model as well as our outcome data, thus far in the areas of language, social and play skills, and verbal behavior.
The Aspen Center for Autism Treatment Model
DIANE E. OSAKI (The Aspen Center for Autism)
Abstract: Our treatment model which includes behavior analytic interventions with the assistance from a multidisciplinary team in our development of goals and objectives is described. The overall focus includes the primary deficit areas in autism around social and communication skills. Information about our program philiosophy, treatment model, and staff training program is the focus.
Early Intervention: Our Toddler Program and Preschool Program Descriptions
AMANDA BENSON (The Aspen Center for Autism), Diane E. Osaki (The Aspen Center for Autism), Karen Miracolo (The Aspen Center for Autism), Rachael Rudeen (The Aspen Center for Autism), Mindy Cordova (The Aspen Center for Autism)
Abstract: Since our inception in June, 2003 we have have been working toward the most effective treatment procedures for children aged 18 months through 5 years old. This presentation describes our childrens progress in the toddler program and in our preschool programs.
Kindergarten Preparation and School Aged Program Description and Progress Report
JENNIFER M. HIRNER (The Aspen Center for Autism), Karen Miracolo (The Aspen Center for Autism), Diane E. Osaki (The Aspen Center for Autism), Cora Nash (The Aspen Center for Autism), Jennifer Dobson (The Aspen Center for Autism), Katie Cooper (The Aspen Center for Autism)
Abstract: Our school aged program includes children with autism aged 5 through 9 years old. The children who participate in this program have some unique needs, including much coordination with outside agencies and schools. The focus of the classes and the effects our programming on the children's outcomes has been exciting!
The Transition Program: Helping Children Get Back into Their Home Schools
KAREN MIRACOLO (The Aspen Center for Autism), Diane E. Osaki (The Aspen Center for Autism), Chris J. Hansen (The Aspen Center for Autism), Jennifer Dobson (The Aspen Center for Autism), Cora Nash (The Aspen Center for Autism), Jennifer Himer (The Aspen Center for Autism)
Abstract: The transition program was designed to help children whose behavior problems have lead to an alternative placement. The goal for the children in this program is to help them acquire skills that will enable them to move back into their neighborhood schools. A description of this program as well as outcome data will be presented.
Symposium #450
Int'l Symposium - The Effects of Applied Behaviour Analysis on Increasing the Level of Verbal Behaviour of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Emma L. Hawkins (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Abstract: The studies presented in this symposium investigate the effects of the application of behaviour analysis on increasing the level of verbal behaviour of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The first paper applied auditory matching as a tactic to increase the echoic behaviour of children with deficits in their listener and speaker repertoires. The second paper investigated the use of establishing operations to increase social interactions amongst peers. The third paper implemented multiple exemplar training and tested its effects on the emerging repertoires of 5 children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The final paper discusses the implications of the Theory of Mind.
The Effects of Auditory Matching on the Echoic Behaviour of Children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder
ELIZABETH THEO (Jigsaw CABAS School), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University), Mapy Chavez-Brown (Teachers College, Columbia University), Emma L. Hawkins (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of auditory matching on the echoic behaviour of seven children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The study took place at an independent day CABAS® (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling) school in the United Kingdom. The participants in the study ranged in age from 5-9 years and were described as either having partial echoic behaviour or non-echoic behaviour. Training sessions were conducted using BIGmack® buttons in which the participants were required to match four different sounds. Subsequent to meeting criterion during training sessions, probe sessions were conducted in which auditory matching using novel stimuli (taped words) was tested. Data were reported on a delayed multiple probe design.
Reinforcer Monitors: Using Establishing Operations to Increase Peer Interaction
EMMA L. HAWKINS (Jigsaw CABAS School), Katherine Meincke (Columbia University), Sharon E. Baxter (Jigsaw CABAS School), Racheal Eade (Jigsaw CABAS School), Elizabeth Theo (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an establishing operation, peer reinforcer monitors, on the interaction between peers. The 5 participants were required to mand to a peer (another participant) to gain access to a reinforcer. The peer was then required to listen to the request and reinforce the mand by delivering a token to use the reinforcer. The dependent variable was the number of mands emitted between peers per school day. The design of this study was an ABAB design. During the treatment condition, the participants received access to reinforcers contingent on exchanging points with another student participant. During the baseline condition, participants received access to reinforcers contingent upon exchanging points via a teacher. During the intervention phase the students earned points for academic tasks and self-managing their own behaviours, these points could then be exchanged for a desired activity. Access to the reinforcer was contingent upon manding for a ticket from the designated reinforcer monitor.
The effects of Multiple Exemplar Training on Emerging Repertoires Using a Science Curriculum
EMMA L. HAWKINS (Jigsaw CABAS School), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University), Katherine Meincke (Teachers College, Columbia University), Elizabeth Theo (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Abstract: This study investigated the effect of multiple exemplar training on the emerging repertoires of 5 children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The six repertoires were: reader/writer intraverbals, speaker/listener intraverbals, pure tacts, textual responses, writing and drawing a line to match words to pictures. A science curriculum was used for the purposes of this study focusing on teeth, springs/magnets and forces. The participants ranged in age from 8-12 years old and all had emerging reader/writer repertoires. Data were reported on a counterbalance design.
Training Perspective-Taking Skills: How to Teach a Theory of Mind
CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University of Almeria, Spain), Pedro P. Ochoa (University of Almeria, Spain), Francisco J. Molina-Cobos (University of Almeria, Spain)
Abstract: Theory of mind (ToM) has been an important topic research from the cognitive perspective on psychology in the last decade; it tries to explain our capability of perspective take predicting the behavior of another people. Behavior analysts have not been usually interesting in this kind of problems and they do not propose explanations for understand the behaviour involved in this issue, however we consider important to specify the repertoires that would be necessary for perspective taking perspectives. The current study proposes an alternative functional behaviour approach, providing empirical data. Children between 30 -36 months participated in this study following a successive training on discrimination tasks in fundamental elements as person’s discrimination (I-others), and time discrimination (past-present), and space relations (here-there). Results show relations with cognitive test and changes in responding to Theory of Mind test. Implications for theory of mind are discussed and new research proposal are presented.
Paper Session #451
Int'l Paper Session - The Standard Celeration Chart and Fluency in Autism Intervention
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 4 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT
Chair: Elizabeth Benedetto-Nasho (Step By Step Learning Group)
Integration: Charting Our Way Through the Mainstream
Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH BENEDETTO-NASHO (Step By Step Learning Group), Emily Ditner (Step By Step Learning Group), Kevin S. Cauley (Step By Step Learning Group)
Abstract: Currently, integration refers to the practice of placing children with disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders, into a school environment with children without disabilities (Buscaglia & Williams, 1979). The challenge has been however to do more than increase the acceptance and decrease the stigmatization of children with Autism (Brewer & Smith, 1989). Successful mainstream integration also includes the ability to keep pace with academic demands and connect with your typically developing peers. This paper will discuss the use of an active in-class facilitation model where the facilitator is responsible for identifying goals, providing teaching opportunities and modifying teaching strategies based on student performance using the Standard Celeration Chart. Student performance charts will be presented demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach.
A Multi-level Procedure to Increase Oral Reading Fluency for a Child with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KEVIN S. CAULEY (Step By Step Learning Group), Kerry-Anne Robinson (Step By Step Learning Group), Elizabeth Benedetto-Nasho (Step By Step Learning Group)
Abstract: A multi-level instructional and measurement procedure was used to increase the oral reading rate for a second grade student with autism. Precision teaching (mirco- level) and curriculum-based measurement (marco-level) were both used to monitor student performance in the context of a Direct Instruction and Fluency-Based reading program. Results demonstrated that the student made the equivalent of 1 year's gain in her reading performance with approximately four weeks of instruction. Results are discussed with an emphasis on the benefits of a multi-component approach to programming and measurement.
Teaching the Bossy Me: A Fluency-Based Approach to Using Transational Analysis in Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KERRY-ANNE ROBINSON (Step By Step Learning Group), Kevin S. Cauley (Step By Step Learning Group), Elizabeth Benedetto-Nasho (Step By Step Learning Group)
Abstract: This paper will discuss the use of Freed's Transactional Analysis for Tots and Kids with a first grader with autism. A fluency-based instructional approach was also integrated with Freed's materials in order to provide the student with opportunities to systematically practice the three "me's" (bossy me, thinking me,and feeling me) identified in Freed's model. Outcome data will specifically focus on teaching the student to switch his transactions with family members and friends from "bossy me" to either "thinking me" or "feeling me".
Invited Paper Session #452
Producing and Identifying Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
11:30 AM–12:20 PM
Williford C (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Samuel L. Odom, Ph.D.
Chair: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
SAMUEL L. ODOM (Indiana University)
Dr. Samuel L. Odom is the Otting Professor of Special Education at Indiana University School of Education. He has authored many journal articles and chapters about programs for young children and their families, is the co-editor of six books on early childhood special education, is the former Editor of the Journal for Early Intervention, and has been Guest Editor of topical issues of several journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Educational Interventions for Young Children with Autism in 2001 and was recently the Chair of the Task Force on Quality Indicators of Research Methodology in Special Education, established by the CEC-Division for Research. In 1999, Dr. Odom received the Research in Special Education Award from the Special Education Research SIG of AERA, and he received the Division for Early Childhood Service to the Field Award in 2001. His research addresses issues related to the inclusion of typically developing children and young children with disabilities in early childhood education settings, intervention to promote the peer-related social competence of young children with autism, and curricula to promote the early school success of preschoolers at risk for school failure.
Abstract: Researchers and scholars in the field of education are being pushed to be more scientific in the research they conduct and the practices they recommend. In an effort to strengthen evidence that underlies the effectiveness of educational practices, the federal government has placed a strong emphasis on conducting experimental research because it can establish a causal relationship between educational practices and outcomes for participants. Experimental research is often defined as randomized experimental group designs. In Special Education, however, single subject designs are another viable experimental methodology that may document the causal link between intervention/instruction and outcomes. In this session, the Dr. Odom will present a set of quality criteria for single subject design methodology established by the CEC Division for Research and compare it with criteria established by other professional organizations. Guidelines for using single subject design to provide causal evidence for the effectiveness of clinical and educational practices will also be presented.
Symposium #453
Empirically-Based Intervention Procedures: Research on Improving Students with Disabilities’ School Performance in the Areas of Spelling, Reading Fluency, Disruptive and Off-Task Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota)
Discussant: Michael C. Lambert (Western Washington University)
Abstract: With the current initiative contained within the 2001 Elementary and Secondary School Act (i.e., No Child Left Behind) as well as the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disability Education Act, a greater need than ever is present for an empirically based technology of effective educational practices for both students in general education as well as in special education. The three studies contained in this symposium serve as models of applied research in the schools to address important academic and motivational issues of students with disabilities. The first study investigates the spelling performance of students who are deaf with characteristics of learning disabilities by incorporating a SEE/COVER/WRITE/COMPARE multi-sensory spelling procedure. The second study evaluates the oral reading fluency of high students with emotional and behavioral disorders through the use a repeated readings procedure. The final study looks at improving the off-task and disruptive behavior of high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders. All three of these study address important behaviors of concern with students who exhibit academic and motivational problems in their classrooms. Further, all three studies address important issues related to empirically based interventions and true accountability of student’s performance in the schools. Implications for pedagogical practice, measurably effective instruction, and teacher training are discussed through out this symposium.
Incorporating a See/Cover/Write/Compare Multi-Sensory Intervention Procedure to Improve the Spelling Performance of Students Who Are Deaf and Exhibit Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
MONICA I. SOUKUP (Augustana College), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Spelling is an important component in literacy development. Spelling ability affects the quality of a student’s composition assignment and affects a student’s performance in other academic areas. Identification of students who demonstrate poor spelling performance is essential to developing strategies that will assist the student in remediation of difficulties with spelling. Research has identified many strategies that are effective in helping students to improve spelling performance. Among the strategies that have been cited in a review of the literature are the multi-sensory approach and See-Cover-Write-Compare approach. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using a multi-sensory approach and See-Cover-Write-Compare approach to assist students who are deaf with learning disabilities in improving spelling performance. Using a single-subject design with replication across subjects, this study will determine the effectiveness of a See-Cover-Write-Compare multi-sensory approach to improve written spelling performance.
The Use of the Repeated Readings Strategy to Improve the Oral Reading Fluency of Four High School Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
ZACHARY J. DEVINE (South Washington County Public Schools), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota), Paul Malanga (University of South Dakota), Patrick Wempe (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Students diagnosed with emotional and behavior disorders drop out of high school at a rate higher than any other disability category or student population. The students that exhibit the most severe emotional and behavioral problems are typically served in a self-contained classroom setting. Due to the severe emotional and behavioral issues this student population usually receives more behavioral instruction than academic instruction. However, students diagnosed with emotional and behavior disorders typically drop out of school because of academic difficulty, therefore making it imperative that the teachers of this student population use interventions that are research based and proven to remediate academic skill deficits. This study examines the effects of the repeated reading strategy on four high school students labeled with emotional or behavior disorders. A trend analysis was used to examine the celeration values related to the number of words read correctly or incorrectly per minute of each student. Results on the Standard Celeration Chart indicated substantial improvements for all four students that participated in this study through the use of the repeated readings strategy to improve oral reading fluency. A discussion is provided to describe the data and implications for future research.
Token Economies: Decreasing Classroom Disruptions of High School Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
PATRICIA R. WARD (Sioux Falls Public Schools), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota), Paul Malanga (University of South Dakota), Patrick Wempe (University of South Dakota), Gary Zalud (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Research shows that high school students with emotional and behavior disorders with externalizing behavior problems are at high risk for a variety of academic, social, vocational, and conduct related issues in the public schools. Further, high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders tend to exhibit behaviors associated with poor motivation, self-management, decision making, and academic engagement in a classroom setting. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a token economy for improving on-task behavior and academic engagement when used with high school students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. The intervention, i.e., token economy, is expected to decrease classroom disruptions (off-task behavior) while increasing on-task behavior and work completion. The experimental designed used was an ABAB reversal design with follow-up probes to evaluate the effectiveness of the token economy with participants. The results, implications, and potential future research opportunities related to the uses of this intervention with this population of students will be discussed in this presentation.
Symposium #454
Evaluating Behavior Analytic Services: Examining Systems for Program, Teacher, and Consultant Evaluation
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Private Dining Room 2 (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael F. Dorsey (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Susan Ainsleigh, Ed.D.
Abstract: Consumers and practitioners of applied behavior analysis are concerned with the evaluation of behavior analytic services from a number of different perspectives. Parents wish to select the best service model for their children. School districts seek highly qualified behavior analysts to oversee the provision of behavioral education services. Behavior analysts, too, seek direct service providers who can competently carry out behavioral assessment and behavior change procedures. The multi-dimensional process of evaluating behavior analytic services is a critical component of the treatment process. This symposium examines the process of evaluation from a variety of perspectives. First, the role of the behavior analyst in the process of Independent Educational Evaluation will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the provision of objective, data-based evaluations of best-practice educational services. Second, current research on teacher evaluation will be examined, emphasizing the application of best-practice performance evaluation procedures to the process of evaluating behavioral educators and other direct service providers. Finally, the process of evaluating and selecting behavioral consultants will be examined from the perspectives of consumers of behavior analytic services. Criteria for selecting behavioral consultants will be presented and a process for selecting behavior analysis practitioners will be provided for non-behaviorally trained professionals and families.
Independent Educational Evaluations and the Behavior Analyst: Objective Measures of Best Practice in Special Education
MICHAEL F. DORSEY (Simmons College)
Abstract: The field of behavior analysis has, since its inception, strived to develop systems for the objective evaluation of a variety of educational activities. This paper will describe the application of these techniques under Federal Law (34 CFR 300.502) in conducting Independent Educational Evaluations, both at the request of parents and school districts, in an effort to provide objective, data-based, evaluations of the delivery of best-practice educational services which both meet the student’s right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) (Public Law 102-119, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (34 CFR Parts 300 and 301 and Appendix C). With the increase in the diagnosis of children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, combined with an ever increasing litigious relationship between parents and their children’s school districts, the behavior analyst is in a unique position to provide objective evaluations of both the quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of the educational services being delivered. This paper will provide an overview of such an application of behavioral technology and offer recommendations for the management of ethical pitfalls that such practitioners may face.
Evaluating the Behavioral Educator: Objective Measures of Exemplary Teaching
SUSAN AINSLEIGH (Simmons College)
Abstract: Behavior analysts often assume the duty of evaluating persons responsible for carrying out behavioral assessment and behavior change procedures. Effective performance monitoring systems have proven to be a critical component for ensuring procedural integrity, but also provide a process for strengthening instructional outcomes via delivery of performance feedback and collaborative instructional planning. In addition, performance evaluation data are often used to make informed judgments regarding promotion, retention, and professional development of teachers and other service providers. An effective performance evaluation system includes: (a) clear criteria that reflect a district’s or agency’s mission, (b) opportunities for practitioner involvement, (c) multi-dimensional data collection procedures, and (d) opportunities for feedback activities. This paper reviews current best-practice literature on teacher evaluation and provides recommendations for the development of an effective, objective, multi-dimensional performance monitoring system for evaluating behavioral educators.
Marketing Behavioral Consultative Services
PETER C. PATCH (Northeast Behavioral Associates)
Abstract: Independent behavioral consultants routinely provide services to a variety of clients including schools, families, early intervention programs, vocational programs, and residential programs. To date there are no clear guidelines for how to market behavioral consultant services in a way that uses the philosophy, values, and dimensions of ABA to demonstrate efficacy and value of the services being offered. This paper presents an overview of sample consultant marketing strategies, including methods of marketing and content of communication designed to advertise behavior analytic consulting services. The results are used to propose guidelines and criteria for self-evaluation and marketing of services to the public by independent behavioral consultants.
Selecting a Behavioral Consultant: A Parent’s Experience Navigating the Marketing Maze
HOPE COLEN (Simmons College), Susan Ainsleigh (Simmons College), Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
Abstract: Frequently, parents act as consumers of behavior analytic services. This often requires a parent to navigate a maze of service providers, credentials, experiential histories, and philosophical alignments replete with technological terminology. The critical decision of selecting a behavioral consultant often must be made with minimal guidelines or objective criteria by individuals unfamiliar with the practice of behavior analysis and its dimensions and assumptions. This paper provides objective criteria for assisting parents and non-behavioral professionals in the selection of a qualified behavioral consultant.
Paper Session #455
Int'l Paper Session - Bereavement
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Emma Cobane (TreeHouse School)
Reducing Bereavement-Related Depressive Behaviours Through the Self-Management of Inner Behaviours
Domain: Applied Research
EMMA COBANE (TreeHouse School), Michael Keenan (University of Ulster, Coleraine)
Abstract: This paper assessed the efficacy of a programme of inner behaviour (positive and negative thoughts and feelings) self-management upon depressive behaviours resulting from bereavement. Further, its effect upon an observable behaviour deemed to be in deficit as a result of the depression was also determined. A single-subject ABAB design was implemented during which the participant was instructed to see/say as many positive inners per minute as possible using SAFMEDS worksheets. Further, an intensity measure on a scale of 1-10 was given for each day whilst the Beck Depression Inventory was completed at various points throughout the course of the exercise. The data recorded on the Standard Celeration Charts demonstrated that the 1-minute timings proved effective in reversing the negative depressive inner behaviours whilst positive inners increased in frequency. A corresponding increase in the number and frequency of words written per day was also demonstrated. In light of these findings, the implications for future behavioural research into the development of interventions designed for those suffering bereavement-related depression are discussed.
Can an Arbitrary Skill be Used to Model the Processes Involved in Bereavement?
Domain: Basic Research
EMMA COBANE (TreeHouse School), Michael Keenan (University of Ulster, Coleraine)
Abstract: A series of three studies was designed with a view to experimentally analysing behaviours associated with bereavement. Across three experimental conditions, which involved the learning of an arbitrary skill (namely verbally recognising the Chinese numbers 1-100), there were nine participants (three per condition). An ABA reversal design across participants and conditions was implemented. Throughout each condition participants recorded the number of Chinese thoughts they had per day using the free/tally learning channel. During the experimental phases participants were required to see/say Chinese number SAFMEDS, in other words ‘see’ Chinese number characters, ‘say’ the number for the Chinese character in English. The experimental conditions differed in terms of the fluency aims set and the way in which the arbitrary skill was affected in an attempt to mimic the process of bereavement. The results obtained, which were recorded on Standard Celeration Charts, support the inner behaviour literature, suggesting a possible relation between private and public behaviour via the training of an arbitrary skill. The implications of this study for further experimental analyses of conceptual issues arising from inner behaviour research are discussed.
Paper Session #457
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: D. Austin Harmon (University of North Texas)
Increasing Class Attendance by Utilizing Randomly Administered Extra-Credit Reaction Papers on Course Lectures
Domain: Basic Research
DANIEL L. FUDGE (University of Tennessee), Robert Lee Williams (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: Research has shown that exam scores and performance on related measures are affected by class attendance in college courses. Students who attend class regularly have a better chance of performing well in a course than those who are frequently absent. Considerable research is available on ways to increase attendance. The current study provided positive reinforcement in the form of extra-credit contingencies applied in class.Three classes were involved in the study. The class receiving the extra-credit contingencies included approximately 55 students in an educational psychology class at a large public university. Each of two non-treatment classes also had approximately 55 students taking the same course. The dependent variables in the study were the number of students who attended class on days when no credit-producing activities were scheduled and their exam performance at the end of each treatment phase. The independent variable was unannounced extra-credit for written reactions to instructor lectures. The results indicated that students attended class more often on days when the contingency was in place. This was determined through both intra-subject and inter-subject comparisons. Exam performance was higher for the treatment class during the treatment units and higher than in the same units in the non-treatment classes.
Using Goal Setting and Behavioral Self-Management to Improve Daily Exercise and Health of an Overweight Adult
Domain: Applied Research
DENNIS MCDOUGALL (University of Hawaii)
Abstract: This presentation describes an intervention that utilized goal setting and behavioral self-management (self-monitoring, self-graphing, and self-planning) to improve exercise and health of an overweight, middle-age adult (McDougall, 2004). The intervention demonstrated strong experimental control over the primary target behavior as evidenced by systematic increases in the duration of daily running from near zero levels during baseline to 20 minutes per day during initial intervention, then to 40, 60, 80, and 100 minutes per day during subsequent intervention phases. Generalization probes indicated improvements in the participant’s health, including gradual reductions in body weight (from 202 lbs. to 168 lbs.) and post-exercise pulse rate, with corresponding improvements in body mass index from near-obesity to just above the upper range of normal. Improvements persisted during a one-month maintenance phase. The study utilized a simple and novel variation of the classic changing criterion design, called the range-bound changing criterion design. That is, each intervention phase utilized two performance criteria, rather than one criterion, that restricted the range of daily exercise to a minimum and maximum duration. The presenter will provide rationales for using this range-bound version of the changing criterion design.
From Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliant Behavior
Domain: Basic Research
D. AUSTIN HARMON (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Inaccurate instructions have been shown to interfere with or override the effects of otherwise effective behavioral contingencies. This effect may be mediated by such factors as the discriminability of current contingencies, histories with accurate and inaccurate instructions, and consequences associated with following instructions. The current experiment investigated the effects of instructions (both accurate and inaccurate) on response patterns when paired with feedback regarding correspondence between responding and instructions, feedback indicating potential point loss for non-correspondence, and point loss for non-correspondence. Inaccurate instructions produced only small and temporary disruptions in response patterns, as did the addition of feedback alone and feedback indicating potential point loss. The introduction of escalating point losses contingent on non-correspondence, ranging from 20%-50% of points earned, produced changes in response patterns that corresponded to the inaccurate instructions. These outcomes indicate that the imposition of direct consequences for noncompliance may alter the effects of other contingencies. Depending on the point at which point losses disrupt responding, such effects may be interpreted in terms of point loss avoidance or, alternatively, maximizing point gains.
Symposium #458
Int'l Symposium - Behavioral Momentum: Basic Issues
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
International South (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Discussant: Randolph C. Grace (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: The papers in this symposium address fundamental questions in the study of behavioral momentum. The papers present data directed at further evaluating the predictions of behavioral momentum theory with respect to the roles of the response-reinforcer and stimulus-reinforcer relations in resistance to change and/or the resistance to change of concurrent operants . The first paper by Podlesnik and Shahan addresses the role of the response-reinforcer and stimulus-reinforcer relations in resistance to change by comparing the resistance to change of responding in contexts with added response-independent or added delayed reinforcers. The second paper by Mueller and Hineline examines the role of the stimulus-reinforcer relation in the resistance to change of unequal concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Similarly, the third paper by Bell, Fitzsimmons, and Mestas examines the resistance to change of unequal concurrent schedules of reinforcement and provides a comparison of probe preference and resistance to change when the richer schedule in one component is signaled. Randolf Grace of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand will serve as the discussant.
An Investigation of the Response-Reinforcer Relation in Resistance to Change of Operant Behavior
CHRISTOPHER A. PODLESNIK (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Behavioral momentum theory suggests that resistance to change is governed by the relation between the stimulus context and reinforcement rate (stimulus-reinforcer relation) and is independent of the relation between the response and the reinforcer (response-reinforcer relation). Thus, although response-independent food decreases response rates by greatly degrading the response-reinforcer relation, resistance to change is increased because the stimulus-reinforcer relation is enhanced. Inconsistent with behavioral momentum theory, unsignaled delays decrease response rates and resistance to change by slightly degrading the response-reinforcer relation while maintaining equal stimulus-reinforcer relations. In the present experiment, a three-component multiple schedule with equal rates of immediate response-dependent reinforcement (15 per hr) was used. Equal rates of response-independent food (60 per hr) and 3-s unsignaled delayed reinforcers (60 per hr) were added to two different baseline components. Any differences in resistance to change should reflect only differences in response-reinforcer relations because the stimulus-reinforcer relations were equal across components with added reinforcers. Consistent with behavioral-momentum theory, however, resistance to disruption was greater in the components with added reinforcers. There were no differences in resistance to change between the two components with added reinforcers. Theoretical implications of the role of the stimulus-reinforcer and response-reinforcer relations in behavioral momentum will be discussed.
The Resistance to Change of Unequal Concurrent Operants: More Data
E. TERRY MUELLER (Temple University), Philip N. Hineline (Temple University)
Abstract: Prevailing behavioral momentum theory suggests that the primary determinant of the strength of a discriminated operant is the stimulus-reinforcer contingency accompanying the SD. Observed differential resistances to change by performances maintained on unequal concurrent schedules of reinforcement conflict with this view because the concurrency of the signals that accompany the schedules may be construed to create the same stimulus-reinforcer contingency for each SD. The present research collected data relevant to this issue. Four pigeons were trained on a two-component multiple schedule with one-minute components and 30-second timeout periods between components. One component contained a VI 40” schedule whose left-versus-right key location was varied across component instances, while the distinctive color did not vary. The other multiple schedule component contained a concurrent VI 120” VI 60” schedule with differentiating colors and positions that did not vary across component instances. Obtained reinforcers for the two multiple schedule components should be approximately equal. The resistances to change of the VI 120”, VI 60”, and VI 40” performances are compared. The disruptors used were (1) successive days of pre-feeding that promoted gradual weight gain; (2) three values of huge-amount pre-feeding once per week for nine weeks; and (3) successive sessions of extinction.
Signal Effects on Preference and Resistance to Change in Concurrent Variable-Interval Schedules
MATTHEW C. BELL (Santa Clara University), Kathleen S. Fitzsimmons (Santa Clara University), Miranda Mestas (Santa Clara University)
Abstract: Pigeons were trained on a multiple schedule with two concurrent schedules of reinforcement operating in each component. During both components, one alternative was always a VI 40-s schedule. Component A paired a VI 40-s schedule with a signaled VI 20-s alternative. During this component only the stimulus correlated with the VI 40-s schedule was illuminated until reinforcement was available on the VI 20-s schedule. Then the stimulus correlated with the VI 20-s schedule was also illuminated. Component B paired a VI 40-s schedule with a VI 80-s alternative. Extinction probe tests evaluated preference for the two VI 40-s alternatives. Mean preference favored the VI 40-s schedule paired with the VI 20-s alternative. Two resistance to change tests followed probe testing. First, all reinforcement schedules were changed to extinction. Greater resistance to change was seen for the VI 40-s alternative paired with the VI 80-s schedule during baseline. The second resistance to change test added a VT 10-s schedule to the timeout period between components. Results from this manipulation showed no difference in resistance to change for the two VI 40-s schedules. Findings suggest preference and resistance to change may be controlled by different variables.
Symposium #459
Center Based Intervention for Children with Autism Ages 0-12
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 5 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Phyllis N. Williamson (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: The first presentation will discuss the development of an infant/toddler center for autism. Topics will include coordination with funding sources, program structure, parent involvement, intervention and techniques utilized, as well as transition into an educational setting. The second presentation will discuss behavior intervention plans in a classroom environment. This will include utilizing the philosophy of Positive Programming, teaching functional communication, locating better consequences, training staff to implement behavior plans, and monitoring and revising behavior plans as needed. The third paper will discuss methods to train parents on behavior analysis principles and how they apply to the individual child and home environment. Training topics will be provided on a continuum as well as strategies for setting manageable goals for families to meet with their child. The final paper will discuss transitioning students from a non-public school setting into a less restrictive environment. This will include important skills to have in place prior to transition. It will also include skills necessary for different placements such as full inclusion and special day class. Finally, it will discuss strategies for facilitating smooth transitions into a school district environment.
Center-Based Intervention for Infants and Toddlers
MARIDITH RESENDEZ (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the development of an infant/toddler center for autism. Topics will include coordination with funding sources, program structure, parent involvement, intervention and techniques utilized, as well as transition into an educational setting. Presenters will provide information regarding developing a positive relationship with funding sources, submitting a program design that meets the criteria of funding sources as well as maintaining the clinical direction of the agency. Information will be provided regarding the schedule, staff, and design of the center and how it meets the individual needs of each child. A discussion of Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc parent training series, Positive Programming for Parents, will occur and how it is implemented with each family. Presenters will discuss the use of behavior analysis in addressing individual skill deficits and decreasing behavior excess to plan for successful transition into an educational setting.
Positive Behavior Intervention Plans in a Classroom Environment
JESSICA ANN KORNEDER (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Maridith Resendez (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss behavior intervention plans in a classroom environment. It will include methods used to analyze behavior excess and determine the function of a behavior. A discussion will occur on the creation of a positive behavior intervention plan utilizing Positive Programming. This will include the use of prevention strategies, teaching functional communication, and locating better consequences. Discussions will also include training staff to implement behavior plans, data collection, and using non-restrictive procedures. Lastly the presenter will discuss methods for monitoring and revising behavior plans as needed.
Parent Involvement and Training in a Non-Public School Environment
MARIDITH RESENDEZ (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Jessica Ann Korneder (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss various methods used at ABC School in Duarte, California to train parents on behavior analysis principles and how they apply to the individual child and home environment. Examples will be provided of how skills acquired in a school setting can be generalized to the home and/or community environment. The presenter will discuss techniques for maintaining regular meetings with parents, open lines of communication, and establishing rapport with families. Discussions of strategies used to effectively collaborate with other service providers to insure generalization will be provided. Training topics will be provided on a continuum as well as strategies for setting manageable goals for families to meet with their child.
Transitioning Students From a Non-Public School to a Less Restrictive Environment
JESSICA ANN KORNEDER (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Maridith Resendez (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss transition procedures utilized at ABC School in Duarte, California. It will discuss skills a student should have in place prior to transition. An examination of transitional assessment tools utilized will be made and what is recommended for transition into different educational environments. Methods used to facilitate a smooth transition will be discussed. Finally, data will be shared regarding student transition from ABC School.
Symposium #460
Continuing to Access the General Education Curriculum for Students with Significant Disabilities
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 2 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Fred Spooner (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Discussant: Fred Spooner (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Abstract: With current legislation (No Child Left Behind, 2002), alternate assessments must address the domains of language arts/reading, math, and science and reflect access to the general curriculum. The purpose of this symposium is to extend the work we have done the last two years, and continue to explore access to the general curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The first study presented by investigators from UNC Charlotte will examine outcomes of a literature review on intervention studies in peer reviewed journals from 1975-2003 for target skills which are consistent with the standard curriculum for science. Preliminary results suggest that only one science study was found using the designated descriptors, but that studies involving several of the National Science Education Content Standards had received attention in the functional curriculum. The authors of the second presentation from the University of Illinois will examine the impact of universal design via a multiple baseline design across four high school health classes. In the third presentation, authors from Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison examine the impact of peer support interventions on students’ access to the general curriculum and social interactions
Accessing the General Curriculum: Science and Students with Significant Disabilities
FRED SPOONER (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Diane Browder (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Lynn Ahlgrim Delzell (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Annette Ullrich (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
Abstract: One of the components of No Child Left Behind (2002) is science which is to be evaluated by 2007, was examined as part of a comprehensive literature review conducted as component of a larger study exploring access to the general curriculum for students with significant disabilities. Initially, researchers utilized electronic search systems (e.g., ERIC, Masterfile Premier, and PsychINFO), in addition to searching state websites. The review included data based intervention studies, published in peer reviewed journals between 1975 and 2003, in which the target populations were students with significant disabilities and the target skills were consistent with the standard curriculum. The literature search found only one journal article identified as “science” consistent with the search criteria. On the other hand, it was discovered that several of the seven National Science Education Content Standards (i.e., science in personal and social perspectives, earth and space science) has received considerable attention in the area of severe disabilities (e.g., personal care and hygiene, weather). States are beginning to modify or extend their science standards to meet the functional needs of this population.
Access to the General Curriculum for High School Students with Severe Intellectual Disabilities
STACY DYMOND (University of Illinois), Adelle Renzaglia (University of Illinois)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of using universal design for learning (UDL) strategies on the access and participation of students with severe intellectual disabilities in the general curriculum. A multiple baseline across classes design was used with four general education high school health classes that included students with severe intellectual disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, and no disabilities. Impact of UDL on student engagement, peer interaction, teacher instruction/interaction, and grouping arrangement will be discussed.
Effects of Peer Support Interventions on Students’ Access to the General Curriculum and Social Interactions
LISA S. CUSHING (Vanderbilt University), Erik Carter (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Nitasha M. Clark (Vanderbilt University), Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Peer support interventions are emerging as an effective alternative to traditional paraprofessional models for assisting students with moderate to severe disabilities to access the general curriculum. To contribute to the further refinement of peer support interventions, we evaluated the impact of altering the number of participating peer supports on the social and academic outcomes of students with and without disabilities. Our findings indicated that changes in the configuration of peer support arrangements differentially impacted student outcomes. Specifically, higher levels of social interaction and contact with the general curriculum were observed when students with disabilities worked with two peer supports, relative to one. The additive benefits of a second peer support provides guidance to educators concerning the implementation of peer support interventions in inclusive classrooms.
Paper Session #461
Data Analysis
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Boulevard A (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Robert L. Shapiro (HMEA)
Using Sonic Feedback to Enhance Task Accuracy and Efficiency: An Application of Data Sonification
Domain: Basic Research
Abstract: Data sonification is a tool that can be used to convey information when visual representation is either impossible or impractical. One instance where this is pertinent is in the use of real-time data representation, or sonic feedback. Data presentation can be enhanced or conveyed entirely by sound, thus allowing data recipients to focus visually on essential task requirements, rather than dividing visual attention. This has the potential to improve performance on many tasks where attention may need to be divided among competing stimuli. Using an alternating treatments design, this study compared task efficiency and accuracy when subjects were provided with no feedback, auditory feedback alone, visual feedback alone, or a combination of the two. The addition of auditory feedback proved to be useful in improving subject performance, both in conjunction with and in absence of visual feedback. Implications, including applications in employment and community settings, are discussed.
Comparing Response Rate Components of Two Multiple Schedule Arrangements Using a Log Survivor Plot Analysis of Interresponse Times.
Domain: Basic Research
WENDY DONLIN WASHINGTON (Auburn University), M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
Abstract: Components of response rate were examined by comparing two multiple schedule arrangements. One group of rats was exposed to a Multiple RI 30s (with feedback) RI 30" (without feedback) schedule of reinforcement in which the components differed according to whether a lever press was followed by a brief tone. Another group of rats was exposed to a similar multiple RI schedule, but lever presses were eligible for reinforcement under a percentile IRT 10:0.5 schedule; an IRT had to be shorter than the median of the previous ten IRTs, with the brief tone signaling responses that met this criterion in the feedback component. A log survivor plot analysis (Shull and Grimes, 2003) of IRTs was used to provide independent measures of within-bout response rate, bout-initiation rate and bout length. Overall response rates were highest under the percentile schedule, due to higher within-bout response rates and longer bout lengths. Bout-initiation rates and post-reinforcement pause lengths were not different between the arrangements. For the percentile schedule, individual differences in response rates were influenced primarily by variations in bout lengths and within bout rates, while under the simple RI-only schedule, response rate differences were influenced by the post reinforcement pause length and bout-initiation rate.
Magnifying Individual Operant Occurrences: A Powerful Tool
Domain: Basic Research
FRANCIS MECHNER (The Mechner Foundation), Laurilyn Dianne Jones (The Mechner Foundation)
Abstract: A new technique that magnifies individual occurrences of operants makes it possible to address a wide range of questions that cannot be addressed when the operant occurrences are recorded as all-or-none events. This new operant utilizes lines drawn on a graphics tablet. For each line drawn, the computer records such noncriterial attributes as the line's length, slope, duration, speed and pressure applied by the stylus. This technique was adapted to the task of defining nine operant classes that are equivalent in the sense that subjects showed no prior preference among them, a condition necessary to prevent the effects of the intended independent variables from being contaminated.Among the issues that can be addressed, for some of which data have been collected, are the effects on the characteristics of an operant of such history variables as: number of times the operant was repeated during learning, how recently it was learned and practiced, changes that occur in the operant's characteristics as a function of time passage within the interval during a fixed interval performance, effects of monetary reinforcer presentations during a shaping procedure, and effects of unconditional time-scheduled reinforcer presentations on a stream of operants.
Symposium #462
Int'l Symposium - Derived Relational Responding: Implications for Clinically Relevant Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Private Dining Room 1 (3rd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Roisin McGuinness (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Discussant: Sarah Craig (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The current symposium was explored the implications of derived relational responding for clinically relevant behavior. The study presented in Paper 1 employed flexibility training as a means of establishing repertoires of generalized contextually controlled symmetry and asymmetry responding in children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The study presented in Paper 2 attempted to investigate the abilities of children with Asperger’s Syndrome to demonstrate patterns of relational responding that appear to be critical to the development of perspective-taking, understanding false belief, and deception using previously-established relational protocols. The third and final paper attempts to combining the Relational Evaluation Procedure (REP) with the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as a means of investigating self-attribute relations. The findings from all three papers highlight the utility of relational frame procedures for the investigation of clinically relevant behavior with a range of populations.
Establishing Flexibility in Responding to Contextually Controlled Symmetry and Asymmetry Tasks in Young Children with Autism
JENNIFER O'CONNOR (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The current study was concerned with establishing repertoires of generalized contextually controlled symmetry and asymmetry responding in children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The primary aim of the work was to investigate the effects of explicitly training response flexibility within this type of experimental task. The flexibility intervention was specifically concerned with training the children to appropriately emit either correct or incorrect responses as a means of establishing the initial contextually controlled symmetry and asymmetry repertoires. The findings from the study demonstrated that flexibility training not only established the initial repertoires, but also fostered their generalization in subsequent experimental stages, without the need for additional intervention. The findings are discussed with reference to Relational Frame Theory and the derivation of contextually controlled stimulus relations by autistic populations.
Using Protocols of Relational Responding to Analyze Perspective-taking and Related Repertoires in Children with Asperger’s Syndrome
ROISIN MCGUINNESS (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The current study attempted to investigate the abilities of children with Asperger’s Syndrome to demonstrate patterns of relational responding that appear to be critical to the development of perspective-taking, understanding false belief, and deception. A sample of children with Asperger’s Syndrome was exposed to several protocols adopted from previous Relational Frame research with normally-developing populations. The protocols were used to assess the extent to which these children showed specific deficits in any of the target perspective-taking frames and the subsequent impact this may have on the understanding of false belief and deception. The results of the study offer a functional analytic interpretation of the types of cognitive deficits that characterize Asperger’s syndrome and have important implications for the design of appropriate interventions for the remediation of these deficits.
The Implicit Relational Evaluation Procedure as a Methodology for Examining Self-Related Terms
BREN ROCHE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The current paper presents experimental research that involves combining the Relational Evaluation Procedure (REP) with the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The primary purpose behind combining these two methodologies is to provide a means of assessing specific relational frames that may have been established for individuals or specific populations. The current version of the methodology is called the Implicit Relational Evaluation Procedure (IREP). In contrast to the IAT, and other procedures derived from it, the IREP can assess, at least in principle, any specific relation among sets of stimuli. Previous research using the IAT has shown that it is sensitive to implicit associations between self related terms and other relevant attribute items (e.g., me-good, other-bad). The current study was designed to determine if the IREP was similar to the IAT in its sensitivity to self-attribute relations. Moreover, the study also sought to determine if the sensitivity remains stable across multiple exposures to the IREP. The results of the have indicate that the IREP may provide a means of assessing the types of verbal relations that are established by the wider verbal community with respect to self and others.
Symposium #463
Early Identification and Speech Acquisition in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Continental C (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Karen M. Sze (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Discussant: Karen M. Sze (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to address issues and present data that are relevant to early identification and communication interventions for children with autism or those who are at risk for autism spectrum disorders. First, we will discuss a model demonstration for family support and early identification of children who may be at risk for autism spectrum disorders. Next we will introduce data-based modifications to existing naturalistic, motivational techniques that are instrumental in facilitating speech acquisition in especially challenging nonverbal children. Specifically, we will present data on the use of predictable routines in eliciting expressive speech in nonverbal children with autism. Additionally, we will present data on the incorporation of the child’s pre-treatment vocalizations to eliminate overgeneralization of first word attempt use in a subgroup of nonverbal children. Overall, conceptual implications of these motivational techniques will be discussed in relation to a broader understanding of delivering intervention for even the most severe children with autism. The relevance of each of these topic areas will be discussed in the context of family support, early intervention, and the developing trend for comprehensive service delivery for children with autism.
First S.T.E.P.: A Program Description of a Screening, Training, and Education Project for Young Children at Risk for Autism or Developmental Delays
NICOLETTE NEFDT (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Yvonne Bruinsma (University of California, Santa Barbara), Rosy Fredeen (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: This presentation outlines a behavioral model for early identification of, and family support for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The three components of the project will be presented along with data-based findings. The first component focuses on outreach to pediatricians, educators, and parents to facilitate earlier identification of children at risk for the disorder. The second component details screenings for ASD in addition to results from analyses of early behavioral indicators from children receiving a subsequent outside diagnosis of ASD. And the third component demonstrates the implementation of a Family Support Package for those children indicating a high risk for developing ASD and the results from short-term behavioral interventions for these children and their families.
Facilitating Speech in Nonverbal Children with Autism using Predictable Routines
AMANDA P. MOSSMAN (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Yvonne Bruinsma (University of California, Santa Barbara), Karen M. Sze (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The literature suggests that an increasing number of previously nonverbal children with autism may acquire a functional vocabulary with systematic, intensive treatment. However, despite intensive efforts, some children continue to fail to develop a functional, expressive vocabulary. The purpose of this study was to examine whether, for such unresponsive children, the use of predictable routines as prompts would be effective in increasing children’s correct responding to language trials, facilitate the development of a functional vocabulary, and improve child affect. The results, replicated in an alternating treatment design and a multiple baseline across participants design, showed an increase in correct responding, functional vocabulary, and affect, only when predictable routines were incorporated in prompts. Results are discussed in terms of the role of routine contexts as especially effective prompts because of their pivotal role in enhancing motivation in early language learning in children with autism.
Using Pre-Treatment Vocalizations to Increase Functional Vocabulary in Nonverbal Children with Autism
KAREN M. SZE (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Amanda P. Mossman (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The literature suggests that an increasing number of previously nonverbal children may acquire speech with systematic intervention procedures. However, there appears to be a subset of nonverbal children who may overgeneralize on the use of a first word attempt and have difficulty progressing beyond that point. The purpose of this study was to assess whether incorporating pre-treatment vocalizations into the intervention plan was effective in increasing the children’s functional expressive vocabulary. The results, replicated within a multiple-baseline across participants design, showed an increase in speech acquisition and a corresponding decrease in the percent of overgeneralized responses when pre-treatment vocalizations were used. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for further understanding speech acquisition in nonverbal children with autism.
Symposium #464
Incorporating Applied Behavior Analysis Techniques Into Disciplines Including Special Education, Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 4 (Lower Level)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Laura L. Krosky (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the differences between traditional provision of related services as compared to dissemination of these same services to children with a diagnosis along the autism spectrum utilizing applied behavior analysis strategies.
Dissemination of Speech Language Therapy Services Utilizing Techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis
MEGAN L. DAIGLE (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: Based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, intensive instruction is provided in all areas of a child's development. Specifically, speech therapists are challenged to incorporate systematic and data driven technology when implementing intervention in an applied behavior analysis format.
Providing Occupational Therapy Services Utilizing Methods Of Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNIFER WINTERS (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: Based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, intensive instruction is provided in all areas of a child's development. Specifically, occupational therapists are challenged to incorporate systematic and data driven technology when implementing intervention in an applied behavior analysis format.
Utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis Strategies Through the Provision of Physical Therapy Services
BILLIE MCCANN (Crossroads Center for Children)
Abstract: Based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, intensive instruction is provided in all areas of a child's development. Specifically, physical therapists are challenged to incorporate systematic and data driven technology when implementing intervention in an applied behavior analysis format.
The Provision of Special Education Services Through the Use of Applied Behavior Analysis
KEVIN HARDY (Crossroads School for Children New England)
Abstract: Based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, intensive instruction is provided in all areas of a child's development. Specifically, special education teachers are challenged to incorporate systematic and data driven technology when implementing intervention in an applied behavior analysis format.
Symposium #465
Int'l Symposium - Interdisciplinary Approach to Linguistic Topics: How Can Linguists and Behavior Analysts Reciprocate for Improvement of Linguistic Research?
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Yukiko Washio (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Linguistic research has developed examining the system in language, influence of prior language histories in performance, language development, and development of instructional technology, utilizing various terminology and theories. The approach in linguistic studies is mostly descriptive and focus on categorization of various aspects in language. On the other hand, psycholinguistic studies (i.e., second language education in pragmatic contexts) have facilitated functional and contextualistic perspectives on behavior of language use and environmental factors. This symposium consists of researchers from both fields as presenters and will seek possible functional and contextualistic contribution to linguistic research based on the presenters’ behavior analytic and psycholinguistic research.
Analog Demonstration of “Confusion” in Second Language Acquisition
YUKIKO WASHIO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Scott A. Herbst (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Transfer of training from an instructional environment to a natural environment may bring about ineffective language performance by bilingual individuals. In that regard, this study was designed to demonstrate the effect of such transition on individuals’ language performance. Accordingly, a series of Japanese and English words were used as sample and comparison stimuli in the matching-to-sample procedure. Differential conditioning was implemented under two types of contextual stimuli. After three sets of equivalence classes were established with the contextual stimuli, the last phase followed, in which the physical configuration of contextual stimuli were changed to more subtle appearances and the number of variations in the contextual stimuli increased. Measures of percent correct and response latency were used to demonstrate some aspects of “confusion” in an analog preparation. Results showed that percent correct reposing decreased in the last phase (with subtle contextual stimuli) for 11 out of 14 participants. These findings indicate that the change in environmental stimuli could be a significant participatory factor in training of second language.
Linguistic Perspectives on Behavior-Analytic Approaches to Language
ROBERT DLOUHY (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The challenges of using a Behavior-Analytic approach to account for phenomena linguists see in language are discussed. One important challenge is to account for how users of a language organize their behaviors into what appear to be hierarchically organized structures. In basic terms, this would be an explanation of how complex symbols are formed through combinations of smaller symbols. A related challenge is to account for what Hockett called duality of patterning, the mapping of non-symbolic phonological units into symbolic morphological units, and the mapping of these morphological units into syntactic patterns which are also symbolic. In other words, how is it that speakers of a language normally use a restricted set of sound units that are systematically combined to form words, which are systematically combined to form sentences? Furthermore, how is it that normal humans can respond appropriately the such complex stimuli? It will be argued that Relational Frame Theory (RFT) can account for these phenomena, and that, in behavioral terms, language is a subset of verbal behavior having specifically organized operants.
Acquisition Process in Learning Handwriting Chinese Characters to Children with Learning Disorders
MASAKO TSURUMAKI (Fukushima University, Japan)
Abstract: Computer-based spelling program that applied either a constructed-response matching-to-sample (CRMTS) or a delayed word-construction procedure is being used in order to teach spelling to participants with mental retardation (e.g., Dube et al., 1991; Stromer, et al., 1996). I applied arbitrary CRMTS tasks to teach handwriting behavior of Chinese characters to Japanese participants with learning disorders using a computer-based teaching program (Tsurumaki et al., 2003). Participants were required to construct the elements of Chinese characters. Number of elements were changed from two to three based on the study. And the way to dividing is changed either. I'd like to consider about acquisition process through reporting the results of each study.
Symposium #466
Preference Assessments in Differing Populations
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 1 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Richard B. Graff, Ph.D.
Abstract: The three studies presented in this symposium all represent the application of preference assessment methods with unique populations or the modification of preference assessment methods to address the specific challenges posed by certain populations. The first study involved the identification of reinforcers for individuals diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders, and the validation of the outcomes of preference assessments with these individuals by measuring their effects when delivered contingent upon on-task behavior. The second study entailed a modification of preference assessment methods to assess olfactory stimuli with participants diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. In the third study, the effects the presence of highly-, moderately-, and lowly-preferred items on problem behavior and on various types of play between children diagnosed with autism and their siblings was examined.
An Evaluation of a Brief Multiple-Stimulus Preference Assessment with Adolescents with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD) in an Educational Setting
THOMAS S. HIGBEE (Utah State University), Nancy W. Paramore (Utah State University)
Abstract: The brief multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment has been demonstrated to accurately and efficiently identify reinforcers for individuals with developmental disabilities. In an attempt to determine its utility for individuals with less severe cognitive impairments, we conducted MSWO preference assessments with three adolescent boys with emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) within the context of their public school educational program. The reinforcing effects of stimuli identified as high-, medium-, and low-preference were then evaluated using an alternating treatment design where, following an initial baseline, stimuli were delivered contingent on on-task behavior. High-preference stimuli produced the highest percentages of on-task behavior for all three participants.
Assessment of preference for olfactory stimuli in individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome
SARAH E. BLOOM (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract: This study examines preference for olfactory stimuli in individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Results of a previous study (DeLeon, Iwata & Roscoe, 1997) showed that edible stimuli tend to “displace” leisure stimuli downward when both are present in mixed arrays. We attempted to replicate these findings and to extend them to olfactory stimuli, which may have special relevance to the PWS population for whom food reinforcers are contraindicated. We conducted a series of three paired-stimulus preference assessments (edible vs. leisure, leisure vs. olfactory, and edible vs. olfactory) with 10 PWS participants. Results indicated that most but not all participants preferred edible stimuli over stimuli from other classes. Individuals for whom olfactory stimuli were more preferred than leisure stimuli participated in a subsequent reinforcer assessment (concurrent arrangement) to determine whether olfactory stimuli were preferred when presented contingent upon performance of a vocational response. Individuals for whom olfactory stimuli were the least preferred participated a single-operant reinforcer assessment to determine whether olfactory stimuli had any reinforcing capability.
Using Free-Operant Preference Assessments to Select Toys for Free Play Between Children with Autism and Their Siblings
RACHAEL A. SAUTTER (Western Michigan University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University), Jill Gillett (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Stimulus properties of toys may impact the type and amount of play observed between children with autism and their playmates. Six children with autism and their siblings participated. Separate free operant preference assessments were conducted with toys in two categories: highly sensory stimulating toys and non-sensory developmentally oriented toys. Highly preferred items and moderate to low preferred items from each category were then introduced into free play observations with children with autism and their sibling. Data were collected on the occurrence of several types of play (e.g., solitary, parallel, interactive, pretend) and problem behavior (e.g., stereotypy, aggression). Generally, highly preferred sensory items were associated with more problem behavior and solitary play while developmentally oriented toys that were moderately preferred produced the most interactive play and least problem behavior. Implications for sibling interventions are discussed.
Symposium #467
Solving Common Clinical Problems Using Behaviorally-Based Principles
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Williford A (3rd floor)
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: The push in clinical psychology to develop and implement empirically supported interventions has reached a feverous pitch. Several divisions within the American Psychological Association (e.g., Division 12: Clinical Psychology; Division 16: School Psychology; Division 53: Society for Child and Adolescent Psychology) have called for researchers to begin establishing a pool of treatments that have substantial empirical support and for practitioners to hold true to the use of these interventions when treating clinical problems. The field of behavior analysis has, for years, embraced the scientific study of treatments for common and uncommon clinical problems. Dougher and Hayes (2000) used the term clinical behavior analysis to describe the use of behavior analytic principles in treating problems most often presented in clinical settings. While clinical behavior analysis has produced a multitude of empirically supported treatments for aberrant behavior (e.g., head banging, feeding problems, physical aggression, habits), the target population for the majority of these interventions has been individuals with developmental disabilities or severe handicaps. The purpose of this symposium is to expose the audience to interventions for common clinical problems presented by typically developing children and adolescents. The interventions are derived from behavioral principles and target problems involving instructional control, off-task behavior, and peer rejection.
Increasing Compliance with Adolescents Using Behavioral Momentum
ALISHA DICKENS (Girls and Boys Town), Richard Anthony Doggett (Mississippi State University), Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town), Renee Oliver (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: Noncompliance with requests and demands among children with and without disabilities is a common problem for parents and teachers. Behavioral momentum is an effective intervention used in applied settings to increase the frequency of compliance. It is a quick, non-aversive, highly acceptable form of treatment that requires minimal resources. Momentum theory has proven effectiveness across subjects, settings, and requests; however, the participants in most studies have been individuals with severe developmental disabilities (Mace, Hock, Lalli, West, Belfiore, Printer, & Brown, 1988; Ray, Skinner, & Watson, 1999; Ramano & Roll, 2000). The purpose of this study was to expand the research on behavioral momentum with typically developing adolescents in a residential treatment setting. Direct care paraprofessionals were trained to implement a behavioral momentum protocol and to collect data on the frequency of compliance and noncompliance. The participants were delivered a 5:1 ratio of high probability requests to low probability requests. Results from this study provide further support for the utility of behavioral momentum in naturalistic settings. Discussion will focus on the practicality and applicability of behavioral momentum as a viable clinical treatment for noncompliant behavior.
Providing Breaks to Increase On-Task Behavior and Productivity During Homework Time
RENEE OLIVER (Girls and Boys Town), Michael I. Axelrod (Girls and Boys Town), Alisha Dickens (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: For parents of youth who exhibit oppositional and noncompliant behavior, homework time can be especially difficult. Effective interventions are needed to increase student on-task behavior and homework productivity. Clinicians often recommend that parents give student breaks during homework time. Providing breaks alters antecedent conditions in a way that could potentially increase on-task behavior. Research is needed to answer specific logistical questions regarding how to efficiently implement breaks. Using the within-subjects, multiple treatments design (A-B-A-C-A-D), this study compared the effects of breaks varying in duration and frequency on homework productivity and on-task behavior of four youth. The baseline condition consisted of students engaging in a one hour long study time in which they were to complete their daily homework assignments. Direct care paraprofessionals introduced breaks of different lengths and frequencies during the intervention phases. Discussion will focus on the effects of the various breaks on on-task behavior and homework productivity.
Evaluation of an Exposure-based Anger Management Intervention for Typically Developing Children
CLINT FIELD (Utah State University), Nancy L. Foster (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Children and adolescents often experience difficulty managing anger appropriately. Such problems may present as verbal or physical aggression or even tantrums. Effective behavioral interventions for anger management often target adolescents by exposing them to anger-provoking situations and then providing reinforcement for appropriate responses. Further, research indicates that providing the anger-provoking event in natural environments is superior to clinical settings in promoting generalization. Unfortunately, research has not evaluated the effectiveness of similar procedures with younger children. Although anger displayed by adolescents is often more intense (i.e., severe) and therefore warrants immediate attention, modifying the anger management strategies of younger children may result in the prevention of future problematic behavior. The present study was designed to evaluate a behavioral intervention for treating anger problems in children ages 4-10. Children were exposed to anger-provoking stimuli with increased frequency and varying levels of realism (e.g., chore requests, negative feedback, non-preferred decisions) in their home environment and received reinforcement contingent on appropriate responses. This study extends the current anger management literature by targeting 1) younger, normally developing children, 2) within their home environments, 3) with a parent implemented exposure-based intervention. Results support the utility of these procedures with younger children and recommendations are provided for ensuring treatment integrity and enhancing the social validity of the intervention. Discussion focuses on the importance of early and ecologically valid interventions in the treatment of anger and aggression in children.
Evaluating Active Components of a Positive Peer Reporting Intervention for Socially Rejected Adolescents
MICHAEL L. HANDWERK (Girls and Boys Town)
Abstract: Positive peer reporting (PPR) has produce relatively consistent positive effects on the peer interaction of rejected youth (Jones, Young, & Friman, 2000). PPR involves rewarding positive verbal statements made by classmates or others toward a targeted rejected youth. Typically, the target youth either receives more opportunities to receive verbal acknowledgement from others, though in some investigations the targeted youth is also allowed to provide positive verbalizations to other non-rejected youths. This presentation will present data from several investigation of this procedure that help elucidate the active components of the intervention (i.e., telling vs. hearing), investigate generalization of treatment effects (beyond treatment implementation), and supplement the procedure with brief skills training in the domain of peer interaction.
Symposium #468
Using Choice to Improve Treatment Outcomes with Activity Schedules
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Continental B (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Harry A. Mackay (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Discussant: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.
Abstract: This symposium will highlight the use of choice and choice making procedures, in the context of photographic activity schedules. 1) Teaching Independent Choice Making Using Activity Schedules: This presentation will describe the procedures used to teach choice a making in the context of a photographic activity schedule. Data will be provided showing acquisition of choice making in the activity schedule as well as a step by step description of the methodology for teaching choice making in this format. 2) Reducing the frequency of rectal prolapse: Effects of initiating activity schedule choices.This presentation will focus on how the incorporation of a choice procedure into a photographic activity schedule resulted in a significant reduction in the frequency of occurrence of a serious maladaptive behavior (rectal prolapse), in a boy with Autism. 3) Increasing Compliance to Task in Children with Autism Via ChoiceThe use of a “Choice” or a “No Choice” (of the activity to be completed and order of completion) procedure to teach activity schedule following was compared. Data reflect more rapid acquisition of and compliance to the photographic activity schedule activities where student choice was offered, than when no choice was available.
Reducing the Frequency of Rectal Prolapse: Effects of Initiating Activity Schedule Choices
HARRY A. MACKAY (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Judy Hurlburt (Evergreen Center), Robert F. Littleton Jr. (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Several behavioral techniques were used over a one-year period in treating a boy with autistic who exhibited “voluntary Rectal Prolapse” (RP). In RP, the individual voluntarily protrudes several inches of the lower intestine through the anus. RP is socially inappropriate and medically dangerous, possibly leading to severe bleeding, irreversible damage to the intestinal tract, and anemia. Treatment typically involves surgery. Nothing is known about behavioral intervention.Initially, application of several procedures yielded only limited reduction in RP. However, dramatic reduction in rate of RP immediately followed initiation of an activity schedule program together with continuation of physical intervention to inhibit abdominal contractions and pushing. The program allowed the boy to construct his entire daily schedule by making choices at the beginning of each staff shift that determined the sequence of predictable activities (including school work, toileting opportunities, transitions) that were to occur. The activity choices were made via computer and transferred to a visual schedule board. Stars were delivered following completion of each activity. Four accumulated stars led to a choice of back-up reinforcers. Treatment and follow-up data are discussed.
Teaching Independent Choice Making Using Activity Schedules
BRIAN J. JOERGENS (Beacon ABA Services), Joseph M. Vedora (Beacon ABA Services), Robert Stromer (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: This paper summarizes a method for teaching choice making in the context of an activity schedule. The participant initially failed to make choices during the activity schedule despite repeated prompting. During pre-training, a new choice making procedure involving a matching to sample routine was established. Next, the choice making routine was imbedded in a three item photographic activity schedule. Subsequent phases systematically increased the number of choice components until the student constructed hi own schedule. The results indicate that the student ultimately learned to make choices
Increasing Compliance to Task in Children with Autism Through Choice
ALLISON GAUTHIER (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that providing opportunities for choice, has increased task completion and produce more effective reinforcement procedures. Research has also shown that activity schedules also produce an increase in student participation. This study sought to determine if providing opportunities for choice in the context of activity schedules would result in increased compliance in children with autism. Choice was introduced in the context of Activity Schedules. Two activity schedule conditions were compared, a “Choice” and “No choice” condition. In the choice condition, all participants chose the activities comprising the activity schedule and the order in which they were completed. In the no choice the activity schedule used was identical to the one created by the student in the choice condition, but was presented by the educator as a set schedule. The sessions were yoked to demonstrate experimental control. The data are presented in a comparison of conditions implemented, the first being a choice condition and the second being a no choice condition. The results show more rapid acquisition and increased compliance to the activity schedule in the “Choice” condition.
Symposium #469
Using Pivotal Responses to Change Symptoms of Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Daniel Openden (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Discussant: Daniel Openden (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to address issues and present data that are relevant to Pivotal Response Interventions for children with autism and their families. Topics will include a discussion of the following emerging themes: application of pivotal response techniques to complete homework assignments and facilitate homework performance among children with autism; a model for training paraprofessionals to facilitate social interactions between children with autism and their peers in an inclusive summer camp setting; and procedures used in systematic desensitization to treat hypersensitivity to auditory stimuli. The relevance of each of these topic areas will be discussed within the context of naturalistic teaching strategies and the developing trends in comprehensive behavioral interventions for children with autism.
Applying Pivotal Response Training to School Assigned Homework for Children with Autism to Improve Performance
QUY TRAN (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Amanda P. Mossman (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Many children with autism struggle with completing their homework. The present study examined the effects of specifically applying pivotal response techniques to complete homework assignments and facilitate homework performance among children with autism. A multiple baseline design was used to assess the effects of applying PRT through a parent-training model with three school-aged children with autism. Results indicate that using the procedural components from PRT improve child’s performance and attitude toward homework by decreasing disruptive behaviors, increasing child’s affect and positive statements surrounding homework, while facilitating homework completion. These findings support the training of parents in PRT and its specific application toward homework to improve the nature of interaction between parent and child and the performance of children with autism on school assigned work.
Training Paraprofessionals to Facilitate Social Interactions Between Children with Autism and Their Peers in an Inclusive Summer Camp Setting
EILEEN KLEIN (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Mendy Boettcher Minjarez (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lauren I. Brookman-Frazee (University of California, Santa Barbara), Daniel Openden (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: The literature suggests that paraprofessional support personnel frequently engage in hovering behavior, which is impeding the social development of children with autism in inclusive settings. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to assess, within a multiple baseline design, whether paraprofessionals could be trained to facilitate social interactions between children with autism and their typically developing peers. The results showed: a) at baseline, the paraprofessionals engaged in high levels of hovering and low levels of social facilitation; b) at baseline, the campers with autism engaged in low levels of social behaviors; c) the paraprofessionals could easily learn to decrease hovering behavior and increase their social facilitation behaviors; d) concurrent with the change in the paraprofessionals’ support behaviors, the social behavior of the children with autism with their nondisabled peers increased. Generalization measures indicate that the paraprofessionals continued to use their skills when they worked with new children. The results are discussed in relation to their implication for social development for children with autism and a model for training paraprofessionals in inclusive settings.
A Systematic Desensitization Paradigm to Treat Hypersensitivity to Auditory Stimuli in Children with Autism in Family Contexts
DANIEL OPENDEN (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Many children with autism display reactions to auditory stimuli that seem as if the stimuli were painful or otherwise extremely aversive. This article describes how procedures of systematic desensitization can be used to treat hypersensitivity to auditory stimuli, including the sound from a vacuum cleaner, blender, hand-mixer, toilet flushing, and specific animal sounds from musical toys in three young children with autism. A changing criterion design was employed and data were collected on: (a) the number of hierarchical steps completed as comfortable with the stimulus per week; and (b) the mean level of anxiety per probe. A clinical replication was implemented using a direct replication of the desensitization procedures for three children and he results of a systematic replication across stimuli for one child is presented. The data show that the children’s responses could be modified to the point where they were comfortable with these noises. The discussion suggests that the extreme reactions to auditory stimuli many children with autism exhibit may be related to a phobia rather than pain associated with a stimulus.
Paper Session #470
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Michael W. Schlund (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Barholding During Acute Pain in the Laboratory Rat
Domain: Basic Research
STACEY LAGRAIZE (University of Maryland), James Kopp (University of Texas at Arlington), Perry N. Fuchs (University of Texas at Arlington), Denise Lott Arellano (University of Texas at Arlington)
Abstract: In a series of daily one hour sessions, ten female albino (Holtzmann) rats were brought under the control of a CHAIN [FR1] [FR1] [EXT60”(COD10”)] schedule of reinforcement Following training, an inflammatory (painful) condition was induced (1% formalin injection) in each rat’s hindpaw prior to its exposure the chain schedule. A formalin-free posttest was administerd a day later. During the formalin test there was a marked increase in the latency to the first response in each chain and a comparable decrease in the number of chains completed per minute. These results are in accord wiith theories relating pain and overall activity. On the other hand, duration (bar holding) of the initial response in each chain was two to three times longer on average during the formalin (pain) test than during pretest and posttest sessions The latter finding is rather counerintuitive suggesting, as it does, an additve relationship between pain and effort expended during skill performances. Further work should uncover more on the exact nature of such an interaction.
Neuroimaging Gender Differences During Reinforcement and Discriminative Stimulus Presentation
Domain: Basic Research
MICHAEL W. SCHLUND (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michael F. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Evidence from human and nonhuman drug studies suggests that gender differences in dopamine system ‘sensitivity’ affects behavioral sensitivity to reinforcement. Results show that women compared to men are more vulnerable to psychostimulant drugs, require more time to become addicted, experience more cravings to drug cues, and show greater increases in blood flow in frontal-striatal ‘reward’ pathways drug cues. Similarly, female rats compared to male rats acquire cocaine self-administration behavior more rapidly and learning is less negatively affected by dopamine antagonists. In this presentation, we will present results of two BOLD fMRI investigations that measured brain activation in groups of human males and females during reinforcement (money gain) and during presentation of discriminative stimuli. In general, results revealed gender differences in frontal-striatal-thalamic regions, suggesting that gender may be a significant source of between-subject variability in fMRI data. Another intriguing question for future research is whether gender differences reflect fixed (hardwired) dopamine system differences or reflects the action of other variables such as learning history, task instructions or the motivational significance of money.



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