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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Program by Continuing Education Events: Sunday, May 24, 2009

Manage My Personal Schedule


Symposium #153
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Distance Learning for Parents and Personnel: Instructional Design, Evaluation and Future Directions for Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center)
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Four papers are presented on the application of online learning to educate parents, paraprofessionals and professionals in behavioral intervention applied to autism and to diverse topics if interest to early intervention professionals. The focus of the first three presentations is to: 1) describe instructional design methods used to meet the specific needs of each of the target audiences; 2) illustrate selected course features, including text presentation, Flash programming, and applications of three types of video – brief parent-documentaries, demonstrations of behavioral procedures and automated interactive exercises; 3) present formative evaluation information, including how it was applied to course development; and 4) present summative field evaluation data. The fourth paper summarizes the instructional methodology presented in the first three papers in the context of future development strategies. Opportunities to build upon the methods by employing multi-media technology as a means of moving from primarily educational to increasingly training-oriented course objectives will be examined.
Educating Parents of Children with ASD in Behavioral Intervention: An Online Program
ELISE A. STOKES (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Elaine Gabovitch (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Melissa C. T. Maslin (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriv), Maura Buckley (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Paul Roselli (Corporate Film & Video Productions, LLC)
Abstract: When a child receives an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, the parents are faced with a whirlwind of anecdotal accounts from other parents, promises of a ‘cure,’ and dramatic stories told by the media. To address the need for accurate information for parents of children newly diagnosed with ASD, the authors have created an online course in Behavioral Intervention (BI) that is especially geared to parents. The course teaches BI by presenting each topic in three layers: 1) basic information written in a parent-friendly style; 2) more in-depth and technical information, replete with examples and interactive exercises; and 3) links to supporting literature and Internet resources. Interwoven with this instructional content, throughout the course, are short parent-interview video clips that document the experiences and stories of 5 families as they adopted and used BI. This paper describes and illustrates the course by presenting its instructional methodology, BI topics covered, parent and professional focus group data, video footage of parents and an interactive video exercise.
Behavioral Intervention Skills for Entry-Level Paraprofessionals
LESLIE A. MORRISON (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center)
Abstract: Behavioral Intervention in Autism-Practitioner Skills is an Internet-based distance learning program designed to introduce entry-level paraprofessionals and teacher aides, as well as parents and family members, to core behavioral intervention (BI) procedures in the treatment of young children with ASD. In an “instructorless” format, learners are guided through a series of sequential lessons that include reading online text (“lectures”) and viewing video footage that depicts providers, including parents and children with ASD, demonstrating critical BI procedures in both home- and school-based settings. In addition, self-assessments and practice exercises are utilized as a way for learners to assess knowledge acquired within the modules. The first phase in the development of this multi-module course consists of three modules: (1) Positive Reinforcement: Selection and Use of Reinforcement; (2) Relationship Building: Pairing and Teaching Cooperation; and (3) Prompting and Prompt Fading. Data from a field evaluation will be presented. A second phase of course development has been proposed, which would include up to 10 additional modules on BI procedures.
Educating Early Intervention Professionals in Current Topics through Distance Learning
RICHARD K. FLEMING (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Cindy K. Fleming (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: Early intervention professionals work in a highly multi-disciplinary environment. As such they stand to benefit from opportunities to supplement their expertise, by taking online courses on topics such as infant and toddler development, transition planning, team collaboration, assistive technology, naturalistic teaching methods and more. This paper presents formative evaluation methods and results, the development of audience-relevant learning objectives, the selection and implementation of instructional design features and summative evaluation procedures and data. Examples of design features, and summative evaluation data, are provided for several distinctively different courses. Our current use and continued development of an instructional design protocol is also presented.
Summary and Future Directions for Online Course Development
RICHARD W. SERNA (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: This paper will focus on future development strategies and methods that could move distance learning from primarily educational online courses to full training experiences. The previous three papers in this symposium described instructional methods designed to educate and, via some simulation, to train parents and personnel online. Advances in multi-media technology available to both developers and users present opportunities to greatly enhance those methods. Interactive video, live video for observation and feedback, and Flash-based learning environments are among the options that will be discussed for moving in this direction.
Symposium #154
CE Offered: BACB
Investigating Variables Related to Procedural Integrity and Remediation of Staff Behavior
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Bethany L. McNamara (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Linda Heitzman-Powell, Ph.D.
Abstract: One of the hallmarks of applied behavior analysis is its analytic approach to problems. Analytic has been described as finding a functional relation between the manipulated events and behavior. Treatment integrity is defined as the degree to which the independent variable is implemented as prescribed in the treatment protocol. This symposium addresses the issues of treatment integrity and begins to investigate the variables responsible for maintaining staff behavior. In the first study reinforcement was delivered with varying levels of integrity during a visual-visual match-to-sample task. Preliminary results suggest that lower rates of procedural integrity of programmed consequences did not interfere with skill acquisition for typical adults. The second study evaluated a training procedure for increasing teachers’ treatment integrity when implementing a student’s problem behavior program. The results suggest that video self monitoring may successfully remediate low levels of treatment integrity. The third study was successful at increasing levels of treatment integrity in the context of a discrete trial using a treatment package consisting of video and consultation. The final study conducted an experimental analysis of adult delivered reprimands. The results of this study suggest that teacher delivered reprimands were maintained by negative reinforcement through immediate termination of the problem behavior.
Varying Procedural Integrity Levels in the Delivery of Programmed Consequences during Visual-Visual Match-to-Sample tasks
JACQUELINE NICOLE POTTER (The New England Center for Children), Shawn E. Kenyon (NECC), Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon (NECC)
Abstract: The delivery of programmed consequences is a vital part of learning in the applied setting. Procedural integrity is a measure of how the independent variables are implemented and is an important component of behavior analytic application and research. Procedural integrity related to the delivery of programmed consequences has not yet received much attention in the literature. This study examined the effects of 100% and 44% levels of procedural integrity of the delivery of the programmed consequences on a visual-visual discrimination training using a progressive point prompt delay procedure (i.e., 0 seconds, 3 seconds, and 5 seconds). To date, six participants, who were newly employed as teachers at a residential school that serves children with developmental disabilities participated in the study. Three 3-stimuli classes containing visual symbols were used and presented on a computer utilizing a Power Point program. Visual-visual relations among some stimuli were initially trained using different levels of procedural integrity regarding the delivery of the programmed consequences. Tests for the emergence of new, not directly trained relations were then conducted. Preliminary results suggest that lower procedural integrity levels with regards to the delivery of programmed consequences did not interfere with skill acquisition of stimulus relations.
The Effects of Video-Self Monitoring for Increasing the Procedural Integrity for One Student’s Behavior Management Plan
AMY CONSTANTINE (New England Center for Children), Bethany L. McNamara (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Functional relations are detected through systematic manipulations of the independent variable and evaluating its’ effect on the dependent variable. Therefore when evaluating the efficacy of a student’s behavior program it is important that the program is conducted with a high level of treatment integrity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a training procedure for increasing treatment integrity of teachers when implementing a student’s clinical program for problem behavior. Four teachers who worked at a residential school for children with developmental disabilities served as participants. Video tapes of the participants during baseline revealed low procedural integrity of one student’s behavior program implementation. This program targeted motor stereotypy through response interruption and redirection combined with access to competing items. Phase one of the intervention involved the distribution of management guidelines on the student’s program to the entire team of teachers. Procedural integrity increased slightly for two participants but remained the same or decreased for the other two. During the treatment phase participants were videotaped working with this student and were asked to score their procedural integrity using a procedural integrity tool. The use of video-self monitoring showed an increase in procedural integrity as compared to traditional phases of staff training.
Increasing Treatment Integrity for Discrete Trial Teaching Using Video Performance Feedback Consultation
MICHAEL NEAL SAUNDERS (Westfield State College), Patrick F. Heick (May Institute), Shannon Kay (May Institute), Roger M. Tudor (Westfield State College)
Abstract: A multiple baseline design across participants was used to assess the effectiveness of a video performance feedback consultation model to improve treatment integrity for staff implementation of a discrete trial teaching program that targeted tacting skills. Four direct care staff and one client at a day habilitation program participated in this investigation. All baseline and intervention phase sessions were videotaped for review during consultation sessions, to assess correct implementation of teaching steps, and for inter-rater reliability. Immediate improvements in treatment fidelity were made from baseline to intervention phases across all staff.
An Experimental Analysis of Negative Reinforcement Contingencies for Adult-Delivered Reprimands
JONATHAN R. MILLER (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Previous research indicates that caregiver reprimands can function as reinforcers for problem behavior. Some studies suggest that reprimands are maintained by negative reinforcement due to immediate reductions in problem behavior; however, this has not been demonstrated empirically. Such contingencies may affect accurate implementation of behavioral interventions. More research is needed to examine the variables controlling behavior associated with procedural integrity. The purpose of this study was to conduct an experimental analysis of adult-delivered reprimands in a laboratory setting. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a special education class participated in simulated teaching sessions with an experimenter who role-played as an individual with developmental disabilities. The effects of two conditions on the frequency of adult-delivered reprimands were examined in a reversal design. During the Escape condition, the experimenter exhibited problem behavior (e.g., self-injury, property destruction) on a fixed-time (FT) schedule. Contingent on reprimands, problem behavior ceased until the next scheduled occurrence. During the Extinction condition, the experimenter exhibited problem behavior on the same schedule; however, reprimands no longer resulted in escape. Results suggested that reprimands were maintained by negative reinforcement through immediate termination of problem behavior. The findings also demonstrated the utility of conducting this type of analysis in the laboratory.
Symposium #155
CE Offered: BACB
Investigating Ancillary Treatments for Children with Autism: An Analysis of Sensory Integration Treatments and Oral-Motor Exercises
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 125
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Cecilia McCarton (The McCarton Center)
Discussant: Erik A. Mayville (Connecticut Center for Child Development)
CE Instructor: H. Keith Massel, Ph.D.
Abstract: Many children with autism receive a variety of interventions in addition to ABA intervention. Sensory integration therapy and oral motor exercises are two very commonly used approaches. This symposium will address the evidence basis for these interventions, and will present data from systematic analyses of the impact of these approaches. The first paper is a review of the existing literature on sensory integration and oral motor exercises as interventions for children with autism. The second paper presents data from several students on the use of sensory integration to reduce self-stimulatory behaviors. Single case studies examined the use of a sensory diet and swinging in reducing muscle tensing and the use of non-contingent visual stimulation in reducing aberrant eye movements. These therapies were ineffective in reducing these behaviors. The third paper addresses the use of a systematic oral motor exercise protocol to produce short and long-term changes in dexterity, sound production, and other outcomes of such instruction. The results will be interpreted in the context of using ABA to systematically evaluate the impact of ancillary treatments for individual learners, as well as the need to share negative results with the broader professional community.
A Review of the Research Regarding the Efficacy of Sensory Integration Training and Oral Motor Exercises with Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders
THOMAS L. ZANE (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sa), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often exhibit stereotypic behaviors such as rocking, spinning, hand flapping, and excessive movements at a frequency higher than children who are not diagnosed. Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT), is, according to Jean Ayres, “…a clinical frame of reference for the assessment and treatment of persons who have functional disorders in sensory processing." Generally speaking, the theory is that human behavior is contingent on brain function; errors in brain functioning result in dysfunctional behavior or pediatric developmental problems including sensory dysfunction. Consequences of this dysfunction include problems in sensory discrimination, perception, proprioception, tactile discrimination, visual perception, and vestibular processing. SIT is frequently used with children with autism to reduce these behaviors. Similarly, (non-vocal) oral motor exercises are often done to build sound and speech production. However, a review of the published research on the effectiveness of SIT and oral motor exercises indicates a clear lack of experimental research supporting the effectiveness of such procedures. The research that has been published has been flawed due to research design and methodological confounds. The proposed presentation will review the published literature on SIT and oral motor exercises and critique it against the criteria for quality evidence of effectiveness.
Investigating the Effects of Sensory Integration Therapy in Decreasing Self-Stimulatory Behavior
CAROLYN SNIEZYK (Crossroad Center), Teri VanEpps (Crossroad Center)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of various sensory integration therapies in reducing self-stimulatory behaviors. Single case studies examined the use of a sensory diet in reducing muscle tensing, the use of swinging in reducing muscle tensing, and the use of non-contingent presentation of visual stimulation in reducing inappropriate eye movement. A licensed Occupational Therapist was responsible for creating procedures designed to reduce target behaviors. The participants were between the ages of three years and six years. Procedural reliability and inter-rater reliability measures met acceptable criteria. The sensory integration therapies were ineffective in reducing the targeted self-stimulatory behaviors.
Evaluating the Impact of Oral Motor Intervention for Children with Autism: An Analysis of Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes
LAURA PRESTIA (The McCarton School), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Ivy J. Feldman (McCarton School), Jacquelin A. Hickey (The McCarton School), Cecilia McCarton (The McCarton Center)
Abstract: Oral motor interventions have been used with children with autism for addressing deficits in sound and speech production. The data have been poor regarding the impact of such approaches, yet they remain commonly practiced in programs for children with autism. Often, the manner in which such intervention is done is not systematic, and the guidelines for how to best implement such approaches are unclear. This paper presents a very systematic and methodical approach to the implementation of an oral motor exercise protocol, and identifies short and long-term outcomes presumably associated with progress in oral motor skills. The effects of this protocol on building endurance for the exercises and on sound and speech production will be presented across several learners
Symposium #161
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Analysis and the Legal System: Three Perspectives on a Wrongful Death Case and the Aftermath
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/DDA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jon S. Bailey (FSU, BMC, FABA)
Discussant: Gina Green (San Diego State University)
CE Instructor: Rayni Anderson, M.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium will present three perspectives on a wrongful death case that was recently settled in Florida: The mother of the client who died, the attorney who represented the family, and the behavior analyst who was the expert witness for the plaintiffs. The issues concern the selection and training of the staff that were responsible for carrying out the behavior program and the supervision required to properly implement a behavioral program in the community. Our attorney will explain the legal and ethical implications and responsibilities for our field.
“My Favorite Person”
Abstract: Ms. Glover will present the background on her son who was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) as a child, the difficult decision for placement in a group home specializing in PWS as a teen and subsequently died several years later as a young adult in this facility which presented itself as a specialized behavioral treatment program for individuals diagnosed with PWS. Ms. Glover will conclude with the aftermath due to this tragic event.
The Behavior Analyst as an Expert Witness in a Wrongful Death Case: What we have to offer the legal system
Abstract: Dr. Bailey will describe his role as an expert witness and some of the behavioral issues that were central to the case including issues of training of staff, design of the behavioral program, and the proper implementation and monitoring of the behavioral program, the failure of which resulted in the death of the client.
A new world of rights for vulnerable clients today
DEAN LEBOEUF (Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney, PA)
Abstract: Mr. LeBoeuf will address issues relevant to behavior analysts who are concerned with clients right to treatment under state statutes in Florida and other states. This Prader-Willi wrongful death case appears to open the door to litigation which holds treatment facilities responsible for providing proper care, treatment, and supervision. Advice for behavior analysts who wish to protect clients in their facilities will be provided.
Symposium #162a
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Examining Prompting Procedures During Skill Acquisition
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.

Applied behavior analysts have a rich history of teaching socially important behavior to individuals with developmental disabilities and autism. Response prompting, reinforcement, generalization, and maintenance have all been extensively studied to identify best teaching practices. This symposium will examine a number of issues related to prompting responses during skill acquisition. Each paper focuses on a different aspect of learning during skill acquisition. The first paper, presented by Laura Grow, explores the system of least prompts for teaching behavior chains and describes how such procedures are at risk for treatment integrity failures in naturalistic settings such as a classroom. The second paper, presented by Genevieve Fentress, compares the “no-no” prompting procedure to most-to-least prompting for teaching skills to children with autism. In the third paper, presented by Tiffany Kodak, four aspects of learning conditional discriminations (reinforcement, response prompting, attending, and exposure to sample stimuli) are examined. The distinguished former editor of JABA, Wayne Fisher, will serve as the discussant.

An Evaluation of the Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Acquisition during Instruction using the System of Least Prompts
LAURA L. GROW (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Auburn University), Kristin V Gunby (Kinark child and family services), Shaireen M. Charania (Kinark child and family services), Christina Gonsalves (Kinark Child and Family Services), Inas A Ktaech (Kinark Child and Family Services), April Kisamore (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Teaching procedures such as the system of least prompts may be at risk for treatment integrity failures in naturalistic settings such as a classroom. Two studies have systematically assessed the impact of treatment integrity failures on the acquisition of new skills (Holcombe, Wolery, & Snyder, 1994; Noell, Gresham & Gansle, 2002). In the present study, we compared the acquisition and maintenance of response chains taught using a perfectly implemented system of least prompts and a flawed system of least prompts (i.e., addition of multiple verbal prompts and failure to follow through with more intrusive prompts). Four children, aged 6 to 9, participated in the study. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the efficiency of learning during the system of least prompts and the flawed system of least prompts. Results were consistent with those obtained in previous studies in that the perfectly implemented and flawed prompting procedures were effective in teaching new skills for all participants. However, the perfectly implemented treatment required fewer trials to mastery for 3 of the 4 children.
A Comparison of the “No-No Prompt” and Most-To-Least Prompting Methods for Teaching Basic Skills to Children with Autism
GENEVIEVE M FENTRESS (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Laura Harper-Dittlinger (University of Houston – Clear Lake)
Abstract: We investigated two prompting techniques commonly used to teach individuals with developmental disabilities. With most-to-least (MTL) prompting, skills are introduced and simultaneously paired with the most intrusive prompt necessary to achieve a correct response. Prompts are gradually faded over time. With the “no-no prompt” technique (NNP), the initial instruction is presented up to two times before a prompt is delivered. Although MTL prompting reduces the frequency of errors, this method may delay skill mastery by restricting opportunities for independent responding. Three children with autism participated. Combined multielement and multiple baseline designs were used to compare the teaching outcomes for each prompting method. Rate of skill mastery, frequency of errors, levels of problem behavior, and session length were examined for each method, along with the generalization and maintenance of skills. Although the NNP method resulted in faster skill acquisition, MTL prompting was associated with fewer errors, lower levels of problem behavior, and shorter session durations. In addition, skills taught via MTL prompting showed better maintenance and generalization effects than skills taught via the NNP technique.
Functional Assessment of Language Deficits: Linking Assessment and Treatment
TIFFANY KODAK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC), Andrea Clements Stearns (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (UNMC)
Abstract: Conditional discriminations are building blocks for the development of working vocabulary and language. Four function-based procedures for teaching conditional discriminations to individuals with ASD that have empirical support in the extant literature include:(a) using an empirically-identified reinforcer to increase motivation, (b) adding an extra-stimulus prompt to guide correct responding (i.e., errorless learning), (c) insuring that the individual is attending to the relevant characteristics of the sample or comparison stimuli through reinforcement of a differential observing response, and (d) repeatedly presenting each sample stimulus in isolation (i.e., in blocks of trials) until criterion-level performance is achieved. Each of these procedures has been shown to be effective with some individuals with autism, however, it is not clear which procedure should be selected for an individual who fails to acquire discriminations during typical instruction. Therefore, it is important to determine when these four specialized treatments should be used. The purpose of the evaluation was to refine and validate a rapid assessment for (a) identifying the function of a child’s poor performance on conditional discrimination tasks and (b) selecting the intervention from the four approaches described above that is functionally related to the child’s performance.
Symposium #163
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Evaluation of Antecedent-based Interventions for Problem behavior Maintained by Social Reinforcement
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 128
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Dawn Bailey, Ph.D.
Abstract: Because consequent-based interventions (e.g., extinction) may not always be practical, it is important to evaluate antecedent-based interventions either alone or as additional enhancements to consequent-based manipulations. This symposium will include three papers describing various refinements or extensions of antecedent-based interventions for treating problem behavior maintained by social positive or social negative reinforcement. The first paper, delivered by Stephen Walker, will present data evaluating the immediate and subsequent effects of NCR (attention), while the schedule is systematically faded, for a participant with attention-maintained problem behavior. The second paper, delivered by Jill Harper, will discuss data evaluating a series of antecedent-based interventions, including vicarious reinforcement, conditioning of social interaction as a reinforcer, and stimulus fading, for treating problem behavior maintained by social avoidance. The third paper, delivered by Lynlea Longworth, will review data comparing the relative effects of NCR without extinction, using maintaining reinforcers versus arbitrary reinforcers, for reducing problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement. Rick Smith will serve as discussant and will highlight potential contributions, concerns, and future directions, associated with each of the papers presented.
Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Fixed-Time Delivery of Reinforcement on Problem Behavior Maintained by Attention
STEPHEN F WALKER (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Lauren A Cherryholmes (AdvoServ), Bailey Devine (University of North Texas), Nicole G Suchomel (University of North Texas), Claire Anderson (University of North Texas), Jessica Hobbs (University of North Texas)
Abstract: A functional analysis indicated that access to attention was the probable maintaining variable for problem behavior exhibited by a woman with developmental disabilities. The effects of fixed-time (FT) attention were evaluated using a three component, mixed schedule of reinforcement. In components 1 and 3, FR1 (attention) was in effect for problem behavior; in component 2 attention was delivered according to FT schedules. Initial FT values began with continuous attention, and were faded to FT 7 min. Results showed suppression of problem behavior during the second component across FT values, as well as lower response measures in the 3rd (FR1) component relative to the 1st (FR1) component. Implementation of the FT schedule across components resulted in increases in problem behavior relative to previous implementations of the FT treatment. Therefore, an analysis of potential effects of the FR1 components on responding during the FT component was conducted.
Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Social Avoidance
JILL M. HARPER (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Erin Camp (University of Florida)
Abstract: Problem behavior maintained by social-negative reinforcement typically involves escape from a specific type of social interaction—the presentation of task demands. Some individuals, however, may exhibit a more general form of social avoidance in which problem behavior occurs in the presence of a wider range of social interactions. Although social avoidance might be inferred from unusual response patterns during a functional analysis, it can be confirmed directly. This study involved the assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by social avoidance. Three participants exhibited high rates of problem behavior during the play or demand conditions of an initial functional analysis. A subsequent analysis was then conducted in which problem behavior produced escape from social interaction that did not include the presentation of any demands. A series of interventions was then implemented, which included vicarious reinforcement (via peer modeling), conditioning of social interaction as a reinforcer, and stimulus fading
Noncontingent Reinforcement: A Comparison of Arbitrary and Maintaining Reinforcers
LYNLEA J. LONGWORTH (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Nancy A. Perhot (New England Center for Children), Gesell Gavidia (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Although noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) has been found effective for treating socially-maintained problem behavior, it is unclear whether NCR is effective in the absence of extinction and when reinforcers, other than those maintaining problem behavior, are delivered. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative effects of NCR without extinction, using maintaining reinforcers versus arbitrary reinforcers, for reducing problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement. Four individuals, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, whose problem behavior was maintained by either attention (n = 2) or by escape from demands (n = 2) participated. Pre-assessments were conducted to ensure that the arbitrary reinforcer used functioned as a reinforcer for an arbitrary response, but did not maintain problem behavior. NCR using the maintaining reinforcer involved response independent delivery of either attention or escape, whereas NCR using the arbitrary reinforcer involved response independent delivery of the arbitrary reinforcer (an edible). During both types of NCR, extinction was not in effect. Results suggest that, for most participants, NCR using the maintaining reinforcer may be more effective than NCR using an arbitrary reinforcer.
Symposium #165
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Science Board Translational Series: History and current status of translational research in behavioral economics
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 226 AB
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College)
Discussant: Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College)
CE Instructor: Laura Kenneally, Ed.D.
Abstract: Basic and applied research interdependence has always been a hallmark of the field of behavior analysis. The continuance of this interdependence is important because it increases the odds that basic research will be relevant and applied research will be effective. Translational researchers may be considered the mediators of this relationship, with one foot firmly planted on the ground in basic area and the other firmly planted in the applied area. This symposium will provide an opportunity for three leading translational researchers to highlight some important conceptual and empirical developments in the rich translational area of behavioral economics, which is a subfield of behavior analysis in which the principles of microeconomics are used to understand responding in both experimentally-controlled and ecologically-valid conditions.
Behavioral economics in the clinic: Translational research on substitutability, demand, and unit price in the treatment of behavior disorders
ISER GUILLERMO DELEON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mandy M. Triggs (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Abbey Carreau (Kennedy Krieger Institutue), Meagan Gregory (University of Florida), Melissa J. Allman (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Hopkins)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have increasingly applied economic concepts towards understanding issues of social significance in areas such as consumer choice, gambling, and substance abuse. We present a translational progression of studies that apply economic concepts in work with individuals with developmental disabilities, culminating in demonstrations of their implications for the treatment of behavior disorders. Initial laboratory investigations revealed greater elasticity of demand given unit price increases when available alternatives were functionally similar (i.e., functionally similar alternatives were more substitutable). In subsequent clinical studies, this general theme was extended towards: (a) examining the benefits of considering relative substitutability when arranging interventions for behavior disorders, and (b) examining how the analyses required to identify these relations can be made practical and practicable in applied settings.
Preliminary analyses of price manipulations: Commodity type and cost-benefit constituents
JOHN C. BORRERO (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Christopher E. Bullock (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Michelle A. Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Basic behavior analysts, and more recently applied behavior analysts, have recognized that constructs from traditional economic research may inform, and in some cases, improve upon characterizations of “stimulus value.” This has been accomplished by an elegant synthesis between economic principles and behavior analytic methods. In this presentation, preliminary data from a human operant laboratory will be reported. One goal of this research was to determine the extent to which college students would respond in accord with prevailing price manipulations in a three choice (concurrent) schedule arrangement (i.e., selecting the alternative with the lowest price). A second goal of this research was to determine whether differential responding could be detected as a function of commodity type (video segments vs. points). A final goal of this research was to determine whether differential responding could be detected based on how cost and benefit constituents were progressively altered (in one case cost increased, while the benefit component remained fixed, in the other case, cost was fixed, while the benefit component decreased). Results will be discussed in terms of the implications of unit price and related to relevant applied literature.
Behavioral economics in the lab: Delay discounting, drug taking, and pathological gambling
GREGORY J. MADDEN (University of Kansas), Adam T. Brewer (University of Kansas), Patrick S. Johnson (University of Kansas), Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of Kansas), James H. Woods (University of Michigan)
Abstract: Economists have long studied how behavioral consequences lose their value as they are delivered after longer and longer delays; a process referred to as “delay discounting.” While economists took a top-down, rational-choice approach to discounting, behavioral scientists took a bottom-up, inductive approach to the topic. The result of the latter is the discovery of regularities in delay discounting which may be observed across a number of species (including humans). The quantitative particulars of this seemingly universal discounting process will be explained in an easy-to-follow fashion. Next, we will outline empirical findings (some of them from our lab) suggesting nature, nurture, and pharmacological factors affect delay discounting. Finally, we will summarize how these factors may pre-dispose (or simply dispose) individuals toward drug-taking and gambling.
Symposium #167
CE Offered: PSY
Response-reinforcer dependency: Research and application
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 225
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Carlos Cançado (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The effects of altering the response-reinforcer dependency in different research contexts and with different species are analyzed, with a focus on the relations between basic and applied findings. Cancado, Kuroda, Dickson, Elcoro and Lattal, manipulated in both ascending and descending orders, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement over pigeon’s key-pecking maintained by multiple fixed-time–variable-time schedules of reinforcement. Defulio, Donlin, Wong and Silverman, compared the effects of long term clinical interventions arranging abstinence-dependent employment or employment only on the relapse of cocaine use in methadone patients and comparatively assessed its effects on drug relapse prevention. St. Peter-Pipkin, Alo and Brosh analyzed the effects of different response-reinforcer dependencies on treatment integrity, using human operant and applied procedures that employed concomitant schedules of reinforcement. The authors will discuss their results in light of basic schedule research as it can inform application. Finally, Samaha and Vollmer present results of several studies with rats in which response acquisition and maintenance were assessed by manipulating the probability of reinforcement dependent on the occurrence and non-occurrence of behavior. The four presentations stress the importance of understanding the behavioral effects of altering the response-reinforcer dependency and the implications of integrating basic and applied findings on this research topic.
Effects of response-reinforcer dependency on variable- and fixed-interval responding
CARLOS CANÇADO (West Virginia University), Toshikazu Kuroda (West Virginia University), Chata A. Dickson (West Virginia University), Mirari Elcoro (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Manipulating the proportions of response-dependent reinforcement can differentially influence operant behavior previously maintained under conditions of complete response-reinforcer dependency. Previous studies have shown that response rates are directly related to the arranged proportion of response-dependent reinforcement. The effects of different response-reinforcer dependencies on responding maintained by different schedules of reinforcement have been less well investigated. In the present experiment, two pigeons each were exposed either to multiple fixed-interval – fixed-interval (FI FI) or to variable-interval–variable interval (VI VI) schedules of reinforcement before exposure to multiple fixed-time – variable-time (FTVT) schedules. In this phase, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement was systematically varied across conditions, but was kept constant across schedule components within the same condition. Specifically, the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement was varied first in an ascending (0% to 100%) and then in a descending order (100% to 0%). Response rates were directly related to the proportion of response-dependent reinforcement in both schedule components and were generally higher under the VT component. In some cases, FT response rates were higher and did not vary systematically with different proportions of response-reinforcer dependency. The results are discussed in the light of characteristics of FI and VI schedules performance.
Extending the principle of response dependency to the problem of cocaine addiction: A randomized controlled trial.
ANTHONY L. DEFULIO (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Wendy Donlin (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Conrad J. Wong (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Cocaine addiction is a difficult to treat, long-term chronic condition. Contingency management has been effective in promoting cocaine abstinence, but has usually been applied in short-term interventions. A practical vehicle for long-term application of contingency management to cocaine addiction is required. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic workplace, in which access to employment was contingent upon drug-free urines, as a long-term treatment for cocaine addiction. After a six month pre-randomization phase, participants who initiated abstinence, acquired basic skills, and consistently attended the workplace were invited to one year of employment. These participants were randomly assigned to abstinence-contingent employment (AE) or employment only (EO). Both groups provided frequent urine samples. Accessing the workplace depended on urinalysis results for the AE group, but was independent of urinalysis results for the EO group. AE participants provided more cocaine-negative samples than EO participants (87% vs. 53%; p < 0.001). This presentation features data showing patterns of drug abstinence, HIV risk behaviors, attendance, and retention over time. The study shows that employment-based abstinence reinforcement can be an effective long-term intervention to prevent relapse in refractory, cocaine-addicted methadone patients.
Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Time-Based Treatment Schedules: A Translational Approach
CLAIRE ST. PETER PIPKIN (West Virginia University), Raquel Alo (The Continuous Learning Group), Ellen Nicole Brosh (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Time-based reinforcement schedules are commonly used as a treatment for problem behavior. Although procedures for time-based schedules are typically straightforward, they may not be consistently implemented as designed. This inconsistent implementation may include response-dependent reinforcer deliveries. In basic research studies, concominant time-based and interval schedules sometimes result in response maintenance, but the effects are dependent on the particular schedule values. This suggests that any type of response-dependent reinforcer delivery might result in compromised treatment effects. We examined this possibility using human operant and applied research procedures. Nonclinical participants engaged in responding that was analogous to problem behavior during reinforcement conditions that varied from completely response dependent to completely response independent. Results showed that concominant schedules typically produced maintained responding, suggesting that certain types of treatment integrity failures, including intermittent response-dependent reinforcer delivery, are detrimental to treatment outcome. Additionally, these outcomes underscore how the results of basic research can inform application.
Acquisition and Maintenance when Reinforcers are Presented Following both the Occurrence and Omission of Behavior
ANDREW L. SAMAHA (Utah State University), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Five experiments were conducted examining the acquisition and maintenance of lever pressing in rats using a preparation where reinforcers were arranged following both the occurrence and nonoccurrence of behavior within an interval. The first experiment showed that contingency values that did not promote acquisition in experimentally naïve rats did maintain lever pressing after the animals had been exposed to powerful positive contingencies. Experiment two replicated this finding but suggested that early exposure to a negative contingency (where responding results in a decrease in the probability of a reinforcer delivery) potentially disrupted the sensitivity to weak positive contingencies. A third experiment attempted to isolate the effects of negative contingency exposure within individual subjects, but the results were equivocal. The fourth experiment assessed contrast and interaction effects when contingencies were alternated using a multiple schedule. The fifth experiment examined changes in behavior as the consequence for responding shifted from increasing to decreasing the probability of a reinforcer delivery. Results showed that rates of responding varied as a function of contingency strength. Results of the experiments will be discussed in terms of implications for the acquisition and maintenance of both desired and undesired human behavior.
Symposium #171
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Morningside Academy: What's New?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 122 A
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Mary E. McDonald, Ph.D..
Abstract: This symposium is one in an ongoing, annual series that provides updated information and data on the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction, and its application in our Morningside Academy laboratory school. In our lab school, we investigate promising curricula or instructional procedures, measure their effectiveness, and revise our curriculum and instruction protocols as the data suggests. All presentations describe teacher designed and implemented procedures. Presentation #1 by Reilly and Stretz investigates interventions designed to strengthen student learning skills to increase performance outcomes. Presentation #2 by Isbell, Ganzeveld, Vu, Wolfson & Johnson describes a blending of two decoding programs to maximize their effectiveness and generativity. Presentation #3 by Landau, Lybarger, Wolfson & Robbins describes improvements to our thinking and problem solving program, TAPS. Presentation #4 by Delgado describes improvements in our reading comprehension program.
Providing Explicit Feedback on Daily Report Cards and Classroom Wall Charts to Promote Self-Recording of Active Learning Behaviors
JENNIFER REILLY (Morningside Academy), Adam G. Stretz (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Typical methods at Morningside for motivating students to improve their academic performance include the teacher giving immediate specific feedback for target behaviors on a daily report card and publicly displaying academic performance of each student in the classroom. This proves to be a successful system for many of our learners, but for some, explicit teaching of target skills on the report card seem necessary. A self-recording tracking sheet that identifies specific active learning behaviors has been developed for at-risk students to recognize specific behaviors necessary for learning to occur. These behaviors have been grouped by levels on a continuum that increases the level of responsibility for the student to interact with instruction. Data have been collected over the past two years suggesting a correlation of numbers of years gained on national Reading Comprehension measures and the Level of Active Behavior demonstrated by students. Using performance data from wall charts, students are identified as at-risk for not making academic gains. For these students specific active learning behaviors are targeted, explicitly taught and monitored by both students on their tracking sheet and teachers on the daily report card. This inquiry attempts to examine the effectiveness of the self-recording tracking sheet of active behaviors in improving academic performance for at-risk learners.
How to Blend Instructional Programs: Integrating Two Multisyllabic Decoding Programs to Maximize Application and Generativity
SHILOH ISBELL (Morningside Academy), Sarah E Ganzeveld (Morningside Academy), Michael P. Wolfson (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: The program, “Reading Excellence: Word Attack & Rate Development Strategies (REWARDS),” by Anita Archer, is a widely used decoding program at Morningside Academy. It has been very efficacious in teaching struggling readers the basics of sounding out words by knowing word parts and vowel combinations. However, it does not include explicit instruction on how to blend sounds and word parts together and accent particular word parts to form conventional-sounding words. “Word Workout,” a program developed by Nancy K. Lewkowicz, does instruct learners on how to pronounce multisyllabic words with the correctly stressed syllables, but it assumes students have already acquired knowledge of word parts and vowel combinations. This presentation will (a) describe the two strategies, (b) how they are blended at Morningside to make bigger gains than either program alone would accomplish, (c) data on the effectiveness of incorporating Lewkowicz’ procedures with Archer’s, and (d) data showing generativity of the mastered skills in new reading contexts.
Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS): Defining Problems and Aims
HALEY LANDAU (Morningside Academy), Erica Lybarger (Morningside Academy), Michael P. Wolfson (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Previously the focus of instruction in our Talk Aloud Problem Solving classes centered on the reasoning or problem solving component of the talk aloud process. This year, we provided a sequence of instruction that began by requiring students to identify the problem-to-solve. By looking at both abstract logic problems and everyday situations in life, we required students to examine situations, ask questions, and define the problem prior to practicing the repertoires required of the successful talk aloud reasoning process. The same language used by teachers to analyze conceptual learning, such as "attribute," "example", and "nonexample" were taught to the students during logic games such as those using attribute blocks; Mastermind; Bagels, Pico, Fermi; followed by the 20 Questions game and then Suchman Inquiry scenarios to build the yes/no question-generating repertoires. We grouped and regrouped students based upon their rates of acquiring these skills. This year, we introduced problem types in a track sequence rather than by unit. We will share data on rates of problem solving for problem types (analogy, Venn diagram, deductive reasoning) as a first step in identifying mastery rates or Aims for TAPS. A live demonstration of TAPS will be provided.
Combining the Power of Fluency, The Standard Celeration Chart, Reading Comprehension Strategies, Delayed Prompting, and Essay Writing
MARIANNE DELGADO (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: This paper explores the combination of frequency measures and delayed prompting notation in the scoring of essay questions on reading comprehension tests. Problems occur when trying to gather data and measure growth on rubric scored essays alone, most important of which is distinguishing between students fluent in a skill and those needing much time, prompts and practice to reach a criterion answer. Acquiring sub-skills for discussing reading comprehension and practicing to fluency will be charted and explained. I will outline a new system of using the celeration chart to measure fluency, words per minute with a variable floor; independent learning skills, with a documentation of how often a teacher needs to prompt for criterion answer; and tracking growth on specific reading strategies, with essay questions geared towards target strategies taught in class. Several case studies and celeration charts of individual students’ progress throughout a school year will document the effectiveness of the system.
Symposium #172
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Treatment Integrity Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 121 A
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Gerald E Harris, Ph.D.
Abstract: Treatment integrity refers to the extent to which an intervention is implemented as designed and is an area of research that has increasingly become more common. This symposium highlights four talks that share recent advances in treatment integrity research. The first talk presents findings from a retrospective analysis of archived data to examine temporal patterns of data collection. In the second presentation, the effect of individualized video training alone and in combination with performance feedback on the integrity of behavior plan implementation will be shared. Next, the impact of types of integrity failures (e.g., errors of commission and omission) on academic behavior of students will be presented. The symposium concludes with a talk that presents results of an investigation of a variation to the DRA procedure that might be useful when high treatment integrity is not possible given clinical concerns. Presenters will discuss implications of their findings in educational and clinical settings.
Behavioral Assessment of Treatment Integrity Data Collection: Considerations Regarding Temporal Sequencing
DEREK D. REED (Melmark New England), Daniel Mark Fienup (The May Institute), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute)
Abstract: With rising interest in the role of treatment integrity on student outcomes, research has primarily focused on isolating the techniques and procedures necessary to improve staff’s acquisition and maintenance of adequate levels of integrity. Despite increasing numbers of publications on this topic, there is little discussion of the variables surrounding the collection of integrity data. Using an archived database of logged integrity checks at a residential school for children with brain injury, we sought to examine the degree to which integrity data collection conformed to the best practices of general behavioral assessment (due to the use of an archival data source, reliability measures were not possible) with respect to temporal sequencing. Moreover, due to the agency’s goal of collecting integrity on each student per month, we sought to whether the sequencing of integrity checks scalloped in conformity to fixed-interval responding. Results indicated that 50% of the staff exhibited scalloping in their collection of integrity data. We discuss the possible stimulus control and reactivity on the part of the teachers being observed when integrity checks are conducted in scalloped patterns. We conclude with a discussion on possible procedures to support the distributed collection of integrity data in applied setting.
Effects of Video-training on Treatment Integrity of Behavior Support Plans
FLORENCE D. DIGENNARO REED (Melmark New England), Robin Codding (University of Massachusetts Boston), Cynthia N. Catania (Melmark New England), Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England)
Abstract: A number of studies have examined ways to promote accurate behavior support plan implementation and have generally shown that teachers require ongoing support and performance feedback to maintain high levels of accuracy. These studies have focused on follow-up strategies to address poor treatment implementation and questions regarding how best to train teachers initially remain unanswered. The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of individualized video-training (IVT) on the accurate implementation of behavior support plans in a setting that treats individuals with significant behavior problems. Using a multiple baseline design across 3 teachers, findings revealed that IVT improved treatment integrity above baseline levels; however, teacher performance remained variable. The addition of verbal performance feedback (PF) increased treatment integrity to 100% across 3 consecutive sessions for all participants. Performance was maintained at a one-week follow-up probe. Social validity data suggested that teachers found the IVT+PF the most acceptable procedure.
An Evaluation of Integrity Failures during Token Economies
ALLISON TETREAULT (West Virginia University), Claire St. Peter Pipkin (West Virginia University), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Shari Marie Winters (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Token economies are empirically supported behavior management systems, but may be implemented imperfectly by teachers. Although research has examined the effects of incorrect implementation (treatment integrity failures) on differential reinforcement in general, little is known about the effects of treatment integrity failures during token economies. In the current study, we examined the impact of errors of commission (unscheduled reinforcers are delivered) and omission (scheduled reinforcers are not delivered) on academic behavior maintained by token economies with 6 typically developing students. Students were exposed to baseline, a token system with full integrity (implemented perfectly) and reduced levels of integrity with both errors of omission and commission in a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. During reduced integrity phases, the system was implemented correctly 50% of opportunities, because this level seemed to be possibly detrimental to differential reinforcement interventions in previous research. Effects of token systems were not detrimentally affected by implementation at 50% treatment integrity (with either omission or commission). These findings suggest that token systems may be recommended when levels of treatment integrity are a concern.
Parametric Evaluation of the Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior Procedure
ELIZABETH S. ATHENS (ABA Learning Centre), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is a commonly used treatment for problem behavior. Usually with DRA, problem behavior is placed on extinction while an alternative, more appropriate behavior, is reinforced. In some cases, however, the targeted problem behavior is too disruptive or dangerous to place on extinction. In such cases, DRA cannot be implemented with consistent treatment integrity. The purpose of the current study, therefore, is to evaluate a variation of the DRA procedure that did not include an EXT component and was designed to provide more immediate, longer duration, and higher quality reinforcers for appropriate behavior relative to reinforcers for problem behavior. To do this, we differentially manipulated the parameters of reinforcement along several dimensions. Specifically, for the appropriate response (relative to the inappropriate response) we made a) reinforcement following this behavior more immediate b) the duration of reinforcement greater c) increased the quality of reinforcement. The effects of these isolated manipulations became clinically valid when a combination of each favored appropriate behavior in the final manipulation. Under such final manipulations, differential reinforcement effects were obtained with individuals who engaged in socially reinforced severe problem behavior. The procedure is conceptualized as differential reinforcement insofar as reinforcement parameters differentially favored appropriate behavior.
Symposium #173
CE Offered: BACB
Bringing Out the Best in Employees with Performance Management
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 221 C
Area: OBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jessica Tomasi (T-Squared Solutions)
Discussant: Ken Wagner (ADI: The Human Performance Company)
CE Instructor: Steven Ward, Master's
Abstract: Customer service is becoming more important to businesses as the economy becomes more service oriented and less manufacturing oriented. Companies are required to do more to sell their products and services in order to compete and survive in the current cutthroat global market. The implementation of Performance Management techniques can greatly improve staff performance without significantly increasing overhead expenses. The current session shares three successful Performance Management applications conducted in business settings. Two of the studies are set in restaurant franchises popular in the southeastern United States. The third study is set in the jewelry department of an international retail outlet.
Platinum Performance: Improving Employee Behaviors at a Retail Jewelry Store
Lindsay Kay Street (Florida State University), ANNA BRASFIELD (Florida State University), Jon S. Bailey (FSU, BMC, FABA)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to increase appropriate and timely greeting, as well as smiling behaviors, handshake and name exchange behaviors, and percentage of time spent engaged in appropriate behaviors. The setting of the study was in a jewelry store at a large department store. Observation sessions were taken 5 days a week for 40 minutes. Baseline data shows relatively low performance for all behaviors. Task clarification, group graphic feedback, group reinforcers, and individual graphic feedback were used for three targeted behaviors. With each intervention phase of the study, an improvement was seen in each of the targeted behaviors. Percentage of customers that were greeted upon entrance to the department increased from 48% during baseline to 98% in the last intervention phase. Percentage of time that employees spent engaged in standing in the proper greeting location increased 89%.
Service with a Side of PM: An Application in the Restaurant Industry
ANN SAKSEFSKI (Florida State University), Marco D. Tomasi (SAIC)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the effects of task clarification, public posting in the form of group graphic feedback, and daily verbal feedback as an intervention to increase customer service behaviors and on-task engagement of dining room tasks in a college town restaurant. The dependent variables in this study were customer greeting that included two behaviors, a hello and smile, up-selling specific items when customers were at the cash register, and engagement in dining room tasks. A modified multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to evaluate the effectiveness of task clarification, biweekly graphic feedback and daily verbal feedback as a three component intervention package. All target behaviors increased as a result of task clarification procedures, but they increased more during the intervention using biweekly group graphic feedback and daily verbal feedback.
The Power of Feedback: Improving Performance at a Small Restaurant Franchise
JENNIFER L. WALTERS (Florida State University), Marco D. Tomasi (SAIC)
Abstract: An intervention consisting of prompts, graphic feedback, and social reinforcement was evaluated to increase customer greeting and cleaning behaviors at a local restaurant. Greeting behaviors included eye-contact and verbal greetings, and cleaning behaviors included table cleaning and sweeping. Prompts for greeting behaviors consisted of signs and verbal reminders, while prompts for cleaning behaviors consisted of manager and co-worker verbal prompts as well as signs. Graphic feedback was displayed twice a week and paired with manager praise. A multiple baseline across behaviors design was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Results revealed that the intervention package was effective in increasing greetings, eye-contact, and table cleaning.
Symposium #175
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Stimulus control and the development of complex behavior in domestic canines.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 120 D
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Discussant: Michael J. Cameron (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to demonstrate the generalization of stimulus control procedures to domestic canines within applied settings. In all three studies the subjects were domestic canines (e.g., pet dogs) and the studies were conducted in applied settings (e.g., homes and a shelter for abandoned animals). The Burke, Maguire and Cameron study replicated and extended the work of Bright, Maguire and Cameron (2008). This study taught a canine conditional discriminations (identity and arbitrary matching-to-sample performances) that then set the occasion for the emergence of symmetrical and possibly transitive relations that documented the formation of stimulus classes, and possibly classes of equivalent stimuli, in animals. The Bright, Maguire and Cameron study employed respondent conditioning techniques to decrease barking in a shelter to increase adoptability of animals. The third study (Lovejoy, Maguire and Cameron) used errorless instructional procedures (e.g., delayed prompt procedure) to teach a canine to run an obstacle course. The results documented rapid and durable acquisition of a sequence of skills. The combined results of these studies demonstrated the systematic nature of applied behavior analysis and generalization of stimulus control procedures across species.
Canine responding during and after matching-to-sample training
SALLY BURKE (Simmons College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess for the emergence of symmetrical matching-to-sample relations, and the formation of stimulus classes with a female German Shepherd, The subject was initially taught to identity match-to-sample using colors (e.g., black and white) and objects. The subject was then taught conditional discriminations (matching objects-to-color). Following this training the symmetrical stimulus-stimulus relations (sample-comparison reversibility) were assessed in the absence of reinforcement. The results indicated that the subject was able to demonstrate symmetry but not transitivity (although additional data regarding this aspect of the study are currently being collected). There is limited documentation of non-human subjects demonstrating the emergence of symmetrical and transitive performances, indicative of the formation of equivalence classes, and there are no known findings for the canine species. The present results add to this body of knowledge and are discussed in terms of how to train and assess for the equivalence phenomenon..
Acquisition of an obstacle course sequence by a domestic canine via errorless instruction
JENNIFER A. LOVEJOY (Simmons College)
Abstract: A good deal of animal training relies exclusively upon differential reinforcement of correct responses (i.e., correct response are reinforced and incorrect response go unreinforced). Although this approach has successfully established a myriad of skills across many species it can, at times, result in lengthy training, frequent errors and even failure to acquire the targeted skill. The purpose of the present study was to combine an errorless procedure (delayed prompt) with forward chaining to teach a naïve domestic canine a three-step obstacle course sequence. Once the initial step was acquired the next step in the sequence was introduced, again taught via delayed prompt. Finally, the third step was added and it too was acquired with few or no errors. The results indicated rapid acquisition of the individual steps as well as the combined sequence with few or no errors. Further, control generalized to novel trainers without additional training. The results are discussed in terms of the effect errors have on the development of inappropriate and competing forms of stimulus control.
Pavlov’s Shelter Dogs: Transferring Control of a Conditioned Stimulus to Elicit More Adoptable Behavior
TERRI M. BRIGHT (Simmons College)
Abstract: Often, the decision of whether or not to adopt a dog from a shelter is influenced by the immediate environment. The level of barking in a shelter can be intimidating to visitors and have a negative impact on the adoptability of individual animals. This experiment took place in a large, urban, “open-admission” Shelter, where dogs’ adoptions are largely dependent upon their appeal to visitors who walk onto the adoption floor. In an attempt to decrease noise and increase adoptable behavior, the sound of a “bear” bell was repeatedly paired with a food reward, until an anticipatory response (i.e., the absence of barking) was observed in the dog upon hearing the bell. This behavior was maintained across thinned schedules of reinforcement. The control was then transferred to a bell hung on the door to the Adoption Room. Data documented the control of the bell over the dogs’ behaviors as well as an increased rate of adoptability. The results are discussed in terms of the applied significance of the study.
Symposium #179
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual Investigations in Behavioral Theory and Philosophy
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:30 AM–10:50 AM
North 132 A
Area: TPC/AUT; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Denis P. O'Hora (National University of Ireland, Galway)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: Empirical research provides the data that construct the foundation of the science of behavior analysis. However, conceptual analysis, integration, and systemization of principles, assumptions, and theories is a prerequisite to the meaningful use of such data. That is, without a coherent conceptual system, any science can descend into confusion and eclecticism. This symposium consists of three papers which attempt to clarify, rework, or otherwise systematize concepts in behavior science. The first paper attempts a radical behavioral conceptual analysis of the behavior/environment interactions which may stand behind the constructs of “executive functions” in general psychology and discusses practical implications for intervention in autism. The second paper reassesses the concept of function in behavior science. The third paper analyzes the concept of conjugate reinforcement and discusses how it may be useful in application to intervention for children with autism. The symposium will conclude with a discussion by Dr. Denis O’Hora.
“Executive Functions” and Autism: A Radical Behavioral Conceptual Analysis and Research Review
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: “Executive functions” are said to be the brain mechanisms which control goal-directed behavior. Constructs commonly discussed in the field of executive function include working memory, short-term memory, attention, inhibition, planning, self-awareness, and problem solving. The frontal lobe of the brain is often cited as the location of these functions and research has clearly demonstrated that damage to this area of the brain produces decrements in these functions. There is no doubt that healthy functioning of the frontal lobe of the brain is necessary for executive functions, however, executive functions, like all constructs which refer to behavior/environment interactions, are simply names for what people do. Thus, a behavioral account may have much to recommend it, both in parsimony and in practicality. Specifically, if executive functions are actually behavioral repertoires, then the principles of behavior may well inform how we can understand and manipulate them. In this talk, we review research on assessment and intervention in executive functions in autism and find that a significant amount of research has been conducted on the former and very little on the latter. Further, we propose a behavioral conceptual analysis of the behaviors labeled executive functions by the general psychological community. The analysis presented here suggests practical ways in which to measure and intervene upon these repertoires, and provides directions for future research.
The Concept of Function in the Analysis of Behavior
Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), MITCH FRYLING (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Scientific terms can be subject to great misuse, including their being used inappropriately or inconsistently within scientific disciplines. The result of this is confusion within both individual scientific disciplines as well as the field of the sciences more generally. Some terms are particularly central to happenings within scientific systems and the larger scientific community. The concept of function is one of those terms. This paper will examine the concept of function within behavior analysis, and describe implications related to the validity and significance of behavior analysis as a scientific system.
The Principle of Conjugate Reinforcement in Early and Intensive Behavioral Interventions: Implications for Treatment
SVEIN EIKESETH (Akershus College)
Abstract: The use of conjugate reinforcement was pioneered by Lindley in the late 1950. Later it was used to study infant behavior, and conjugate reinforcement has been considered important for both social and automatic reinforcement. In conjugate reinforcement, some property of a reinforcer varies systematically with some response property, as when magnitude of praise and tangibles increase with the quality of the child’s response. The current paper describes how the principle of conjugate reinforcement may be used effectively during desecrate trial teaching and national environment teaching.
Symposium #183
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Intervention for Children with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 227 A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: David M. Richman (University of Illinois)
CE Instructor: Erick Dubuque, M.A..
Abstract: Children with autism exhibit distinctive behavioral profiles that may require adaptations to traditional assessment and intervention strategies to maximize educational outcomes and reduce behavioral excesses. In this symposium we review several recent interventions that have been designed to teach play, social skills, and assess challenging behavior for children with autism.
Teacher-Implemented Social Stories™ in General Education Settings
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (University of Texas at Austin), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Nigel Pierce (University of Texas at Austin), Sonia Denise Baker (University of Texas at Austin), Pamela White (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Social Stories™ are one of the most commonly-used interventions for children with autism (Green et al., 2006). While there is a rapidly-growing literature base of Social Stories research, much of the work has focused on students who are in special education resource settings; the current study examines the use of Social Stories with students in inclusive general education settings. Partnerships were formed with school district administrators and participants were identified by the district autism specialist. Six students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders participated and teachers identified target behaviors that were related to social functioning, communication skills, or self-help skills. Teachers were trained to compose Social Stories according to Gray’s (1995) model and they presented the stories either on paper or using a computer-based format. Data were collected on participants’ behaviors as they occurred in inclusive general education settings.
Functional analysis of challenging behavior of children with autism
TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University)
Abstract: We conducted analogue functional analyses of 10 children who were diagnosed with autism and who exhibited challenging behavior. Each child was exposed to 10 sessions of each of 5 analogue conditions (alone, attention, demand, tangible, play). Individual participant multiple baseline designs were used to demonstrate experimental control. Patterns of challenging behavior indicated that behavior was automatically reinforced for 8 of the 10 participants and multiply controlled for the other 2 participants. These results are compared to other studies and an argument for a distinctive profile of challenging behavior for children with autism is suggested.
Teaching Play Skills to Children with Autism
RUSSELL LANG (University of Texas at Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas at Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (Portland State University), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Children with autism often experience substantial delays in the development of play behavior. Deficits in play behavior can further exacerbate the social and communication delays experienced by children with autism and make play an important area for early intervention. Motivating operations influence the value of reinforcers and have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of interventions and teaching procedures for individuals with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a MO component added to an intervention designed to increase the play skills of 5 children with autism. Two interventions were compared in an alternating treatment design. One intervention utilized systematic manipulation of motivating operations in conjunction with a standard research based play intervention. The comparison intervention was identical except the effects of potential putative motivating operations was ignored. Results suggest that the MO intervention decreased stereotypy and challenging behavior while increasing the acquisition of functional play skills. Symbolic play skills were not acquired in either intervention.
Symposium #186
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Perspective-Taking to Children with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 124 A
Area: AUT/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.)
CE Instructor: Peter Girolami, Ph.D.
Abstract: A defining feature of autism is delayed development in socialization. One aspect of socialization which is often delayed is a child’s ability to understand the perspectives of others. Successful social skills often depend on one’s ability to take the perspectives of others so it appears that this may be one area in need of intervention in treatment programs for children with autism. This symposium begins with a literature review of studies which have attempted to improve perspective-taking in children with autism and proceeds with three studies which attempted to teach some aspect of perspective-taking to children of this population.
Teaching Perspective-Taking to Children with Autism: A Review of Research
ADEL C. NAJDOWSKI (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Amy Caveny (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: This literature review summarizes and critiques published studies which have attempted to improve perspective-taking abilities in individuals with autism. Much research has been published that has demonstrated deficits in perspective-taking in the autism population but few good quality studies have been published on improving such skills. Areas in need of additional research are discussed and specific directions for such research are suggested.
Relational Frame Theory And Teaching Foundational Perspective-Taking To Children With Autism
EVELYN GOULD (Centre for Early Autism Treatment), Stephen Noone (University of Wales, Bangor), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Denis P. O'Hora (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: An inability to take the perspective of another appears to lie at the root of the social and communicative difficulties in children with Autism. However, few research findings have been clearly translated into effective clinical interventions. A Relational Frame Theory (RFT) account may provide a promising alternative to the traditional “Theory of Mind” (ToM) approach. A procedure adapted from RFT, was used to teach gaze-following in three autistic children, aged 2 to 5yrs. This is thought to be an early constituent behaviour of broader perspective-taking skills. A multiple baseline across participants evaluated its effectiveness. All children failed to demonstrate gaze- following during baseline. Intervention resulted in two participants demonstrating match-to-sample relations indicative of following eye-and face-gaze, and the third demonstrating gains after an additional error correction procedure was introduced. Generalisation of skills to a more natural environment was limited for all participants. The mixed results observed across participants highlight the complexity of developing effective interventions. Findings must be interpreted with caution, however, the study may provide a starting point for new insights and the development of effective perspective-taking interventions for children with Autism.
Teaching Children with Autism to Identify what Others Can Feel and Hear
CATHERINE MINCH (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: In this study, we taught children with autism sensory perspective taking. Specifically, we used a multiple baseline across children to teach participants to identify what others could hear and what they could feel, depending on what auditory and tactile stimuli were present in their environment. Generalization probes were included and generally indicated that stimulus generalization was produced by the training procedure. All treatment procedures were implemented as a regular part of the clients’ everyday therapy routine and all sessions took place in the children’s homes.
The Effects of Teaching Situation-Based Emotions on Perspective Taking
LOUISE A. MCHUGH (University of Wales Swansea), Alina Olteanu Bobarnac Daniela (Swansea University), Phil Reed (University of Wales Swansea)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have difficulty recognizing emotions in themselves and others. In a multielement design, the effects of teaching children with ASC to tact situation-based emotions (i.e., “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, and “afraid”) on perspective taking was examined. Three children (3 males) participated in the study. Theory of mind was measured using four tasks (i.e., the Sally-Anne task, the M&M task, the Hide & Seek task, and a test for relational perspective-taking). The results indicated significant increases in tacting situation-based emotions. To evaluate the generalization of training, novel video stories were employed that depicted the trained emotions. The findings indicated generalization of situation-based emotional tacting to the novel video stories. In addition, the findings provided evidence that training on situation-based emotions did not produce concurrent (untrained) improvements in perspective-taking.
Symposium #187
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Measurement Issues in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 125
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Robert Putnam, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis relies on data, but the confidence one has in data depends on how that data is obtained. This symposium presents data-based information about the application of measures often used in ABA research and intervention in the area of autism. The first presentation examines the correspondence and components of several of the most commonly used measures of language in children with autism. How these measures compare to each other and the implications for reporting and interpreting scores from these measures is presented. The second presentation offers findings from a relatively large sample group comparison study concerning the utility of a low-cost, widely used behavior report measure (CBCL) as a predictor of outcome in children receiving an ABA intervention. The third presentation provides data from a large sample of children with autism who were administered the Weschler Intelligence Scale prior to beginning ABA treatment and after one year of treatment. Normative data by age group are presented and a case is made for using population specific norms when reporting and interpreting intelligence change scores for children with autism. Together, these presentations give significant new information relevant to research and treatment in the area of ABA for children with autism.
Content Analysis of Tests Commonly Used to Assess Language in Children Diagnosed with Autistic Disorder
Catriona Cullum (Texas Young Autism Project), TREA DRAKE (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Results from 107 children with autism, each assessed with four commonly used language and communication tests, indicate that, although results across assessments were highly correlated, age equivalent scores on the various tests differed by as much as two years for some children. These results suggest that although the tests are all language and/or communication assessment instruments, they may not be measuring the same underlying construct. Variables thought to affect the scores of children diagnosed with AD taking these four major language and communication instruments were then examined with respect to test format and content. Specifically, a content analysis was conducted to examine the receptive and expressive language content areas, as well as other areas of language structure (language precursors, semantics, structure, integrative/complex language). It was found that two of the assessments sampled a wide variety of language content areas while the other two focused on a much narrower sample of language components. Implications for clinical service to children with autism are discussed, including not using these tests interchangeably and interpreting results based on the specific components of language actually measured.
ABA Outcome Utility of the CBCL for Children with Autism
GERI MARIA HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is one of the most widely used measures of child behavior and is relatively quick and inexpensive to administer. Previously presented research on a sample of children with autism has shown the CBCL to have very good inter-parental reliability, a strong correlation of specific CBCL scales with the diagnostic criteria for autism, and potential usefulness as a treatment outcome measure. The present study examined the predictive utility of diagnostically relevant subscales (Pervasive Developmental Problems and Withdrawn) of the CBCL. Participants were 209 young children with autism who received ABA intervention for one year and their mothers. Data included CBCL scores and I.Q., obtained before the onset of treatment and after one year of ABA treatment. A Cross-Lagged Panel Correlation analysis of the data was then conducted. Results show that pretreatment CBCL subscale scores are significantly predictive of post-treatment I.Q. scores. Implications for research and clinical use are discussed.
Revised Normalizations for the WPPSI-III For Use with Children with Autism: Reliability across Samples
WENDY J. NEELY (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Accurately assessing cognitive abilities of children with autism is integral to designing and evaluating behavioral interventions. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (3rd Ed.) is generally considered to be the “gold standard” of intelligence tests for preschool age children, however, the published normalization tables were developed based on a sample of children from the general population. Children with Autism who receive ABA early intervention frequently achieve developmental and cognitive gains at a slower rate than the general population, resulting in standard scores often appearing to decrease, rather than reflect progress actually made. The use of norms specifically developed for the autism population would allow a more accurate presentation and interpretation of changes in cognitive functioning. Previous research presented WPPSI-3 norm tables, developed from pre-treatment administrations of the WPPSI-3 to nearly 500 children with Autism, to provide a basis for interpretations of a child’s test scores relative to other children with Autism. In the present study a sample of 216 WPPSI-3 test scores from children with Autism, who had received ABA treatment for one year, were examined for consistency with the norms developed from the original sample. Implications for use of these special population norms are also discussed.
Symposium #192
CE Offered: BACB
Treating Obesity: Basic Research to Clinical Intervention.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 224 A
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Tiffany N Newman (SIU- Carbondale)
Discussant: Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
CE Instructor: Mark R. Dixon, Ph.D.
Abstract: Obesity raises concerns because of its implications for health over the long term, and obese individuals are more likely to experience health risks such as hypertension, osteoarthritis, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and stroke. In 2006, the Center for Disease Control estimated that approximately 33% of all men and women and 16% of all children in the United States were obese. There is an obvious need for behavior analytic services related to health and lifestyle changes, but few behavior analysts have become invested with researching and treating obesity. Despite the high prevalence of obesity in the general population, only eight articles that specifically deal with obesity have been published in JABA since 1972. This symposium intends to present some current basic conceptualizations of obesity and unhealthy eating, and current clinical applications of behavior analysis to treat overweight individuals. A basic account of food preference and stimulus equivalence class formation will be presented, and it will be followed by a presentation on behavior analytic treatments for overweight children at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, as well as a presentation on family-based intervention programs for obesity among adolescents and young adults with Down Syndrome that are being conducted at the Shriver Center in Massachusetts.
Teaching Healthy Food Choices through Stimulus Equivalence
BECKY L. NASTALLY (Southern Illinois University), Nicholas Mui Ker Lik (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Michael Bordieri (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Adam D. Hahs (Southern Illinois University), Brooke Diane Walker (SIU Carbondale)
Abstract: Many popular weight loss programs incorporate psycho-educational components in order to assist people in changing their eating habits to make healthier choices. Little data exists on the utility of these components and it remains to be an empirical question whether failing to make healthy choices is actually a skill deficit. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop equivalence classes across types of foods, body images, and levels of physical activity. Participants were asked to make choices about which stimuli they preferred as well as which were healthier before and after match-to-sample (MTS) training and testing phases. The results of participants with a low body mass index (BMI) were compared with those who had a high BMI and implications of including psycho-educational material in weight management programs were discussed.
Childhood Obesity: Implications for Behavior Analysts
NICOLE LYNN HAUSMAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily D. Shumate (Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins Un), Kaitlin Coryat (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Ayla Harris (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: An estimated 40% of children in the United States are currently overweight or obese (BMI > 85th percentile for age, height, and gender). Family-based, behavioral weight management programs have been shown to be effective in the treatment of obesity among children and are well-respected within the research community (Epstein, Wing, Koeske, Andrasik, & Ossip, 1981). Currently, we are evaluating the efficacy of a clinical weight management program for overweight children ages 5-13 and their families. The Healthy Kids program is based on the Traffic Light eating plan and includes additional treatment components such as self-monitoring, contracting, goal-setting, and feedback (Epstein, Masek, & Marshall, 1978). Preliminary results suggest that 56% of children who complete the program are successful in achieving weight loss of between 1 and 14 lbs. Children who are successful in achieving weight loss generally display a high level of adherence to various treatment components. However, additional research is warranted to explore the underlying behavioral mechanisms contributing to obesity and lack of adherence in an effort to increase overall treatment efficacy. Thus, childhood obesity presents a unique opportunity for behavior analysts to focus on the antecedents and consequences of unhealthy behavior that may contribute to the obesity epidemic.
Family-Based Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention for Adolescents and Young Adults with Down Syndrome
RICHARD K. FLEMING (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Elise A. Stokes (Shriver Center/ UMass Medical School), Carol Curtin (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Linda Bandini (Shriver Center/ UMass Medical School), James Gleason (Shriver Center/ UMass Medical School), Renee Scampini (Shriver Center/ UMass Medical School), Melissa C. T. Maslin (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: Obesity is a significant problem facing persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2002). Family-based behavioral interventions have been reasonably effective in promoting weight loss among typically developing children (Young et al., 2007). Health U. is an ongoing randomized controlled trial (RCT) that addresses the need to replicate this research with adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Procedural components are described, and data are presented on changes in weight, BMIz, body fat (bioelectrical impedance), physical activity (accelerometry), dietary behavior and knowledge acquisition. Challenges are addressed, particularly the need for procedures that will better promote long-term maintenance of weight loss.
Symposium #203
CE Offered: BACB
Producing Generative Outcomes, Part 2: From Practice to Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 122 A
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kerri L Kaelin (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Henry S. Pennypacker (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Claire St Peter Pipkin, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis emphasizes the need for producing generative outcomes of interventions. However, empirically validated methods for producing generalized effects are scarce. The current symposium will outline three studies in which critical variables for the production of generative repertoires were identified. Specifically, the first study will describe how increasing frequency on a visual discrimination task produced a generalized rapid naming repertoire in young learners. The second study will compare a frequency-building versus a practice-only procedure on the emergence of a generalized decoding repertoire. The final study will illustrate the generative effects of a frequency-building procedure on derived relational responding. Studies will be discussed with respect to applied interventions guiding the design of controlled studies. The implications of each study on the development of best practice guidelines will be offered.
An Investigation of Rapid Automatic Naming as a Generalized Operant
KERRI L KAELIN (University of Nevada, Reno), Kimberly Nix Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: Traditional education uses Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) to identify future reading problems with children. However, performance on RAN assessments is treated as an immutable trait. Conversely, from the perspective of behavior analysis, it is more useful to view RAN as operant behavior that can be strengthened through contingencies of reinforcement. An A/B multiple-probe design with two constant-series controls was used evaluate if RAN functions as generalized operant behavior. Specifically, preschool participants of normal development received training on one set of RAN skills while participating in probe sessions on an untrained set. Across experimental participants, an increase in times celerations occurred on the targeted task. Furthermore, effects were seen on untargeted tasks after implementation of the Precision Teaching intervention across all experimental participants. Generally, less robust effects occurred on probe tasks for the practice and probe control participant where little to no effects were observed for the probe-only participant.
Establishing the Role of Building Skills to High Frequencies on Outcome Performance
MOLLY HALLIGAN (University Nevada, Reno), Kimberly Nix Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: Traditional education implements procedures based on theories that have not empirically demonstrated successful educational achievement. Precision teaching, an area of behavior analysis, has analyzed techniques leading to robust learning outcomes through the use of a sensitive measurement tool. Unfortunately, the majority of findings are based on clinical rather than empirical studies. The current study examines the necessity of responding at high rates in producing robust learning outcomes. An A/B multiple probe design with yoked controls across participants was used. The participants were randomly assigned to either a frequency-building training condition or a practice-only training condition. Results are evaluated with respect to celerations and degrees of variability within and across participants for training, retention, distraction, frequency checks and probe performance.
Building the Fluency of Derived Relational Responding: Frames of Coordination and Opposition
NICHOLAS M. BERENS (UNR/CAL, Inc.), Kimberly Nix Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Reading fluency has been strongly correlated with reading comprehension. However, for some individuals, increasing reading rate does not improve reading comprehension. It is posited that these individuals are lacking critical language skills. Relational Frame Theory posits that arbitrarily applicable derived relational responding is a critical behavioral target in the understanding of human language and cognition. In the context of the academically important task of vocabulary building, the current investigation explored procedures that increase the rate of derived relational responding. Procedures involved the establishment of base rates of derived relational responding across multiple sets of synonyms and antonyms. Subsequently, sets were isolated and the rates of the mutual and combinatorially entailed derived relational responses were strengthened. Correlated increases in the rate of derived relational responding in untargeted sets were noted.
Symposium #204
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing the Challenges of Autism: Functional Approaches to Social Skill Development
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Discussant: Todd G. Kopelman (University of Iowa - Hospitals and Clinics)
CE Instructor: Paula Braga-Kenyon, Master's
Abstract: Promoting social skills acquisition and peer interaction constitute primary educational goals for most elementary, middle, and high school children with ASD. Presently there is limited empirical guidance available to educators on how to most effectively and efficiently tailor intervention strategies to meet the highly individualized social and behavioral needs that characterize this segment of the school population. This symposium will focus on functional approaches to social skill acquisition for children and teens with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. First, Lindsay Stangeland and Bridgid Carbo will present on a methodology to identify environmental variables and activities that would increase the conversations between children with disabilities and same-aged peers. Jennifer Copeland will present on extending peer training to improve social interactions to older teens with disabilities. Finally, Sara Christianson will present on an application of descriptive and structural analyses to the examination of social interaction and communication for early elementary students with autism spectrum disorders. Todd Koppelman will discuss the papers in terms of their strengths and limitations as well as directions for future work.
Matching Learner Needs to Social Skill Instruction
Jennifer E. Copeland (Melmark), LINDSAY STANGELAND (Grant Wood Area Education Agency/St. Cloud State University), Brenda J. Engebretson (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Research is needed to identify effective programs for teaching social skills to children with autism. The majority of social skills curricula available to teachers of children with autism do not account for the individual contingencies that have shaped the interactions children have with their peers. In the current study, we attempted to identify two things; environmental variables that would motivate individual students to use appropriate speech with their peers, and therapeutic classroom activities that could be employed to facilitate more skillful conversations among same-age peers. Four special education students ranging from pre-school to fourth grade participated in a series of test conditions in which same-age, neurotypical peers were trained to deliver programmed consequences. Access to social attention, preferred tangible items, brief escape from conversational demands, and time alone away from peers were contingent upon any utterance of speech. Each test condition was scored according to utterances of appropriate and inappropriate speech. Results defined individual deficit and strength areas for each student. A shaping program was then designed for each student by matching learner needs with individualized instruction. Inter-observer agreement ranged from 73% to 89% with a mean of 80% agreement across all participants and behaviors.
Matching Peer Qualities to Social Skill Instruction
JENNIFER E. COPELAND (Melmark), Brigid Carbo (Melmark), Lindsay Stangeland (Grant Wood Area Education Agency/St. Cloud State University), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Copeland et al. (2006) showed that students with disabilities could be trained by their peers to engage in therapeutic social interactions. To extend our previous research, we implemented the same analysis procedures with three older students with limited verbal abilities, ranging from 17-20 years old. Each individual’s behavior was previously evaluated via functional analysis. We selected peers to serve as communication partners during a series of sessions in which the target students could request the consequence that had previously reinforced the most frequent occurrences of communication. Three different peer groups were selected according to age, IQ and verbal skills. Peer groups evoked differentiated responses from each student. Variances of behavior were observed in peer enthusiasm and the qualities of peer-delivered reinforcement. Treatment consisted of daily 10-minute sessions with the most productive peer using individualized procedures for each student. Inter-observer agreement ranged from 67% - 100% with a mean of 93% during 30% of sessions across all behaviors and participants.
Use of Descriptive Assessment and Structural Analysis to Evaluate Social Behavior in Children with Autism
SARA CHRISTIANSON (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Laura Mulford (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Julie A. Horner (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Cara Vaccarello (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abstract: There is little empirical guidance for educators in identifying appropriate individualized interventions to improve prosocial behaviors of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Interventions targeting social skills are typically selected without systematic assessment procedures. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) procedures, specifically descriptive assessment and experimental analysis, have been effective at identifying antecedents and consequences that maintain challenging behaviors in children with ASD. With the assessment information, interventions are developed that target the function of the problem behavior and are therefore effective at reducing or eliminating the target behavior. The purpose of the current study was to adapt descriptive assessment and structural analysis methods typically used to treat challenging behaviors to examine the antecedent variables that maintain appropriate social behaviors with three early elementary aged students with ASD. A case example will be presented highlighting the antecedent variables in the natural environment that promoted positive, peer-related interactions and how they were identified. Data was collected on target and peer prosocial initiations, responses, and sustained social interactions. IOA was collected on at least 25% of sessions and agreement exceeded 85% across measures.
Symposium #206
CE Offered: BACB
Applications in OBM
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 221 AB
Area: OBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University)
Discussant: Thomas C. Mawhinney (University of Detroit Mercy)
CE Instructor: Suchowierska Monika, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium presents three applied studies using OBM procedures to 1) increase the cleanliness of supermarket restrooms using task clarification, checklists, consequences 2) increase the cleanliness of university restrooms using prompts and feedback and 3) increase upselling of selected menu items in a casual dining restaurant using feedback, prompts, and reinforcement.
The use of prompts and feedback to increase up-selling in a casual dining restaurant
CECELIA R. MADERITZ (Youngstown State University), Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Profit margins in the service industry are thin and anything that can increase sales, even slightly, is beneficial to the organization. Up-selling is one way to increase profits by prompting a customer to buy a little more product or service or to upgrade a final purchase. The present study sought to evaluate the effects of feedback, prompts, and positive reinforcement on the performance of restaurant servers tasked with up-selling several menu items in a casual dining restaurant. A combination multiple baseline and reversal design was used to evaluate intervention effects. Results are discussed in terms of the relative effectiveness of the different independent variables on each of the identified menu items.
Effects of Task Clarification, Checklists, and Performance Contingent Consequences on Supermarket Restroom Cleanliness
JENNIFER H. REINOVSKY (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: Neglecting performance-related issues pertaining to restroom cleanliness can represent a large profit loss, especially for industries held to higher cleanliness standards by customers, like the foodservice industry. This performance improvement project was concerned with supermarket restroom cleanliness. Participants were service clerks (n = 6) responsible for supermarket restroom maintenance and cleaning. The dependent variable for this study was the percentage of restroom cleanliness. Cleaning tasks were behaviorally defined and presented in a checklist consisting of 139 tasks weighted according to importance. These items were broken into two task groupings: large surface area tasks and smaller surface area tasks. The intervention included task clarification, task checklist (antecedent prompting), and performance contingent consequences. After large surface area task clarification and checklist prompt posting, total restroom cleanliness improved 16%. Restroom cleanliness increased an additional 7% after task clarification and prompt posting for the smaller surface area tasks. Total restroom cleanliness improved 30% upon introduction of performance contingent consequences. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 25% of the total sessions and averaged 92% agreement.
The use of a prompts and feedback to increase the cleanliness of restrooms on a college campus
MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: The current study used two kinds of prompts as well as feedback to increase the cleanliness of men’s restrooms on a college campus. The first intervention used a sign prompting closer proximity to the urinal and the second intervention presented a target combined with feedback. A multiple baseline across settings design was used to evaluate the effect of the interventions. Both types of prompts were effective in increasing restroom cleanliness and a follow-up probe showed that the effects were sustained for some time thereafter.
Symposium #208
CE Offered: BACB
Quantitative Analyses of Behavior at the Zoo
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 120 D
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Education and Science, Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Discussant: Diann Gaalema (Georgia Institute of Technology, Zoo Atlanta)
CE Instructor: Karissa Masuicca, M.S.Ed.
Abstract: Zoos have a long history of facilitating research on some of the world's most endangered species. The zoo setting provides an opportunity to study animals in semi-naturalistic environments, allowing for the development of studies that would be nearly impossible in the wild. The presentations in this symposium will describe quantitative analyses of behavior at the zoo and will focus on three areas: reproductive behavior, vocal communication, and stereotypies. The first presentation, “Behavioral predictors of copulation in captive Key Largo woodrats (Neotoma floridana smalli)”, will highlight an analysis of reproductive behavior in an endangered species endemic to Key Largo, Florida. The second presentation, “The structure and function of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) ‘rumble’ vocalization”, will focus on methods of assessing the functions of the rumble, the most common African elephant vocalization. The third presentation, “Towards a functional, foraging-based model of stereotypic activity in captive animals”, will discuss data in support of a “foraging loop” model of stereotypy in captive animals and describe interventions arising from this model. At the conclusion of the third presentation, a discussant will provide remarks synthesizing and critiquing the research presented.
Behavioral predictors of copulation in captive Key Largo woodrats (Neotoma floridana smalli)
CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Education and Science, Disney's Animal Kingdom), Anne Savage (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Abstract: The development of a captive breeding program for the endangered Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana smalli) presents special challenges due to aggressive behavior toward conspecifics, a low reproductive rate, and limited information on estrous cycles. In an effort to identify behavioral predictors of copulation, we observed 17 Key Largo woodrats prior to and during 267 male–female pairing events, 76 of which resulted in copulation. Predictors of copulation include male–female interactions at the door of the tube connecting their enclosures, raspy vocalizations, pre-mounting lordosis, and chasing. A binary logistic regression model based on pre-pairing behaviors correctly predicted the outcome of 78.7% of observed pairing events, and a similar model based on intra-pairing behaviors correctly predicted the outcome of 86.1% of observed pairing events. Behavior-based models may be useful in the management of captive breeding programs for this and other endangered species.
The structure and function of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) ‘rumble’ vocalization
JOSEPH SOLTIS (Education and Science, Disney's Animal Kingdom), Katherine A. Leighty (Education and Science, Disney's Animal Kingdom), Anne Savage (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Abstract: The rumble is the most common African elephant vocalization, but there is no consensus concerning its categorization into structural or functional subtypes. We collected audio, GPS and video data from adult female African elephants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With these data, the social contexts of vocal activity, the subsequent behavior of signalers and receivers, and the acoustic structure of calls can be assessed. Two lines of evidence support two distinct functions for these vocalizations. First, elephants responded with a rumble preferentially to the rumbles of closely bonded social partners even when outside of the visual range, closely bonded animals moved closer together after such rumble exchanges, and individual identity is encoded in the acoustic structure of rumbles. Taken together, these data suggest that the elephant rumble functions as a ‘contact call’ that coordinates inter-partner movement. Second, during close distance interactions with dominant animals, subordinate elephants produced rumbles consistent with the expression of negative affect, and the production of such rumbles reduced the probability of subsequent aggression by dominant animals. These data suggest that the elephant rumble can also function as a ‘signal of submission’ toward social superiors.
Towards a functional, foraging-based model of stereotypic activity in captive animals
EDUARDO J. FERNANDEZ (University of Washington), William D. Timberlake (Indiana University)
Abstract: Behavioral stereotypies in captive animals have been defined as repetitive, largely invariant patterns of behavior that serve no obvious goal or function (Mason, 1991a; Ödberg, 1978). Stereotypies are commonly attributed to boredom and/or fear, and are typically “treated” by trying to enrich the captive environment with distracting, appealing stimuli. These stimuli often include food presented at times outside of regular feeding times, and as a result, engage species-typical foraging behaviors in the process of reducing stereotypic activity. The present talk examines the hypothesis that many stereotyped behaviors are related to scheduled daily feeding times, and thus reflect the expression of a repeating “loop” of species-typical search behaviors related to foraging for and procuring food. The form and likelihood of behavioral stereotypies are determined by the combination of temporal and environmental cues that predict food availability. In this view, many stereotyped behaviors are repeated because they are unsuccessful in changing the stimulus conditions sufficiently to evoke and support expression of the next set of behaviors in an ecological foraging sequence. Together these data supported two conclusions: (1) individual stereotypies include repeated components of species-specific foraging behavior, and (2) providing stimuli supporting a more complete sequence of naturally occurring foraging behaviors can reduce and/or eliminate stereotypies while supporting the expression of species and individual search behaviors. The data therefore suggest a “foraging loop” description of many appetitive-based stereotypies, as well as emphasizing interventions upon those stereotypies more specifically attending to when, where, and how captives are fed.
Tutorial #213
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Bringing Behavior Analysis into the Mainstream through the Private Sector
Sunday, May 24, 2009
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
West 301 CD
Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William L. Palya (Jacksonville State University)
Presenting Authors: : KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: B.F. Skinner’s theoretical writings emphasize the relevance of behavior analysis for solving complex human problems. Unfortunately, of late, applied behavior analysis has become synonymous with services for those with autism and other developmental disabilities. However, behavior analytic training allows individuals to work effectively in a wide range of areas. Moreover, being flexible in service provision is the key to a successful business model. The current paper will offer strategies and guidelines for use in starting a business in behavior analysis. Specifically, information on conducting demographic analyses, identifying community needs, and designing marketing strategies will be offered. In addition, specific practice guidelines that can be used to enhance programmatic outcomes will be discussed. Kimberly Berens, Ph.D., BCBA is the President and Founding Director of Center for Advanced Learning, Inc. Her work centers on using behavior analysis to produce academic transformation with a wide-range of learners. Dr. Berens currently owns and operates three private learning centers located in Reno, Carson City, and Medford, Oregon. Through these centers, Dr. Berens and her team have developed a variety of learning programs that consistently produce an average of one year’s growth in 40 hours of instruction. Dr. Berens is also an experienced educational researcher who has published and presented extensively on science-based approaches to education and learning. She currently serves as an affiliated professor in the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Nevada- Reno.
KIMBERLY NIX BERENS (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Panel #226
CE Offered: BACB
A Consultant Model for Treating Challenging Children and Adolescents in Home, School, and Community Settings
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 120 BC
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Richard M. Foxx (Pennsylvania State University)
JEFFREY S. GARITO (Independent practice)
LACEY R BAILEY (Independent Practice)
KATHRYN M PETERSON (Independent Practice)
BRADLEY A GROOVER (Penn State University)
Abstract: Children and adolescents with challenging behaviors typically present parents and school personnel with a number of difficult major decisions regarding where they should live and be educated. In some cases, the severities of the behaviors result in individuals being sent to a hospital or residential placement. In the best of circumstances, these placements are relatively short term and, more importantly, in facilities that provide quality behavior analytic services. The focus for these individuals is to reintegrate them into their families, schools, and communities and prevent future such placements. For other individuals, intervention is required to prevent them from being sent to hospitals, residential placement, or more restrictive educational settings. In both cases, the families of these children and adolescents are in need of comprehensive behavioral services. This panel will present a behavior consultation model for addressing both of the situations described above. A number of cases will be presented. Factors that contributed to the success of the model and interventions will be identified and discussed as well as the challenges that remain.
Symposium #227
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Ongoing Empirical Investigations of Precision Teaching with Students and Adults with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers University, Douglas Developmental Disabili)
Discussant: Charles T. Merbitz (Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Leigh Grannan, M.S.
Abstract: Precision Teaching with rate building procedures is one method that holds promise as an efficient and effective means of instruction for younger and older learners with autism. These papers represent pilot research that examines the effects of frequency building. This research also compares the effects of various procedural aspects of frequency-building procedures as well as begins to investigate the comparative effectiveness to other ABA techniques.
A Comparison of Discrete Trial Instruction Plus Maintenance to Discrete Trial Instruction Plus Rate Building: A Pilot Study
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University - DDDC), Meredith Bamond (Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers University, DDDC), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University)
Abstract: The outcomes of precision teaching with rate building (stability, endurance, application and retention or SEAR) have been empirically validated. The question then becomes whether these outcomes are specific to rate building or if the outcomes can be empirically validated through typical maintenance procedures. This pilot study, will examine SEAR outcomes for two sets of spelling words taught to accuracy using discrete trial instruction. One set is kept on weekly maintenance while the other is taught to fluent rates. SEAR outcomes are compared and will be demonstrated. Direction for future research will also be discussed.
The Effects of Precision teaching Frequency building of Language Component skills on the Performance of Language composite Skills in Adolescents and Adults with Autism
MARY SENS AZARA (Rutgers University, DDDC), Marlene Cohen (Rutgers University - DDDC), Donna L. Sloan (Rutgers University, Douglas Developmental Disabili)
Abstract: Each year more and more learners are aging out of school programs and moving into adult programs. More needs to be done to provide least restrictive and quality services for these adults. Precision teaching with frequency building procedures is one method that holds promise as an efficient and effective means of instruction for older learners. This research is proposed as an attempt to extend previous clinical demonstrations of the profound impact of Precision Teaching with frequency building procedures on the functional use of fine motor skills, into the realm of language skill acquisition. Previously, pilot research in this area has indicated results similar to those of fine motor skill studies, when implementing frequency building of verbal language components. Preliminary results indicate the application to new, untaught skills has a cumulative effect of more rapid acquisition of related language skills. Using a multiple baseline design, this research continues to explore whether instruction of component language skills would end when minimum frequency aims are initially achieved, or if continuing instruction of component skills to higher frequencies enhances performance of language composite skills. The proposed research will examine the cumulative effect of frequency building of three component skills on performance of a single composite skill.
The Academy for Precision Learning: Using Applied Behavior Analysis to enhance a private Elementary Inclusion Program.
ALISON L. MOORS (Academy for Precision Learning)
Abstract: This paper will present the results of the inaugural year for a private elementary program specializing in applying the teaching methodologies from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis to an inclusive education program. The Academy for Precision Learning is for students ages Kindergarten-5th grade whose cognitive abilities range from general education to learning disabled to moderately autistic. The presentation will focus on the educational model implemented as well as the necessary components for its success. Data will be presented to illustrate student progress on nationally normed achievement tests, curriculum based measurement probes and daily practice on individualized education plans.
Symposium #230
CE Offered: BACB
Use of staff training in educational and residential Setting
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 126
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute)
CE Instructor: Adrienne Perry, Ph.D., C. Pysch.
Abstract: There are many challenges with training staff and teachers and administrators in schools with limited time and resources. Administrator and supervisory staff must find way to quickly and accurately train staff to be able to perform with students and individuals in school and residential setting. Performance feedback has been shown to be an effective teaching tool and motivator in a wide variety of professional environments. Performance feedback typically consists of two key components; corrective and positive feedback. Recent studies have demonstrated positive effects of performance feedback, but have come up short in maintenance outcomes (Moore et al, 2002) and generality to supplementary curriculum (Leblanc, Ricciardi & Luiselli, 2005). This symposium provide several example of training interventions, using written and video Feedback to train educational assessment, Functional assessment and supervision to teachers and direct care staff. The first presentation demonstrates a practical method for training staff to implement functional analysis conditions. The second presentation demonstrates the use of performance feedback to increase group management skills in a classroom. The third presentation demonstrates a method for increase entry-level supervisors feedback skills, and the fourth demonstrates the use of performance feedback to increase staff oral presentation of clinical data. all presentation represents interventions used across multiple staff in education and therapeutic environments.
Training Package to Increase Supervisor Feedback Skills
STEFANIE FILLERS (May Institute), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of a training package to improve supervisor feedback skills. Participants in the study were four lead teachers at a private school for children with developmental disabilities, supervising 3-7 teaching staff. Sessions took place within the supervisor’s classroom, while students were present, once a day, 2-3 times per week. During each session, the participant was observed providing feedback to a staff member following an observation of staff’s program implementation. Feedback skills were scored using a 10-component feedback checklist. Following baseline, a mini-workshop was conducted, and then subsequent observations were conducted with direct feedback from the experimenter to the participant. The feedback training package was evaluated in a multiple-baseline across participants design. Results indicate that the training package increased feedback skills across all supervisors.
A Training to Enhance the Quality of Group a training to enhance group management
STEPHANIE ORMAN (The May Institute), Katherine Gilligan (The May Center for Child Development), Kate Desmond (May Institute)
Abstract: When services are provided to groups of individuals, direct support professionals must be capable of interacting with all members of the group. Even when working with a group of three or more students, it is necessary for students to stay on task, and engage appropriately. However, if teachers are unsure how to effectively manage a group, students may not demonstrate appropriate behaviors and may not learn or maintain skills. The current study used a multiple baseline across staff to examine staff performance and student engagement following training in group management. Prior to the study, guidelines for interaction were created. Once baseline data had been collected teachers were then trained to exhibit the specific behaviors identified by the researchers as vital to effectively manage a group. Data were collected on staff behavior and student engagement across conditions. Interobserver agreement for teacher behavior averaged 97% during baseline and 86% during treatment. Results indicated that prior to training, teachers provided infrequent interactions, averaging 6% and student engagement was low, averaging 5%. Following training, teachers provided more frequent interactions, averaging 92%, and student engagement increased, averaging 80%.
Teaching Educators to Implement Functional Analysis Conditions
NATALIE DENARDO (Northeastern University)
Abstract: The functional analysis assesses the variables which maintain targeted behaviors so it is important that staff know how to implement a functional analysis. The participants used in this functional analysis training were five teachers and one home-based consultant. One group was trained using a brief power point presentation and after the training used a self-monitoring checklist while running the functional analysis conditions. The other group received a brief power point presentation and video training without a self-monitoring checklist. The results indicated that two participants met criterion required to implement the attention, demand, and play conditions after the initial functional analysis training. Three participants required feedback once and one participant required feedback twice before meeting criterion for all three conditions. The self-monitoring group and the video-training group acquired functional analysis skills at nearly the same rate.
The Use of Performance Feedback to Increase The Use of Performance Feedback to Increase Staff Verbal and Written Presentation During Clinical Review
JOHN STOKES (May Institute,), Karin Page (May Institute,), Gina Tacconi Morre (May Institute)
Abstract: A two-step Performance training program was implemented across 8 residential programs. The goal of the training was to instruct staff in how to increase their accuracy in verbal and graphic presentation of clinical data during biweekly clinical reviews. The program involved defining desired staff behavior, training and performance feedback. The procedure resulted in increased rates of appropriate presentation behaviors being exhibited by staff working in the respected programs. The greatest increase in teaching behavior by staff was demonstrated during the performance feedback session of the training. All staff increased their performance to at least 80%. Data is displayed graphically and results are discussed in terms of using effective staff training as a means of increasing staff professional oral presentation and graphic display of data. Inter-observer agreement data was taken for 30% of trial for each subject. Their was a mean IOA of 89% with a ranger of 76% to 100%.
Symposium #236
CE Offered: BACB
Improving Safety in the Community
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kimberly V. Beck (ABA Solutions, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Richard G. Smith, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium will consist of four papers discussing recent research concerning safety in community settings. Kimberly Beck will discuss research on evaluating a commercially-available abduction prevention program and using in situ training to teach abduction prevention skills to children. Jennifer Pan-Skadden will talk about her research on using behavioral skills training and in situ training to teach safety skills to lost children. Danielle Deller will discuss research conducted evaluating the effectiveness of prompts and incentives as a package intervention on the number of designated drivers leaving a bar near a college campus. Finally, Kari Woznick will discuss research concerning the use of visual and verbal prompts as an additional intervention to increasing seat belt use of high school drivers.
The Evaluation of a Commercially-Available Abduction Prevention Program
KIMBERLY V. BECK (ABA Solutions, Inc.), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Child abduction is a serious problem; therefore, it is essential that researchers evaluate the efficacy of currently available abduction prevention programs. A multiple baseline design across participants (ages 6-8) was used to evaluate the effects of a training program, The Safe Side. Safety responses were assessed in situ within two different situations (knock on the door and interaction by a stranger in public). Results revealed that participants did not demonstrate the safety skills following Safe Side training. All participants subsequently received in situ training implemented by the parent. Additional assessments and in situ training were conducted until each participant performed the skills to criterion. All participants demonstrated criterion performance following in situ training and maintained the skills over time.
The Use of Behavioral Skills Training and In-Situ Training to Teach Children to Solicit Help When Lost
JENNIFER M PAN-SKADDEN (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Jessica Sparling (Florida Tech), Erica Severtson (University of Kansas), Jeanne Donaldson (University of Florida), Gracie Beavers (University of Florida), Nicole J. Postma (Florida Institute of Technology), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training (BST) was combined with in-situ training to teach young children to solicit help when they become lost from a caregiver at a store. Three children were taught to approach a cashier, tell the cashier their name, and inform the cashier that they are lost. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of training. One of the three participants successfully met the criterion with the BST + in situ training treatment package alone, and the other two participants required an incentive to meet the criterion. All participants maintained the safety skill at follow-up evaluations.
A Public Benefit Analysis of Designated Drivers
DANIELLE J DELLER (Florida State University/Behavior Management Consu), Richard Kazbour (Florida State University), Yaz Aboul (Florida State University), Ann Saksefski (Florida State University)
Abstract: College bars across the country are consistently creating opportunities for college aged populations to drink and drive by offering happy hours, college nights, and other drink specials daily. In many cases the opportunity to consume alcohol and have a good time far outweighs the possibility of any negative effects associated with drinking and driving. The use of a designated driver by these individuals is a rare occurrence. Most students fail to utilize designated drivers as a safety precaution. The present study evaluated the effects of prompts and incentives as an intervention to increase the number of designated drivers who identified themselves at a bar. The dependent variable was the number of individuals present who self-identified themselves as designated drivers, had at least one passenger riding in their car that night, agreed to a breathalyzer test, and was found to have a BAC under 0.05. An ABAB design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of prompts and incentives as a package intervention on the number of designated drivers leaving the bar. Results showed that the intervention was successful at increasing the number of self-identified designated drivers.
Improving Safe Driving Among Teens by Increasing Seat Belt Use at a Local High School
Kari Woznick (Florida State University), MEREDITH A. WHITE (Florida State University), Megan Bausch (Florida State University), Jessica K Andrews (Florida State University)
Abstract: Based on recent reports of unsafe driving behavior during lunch-time in local high school students, this study used an A-B-C-D research design to increase seat belt use among eleventh and twelfth grade students of Mosley High School. As this study began, a natural intervention was implemented by the Florida Department of Transportation including surveys, school incentives, providing give-a-ways, and an actor impersonator. The current intervention consisted of visual prompts through the school television system and verbal prompts through the teachers. There was a noticeable increase in the frequency of safety belt use during this phase. Despite the limitations of this study, the researchers found that a simple and cost-effective intervention can be effective in changing a socially significant behavior.
Symposium #237
CE Offered: BACB
Epidemiological analyses of large databases involving functional analyses and function-based interventions
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Thomas Zane, Ph.D.
Abstract: The utility of functional analysis based interventions for treating problem behavior exhibited by persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities is well established and widely recognized as representing best practices. Large scale analyses of functional assessment data and function-based treatment outcomes across individuals has great promise for improving our understanding of the functional characteristics of problem behavior, including the identification of predisposing risk factors as well as variables that may mediate responsiveness to treatment. Presenters in the current symposium will review findings obtained from the analysis of large databases of single-subject functional analyses and function-based interventions. Mary Anderson from the Kennedy Krieger Institute will discuss the potential utility of functional analysis as a standardized method for more precisely defining the behavioral phenotype of groups of individuals with neurogenetic developmental disabilities. Kelly Bouxsein from the Monroe-Meyer Institute will review and discuss functional analysis data of 121 individuals with developmental disabilities and destructive behavior. Variables impacting outcomes including functional analysis methods and participant characteristics will be discussed. Turning to treatment outcomes, Candice Jostad from the Monroe-Meyer Institute will review 135 data sets from children treated for pediatric feeding disorders. She will review data on the effectiveness of traditional escape extinction procedures (EE) compared to EE combined with other procedures in increasing acceptance and decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior.
Functional Behavioral Phenotypes
MARY CARUSO-ANDERSON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Theodosia R. Paclawskyj (The Kennedy Krieger Institute), Denise Kurek (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Functional analysis is typically used to identify controlling variables of problem behavior for the purpose of guiding the development of behavioral interventions. Another potential application is to use it as a standardized method for more precisely defining the behavioral characteristics of groups of individuals with neurogenetic developmental disabilities. Generally, research describing “behavioral phenotypes” has characterized neurogenetic disorders in terms of broad behavioral characteristics (i.e., forms) and cognitive profiles rather than in terms of sensitivities to certain antecedent or consequent stimuli. The current study is part of an ongoing investigation of how people with various genetic disorders differ in their sensitivity to operant processes, thus producing the “functional behavioral phenotype”. In this study, we examined response patterns from functional analyses and preference assessments in individuals who were treated for severe problem behavior. Subjects were categorized according to syndrome and compared to a control group of individuals with developmental disabilities of unknown etiology. These findings suggest that functional analysis methodologies can be used to further refine behavioral phenotypes and advance that body of research. The findings also have implications for the development of more targeted strategies to prevent problem behavior.
Further epidemiological analysis of the functions of severe destructive behavior
KELLY J. BOUXSEIN (UNMC), Henry S. Roane (University of Nebraska Medical Center & Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC), Rebecca A. Veenstra (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Joanna Lomas (Marcus Institute)
Abstract: The development of functional analysis methods has allowed for the differential identification of the reinforcers maintaining an individual’s aberrant behavior (Iwata, Pace et al., 1994). In the current study, single-subject analyses were conducted to identify the reinforcing functions of the destructive behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression) for 121 individuals with developmental disabilities. Each participant was exposed to a variety of test conditions in which the antecedent and consequent variables were systematically varied and each test condition was compared to a relevant control condition. Of the original sample, the analogue functional analysis based on the methods described by Iwata et al. (1982/1994; i.e., attention, demand, alone, toy play) yielded differentiated outcomes for 75 (62%) of participants. For the remaining 46 participants (38%) with an initial undifferentiated outcome, modified functional analyses designed to evaluate specific idiosyncratic response-reinforcer relations yielded differentiated results for 44 participants (96%). Also, specific maintaining reinforcement contingencies appeared to vary based on characteristics of the participants. For example, individuals who were diagnosed with autism were more likely to exhibit behavior maintained by automatic or idiosyncratic sources of reinforcement. These results illustrate the flexibility of functional analysis procedures for identifying functional reinforcers for severe destructive behavior.
Pediatric Feeding Disorders Treatment: Relative Effectiveness of Reinforcement-based vs. Other Procedures Added to Escape Extinction
CANDICE M. JOSTAD (Munroe Meyer Institute), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kristi Rivas (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Victoria Stewart (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Heather Kadey (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Med), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that escape extinction (EE) is a necessary component of treatment for pediatric feeding disorders in most cases (e.g., Ahearn, Kerwin, Eicher, Shantz, & Swearingin, 1996; Patel, Piazza, Martinez, Volkert, & Santana, 2001; Reed, Piazza, Patel, Layer, Bachmeyer, Bethke, & Gutshall, 2004). However, EE is not always effective when used alone. Consequently, supplemental procedures are often added to EE. Traditionally, reinforcement-based procedures are selected first because they are non-aversive and less intrusive than other procedures. When these are not fully effective, additional techniques (e.g., swallow facilitation, redistribution) are considered. The relative effectiveness of these approaches has not yet been evaluated on a large scale. In the present paper, we examined 135 data sets from children referred for pediatric feeding disorders. We compared the effectiveness of traditional EE procedures (i.e., EE alone or in combination with a reinforcement procedure) and EE combined with procedures other than reinforcement in increasing acceptance and mouth cleans (a product measure of swallowing) and decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior. When traditional EE procedures were not effective, we identified the procedures that were used and evaluated their effectiveness in treating the target behaviors noted above.
Symposium #238
CE Offered: BACB
Innovations and Extensions in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 128
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: A significant amount of research has demonstrated that behavioral approaches can be particularly effective for treating pediatric feeding disorders. However, the majority of previous research has examined the direct effects of treatments such as escape extinction and most research has been conducted on a small scale, short-term basis. In this symposium we present three papers that attempt to extend the feeding literature in several ways. We begin with a study that extends the use of differential reinforcement and response cost to the treatment of food selectivity in children with autism. The second paper examines the indirect effects of escape extinction on changes in preference for nonpreferred foods. The third presentation is a clinic-wide program evaluation for a short-term intensive outpatient treatment program for pediatric feeding disorders in Austin, Texas. The symposium will conclude with a discussion by Dr. Michele Wallace.
Use of a Multicomponent Treatment for Food Selectivity in Children with Autism
LISA BALTRUSCHAT (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: According to Kahng, Tarbox, and Wilke (2001) reported the use of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) and response cost (RC) to treat eht food refusal of a young child with mild to moderate mental retardation. The present study investigated whether this multicomponent treatment package was effective when applied to three children with autism who displayed food selectivity. For one of the three participants the basic RC+DRA treatment resulted an increase in food acceptance to 100% of bite offers. For the two other participating children the basic treatment was enlarged by three additional treatment components (size fading, preferred food-positive reinforcement, and a free operant procedure). For both of them the modified treatment resulted in an increase in food acceptance to 100% of bite offers. In addition, the participants' caregivers were successfully trained to implement the treatment.
An Evaluation of Emerging Preference for Non-preferred Foods Targeted in the Treatment of Food Selectivity
BECKY PENROD (California State University, Sacramento), Kate H Perry (California State University, Sacramento), Traci Oberg (State University of California, Sacramento), Jessica Gamba (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: The current study conducted a comparison of sequential and simultaneous food presentation in the treatment of food selectivity. Both presentation methods were evaluated in the absence of escape extinction. Neither presentation method was effective in increasing food consumption; consequently, both presentation methods were combined with escape extinction in the form of a nonremoval of the spoon procedure. After the nonremoval of the spoon procedure was introduced, food consumption increased for all participants. These results support prior research showing that the acquisition of food consumption does not occur until after escape extinction is implemented (e.g., Piazza et al., 2003). However, findings from the current research suggest that while the nonremoval of the spoon procedure may have been necessary for the acquisition of food consumption, maintenance of food consumption may have been due to preferences developing for the non-preferred foods targeted during treatment. In the current study, food preference assessments were conducted pre- and post-treatment and it was found that following exposure to a nonremoval of the spoon procedure, participants developed a preference for the foods that were targeted in treatment.
Program Evaluation of an Intensive Outpatient Feeding Treatment Facility
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katharine Gutshall (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Research indicates that anywhere from 33-88% of children with disabilities have serious feeding concerns. A variety of interventions for feeding concerns have been reported in the literature. These include but are not limited to differential reinforcement and escape extinction. Prior studies generally focus on one to three children, often in controlled university or hospital settings. This paper will present a program evaluation for a community-based intensive outpatient feeding treatment facility. We summarize results of 15 children with autism treated over the past year. We present data on the intensity, duration, and total intervention time needed to address the feeding concern. Dependent measures to be presented include total treatment time in hours, total bites consumed, number of different foods consumed, number of aggressive/self-injurious behaviors per bite and number of disruptive behaviors per bite. Results indicate that all children showed a substantial increase in total number of bites and number of different foods consumed while concomitantly showing a decrease in number of aggressions, disruptions, and self-injurious behaviors per presentation.
Symposium #243
CE Offered: BACB
Using Descriptive Assessments in the Assessment and Treatment of Feeding Problems
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 226 AB
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Peter Girolami (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Abigail Calkin, Ph.D.
Abstract: Research has demonstrated the utility of descriptive assessments in assessing and treating numerous topographies of problem behavior. By identifying events that are correlated with the occurrence of behavior, descriptive assessments provide a starting point for examining relations between caregiver and child behavior. The papers in this symposium will apply the utility of descriptive assessments to the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders.
Descriptive analysis of parental attention preceding and following appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behavior
JULIA N. WOODS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Descriptive observations were conducted to record occurrences of appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behavior and various forms of parental attention (i.e., coaxing, reprimands, and statements of concern) for 26 children admitted to an intensive feeding program and their parents. Using the data from the descriptive observations, lag sequential analyses were conducted to identify changes in the probability of child appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behavior before and after specific forms of parental attention. Lag sequential analyses were also conducted to examine changes in the probability of parental attention before and after instances of child appropriate and inappropriate mealtime behavior. While the primary focus of studies assessing inappropriate mealtime behavior has focused on the role of escape (as negative reinforcement), results of the current study will emphasize the potential links between parental attention and child behavior.
Descriptive Analyses of Pediatric Food Refusal
CARRIE S. W. BORRERO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia N. Woods (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Elizabeth A. Masler (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Functional analyses of inappropriate mealtime behavior (e.g., expelling food, turning head, batting spoon) typically include conditions to determine if the contingent delivery of adult attention, tangible items, or escape reinforce food refusal. In this investigation, descriptive analyses were conducted to determine if the consequences delivered during functional analysis of inappropriate mealtime behavior were observed during more naturalistic interactions between parents and children. Descriptive analyses were conducted for 25 children admitted to an intensive feeding program for the assessment and treatment of food refusal, during parent-conducted meals. The conditional probabilities for specific forms of attention (e.g., coaxing, comforting statements), delivery of tangible items (e.g., switching to different foods or drinks, leisure items), and escape (e.g., spoon/cup removal, terminating the meal) following food refusal were compared to the conditional probabilities of those events following acceptance and the unconditional probabilities of each event. Results showed that forms of attention and escape were the most frequent events following inappropriate mealtime behavior and that the conditional probabilities of events differed depending on the topography of food refusal. Potential difficulties of such analyses are considered, and directions for further evaluations of parent-child interactions, as related to feeding problems, are discussed.
Using Descriptive Assessments in the Assessment and Treatment of Bite Acceptance and Food Refusal
SEAN D. CASEY (The Pennsylvania State University), Susan Banks (The Pennsylvania State University), Kasey Kotz (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: The feeding behaviors of children who display chronic food refusal often require the use of escape extinction procedures to be successful. The main presumption for this is that food refusal is maintained by negative reinforcement. Reducing food refusal by reinforcing bite acceptance is typically an unsuccessful strategy unless such procedures are combined with escape extinction. In this study, several children were exposed to descriptive analyses of their feeding behaviors to identify the schedules of reinforcement in place by care-providers for bite acceptance and food refusal. Successful interventions were created by subsequently manipulating the existing schedules for bite acceptance and food refusal by the care-providers. The resulting data for the schedules of reinforcement from the descriptive analyses predicted when treatments would require escape extinction and when escape extinction was unnecessary. Implications for the use of descriptive analyses for assessing feeding problems are discussed.
Symposium #245
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Intervention in the Natural Environment for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 131 BC
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Mary D. Salmon (Columbus City Schools)
CE Instructor: Robert K.Ross, Ed.D.
Abstract: The search for effective intervention strategies for use in natural settings is at the core of much of our research in applied behavior analysis. This symposium offers four papers. Ben Zvi and colleagues will make recommendations for the design and implementation of behavioral interventions in natural settings for very young children with ASD. In the second paper, Jung and Sainato review the literature on instructional methods used to teach play skills to young children with autism spectrum disorders and provide implications for practice. Salmon will review the literature on "skills teacher value most" and provide implications for students as it relates to transitioning across the grade levels and promoting successful inclusion experiences for students receiving special education services. Sainato will present the results of their student on the development and evaluation of a comprehensive program for kindergarten age children with ASD. Each presenter will address future areas for research.
Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism and Their Families
SENNY BEN-ZVI (Ohio State University), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University), Howard Goldstein (Florida State University), Sunhwa Jung (Otterbein College)
Abstract: Researchers suggest that early intensive intervention is necessary to change the trajectory of development for a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Recent advances have led investigators to develop early diagnostic criteria and screening protocols validated for child at two years of age. Children in this age group often exhibit behaviors such as deficits in joint attention, failing to orient, poor visual orientation, prompted/delayed response to name, aversion to social touch, visual staring and fixation on objects (Matson, Wilkins & Gonzalez, 2008). However, in spite of the activity in the area of early identification of very young children with autism Rodgers and Vismara (2008) note that there have been no empirically supported treatments (other than case studies) for these children ages 2 and under. The purpose of this presentation is to review the existing literature that may hold promise for the development of interventions in the areas of language/communication, social behavior and intervention in the natural environment. Recommendations for the design and implementation of comprehensive interventions for the youngest children diagnosed with ASD will be presented.
Teaching Play Skills to Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
SUNHWA JUNG (Otterbein College), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Most young children develop critical play, language and social skills by engaging with age appropriate materials and peers. However, children with autism spectrum disorders often engage in stereotypic behavior rather than typical play. As a result these children have limited experience developing a variety of skills during naturally occurring learning opportunities and when interacting with their peers during play. Research has shown that play skills should be explicitly taught to these children using a variety of behavioral methods (DTT, pivotal response training, self-management training, reciprocal imitation training, etc.) have been implemented (Ingersoll & Schreibman, 2002; Koegel et al., 1992; Newman et al., 2000; Nuzzolog-Gomez et al., 2002). The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on instructional methods used to teach play skills to young children with autism spectrum disorders, provide implications for practice, and suggestions for future research.
The "Hidden Curriculum" and Its Implications for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
MARY D. SALMON (Columbus City Schools)
Abstract: Given the trend toward inclusive educational programming (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1994) students receiving special education services are required to meet the behavioral expectations of both special and general educators. Lane, Givner, & Pierson (2004) identified specific skills essential for success (follows directions, works independently, gets along with others, etc.) while Walker and colleagues (1992) identified specific behaviors (disturbs others, ignores teachers, and disrupts group instruction) likely to lead to social rejection, low social engagement and referral for more specialized placements. Knowledge of teacher expectations has important implications for students as it relates to transitioning across the grade levels and promoting successful inclusion experiences for students with ASD receiving special education services (Lane, Pierson, & Givner, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to review literature on teacher expectations of student behavior, provide implications for practice as it relates to children with ASD and suggestions for future research.
Project TASK: A Comprehensive Intervention Model for Kindergarten Age Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
DIANE M. SAINATO (The Ohio State University), Sunhwa Jung (Otterbein College), Judah Axe (Simmons College), Rebecca S. Morrison (Oakstone Academy)
Abstract: The purpose of Project TASK was to develop and evaluate a comprehensive program for kindergarten children with autism. Across the four years of the study a total of 42 children with autism from the model program and 21 students with autism recruited from four local school districts participated. Measures included standardized assessments for receptive and expressive language, cognitive functioning, social behavior, adaptive behavior and academic achievement. Direct observations of child and teacher behavior (i.e. engagement, social interaction, prompt level, etc.) were conducted once per month for six months for all children. Outcomes from Project TASK include an increase in scores on standardized assessments across all areas and improved levels of appropriate engagement in observed classroom activities as compared to the comparison subjects. This project may contribute to the establishment of more effective educational programs for children with autism spectrum disorders with reduction in the cost of services.
Symposium #246
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applied behavior analysis in education: What do we have to offer?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 121 A
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Youjia Hua (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: David L. Lee (Penn State University)
CE Instructor: Michelle Duda, Ph.D.
Abstract: The use of behavior principles to change school-based behaviors has received a great deal of support in the professional literature. Unfortunately, the link between this body of research and teachers is often weak. Two possible reasons for this disconnect are that teachers (a) often fail to buy into the idea of behavior analysis and continue with ineffective interventions that are more congruent with their educational philosophy; and (b) a lack of understanding on the part of behavior analysts on how classrooms operate. This lack of understanding has a profound impact on implementation of evidence-based strategies. What is needed is a mutual understanding of what should be done and what can be done in classroom contexts. The purpose of this symposium is to present data on three topics that are in the forefront of education today -- the use of functional assessments by classroom teachers, promoting independent assignment completion, and strategies to increase reading fluency. The presentations promote this mutual understanding by examining each strategy within the applied context of classrooms (often with teachers implementing the interventions).
Review of Functional Assessment and Intervention Studies: Is there a Demonstration of Contextual Fit?
BROOKS R. VOSTAL (Penn State University)
Abstract: The author reviews the research literature on the use of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and function-based interventions in which teachers, rather than behavior analysts or researchers alone actively participate in the process. Specifically, studies were examined to determine: (a) the types of students, problem behaviors, and settings in which FBA was used; (b) FBA procedures conducted and by whom; (c) interventions implemented and by whom; and (d) the degree to which teachers found the assessment process acceptable. Results found a prevalence of studies in which FBA was used with students at-risk for high-incidence disabilities and who displayed disruptive behaviors in general education settings. Researcher assistance was needed to complete the various assessment procedures in most studies, though teachers were often able to implement the interventions stemming from FBA. Social validity measures found acceptable ratings. Results are discussed in terms of the contextual fit for functional behavior assessment in school settings.
Effects of Choosing Academic Assignments on Task Completion
YOUJIA HUA (The University of Iowa), Samuel Stansbery (Penn State University), David L. Lee (Penn State University)
Abstract: Several authors have suggested that providing choice making opportunities for people with disabilities is beneficial. However, the underlying mechanism of choice-making is still relatively unknown. The researchers investigated the effects of choice-making on academic task completion when identical tasks presented on worksheets and paper slips were used as choice options. Three students with learning problems were asked to complete math problems under student choice and teacher assigned conditions. An alternating treatment design was used to evaluate the effects of choice making on academic performance. Students' math task performances were compared between teacher-assigned and student choice conditions. Results indicated little or no effect of choice-making on academic productivity.
Science Reading Fluency and Repeated Readings
DOUGLAS E. KOSTEWICZ (University of Pittsburgh), Richard M. Kubina Jr. (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effects of repeated readings to a fluency criterion (RRFC) for seven students with disabilities using science text. The study employed a single subject design, specifically, two multiple probe multiple baselines across subjects, to evaluate the effects of the RRFC intervention. Results indicated that students met criterion (200 or more correct words per minute with 2 or fewer errors) on four consecutive passages. A majority of students displayed accelerations to correct words per minute and decelerations to incorrect words per minute on successive initial, intervention readings suggesting reading transfer. Students’ reading scores during post-test and maintenance out performed pre-test and baseline readings provided additional measures of reading transfer. For a relationship to comprehension, students scored higher on oral retell measures after meeting criterion as compared to initial readings. Overall, the research findings suggested that the RRFC intervention improves science reading fluency for students with disabilities, and may also indirectly benefit comprehension.
Symposium #249
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applications of Organizational Behavior Management Techniques with Staff in Human Service Settings
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 221 C
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kristofer van Herp, M.S.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium will consist of four papers discussing recent research on the use of OBM procedures to manage staff behavior in human service settings. Judy Mowrey will discuss procedures for increasing staff positive interactions while also assessing reactivity of observation. Jennifer Kondask will talk about research on increasing safe performance of therapists who work with children with autism. Nicole Gravina will discuss her research on the effectiveness of a Consultant Workshop Model in human services. Finally, Martin Ivancic will discuss procedures for promoting generalization and maintenance of performance by staff working with individuals with developmental disabilities.
Effects of Supervisor Presence on Staff Response to Tactile Prompts and Self-Monitoring in a Group Home Setting
JUDITH M. MOWREY (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This study evaluated the use of a tactile prompt and self-monitoring to increase positive interaction in a group home setting. Four direct support staff participated in a training session to increase positive interaction. In addition they each received a MotivAider, which provides tactile prompts to remind them to engage in positive client interaction. Reactivity was assessed by observing staff positive interaction when the supervisor was present and when the supervisor was absent using an alternating treatments design within a multiple probe across participants’ research design. If positive interaction did not increase, supervisor feedback was provided. Results showed that positive interaction increased for 2 staff members following training and use of the MotivAider, but only when a supervisor was present. For 2 staff members, positive interactions only increased once feedback was provided
The Use of Task Clarification and Equipment Modification to Increase Safe Performance of Therapists at an Autism Treatment Facility
JENNIFER KONDASH (Florida Institute of Technology), Sarah E. Casella (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of antecedent manipulations to increase safe behaviors of five therapists at an autism treatment facility. The dependent variables were key wearing, glove wearing, hand washing and cleaning. The intervention included a package consisting of task clarification and equipment modification. A multiple baseline design across behaviors with a constant series control was used to evaluate intervention effects. The results showed an overall increase across all targeted behaviors; greater effects were seen for key wearing and glove wearing. Suggestions for future research include changing the order in which target behaviors are manipulated and reducing the effort required to perform safely.
An Evaluation of the Consultant Workshop Model in a Human Service Setting
NICOLE E. GRAVINA (Roosevelt University), John Austin (Western Michigan University), Anne Cummings (Kinark Child and Family Services), Sarah Kupferschmidt (Kinark Child and Family Services)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to document and evaluate the consultant-workshop model commonly employed by OBM consultants. The consultation took place in a non-profit human service setting that delivers behavioral services to children diagnosed with autism and their families. Workshop attendees were 13 senior therapists each of whom oversaw 6 to 8 instructor therapists who provided behavioral services to clients. The training took place in 2005 (i.e., three years prior to this evaluation) across five months and four workshop sessions. Participants learned to pinpoint, measure, diagnose, and intervene and then they presented their project at the last workshop and these projects were documented. Pinpoint types and impact as well as effect size were evaluated. When possible, follow-up information was gathered to determine the extent to which this approach facilitated maintenance and generalization. Results indicated that projects were, in general, very effective. At follow up, some components of the projects remained in place and limited evidence indicated that the performance improvements maintained but there was little evidence of generalization. Based on the findings, recommendations for improving the workshop model are suggested.
Repeated Within-Class Exemplar Review of Trained Staff Responding In an Attempt to Demonstrate Between-Class Generalization: A Methodology for Managing Maintenance
MARTIN IVANCIC (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Kimberly D. Willis (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Abstract: Staff management procedures are utilized to maintain previously learned skill. Specifically, behavior that is trained must be maintained. Thirty-seven staff at a state residential facility were observed for previously trained habilitative behavior in six categories (infection control, social interaction, social appearance, following diet instructions, clean mealtime preparation area, and intake scoring) during lunch (first shift) and dinner (second shift) mealtime activities in two adjacent living areas in three homes each (six homes) providing service to 52 residents. Efforts to reduce reactivity to the observations were implemented. Observations were counter balanced across staff and residents and reliability obtained. After baseline, a particular topic was reviewed with each staff person to generate contact with at least 3 examples of that topic (e.g., infection control). Similar treatments were provided for six different topics of responding in hopes on increasing appropriate staff in general. No exemplars were directly related to target behaviors, but three topics were indirectly related to target behaviors of infection control, social interaction, social appearance and three other topics represented appropriate staff behaviors that were not targeted (i.e., following written instructions, clean environment and taking data). Increases in target behaviors following related exemplar reviews were thought to indicate within-class generalization. Increases in target behaviors unrelated to any exemplar review were thought to indicate between-class generalization.
Symposium #250
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on BBS and OBM
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 221 AB
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: Florence DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract: Three papers on behavior-based safety and organizational behavior management will be presented. The first study depicts an evaluation of an intervention to improve security on a university campus. The second study examined the use of task clarification and peer feedback to increase the use of personal protective equipment by employees on a university campus. The third study evaluated the accuracy of managerial prediction of items / activities which employees state they would be willing to work for as part of a performance improvement plan.
Improving Security Procedures in a university residence Hall through Training, Feedback, and Contingent Access to Money
NICOLE J. POSTMA (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Sarah E. Casella (Florida Institute of Technology), Anastasia Kolias (Florida Tech), Alicia Rosa (Florida Tech)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of training, feedback, and contingent access to money to increase a) the use of an authorized identification card to gain entry and b) “challenging” behavior in 3 university residence halls. “Challenging” is defined as occurring when the person entering or leaving the building asks another person entering the building to show identification. Participants included anyone who entered the residence halls at a small, private university. A multiple baseline design across residence halls was used to evaluate the interventions. Results suggest that all three interventions produced small improvements in the use of an ID card to gain entry but little improvement in challenging.
Evaluating Peer Feedback on the Safety Behaviors of Landscapers
STACEY BUMGARDNER (Appalachian State university), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: While many studies have researched the effects of information and feedback on safety performance, few have investigated the effects of conducting peer feedback on behavior. The current study investigated the effects of task-clarification and peer feedback on the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) among landscapers on a university’s campus. Using an ABC design, task-clarification and safety education was provided to all participants through a one-hour training course. The participants then collected observations of safe behavior on each other. The effects of task-clarification and peer feedback were assessed using a multiple baseline experimental design.
Accuracy of Managerial Prediction of Employee Preference: A Follow-up Analysis
BYRON J. WINE (AdvoServ of New Jersey), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole J. Postma (Florida Institute of Technology), Sarah E. Casella (Florida Institute of Technology), Carelle A.D. Harris-Fortune (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The extent to which 100 managers could accurately predict what items / activities their emplyees report as preferred was examined. Managers were asked to rank items they thought employees most preferred. Next, employees indicated which items actually were most preferred. Kendall rank-order correlation coefficients were used to examine the data. As with previous research, results suggest that managers are poor at predicting emplyee's preferred items.
Symposium #254
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Operants and Derived Stimulus Relations
Sunday, May 24, 2009
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
North 127
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Elise A. Stokes, M.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium presents basic and applied research on the emergence of novel verbal relations and novel stimulus-stimulus relations. Four studies will be presented, in which the participants were typically developing children or children diagnosed with autism. In all four studies, the training of topography-based verbal operants resulted in novel conditional discriminations, the training of conditional discriminations led to the emergence of topography-based verbal relations, or both. Applied and theoretical implications will be discussed.
The Effects of Multiple-Tact Training on the Emergence of Naming and Categorization by Children with Autism
CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento), Vissy V Kobari (California State University, Sacramento), Katharine Woods Findlay (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Recent studies have demonstrated that the skill of sorting objects or pictures by category develops with no direct training when typically-developing children learn to label pictures and objects with a common category name. This methodology is yet to be tested with children with developmental disabilities. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether multiple-tact training would produced novel categorization in children with autism. Participants included two children diagnosed with autism, ages 5 and 6. The effects of training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple-baseline across participants design. During pre and posttraining probes, participants were assessed on whether they would (1) correctly match pictures belonging to the same category (i.e., categorization) and (2) select the correct stimuli when hearing their category names (i.e., listener behavior). During multiple-tact training participants were taught to tact the name and category of nine pictures belonging to three different categories. Both children, who did not categorize or emit listener behaviors correctly during pretraining were able to do so during posttraining probes. These results suggest that multiple-tact training may be an efficient way to produce naming and categorization in children diagnosed with autism.
Intraverbal Naming and Emergent Visual-Visual Conditional Discriminations
ANNA I. PETURSDOTTIR (Texas Christian University), Charlotte Lynn Carp (Texas Christian University), Sean Peterson (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: Intraverbal relations between participant-supplied names have been proposed as a mechanism by which performance on stimulus equivalence tests might be facilitated. The present study evaluated the effects of experimenter-supplied intraverbal relations on children’s performance on a novel visual-visual match-to-sample (MTS) task. Tact training established a unique vocal response in the presence of each of six visual stimuli, A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 and B3. Intraverbal training then established intraverbal relations between the vocal stimuli associated with A1, A2, and A3 (presented by the experimenter) and the vocal responses associated with B1, B2, and B3 (emitted by the child), respectively. Subsequently, some participants passed visual-visual MTS tests of all AB and BA relations, but failed tests of the bidirectionality of the intraverbal relations. Further, response latencies on tests of trained intraverbal relations were longer than response latencies on MTS trials, and there was no evidence of participant-generated common naming. The most parsimonious interpretation appears to be that the emergent AB and BA relations were an outcome of prior tact and intraverbal training that did not require any verbal behavior on test trials.
Emergence of Opposite Intraverbals Related to Tacts of Concepts
LUIS A. PEREZ-GONZALEZ (University of Oviedo, Spain), Lorena Garcia Asenjo (University of Oviedo, Spain)
Abstract: Intraverbals can emerge after learning other intraverbals, but intraverbals are especially useful for a learner when they are the result of observing the non-verbal world. We analyzed the emergence of intraverbals of opposite relations (e.g., “What is the opposite of full” –“empty”) after (a) learning to tact pictures related to these concepts; (b) learning or showing the emergence of selecting these pictures when listening the word; (c) learning conditional discriminations involving the word “same” or “opposite”, a picture or a word related to a concept (e.g., an empty glass or the word “empty”), and pictures with these concepts (e.g., a full and an empty glass). Preschool children learned to tact and select figures with features related to the concepts, and the conditional discriminations. Intraverbals did not emerge initially. Some children showed the emergence of some intraverbals after learning others. Other children showed emergence of intraverbals only when novel concepts were taught and their corresponding intraverbals were probed. The results show that children demonstrate novel intraverbals after learning the concepts in the non-verbal world, when they are taught in the appropriate sequence. In other words, they generate novel language under the correct learning conditions.
Training Intraverbal Sign Language Using Stimulus Equivalence
JENNIFER MCGINTY (Stephen F. Austin State University), Glen L. McCuller (Stephen F. Austin State University), Shauna Swinney (Stephen F. Austin State University), Chris Ninness (Stephen F. Austin State University)
Abstract: Only a few empirical studies have been conducted to assess the best way to teach difficult concepts such as left and right (Lee, 1981; Lamarre & Holland, 1985; Dessalegn & Landau, 2008). The purpose of the current study was to expand on studies by Clarke, Remington, and Light (1986) and McCuller, Ninness, Rumph, and Eberle (2006) to teach three preschool children concepts of left,right, above, and below using stimulus equivalence procedures. The current study additionally aimed to test the use of generalized signing in novel situations. After being trained the relation between spoken word and picture and picture and ASL sign, participants were able to demonstrate symmetry and transitivity. Participants were also able to demonstrate generalized signing with 75% to 100% accuracy. Additionally, participants were able to maintain the initial relations learned with 66% to 100% accuracy at one week and one month follow-up. The findings from this study address the use of matching to sample procedures and the effectiveness of using stimulus equivalence and similar types of procedures directed at derived relational responding (e.g., RFT) to train difficult concepts such as left and right.
Invited Panel #257
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Responding to Global Warming...or Not: The Green Behavior Deficit
Sunday, May 24, 2009
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
West 301 CD
Domain: Theory
Chair: Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute)
CE Instructor: Kimberly P. Ray, Ph.D., Psychology
Panelists: ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute), RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University), MARK P. ALAVOSIUS (University of Nevada, Reno), ROBIN RUMPH (Stephen F. Austin University)
Abstract: Compelling evidence indicates that climate changes are accelerating and will, at some point in the next 30 to 50 years, be likely to impact behavior, culture, and natural ecologies in a myriad of negative ways. Nevertheless, warnings of change like those presented by Frederic Wagner in the preceding B. F. Skinner Lecture are frequently met with indifference—or even outright resistance. Such reactions impede efforts to alter the human behaviors that contribute directly to climate change and to prepare for coming cultural changes necessitated by altered environments and depleted resources. A “green behavior deficit” results, the controlling variables of which can be illuminated through behavioral analyses. Yet, relatively little conceptual work in behavior analysis has been done in regards to this complex challenge, and scarcely any empirical work examines behavior change at this scale. Panelists will discuss a variety of possibilities for fruitfully examining the “green behavior deficit” through such concepts as managing externalities, delay discounting, preparedness, habituation, rule-governed behavior, cultural practice analysis, and systems analysis.
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University)
MARK P. ALAVOSIUS (University of Nevada, Reno)
ROBIN RUMPH (Stephen F. Austin University)
Symposium #267
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Mindfulness for Two (Part II): Manipulating the Therapist
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jonathan Weinstein (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Daniel J. Moran (Trinity Services)
CE Instructor: James T. Ellis, Ph.D.
Abstract: Researchers have long been interested in different factors relevant to the process and outcome of therapy (Smith & Glass, 1977). This symposium will present findings from a series of studies involving an analogue of a first therapy session. In each of these studies, particular therapist variables that are theoretically important to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy were manipulated (See Wilson, in press). Some of the variables on the part of therapist include: personal disclosure, asking for permission to discuss something difficult, and performing a brief mindfulness exercise prior to beginning the session. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
The Effects of a Pre-Session Mindfulness Exercise for the Therapist.
JONATHAN WEINSTEIN (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior prior to the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). Specifically, this study manipulated the instructions the interviewer received before conducting the interview. The interviewer was randomly selected to receive either mindfulness instructions or control instructions for ten minutes prior to the interview. Next, the interviewer was instructed to ask the interviewee about a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
The Effects of Therapist Disclosure
STEPHANIE L. NASSAR (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior during the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). Specifically, this study manipulated the pre-interview instructions given to the interviewers. Interviewers were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: interviewer disclosure or no disclosure. Interviewers in both conditions were instructed to ask the interviewee to discuss a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Additionally, the interviewers in the disclosure condition were instructed to disclose a personal experience of a disagreement with someone important to them before they asked the interviewee to disclose. Interviewers in the no disclosure condition did not receive these additional instructions to disclose. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
The Effects of Asking for Permission
REGAN M. SLATER (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: This study examined how manipulating the interviewer’s behavior during the interview effects a number of different process variables believed to be relevant to the practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Wilson, in press). In this study the interviewer was instructed to ask permission to ask the interviewee about something difficult before the beginning of the session. Next, the interviewer was instructed to ask the interviewee about a disagreement they had with someone who is important to them. Data were collected and scored from a video-tape recording of the session. Self-report data were collected post-interview from both interviewers and interviewees using measures of therapeutic alliance and personal experiences, such as positive/negative mood and physical sensations.
Symposium #269
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Assessment for Covert Behavior Problems
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 120 A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Jessica C. Tomasi, M.S.
Abstract: Many severe behavior problems displayed by individuals with developmental disabilities (or people in general for that matter) occur frequently when no one is watching or especially when no one is watching. The three papers in this symposium are based around the common theme of evaluating such covert behavior problems. The first paper, presented by Jorge Reyes, reports a behavioral assessment of covert problem behavior (viewing and stealing child-related photographs from magazines) displayed by adult male sex offenders. The second paper, presented by Meagan Gregory, reports a behavioral assessment and intervention for covert self-injurious behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. The third paper, presented by Amanda Rone, reports a behavioral assessment and intervention for covert food stealing displayed by individuals diagnosed with Pradi-Willi Syndrome. The discussant is Raymond Miltenberger, who is well known for the development of behavioral assessment models for covert behavior. Many of the assessment components in this symposium were based at least in part on Miltenberger’s work.
The Use of In Situ Assessments for Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities
JORGE RAFAEL REYES (Westfield State College), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Cristina M. Whitehouse (University of Florida), Gregory Jansen (State of Florida/Seguin Unit)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of sex offenders has typically revolved around evaluating and attempting to eliminate arousal to inappropriate stimuli (i.e., individuals under the age of 18). Whereas focusing on arousal is critical, it may only capture features of sexual offending that are respondent in nature. Other factors may be operant in nature and also important to consider in the sexual offense process. For example, how an individual behaves while in potentially high-risk situations (e.g., presence of children), would be important to determine. Furthermore, how an individual behaves in social situations (e.g., presence of appropriately aged peers) may have important implications as well. For example, having the necessary social skills to engage in conversation with a potential sexual partner of a similar age may make them less likely to pursue inappropriate sexual targets. The present studies involved assessing sex offenders diagnosed with developmental disabilities in high-risk and social situations. Specifically, we investigated how individuals responded while in the presence of high-risk materials (e.g., magazines with pictures of children) and when given the opportunity to interact with appropriately aged individuals. Assessment results showed a range of responses; however, in all cases, the methodology proved useful in identifying targets for behavior change.
Treatment of covert Self-injury Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
MEAGAN GREGORY (University of Florida), Griffin W. Rooker (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract: Problem behavior that occurs solely under covert conditions can be difficult to assess and treat because it may be seen rarely. The purpose of this study was to evaluate two procedures that may produce reductions in covert self-injury (SIB) maintained by automatic reinforcement: stimulus control training and contingencies on response products (i.e., tissue damage). The effectiveness of these interventions was examined both during sessions and across the day. First, stimulus control was established during sessions by pairing a stimulus with the appearance of a therapist who delivered a verbal reprimand contingent on self-injury. If this produced reductions in SIB, the signal was placed throughout the subject’s environment. If SIB reemerged, contingencies were placed on the appearance of tissue damage.
Assessment and Treatment of Food Stealing in Individuals With Prader-Willi Syndrome
AMANDA J. B. RONE (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract: The most significant behavioral characteristic of the Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is hyperphagia, or excessive food consumption, which can result in life-threatening health conditions. Food stealing is a commonly reported problem behavior in individuals with PWS that occurs covertly; thus, the behavior has been examined in very few studies. One purpose of this study was to develop a procedure for assessing covert food stealing in individuals with PWS under different types of conditions: (a) a natural setting where food was present but a therapist was absent, (b) a task condition (not involving the handling off food) during which food was present but the therapist was absent, and (c) a task condition involving the handling of food, during which the therapist was present but periodically “distracted.” The second purpose of the study was to evaluate a differential reinforcement procedure for reducing food stealing.
Symposium #270
CE Offered: BACB
Variations of Functional Analysis Methodology
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 128
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeff Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Functional analysis is a widely researched behavioral assessment procedure used to identify the operant mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of problem behavior. There have been a number of procedural variations and refinements described in the published literature since the initial publication describing this assessment technique in 1982. The 4 talks in this symposia evaluate some of the variations that may result in more rapid and accurate determinations of behavioral function.
Evaluation of false positive (tangible) functional analysis outcomes
GRIFFIN W. ROOKER (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Erin Camp (University of Florida)
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) methodology has been extremely effective in identifying the maintaining variables for problem behavior. However, the results of a FA may be influenced by idiosyncratic sensitivities to aspects of the assessment conditions. For example, Shirley, Iwata, and Kahng (1999) demonstrated a false positive FA outcome associated with exposure to the tangible condition. However, the extent to which tangible reinforcement routinely produces such outcomes is unknown The purpose of this study was to examines susceptibility to tangible reinforcement by determining (a) whether a new response is acquired more readily when exposed to tangible reinforcement than when exposed to other contingencies commonly used in a functional analysis, and (b) whether problem behavior known not to have a social function nevertheless emerges quickly when exposed to tangible reinforcement. Results suggest that the inclusion of items in the tangible condition should be done with care and be based on those items in the individual’s environment.
Using discriminative stimuli to facilitate condition differentiation during brief functional analyses
KELLY MCCONNELL (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that including salient stimuli (e.g., different colored rooms or different therapists associated with each condition) may enhance differential outcomes during a functional analysis (FA). However, clinicians may not have the resources necessary for using discriminative stimuli when conducting a FA. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of using practical stimuli, (e.g., different colored shirts, poster boards, and photos of the participant contacting antecedent environmental events associated with FA conditions) on FA outcomes. In addition, because the inclusion of salient stimuli may be most helpful when conducting brief or nonstandard FAs, we evaluated the effects of using such stimuli during brief or latency-based FAs. Four individuals with autism, who exhibited severe problem behavior, participated. A multielement design was used to demonstrate experimental control, and a block of 4 conditions (alone, attention, play, and demand) paired with discriminated stimuli was alternated with a block that was not paired with these stimuli. Results indicate that the inclusion of salient stimuli may serve as a practical enhancement when conducting brief functional analyses. Interobserver agreement was conducted for over 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%.
Expediting the Brief Functional Analysis by Using Hypotheses Derived from Descriptive Assessments
MATTHEW O'BRIEN (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Brenda J. Engebretson (University of Iowa Children's Hospital), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is a clinic for young children who are typically developing and who engage in disruptive behaviors (e.g., noncompliance, aggression). Because of appointment time constraints, an alternative to the extended functional analysis was needed so that response-reinforcer relations could be assessed within a 90-minute evaluation. In the early 1990’s, the brief functional analysis (BFA) was developed as this alternative, testing the response-reinforcer relationship between different sources of negative and positive reinforcement on target behaviors via a multi-element design. Studies have since demonstrated the BFA to be efficient and often correlated with extended functional analyses. The current clinic assessment protocol consists of descriptive assessment (e.g., A-B-C interview), a BFA, and treatment evaluation. Inter-observer agreement is collected during assessment and treatment evaluations. The sequence of test conditions (e.g., demand, attention) in the BFA is based on the hypothesized response-reinforcer relation identified via the descriptive assessment. Using hypothesis-based analyses allows us to test and confirm response-reinforcer relationships in an expeditious fashion and initiate treatment more quickly. This presentation will include a discussion of the assessment protocol, a summary of the outcomes from utilizing the assessment protocol, and a case example demonstrating this approach.
A comparison of fixed and random session sequences during functional analyses
JEFF TIGER (Louisiana State University), Megan L. Kliebert (Louisiana State University), Karen A Toussaint (Louisiana State University), Joslyn N. Cynkus (Louisiana State University), Carolyn Barahona (Louisiana State University), Kristen Abbondante (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: Multielement designs are the most common format for conducting functional analyses. While highly efficient, these designs introduce potential of carry-over effects between conditions which researchers have accounted for in 2 ways. One approach has been to randomize session order such that carry-over effects are likely to be equally distributed across conditions. The other approach has been to conduct sessions in a fixed sequence designed to capitalize on the impact of carry over; possibly expediting the analysis (i.e., alone conditions are likely to establish the value of attention; so they are beneficial to conduct prior to attention sessions). The current study was designed to determine if functional analysis outcomes may be determined more rapidly when sessions are conducted fixed relative to a random sequence. Each participant experienced 2 simultaneous functional analyses of their problem behavior. During one analysis sessions were sequenced in a random order, and during the other analysis, sessions were sequenced in a fixed order (alone-attention-toy play-escape). The resultant data from each analysis were then inspected with structured criteria to determine how quickly a determination of behavioral function could be made. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 25% of each analysis and averaged above 90%.
Symposium #272
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Self-Control Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 228
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Discussant: Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Ang)
CE Instructor: John T. Rapp, Ph.D.
Abstract: Three papers will be presented that discuss areas of research in self-control and impulsivity that take a different perspective than traditional studies of self-control. The papers range from basic research, to applied and clinical perspectives.
Negative Reinforcement and Self-Control in Adult Humans
ALICIA N. MACALEESE (Advanced Child Behavior Solutions, LLC), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: Typical self-control experiments involve conditioned positive reinforcers such as points or money for humans, and unconditioned positive reinforcers such as food for nonhuman organisms. The standard preparation involves manipulating the magnitude (small vs. large) and/or delay (short vs. long) to the reinforcer. Unlike the impulsive responding observed in nonhuman organisms (selecting the shorter, smaller reinforcer), humans almost always respond in a self-controlled fashion (selecting the larger, longer reinforcer). The self-control observed in humans might be due to the type of reinforcer. The current experiment examines how a negative reinforcer (noise) affected self-control in adult humans. The first experiment establishes the reliability of previous findings in self-control using a negative reinforcement preparation. The second experiment focuses on the magnitude of the negative reinforcer by systematically varying its intensity. The third experiment examines the effects on responding when the preferred activity is varied and the magnitude of the negative reinforcer remains constant.
Reducing Task-related Problem Behavior in Young Children by Teaching Self-control
JENNIFER A. BONOW (University of Nevada, Reno), Christine M. Coffman (University of Nevada Reno), Jessica Beairsto (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: There is potential that teaching children to make self-control responses in the presence of aversive events may lead to decreased occurrences of problem behavior related to those events. For many children, engaging in problem behavior may function to delay or avoid a task altogether. In doing so, the child is making an impulsive response, while completing the task initially would be considered a self-control response. This study assessed self-control in children who demonstrated escape-maintained problem behaviors and then taught them to make self-control selections in the presence of aversive tasks. The tasks selected were analogues of those which often preceded problem behavior in the natural environment. Self-control was reassessed at the end of the teaching phase. Also, parents conducted generalization probes in the home throughout the study.
The Relationship between Self Control and Measures of Psychological Health and Distress
THOMAS J. WALTZ (University of Nevada, Reno), William C. Follette (University of Nevada Reno)
Abstract: Problems of impulsivity and shortsightedness have been linked to several clinical phenomena. The present study used several delay, probability, and social discounting repetitive choice assessments to characterize the impulsivity and shortsightedness of a college student sample. These subjects were also provided with a series of assessment instruments focusing on different aspects of quality of life, and psychological distress (e.g., depression, anxiety, social functioning). We will present the relationships among these measures and discuss the potential usefulness of using discounting assessments in clinical psychology.
Symposium #279
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Stimulus and Response Substitution in Interbehavioral Perspective
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 132 A
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: The principles of stimulus and response substitution, as articulated by J. R. Kantor, are identified and exemplified in the context of investigations of perceptual behavior and remembering. It is argued that these principles are foundational for the science of behavior.
Stimulus and Response Substitution
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Kantor distinguishes the functional properties of stimuli and responses from their object and organizational properties, respectively. These disctinctions permit more coherent descriptions of complex human interactions such as perceiving, imagining, dreaming, and remembering than have been proposed under the auspices of Radical Behaviorism. The value of these distinctions for the investigation of complex human behavior is addressed.
Substitution of Perceptual Functions
MARIA ISABEL MUNOZ BLANCO (University of Nevada), Erick M. Dubuque (University of Nevada, Reno), Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The present study examines the process of stimulus substitution directly. Previous research has demonstrated substitution, but only indirectly in the context of other processes. This study proposes that the relationship among homophone words may be transferred to other stimuli. In order to demonstrate this, 100 participants were exposed to a series of observational learning trials. By using a respondent-type training procedure, a letter was paired with a word. After this training the participants were exposed to a series of simple math problems in which they were required to replace the unknown symbol in the equation with a number from 1 to 9. The results were analyzed in terms of the concordance between the number substituted for the uknown and the corresponding homophone word that had previously been trained.
An Investigation of Factors Influencing Remembering Interactions
MITCH FRYLING (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Memory research in behavior science has almost exclusively focused on memorizing interactions. This paper builds upon the memory literature by investigating factors that influence remembering conceptualized as completing an act in the future. Experimental data evaluating factors that influence the development and operation of substitute stimuli within the context of an interbehavioral field perspective are reviewed. Implications for understanding complex remembering interactions are provided.
An Interpretation of Operant Processes in Terms of Substitution of Functions
DIANA M. DELGADO (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Traditionally, respondent and operant conditioning have been understood as different types of learning processes that account for different types of behaviors. While substitutive operations have been considered characteristic of S-S associations, reinforcement has been considered to be the main principle in operant conditioning. Current research on the study of complex human behavior using respondent procedures indicates that behaviors which have been categorized as operant may be acquired without the use of reinforcers. We challenge the operant-respondent dichotomy and propose that substitution of functions is the fundamental process that accounts for psychological events. In this context, reinforcement is best understood as a procedure and not as a distinct type of conditioning.
Symposium #283
CE Offered: BACB
Developing behavior analytic interventions for medical application: Examples and lessons from the treatment of drug addiction.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 226 C
Area: BPH/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Anthony L. DeFulio (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Lauren C. Wasano, M.A., B.C.B.A., M.A.
Abstract: Contingency management interventions for the treatment of drug addiction are based on the principles of operant psychology and are part of the practice of applied behavior analysis. However, much of the work in contingency management has been conducted in departments of psychiatry, behavioral medicine, and in general medical settings rather than in traditional settings such as psychology departments on university campuses. Even when working in traditional settings, investigators working to develop contingency management interventions for the treatment of drug addiction have necessarily concerned themselves with the medical community, often in the interest of widespread dissemination of their interventions and in pursuit of federal funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This symposium offers examples and lessons learned from working in these novel settings that may be adopted by any behavior analysts who wish to advocate for the adoption of behavior analytic interventions in medical settings.
By any means necessary: Substance abuse interventions as a case study in radicalizing behaviorism.
ANTHONY L. DEFULIO (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Contingency management interventions for the treatment of substance abuse are firmly rooted in the principles of operant psychology. From its inception, operant psychology has been guided by the philosophy of radical behaviorism espoused by B. F. Skinner, but it is equally true that the philosophy was constructed on the basis of the substantive aspects of operant psychology. This latter point was identified by E. F. Malagodi in a call-to-arms published in The Behavior Analyst in 1986 that described the unfulfilled promise of behavior analysis as a source of solutions for social problems, and offered strategies for rectifying the situation by “radicalizing behaviorism.” While Malagodi’s sage advice has gone largely unheeded, contingency management interventions for substance abuse stand as a particularly lucent example of the successful radicalization of our behaviorism. This presentation reviews Malagodi’s suggestions and describes how behavioral scientists working in the area of substance abuse have unknowingly adjusted their own practices to accord with those advocated by Malagodi. When viewed as a case study in radicalizing behaviorism, the lessons learned in the development of contingency management interventions for substance abuse are potentially applicable to any social problems addressed by behavior analysts.
Using contingent incentives to reduce smoking in people with schizophrenia: From laboratory to treatment interventions.
JENNIFER TIDEY (Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, Brown University)
Abstract: There is an unusually high rate of cigarette smoking among people with schizophrenia (= 70%). Furthermore, these smokers have very low smoking cessation rates, even when they are motivated to quit and enroll in supportive smoking treatment programs. These smokers are likely to require a combination of pharmacological and behavioral treatments to produce significant changes in their smoking behavior. Contingency management interventions have been effective at reducing cigarette smoking in short-term laboratory-based studies, but few such interventions have been translated into treatment interventions for smoking. In a series of studies, we have examined the effects of alternative monetary reinforcement on smoking behavior in smokers with schizophrenia under laboratory and real-world conditions. Results from these studies indicate that (1) smoking by people with schizophrenia is orderly behavior that responds systematically to changes in environmental variables; (2) smoking by people with schizophrenia is reduced when access to an alternative reinforcer is contingent upon smoking abstinence; (3) combining a medication (bupropion) with abstinence-contingent reinforcement appears to be a feasible and effective method of reducing smoking in people with schizophrenia. Future directions and challenges of this research will also be addressed.
Using the internet to overcome barriers to contingency management: Applications and extensions.
BETHANY R. RAIFF (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: Contingency management interventions are highly effective at increasing drug abstinence and are becoming increasingly popular; however, in some cases it is impractical to employ such interventions because frequent monitoring is necessary to ensure treatment integrity. For example, smoking abstinence is often verified by breath carbon monoxide, but because of the short half-life of carbon monoxide it is necessary to collect at least two carbon monoxide samples per day. We recently developed an internet and web-camera based contingency management intervention to overcome the barriers to applying the treatment with this population (e.g., accessibility, fidelity, acceptability, and efficacy). The system has been effective at increasing smoking abstinence and participants report that the intervention is easy to use and convenient. Importantly, this internet-based system can be applied to any behavior that can be observed directly or that results in a visible outcome measure (e.g., breathalyzer testing with alcoholics, medication adherence, etc). As an example, details regarding how internet-based contingency management can be extended to diabetics who do not adhere with self-monitoring of blood glucose testing will discussed.
Delay discounting by adolescents experimenting with cigarette smoking.
BRADY A. REYNOLDS (Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Delay discounting is an index of impulsive choice, and research has shown that adolescent daily smokers discount more by delay than adolescent nonsmokers (Reynolds et al., 2007). However, it is not known if the more extreme delay discounting seen in smokers predates their regular use of nicotine; or, alternatively, if high levels of nicotine use increase delay discounting. The current cross-sectional group-design study compared delay discounting in three demographically matched samples of adolescents: daily smokers (n = 50), never smokers (n = 50), and experimenters (n = 41; reporting initial experimentation with smoking within three months of participation). Daily smokers had significantly higher cotinine levels (metabolite of nicotine) than nonsmokers and experimenters, but the latter two groups did not differ in cotinine level. The daily smokers and experimenters both discounted more by delay than the never smokers [p = .001 and p = .047, respectively]; however, the daily smokers and experimenters did not differ [p = .153]. These findings indicate that adolescents who are experimenting with cigarettes are similar to daily smokers with respect to delay discounting; suggesting delay discounting may be a behavioral risk factor for the initiation of smoking that predates any significant use of nicotine.
Symposium #285
CE Offered: BACB
New Evidence On Emergence of Naming, Reinforcement For Tacts, Autoclitic Frames, Capacity For Sameness
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
North 132 BC
Area: DEV/EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
CE Instructor: Guy Bruce, Ed.D.
Abstract: We present findings from three sets of experimental analyses on emergent verbal developmental cusps or foundation cusps for verbal development. Two experiments will be presented on the effects of monitoring training on the emergence of observational learning and Naming with middle school students lacking one or both of these capabilities. The next paper describes two experiments on the emergence of novel usage of autoclitic frames as a function of multiple exemplar training. The third presentation concerns experimental analyses of the effects of the intensive tact protocol on the emergence of conditioned generalized reinforcement for tacts. The final paper presents experiments on the effects of the emergence of the capacity of sameness on accelerated learning. These findings add to the evidence on the identification and induction of verbal developmental cusps and verbal developmental cusps that constitute new learning capabilities. The findings have relevance to the basic science of verbal behavior and applied interventions to advance verbal development.
Effects of a Monitoring Protocol on Observational Learning and the Emergence of Naming
DARCY M. WALSH (Teachers College Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Two Experiments were conducted with middle school students from disenfranchised families with poor academics. In Experiment I, a counterbalanced multiple probe design across 6 participants was used to test the effects of the 3 stages of the Observational System of Instruction (peer tutoring, yoked-contingency, peer monitoring) on Naming, Observational Learning, and social verbal interactions. In Experiment 2, a multiple probe design across participants was used to test the effects of the 3 stages of the Observational System of Instruction on Naming and Observational Learning in Lecture form. The results showed that the Naming and Observational Learning repertoire emerged as a function of the 3 stages of OSI and appropriate verbal interactions among peers increased. These data suggest that middle school students with academic delays may be missing either Naming or observational learning and that a monitoring intervention for resulted in wither the emergence of Naming or observational learning or both.
The Effects of Multiple Exemplar Instruction on the Acquisition and Subsequent Abstraction of Autoclitic Frames
NICOLE LUKE (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: This study tested the effects of the use of multiple exemplar instruction on 8-typically developing preschoolers ability to use autoclitic frames for spatial relations (on, under, beside, above, below) using novel tacts and novel stimuli. Pre-intervention unconsequated probes (20-trial probes) showed participants were missing novel usage of autoclitic frames of specificity. They demonstrated age appropriate verbal developmental cusps and capabilities but were missing novel usage of autoclitic frames of specificity. Subsequently, the participants received multiple exemplar training sets with known tacts until mastery. Post interventions probes tested for the participants' use of autoclitic frames and found that teaching training sets of tacts using the frames of specificity with multiple exemplar instruction occasioned the use of frames in novel functions and with novel stimuli. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the multiple exemplar instructional protocol suggesting that such experiences result in the emergence of autoclitic frames. The evidence advances our understanding of the verbal developmental theory further extending contemporary treatments of Skinner's verbal theory as it pertains to the development of verbal behavior in typically developing children.
The Effect of Adult Approvals As Conditioned Reinforcers Through The Implementation of The Intensive Tact Procedure
JEANINE SCHMELZKOPF (Box 76 Teachers College Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: I report two experiments on adult approvals as conditioned reinforces as a result of the implementation of the intensive tact procedure. In the first experiment, procedures used in previous studies were used to determine if adult approvals function as conditioned generalized reinforcers for three pre-school aged students for a performance and three learning tasks both prior to and following the implementation of the intensive tact procedure. That is, pre and post intervention functional analyses of approval as reinforcement for learning and performance were conducted. The intensive tact procedure was consistent with the procedures used in prior studies and consisted of 100 tact learn units were presented to each of the participants daily in addition to their baseline numbers of instructional presentations. Following the mastery of five sets of tact learn units, the participants were again presented the performance and three learning tasks to determine if the intensive tact procedure was effective in conditioning adult approvals as reinforcers. The data demonstrated that intensive tact intervention resulted in acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for learning and performance
Effects of Acquisition of Crossmodal Abstraction on Rate of Learning and Generalized Imitation
SHIRA A. ACKERMAN (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teacher's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: We tested the effects of inducing the verbal developmental cusp for cross modal abstraction for sameness across the senses on the rate of learning curriculum goals with 6 preschool aged children diagnosed with autism. Pre and post probes were conducted to test for the emergence of developmental capabilities and cusps including generalized body movement imitations, generalized object use imitation, and early speaker operants. All 6 participants were taught to match to sample across all 5 senses and acquired cross modal abstraction with novel stimuli. Prior to the implementation of the capacity for sameness procedure, all 6 students were presented with learn unit instruction across visual match to sample and pointing as a listener response. The participants were matched based on the number of learn units to criteria, the number of learn unit presentations required to achieve objectives, across learn unit instruction during baseline. Following the acquisition of cross modal abstraction, learn unit instruction for the same curriculum areas were represented to test for learning rate. The data showed that the rate of acquisition for curriculum goals increased as well as the assessed developmental capabilities and cusps for generalized body movement imitation and generalized object usage imitations for all 6 participants.
Tutorial #287
The Courage to Actively Care for People and their Environment: How Behavior Analysis Can Do More to Save the World
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
West 301 CD
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Michael Weinberg (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
Presenting Authors: : E. SCOTT GELLER (Virginia Tech)

In the 1960's, researchers and teachers of applied behavior analysis (ABA) were optimistic they had a practical technology for dramatically improving quality of life wherever and whenever behavior is relevant. "Saving the World with ABA" was a common theme at the Midwestern Association of Behavior Analysis, now ABAI. Successful applications of ABA were evidenced in schools, hospitals, prisons, businesses and throughout entire communities. What happened? While ABA researchers continue to demonstrate beneficial impact on behavior in select settings, our science and technology has fallen far short of its world-saving potential. The number of behavior analysts who teach and research the large-scale and life-improving applications of ABA has seemingly decreased markedly. This presentation will inspire a reconsideration of how ABA can save the world, and suggest strategies for applying our science and technology on a larger scale in diverse domains. After specifying basic principles of ABA, the presenter will show their direct relevance to various societal problems and situations. Then, specific ways to increase community-wide acceptability and appreciation of ABA will be considered. Finally, the presenter will discuss the relevance of courage and compassion in realizing the potential of ABA to save the world. The need for more "actively caring" will be addressed, as well as how applications of behavior analysis can increase actively caring throughout families, organizations, communities, and beyond. This is the theme of the presenter's latest book, coauthored by Bob Veazie and entitled The Courage Factor: Leading People-Based Culture Change. Copies of this storybook will be available at ABAI. E. Scott Geller, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems at Virginia Tech (VT) has authored 31 books, 43 book chapters, 38 training manuals, 203 magazine articles, and over 350 research articles addressing the development and evaluation of behavior-change interventions to improve quality of life. His extramural grant funding, totaling more than $6 million, has involved the application of behavioral science to benefit corporations, institutions, government agencies, or communities in general. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality Sciences. He is past Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (1989-1992), current Associate Editor of Environment and Behavior (since 1982), and current Consulting Editor for Behavior and Social Issues, the Behavior Analyst Digest, the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and the Journal of Safety Research. In 1982, Scott Geller received a teaching award from the American Psychological Association, and since then won every university teaching award offered at VT. In 2001, VT awarded him the University Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. In 2002, VT honored him with the Alumni Outreach Award for exemplary real-world applications of behavioral science; and in 2003, he was awarded the University Alumni Award for Graduate Student Advising. In 2005, Dr. Geller was awarded the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education. And last May 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Organizational Behavior Management Network.

E. SCOTT GELLER (Virginia Tech)
Symposium #289
CE Offered: BACB
The Changing Role of Social Skills Groups for Learners with Autism from Childhood to College
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
North 124 B
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Daniel Adam Openden (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
Discussant: Daniel Adam Openden (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
CE Instructor: Rebecca MacDonald, Ph.D.
Abstract: In the past decade the success of social skills groups for learners with autism has resulted in an increasing popularity with parents, educators, and researchers alike. While early research described groups primarily with younger children, their popularity has promoted the development of groups of varying ages. The question remains, however, “How do these groups change as children get older?” This symposium will address the developmental trajectory of social skills groups for learners with autism from childhood to college. Specifically, these three presentations will demonstrate how groups differ with respect to structure, goals, and content. In the first presentation, Mr. Vernon will describe his multiple baseline design study showing how the introduction of personally motivating extracurricular group activities resulted in increased social engagement and initiations with peers. Next, Mr. Dotson will describe the design of and procedures used in his recent groups with adolescents focusing on strategies for generalization and maintenance of social engagement. Dr. Jones will follow describing his groups with college students concentrating on assessment, curriculum, and group structure. Taken together, this symposium forms a compelling demonstration of the initial steps in developing a scope and sequence of the changing role of social skills groups for learners with autism.
Using Social Clubs to Increase Engagement between Children with Asperger’s/HFA and their Typical Peers
Lynn Kern Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), TY VERNON (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Brittany Koegel (University of California Santa Barbara), Annie Paullen (University of California Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Children with Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism tend to exhibit relatively high levels of communicative and cognitive competence, but continue to show evidence of difficulties with the motivation and/or skills to socialize. As a consequence, these populations often avoid social encounters with peers that serve as important learning opportunities to build social competence. The purpose of this study was to assess if developing a lunch-time social club built around the preferred interests of the participants would improve socialization between children with Asperger’s/HFA and their typically developing peers. Participants were three children with ASD who consistently spent their free-periods in isolation and made no attempt to engage with peers. Using a multiple baseline design, this study demonstrated that the introduction of a motivating extracurricular activity that incorporated mutually reinforcing activities was effective in increasing dependent measures related to the target children’s social engagement and initiations towards peers. The theoretical and applied implications are discussed as they relate to social motivation and development.
Designing a Social Skills Group for Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: Promoting Generalization and Engagement
WESLEY H DOTSON (University of Kansas), Justin B. Leaf (University of Kansas), Jaime Kohlmeyer (University of Kansas), Kaitlyn Bilovesky (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Adolescents with autism often struggle to develop positive social relationships with peers. One approach to helping adolescents build such relationships involves directly teaching social skills relevant to getting along with and engaging in common activities with peers. Prior research suggests that while direct instruction in social skills can result in learning, there often is limited generalization of skills taught from the teaching environment to more naturalistic situations. This presentation will describe the design of and procedures used within a social skills group for higher-functioning adolescents with autism to increase the likelihood of generalization of the social skills taught and to maintain participant motivation to remain in the group. Some examples of procedures and design elements to be described include: teaching skills in group contexts, using role plays as teaching tools, offering naturalistic opportunities to socialize with peers, providing choices about activities and reinforcers, and building knowledge of age and peer-appropriate activities and interests. Data from previous and current groups will be presented.
The College Social Skills Club: Why “fitting in” has Never Been So Important.
CHRISTOPHER JONES (University of Puget Sound), Melanie Arthur (University of Puget Sound), Ivey West (University of Puget Sound)
Abstract: Social skill deficits are often described as the key to understanding the true nature of autism. As research has progressed in this area, educators are becoming more skilled at teaching to these deficits. Unfortunately, one area that has seen little attention from educators and researchers is the social issues of college students with autism. Up until recently this population of students was relatively unheard of. However, with early childhood ABA interventions now reliably being used with children with autism for more than 20 years, we are seeing a greater increase of students with autism attending colleges and universities. This presentation will look at the changing role of social skills groups for four college students with Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism. The social issues facing these students are qualitatively different from those of children in the public education system. Consequently, the role of assessment procedures, curriculum development, and group time structure will be described. Preliminary assessment and outcome data will be presented though the focus will remain descriptive in nature.
Symposium #291
CE Offered: BACB
Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Children with Autism Receiving Intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
North 124 A
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Janet Yi (JBA Institute)
Discussant: Janet Yi (JBA Institute)
CE Instructor: Gerald E. Harris, Ph.D.
Abstract: Lacking the appropriate skills to communicate their needs, individuals with developmental disabilities often demonstrate challenging behaviors. This problem can be exacerbated in an intensive, high-demand educational program in which 20 to 40 hours per week are devoted to teaching appropriate skills. While research on addressing challenging behaviors within strict functional analytic methods is growing, there remains a paucity of research that addresses how such behaviors are reduced in the context of intensive ABA programs. Participants in the present studies were two boys (aged 5 years and 6 years) enrolled in intensive (30 and 40 hours per week) ABA programs, who demonstrated multiply-controlled challenging behaviors. An intervention entailing 1) differential reinforcement and 2) time out was used to address noncompliance in Participant 1. An intervention entailing 1) an antecedent strategy (i.e., prompting for use of appropriate responses), 2) differential reinforcement, and 3) positive practice of a replacement response was utilized to address self-injurious behavior in Participant 2. An intervention entailing 1) an antecedent strategy (pre-task choice-making), 2) positive reinforcement, and 3) positive punishment (redirection to a completion task) was used to address non-responsiveness in Participant 2. Results indicated clinically-significant reductions in rates of these challenging behaviors for both participants.
Treating Escape and Attention Seeking Behavior in a Child with Multiple Diagnoses
LISA A. TOPP (JBA Institute), Janet Yi (JBA Institute)
Abstract: Time out has been demonstrated to be an effective procedure for reducing noncompliant behaviors. Although most of the literature examines the efficacy of time out from positive reinforcement alone, more recent research (e.g., Everett et al., 2007) has begun to address the application of time out procedures to reduce escape-motivated challenging behaviors. Nonetheless, research on the use of time out within the context of an intensive (20 to 40 hours per week) comprehensive ABA program in which demands are high is limited. The current study examines a procedure that combines differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors, a token economy and secluded time out for severe challenging behaviors that serve the dual functions of escape and attention in a six-year old boy diagnosed with 3Q Trisomy with Chromosome 14, seizure disorder and Autism-NOS, who receives 30 hours of intensive ABA. Results of this study showed a clinically significant decease in challenging behaviors. Additional research is needed to examine the efficacy of time out procedures in combination with other strategies to address multiply-controlled challenging behaviors in an intensive ABA program.
Treating Multiply-Controlled Self-Injury in a Child with Autism
ELIZABETH SUSANNAH BAKER (JBA Institute), Janet Yi (JBA Institute)
Abstract: Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a common and serious problem for individuals with autism (Matson & LoVullo, 2008). While there has been a movement toward more research on positive behavioral interventions for individuals exhibiting destructive and dangerous behavior, research on positive behavioral interventions for multiply-controlled SIB, especially within the context of an intensive (20-40 hours per week) comprehensive ABA program, is scant. An initial function-based intervention which relied solely on positive practice of replacement behaviors produced minimal decreases in the frequency of SIB in a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with autism. A multicomponent intervention using both antecedent (prompting for use of alternative behaviors) and consequent strategies (DRA and positive practice of replacement behaviors) was employed to achieve a clinically significant decrease in rates of SIB. Future research should include an in-depth examination of SIB interventions entailing both antecedent and consequent strategies delivered in the context of an intensive ABA program.
Treating Escape-Motivated Non-Responsiveness in a Child with Autism
ELIZABETH SUSANNAH BAKER (JBA Institute), Lisa A. Topp (JBA Institute), Janet Yi (JBA Institute)
Abstract: A lack of motivation to engage in less-preferred activities is very common in individuals with autism, which often leads to non-responsiveness. Non-responsiveness is a serious problem as it can significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to learn new skills. The problem can be compounded by enrollment in an intensive (i.e., 20 to 40 hours per week) comprehensive ABA program where demands are high across developmental domains. However, there is a paucity of literature about effective interventions for escape-motivated non-responsive behavior in children with autism. A multicomponent treatment package consisting of antecedent (pre-task choice-making and visual schedule) and consequent (positive reinforcement and positive punishment via redirection to a completion task) strategies was utilized to effectively reduce the rate of escape-motivated non-responsiveness in a 5-year-old boy with autism. Follow-up data indicated durable near-zero rates of non-responsiveness with progressively thinning and variable reinforcement schedules. Additional research is needed to examine and validate methods for addressing non-responsiveness in intensive ABA programs.
Symposium #293
CE Offered: BACB
Enhancements in Intervention for Verbal Behavior and Social Skills in Children with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
North 126
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Carrie Kathleen Zuckerman (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Janet Yi, M.S.
Abstract: Behavioral intervention is a treatment of well-established efficacy for children with autism. While comprehensive behavioral intervention programs are well-validated as a whole, there are many details of such programs that remain unevaluated and may be amendable to improvement. This symposium consists of four presentations that describes studies which were targeted at improving behavioral intervention for verbal or social skills. The first paper attempts to establish a preliminary repertoire of rule-governed behavior in children with autism. The second paper evaluates the contributions of peer-mediated and self-management components in the treatment of social skills. The third study attempts to teach children with autism to predict what emotions others will feel, based on nonverbal events that have just transpired. The final paper examines beliefs and false beliefs in children with autism.
Rule-Governed Behavior: Teaching Children with Autism a Preliminary Repertoire of Rule-Following
Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), CARRIE KATHLEEN ZUCKERMAN (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Denis P. O'Hora (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a procedure for teaching basic prerequisite skills which may be necessary for developing a repertoire of rule-governed behavior. Specifically, children with autism were taught “conditionality,” by reinforcing compliance with instructions containing “if/then” statements. The emergence of untrained instances of following if/then rules is evidence for the formation of the generalized operant class of rule-following, rather than merely the acquisition of particular behaviors under stimulus control. A multiple baseline design across participants assessed the effects of multiple exemplar training on generalization to novel rules that specify antecedents and behaviors. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for autism intervention as well as the learning history which may lay the foundation for the development of a repertoire of rule-governed behavior.
Using Peer-Mediated and Self-Management Interventions to Increase Social Success of Children with Autism within Inclusive School Settings
Nicolette Nefdt (Support and Treatment for Autism & Related Disorde), Michelle E. Coulter (Support and Treatment for Autism and Related Disor), Maria F. Wynne (Support & Treatment for Autism & Related Disorders), Quy Tran (Support and Treatment for Autism & Related Disorde), LOUISE A. MCHUGH (University of Wales Swansea)
Abstract: While Applied Behavior Analysis has tremendous potential to address the social needs of children with autism, literature reviews on the efficacy of social skills training suggests that there are limitations that need to be overcome (Gresham, Sugai, & Horner, 2001). Three variables that appear to be important considerations to optimize the benefits of social skills training for children with autism are (1) teaching within the natural environment, (2) using peer mediated interventions, and (3) teaching the child with autism how to regulate their own behavior within social routines. The current study was designed to combine these approaches to increase the social skills of students with autism during typical peer interactions within school routines. A multiple baseline design across students was utilized to evaluate the impact of specific peer mediated and self-management interventions on the social success of three students with autism during school routines. Design features were added to contrast the relative effects of the peer mediated and self-management intervention approaches. Results are discussed in terms of (1) the benefits to participants, and (2) the importance of developing further empirical support for practical social skills training that can be readily applied in school settings.
Teaching Children with Autism to Predict Others’ Emotions
EMILY BARNOY (Center For Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (C.A.R.D., Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: Autism is characterized by deficits in socialization, often including delayed development in the ability to understand and respond to the emotional states of others. In his analysis of private events, Skinner (1974) discussed the difficulty the verbal community faces in teaching its members to tact private events, both their own, and the private events of others. Specifically, in order to respond to the private events (e.g., emotions, thoughts, etc.) of others, one can only respond to overt stimuli and an accurate correlation between overt stimuli and private events is by no means guaranteed. In typical child development, children presumably learn to label the emotions of others by receiving reinforcement for stating emotions in the presence of multiple overt stimuli, such as a second person smiling and third person asking “How does he feel?” In developmental disabilities such as autism, this learning history may be delayed or absent altogether. Nevertheless, the ability to tact the emotions of others is likely crucial for successful social interaction in our culture. In this study, we used multiple exemplar training to teach children with autism to predict how others would feel, based on recent nonverbal overt events. That is, children were not taught to label emotional facial expressions, but were taught to respond to events that were common causes of particular emotions in our culture. Results are discussed in terms of verbal behavior intervention for children with autism and in terms of Skinner’s analysis of private events.
A Behavioral Examination of False Belief Tasks
ERIN SARGENT (NEU; NECC), Shayna L. Grindle (New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (The New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous research has examined false-belief tasks to evaluate development with respect to Theory of Mind (e.g., Baron-Cohen, 2002) in typically developing children, as well as those with autism and other developmental disabilities. Studies have examined various methods of teaching performance in false-belief tasks. These tasks have been modified in several ways and while some studies showed moderate success teaching false-belief skills with particular false-belief tasks, generalization to other, novel tasks has consistently failed to emerge in children with autism. This study focused on teaching children to perform false-belief tasks and examined whether generalization to untrained tasks could be produced. Pretest sessions were run on three false-belief tasks, followed by teaching sessions on one of the three tasks. Posttest probes were run on the remaining two tasks. Pretest pass/fail results among typically developing children showed a clear age divergence around 4 years of age. Pretest results for children with autism (ages ranging from 4 to 6) yielded no passing results. Two typically developing children under 4 years of age and all 4 children with autism were exposed to teaching sessions. The different discriminations comprising the test were analyzed and teaching procedures developed. These discriminations were subsequently taught. Posttest probes yielded mixed results. The 2 typically developing children did not pass either posttest probe. Two children with autism passed the same posttest probe, but failed the other, and the remaining two did not pass either posttest.
Symposium #295
CE Offered: BACB
Organizational Behavior Management in Agencies for Persons with Autism
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
North 221 C
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sarah M. Dunkel (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Behavior analytic techniques have a demonstrated history of improving the lives of persons with autism and related disorders. However, the unique needs of large-scale agencies serving persons with autism present difficult obstacles for behavior analysts. Maintaining and documenting acquired skills can be problematic with inadequate program implementation, cumbersome data collection, and unhealthy stress levels of direct care workers. With the aid of organizational behavior management research, however, behavior analytic techniques can guide staff training, performance management, and systems analysis thereby improving the lives of persons served by autism agencies.
Training Staff to Use Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Data Collection Systems in an Agency for Persons with Autism
SARAH M. DUNKEL (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Susan Szekely (Illinois Center for Autism)
Abstract: The emphasis on evidence-based practice and accountability within human service agencies has increased the need for easy-to-implement data collection systems. Although traditional paper and pencil methods are commonly used, recent technological advancements have proven useful in progressive agencies. The use of this new generation of technologies, however, may prove problematic when experienced practitioners with technological inexperience must be trained to collect data. The purpose of the current study was to train inexperienced program staff at an agency for persons with autism to use the Archer Ultra-Rugged PDAs to reliably collect data on student and staff behaviors. Both PDA use and reliability of data collected were trained using a combination of techniques including video modeling, group training, individual training, and feedback. Results will be discussed regarding necessary components of PDA training.
The Utility of a Computerized Observation System to Measure Client Engagement in an Agency for Persons with Autism
MICHAEL BORDIERI (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Sarah M. Dunkel (Southern Illinois University), Stephanie A Norgard (Southern Illinois University), Susan Szekely (Illinois Center for Autism)
Abstract: One of the greatest challenges faced by behavior analysts in applied settings is the sheer number of consumers served. In large settings, complex data collection systems are needed to track multiple measures across hundreds of participants. Such systems, driven by legal and practical necessity, tend to focus on individual problem behaviors targeted for reduction and, in many settings, the utilization of physical restraint. While such measures are central to evaluating client progress, they are not sufficient. This presentation will evaluate the merits of a large scale data collection system designed to measure positive client behaviors as well as measures of more complex staff and client system dynamics. Specifically, the utility of a hand held computerized data collection system used to measure the on task engagement of over one hundred clients served by a non-profit treatment and educational agency serving people with autism will be explored. Implications for individual client data tracking, classroom engagement evaluations, and feedback based staff behavior interventions to increase client engagement will be discussed.
Comparison of Mindfulness and Acceptance versus Relaxation Training on Direct Care Staff Self-Reports of Stress
JOHN C PINGO (Goldie B. Floberg Center), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Human services organizations often face multiple variables that can increase workplace stress. Many variables, such as staff turnover, inadequate financial support from state funding sources, and external regulations that limit flexibility of service delivery are beyond the control of direct care staff and front-line managers. It then becomes important to teach staff methods for dealing with the stress that they will encounter in the work environment. This study compares the impact of two interventions on staff self-reports of workplace stress, mental health, and psychological flexibility. Interventions consisted of a condensed mindfulness and acceptance training class and a relaxation training class consisting of progressive muscle relaxation training and related techniques. A statistical analysis is presented and further applications of the training interventions are discussed.
Environmental Re-structuring and Video Teaching Strategies to Enhance Data Collection Procedures for Staff in an Autism Treatment Facility
JOHN M. GUERCIO (Judevine Center for Autism), Rebecca Rubie (Judevine Center for Autism), Brooke Diane Walker (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The current level of staff training that is required in the autism field is immense. Given the array of behavioral challenges presented by this population, the need for a comprehensive data collection system is present. This project will examine the use of a video training procedure and environmental restructuring to impact the accuracy of data collection by staff working in a day treatment center for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Baseline measures were taken on the accuracy of staff collected data that were documented on facility data forms across 2 group therapy rooms. Intervention consisted of video samples of behavioral issues that had occurred in the therapy rooms and requests of staff to record what had occurred both right after viewing the video and the day after viewing the video. Their accuracy in recording was then presented to them after both recording opportunities. Their accuracy of recording was then evaluated via a reversal design. An environmental restructuring phase was implemented whereby the schedule for data recording and the data sheets themselves were more accessible to all of the staff. The data showed an increase in the accuracy of data collection during the environmental restructuring condition as compared to baseline.
Symposium #296
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Approaches to Sustainability
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
North 221 AB
Area: OBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Discussant: H. Allen Murphy (Florida State University at Panama City & FABA)
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Abstract: One of the most popular topics of concern in our society relates to issues of the environment and rising approaches to promoting a sustainable environment. This symposium will discuss aspects of this socially significant issue by presenting ways behavior analysis has been used to promote sustainability efforts. Presenters will discuss various projects related to the promotion of environmental awareness and reduction of human consumption of natural resources and energy. Interventions include applications of behavior analysis, specifically those commonly used in the area Organizational Behavior Management, such as performance feedback on consumption rates. All studies were conducted on college campuses and all involve a focus of reduction of consumption. Two projects investigated the use of performance feedback on reducing paper printing, targeting specific campus departments and measuring amount of paper used. Both of these studies also used unique graphic feedback features to represent the depletion of natural resources. The other project examined the use of antecedents (prompts) and performance feedback on the light usage in a public campus building. Cost benefit analysis, long-rang impact of continued results, and implications for research in this area will be discussed.
Improving Light Usage in a University Building Through the Use of Task Clarification and Feedback
Stephen Shea (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University), JENNIFER H. REINOVSKY (Furman University)
Abstract: As energy prices climb to their highest rates in history, both at home and abroad, energy conservation and sustainable practices have become socially responsible behaviors. This study investigated the effects of task clarification and feedback on energy consumption in a university building, specifically dealing with reducing unnecessary lighting. The participants included the staff of the building as well as students who regularly used the building. Data were collected through direct observation of the daily light settings. An additive ABC design was used. The first phase of intervention consisted of verbal task clarification with prompts, and the second phase included delivery of performance feedback to participants on their light use. Preliminary data suggests that task clarification has an immediate, but modest effect on power usage. The data are still being collected for the academic semester during the feedback phase. Implications of energy reduction strategies, cost benefit analysis, and reliance on technology with inclusion of behavioral emphasis for sustainable efforts will be discussed.
Behavior-Based Sustainability: Reducing Paper Use in an Academic Setting
GREG J. CLOONAN (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: Forests are being destroyed at an unsustainable pace. Every year the United States uses 4 million tons of copy paper (, and universities are some of the largest consumers in the country. In their sustainability efforts, most academic institutions recycle and use post-consumer paper, but could they be doing more? This study examines the application of behavior analysis for the purpose of decreasing excessive paper use in secondary education, focusing on paper used for printing. The project was conducted in a multiple baseline design across two academic and one administrative department on a University campus. Baseline data of daily copy paper use was taken before a multiple phase intervention was implemented. The intervention included an initial phase with suggestion of alternatives to excessive printing followed by a phase of graphic feedback of weekly paper use. Unique visual representation of trees was used to illustrate the depletion of natural resources consumed by the department due to printing. Data are still being collected for the academic semester. Implications for reduction in consumption of natural resources, impact of behavior change for reduced consumption, and cost benefits analyses will be discussed.
The use of visual prompts and graphic feedback to decrease printer use and increase paper recycling in academic departments
DANIEL A. DAWSON (Youngstown State University), Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Printer use is an overlooked and resource intensive activity in both business and education. The current study used a multiple baseline design to decrease the amount of paper used in three college departments and increase the amount of paper recycled in both. The first intervention used a plain sign to inform faculty and staff of the average costs, in terms of paper and toner used, of the items printed most, as well as a reminder to conserve paper and recycle. The second intervention used a more elaborate sign, consisting of a popular culture icon delivering the reminder and graphical feedback of the number of trees saved if the previous week’s decrease were to continue for the remainder of the year. An additional intervention for two of the departments was the addition of a recycle bin in a more accessible area. The interventions were effective for increasing conservation and sustainability, and are discussed in terms of increasing responsible use of finite resources on college campuses.
Panel #298
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Constructing a Caring, Just, and Sustainable Society
Sunday, May 24, 2009
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
North 131 A
Area: CSE/DEV; Domain: Theory
Chair: Mark A. Mattaini (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
DENNIS D. EMBRY (Peace Builders)
Abstract: The presenters will present and discuss their work related to emerging science-based strategies for influencing the beneficial evolution of cultural practices. The first strategy we will explore involves increasing the prevalence of nurturing environments in society as a means of preventing the entire range of psychological and behavioral problems of youth, and promoting successful development. Such environments are characterized by (a) high rates of reinforcement for prosocial behavior, (b) low levels of aversive stimulation accompanied by gentle limits on behavior, and (c) fostering psychological flexibility. Second, we will explore a functional taxonomy scaffolding an emerging science of nonviolent power, which may have potential for reducing collective coercion and violence while furthering justice. Third, we will describe a strategy for the creation of a consumer-driven approach to the diffusion of proven mechanisms of behavioral influence which have been dubbed “kernels”. Evidence-based kernels are simple, experimentally validated methods of influencing diverse behaviors. A recent paper (Embry & Biglan, 2008) provides a taxonomy of 52 such kernels, which can be used to increase or decrease behavior, or even to create “programs” of change. By promoting these strategies, behavior analysts may contribute to the evolution of societies that are more caring, less punitive, and more sustainable.



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