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.

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40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by Continuing Education Events: Sunday, May 25, 2014


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Symposium #139
CE Offered: BACB
A Behavioral Approach to Play: Analysis, Assessment, and Applications
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Linda A. LeBlanc (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Playing is generally considered synonymous with having fun because it can provide a steady and rich form of reinforcement, with a relatively low response effort. This form of reinforcement can also contribute to many elements of human development, such as language acquisition, social behavior, and visual perceptual skills. However, some children, especially those with autism, do not engage in play activities in a manner commensurate with their typically developing peers, or their play activities are too excessive and may disrupt the development of other important skills. For these children, a specific intervention program may be necessary to develop age-appropriate play skills. Behavioral approaches to autism treatment are often criticized for failing to adequately incorporate play into their intervention strategies. While this may be true for some older forms of ABA programs, it does not reflect the approaches of more current ABA programs. This symposium will provide a behavioral analysis of what constitutes play, along with ways to assess a child’s play skills, and ways to systematically make use of play to teach other important behaviors, especially verbal and social behaviors.

Keyword(s): automatic reinforcement, natural environment, play skills, video modeling
 

A Behavioral Analysis of Play

MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates), Cindy Sundberg (Parenting Partnerships)
Abstract:

There are a number of behavioral principles and concepts that are relevant to an analysis of play. The current analysis will suggest that motivating operations, socially mediated reinforcement, and automatic reinforcement are significant variables responsible for establishing and maintaining play skills. There are also a number of additional principles and concepts involved such as stimulus control, generalization, chaining, imitation, conditional discriminations, and verbal behavior. It will be suggested that a behavioral analysis of play can improve our ability to assess and teach the many variations of play behavior. In addition, demonstrations will be provided of how play activities can be used to directly and indirectly teach a number of important skills.

 

"Let's Have Some Fun!": Embedding Mixed Verbal Behavior Trials in Social Play Contexts

CRISTIN JOHNSTON (Castro Valley Unified School District)
Abstract:

It is often thought that ABA approaches to teaching children with language delays can be dull, repetitive, and sterile, as discrete trial teaching often occurs outside of the natural context. However, developing ways to contrive language opportunities within the context of play can increase overall social engagement and decrease the aversive properties of instructor led teaching. This presentation will provide examples of how to set up fun and engaging play situations that include verbal behavior trials to increase language and develop social play skills.

 

Increasing Verbal Compliments during Games for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Kevin MacPherson (Claremont McKenna College), MARJORIE H. CHARLOP (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract:

Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders demonstrate numerous social skills deficits. One notable deficit is a failure to give compliments. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to examine the extent to which a portable video modeling intervention on the iPad was delivered during athletic group play affected the verbal compliments exhibited by five children with autism. Participants were 4 boys and 1 girl between the ages of 8 and 11 years old who played kickball with other children with autism, neurotypical peers, and other volunteers. In baseline, the participants gave few or no compliments to their peers. During intervention, an iPad was used to show participants short video clips of a model demonstrating verbal compliments (e.g., That was a great kick!) in the natural environment during a game of kickball. The portable video modeling intervention quickly increased participants demonstration of verbal compliments. Further, participants used a variety of different compliments and compliments that were not portrayed on the video. These findings provide evidence that portable video modeling, shown within their natural environment, can affect the social behaviors demonstrated by children with autism. The study also provides evidence of the yoking of play and the teaching of verbal behaviors.

 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #140
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Examining the Relationship Between Subjective and Reinforcing Effects of Stimulant Drugs: Implications for Human Laboratory and Clinical Trial Research

Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: William Stoops, Ph.D.
Chair: Paul L. Soto (Texas Tech University)
WILLIAM STOOPS (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Dr. William Walton Stoops, an associate professor in the Departments of Behavioral Science and Psychology at the University of Kentucky, earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Davidson College in Davidson, NC, and his master's degree and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Kentucky. His research utilizes sophisticated human laboratory methods like self-administration and drug-discrimination to examine behavioral and pharmacological factors contributing to drug-use disorders. He has written more than 75 manuscripts and book chapters as author or co-author. His recent work has centered specifically on evaluating laboratory models of pharmacological and behavioral interventions for stimulant-use disorders and determining the neuropharmacological effects of stimulants and opioids. This research has resulted in numerous awards from professional societies including the 2013 Joseph Cochin Young Investigator Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, the 2006 Outstanding Dissertation Award and the 2008 Wyeth Young Psychopharmacologist Award from Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Stoops is a Fellow of APA and the Midwestern Psychological Association and will serve as president of APA Division 28 in 2015.
Abstract:

Subject-rated measures and drug self-administration represent two of the most commonly used methods of assessing the behavioral effects of drugs in the human laboratory. Although the results from these methods are often consistent, dissociations between subjective and self-administration data have been observed. This presentation will first introduce basic human behavioral pharmacology methods for measuring subjective and reinforcing effects of drugs, focusing on representative data from commonly abused stimulants. Second, correlational and regression analyses that examined the relationships between subjective and reinforcing drug effects will be presented to demonstrate which subjective measures best predict stimulant self-administration. Third, examples of divergence between subjective and reinforcing drug effects will be explored to show how these measures provide different and complementary information about stimulant drug effects. Potential mechanisms underlying this divergence also will be considered. Finally, the implications of these outcomes as they relate to future human laboratory research and intervention development for managing drug-use disorders will be reviewed.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in methods of assessing the behavioral effects of drugs in the human laboratory.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) Know how subjective and reinforcing effects of drugs are assessed in human behavioral pharmacology studies; (2) Understand the different information provided by measures of subjective and reinforcing effects; and (3) Understand which human laboratory methods have the best predictive validity for screening putative treatments for drug-use disorders.
Keyword(s): behavioral pharmacology, reinforcing efforts, stimulant drugs, subjective effects
 
 
Symposium #142
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Perspectives on the DSM-5 and the Biomedical Model of Mental Disorders
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Stephen E. Wong (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Stephen E. Wong, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will examine the newest psychiatric diagnostic manual and the dominant biomedical model of mental disorders from a behavior-analytic viewpoint. Presentations will critique the logic of clustering problematic behaviors into purported mental disorders, the adequacy of data used to define these categories, the internal inconsistency and incoherence of the resulting nosology, and the principal beneficiaries of this classification system. Curious and absurd aspects of the manual will be highlighted. Presenters will also briefly review the low efficacy of drug treatments linked with psychiatric diagnoses, and the immense professional and industrial advertising campaigns that promote the biomedical approach.

Keyword(s): critique DSM-5
 

Behavior Analysis Revisits Schizophrenia: What's in a DSM-5 Diagnosis?

STEPHEN E. WONG (Florida International University)
Abstract:

This presentation will begin by briefly reviewing the origins of applied behavior analysis in studies conducted in the late 1950s teaching skills to and reducing problem behavior in persons with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. It will then examine problems in the current diagnosis of schizophrenia including reliance on questionable data, arbitrary criteria and categorization, inadequate precision for assessment and treatment evaluation, and omission of information on historical and current environmental factors that might have caused and now maintain the psychotic behavior, respectively. Some alternatives to the DSM-5 will be discussed including continuous recording of clients specific problems and goals, and functional assessments and functional analyses. The presentation will discuss how biomedical assumptions implicit in the DSM-5 diverts mental health workers attention from behavioral interventions for mental disorders, thereby perpetuating the biomedical monopoly of mental health services.

 
Doctor! There's a Behavior Analyst in My DSM-5!
MERRILL WINSTON (Professional Crisis Management, Inc.)
Abstract: The DSM has undergone numerous revisions over the years, sometimes expanding diagnoses to be more inclusive, sometimes narrowing the scope of a diagnostic category and at other times creating new diagnoses. Regardless of the Roman or Arabic numerals that follow it, the DSM is essentially an attempt to categorize various aspects of human behavior that fall at either end of the bell shaped curve of “normal” behavior. Adding diagnostic labels to clusters of behavior and/or lack thereof adds nothing to our understanding of the problems and provides us with no real treatment directions. In fact these diagnoses are mostly useful for billing purposes and little else. Mental health diagnoses are too quickly reified into palpable “brain problems” that people have and soon become the reason for the behavior instead of a convenient description. Diagnoses are not so much what we “have” but what we do and do not do. More specifically, one can categorize any mental health diagnoses in terms of fundamental dimensions of behavior including frequency, magnitude and duration. Other diagnoses are mostly problems that are related to aberrant reinforcers/aversives, skills deficits, and faulty stimulus control.
 
The Walking Dead of Pseudo-Explanation: Rise of the DSM-5
W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract: The latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-5, was published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. Development of the widely used diagnostic nomenclature will be reviewed, with emphasis on the minimal employment of science in the process of this latest revision. An especially unfortunate implication of the revision is its inexorable contribution to circular “explanations” of behavioral disorders. Specific suggestions will be made to aid attendees as they function within systems where yet another highly-touted version of the DSM is erroneously thought of as explanatory.
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #143
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Leadership Seminar: Is There a Fix for Behavior Analysis’ Perception Problem

Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: David Freedman, B.A.
Chair: Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
DAVID FREEDMAN (Journalist)
David H. Freedman is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and at Inc. Magazine, a contributor to Scientific American, and a consulting editor for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. He is the author of five books, the most recent being Wrong, about the problems with the published findings of medical scientists and other experts. Much of his recent work is related to obesity, nutrition, and health-related behavior change. He received the 2011 ABAI Dissemination of Behavior Analysis-Special Interest Group’s B. F. Skinner Journalism Award and was awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Residency to study global obesity. He is the author of an Atlantic cover story calling for a new appreciation of B. F. Skinner and behaviorism.
Abstract:

The public’s attitude toward the principles and practice of behavior analysis tends to range from complete unawareness to misguided hostility. The result is that the field is often marginalized, even as it becomes potentially ever more valuable as a means of addressing difficult, widespread problems in society in important behavior-related domains, including education, population, health, economics, and climate change. The public’s ignorance, misperceptions, and apprehensions about behavior analysis stem in part to a long history of prominent antagonism toward the field on the parts of those invested in alternative and generally less effective approaches to dealing with behavior. But the problem also has been exacerbated by a sharp failure on the part of the field, dating back to B. F. Skinner himself, to present itself in ways likely to resonate with the public. Meanwhile, leaders in what might be considered “rival” fields have often been, and continue to be, highly effective in doing so, sometimes to behavior analysis’s detriment. Ironically, behavior analysis’s fidelity to the rigors of scientific evidence has worked against the field in this regard. This rigor has produced effective treatments, but leaves lay people cold when it comes to understanding and appreciating this effectiveness, given that most of the public has little feel or empathy for scientific rigor, and is instead easily swayed by emotional and narrative appeal. The challenge that therefore lies before the field is this: Can and should behavior analysis present itself to an often gullible and easily misled public in a more resonant, less scientifically stiff way that wins it more appreciation and thus opportunity to achieve impact? It almost certainly could, and it’s worth considering possible approaches for doing so, as well as weighing the potential costs.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in learning about the perception of behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Identify the nature, causes, and scope of the problem of behavior analysis being ignored or mistrusted by the public; (2) Understand why some presentations of alternative approaches to dealing with problem behaviors resonate with the public, especially as compared to behavior analysis; (3) Consider what sort of presentation of behavior analysis might achieve more positive recognition from the public, and to evaluate the possible drawbacks to such an approach.
Keyword(s): leadership
 
 
Symposium #144
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analytic Approaches to Preference, Language, and Memory Among Older Adults with Dementia
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W181a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DEV/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jonathan C. Baker, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral Gerontology research continues to expand our understanding of how older adults with dementia learn and respond to environmental contingencies. Over the past decade, this research has expanded to preference assessments, reinforcer assessments, and the possibility to impact both activity engagement as well as learning (both relearning existing information, as well as learning new information). This symposium will include three such demonstrations. One study evaluated the stability of preference among older adults with dementia, looking at preference over a six-month period of time. Another study evaluated using Skinner's Analysis of Verbal Behavior and teaching Mand repertoires to older adults with dementia, including an evaluation of the role of motivating operations, preference assessment, and contingency specifying stimuli. The final study used spaced retrieval to evaluate recall of items over increasing periods of time among older adults with dementia, looking at recall within session and across days using single subject design. The implications of these studies and the future directions for behavioral gerontology research will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Dementia, Memory, Preference, Verbal Behavior
 

Assessing Preferences in Older Adults with Dementia

SANDRA GARCIA (University of Colorado Colorado Springs), Leilani Feliciano (University of Colorado Colorado Springs)
Abstract:

Individuals with dementia gradually decline in activity engagement as the cognitive impairment progresses, which may occur due to difficulties initiating leisure activities independently, communicating needs, and caregivers may not be accurate in predicting activity preference. To address these difficulties, preference assessments (PA) have been effectively used to determine likes and dislikes among this population. This study examined the utility of PA as a strategy to identify preferred leisure activities and assessed the stability of preferences over time (i.e., one and six months after the initial assessment) in eight older adults in a memory care setting. Initial assessment data have been collected for all participants, and two participants have completed the initial plus one month assessments, and assessments have been scheduled for the remaining participants. Results to date: Participant 1 Jill has demonstrated stability between the initial and one month assessment (r = 0.83, p < 0.042) (Figure 1). No stability was found in Participant 2 Marys preferences (r = 0.143, p > 0.787) (Figure 2). Results suggest that the stability of preferences varies across individuals. Clinical implications of these findings and recommendations for the frequency of administered PA in this population will be discussed.

 
Contriving Establishing Operations to Train Mands among Older Adults with Dementia
CHELSEY OLESON (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Millions of Americans are afflicted with dementia and that number is only expected to rise. The diagnosis of dementia comes with impairments, especially in language, and dementia functional declines appear to be affected by the environment and not solely as a result of the disorder (Alzheimer’s Association, 2012; American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Engelman, Altus, & Mathews, 1999; Engelman, Altus, Mosier, & Mathews, 2003). Traditional language tests are not likely to assess or treat deficits in mands (Esch, LaLonde, & Esch, 2010), and the mand is a verbal operant about which little is known among this population. The current study investigates whether contriving an establishing operation within a preferred activity using a prompt-probe intermix procedure and a transfer of stimulus control procedure could effectively train mands in older adults with dementia. The procedure was demonstrated to be effective with one participant, but results were inconsistent with the second participant. Modifications were made throughout training for both participants, showing the importance of modifying and individualizing treatment
 

Improving Recall Using Spaced Retrieval Stimulus Sets for an Older Adult with Cognitive Impairment

DAWN SEEFELDT (Southern Illinois University), Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University), Kathleen Fairchild (Rehabilitation Institute Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Spaced retrieval (SR) is a well-developed memory enhancement intervention for older adults with cognitive impairment. Information is presented over increasing or decreasing time intervals depending upon participant performance under the guise of a social visit. In previous research, SR has been used to target name-face associations for family members and staff (Cherry, Hawley, Jackson, & Boudreaux, 2009; Cherry, Walvoord, & Hawley, 2010; Haslam et al., 2011; Hawley & Cherry, 2004), naming of objects (Cherry et al., 1999; Cherry & Simmons-DGerolamo, 2005; Hochhalter, Bakke, Holub, & Overmier, 2004), and use of external memory aids (Bourgeois, 2003; Camp et al., 1996; Ozgis, Rendell, & Henry, 2009). The current study sought to extend previous research by training a 79-year-old woman with memory impairment to recall clinically relevant stimuli using SR within a multiple probe design across three stimulus sets. The participant was able to increase recall within and across stimuli for the first stimulus set (orientation to time), increase recall within session for the second stimulus set (orientation to place), yet struggled to recall the third set of stimuli within or across trials (daily functioning/well-being). Implications for targeting multiple stimuli during psychotropic medication changes for an older adult with memory deficits are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #146
CE Offered: BACB
Instructional Design: Advances in Theory and Application
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The current symposium will present theoretical and applied work advancing the literature in instructional design. Brown and Alavosius will provide an overview of the literature relevant to Interteaching. While Interteaching is an effective and progressive teaching method, many empirical questions still remain. Ward et al's presentation will provide an overview of an applied study on the prevention of student procrastination in an online PSI course. The latter study replicates and extends a recent study by Perrin, et al. (2011) in JABA. While Perrin et al. focused on a small number of college students and one specific type of assignment, Ward expands the focus to a variety of assignments in an online course that forms part of a BCBA course sequence.

Keyword(s): BCBA course, education, instructional design, interteaching
 

The Prevention of Student Procrastination in an Online, Self-Paced, BCBA Course Sequence

TODD A. WARD (University of North Texas), Brook B. Wheetley (University of North Texas), Rita Olla (University of North Texas), Cliff Whitworth (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

The current study replicates and extends a recent study published by Perrin, et al. (2011) in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Whereas Perrin et al examined a small number of college students' procrastination rates with respect to one assignment type, the current study greatly expands the population size and diversity. In addition, the current study examines procrastination in an online course in a Personalized System of Instruction format across a variety of assignment types. Results suggest that a relatively simple intervention -- making future assignments available contingent on the completion of previous assignments -- served to prevent student procrastination. The current study will also present data concerning ancillary effects of the intervention on student-staff interactions as well as carry-over effects of the intervention into the semester following the intervention.

 
The Future of Interteaching: An Interdisciplinary Agenda for Behavioral Researchers
WADE BROWN (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Interteaching has received empirical support from various outlets both within the behavioral sciences and other higher education courses. While progressive, there are still empirical questions to be addressed regarding the effectiveness of Interteaching, suggestions about implementation, and limitations in regards to enrollment sizes. Further, little support has been put forward by behavioral researchers to apply interteaching to outside disciplines and courses. This paper will briefly summarize what Interteaching is and review empirical support for this instructional approach. Special emphasis will be placed on studies that have examined some theorized weaknesses of the approach in addition to replications by non-behavior analysts. A small commentary on the history of behavioral approaches to higher education will also be discussed. We then will summarize a framework that proposes interdisciplinary collaboration across different subject matters. We conclude that there are several opportunities for Interteaching to become more of a widely used method in higher education, especially considering publication trends in higher education over the last five years.
 
 
Symposium #147
CE Offered: BACB
CANCELLED: What are Employees Doing? How to Ensure They are Doing the Right Thing
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W192b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Donnie Michael Staff (Optimal)
CE Instructor: Celina Lopez, M.S.
Abstract:

When embarking on the endeavor to design a successful behavior analysis private practice it is advantageous to examine different segments of the health care industry. Medical practitioners, as an example, experienced a momentous shift in their operating practices due to the introduction of universally accepted standards of practice and the involvement of third party funding sources. These key variables required practitioners to either join the ranks of large health care organizations (i.e., hospitals and medical research centers) or design and operate efficient private practices. Practitioners could no longer just deliver high quality health care in their community and expect their practice to survive. Just as the introduction of these variables required medical professionals to become knowledgeable of best business practices (e.g., finance, management, human resources), so too has the implementation of evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and health insurance reform made similar demands on professional behavior analysts. This symposium will show recent applications of Human Performance Technology (HPT) and OBM tools used to identify and address critical business issues at CARE, Inc., a California-based human service agency. The audience members will leave with a rudimentary understanding of how HPT can help managers improve productivity, develop and train valuable employees, and realize opportunities related to the performance of people.

Keyword(s): OBM, performance, staff training
 

What Are Employees Doing? Measuring Performance and Providing Feedback

DONNIE MICHAEL STAFF (Optimal)
Abstract:

An objective and reliable performance measurement system is one of the most important components of a well-designed organization. Effective measurement systems track key measures across all parts of your company including financial, customer, internal-business-process, and employee learning & growth. They also help connect these organizational components, thus ensuring that they operate in concert with one another. This allows management to monitor, maintain, and improve performance on an ongoing basis. These measurement systems provide the basis for performance feedback at all levels of the organization. Being able to rely on your managers’ ability to support and guide your employees’ performance is of the utmost importance to the vitality of your company. In this presentation, we will describe how Optimal and CARE, Inc. partnered in the design and implementation of a performance measurement system that (i) pinpoints valuable employee performance, (ii) provides managers with objective and consistent performance measures of their direct reports, and (iii) guides managers through the delivery of data-based performance feedback. The audience will leave with an understanding of what is required to design and implement a performance measurement system that consistently and objectively provides valuable performance feedback to the employees at CARE, Inc.

 
Ensuring Treatment Fidelity
BRIDGETTE BROOKS (CARE, inc)
Abstract: Performance goals at all levels within an organization require some amount of training in order to be accomplished. Furthermore, optimizing teaching opportunities and producing maximum results will reduce overhead costs and increase customer satisfaction. Optimal and CARE, Inc. partnered to establish proven, effective training tools and procedures to equip their employees to provide consistent, high quality service. In order to ensure that their trainers and managers implement these tools confidently, we exposed them to both a classroom style workshop as well as coaching from Optimal performance management consultants as well as internal supporters at CARE. Along with CARE’s Director of Clinical Services (DCS), Optimal and CARE designed and customize staff training procedures and measurement tools to train clinical staff how to talk about CARE’s services, perform the services, and make decisions while implementing the services. This presentation will describe the design and customization process for creating staff training tools as well as the successes and challenges of implementing those tools into daily practices. Additionally, CARE’s DCS will describe future plans for continually implementing staff training iniatives. The audience members will leave with an understanding of what is required to design a comprehensive staff training program, what should be employed and avoided when implementing a staff training program and how CARE is planning to continually ensure treatment fidelity in the future.
 
Implementation Tips and Quips
CELINA LOPEZ (CARE)
Abstract: The successful implementation of new processes and employee support tools requires diligent and thorough planning. Frequent process evaluation and revision is pertinent to the effective management of an ABA business. When evaluating and changing processes, it is necessary to take into consideration what the organization’s short and long term goals are, and what the organization’s visions is for the future. During this presentation CARE’s Executive Director will discuss what worked when implementing new processes and maintaining a new company structure in addition to discussing what didn’t work and what important lessons were learned. She will discuss how starting with the end result in mind and instilling oversight, feedback loops and quality control checks greatly assisted in the design of infrastructure that is currently maintaining critical processes within CARE. In addition, she will discuss the importance of selecting the right management personnel and how identifying potential management talent who align with an organization’s vision and culture is imperative. Finally, she will discuss the ways in which CARE’s partnership with Optimal has evolved over time and how that partnership allowed CARE to adapt to the ever-changing field of ABA, while adhering to funding requirements and ensuring that both best and ethical practices are followed throughout daily services delivery at CARE.
 
 
Panel #148
CE Offered: BACB
PDS EVENT: Running a Behavior Analytic Business: Some Ethical Considerations
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Megan Miller, M.S.
Chair: Andrew Bulla (Western Michigan University)
MEGAN MILLER (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)
ADAM E. VENTURA (World Evolve, Inc.)
JESSICA S. BENSIMON (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts often go on to open businesses that provide behavior analytic services to a variety of populations. Many times, this puts the behavior analyst in the unique position of business owner in addition to service provider. Several ethical issues may arise when put in this situation over the course of business operations. Panelists will discuss these key ethical issues with several examples highlighted throughout. Behavior analysts will discuss past experience with opening their own business as well as their thoughts on the process. Additionally, information will be shared from the perspective of a newly certified practitioner about what to look for in a potential employment site, what are some things to do to avoid being taken advantage of, and advice for newly certified practitioners navigating the sea of employment opportunities. The panel will conclude with the opportunity for audience members to ask questions regarding topics that were discussed, as well as related topics.

Keyword(s): Behavior Analysis, Ethics, Private Practice
 
 
Invited Tutorial #149
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
A Primer of Conceptual Issues for Applied Behavior Analysts
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TPC/PRA; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Kennon Andy Lattal, Ph.D.
Chair: Marleen T. Adema (Senior TPC co-coordinator)
Presenting Author: KENNON ANDY LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

Consider the activities during a typical day in the life of an applied behavior analyst: observing clients’ behavior, integrating those observations to develop a plan for treatment, implementing and assessing the treatment plan, explaining the client’s behavior and the treatment plan to those responsible for the clients’ well-being, confronting complicated issues related to the causes of behavior and its explanation, discussing with nonbehavior analysts the client as the agent of his or her own behavior and the client’s thoughts and intentions, and confronting a myriad of ethical issues that arise in the course of treatment. Many of these daily activities require a firm grounding in the science of behavior. Others require an equally firm grounding in the philosophy of that science, in issues that underpin the science of behavior and that rely on that science to provide a coherent framework for processes that do not lend themselves to experimental analysis. This tutorial introduces to practitioners some of the conceptual issues that they face in their interactions with clients and caregivers. Four broad issues will be considered: observations and their integration; cause and explanation; privacy; agency and intention; and responsibility and ethics.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Graduate students and master’s level practitioners of behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to (1) Explain a radical behavioral perspective of science and its practice; (2) Identify the issues that distinguish a behavioral approach to the understanding of the scientific practices of observation and establishing cause; and (3) Describe a behavior-analytic position on agency, intention, and privacy.
 
KENNON ANDY LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Andy Lattal is the centennial professor of psychology at West Virginia University, where he has taught since 1972. He is the author of more than 150 research articles and chapters on a variety of topics in several areas of behavior analysis. He also is curator of the Behavioral Apparatus Virtual Museum (http://aubreydaniels.com/institute/museum.) Most germane to today's tutorial, Dr. Lattal has served as guest editor of a special issue of the American Psychologist commemorating the professional life of B. F. Skinner and, with Philip Chase, edited a volume entitled Behavior Theory and Philosophy, and has authored chapters and articles on several conceptual topics. A former editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (1999-2003) and president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (1993-94), he was the 2012 recipient of the Society for Behavior Analysis' Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis. During the 2012-13 academic year, he was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Universite Charles de Gaulle in Lille, France.
Keyword(s): ABA Practitioners, Cause/explanation, Conceptual Issues, Ethics
 
 
Invited Tutorial #150
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Mediation as Behavior
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Caio F. Miguel, Ph.D.
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Presenting Author: CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract:

Humans often solve problems by engaging in a variety of strategies, some of which involve sequences of covert verbal behavior. The purpose of this talk is to discuss how verbal behavior serves to mediate complex performances such as stimulus categorization. Dr. Miguel will present several studies that have directly manipulated verbal behavior to produce both novel verbal and nonverbal behavior such as arbitrary matching, visual categorization, and analogical responding. Evidence for verbal mediation comes from positive performances on complex conditional discrimination tasks after the use of speaker training alone, and also from spontaneous vocalizations on the specific verbal strategies utilized by participants during or after task completion. He will argue that behavior analysts should continue investigating verbal mediation as a problem-solving strategy, especially in applied settings.

 
CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento)
Dr. Caio Miguel received his B.A. in psychology from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo and his Ph.D. in applied behavior analysis from Western Michigan University. Dr. Miguel is an associate professor of psychology at California State University, Sacramento. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Sao Paulo--Brazil. Dr. Miguel is the past-editor (2009-2011) and current associate editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and currently serves on the editorial boards of many behavioral journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Miguel has given more than 100 professional presentations about behavior analysis and verbal behavior and has had more than 40 papers published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. His research focuses on the development of verbal and verbally mediated behaviors in children with and without disabilities.
Keyword(s): analogical reasoning, categorization, verbal mediation
 
 
Symposium #151
CE Offered: BACB
Effects of Multiple Interventions Designed to Reduce Engagement in Stereotypy
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Marc J. Lanovaz (Universite de Montreal)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Marc J. Lanovaz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Most children with developmental disabilities engage in stereotypy, which is an invariant and repetitive behavior that typically persists in the absence of social consequences. From a clinical standpoint, reducing stereotypy may be important because engaging in the behavior may interfere with learning, adaptive behavior, and social inclusion. Thus, the purpose of the symposium is to present the results of recent studies examining the effects of multiple interventions designed to reduce engagement in stereotypy in children with developmental disabilities. The first presentation will discuss the influence of different data collection procedures on the perceived outcomes of treatments for vocal stereotypy. The second presentation will examine the effects of noncontingent social interaction on immediate and subsequent engagement in stereotypy. The third presentation will examine the effects of a multi-component intervention across two settings. The final presentation will focus on the results of a pilot study on using behavior analytic research strategies to examine the effects of an alternative approach to treat stereotypy. Together, the presentations will provide an overview of recent research on the treatment of stereotypy in children with developmental disabilities.

Keyword(s): autism, automatic reinforcement, motivating operation, stereotypy
 

An Evaluation of Interrupted and Uninterrupted Measurement of Vocal Stereotypy on Perceived Treatment Outcomes

REGINA A. CARROLL (West Virginia University), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The type of data analysis procedure used to measure a target behavior may directly influence the perceived treatment outcomes. In the present study, we examined the influence of different data collection procedures on the outcomes of two commonly used treatments on the vocal stereotypy of two children with autism. In Study 1, we compared the use of an interrupted and uninterrupted data collection procedure to measure vocal stereotypy during the implementation of response interruption and redirection (RIRD). The results showed that the interrupted data collection procedure overestimated the effectiveness of RIRD. In Study 2, we examined the influence of different data collection procedures on the interpretation of the relative effects of two different treatments for vocal stereotypy. Specifically, we compared interrupted and uninterrupted data collection procedures during the implementation of RIRD and noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) as a treatment for vocal stereotypy. The results showed that as in Study 1, the interrupted data collection procedure overestimated the effectiveness of RIRD; however, this effect was not apparent with NCR. These findings suggest that different types of data analysis can influence the perceived success of a treatment.

 

Effects of Noncontingent Social Interaction on Immediate and Subsequent Engagement in Vocal Stereotypy and Motor Stereotypy

KIMBERLEY ANDREA ENLOE (Easter Seals Southern California), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract:

In a recent review of interventions for vocal stereotypy, Lanovaz and Sladeczek (2012) noted that several studies used matched stimulation from toys or music to decrease immediate engagement in vocal stereotypy for children with autism without producing a subsequent increase. A potential limitation of providing continuous access to music or musical toys is that engagement with the preferred stimulation may compete with academic tasks, social engagement, or both to the same extent as engagement in vocal stereotypy. A possible alternative to providing noncontingent access to music or musical toy is to provide noncontingent attention. This study evaluated the effects of noncontingent social interaction (SI) on immediate and subsequent engagement in vocal stereotypy and motor stereotypy for 3 children with autism. Results show that SI (a) decreased immediate engagement vocal stereotypy for all 3 participants without increasing subsequent engagement for any participant and (b) increased immediate engagement in motor stereotypy for 1 participant, decreased immediate engagement in motor stereotypy for 2 participants, but did not increase subsequent engagement in motor stereotypy for any participant. Some clinical implications and limitations of the findings are discussed.

 
Response Interruption Redirection, Penalty, and Differential Reinforcement to Decrease Stereotypy
JESSICA ANN KORNEDER (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behaviors such as toe walking, hand flapping, nonfunctional vocalizations, and rocking are examples of stereotypy. Stereotypy can occur at high rates in children with and without developmental delays (Smith & Van Houten, 1996). These behaviors can interfere with the acquisition of new skills (e.g., Dunlap, Dyer, & Koegel, 1983; Morrison & Rosales-Ruiz, 1997) and social interactions (Jones, Wint, & Ellis, 1990). The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of response interruption redirection (RIRD), penalty, and differential reinforcement in reducing vocal and motor stereotypy with children who engage in automatically-reinforced high-rates of stereotypy. During leisure skills, the participant was given an iPad and highly preferred edibles were delivered on a differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) schedule. Each instance of stereotypy resulted in the loss of the iPad and the presentation of a RIRD sequence. During academic instruction the combination of RIRD and DRO was assessed. The combination of these techniques decreased stereotypy from 90 percent of 10-second intervals to below 30 percent of intervals during leisure skills and to approximately 40 percent during academic instruction. To assess the social validity of these procedures data on engagement during leisure skills and attending during academic instruction will be discussed.
 

Effects of the Snug Vest on Stereotypy in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

NICHOLAS WATKINS (Douglas College), Elizabeth J. Sparling (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.), Lexie Kosick (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.), Katie Treleaven (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.), Stephanie Omeasoo (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.), Kelly Laferriere (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.), Sanpreet Samra (Pivot Point Family Growth Centre, Inc.)
Abstract:

Currently, there exists many unsubstantiated autism treatments (Matson, Adams, Williams, & Rieske, 2013). One such intervention is the Snug Vest, a recently-developed inflatable vest fashioned to provide deep pressure to the person wearing it. However, there is as of yet, no published peer-reviewed research on the Snug Vest. Nonetheless, the developers of the Snug Vest claim that their product helps remediate repetitive behaviors. Given the absence of supporting research, the purpose of the study was to test the developers claims by examining the effects of the Snug Vest on stereotypy using behavior analytic research methodology. We are currently mid-way through a study employing a multielement design to assess the effects of the Snug Vest on the duration of different topographies of stereotypy in which four children are participating in (a) an extended no-interaction condition, (b) wearing the Snug Vest deflated, and (c) wearing the Snug Vest inflated. Although data collection is still in progress, our hypothesis is that the Snug Vest will fail to clinically remediate stereotypy.

 
 
Symposium #152
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Inclusion of Students with ASD in General Education Settings: An Exploration of Behaviorally Based Interventions
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Rose A. Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Recent reports suggest a 78% increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in the last 7 years, increasing the urgency to identify interventions that yield maximum results while conserving resources. Of particular importance are interventions that improve pivotal behaviors, and assist individuals with ASD to independently navigate natural environments. Interventions based on the theory of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been identified as the most effective interventions for individuals with ASD, particularly when programming consists of explicit training, modeling, practice in context, and systematic feedback. Although research has focused on how to implement ABA to improve skill deficits such as communication and social skills, a focus on how these interventions can be applied effectively and efficiently in inclusive settings has been limited. This symposium, comprised of both meta-analytic and applied research studies, will explore the impact of behaviorally based interventions on increased access to inclusive settings. Specific implementation and contextual factors to maximize results will be explored.

Keyword(s): autism, inclusion, self-monitoring, video modeling
 

Behaviorally-based Interventions for Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children with ASD in Inclusive Settings: A Meta-analysis

Siglia P. H. Camargo (Universidade Federal de Pelotas), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), Ee Rea Hong (Texas A&M University), Heather S. Davis (Texas A&M University), Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present deficits in social interaction skills that may prevent their successful inclusion in general education placements. Behaviorally-based interventions have been demonstrated to be useful to teach social interaction skills for these students. However, the overall and moderating effects of these interventions have not been previously investigated in inclusive settings. The goal of this study was to investigate the overall and contextual factors that moderate intervention effectiveness in inclusive settings through meta-analytic techniques. Findings showed overall high effect size based on studies meeting minimum standards of methodological quality in single-case research. Interventions are demonstrated to be effective for children between the ages of 2 and 10 years. While differences were found according to targeted social skills and behavioral components used, no differential effects were found regarding intervention implementer and peer training. These findings add to the literature regarding best practices to support inclusion of students with ASD in general education.

 

The Use of a Technology Delivered Self-Monitoring Application to Decrease Stereotypic Behavior in Middle School Students with ASD

STEPHEN CRUTCHFIELD (The University of Kansas), Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), Angela Chamgers (The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Many students with autism engage in a variety of complex and often disruptive stereotypic behaviors. While these behaviors likely present difficulties to task related goals, they most assuredly impact the social opportunities and access to inclusive settings . Research has demonstrated that self-management interventions often lead to improvements in a variety of behavioral targets for students with Autism. One salient component of effective self-management is self-monitoring, which involves instructing students to attend to and record their own behavioral levels. Self-monitoring has effectively impacted a variety of outcomes for students with Autism however, typical paper-pencil versions are cumbersome and stigmatizing. Technology may be one mechanism to increase the acceptability and efficiency of self-montioring yet, little empirical evidence exists regarding how technology can be utilized to provide prompts and collect self-monitoring data. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the functional relationship between the use of a mobile self-management program, ICONNECT, and decreases in the percentage of intervals students with ASD engaged in stereotypy utilizing a multiple baseline across students with an embedded withdrawal design study. Initial results indicate significant decreases in stereotypy. Implications of the technology delivered self-management intervention and areas for future research will be discussed.

 

Self-monitoring Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Single Case Meta-analysis.

HEATHER S. DAVIS (Texas A&M University), John Davis (Texas A&M University), Ben A Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders often demonstrate disruptive behaviors across educational settings. Teacher time to effectively intervene is often limited requiring further evaluation and identification of efficacious behavioral interventions for children with autism. Self-monitoring interventions in schools often require the implementing student to assess and record their own behavior and have the potential to meet behavioral needs without overburdening school resources. To further examine the potential of self-monitoring as an effective intervention for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders a review of single case studies employing self-monitoring were evaluated to identify the specific ingredients which moderate the impact of self-monitoring for students identified with autism. Using an advanced nonoverlap metric, a comparison of 15 studies including 24 participants and 45 unique effect sizes was conducted with an emphasis on participant age, setting (e.g. inclusive vs self-contained classrooms), and targeted behaviors. Overall, self-monitoring for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders resulted in promising results with an overall TauU of .85 CI95(.807 - .900). Areas of future research and implications for application of self-monitoring interventions for students with ASD in educational settings will be discussed.

 
The Effects of Point of View Video Modeling in Teaching Conversational Skills to High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
MARGOT BOLES (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), Libby Kite (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: Research evaluating effective interventions for improving the socio-communicative skills for individuals with autism spectrum disorders has primarily targeted preschool and elementary aged individuals. Little is known regarding effective and efficient interventions to improve these skills for secondary students with autism spectrum disorders. Point-of-view video modeling, filmed from the first person perspective, holds promise as an effective and portable intervention for improving skills for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, however the research evaluating its impact on improving socio-communicative skills is limited. Utilizing a multiple baseline design across skills, this study evaluated the functional relationship between point-of-view video modeling and improvements in socio-communicative skills for two high school students with autism spectrum disorder. Results indicate improvements in eye contact and body orientation, as well as decreases in interruption. Additionally, the participants rated the point-of-view video modeling intervention as useful and practical. Limitations of the study as well as implications for practice will be addressed.
 
 
Symposium #153
CE Offered: BACB
Response Variability and Autism
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W183b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nicole M. Rodriguez (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
CE Instructor: Nicole M. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Restricted and repetitive behavior is among the diagnostic characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To the extent that the behavior of individuals with ASD can be conceptualized as problems of invariability, our understanding of environmental variables that influence restricted and repetitive behavior and methods of increasing variability may be informed by basic and applied literature on response variability. Slocum et al. compared levels of rigid behavior in groups of individuals with and without an ASD. Following the group comparison, a percentile schedule of reinforcement was used to treat rigid and inflexible behaviors within the ASD group. In their first study, Peterson, Rodriguez, and Pawich compared the effects of modeling rote versus variable responses during the teaching of intraverbal categorization. The effects of programming lag contingencies on response variability were later evaluated within a second study. Caccavale, Lechago, and Sweatt demonstrated how lag schedules could be used to increase variability in greetings. Finally, Gayman et al. targeted the appropriate use of mands frames while increasing the variability in the number of mand frames used for three participants with ASD. Dr. Allen Neuringer, the leading researcher on response variability, will serve as the discussant.

Keyword(s): lag schedules, repetitive, restricted behavior, variability
 

Developing a Novel Treatment for Restricted Inflexible Behavior

SARAH K. SLOCUM (University of Florida), Mark Henry Lewis (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Krestin Radonovich (University of Florida), Cristina M. Whitehouse (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Cara Phillips (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are defined, in part, by behavior that can be characterized as restricted and inflexible. Such behavior is exemplified by the so-called "higher-order" restricted repetitive behaviors characterized by their insistence on sameness or resistance to change. These behaviors can significantly interfere with opportunities to develop functional behaviors and more complex repertoires. The current study was conducted in two parts. The first study compared the level of rigid behavior of a group of 20 individuals who are typically developing with the behavior of 20 individuals who are diagnosed with ASD. Following that group comparison, the second study involved the treatment of those rigid and inflexible behaviors within the ASD group using a percentile schedule of reinforcement. We treated both within-activity and between-activity rigidity. To date, we have been able to demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment for 4 out of our 5 subjects.

 

The Effects of Modeling Variable Responding and Programming Lag Contingencies on Response Variability

SEAN PETERSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Nicole M. Rodriguez (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tamara L. Pawich (Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorders often require direct, systematic instruction to learn new skills (e.g., Discrete-trial instruction [DTI]). DTI has been criticized for producing rote responding (e.g., Cihon, 2007). Over the course of a DTI program, a single appropriate response (e.g., "hello") may be selectively strengthened to the exclusion of other appropriate responses ("hi", "howdy","good day"; Lee, McComas, & Jawor, 2002). In the first of two studies, we assessed the effects of having the therapist model variable versus rote responses (using a progressive prompt delay) on response acquisition and variability of intraverbal-categorization responding during DTI. For two of the four participants, acquisition was slower in the variable relative to the rote prompting condition. For all participants, any initial variability observed decreased during treatment in both conditions. In the second study, we evaluated the effects of adding a Lag-1 contingency to the variable-model condition on increasing variability. Variability increased for all four participants with the Lag-1 schedule but only after the therapist modeled variable responding using a progressive-prompt delay. Results are discussed in terms of improving the lack variability that can occur with DTI.

 

Increasing Variability in the Response Greetings of Children with Autism Using Lag Schedules of Reinforcement

MIA CACCAVALE (Trumpet Behavioral Health ), Sarah A. Lechago (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Taylor Sweatt (University of Houston-CLear Lake)
Abstract:

The results of the current study extend the literature on lag schedules of reinforcement and behavioral variability by demonstrating that lag schedules of reinforcement were effective in increasing variability in greeting responses. Our participant was an 8-year old boy diagnosed with autism. There was little variability in responding during baseline. We taught him six new greeting responses during a second baseline condition to demonstrate that teaching new responses alone was not sufficient in promoting variability in responding. Three lag schedules were introduced (Lag 1, Lag 2, and Lag 3) to promote emission of four or more greeting responses. There was a corresponding increase in the number of different responses with the introduction of each lag schedule of reinforcement, providing evidence for the efficacy of lag schedules of reinforcement in producing variability in greeting responses. Variability in responding maintained during a reversal to the baseline and generalization conditions, during which a continuous reinforcement schedule was used. Other sources of social reinforcement have likely maintained variability in responding. We hypothesize that responding will be similar with future participants.

 

Increasing Mand Frame Variability: Acquisition using Textual Prompts and Lag Schedules of Reinforcement

CASSONDRA M GAYMAN (Marcus Autism Center), Kiley Bliss (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Brittany Lee (Marcus Autism Center), Julia Kincaid (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

According to the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., text rev.; DSM-V; American Psychiatric Association [APA, 2013], one of the core features of autism is persistent deficits in social communication. These social communication deficits often become apparent when children diagnosed with autism fail to demonstrate a functional form of communication, specifically manding for preferred items and activities. The development of a manding repertoire increases the likelihood of contacting reinforcement from a listener. Often single word mands are developed first. The development of multiple word mands or mand frames (e.g., "I want," "May I have") may further increase the likelihood of contacting reinforcement by clarifying the function of the speaker's vocalizations and, therefore, effective interventions to produce functional mand frames is needed. The current investigation targeted the appropriate use of mands frames while increasing the variability in the number of mand frames used for 3 participants with autism. Data show that using textual prompts with text fading effectively extinguished one participant's use of an incorrect mand frame while simultaneously increasing the variability of correct mand frame usage. The addition of a lag schedule increased variability of mand frame usage for two of the participants.

 
 
Symposium #154
CE Offered: BACB
Stimulus and Consequence Variables that Influence Response Persistence and Resurgence: Translational Evidence and Applied Demonstration
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W187c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joel Eric Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: William V. Dube (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
CE Instructor: Joel Eric Ringdahl, Ph.D.
Abstract:

There has been a recent increase in the variables that impact the maintenance, response strength, and relapse of behavior targeted for change in applied contexts. The focus of much of this research has been the application of behavioral momentum theory (BMT) to the assessment, treatment, and treatment maintenance related to problem behavior. In this group of presentations, data will be presented that focuses of various consequence and stimulus variables that may impact human behavior in translational and applied contexts. Collectively, the results of this group of studies suggest that variables other than reinforcer rate, magnitude of reinforcement, etc. can impact response maintenance, strength and relapse. The results of these studies have direct implications for designing effective treatments for individuals who engage in severe problem behavior and will be discussed with respect to treatment design, BMT, and programming for the long-term effectiveness of behavioral treatments for those individuals.

Keyword(s): BMT, maintenance, relapse, response persistence
 
Comparing Response Persistence to Autism Symptom Severity during Operant and Respondent Procedures
LAURA MELTON GRUBB (Texas Tech University), Adam Brewer (Texas Tech University), David M. Richman (Texas Tech University), Layla Abby (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: Autism is characterized in part by restricted repetitive responses that typically persist despite environmental changes. This response pattern may be related to behavioral momentum theory, which makes predictions about when responding is likely to persist despite disruption in the environment. We compared response persistence during operant and respondent procedures for two individuals with matched levels of adaptive behavior, but disparate severity of autism symptoms. Both participants were exposed to two disruptors (alternative stimulus and concurrent-distracting stimulus), in a reversal plus alternating treatments design. Rate of math problems completed was the dependent measure. Response rates for the high autism symptom severity participant were not disrupted, regardless of type of procedure or disruptor. By contrast, responding for the participant with low autism symptom severity was disrupted only by the alternative stimulus in the operant procedure. Responding for this participant was more disrupted during the lean schedule than in the rich schedule—consistent with behavioral momentum theory. These results suggest differences in response persistence in the operant paradigm may be a function of ASD symptom severity, and that the most effective disruptor was an alternative stimulus.
 
An Evaluation of Resistance to Change with Unconditioned and Conditioned Reinforcers
KRISTINA VARGO (Sam Houston State University), Joel Eric Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Several variables have been shown to influence a response’s resistance to change including rate, magnitude, and delay to reinforcement (Nevin, 1974). Type of reinforcement (i.e., conditioned and unconditioned) is a reinforcer-related variable that has not been studied with humans, but may have clinical implications. In Experiment 1, we identified unconditioned and conditioned reinforcers of equal preference. In Experiment 2, we reinforced the behavior of five participants during a baseline phase using a mult VI 30 s VI 30 s schedule with either a conditioned (i.e., token) or unconditioned reinforcer (i.e., food). Following equal reinforcement rates across components, extinction was introduced as a disruptor. All participants showed greater resistance to extinction in the component associated with the conditioned reinforcer than the unconditioned reinforcer. In Experiment 3 and Experiment 4, four participants experienced a baseline phase that was the same as Experiment 1 (i.e., mult VI 30 s VI 30 s). Each participant was then exposed to distraction and prefeeding as disruptors in separate analyses. Results of Experiment 3 showed that behaviors were more resistant to distraction with conditioned than unconditioned reinforcers, similar to Experiment 2. However, when prefeeding disrupted responding (Experiment 4), greater resistance to change was observed with unconditioned reinforcers.
 

The Relation between Reinforcer Potency and the Persistence of Task Completion

PATRICK ROMANI (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Nicole H. Lustig (The University of Iowa), Brooke M. Holland (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

The current investigation evaluated the effect of reinforcer potency on the persistence of task completion for a participant (Nick) who engaged in problem behavior to escape from demands. Interobserver agreement was calculated on at least 30% of each condition and averaged 98%. During Phase 1, a unit price evaluation was conducted to evaluate the potency of two stimuli (raisins and iPad). Nick chose to complete two times the amount of work to earn raisins over iPad, suggesting that raisins were the more potent reinforcer. During Phase 2, baseline data for Nick's task completion were collected within a multiple schedules design. Task completion was placed on extinction during this phase. In contrast, task completion was reinforced on a continuous schedule of reinforcement with access to iPad when Nick worked for orange tokens and raisins when Nick worked for yellow tokens during Phase 3. Extinction (Phase 4) was implemented after establishing similar histories of reinforcement for the orange and yellow stimulus conditions. Results showed that task completion under the stimulus condition associated with the delivery of raisins, or the more potent reinforcer, persisted longer under extinction conditions. These data will be discussed in terms of their basic and applied implications.

 

Stimulus- and Consequent- Control Refinement of Functional Communication Training Using Behavioral Momentum Theory

WAYNE W. FISHER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

One function-based approach to the treatment of destructive behavior with considerable empirical support is functional communication training (FCT). Although FCT has been shown to be highly effective when implemented in controlled environments by well-trained therapists, treatment relapse often occurs when a caregiver is unable to accurately carry out the procedures in the natural environment. For example, a caregiver of a child with severe aggression may be unable to deliver the functional reinforcer (e.g., attention) when the child emits the functional communication response (FCR) because the caregiver is attending to a sick sibling. During this time when the FCR is exposed to extinction, the childs aggression often increases, a form of relapse called resurgence. Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) provides a quantitative method for making stimulus- and consequence- control refinements to FCT that can function as behavioral inoculation so that treatment relapse in the form of resurgence of destructive behavior is greatly mitigated or prevented altogether. Interestingly, some predictions of BMT are somewhat counterintuitive and in direct opposition to clinical procedures recommended as best practices by prominent clinical researchers. In this presentation, I will discuss these refinements of FCT along with illustrative data sets and potential directions for future research.

 
 
Symposium #155
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Research on Measurement and Instrumentation
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W187ab (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kevin C. Luczynski (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Kevin C. Luczynski, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Measurement systems and data-analysis methods that produce accurate and sensitive measures of the target behavior are requisite for assessment and treatment. The papers in this symposium, collectively, describe efforts toward improving measurement systems and data-analysis methods in applied research. Lesser et al. compared the accuracy and efficiency of five systems for measuring sleep disturbances in children's bedrooms. Zarcone et al. improved the precision of observation methods to detect treatment gains, beyond the common measure of frequency, by measuring the force of problem behavior. Mead and Iwata compared the extent to which sufficient interobserver-agreement scores would be obtained using a proportional reliability method with 10-s versus 1-min intervals. Roberts and Bourret compared the strengths and weaknesses of three methods for quantifying the relation between two events during descriptive assessments. We are fortunate to have Dr. Brian Iwata serve as the discussant for this set of papers, given his exceptional scholarship in this area.

Keyword(s): assessment, data analysis, interobserver agreement, measurement
 

A Comparison of the Accuracy and Efficiency of Measurement Systems to Score Sleep Disturbances Exhibited by Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

AARON D. LESSER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kevin C. Luczynski (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Mychal Machado (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Sleep disturbances affect up to 68% of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (Richdale & Schreck, 2009). The use of direct observation on a second-by-second basis produces qualitative and quantitative information on sleep disturbances, but applying this type of measurement system throughout the night may not be practical. We conducted a measurement comparison across four nights with two children to evaluate the accuracy and efficiency of actigraphy, parent diaries, motion detection, momentary time sampling at 5-min and 10-min intervals, and fast-forwarding. All data were obtained from the childrens home and were remotely transferred for analysis via the internet. The sleep measures from each measurement system were compared to a second-by-second criterion record (continuous observation). The dependent variables for accuracy included total sleep disturbance, sleep-onset latency, nighttime wakings, early wakings, and oversleeping. The dependent variables for efficiency included the number of hours to collect data. The results indicated that motion detection closely matched the criterion measure for total sleep disturbance. The most variability within and across measurement systems was observed for night wakings. These preliminary results suggest that motion-detection software is an accurate and efficient measurement system.

 
Measuring the Force of Problem Behavior
JENNIFER R. ZARCONE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Treatment procedures for problem behavior often rely on measures of frequency to gauge treatment effectiveness. For the most severe behaviors, the force of the behavior may be equally relevant to evaluating the effectiveness of treatment outcomes. The goal of this study is to evaluate practical procedures for measuring the force of problem behavior during standard ABA treatment procedures. Four children who were hospitalized for the treatment of severe problem behavior participated in the study. A 3-point rating scale was developed to rate the forcefulness of behavior from 1 (low force) to 3 (high force). Both frequency and force of behavior was measured for all participants during baseline and treatment using differential reinforcement (DRA) or noncontingent reinforcement (NCR). Results showed that for all participants, treatment was effective at reducing the occurrence of problem behaviors. When DRA was used however, the frequency of the target behavior decreased when the DRA schedule was thinned, but the force remained high. For the participants treated with NCR, the force was initially very low during treatment, but increased when the schedule of reinforcement was thinned. These data imply that NCR may be a better treatment if reducing the force of behavior is the treatment goal.
 
Interval Length Influences on Proportional Reliability
SARAH C. MEAD (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract: Accuracy of measurement is a crucial component in all research but may be difficult to assess in applied research on human behavior because there is no “true standard” for observation. Consequently, reliability, or interobserver agreement, is used as an approximation to accuracy. Proportional reliability is a common method for calculating interobserver agreement for frequency measures of responding, but the resulting score can be influenced by a number of variables, including the interval length used as the basis for agreement. Although a 10-s interval typically is used as the basis for calculation, the unit of measurement for response frequency usually is a 1-min rather than a 10-s interval. We compared proportional reliability scores using the traditional 10-s interval to scores using a 1-min interval for 40 sample 10-min sessions. We considered sessions with high and low rates of responding and high and low reliability scores calculated using 10-s intervals. Our results suggest that one minute may be an acceptable interval length for calculating proportional reliability for frequency measures reported as responses per minute.
 

Methods for Descriptive Analysis Data Collection

KYLIE ROBERTS (The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

A number of different methods are used to calculate and compare the probability of events given specific environmental variables. This investigation includes a comparison of three different methods. The first, an exhaustive contingency space analysis described by Vollmer, Borrero, Wright, Van Camp, & Lalli (2001), compares the probability of an event occurring at any time during an observation to the probability of an event given behavior. The second method, an exhaustive contingency space analysis described by Hammond (1980), compares the probability of an event given behavior to the probability of an event given the absence of behavior. The third method, a non-exhaustive contingency space analysis described by Luczynski and Hanley (2009), evaluated the probability of an event and an environmental variable by subtracting the probability of an event given the absence of an environmental variable from the probability of an event given behavior. Findings are discussed in terms of strengths and weakness across varying frequency of responding.

 
 
Symposium #156
CE Offered: BACB
Optimizing Assessment and Treatment through Methodological and Translational Research
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Discussant: Per Holth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences  )
CE Instructor: Tara A. Fahmie, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium features methodological and translational research evaluating behavioral processes involved in preference and reinforcer assessment, conditioned reinforcement, and differential reinforcement. Lisa Hunter will present a study comparing the effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing and discriminative control in the establishment of conditioned reinforcers. Janine Urbano will present a study evaluating a new approach to the analysis of preference hierarchies obtained through pairwise preference assessment. The traditional percentage method was compared to the Thurstone comparative law to test whether the latter analytical strategy may provide better predictions of reinforcing effects. Lorraine Becerra will present a review and analysis of the relation between assessment consistency and validity of multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments. Finally, Michael Kelley will present a translational study allowing for a close evaluation of the reinforcement processes underlying behavior change during differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Dr. Per Holth, with a background in both experimental and applied behavior analysis, will close the symposium with remarks on the contributions of this research.

Keyword(s): conditioned reinforcement, differential reinforcement, preference assessment, translational research
 

Pairing vs. Discriminative Training for Establishing Conditioned Reinforcement Effects

LISA HUNTER (St. Amant Research Centre), Alison Cox (University of Manitoba), Gabriel Schnerch (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Establishing new reinforcers is an endeavor of paramount importance for the implementation of reinforcement-based approaches to treatment among individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Identifying effective reinforcers for low functioning clients may be particularly challenging. Two methods have been proposed to induce reinforcing effects to initially neutral items: stimulus-stimulus pairing and discriminative training. First, stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) consists of the concurrent presentation of a neutral item with an already established reinforcer. Second, the discriminative control procedure (DCP) features a neutral item as a discriminative stimulus signaling the availability of an already established reinforcer contingent upon an arbitrary response. The goal of the present study was to evaluate which of these methods induces greater conditioned reinforcement effects among individuals with intellectual disabilities. We conducted a series of preference assessments to identify established reinforcers, neutral leisure items, and arbitrary responses with no (automatic) reinforcing effects. We evaluated the effects of the SSP and DCP methods in a multi-element manipulation combined with a multiple baseline design across subjects. The results showed that for most participants both interventions induced some conditioned reinforcing effects. While participants engaged more often in the arbitrary response during contingent reinforcement probes following training with either method, responding was highly variable. Moreover, a clear superiority of one approach over the other was not demonstrated in any of the participants.

 

Reinforcing Effects of Items Ranked According to the Thurstone Comparative Law

JANINE URBANO (University of Manitoba), Flavia Julio (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues Ortega (University of Manitoba, St. Amant Research Centre, University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Preference may be defined as the relative strength of behaviors among two or more choice options and it is often measured as a pattern of choosing. Assessing the preferences of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) is important for several reasons. Preferred items often function as reinforcers and they can be used in intervention programs for establishing new skills and reducing problem behaviors for people with ID/DD. Pairwise preference assessment is often used to evaluate potential reinforcers in this population. The outcome of a typical pairwise preference assessment is a hierarchy of items ranked according to the percentage of trials in which each item was chosen out of the times the item was presented. This hierarchy is an ordinal scale that hardly accounts for variability of choice over time. By contrast, the Thurstone paired comparative method generates interval-level scales over multiple assessments. Therefore, the latter analytical strategy may account better for time-dependent changes in preference. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the Thurstone approach to data analysis would more accurately predict reinforcing effects, thereby enhancing the validity of pairwise preference assessments. We conducted a series of pairwise preference assessments analyzed through the traditional percentage method and the Thurstone method. The reinforcing effects of items with diverging ranks according to either method were subsequently evaluated in a concurrent schedule reinforcer assessment embedded in an ABAB design. Overall, the results indicated that scale values resulting from the Thurstone analysis provided better predictions of reinforcing effects.

 
A Review and Analysis of the Consistency of MSWO Assessments
LORRAINE BECERRA (California State University, Northridge), Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: The consistency of stimulus rankings across repeated multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO; DeLeon & Iwata,1996) preference assessments may influence the predictive validity of its outcomes. For instance, inconsistent stimulus rankings might be a function of behavioral biases (e.g. side biases), rule governed behavior (e.g., "save the best for last"), or changes in preference over time. However, MSWO consistency rarely has been reported in published research. We first reviewed the consistency and validity of published MSWO data. Next, we conducted an analysis of MSWO data from 11 individuals diagnosed with an intellectual disability between the ages of 5 and 22 years old, each of whom participated in five assessments of three different arrays containing eight stimuli each. Spearman rank correlation coefficients across assessments were moderate to weak (range, rs = 0.04 to 0.96) for more than half of the participants. Methodological and practical implications of these data, as well as potential areas for future research, will be discussed.
 

An Animal Model of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior

MICHAEL E. KELLEY (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher A. Podlesnik (The University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Translational research often consists of replicating and extending the results of basic findings. Replications might consist of obtaining evidence of generality (e.g., across species) or application of basic findings to socially important behaviors (e.g., enhancing treatment of socially important problems). In this collaboration, we extended previous translational research by exposing non-human animals to an experimental preparation more consistent with typical application with humans--differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. This approach is in contrast with typical preparations in which humans are exposed to more typical non-human, basic arrangements. Preliminary findings reveal consistent resurgence of our analogue of problem behavior upon discontinuing reinforcement for alternative behavior. These findings provide a platform to assess thoroughly and efficiently factors influencing long-term treatment maintenance of behavioral treatments. For example, we can assess the extent to which multiple contingency reversals, which are common in applied differential reinforcement arrangements to establish experimental control, might influence the occurrence and magnitude of resurgence. This collaboration offers the opportunity to understand the behavioral processes underlying behavior during treatment while developing avenues to improve treatment effectiveness.

 
 
Symposium #157
CE Offered: BACB
If Flexibility is Emitted in a Forest...: Issues with Defining and Observing Flexibility
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W176a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Desiree Carnathan (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Ann Rost (Missouri State University)
CE Instructor: Ann Rost, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Psychological flexibility is enhanced sensitivity to both immediate and temporally extended contingencies. It involves the development of a repertoire that allows for persistence or change to match extended behavioral patterns with verbally constructed valued life directions. The assessment of psychological flexibility has been limited to self-report methods that inquire about behaviors isolated from changing contexts. This symposium addresses measurement issues pertaining to psychological flexibility, and offers a variety of alternatives. The first paper discusses methodological issues in comparing cognitive flexibility and psychological flexibility. The second paper offers Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) as a method of sampling a variety of self-reported responses repeatedly within a specified time frame. The third paper presents information regarding the development of a computer-based behavioral measure grounded in Relational Frame Theory. The fourth paper introduces an alternative computer-based task as a potential marker of psychological inflexibility- the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). The symposium will close with a discussion of overarching issues regarding the measurement of psychological flexibility in light of the preceding presentations.

Keyword(s): methodological issues, psychological flexibility
 

Cognitive Flexibility and Psychological Flexibility: Methodological Issues

RAWYA AL-JABARI (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas), Teresa Hulsey (University of North Texas), Melissa L. Connally (University of North Texas), Nina Laurenzo (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

To our knowledge, no publications explore the relationship between psychological and cognitive flexibility. While differences exist, both constructs require individuals connect to contingencies in the present moment to appropriately adapt behavior, given the context. Therefore, it was hypothesized that scores on the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire (AFQ; Greco, Murrell, & Coyne, 2005) - a measure of the inverse of psychological flexibility - would significantly negatively correlate with measures of cognitive flexibility. More specifically, flexible problem solving abilities were assessed with the Functional Fixedness Task (Dunker, 1945), Trail Making Test Part B (TMT; Reitan, & Wolfson, 1993), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST; Berg, 1948) and the Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (Dennis & Vander Wal, 2010). Non-significant correlations were found between the AFQ and measures of cognitive flexibility (correlations ranged from r = -0.191 to 0.184, ns). Lack of significance may have resulted from the relationship occurring in a non-theorized way, or it may be due to methodological issues. For example, some cognitive flexibility measures had less than ideal internal consistency in our sample. Additionally, comparing one self-report measure to a combination of behavioral and self-report formats, may not have captured variance efficiently. Such explanations will be discussed, along with future research suggestions.

 

Flexibility in Context: Exploring the Use of Ecological Momentary Assessment of Psychological Flexibility

RYAN ALBARADO (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux Boullion (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Ashlyne Mullen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Psychological flexibility seems to be fundamental to psychological health and quality of life. Psychological flexibility mediates the response to treatment in multiple contexts moderating the relationship between distress and problematic overt behaviors in multiple domains. Yet assessment of psychological flexibility has been limited to a single questionnaire--the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ)--and adaptations of the AAQ to different forms of psychological distress (e.g., smoking cravings, body image, obesity stigma, hearing voices). This is problematic for several reasons, including the difficulty respondents have in tacting their "overall" behavior over a week. Despite adequate psychometric estimates of reliability, significant variation in responses may actually be attributable to the immediate context in which the responding takes place. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) takes advantage of this by taking repeated self reports of multiple behaviors over the period of time in which the researcher is interested. Data from three studies will be briefly reviewed as examples of how researchers might apply EMA to measure psychological flexibility. Practical advice on incorporating EMA into research designs, collecting EMA data and analyzing data will be offered.

 
Seeing is Believing: Towards a Behavioral Measure of Psychological Flexibility
EMMY LEBLEU (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux Boullion (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Jessica Auzenne (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emmie Hebert (University of Mississippi), Shelley Greene (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Contributing to the development of effective behavioral patterns is almost inarguably the primary goal of clinical behavior analysis. Recent research suggests that increasing psychological flexibility, acting in accordance with “values” even in the presence of uncomfortable experiences, may support healthy behavior patterns in many difficult situations. For this reason the assessment and development of psychological flexibility should be a concern of clinical behavior analysts. The question then becomes, how does one assess psychological flexibility? To date, the only way to determine the status of a person’s psychological flexibility is with self-report measures. However, it is widely accepted that self-report measures are limited in their ability to always accurately reflect behavior of an individual. Further, psychological flexibility being based on the function of private events, rather than their occurrence or form, makes self-report data from individuals without function discrimination training even less accurate. This paper will explore a developing computer-based-behavioral measure of psychological flexibility based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) along with data as to its current validity and utility.
 

Use of Word-level IRAP Analyses to Identify Relative Flexibility & Inflexibility with Specific Verbal Stimuli

Kate Kellum (The University of Mississippi), Kerry C. Whiteman (The University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (The University of Mississippi), CALEB STANLEY (The University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) has most often been used to examine differences between the performances of groups with a particular set of stimuli (i.e., an IRAP) and between specific trial-types. The present study examines the possibility of using analyses of each word in the IRAP with an individual to identify relatively strong verbal repertoires that may be clinically relevant for that individual or for his/her community. These relatively strong verbal repertoires may be seen as areas of psychological inflexibility. This paper examines multiple methods for examining IRAP outputs at the word level and discusses methods of obtaining convergent validity for this use of the IRAP. Undergraduate students who participated for course credit showed marked variability in IRAP performance across words within trial types. The discussion focuses on the potential to predict and develop interventions for specific domains for individuals where high levels of bias, rigidity, or fusion are present.

 
 
Symposium #159
CE Offered: BACB
Basic and Translational Investigations of Gambling Behavior
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W175c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Kristin Robinson (Saint Louis University)
Discussant: John M. Guercio (AWS)
CE Instructor: John M. Guercio, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will highlight emerging trends in basic and translational gambling research. Presenters will discuss findings for choice selection on variable ratio schedules, effective use of behavioral skills training for teaching card counting, and the impact of verbal behavior on slot machine outcomes (e.g., losses disguised as wins) and rule following. Skinner first discussed variable ratio schedules as an addictive reinforcement schedule, and yet little is known about human preference to various types of schedules in a gaming context. Similarly, recent structural changes in slot machine reels, particularly losses disguised as wins, are under researched and therefore not understood behavior analytically. Furthermore, empirical evidence for rule formation and subsequent following are beginning to emerge within gambling contexts; yet further replication and extension of rule following across gaming activities are still needed. Therefore, the symposium will provide empirical support for how structural changes may impact gambling behaviors, both in terms of risk and magnitude of bet size, and in terms of rule formation and subsequent rule following. Implications of empirical findings and directions for future research will also be discussed.

Keyword(s): gambling, translational research, verbal behavior
 

Human Preference for Variable vs. Fixed Outcomes: Implications for Gambling

STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University), Kristopher Brown (Youngstown State University)
Abstract:

Variable ratio (VR) schedules have been called "the addictive schedule of reinforcement" because they generate persistent high rate responding with little or no pausing. Because, like many gambling games, on VR schedules reinforcement is always uncertain- the very next response always could be reinforced (payoff). The more one responds the more likely responding will result in reinforcement - a win. For these reasons VR schedules are presented as a model of gambling contingencies (how slot machines are programmed, etc.). However in virtually every casino gambling game, increased responding does not increase the probability of winning (e.g. random probability, not VR schedules are used or "sampling with replacement") Nevertheless several studies with non-human subjects have shown that variable schedules are highly preferred over fixed schedules of reinforcement even when responding on the fixed schedule results much greater overall reinforcement. Variable schedules are preferred even when they are counterproductive. The present study examines human preference for VR versus fixed ratio (FR) schedules of reinforcement. Subjects remove blank cards and flip them putting cards marked win in one box and others in another box. Wins are paid cash. Subjects are given experience with both FR 5 (card color A), and VR 6 (card color B) schedules and then allowed to chose which color cards they would like to continue flipping. If the VR option is chosen, subject will be given experience with the FR 5 and a VR 7 and then allowed to choose again.

 

Using Behavioral Skills Training and Video Rehearsal to Teach Blackjack Card Counting

RYAN C. SPEELMAN (Southern Illinois University), Seth W. Whiting (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

A behavioral skills training procedure consisting of video instructions, video rehearsal, and video testing was used to teach four college students a card counting strategy in blackjack. A multiple baseline design was used to measure card counting accuracy and chips won/lost across participants. Prior to any training, no participant counted cards accurately. Each participant completed all phases of the training protocol, counting cards fluently with 100% accuracy during slow, medium, and fast training exercises. Generalization probes were conducted while playing blackjack in a mock casino following each phase of training. After training, all four participants were able to accurately count cards while playing blackjack. In conjunction with count accuracy, total winnings were tracked to determine the monetary advantages associated with counting cards. After losing money during baseline measures, three of four participants won a substantial amount of money playing blackjack following the intervention.

 

Preference of Losses Disguised as Wins

Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), KARL GUNNARSSON (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract:

The current study investigated preferences made by 73 college students when presented with 60 sets of images of slot machine outcomes. These images were categorized into three groups; (1) loss disguised as wins (LDW), (2) wins, and, (3) losses. Three preference tests were conducted (LDW vs. loss; win vs. loss; LDW vs. win) in a random sequence. Results yielded a statistically significant difference between the three preference tests F(2, 71) = 56.15, p < 0.001. A Sidak post hoc analysis demonstrated that there was a statistically significant difference, p < 0.001, between LDW vs. loss and the other two tests, not between win vs. loss and LDW vs. win. A chi-square goodness of fit test was conducted to evaluate if preferences in the LDW vs. loss group were acquired through chance. The results were statistically significant X2 (71) = 266.9, p < 0.001, indicating that the preference for LDW over losses were not acquired by chance.

 

Replication and Extension of Derived Rule-Following in Gambling Contexts

Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University), TARA M. GRANT (Saint Louis University), Scott Rupp (Saint Louis University), Melaney Inman (Saint Louis University), Erin Kasson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract:

In a replication of derived rule-following and subsequent rule following during a gambling activity, adult participants wagered on a roulette table before and after completing a discrimination task within a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. Participants were instructed to tact three arbitrary symbols that were placed above the roulette wheel. During roulette play, participants wagered one chip on either black or red to win. Following baseline, each participant was presented with a series of discrimination training and testing trials designed to create a three three-member stimulus class including the words "bet" "on" "red/black" depending on baseline response allocation. All participants were then instructed to complete a fill in the blank assessment and an open-ended tact assessment to determine if the rule (e.g., "bet on red/black") derived after training. Results suggested that all participants derived the rule, and altered their response allocations by betting more on the specific color trained. Implications for conceptual development of self-awareness in regards to self-generated rules will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #161
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysts Behaving Badly?: Topography, Analysis, and Implications for Our Profession
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kimberly A. Schreck (Penn State Harrisburg)
Discussant: R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Kimberly A. Schreck, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Pop rocks mixed with soda will kill you. Flash your headlights and gang initiates will shoot you. Always observe the behavior of gas station attendants they may be warning you of a killer in your backseat. The perpetuation of urban legends indicates people will believe almost anything they hear or read. Autism treatment has its own urban legends Facilitated Communication reveals buried secrets; Son Rise transports to a different world; and animals intuit needs of kids with ASD. As scientists, BCBAs have an ethical responsibility to evaluate urban legends related to Autism treatment (i.e., alternative or fad treatments). Unfortunately, many BCBAs not only fail to evaluate these treatments according to science, but actually use or promote treatments that have no empirical evidence of effectiveness. This symposium describes the topography of individual BCBAs and companies bad choices; an analysis of the variables related to these choices; and the social, legal, and treatment implications of BCBAs behaving badly.

Keyword(s): alternative treatments, BCBA, ethical behavior, fads
 

They Should Know Better: A Description of The Drift from Our Ethical Code

THOMAS L. ZANE (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Nancy Ellis (Endicott College)
Abstract:

The Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for behavior analysts is very clear on the point that certified behavior analysts are responsible for recommending scientifically supported most effective treatment procedures. The behavior of behavior analysts must be ruled by science and evidence. Unfortunately, Schreck and Mazur (2008) discovered through their survey that many behavior analysts admit to using treatment strategies that are not evidenced based. This presentation will further identify the irresponsibility of some behavior analysts who use unproven treatments in direct violation of our ethical code. A search on the Internet using key phrases such as BCBA and (name of a fad treatment) resulted in identifying dozens of certified behavior analysts using, promoting, or writing positively about treatments that are not scientifically supported most effective treatments. This presentation will describe these treatments, highlight the lack of evidence, and show the number of behavior analysts who were found supporting such treatments.

 
Behavior Analyst Businesses Behaving Badly
JON S. BAILEY (Florida State University)
Abstract: The BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct are written to guide the behaviors of individual behavior analysts but in my recent experience it is companies providing ABA services that should be our focus. As we now know there is a lot of money to be made in providing behavioral services and this can influence the judgment of the owners of these organizations in deleterious ways. If the company, be it consulting firm, private school, in-home, or drop-in clinic puts undue pressure on young, relatively inexperienced BCaBAs or BCBAs the results are unbecoming of our field. Owners can increase revenue by taking more clients without increasing staff, by taking more difficult clients without hiring specialists (at a higher rate), and by passing on costs to their behavior analysts that should be part of their overhead (e.g. mileage to reach in-home clients). Paperwork to meet provider standards also is an impediment to some unethical owners and is met with suggestions to their behavior analysts to "use the cut-and-replace function" more often. Individual clients do not necessarily need "individual" behavior plans, if we can guess the functions rather than doing a proper functional analysis, a good plan for a previous client will do just as well. I will discuss these and other unethical behaviors on the part of businesses and suggest a solution.
 

The A-B-C's of Behaving Badly: An Assessment of the Variables that Maintain BCBAs' Use of Non-Scientific Treatments

KIMBERLY A. SCHRECK (Penn State Harrisburg), Lindsay M. Knapp (Penn State Harrisburg), Heather Wilford (Penn State Harrisburg)
Abstract:

As children we learn our A-B-Cs very early in the educational process. As beginning behavior analysts, we learn the alternative meaning of the A-B-Cs. Unfortunately, many behavior analysts fail to analyze their own behaviors according to the A-B-Cs. This failure becomes most evident relevant to some BCBAs use of non-scientifically supported treatments for ASD. BCBAs recommend and use non-science despite ethical dilemmas (Schreck & Mazur, 2008). These recommendations and implementations for non-scientific treatments for ASD require a behavioral assessment. A variety of environmental stimuli, such as pressure from parents or employers, media hype, and beliefs about treatments or autism may influence BCBAs to experiment with non-scientifically supported treatments. Contingencies (e.g., monetary gain, acceptance by co-workers, etc.) may maintain the use of these treatments, sometimes to the exclusion of ABA (Schreck & Mazur, 2008). This presentation will assess possible A-B-C factors that influence BCBAs to choose non-science and contingencies that maintain this behavior

 
The Long-Term Impact of Scientifically Risky Behavior
JAMES T. TODD (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: As explained in Epling and Woodward's seminal article, "How to Be a Successful Psychotherapist No Matter What the Effect on Behavior: The Corn Soup Principle," the natural contingencies clinical settings include high-probability reinforcement for behavior of low clinical quality. Many of these contingencies are structural. Reliable clients with simple problems are preferred to troublesome clients with serious problems. A clinician who has not designed countervailing contingencies could become what Epling and Woodward called a "Successful Non-Therapist," making a living without providing real service. A correlated set of scientific contingencies exist. Empirically vacuous therapeutic approaches--with easily understood conclusions, simple procedures, vague goals, and many buzz-words--will reinforce at a higher rate than scientifically sophisticated approaches with good but hard-won outcomes. Thus, a successful but careless behavior analyst can, over time and without realizing it, become a successful non-therapist whose former rigor and effectiveness has been replaced by copious verbal behavior about clinically irrelevant concepts, satisfaction about outcomes that might have been achieved by doing essentially anything, and clients pleased by something other than the actual effectiveness of the treatment.
 
 
Symposium #162
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Staff and Parent Training of Assessment and Treatment Procedures
Sunday, May 25, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W193a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College)
Discussant: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Jason C. Vladescu, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The proposed symposium includes four presentations addressing recent advances in staff and parent training of assessment and treatment procedures. The first presentation evaluated Internet-based telehealth services to remotely teach parents to conduct discrete trial instruction. The results indicated significant increases in performance and provide support for web-based technologies and other telehealth applications to training. The second presentation evaluated the effectiveness of video modeling with voiceover instruction to train three staff to conduct a paired-stimulus preference assessment. The results demonstrated that video modeling was effective, and suggest that performance feedback may not always be a necessary component of training. The third study evaluated the separate effects of written instructions and in-vivo training on the implementation of a maintenance protocol for nine participants. Results indicated that in-vivo training was necessary, as the written instructions were ineffective at producing the desired change in participant implementation of the maintenance protocol. The fourth presentation evaluated the effectiveness of a behavioral skills training package to train daycare teachers to teach toddlers to request social interactions using manual signs. The results indicate the training package was effective. Collectively these studies provide support for the effectiveness of a range of training approaches for staff and parents.

Keyword(s): parent training, staff training
 

Using Telehealth Technologies to Remotely Teach Caregivers to Conduct Discrete Trial Instruction

WILLIAM J. HIGGINS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Leny Velasquez (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

For many years, there has been an increasing shortage of behavioral healthcare professionals in counties across the United States. Recent advancements in telecommunication technologies make it possible to conduct telehealth services and bridge the gap between urban and rural location. In the current study, we used Internet-based telehealth services to remotely teach caregivers of children with language delays to conduct an expressive identification task within a discrete trial instruction framework. The teaching package included didactic information and video modeling, scripted role-play sessions with immediate feedback, and in-vivo feedback during practice sessions with a child. We used a multiple-baseline-across-participants design to evaluate the effects of the teaching package on caregiver correct responding and child independent correct responding. Robust and immediate improvements in performance were observed across all three caregivers and their performance maintained during follow-up and generalization probes. Increased independent correct responding was observed across all child participants following the caregiver teaching package. The benefits of web-based technologies and other telehealth applications are discussed.

 

Training Staff to Implement a Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessment using Video Modeling with Voiceover Instruction

PRISCA DELIPERI (Caldwell College), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College)
Abstract:

A key component of successful early intervention programming is the identification of stimuli that may function as reinforcers. Behavior analysts have overwhelmingly reported that the paired-stimulus (PS) preference assessment is the most commonly used direct method of determining preference (Graph & Karsten, 2012). Although effective at identifying potential reinforcers, the PS procedure is only useful if staff are trained on the steps necessary to conduct the assessment. The current study examined the effectiveness of video modeling with voiceover instruction to train staff to conduct a paired-stimulus preference assessment. Three staff were trained to identify items to use during the PS assessment, conduct a PS preference assessment with a simulated consumer (i.e., an adult acting as a child), and how to score and interpret the results of the PS assessment. Generalization was assessed with an actual consumer (i.e., a child with autism). The results demonstrated that video modeling was effective, and staff demonstrated high levels of integrity up to 2-months following training. These results support a growing body of literature supporting the use of video modeling as an approach to training. We will discuss the current study in the context of previous staff training studies and suggest areas for future research.

 

Teaching Behavioral Therapists to Implement a Maintenance Procedure during Therapy Sessions

MICHELE BISHOP (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Maintenance of skills is critical for successful treatment of children with autism. Most research has focused on the initial acquisition and generalization of skills, with less research on the maintenance of skills. Researchers have demonstrated that when reinforcement is withdrawn, treatment effects decrease relatively quickly. The use of intermittent reinforcement can promote maintenance of skills. The purpose of the present study was to train direct care staff to implement a maintenance protocol that included 1) varying the order of the responses, 2) using intermittent reinforcement, and 3) conducting error correction at the end of the maintenance trial block. A multiple probe design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of written instructions and in-vivo training for 9 participants. Results indicated that written instructions were ineffective and in-vivo training was necessary to produce accurate performance for all participants. Accurate implementation of the maintenance protocol was observed during generalization probes and at the four week follow-up. These results suggest that in-vivo training produced lasting effects for all participants.

 

Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Daycare Providers Infant Sign Language Procedures

VALERIE LYNN VANTUSSI (University of North Texas), Tayla Cox (University of North Texas), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

The current experiment evaluates the effectiveness of a brief training package to train daycare teachers to teach toddlers to request social interactions using a manual sign based upon American Sign Language. The training package included instructions, video model, role-play, and feedback. A concurrent multiple-baseline design across 3 teacher-toddler dyads was used to evaluate the training package. An analysis was also conducted on the effects of training on the behaviors of toddlers as a group and individually during free play times in the classroom.

 
 
Symposium #164
CE Offered: BACB
Pre-Verbal Foundations: Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing 3-Dimensional Objects
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joan Broto (Semiahmoo Behaviour Analysts, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Joan Broto, Ph.D.
Abstract:

We tested three procedures to condition 3-D stimuli as conditioned reinforcers for observing responses. The first study used a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure to condition 3-D stimuli as reinforcers for observing. Following the establishment of 3-D stimuli as reinforcers, participants showed increases in 3-D and 2-D match-to-sample responding and decreases in stereotypy. In the second and third studies 3-D stimuli were conditioned as reinforcers for observing using a visual tracking procedure, resulting the acquisition of generalized match-to-sample repertoires.

Keyword(s): 3D stimuli, conditioned reinforcement, cusp, generalized matching
 
The Effects of the Acquisition of Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing Three-Dimensional Stimuli on Stereotypy and Match-to-Sample Responding
JACQUELINE MAFFEI-LEWIS (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of the acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for observing three-dimensional (3-D) stimuli on responses to two-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D match-to-sample tasks and stereotypy using a delayed multiple probe design across participants. Pre-intervention probe data showed that 3-D desktop stimuli did not function as reinforcers for observing for the preschool-aged participants. The 3-D stimuli were conditioned as reinforcers using a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure. Once the participants acquired conditioned reinforcement for observing 3-D stimuli, correct responses to 2-D and 3-D match-to-sample tasks increased significantly and rates of stereotypy decreased. The results of the study suggest that a relationship exists between reinforcement for observing 3-D desktop stimuli and 2-D to 3-D match-to-sample responses.
 

The Effects of Conditioning Observing Three Dimensional Stimuli on Following Classroom Routines, Identity Matching and Imitative Responses in Young Children with Autism

JEANNE MARIE SPECKMAN (Fred S. Keller School, Teachers College, Columbia University), Jennifer Longano (Fred S. Keller School), Noor Younus Syed (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of an observing three dimensional object conditioning procedure on pre-listener, imitation and match to sample responses of young children with autism. Three children between the ages of 2 and 4.8 years who attended center based Early Intervention or preschool programs participated in the study. The three dimensional object conditioning procedure involved the students visually tracking preferred and non-preferred items that were placed under transparent and then opaque cups and were rotated a set number of times per phase. Initial probes for the presence or absence of the following behaviors were conducted 1) generalized match to sample for identical three-dimensional stimuli, 2) generalized match to sample for identical two- dimensional stimuli, 3) generalized match to sample of two dimensional to corresponding three dimensional stimuli, 4) imitation of object use and 5) generalized imitation. We also compared the rate of acquisition of skills across the following programs immediately before and after the conditioning procedure was implemented: three-dimensional selective match to sample, instructional control with visual cues, follows school routines with visual cues, selective imitation and object use imitation. The results showed that for all three participants, the three dimensional conditioning procedure was functionally related to increases in generalized three dimensional matching and object use imitation. Decreases in instructional trials to criterion, or increases in rates of acquisition of skills across the aforementioned programs were seen for two of the three participants as well (the third participant left the study before data could be analyzed).

 

The Effects of a Visual Tracking Protocol on the Acquisition of 3-Dimensional Stimuli as Conditioned Reinforcement for Observing and Generalized Matching Repertoire

Lin Du (Teachers College, Columbia University), JOAN BROTO (Semiahmoo Behaviour Analysts, Inc.)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of a visual tracking procedure on the acquisition of 3- dimensional objects as conditioned reinforcement for observing and on generalized matching repertoire. There were 3 participants in the study who were enrolled in an Early Intervention program. The independent variable was the visual tracking protocol, in which the participants were taught to observe clear and opaque cups that were in rotation, with a preferred and eventually non-preferred item placed underneath one cup. We implemented a delayed multiple baseline design and the results showed the protocol was effective to induce generalized visual identity matching repertoire, which were not in the participants repertoire prior to the implementation of the protocol.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #165
CE Offered: BACB
New Approaches to the Behavioral Pharmacology of Remembering
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W178a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jonathan W. Pinkston, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas)
Presenting Author: MARK GALIZIO (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

The predictive validity of animal models of memory has been disappointing, suggesting a need for new approaches to development of drug treatments. Many of the traditional procedures derive from the cognitive neuroscience approach and pose interpretive difficulties from a stimulus control perspective. EAB-based techniques (e.g., delayed matching to sample) may not address the complexity of stimulus control necessary for translational significance, but can be adapted to do so. This tutorial will provide a brief overview of procedures used in the behavioral pharmacology of remembering and a consideration of their strengths and weaknesses. It also will provide a more detailed analysis of research using novel procedures that vary the number of stimuli to remember as well as the retention interval. For example, the odor span task can be described as an incrementing nonmatch to sample procedure in which the number of sample stimuli to remember increases on each trial. Early results have shown that NMDA-antagonists, but not other classes of compounds, produce selective impairments on performance in this procedure. Variations of these procedures will be described that develop stimulus control by specific combinations of stimulus properties (what stimulus, when it occurred, and where it was presented), making it possible to study drug effects on "episodic" stimulus control.

 
MARK GALIZIO (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Dr. Mark Galizio has been a prominent figure in the experimental analysis of behavior for more than 30 years. He has published more than 65 peer-reviewed publications; and he has received numerous extramural grants to fund his research. He is a fellow of Divisions 3, 25, and 28 of the American Psychological Association, past associate editor of The Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and has served as the chair of the National Institutes of Health BRLE (Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning, & Ethology) review panel. Dr. Galizio is a recognized expert in the areas of stimulus control and behavior. This talk will focus on some of his innovative research exploring translational models to identify amnestic effects of pharmacological agents.
Keyword(s): animal models, memory, olfaction
 
 
Symposium #166
CE Offered: BACB
Further Advancements in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W179b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Melanie H. Bachmeyer, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral interventions, specifically escape extinction and positive reinforcement, are considered well-established treatments for pediatric feeding disorders. However, further research to understand the necessity of these and other consequence-based procedures in the development of function-based interventions is warranted. Moreover, further development and examination of antecedent interventions is necessary for cases in which escape extinction is ineffective or unacceptable. This symposium presents three studies that extend the existing behavioral feeding literature in these ways. Kirkwood and colleagues will present a study that further examines the use of consequence-based procedures in the treatment of the multiply controlled inappropriate mealtime behavior of 3 children diagnosed with feeding disorders. Wall and colleagues will present a study demonstrating the effects of an antecedent-based intervention, stimulus fading, to establish cup drinking in a child diagnosed with a feeding disorder when escape extinction did not result in treatment success. Finally, Cried and colleagues will present a study examining the effects of backward chaining to establish self-drinking after the successful treatment of liquid refusal.

Keyword(s): feeding disorders, food refusal
 

Stimulus Fading to Establish Cup Drinking in a Pediatric Feeding Disorder

MEGHAN A WALL (The Marcus Autism Center), Roseanne Lesack (The Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Behavioral intervention is a well-established treatment for chronic food refusal; however, the evidence base regarding treatment of liquid refusal is limited. Failure to consume an adequate amount of liquids is associated with a number of poor health outcomes, including restricted calorie intake, dehydration, and constipation. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the use of a stimulus fading protocol to establish cup drinking in a 2-year-old female with total food and liquid refusal. Prior to the current study, treatment involving non-removal of the spoon was successful in increasing intake of solids; however, use of a similar extinction-based protocol with 3.5 cc of formula presented in a cup resulted in high rates of expulsion. In order to promote acquisition of cup drinking, treatment involved reducing the bolus to 0.5 cc and systematically increasing the volume of formula by 0.5 cc until the terminal volume of 3.5 cc was achieved. A decision rule guided advancement in liquid volume and probe sessions (3.5 cc) were conducted between each step of the fading procedure as a control condition in a multiple probe experimental design. Results showed lower level of expulsion and higher percentage of mouth clean.

 

Further Examination of the Treatment of Multiply Controlled Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior

CAITLIN A. KIRKWOOD (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Courtney Mauzy (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Amanda L. Gibson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jonathan V. Mariano (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Lindsay E. Gordon (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Children diagnosed with feeding disorders often exhibit inappropriate mealtime behavior that may be maintained by multiple reinforcement contingencies (Piazza et al., 2003). Previous research (Bachmeyer et al., 2009) has shown that extinction of both sources of reinforcement may be necessary to achieve treatment success. Functional analyses identified children whose inappropriate mealtime behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement (escape) and positive reinforcement (adult attention). Using a combined multi-element and reversal design, we compared function-based interventions (i.e., differential reinforcement and extinction procedures) individually and combination in the treatment of food or liquid refusal of 3 children diagnosed with a feeding disorder. Interobserver agreement was conducted on at least 33% of sessions. Agreement was above 80% for each child. Food/liquid acceptance increased and inappropriate mealtime behavior decreased to clinically acceptable levels with an intervention matched to only one function (i.e., escape) for one child. By contrast, food/liquid acceptance increased and inappropriate mealtime behavior decreased to clinically acceptable levels only with the intervention matched to both functions for 2 children. Results suggest that it was necessary to treat both functions to successfully treat the food/liquid refusal of 2 of the 3 children. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

 

Backward Chaining to Establish Self-Drinking

Kristen K Criado (Marcus Autism Center & Emory University), WILLIAM G. SHARP (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Backward chaining (BC) is a well-supported treatment for teaching various skills, including establishing self-feeding with utensils. There are, however, few reports regarding how to establish independent cup drinking in young children with pediatric feeding disorders. The current study demonstrates the use of BC to establish self-drinking from an open cup with a 2-year-old male with a history of chronic food and liquid refusal. Prior to the current study, behavioral intervention increased oral intake of solids and liquids and subsequent treatment involving a least-to-most prompting sequence (e.g. verbal, model, hand-over-hand guidance) established self-feeding involving solids. Least-to-most prompting was, however, ineffective in establishing independent drinking. A BC procedure was developed using a task analysis of the steps necessary to promote self-drinking and a decision rule guided progression through BC steps. Probes involving least-to-most prompting were conducted between each step as a control condition in a multiple probe experimental design. Results indicated that BC represents a potential tool to teach a child to independently drink from an open cup.

 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #167
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavior Modification Through the Lens of the Polyvagal Theory

Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Hayne W. Reese, Ph.D.
Chair: Hayne W. Reese (West Virginia University)
STEPHEN PORGES (University of North Carolina)
Dr. Stephen Porges is a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. He is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he directed the Brain-Body Center, and professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, where served as chair of the Department of Human Development and director of the Institute for Child Study. He was president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences. He is a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines. In 1994, he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior. The theory has stimulated research and treatments that emphasize the importance of physiological state and behavioral regulation in the expression of several psychiatric disorders and provides a theoretical perspective to study and to treat stress and trauma. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation (Norton, 2011) and is currently writing Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2014).
Abstract:

The Polyvagal Theory describes the role physiological state has in facilitating the expression of different classes of behavior. Applying the theory to behavior modification protocols leads to a refinement in the historical S-O-R model in which the state of the organism (O), now indexed by autonomic state, influences the accessibility of classes of behavior to stimulus control. Polyvagal Theory, based on evolutionary biology and comparative neurophysiology, identifies autonomic states that facilitate or impede the expression of specific classes of behavior. The theory identifies three stages of phylogenetic development that are characterized by parallel changes in behavioral repertoire and neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system: 1) an ancient autonomic system (i.e., unmyelinated "vagal" pathways) shared with most vertebrates that conserves metabolic resources (e.g., slows heart rate and breathing, decreases blood pressure) and supports immobilization behaviors (e.g., passive avoidance, fainting); 2) a system that increases metabolic output (i.e., sympathetic nervous system) and supports mobilization of the trunk and limbs (e.g., active avoidance, fight-flight behaviors); and 3) a uniquely mammalian system integrating the regulation of striated muscles of the face and head with the heart (i.e., myelinated "vagal" pathways) to create a functional social engagement system that regulates the phylogenetically older systems, often through social interaction, to promote physiological resilience and optimize health growth and restoration. Functionally, the theory proposes that modification of these "classes" of behaviors (immobilization, mobilization, and social engagement) will be optimized by monitoring autonomic variables and understanding the contextual cues that trigger transitions in autonomic state. Consistent with this model several variables, independent of stimulus manipulations, characterizing experimental conditions, and participants in behavior modification protocols (e.g., context, development, illness, medication, etc.) will influence the accessibility of different classes of behavior to stimulus control.

Target Audience:

Graduate students, practitioners, academics, and scientists.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the talk, audience members should be able to (1) Describe the polyvagal theory; (2) Identify the three stages of development leading to regulation of the autonomic nervous system; and (3) Describe at least two clinical/applied implications of the theory.
 
 
Symposium #170
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W196a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeanne M. Donaldson (Texas Tech University)
CE Instructor: Jeanne M. Donaldson, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes two talks on the use of the Good Behavior Game in classrooms. One of those talks will describe a systematic replication of the Good Behavior Game in a classroom for students with behavior disorders, and the other will describe the effects of the Good Behavior Game on individual students and on academic performance. The third talk will describe some determinants of verbal-nonverbal (i.e., "say-do") correspondence.
Keyword(s): group contingencies, verbal-nonverbal correspondence
 

Some Determinants of Verbal-Nonverbal Correspondence

KATHRYN GUENEVERE HORTON (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Sarah C. Mead (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Verbal-nonverbal "correspondence" is defined as consistency between what one says and what one does, and "noncorrespondence" refers to a lack of such consistency. Previous research has examined correspondence in either a say-then-do (say-do) sequence, in which the student is asked what (s)he will do and then is given an opportunity to respond, or a do-then-say (do-say) sequence, in which the student is given the opportunity to respond and then asked what (s)he did. In lay terms, correspondence in the say-do sequence is like "keeping a promise," and correspondence in the do-say sequence is like "telling the truth." Because both forms of behavior are valuable, research that identifies the variables that influence both correspondence and noncorrespondence should assist in determining how to strengthen the former and decrease the latter. The current research examines the influence of two potential determinants, the likelihood that one would (or would not) engage in the response promised or reported, and whether engaging (or not) would be detected.

 
Immediate Effects of the Good Behavior Game on Individual Student Behavior and Academic Performance
Jeanne M. Donaldson (Texas Tech University), ALYSSA FISHER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Paul L. Soto (Texas Tech University), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a classwide group contingency that involves dividing students into two or more teams, giving team points for disruptive behavior, and delivering rewards to the team with fewer points or all teams if they scored below a set criterion. The purpose of the current study was twofold: (a) to examine the effects of the GBG on individual student behavior of students identified by their teachers as particularly disruptive, and (b) to determine the immediate effects of the GBG alone on academic performance. Students in two kindergarten classrooms and one first grade classroom participated. A reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of the GBG on individual student behavior. Academic performance was evaluated by comparing standardized scores in classrooms that participated in the GBG evaluation to classrooms within the same school that did not using a repeated measures analysis of variance. The GBG was effective at reducing the disruptive behavior of all 12 participants, but no significant differences in academic scores were found between classes that played the GBG and classes that did not.
 
Implementation of the Good Behavior Game in Classrooms with Children with Behavior Disorders
P. RAYMOND JOSLYN (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: First introduced by Barrish, Saunders, and Wolf (1969), the Good Behavior Game (GBG) is now a commonly used interdependent group contingency procedure designed to reduce disruptive behavior in classroom settings. In the GBG, a class is divided into two groups, simple rules are made, and contingencies are placed on the students following and breaking the rules. This procedure has been shown effective across various student ages, and its simplicity and long-term effects have contributed to its popularity in school settings. Although it has been systematically evaluated across a wide range of student ages, research on the GBG is lacking in the area of population and setting-specific assessments. In this evaluation, the GBG was implemented at a school for children of various ages with behavior disorders, and this application extends the current literature by systematically replicating the results of the GBG in children with behavior disorders. Implementation of the GBG, population-specific obstacles, results, and future directions are discussed.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #171
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Leadership Seminar: Leadership Networks and Dissemination of Behavior Science: A National Agenda in Italy

Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Fabio Tosolin, Ph.D.
Chair: Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
FABIO TOSOLIN (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis)
Since the 1980s, Fabio Tosolin has been introducing and spreading the Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and Performance Management (PM) methodologies in Italy. In the 1990s, he began to apply the O. Lindsley’s Precision Teaching and Fluency Building Approach to the growing up e-learning and introduced and spread in Italy the Behavior-Based Safety process (B-BS). Since 1985, he has guided Fabio Tosolin & Associates, in Milan, his management consulting firm that deals with performance management, learning technologies and behavioral safety for many national and multinational companies. He is currently professor of human factor in the management of HSEQ at the Milan Polytechnic, Department of Engineering of the Industrial Processes. He has been the chair of the last seven editions of the European B-BS and OBM Conference. He is author of more than 100 scientific communications, experimental researches, articles, and books on behavior management, B-BS, leadership, psychology of learning, didactic communication, and learning technologies. He is the president of the Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis (AARBA), the Italian Chapter of ABAI, and adviser of the Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies.
Abstract:

Since the 1980s, Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and Performance Management (PM) methodologies have been introduced and spread in Italy. Fabio Tosolin has been at the forefront of this dissemination. In the 1990s, he began to apply O. Lindsley’s Precision Teaching and Fluency Building Approach to e-learning and introduced Behavior-Based Safety process (B-BS) in Italy. Since 1985, he has led the Milan-based management consulting firm, Fabio Tosolin & Associates, which deals with Performance Management, learning technologies and behavioral safety for many national and multinational companies. This talk will highlight the role leadership networks and decision making play in the process of large-scale dissemination of behavior analysis across sectors of Italy.

Target Audience:

Forthcoming

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming
Keyword(s): leadership
 
 
Panel #173
CE Offered: BACB
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board: Update and New Developments
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W185a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: James E. Carr, Ph.D.
Chair: James E. Carr (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
JAMES E. CARR (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
JANE S. HOWARD (California State University Stanislaus)
NEIL T. MARTIN (European Association for Behaviour Analysis)
Abstract:

The panelists will discuss recent developments at the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The most current data on the BCBA and BCaBA certification programs will be provided, including the overall number of certificants, the number of approved university training options, and recent examination pass rates. In addition, a number of recent and impending developments at the BACB will be described, including ongoing efforts to raise standards and the development of a credential for behavioral technicians.

Keyword(s): BACB, BCaBA, BCBA, Certification
 
 
Invited Paper Session #175
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Going International: Behavior Analysis at the Global Level, a Success Story

Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Martha Hübner, Ph.D.
Chair: Martha Hübner (University of Sao Paulo)
RUBEN ARDILA (National University of Colombia)
Dr. Ruben Ardila is a Colombian research psychologist and a professor at the National University of Colombia. He received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has conducted research on experimental analysis of behavior, history of psychology, and the application of psychology to socio-economic development. Dr. Ardila has published 32 books and more than 300 scientific papers in journals from several countries. Some of his books have been translated into English, German, Portuguese, and other languages. As a visiting professor in several countries, including the United States, Germany, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Argentina, he has promoted behavior analysis, international psychology, and history of psychology. Dr. Ardila has been president of the Inter-American Society of Psychology (SIP), the International Society for Comparative Psychology (ISCP), and the Latin American Association for the Analysis and Modification of Behavior (ALAMOC). He founded the Revista Latinoamericana de Psicologia (Latin American Journal of Psychology) and edited the journal from 1969 to 2003. He was a member of the executive committee of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) between 1992 and 2004. He is on the board of directors of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP, 2006-2014). In 2004, he received the Science Award from Colombia. His most recent recognition is the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (2007). His most recent books are Autobiografa, un Punto en el Tiempo y en el Espacio (Autobiography, a Point in Time and Space, 2012) and Historia de la Psicologa en Colombia (History of Psychology in Colombia, 2013).
Abstract:

The roots of behavior analysis are found on empirical philosophers, on Pavlov, Pieron, and other thinkers. However, during the larger part of its history behavior analysis has been a discipline cultivated mainly in the United States and other English-speaking countries. The pioneers of behavior analysis as an area of research were part of the Anglo-Saxon culture (Watson, Skinner, and Baum) and was also the case with applied workers (Wolpe, Eysenck, Rachman, Keller, and Azrin). Probably the philosophical assumptions of the Anglo-Saxon culture were in tune with behavior analysis as a science and applied area. On the other hand, during the past few decades, an internationalization of behavior analysis has taken place. Work of high quality is carried out in Norway, Japan, Spain, Brazil, and other nations. The situation of behavior analysis and its international growth is analyzed, including the role of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in this process. At the present time, behavior analysts are "thinking globally and acting locally."

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students and anyone interested in learning about the international growth of behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: -Explain the current state of behavior analysis at the international level, -Discuss the main areas of research and application at the global level. -Explain the contribution of different cultures and worldviews to behavior analysis.
Keyword(s): behavior analysis, historical development, internationalization
 
 
Symposium #177
CE Offered: BACB
ABA Applications in Sports, Health, and Fitness
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W194a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristin M. Hustyi (Stanford University )
Discussant: Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Kristin M. Hustyi, M.A.
Abstract:

The prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity in both adults and children presents a problem of great social significance in this country and around the world. The behavioral assessment and promotion of physical activity is an emerging area of research, which behavior analysis is well suited to undertake. Research presented in this symposium will focus on behavioral and technological assessments and interventions related to sports, health, and fitness. Hayes and Van Camp will present a self-management and reinforcement intervention aimed at increasing physical activity of subjects during their regularly-scheduled recess at school. Valbuena and colleagues evaluated the FitbitTM program and a behavioral coach for increasing physical activity in adults. Quinn and colleagues evaluated TAGteach to enhance dance movements in young dance students. Miller and colleagues assessed physical activity preferences in preschool-age children. Continued research in the assessment and promotion of sports, health, and fitness is necessary in developing effective strategies and technology to combat an increasingly obese and sedentary population.

Keyword(s): Fitness, Obesity, Physical Activity, Sports
 

Utilizing TAGteach to Enhance Proficiency in Dance Movements

MALLORY J. QUINN (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Victoria Fogel (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate TAGteach to increase the fluency of three dance movements in a multiple baseline across behaviors design with 4 students of dance. Target behaviors included a turn, kick, and a leap, respective of the level of the class. A dance instructor was trained to implement the TAGteach procedure by the primary researcher. The targeted dance movements remained at a stable level during baseline and improved for each participant following the introduction of the TAGteach training. Implications for future research are discussed.

 

Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Internet-Based Behavioral Weight Loss Program With and Without a Behavioral Coach

DIEGO VALBUENA (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Elizabeth Solley (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Obesity is a problem of vast social concern in the United States. One factor that has been linked to reduction in body fat and the health problems associated with obesity is increasing physical activity. Although in-person behavioral interventions have been shown effective at increasing physical activity, attention is now being placed on disseminating these interventions through the use of technology. Several internet-based interventions have been developed and are readily available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate "Fitbit"; a web-based behavioral intervention for increasing physical activity and losing weight. Additionally, this study examined if the addition of contact from a behavioral coach through videoconference and email enhanced this program. Through a multiple-baseline design across seven participants this research project evaluated the effectiveness of the "Fitbit" program with and without a behavioral coach. Step counts were recorded by a Fitbit sensor as a measure of physical activity. The Fitbit program alone increased physical activity for some of the participants, and the addition of the behavioral coach resulted in further increases in mean step counts.

 

Increasing Physical Activity of Children During Recess

LYNDA HAYES (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

In the past three decades, the prevalence of childhood obesity has tripled, and currently, nearly one in three children are overweight. As the concern for overweight and obese children in the United States continues, there is a need for effective interventions aimed at increasing health conscious activities of children. Increasing children's physical activity is one way to combat the overweight and obesity epidemic. School recess, which occurs daily in the vast majority of public schools, may be a good opportunity for children to be physically active, as a high percentage of children in the United States are enrolled in both public and private schools. The present study evaluated effects of a self-management and reinforcement intervention aimed at increasing physical activity of subjects during their regularly-scheduled recess at school. Physical activity was measured using a Fitbit accelerometer and reported as the number of steps taken. The results showed that the intervention was effective in increasing physical activity. Other interventions appropriate for similar populations and settings will be discussed.

 

Behavioral Assessment of Physical Activity Preferences of Young Children

BRYON MILLER (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific), Heather Zerger (University of the Pacific), Tracy A. Larson (University of the Pacific)
Abstract:

Low levels of physical activity are correlated with negative health outcomes such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This is alarming given the rise in the prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity over the last few decades, especially in young children. Developing assessment strategies that can readily identify the variables related to both healthy and unhealthy patterns of activity might be useful in informing interventions that aim to increase physical activity. The current study extended previous research in the functional analysis of physical activity by evaluating the utility of a concurrent-chains procedure to identify participant preference to several common outdoor activity contexts. Together, the two assessments strategies were able to identify both healthy and unhealthy patterns of responding in four preschool-age children. The role of participant preference, as it relates to physical activity, will be discussed in the context of developing intervention strategies that aim to increase activity levels in sedentary individuals.

 
 
Invited Symposium #178
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
How Machine Implementations of Simple Verbal Operants Demonstrate the Emergence of Complex and Diverse Verbal Behavior
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Greg Stikeleather (Palo Alto, CA)
CE Instructor: Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D.
Abstract:

More traditional computer simulations of human behavior have involved information processing models of the brain, whereby the brain is assumed to be modeled after the way computers are architected: lots of data stored in memory with programs that retrieve the data given certain inputs. Adaptive network systems are elemental computer learning programs that have enabled the simulation of behavior at an operant level, whereby that behavior which is followed by reinforcing consequences is more likely to occur again. This symposium explores how adaptive networks can generate simple verbal operants, and how more diverse and complex behavior can then be generated as a result. Implications for the interpretation of more complex human linguistic behavior and the development of effective teaching programs also are considered.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): adaptive networks, computer simulations, effective teaching, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, and graduate students interested in exploring how adaptive networks can generate simple verbal operants, and how more diverse and complex behavior can then be generated as a result.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Explain how implementing operant principles in a robot enables analysis of puzzling cases of verbal behavior; (2) Identify one or more examples of verbal behavior whose interpretation can be investigated by adaptive network simulations; and (3) Explain what an ANS is and specify how they differ from a typical computer program.
 

An Overview of How Adaptive Networks Can Generate Simple Verbal Operants

WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University Stanislaus)
Abstract:

Adaptive networks are in essence, computer programs that learn. This very fact places them squarely in the domain of behavior analysis, although few in the field conduct research with them, or develop them for commercial or other purposes. This talk will provide an overview of what Adaptive Network Systems (ANS) are and how they differ from typical computer programs; provide insight into how they work; and show how they can adhere to the behavioral principles that the experimental analysis of behavior has uncovered over the years. The basic components of such a network will be explored including the architecture, some simple learning algorithms, and design features which preclude hard-wiring responses, or using brute computer power to solve problems or to produce more complex behaviors. Finally, some simple examples of ANS will be illustrated, particularly related to the elementary verbal operants.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in journalism, Dr. Potter worked briefly as a journalist for a small daily newspaper, then left that to work in a small advertising agency in New York City. After 4.5 years of this, his true passion emerged--the pursuit of science. He obtained a spot in the behavior analysis graduate program at Western Michigan University, which eventually resulted in a Ph.D. and much training in behavior analysis under the tutelage of Dr. Jack Michael and Dr. Alan Poling, both of whom he owes much. Throughout the years, he has dabbled in many things (VB, CBT, OBM, ANS, MOs, and a few other obscure acronyms), making him a jack of all trades but a master of none. He currently chairs the Psychology/Child Development Department at California State University, Stanislaus, and is director of the International Dual Behavior Analysis Degree in collaboration with universities in Warsaw, Poland and Bangor, Wales.
 

How Adaptive Networks Can Aid in the Interpretation of Complex Linguistic Puzzles

DAVID C. PALMER (Smith College)
Abstract:

Because the experimental analysis of verbal behavior is constrained by practical and ethical considerations, most of our understanding of complex cases arises from verbal interpretations. But such interpretations are limited by the sheer number of relevant variables and our ignorance of subjects' histories. In contrast, adaptive network simulations permit complete control over both complex contextual variables and historical variables. If such simulations are tightly constrained by behavioral principles, they offer powerful demonstrations of the explanatory adequacy of such principles. Dr. Palmer will discuss several examples that seem to defy verbal interpretation, examples such as the problems of novelty, nesting, generalization of neologisms according to apparent grammatical form, conditioning the behavior of the listener, mysterious structural regularities in verbal behavior, and the problem of acquisition of complex forms. He will suggest that adaptive network simulations of verbal behavior may be the best interpretive tool and in some cases the only one.

With bachelor's degrees in geology and English, Dr. David Palmer was devoting his post-graduate years to avoiding the draft when he chanced to pick up a copy of Walden Two from a friend's bookshelf. It changed the direction of his life. He promptly read the rest of the Skinner canon and spent the next decade trying to start an experimental community and preaching radical behaviorism to anyone who would listen. Eventually, he took some classes with Beth Sulzer-Azaroff, who urged him to apply to graduate school. Thanks to a dyslexic secretary, who entered his undergraduate GPA backward, he was admitted and began working with John Donahoe. He was happy in grad school and would be there still if the University of Massachusetts had not threatened to change the locks. He has spent the past 25 years as the token behaviorist at Smith College. During that time he co-authored, with John W. Donahoe, Learning and Complex Behavior, a book which attempts to integrate adaptive network simulation with experimental analysis and verbal interpretation of complex cases. He continues to puzzle over the interpretation of memory, problem-solving, and, particularly, verbal behavior. He still thinks Skinner was right about nearly everything.
 

A Demonstration of Teaching Verbal Behavior to an Operant Robot

WILLIAM R. HUTCHISON (Behavior Systems)
Abstract:

The presentation will describe a robot whose behavior is learned via an adaptive network based on behavior analytic principles, embedded in a body with sensors including vision and hearing and with responses including spatial movements and vocalizations. The demonstration will first show how that robot learns elementary verbal operants, then more complex verbal behaviors based on them. We will examine in detail how some of the puzzling verbal behaviors described in the preceding papers in the symposium are learned, illustrating how using a robot makes it possible to examine moment-to-moment changes in the conditions that control the behavioral sequence.

William Hutchison earned his bachelor's degree from Kansas University with majors in psychology and mathematics, then entered the Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at State University of New York at Stony Brook, the first purely behavioral clinical psychology program. His major adviser was Leonard Krasner, one of the pioneer generation of researchers in behavior modification, token economies, and verbal conditioning. Equally influential on his career was his work as teaching assistant to Howard Rachlin, a leading figure in quantitative analysis of behavior. He then taught at one of the hotbeds of radical behaviorism, West Virginia University, in its Ph.D. program in behavioral systems analysis. In 1983, he developed a behavioral alternative to cognitive artificial intelligence, a computer system based on the equations from quantitative experimental analysis of behavior. That system became one of the first adaptive ("neural") networks and was the foundation for one of the first companies, BehavHeuristics, applying that methodology to commercial software. The company's focus was on resource allocation in changing environments, but a subsequent company, Applied Behavior Systems, embodied the adaptive network in robots and developed software for computerized training of verbal behavior to the robot and to children. Hutchison continued the robotics direction in a 4-year stint with the government's Intelligence Technology Innovation Center.
 
 
Symposium #181
CE Offered: BACB
Intervention and Comprehensive Program Practices for Very Young Children with ASD
Sunday, May 25, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W185bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Carol Ann Davis (University of Washington)
CE Instructor: Ilene S. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will provide three papers focusing on service delivery and comprehensive programs for very young children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder. First, Levy and Sainato will provide a conceptual overview of the literature on focused and comprehensive interventions used in the delivery of services to young children with ASD. Then, Schwartz and McBride will detail a comprehensive program for toddlers with ASD consisting of an integrated play group with typically developing peers, intensive 1 on 1 programming along with other behavioral interventions, and weekly home visits. Finally, Garfinkle, Emerson, and Gibbs will present an overview of the challenges facing the delivery of Montana's statewide program for young children with ASD. The use of innovations in distance-based technical assistance, providing access for the to professional development opportunities, the development of teaming and membership strategies to decrease turn-over and the creation of innovative business models to support the program will be presented.

Keyword(s): autism, intervention programs, young children
 
Interventions for Toddlers with Autism: A Review of Research
EMILY LEVY (The Ohio State University), Diane M. Sainato (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: It is well established that early intervention is the best option for children who show signs of delay or characteristics of autism. There have been some retrospective and prospective studies that have looked at the behavioral characteristics of toddlers that were later diagnosed with autism, and now there are effective, reliable screening tools that can diagnose around the age of 2 (Boyd, Odom, Humphreys, & Sam, 2010). With the increase in the amount of children being diagnosed with autism and the demand for services to begin as early as possible, there is a need for research in the area of infants and toddlers with autism. A recent review of the literature on infants and toddlers included 20 studies that were analyzed by intervention purposes (Schertz, Reichow, Tan, Vaiouli, & Yildirim, 2012). The authors suggest another dimension to analyze would be intervention approaches. This paper will analyze what is currently being provided to toddlers with autism, what the research suggests in terms of service delivery approaches, and what future research should consider, while keeping the trajectory of a child's development and family aspects central.
 
Project DATA for Toddlers: Blending Approaches to Meet the Needs of Toddlers with ASD
ILENE S. SCHWARTZ (University of Washington), Bonnie J. McBride (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Abstract: There are few well-documented comprehensive early intervention programs for very young children with autism. Project DATA consists of three essential components: an integrated playgroup, intensive 1 on 1 programming, and weekly home visits. Children enter the program between 16-30 months and receive intervention for 2 years. Our conceptual framework is founded on the premise that toddlers with ASD need opportunities to interact successfully with their typically developing peers from the beginning of the program. Naturalistic teaching strategies are embedded in the integrated playgroup to insure these successful interactions take place. The intensive programming uses discrete trial training and other behavioral strategies to address important skills for individual children. These components add up approximately 16 hours a week of intervention, compared to a control group receiving standard treatment in the community. In addition to daily behavioral intervention data, we also collect information on child communication skills, social skills, and cognitive skills using standardized assessments each quarter. We also use checklists to assess adaptive skills and measures of parent stress and satisfactions. Finally, we collect measures of parent-child interaction. A federally funded evaluation of this service delivery model is currently underway using a randomized clinical trial.
 
Service Delivery Challenges and Strategies for a Statewide Behavioral Program for Young Children with ASD
ANN N. GARFINKLE (University of Montana), Jackie Emerson (Developmental Disabilities Program), Karlyn Gibbs (The Child Development Center)
Abstract: : In 2009, Montana began a statewide, intensive, behavioral Medicaid program for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. There were many service delivery challenges associated with the start-up of this project including but not limited to: the program covered a wide geographic region; an untrained and inexperienced workforce; high rates of workforce turn-over; and, service delivery models that did not support the new program requirements. These challenges threatened the quality of the program services and thus the outcomes for the children and families participating in the program. For example, in a recent survey it was shown that 90% of direct service providers (i.e., para-professionals) terminate employment in the program within the first year. This creates disruptions in children’s programing and creates additional costs for agencies providing services. It’s estimated that this turn-over rate costs the State more than $250,000 annually. This presentation will describe these challenges as well as solutions that have been employed to remediate these issues. Solutions include innovations in distance-based technical assistance, the workforce’s access to professional
 
 
Symposium #182
CE Offered: BACB
Outcomes of Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions for Children with ASD
Sunday, May 25, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W183c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: M. Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis is the basis for many effective interventions aimed at improving language skills and reducing problem behaviors. Often innovative and highly effective interventions are developed using single-subject experimental designs. One barrier to disseminating empirically supported behavior analytic interventions to the wider population of treatment providers is the dearth of larger scale studies examining outcomes across a larger sample. This symposium will present data from three papers examining the effectiveness of behavior analytic interventions in larger samples. The first study presents outcomes of behavioral parent training (BPT) program on parenting skills and problem behavior in children with autism in a sample of 220 families. The second study examines treatment outcomes of a behavior analytic intervention aimed at increasing mands from single to multi-word utterances in a larger sample of language-delayed children (n=30) receiving ABA intervention. The last study presents a literature review and meta-analysis on the effects of stimulus-stimulus pairing on vocalizations in children with language delays.

Keyword(s): Language Intervention, Outcomes, Parent Training
 

Outcomes of an in-home parent training curriculum for children with ASD

ASHLEY BAKER (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), Hannah Robinson (Marcus Autism Center), Andrew A. Fulton (Marcus Autism Center), Christopher M. Furlow (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Intensive behavioral interventions are effective at reducing maladaptive behavior but can be costly and procedural fidelity following sessions can be lacking (Jacobson, Mulick, & Green, 1998). An alternative is behavioral parent training (BPT) based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. These programs are relatively inexpensive, shorter in duration, and place emphasis on the importance of caregiver involvement, training, and education (Serketich & Dumas, 1996). This investigation examined the effects of a BPT program on parenting skills and problem behavior in children with autism. Participants included 220 families consisting of at least one caregiver and a child with ASD. The BPT program consisted of didactic, role-play, and in-vivo training sessions spread across 12, 2-hour sessions. The primary dependent variables were pre- and post- assessments of parenting skills, parent reported maladaptive behavior as measured by the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised and caregiver stress level measured by Parent Stress Index questionnaire. Descriptive statistics will be utilized to describe the children and parents who participated in the program across a variety of domains (e.g., age, diagnosis, marital level, etc.). Inferential statistics will be used to determine if statistically significant differences exist between pre and post when compared to acquisition of targeted parenting skills.

 

Outcomes of Behavioral Intervention to Increase Single Word Mands to Multiword Mands in Children with ASD

RACHEL YOSICK (Georgia School of Professional Psychology), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Children with autism often require targeted intervention for development of functional language skills (Eigsti, Marchena, Schuh, & Kelley, 2011). Initial language training may focus on production of single word mands; however, it may be desirable to increase the mean length of utterance of those mands as the child progresses through treatment. Few published studies have examined treatment effects of interventions designed to increase mean length of utterance (MLU), and most have relied on single-case research design and small samples. The present study examines treatment outcomes of a behavior analytic intervention designed to increase the MLU of mands in a larger sample of language-delayed children (n=30) receiving ABA intervention. In order to quantify data across participants, the nonoverlap of all pairs (NAP) index (Parker & Vannest, 2009) was utilized to obtain an overall measure of intervention effectiveness (effect size). Our sample consisted predominantly of males (80%) ages 2 to 13 years (mean 5.4 years) who were diagnosed with autism (76.6%). Overall treatment effects were medium to large (average NAP=.89; average d=1.91). Using NAP, the majority of the sample (70%) demonstrated strong treatment effects. Results suggest that targeted intervention to increase MLU was effective for the majority of participants in our sample.

 

Effectiveness of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing: A Review of the Literature

DIANE HOLLANDER (Georgia Neurobehavioral Associates), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Crystal N. Bowen (Marcus Autism Center), Lori R. Muskat (Georgia School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University Atlanta)
Abstract:

Stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) is an intervention designed to increase vocalizations. This procedure has been used specifically with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities; however, the single-subject research literature regarding efficacy of the procedure has produced mostly mixed results. This paper provides a current review of the SSP literature, summarizing 11 experiments published on the use of this procedure with children with severe language delays. The nonoverlap of all pairs (NAP) index (Parker & Vannest, 2009) was also used to examine treatment effectiveness of SSP with 35 participants in 8 of the studies reviewed. Results indicate that a variety of procedural variations were used across studies and participants varied in terms of age, gender, diagnosis, and level of functional language abilities. Overall treatment effects were small to medium (average NAP=.70; average d=.29). A closer examination revealed that 64% of participants with no functional language showed medium to strong NAP scores, whereas, 0% of participants with functional language showed a strong NAP score. Overall, results support the general finding that the results of