Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #97
#97 Poster Session (EDC)
Saturday, May 24, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
113. Using Functional Behavioral Assessment to Design Function-Based Interventions in Applied Settings.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN CHITIYO (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale)
Abstract: Researchers seem to be unanimous about the efficacy of function-based interventions for children who exhibit challenging behavior. Function-based interventions derive from functional behavioral assessment (FBA) which is a process used to identify variables that are associated with the occurrence of challenging behavior. The FBA process involves a descriptive analysis (based on direct and indirect measures) and a functional/structural analysis (based on a manipulation of antecedent events and consequences of behavior designed to establish the function of the target behavior). However, since functional/structural analysis involves experimental manipulation of variables, often takes long to conduct and usually requires expertise in applied behavior analysis. Descriptive analysis tends to be better suited for applied settings such as classroom situations because it can be easily conducted by the classroom teacher. This presentation is designed to demonstrate how teachers can utilize the use of a descriptive analysis to design effective function-based interventions in classroom settings.
114. A Functional Analysis and Treatment Analysis of a Child’s Aggressive Behavior in a Preschool Classroom.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA ELIZABETH PIERCE (University of Kentucky), Donald M. Stenhoff (University of Kentucky)
Abstract: Aggression in early childhood can have implications for an individual’s aggressive and disruptive behaviors in later years. A wide body of research suggests prevention programs as early as preschool may be the most effective means of addressing such undesirable behaviors. Furthermore, preschool-aged children who demonstrate aggressive and disruptive behaviors are less effective when interacting with peers. This study investigated a child aged 2.5 years who was demonstrating aggressive and disruptive behaviors towards his peers in a preschool classroom. A functional analysis was conducted to identify the consequences maintaining his aggressive and disruptive behavior. Additionally, a treatment analysis was conducted to assess the efficacy of the intervention.
115. An Evaluation of Escape-to-Attention as a Potential Variable For Maintaining Disruptive Behavior in the School Setting.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JANA M. SARNO (The University of Southern Mississippi), Heather Sterling-Turner (The University of Southern Mississippi), Daniel H. Tingstrom (The University of Southern Mississippi), Brad Dufrene (The University of Southern Mississippi)
Abstract: Mueller, Sterling-Turner, and Moore (2005) introduced a novel classroom-based functional analysis condition, escape-to-attention (ETA) as an alternative for assessing for problem behavior in the classroom. Although children are provided with escape from academic demands contingent on problem behavior, teachers also often deliver attention concurrently during the escape period. The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether the ETA, in which attention is provided during the escape interval, would yield different levels of problem behavior than the standard escape condition presented in isolation. Three elementary school-age boys referred for disruptive behavior participated. Results from the initial functional analysis verified that the participants’ disruptive behavior was maintained by escape from academic demands. The modified functional analysis to address the additive effects of teacher attention produced differential responding for 2 of the 3 participants. Disruptive behavior nearly doubled when teacher attention was included during the escape interval. Preliminary treatment analysis data, as well as limitations and future directions for research, will also be presented.
116. Teaching to the Function of Escape-Motivated Behavior.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE M. KREIMER (Missouri State University), Linda G. Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University), Stephanie Watson (Missouri State University), Jennifer Alicandri (Missouri State Unversity), Robert Carignan (Missouri State University), Paris A. DePaepe (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Descriptive and functional behavioral assessments were conducted on two elementary-age students who exhibited attentional difficulties in their public school classrooms. Direct observations and indirect assessments suggested that both students exhibited off-task behaviors to escape high demand activities. A self-monitoring program with break cards was introduced to both students with a fixed schedule of reinforcement based upon each student's inter response time. A single-subject reversal design was employed with Participant 1 demonstrating an increase of on-task behaviors of (A) 53.85% (B) 92.25% introduction of self-monitoring program (A2) 59% withdrawal of intervention; (B2) 95.67% return to self-monitoring program. Similar effect was demonstrated with Participant 2, employing a multiple baseline across academic settings. Off-task behaviors were decreased by 50% across the three academic settings. Both studies showed decreases in off-task behaviors and increases of on-task behaviors for both participants thereby confirming the hypothesis of escape behavior and the effectiveness of the self-monitoring programs.
117. The Effects of Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible (DRI) Behaviors and Opportunities to Engage with Conditioned Reinforcers on the Emission of Stereotypy.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
OSWALDO OCHOA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: We compared the effects of differential reinforcement of incompatible (DRI) behaviors and opportunities to engage with conditioned reinforcers on the emission of stereotypy. The study was conducted with a 9-year-old male with autism within a pre-listener classroom and two 10-year-old males in a public school self-contained classroom. An ABAC counterbalanced design was implemented to compare the effects of the two conditions (i.e. DRI and conditioned reinforcers) on the occurrences of stereotypy in a five minute, free-operant observation. The free operant setting was used to record the frequency of stereotypic behaviors (e.g. rocking, hand flapping, finger flicks, and non-contextual vocalizations). The DRI condition had a mean of 20.5 instances of stereotypy and the conditioned reinforcer condition had a mean of 13.83 instances compared to both baseline means (25.7 & 27.67). Further research should be examined to determine the effectiveness, efficiency, and outcomes of developing interventions to decrease stereotypic behaviors with conditioning of reinforcers.
118. Quantity Versus Quality: The Opportunity to Choose Back-Up Reinforcers in a Token Economy.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SANDEEP K. SRAN (University of the Pacific), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Kenneth Beauchamp (University of the Pacific), Floyd J. O'Brien (University of the Pacific), David Wells (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: Preference for single versus varied reinforcers was assessed in the context of a token system. This study also assessed the preferences of four participants for one stimulus versus a number of qualitatively different stimuli, presented contingent on academic task completion. The opportunity to choose single versus varied token reinforcer conditions was presented in a concurrent-chains arrangement. The dependent variables were the number of letters traced per min and the number of tokens earned per min during 3-min sessions, and the percentage of selections for single versus varied conditions. Results showed no preference for 2 of 4 participants when the opportunity to choose from the same or qualitatively different reinforcers was presented. The other 2 participants showed a preference for selecting the varied-choice condition (i.e., qualitatively different back-up reinforcers).
119. Functional Communication Training Using Concurrent Schedules of Differing Magnitudes of Reinforcement in Lieu of Extinction.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
DAWN H. DAVIS (Georgia State University), Robert Gama (Georgia State University), Laura D. Fredrick (Georgia State University), Jasiri Miller (Fitzhugh Lee Learning Center, Cobb County Public Schools), Cole Sproat (Fitzhugh Lee Learning Center, Cobb County Public Schools)
Abstract: For children with extremely aggressive behaviors, extinction is a potentially dangerous side effect of functional communication training (FCT). This study investigates the effects of FCT that includes concurrent schedules of differing magnitudes of reinforcement in lieu of extinction on reducing problem escape behaviors and increasing alternative mands. Participants were four adolescent students diagnosed with severe emotional and behavior disorder (SEBD), and moderate intellectually disabilities (MOID). FCT was conducted in classroom settings beginning with a functional analysis for each student to identify escaped-maintained problem behaviors. During FCT, reinforcement for inappropriate behaviors was escape from task for 60 seconds (SR-). The reinforcement for alternative mands was a 60-second escape from task along with access to a preferred activity (SR-/PA). For the first participant a significant inverse relationship between the number of inappropriate escape maintained behaviors, and the number of appropriate escape requests was evident within a few FCT sessions. Results for the second participant were variable, but revealed important implications for further research in FCT without extinction. Additional data are being collected for Participants 3 and 4 and their results will be reported at the conference.
120. Decreasing Disruptive Behaviors in the Classroom Through Response Marking and Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RICK SHAW (Behavior Issues)
Abstract: Baseline data was recorded in classes that numerous high school students engaged in high rates of disruptive behaviors. Following baseline, a differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) procedure was implemented in which the class was rewarded on a bi-weekly basis for averaging at or below a preset goal. A tally counter worn around the teacher's neck was used as a visual stimulus that the teacher clicked, tallied, and made a verbal statement (response marking) each time a student engaged in a disruptive behavior. At the end of the period a student was selected to graph the number of tallies for that period. The DRL criteria were lowered based on success. Class and individual disruptive behaviors decreased.
121. Automatic Delivery of a Reinforcer and the Effect on Academic Progress.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JILL HUNT (Judge Rotenberg Center), Michelle Harrington (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: At the Judge Rotenberg Center, many students use a reward dispenser that automatically delivers a reinforcer for correct answers while working on computerized academics. Various schedules of reinforcement can be used, and the software can be programmed to deliver reinforcers on a fixed or variable schedule. In this study, we will examine how an automatic reward affects answering rates and progression through a pre-set curriculum. Time spent on task will also be looked at and data will be plotted on the standard celeration chart.
123. The Effects of Differential Reinforcement and Criterion-Referenced Timings on the Fluency of Acquired Skills.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LORI ANN AGUIRRE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of differential reinforcement and criterion-referenced timings on the fluency of acquired skills (i.e., skills that have demonstrated accuracy). An 8-year-old male student with autism from the Jigsaw CABAS® School participated in this study. A delayed multiple baseline across behaviors design was implemented. Total duration was collected for the completion of Morningside math problems and independent worksheets (e.g., categories, measuring lines, dictionary skills, ruler skills, and punctuation). The number of math problems and exemplars for each worksheet were held constant, but the content varied throughout the study. Criterion-referenced timings and differential reinforcement were employed as the independent variables. Completion of Morningside math problems and independent worksheets were reinforced with points (i.e., generalized conditioned reinforcement) allocated on the student’s timetable. If the student completed the worksheets and math problems in the allotted time, the student was allowed to roll a die to earn additional points. The results showed that criterion-referenced timings and differential reinforcement increased fluency for both behaviors. Future research should carry out the study by conducting post probes in order to assess the maintenance and generalization of skills taught to fluency.
124. The Effects of a Differential Attention Intervention to Decrease Student Disruptive Behavior.
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGAN PARKER (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Christopher Skinner (University of Tennessee), Richard A. Saudargas (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: Differential attention interventions can decrease disruptive behaviors in students. In this study, the intervention was implemented to target and reduce the disruptive classroom behaviors of a first grade student. The student’s teacher used a “worms” chart as a behavior management system. Each time a student exhibited inappropriate behavior, the teacher asked the student to remove a worm from his or her apple. Each student had his or her own apple with three worms for each day. The experimenter used daily worm data as a dependent variable measure of the student’s classroom behavior. During the intervention procedure, the teacher made a tally mark on a sticky note affixed to her identification badge each time she praised the target student for appropriate behavior. At the end of the day, the teacher recorded the number of tally marks that she accumulated in addition to noting the number of worms the student lost that day. The disruptive behaviors decreased. To determine if the additional praise was still needed, the teacher stopped tracking her praise statements, and inappropriate behaviors increased. Thus, she again began tracking her praise, and the behavior decreased. Discussion focuses on efficient use of differential attention interventions and altering interventions based on responsiveness.
125. The Effects of Feedback and Reinforcement on the Academic Productivity of Second Graders.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JU HEE PARK (The Ohio State University), Lynn D. Heward (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of individualized reinforcement contingencies on the academic performance of second graders attending an inclusive classroom in a direct instruction charter school. While the classroom teacher provided DI reading instruction to the different reading groups, the rest of the students were expected to complete daily independent academic assignments. Various reinforcement contingencies were implemented to increase academic completion and accuracy. Directions for future research and implications for practice will be presented.
126. Reduction of Aggression and Self-Injury Using Noncontingent Reinforcement and a Behavior Contract.
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
VICKI L. ISLER (Children's Care Hospital and School), Erin F. Stabnow (Children's Care Hospital and School), Andrea R. Hewitt (Children's Care Hospital and School)
Abstract: Prader-Willi Syndrome is frequently associated with only one of its characteristics, the inability to achieve satiation. In reality, that attribute is one in a long list of behaviorally-controllable issues. The individual presented with uncontrolled aggressive and self-injurious episodes averaging 2 to 4 per week over an 8-week period and lasting an average of 44 minutes per episode. The current study examined the use of an enriched environment through noncontingent reinforcement and a behavior contract. The individual actively took part in the development of the contract. The subject was a 17-year-old male diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Stereotypic Movement Disorder with Self-Injury, attending a special-needs school and residential program. The study was conducted in both settings. The results indicated that the treatment was successful in significantly decreasing the target behaviors.
127. Use of a Concurrent Arrangement to Evaluate Academic Choice Making.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TODD G. KOPELMAN (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), LaKaren Rickman (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Abstract: A subgroup of young children display challenging behaviors when required to complete academic tasks. This poster will describe a concurrent operant evaluation designed to identify the environmental arrangements under which children will choose to complete low preferred academic tasks. Two cases will be presented. In both cases, a concurrent operant evaluation was conducted in which specific dimensions of reinforcement (quality of reinforcement, effort to obtain reinforcement, and amount of reinforcement) were systematically manipulated within a choice format. The potential use of this assessment within a classroom setting for increasing work completion will be discussed.
128. The Effect of Specialized Reading Interventions on Oral Reading Fluency.
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
ERIN M. HOLTON (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Dana Wagner (University of Minnesota), Jessica L. Cherne (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Reading is a fundamental skill that children must acquire to have a successful school experience; therefore, a child not meeting yearly benchmarks require and quick and efficient intervention. Brief experimental analyses (BEA) have been demonstrated to provide a direct link between assessment and intervention for reading fluency. This study sought to identify a specific reading intervention composed of an incentive and modeling component for a first grade boy who was reading below grade level during a summer school program. A BEA assessed the influence of different motivational and modeling strategies and identified that tracking and listen sentence preview would be the most promising intervention for improving reading fluency. Twelve days of reading intervention were implemented and general outcome measures increased from 24 to 50 words read correct per minute. Reliability for the BEA ranged from 95 to 100% with a mean of 97% and the procedural integrity was 100%.
129. Testing the Effects of Multiple Exemplar Instruction Across Reading Responses on Inducing Reader-Listener Comprehension.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
GEMMA RHODESIDE (Columbia University Teachers College), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College), Tracy Reilly-Lawson (Columbia University Teachers College), Erica Wyner (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: We tested the effects of Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) across reading responses on inducing reader-listener comprehension in 2 students with developmental delays. Two participants, ages 9 and 10, were chosen for the study because they did not have comprehension for auditory components or textual responses in their repertoires following a probe for reading comprehension. A multiple baseline across subjects design was used. The dependent variables were responses to three conditions in pre-instructional probes, post-MEI probes, and during MEI. The three conditions were: phrases presented as text only, pre-recording of phrases in the student’s voice, and pre-recording of phrases in the teacher’s voice. The participants were required to arrange 3 picture cards according to the written or auditory antecedent. Different phrases were used in the MEI sessions than in the probe sessions and responses were rotated across the three conditions during the MEI sessions. After the participants met criterion on the MEI, they were given a post-probe using the original set of phrases. Follow-up probes with a novel set of phrases were conducted after participants met criterion on the post-probe. The results showed that MEI was effective for inducing reader-listener comprehension in both participants.
130. Applying BEA to Increase Math Fluency with a Visually Impaired Student.
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
MEAGAN BOYD MEDLEY (Mississippi State University), Rachelle Schuck (Mississippi State University), Kristin N. Johnson-Gros (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: In a suburban public high school, one Braille-reading visually impaired student participated in brief experimental analysis to determine which of four experimental conditions demonstrated the most effective and appropriate. Problem previewing, repeated practice, immediate corrective feedback, and conditional reinforcement were all conditions offered in brief experimental analysis. Following this analysis, the student participated in the appropriate intervention until a mastery level was reached and maintained. Poster presentation participants will learn how to use brief experimental design with a student with severe visual impairments reading Braille Nemeth code. A brief description of technologies used to aid in transcription of print materials to Braille Nemeth code will also be provided. In addition, this presentation will discuss how to take brief experimental analysis and apply it to low-incidence populations in order to determine the most effective intervention for the subject matter and student.
131. Teaching b d Letter Discrimination with Delayed Prompting.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SARA JEAN DOTY (Central Michigan University), Jennifer L. Wilson (Central Michigan University), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Traditionally, errors were thought to be essential for discrimination training; however errors often cause frustration and deterioration of performance. Errorless discrimination procedures, including delayed prompting, incorporate procedures to keep error rates below 10%. Errorless discrimination procedures use prompts to make the initial discrimination easy and gradually progress toward the final discrimination. Delayed prompting typically involves presenting two or more stimuli and allowing an individual a predetermined amount of time to respond before providing a prompt indicating the correct stimulus. In this study, a progressive time delay prompting procedure was used to teach an 8-year-old girl to discriminate the sound for the letters b and d. The initial stage required production of the correct letter when given the sound, while the second stage required the correct sound when given the letter. The percentage of correct unprompted responses quickly increased in the initial stage. When asked to provide the sound, percentage of correct unprompted responses began high. Overall, delayed prompting was successful in teaching the discrimination.
132. Matching Learner Needs to Social Skill Instruction.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER E. COPELAND (Melmark), Lindsay Stangeland (Grant Wood Area Education Agency), Brigid Carbo (Melmark), Brenda J. Engebretson (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Research is needed to identify effective and efficient programs for teaching social skills to children and adolescents with disabilities. In a previous study, we conducted classroom-based analyses to define the functional contingencies that maintained speech with same-age peers. Four students from special education classrooms participated in a series of test conditions where same-age peers were trained to deliver programmed consequences. A shaping program was designed for each student by matching learner needs with individualized instruction. To extend our previous research, we implemented the same analysis among older, non-verbal students. We compared characteristics of peer interactions that promoted appropriate communication. Treatment results varied, depending on the strengths of the matched peers.
133. Acquisition of Social Tasks via Video Modeling and a Yoked Contingency.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AMY J. DAVIES LACKEY (Hawthorne Country Day School), Virginia S. Wong (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to test the relationship between video modeling and yoked contingency. A multiple baseline design across participants and within participants across social tasks was used. Each participant was presented social tasks from his or her curriculum; one task was used for the video condition, while the other was used for the generalization condition and paired with the yoked contingency. The primary dependent variable in this experiment was the number of correct imitations that the observer emitted in the initial probe for learning via video modeling and post-yoked contingency probe. This dependent variable was used to determine existence of an imitative repertoire via video modeling. The independent variable was the presentation and use of the yoked contingency and video modeling. Results are presented in terms of acquisition of social tasks and their efficiency in promoting generalization. Additional results are discussed in terms of video modeling and the yoked contingency’s motivating and attention maintaining qualities.



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