Association for Behavior Analysis International

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


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #299
Methodological Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 1 (Lower Level)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: SungWoo Kahng, Ph.D.
Abstract: As the field of behavior analysis continues to grow, there continues to be an increasing need for the refinement and continued evaluation of behavior analytic methodology. Four presentations will cover a range of methodological issues as they relate to applied behavior analysis. The first presentation examines a novel method for measuring injuries as a dependent measure, which may be important for the assessment and treatment of severe self-injurious behavior. The second involves using behavior analysts to evaluate whether or not baseline data would allow for adequate comparisons between baseline and post-training when evaluating foster care displacement data. The third reexamines the consistency of visual inspection of single-case data, which is the primary method of data analysis in applied behavior analysis. The final presentation is an examination of four common methods for calculating interobserver agreement, which is a part of nearly all published single-case studies.
Comparative Analysis of Product Measures of Self-Injurious Behavior
DAVID M. WILSON (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of Florida)
Abstract: We evaluated the utility of an inexpensive, efficient, and noninvasive technique for measuring the severity of tissue damage produced by self-injurious behavior (SIB). The technique used digital photographs of wounds and computer software to obtain surface- area measurements of wounds. In Study 1, the digital photograph/computer assisted technique was compared to a transparency-based technique in estimating the size of several models of wounds that varied in shape and size. In Study 2, the digital photograph/computer assisted technique was used to document changes over time in the SIB exhibited by a woman diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, as evidenced by changes in wound surface area (WSA). WSA was used as the primary dependent variable, and treatment contingencies were placed on changes in WSA.
Methods to Analyze Placement Disruptions Experienced by Foster Parents and Foster Children
CAROLE M. VAN CAMP (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: The Behavior Analysis Services Program provides behavioral parent training, as well as individualized assessments and interventions, designed to reduce the frequency of placement disruptions (i.e., the removal of a foster child from one home to another) experienced by foster children and foster parents living in the state of Florida. This study employed various methods to evaluate placement disruptions. First, factors associated with higher or lower risk of experiencing placement disruptions were identified, and included both child and parent characteristics. Risk ratios were calculated by dividing the conditional probability of placement disruptions given a certain factor (i.e., a gender of male) by the unconditional probability of placement disruptions across the entire sample. Second, baseline (i.e. pre-training) levels of placement disruptions experienced by foster parents were evaluated for appropriateness for inclusion in a subsequent analysis of training effectiveness. Specifically, baseline levels of placement disruptions were deemed suitable for inclusion in a treatment analysis if a panel of “expert” behavior analysts agreed that the data paths would allow for a comparison between baseline levels of disruptions and post-training levels of disruptions. Implications for behavioral research on the assessment of placement disruptions experienced by those involved in child welfare will be discussed.
Inconsistent Visual Analyses of Intrasubject Data Revisted
KATHARINE GUTSHALL (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Kyong-Mee Chung (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Joyce Kao (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Kelli Wheeler (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Tiffany M. Reid (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Jennifer Boensch (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: We conducted a replication and extension of DeProspero and Cohen (1979) examining the consistency of visual analyses in the analysis of single-case data. In experiment 1, we solicited feedback from members of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. They were asked to rate the demonstration of experimental control of single-case graphs using a 0 (no control) to 100 (control) scale as well as a yes/no scale. The results from this experiment showed consistency using the yes/no scale. Experiment 2 used graduate students to rate whether or not the graphs demonstrated experimental control using the 0 to 100 scale. These data showed that graduate students tended to be more conservative in their estimates of experimental control.
Influences of Calculation Method and Response Rate on Interobserver Agreement Scores
NATALIE ROLIDER (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract: We compared four commonly used methods for calculating observer reliability: total, interval, exact, and proportional agreement. Trained observers used PDAs to record computer-generated session data appearing on a separate computer screen. Two target events (responses) were programmed to occur at different rates (low, moderate, high) during each session so that reliability could be compared across a range of values. Interobserver agreement was calculated using each the four methods listed above. Exact agreement yielded the most conservative results, especially for high-rate responding, but proportional agreement was the most representative.



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