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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #31
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Treatment Integrity of Behavior Analytic Interventions
Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–2:50 PM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kerry A. Conde (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Kerry A. Conde, M.S.

Treatment integrity, also known as procedural fidelity, is the degree to which intervention steps are implemented with accuracy. Behavioral skills training (i.e., instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback) is an effective procedure used to train staff across a range of repertoires (e.g., implementing skill acquisition programs, verbal behavior programs). The purpose of this symposium is to highlight four studies evaluating training procedures to implement interventions with high levels of integrity. The first presentation will share findings following the training of three parents to implement variations of discrete-trial instruction (DTI) with their children with autism and parent preference for DTI variations. The second presentation will describe how the authors identified variables impacting special education teachers selection of academic interventions and discuss variables impacting integrity in classroom settings. The third presentation will describe the use of video modeling with voiceover instruction when training teachers to implement token economies with children with autism. Finally, the fourth presentation will describe the devleopment of a cost-effective pre-service training package to teach three animal shelter volunteers to implement a dog walking and enrichment protocol (DWEP) through a video training package.

Keyword(s): social validity, staff training, treatment integrity
Integrity and Social Validity of Parent-Implemented Discrete-Trial Training
KERRY A. CONDE (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Amanda Karsten (Western New England University)
Abstract: Parents have long been included in the treatment of their children with developmental disabilities to teach and to facilitate generalization of targeted skills (e.g., Laski, Charlop, & Schreibman, 1988; Schopler, 1971; Short, 1984). The degree to which parent involvement enhances child outcomes may depend on several factors (e.g., treatment integrity). Research is yet to elucidate environmental factors, such as treatment parameters in discrete-trial training (DTT), which may affect treatment integrity and social validity among parents as therapists. Three parent-child dyads participated in the current investigation. The purpose was (1) to assess parent treatment integrity across a range of treatment parameters in discrete-trial training (e.g., massed or interspersed trial arrangement, discontinuous or continuous system of data collection, developmentally appropriate or developmentally inappropriate tasks) (2) to assess parent preference between teaching parameters using a concurrent chain procedure, and (3) to describe and interpret the role of environmental variables (e.g., child correct performance, child problem behavior, and session duration) correlated with higher integrity and parent preference. Results were idiosyncratic across dyads. The functional relations between child correct performance, child problem behavior, and session duration on parent integrity remains unknown. Findings are discussed in terms of considerations practitioners may apply when designing parent-implemented interventions.

Examining Treatment Selection and Implementation in Special Education Classrooms

TOM CARIVEAU (University of Oregon), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Brittany LeBlanc (University of Oregon), Jake Mahon (University of Oregon), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University)

Special education teachers may select interventions for their students for a variety of reasons (e.g., familiarity with an intervention) that are not yet well understood. Once the teacher selects an intervention, it remains unclear whether the teacher and classroom staff are implementing the intervention as it is described in the literature. The purpose of the investigation was to identify variables impacting special education teachers selection of academic interventions and examine whether teachers implemented the intervention with integrity. We collected survey data and conducted observations of conditional discrimination training procedures in special education classrooms in Oregon. We examined the level of integrity that classroom staff implemented trial-based instruction, with most observations including instruction delivered by instructional assistants instead of special education teachers. Results indicated that educators implemented 50% of the components of trial-based instruction with integrity at or above 80%. Variables such as the mastery level of the task being presented impacted levels of integrity. We will further discuss variables impacting integrity in classroom settings and provide recommendations for future research and practice.


The Effects of Video Modeling with Voiceover Instruction to Train Staff to Implement a Token Economy

HEATHER PELTACK (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell College), Jessica L. Rothschild (Caldwell College)

The use of token economies is frequently recommended in early intervention manuals and is reported to be commonplace in clinical practice. However, limited research is available to help guide clinicians in how to best train staff to implement token economies. To help address this void, the present study evaluated video modeling with voiceover instruction to train four staff trainees to implement a token economy. Initially, we evaluated the staff trainees integrity with a simulated consumer (i.e., an adult acting as a child). Generalization was programmed for and assessed with an actual consumer (i.e., a child with autism). The results demonstrated that video modeling was an effective approach to training. Staff trainees also demonstrated high levels of integrity up to 2-months following the completion of training. Multiple measures of validity were also completed and provide evidence for the content validity of the training video and the social validity of the goals, procedures, and outcomes. Together, these results support the usefulness of video training and suggest that performance feedback may not be a necessary component of training. We will discuss these findings in light of previous research and provide suggestions for future research.


Effects of a Video-Based Pre-Service Training Package on Animal Shelter Volunteers' Integrity

VERONICA J. HOWARD (University of Alaska Anchorage), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (The University of Kansas)

Volunteers are ubiquitous to non-profit service organizations, yet methods to efficiently and cost-effectively train volunteers are relatively underexplored in the literature. The current study aimed to develop a cost-effective pre-service training package to teach three animal shelter volunteers to implement a dog walking and enrichment protocol (DWEP). Following the shelter's traditional live training, volunteers implemented just over half of all DWEP steps correctly (M = 55.2%). DWEP integrity improved when participants completed a video-based self-training package (M = 75.3%), but did not reach the pre-established mastery criterion of 85% fidelity with zero safety errors. During coaching, which consisted of modeling and positive and corrective feedback, integrity improved (M = 90.6%), yet only two of three participants met criterion performance. High integrity performance was observed for two of three participants at 1- and 4-week follow-up observations. Though creation of the video-based training package used in the study required approximately 13.25 hours longer than preparation of live training, live training required between 30-50 minutes with a shelter staff member with wide variability and safety of content observed. When used in place of life training, the video training package could save money for the organization in as few as 13 volunteer training sessions.




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