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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Poster Session #298
Sunday, May 25, 2014
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
105. Measuring Behavior-Environment Contingencies in Classrooms: An Application of Contingency Space Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JOHANNA STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University), Blair Lloyd (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Problem behavior is prevalent among school-age children with developmental disabilities. This prevalence highlights the continuing need for identifying the most appropriate and efficient methods of behavioral assessment and treatment in educational settings. Experimental functional analysis remains the gold standard method of identifying the contingencies that maintain problem behavior. Descriptive assessments, however, may be used to measure behavior-environment contingencies in natural settings. These descriptive data may be used to identify hypotheses and design efficient experimental analyses. Lloyd, Kennedy, and Yoder (2013) evaluated a method of measuring contingencies known as Contingency Space Analysis (CSA). Using simulated data, authors demonstrated the potential biases that can result from using only a subset of observational data in which at least one of two events under investigation (e.g., problem behavior and instruction delivery) are coded (non-exhaustive approach). To extend this demonstration, we applied two methods of contingency measurement (non-exhaustive CSA and exhaustive CSA) to a series of classroom observations for four students with developmental disabilities and problem behavior. Results highlight potential problems associated with the common practice of limiting data analysis to intervals in which problem behavior occurs.
106. Effects of Interdependent Group-Oriented Contingency Programs in a Japanese Regular Classroom
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAYO IWAMOTO (University of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of interdependent group-oriented contingency interventions on the frequency of on-task and disruptive behaviors of elementally school students in three third-grade classes. Each targeted class had 32 students and included a student who has developmental disabilities. Target behaviors or dependent variables were on-task behaviors (sitting down at one's desk and placing one's school satchel in the locker at classroom until 8:15) and disruptive behaviors (e.g. talking without permission). In two of three targeted classes, on-task behaviors increased and disruptive behaviors decreased for all students in each class, including those with disabilities, as a result of the interdependent group-oriented contingency interventions. In one of three classes, the intervention plans could not produce positive behavior changes for a student with disabilities. Then, we conducted functional assessment for the student's disruptive behaviors and planed interventions based on the results of the assessment information. The results of this study were discussed in terms of the relationship between group-oriented interventions and three-tiered prevention model for school wide positive behavior support.
107. A Comparison of Remote Monitoring and Direct Observations on Improving Independent Living Skills
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TODD ALLEN MERRITT (The University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (The University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: An increasing number of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have opportunities to live in apartments and homes in the community with assistance from other people. The purpose of this research was to examine whether a remote video monitoring system with cameras linked to an off-site facility, in conjunction with a token system, could be used to maintain a high level of cleanliness of three apartments. Two people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lived in each apartment. Data were recorded daily in the apartments using the video monitoring system as well as direct observations. The token system was implemented in each of the homes within a multiple baseline design. Results indicated that the video monitoring system and the token system helped participants maintain a moderate level of cleanliness of the apartments, but due to the clarity of the videos, participants maintained a higher level of cleanliness when direct observations were used as compared to the video monitoring system. Video monitoring systems may aid in the implementation of some interventions, but certain behaviors may require direct observations to ensure precise and valid measurement.
108. Sequential Stimulus Pairing Training for Kanji Writing in Students With Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHIHIRO KADOYA (Keio University), Mikimasa Omori (Keio University), Jun-ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: Japanese students with developmental disabilities often exhibit difficulties in Kanji (ideogram) writing, and in acquiring the equivalence relations between pictures, written words, and sounds. Previous research suggested that students with developmental disabilities could acquire reading and writing skills through CRMTS(constructional response matching-to-sample) training that stimuli appeared separately and sequentially. Other research suggested that SP (stimulus paring) training facilitated the acquisition of Kanji reading. However, little had been reported on the effect of SP training for Kanji writing. In this study, we examined the acquisition and maintenance of Kanji writing skills through sequential SP (SSP) training using corresponding pictures for four students with developmental disabilities. In SP (SSP) training, left and right parts of Kanji appeared separately and sequentially, and then whole Kanji appeared. We prepared stimulus pairs consisting of picture stimuli that the students could name along with a corresponding Kanji character that they could not write. All students successfully acquired and maintained the Kanji writing and reading through this procedure. These findings suggest that SSP training may facilitate not only Kanji writing but also reading. Because it requires less motor responses, SSP training can be more easily applied for the students having difficulties of fine motor movement than CRMTS.
109. Reduction of Head Banging By Increasing Activity Level
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: This study was conducted in a group home environment. The individual in this study engaged in head banging behavior to the extent of having a permanent, large calloused area on her forehead. She would engage in these behaviors when she was alone or in a position where she could sit and fold her body in half to have her forehead make contact with her legs or ankles. Redirection strategies to preferred activities were used to reduce the frequency of head banging. This individual also engaged in tantrum behavior and aggression towards others.
110. Examining the Use of Multiple Schedules for Behavior Maintained by Negative Reinforcement
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CLAUDIA CAMPOS (Florida International University), Yanerys Leon (Florida International University)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is often used as a treatment for problem behavior when functional analysis results indicate a social function. FCT consists of delivering the functional reinforcer contingent on an alternative response, while withholding the reinforcer for problem behavior (i.e., extinction). One limitation of FCT is once the alternative response is taught individuals may emit the response at high rates or inappropriate times; therefore schedule thinning is often necessary. Previous research has demonstrated multiple schedules are preferred over other methods of schedule thinning because they maintain low levels of problem behavior while maintaining appropriate levels of the communication response. However, to date, no research has examined the use of multiple schedules for behavior maintained by negative reinforcement. This study examined the use of a multiple schedule with alternating FR1 / extinction components to thin the schedule of negative reinforcement during discrete trial sessions with two male subjects. The multiple schedule produced low rates of problem behavior for both participants. However, additional treatment components (i.e., positive reinforcement for compliance, blocking) were necessary to decrease the rate of mands during the extinction interval.
111. Improving Health Care Self-Advocacy Skills by Increasing Knowledge of Medications
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
REBECA TORRES (Bancroft), Meghan Brennan (Bancroft), Lauren F. Troy (Bancroft)
Abstract: Access to and self-advocacy in health care is an important piece to an overall positive quality of life for all individuals. Unfortunately, individuals' with intellectual disabilities access to health care is often adversely affected by a lack of communication skills (Lennox, 2004) or a lack of knowledge about medications and medication adherence (De Maria, 2011). Due to safety concerns, medications are often administered to individuals with disabilities with minimal focus on teaching skills. Teaching individuals with disabilities information about their medications, however, may allow them to take a more active role in their health care and be an important piece in improving overall quality of life. The purpose of the current study was to determine if teaching adolescents with intellectual disabilities to identify the names and important facts about their medications generalized to answering questions from medical professionals. A modified multiple probe design was used to evaluate the effects of teaching on medication names, doses, times, and reasons for the prescription. Results indicate that learning about medications did allow adolescents with intellectual disabilities to become more independent and accurate in their conversations with medical professionals.
112. Measurement of Between-Session Responding during Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANTHONY CONCEPCION (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kevin J. Schlichenmeyer (Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School  ), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Shari M. Pincus (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), William V. Dube (Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School  )
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) of problem behavior has become the gold standard of both clinical practice and research (Iwata, Hanley, & McCord, 2003). Therefore, recent research on FA has focused on how to make this procedure more efficient and accurate. One recommendation, from this literature, is to conduct FA conditions in a fixed sequence to maximize motivating operations and control for carryover (Hammond et al., 2013). One issue with this fixed sequence is that the patient may engage in problem behavior prior or subsequent to FA conditions, due to carryover, the presence of antecedent and consequent events between sessions, or multiple schedule contrast (Williams, Saunders, & Perone, 2011). In the current study, we conducted a descriptive assessment (DA) of problem behavior between FA conditions for patients admitted to a hospital inpatient unit that treats severe behavior disorders. Results indicate that problem behavior occurred between FA sessions in 50% of assessments. Results of the DA indicated that contingencies in the FA may occasion problem behavior between FA sessions and that problem behavior may be exacerbated by multiple schedule contrast.
113. Test-Control Functional Analysis for Problem Behaviors Maintained by Combined Positive and Negative Reinforcement Contingencies
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CRAIG STROHMEIER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Ashley Murphy (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Recent research has highlighted the importance of modifying functional analysis conditions to isolate relevant antecedent and consequent events that occasion problem behaviors (Schlichenmeyer et al, 2013). In this study, a standard functional analysis (Iwata et al, 1982/1994) yielded inconclusive results for a 12 year-old boy who demonstrated self-injurious, aggressive, and disruptive behaviors. Descriptive assessment informed a test-control functional analysis. Results of the test-control functional analysis suggested that interrupting access to a tangible and presenting a demand evoked problem behaviors maintained by avoidance of the demand and continued access to the tangible. An ABAB reversal design showed immediate reductions in problem behaviors during treatment, in comparison to baseline. Additionally, the patient demonstrated stable rates of functional communication when provided with a card to request brief continued access to a highly preferred tangible, before completing a demand. Reliability data were collected during 70% of initial functional analysis sessions (Mean agreement = 98.37%, range = 94.15% to 100%) and 80% of treatment evaluation sessions (Mean agreement = 99.28%, range = 94.44% to 100%). We discuss results of the analysis and treatment in the context of designing test-control functional analyses for problem behaviors maintained by combined positive and negative reinforcement contingencies.
114. A Comparison of Topography and Selection-Based Verbal Behavior: The Importance of Conditional Discrimination and Motor Imitation Skills
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MEGHAN BRENNAN (Bancroft), Lauren F. Troy (Bancroft)
Abstract: Increasing verbal behavior for individuals with developmental disabilities can result in improved access to reinforcers and social interactions, and decreased problem behavior. Topography-based and selection-based were two distinct types of verbal behavior described by Michael (1985). Praise and criticism of both have been expressed, and research does not currently provide a clear answer on which is better for individuals with disabilities. Adkins and Axelrod (2002) showed that selection-based verbal behavior was more effective than topography-based verbal behavior. Other studies showed mixed findings with one participant having more success with PECS (selection-based verbal behavior) and one participant having more success with sign language (topography-based verbal behavior) (Tincani, 2004). The purpose of the present study was to examine the differences between PECS and sign language with two children diagnosed with autism. The two modalities were evaluated with an alternating treatments design. The study also addressed one area of the debate surrounding these communication modalities: potential prerequisite conditional discrimination and motor imitation skills. A pre-test was completed for both participants assessing these prior to the treatment sessions. The results demonstrated that both participants were more successful with the selection-based communication modality, and there is a possible correlation between prerequisite skills and this success.
115. Examination of Within-Session Responding during Single Stimulus Engagement Assessments
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY ROOTES-MURDY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Gregory Young (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), John M. Huete (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Single stimulus engagement (SSE) preference assessments involve evaluating the duration of an individual’s engagement with items (Hagopian, Rush, Lewin & Long, 2001). Severe problem behavior (SPB) data sometimes are collected to determine if engagement impacts the occurrence of SPB. The percent of item engagement and, if measured, the occurrence of SPB, is examined across the entire session to identify items associated with high rates of engagement and low occurrence of SPB. In the present study, SSE within-session data for 3 participants (2 females, 1 male) ages 2 to 12 years were examined to determine if SPB occurred during item engagement. Results of the SSEs were recalculated by comparing percent of item engagement to frequency of SPB that occurred concurrent to item engagement, as opposed to SPB for the entire session. Results showed that stimuli with high engagement sometimes were associated with higher rates of simultaneous SPB and engagement. In two of three cases, the order of item preference was altered when using the within-session adjustment. These results provide a rationale for examining within-session responding for SSE assessments, as opposed to only whole-session responding, when the occurrence of SPB is a consideration for item preference selection.
116. Descriptive Analyses of Emesis, Gagging, and Coughing During A Caregiver-Conducted Meal
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
VIVIAN IBANEZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Descriptive analyses have been used to observe food refusal directly under naturally occurring conditions. Although a history of emesis and health concerns related to emesis (e.g., reflux, food allergies) may be associated with food refusal, emesis has not been the focus of previous descriptive analyses. Emesis it is not an ideal response to evaluate using functional analyses due to potential health risks, and may be more suited for evaluation as it naturally occurs. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate emesis, gagging, and coughing via descriptive analyses by conducting conditional probability analyses to evaluate the most common caregiver responses following these responses. To date, one two-year-old female admitted to an intensive feeding program, has participated. Gagging and coughing were included given that these responses may be precursors to emesis. Results showed that tangible access and various forms of attention (concern and comfort) were the most likely events observed following emesis. Spoon removal also occurred frequently following emesis, although the probability of spoon removal was quite high overall. Threats, meal termination, and access to preferred foods or drinks were not observed.
117. An Evaluation of Different Magnitudes of Differential Negative Reinforcement to Treat Food Selectivity
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY MAUZY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Caitlin A. Kirkwood (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Diane Berth (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jonathan V. Mariano (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Lindsay E. Gordon (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Given the role of negative reinforcement (escape) in the maintenance of food refusal and the effectiveness of escape extinction as treatment, it is surprising that little attention has been given to the effects of escape as reinforcement for appropriate mealtime behavior during treatment. We examined the effects of different magnitudes of negative reinforcement (30-s or 90-s break) for appropriate mealtime behavior (mouth clean, a product measure of swallowing) to treat the food selectivity of a child diagnosed with a feeding disorder. We compared the effectiveness of the different magnitudes of reinforcement with and without escape extinction using a combined multi-element and reversal design. Interobserver agreement was conducted on 80% of sessions and was above 80%. Food consumption increased only when escape extinction was implemented. The different magnitudes of reinforcement resulted in modest differences in the acquisition of appropriate mealtime behaviors (bite acceptance and mouth clean) when combined with escape extinction.
118. Improving Functional Communication Training Using Multiple Schedules
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JAMIE JONES (Affiliate), Wayne W. Fisher ( Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center  ), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Angie Christine Querim (Ball State University), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: When a functional analysis (FA) implicates that destructive behavior is socially reinforced, functional communication training (FCT) is the most frequently prescribed and most effective function-based treatment (Tiger & Hanley, 2008). However, FCT has limitations including high rates of requests for reinforcement (e.g., requesting to escape every directive) and difficulty delivering reinforcement immediately upon request (e.g., requesting attention when an adult is changing an infant sibling). When Hagopian et al. (1998) used reinforce-schedule thinning to address the limitations to FCT, they found FCT + extinction (FCTE) was ineffective in 14 of 25 applications, thus necessitating the addition of a punishment component (FCTP). To eliminate the punishment component, the current study used a multiple schedule signal when the communication response would (Sr+) and would not (EXT) produce reinforcement during the FCT (mult-FCT), then the current study thinned the reinforcement schedule by 80% by lengthening the duration of the EXT component. As the attached figure indicates, results obtained with mult-FCT were comparable to FCTP + fading and superior to FCTE + fading as reported in Hagopian et al. The current results illustrate how stimulus control methods (e.g. a multiple schedule signal) can improve function-based treatments such as FCT.
119. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior in Children With Fragile X Syndrome
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE D. CHIN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mariana I. Castillo Irazabal (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Ashley Robinson (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: More than 50% of children with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) exhibit behavior problems such as aggression and self-injury (Bailey et al., 2008). Biological mechanisms are typically used to explain such problem behavior (Hall, Lightbody, & Reiss, 2008). Recently, Langthorne and colleagues (2011) used functional analyses (FA; Iwata et al., 1982/1994) to examine environmental variables maintaining problem behavior exhibited by 8 children with FXS. FA results indicated that problem behavior was maintained by escape and/or access to tangible items in all cases. The present study extends Langthorne et al.s findings by including outcomes of both FAs and function-based treatments for severe problem behavior in children with FXS. Participants were 11 individuals, ages 6-20 years, admitted to inpatient or outpatient programs for treatment of severe behavior problems (2 participants had multiple admissions). Consistent with Langthorne et al., escape and access to tangibles were the most common identified functions (see Table 1). Mands functions (Bowman et al., 1997) were identified in 3 cases and attention functions were identified in 3 cases. Function-based treatments produced an 85% or greater reduction in problem behavior in nearly all cases. Implications of these findings for early intervention for behavior problems in children with FXS will be discussed.
120. Improving the Quality of Behaviour Support Plans Through Service Development
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JILL CHAPLIN (Nothumberland Tyne & Wear National Health Service Trust), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick), Stephen J. Noone (Bangor University)
Abstract: Behavior Support Plans (BSPs) are an important tool in the delivery of interventions for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behavior. Considerable clinical effort and resources in services are invested in BSP development. Although there is existing research on BSP quality, few studies have addressed the outcomes of attempts to improve BSP quality in applied settings. In the present study, we evaluated the quality of the BSPs for 81 adults with intellectual disabilities and severe challenging behavior before and after the implementation of a coherent service development plan (SDP) informed by previous research and an initial audit. Using the Behavior Support Plan Quality Evaluation II (BSP-QEII; Browning-Wright, Saren & Mayer, 2003), we found significant improvements in BSP quality over time (p=<0.001). However, the proportion of BSPs rated as good after the implementation of the SDP was still very small. The service developments require longer to bed in and/or amended implementation to improve the proportion of BSPs rated as higher quality.
121. A Comparison of Assessments: Interventions Based on Results of Functional Behavior Assessments vs. Functional Analyses
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TISHA L DENTON (Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life Skills  ), Jessica Molloy (Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life Skills ), Laura Milstrey (Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life Skills  )
Abstract: The current study will compare the reduction of problem behaviors, treatment integrity, and social validity between interventions developed from two differing assessment methodologiesfunctional behavior assessment (FBA) and functional analysis (FA) (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1994) for six special needs students, ranging from 6 to 21 years of age. Students have been diagnosed with one or more developmental disabilities and are functioning significantly below grade level. All assessments, and interventions developed thereof, were conducted in a special education private day school. Three of the six students were assessed using FBA methodology and the three remaining students were assessed using FA methodology. Treatments, based off of the results from each respective assessment, were developed for students and implemented by teachers, therapists (speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists), and paraprofessionals. The researchers predict interventions developed from the results of FAs will have a greater reduction of problem behaviors, higher treatment integrity, and more social validity than those developed from FBA results. Results will show which interventions, if any, demonstrate a greater reduction of problem behaviors, higher treatment integrity, and more social validity.
122. An Application of Picture Exchange Communication System Protocol™ to Apple® iPad® Based Communication Training
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Catherine B. Simms (University of Florida), BRANDON PEREZ (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: As a result of individuals with developmental disabilities displaying limited verbal repertoires, technologies, such as the Apple® iPad®, are being adapted to accommodate these individuals. However, research on iPad® based communication training has been limited. Therefore, the present study applied the thoroughly researched Picture Exchange Communication System Protocol™ (PECS) to training using the iPad® and ProloQuo2Go®. A multiple baseline design across preferred items was used in the evaluation. Subjects were three individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, aged 4-15, receiving services in either a campus based research clinic or a local public school for children with disabilities. Training was conducted with both edible and leisure items for PECS™ phases 1-3 (through the mand training phases only). The PECS™ training protocol, adapted for use with the iPad®, was successful in producing a mand repertoire in all three subjects. Therefore, this protocol would be a suitable method of teaching iPad® based communication. Future research could examine the utility of other iPad® based communication applications in addition to ProloQuo2Go®.
Keyword(s): poster session



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