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 #469
Monday, May 26, 2014
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
95. Improving College Sleep Problems using an Individualized Self-Management Treatment
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JOSHUA JESSEL (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Erica Lozy (Western New England University)
Abstract: College students have often been reported as a population of concern due to poor sleep, with the prevalence of occasional sleep problems as high as 73% (Buboltz et al., 2001) with 27% at risk for at least one sleep disorder (Gaultney, 2013). In addition, sleep problems in college students have been correlated with daytime drowsiness (Alapin et al., 2000), lower GPAs (Trockel et al., 2000), and an increase in moodiness (Ott & Pilcher, 1998). We assessed the effectiveness of the progressive introduction of two different treatments with three volunteer college students who reported having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and or waking up. The initial treatment (Phase I) involved providing the participants with a general tips pamphlet. Following the failure of the pamphlet to improve sleep, an individualized self-management treatment (Phase II) was conducted based on a one-to-one interview using the Modified Sleep Assessment Tool for Dormitory Living (MSAT-DL). The results suggest a tiered model for increasing sleep duration, decreasing sleep onset, and improving self-reported sleep quality of college students experiencing sleep problems.
96. Competitive Games and Aberrant Behavior – Trigger Analysis and Intervention
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
EITAN ELDAR (Kibbutzim College)
Abstract: We studied the effect of antecedent manipulation on aberrant behavior within a competitive game, aiming to create an opportunity to practice, rather than avoid, challenging situations. Four versions of the "Are You Square" game (Eldar, Morris, Da Costa, & Wolf, 2006, Eldar, 2008) were played for 16 weeks by 16 male high-school students. The dependent variable, aberrant behavior, was defined as: Rule violations; Passivity; Physical violence; and Verbal violence. A Multielement Design presented the aberrant behaviors emitted under the various conditions. Overall, misbehaviors were differentially affected by the different versions of the game. The highest levels of aberrant behaviors, mainly in the form of rule violations, occurred when the Intensity of the game was increased. Data from this study will be presented, followed by data revealed from similar studies, demonstrating a relation between the manipulation of game conditions and the change in participants’ behavior. An educational procedure for diagnosing and treating aberrant behavior, based on these findings, will be suggested
97. The Effects of Response Effort Within a Behavioral Economics Framework as Related to Data Collection on Treatment Fidelity
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University), Ryan Burke (DBT Center of Western Kentucky)
Abstract: Treatment fidelity, degree to which treatment is implemented as intended, is essential to outcome research (Perepletchikova & Kazdin, 2005). Treatment fidelity levels effects the outcomes of treatments (Wilder, Atwell, and Wine, 2006), with lower levels of fidelity having poorer outcomes, particularly when the levels reach below 50% (Vollmer, Roane, Ringdahl, & Marcus, 1999). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of varying levels of response effort on adherence to data collection procedures, treatment fidelity, and child outcomes. Sessions were conducted at the same time and place each day for 2 male and 2 female participants (teaching assistants). These settings included classroom areas and recreational areas. Each of the four participants implemented the various procedures with his or her independent group of students with autism. Three levels of response effort were varied across participants (i.e., low, medium, and high) regarding response effort required for data collection using a multi-element design. Each participant had higher treatment fidelity for procedures requiring the least amount of response effort and the lowest fidelity for those procedures requiring the greatest amount of response effort. In addition, each group of students challenging behaviors decreased most during low response effort conditions.
98. Man versus Machine: A Comparison of Electronic and Paper and Pencil Methods of Data Collection in Behavioral Sciences
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
GENEVIEVE K. COXON MARSHALL (Florida Institute of Technology), Dylan Polasko (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicholas Green (Florida Institute of Technology), Ada C. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Although technology is generally viewed as a tool to increase precision and reduce manual labor, there is relatively little empirical support for the accuracy of electronic data collection in behavioral science. Many researchers and clinicians develop strong preferences for data collection systems, but support for the mode and method of data collection systems is warranted. We will evaluate the accuracy of data collected by eight undergraduate students using both pencil and paper (PP) and tablet and application-based or computer assisted (CA) methods. Participants will collect rate, duration, and partial-interval (PIR) data during 30s video clips depicting one-three simple responses (e.g., button pressing) yoked across methods for level of difficulty (e.g., easy, moderate, and advanced). It is the aim of this project to identify conditions under which particular methods of data collection prove better suited when participants without history or bias collect data across dimensions of responding.
99. Continuous and Reciprocal Behavioral Supervision: A Standardized Protocol for Assessment and Evaluation
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NATHAN FITE (University of Cincinnati), Wallace Larkin (University of Cincinnati), Lauren McKinley (University of Cincinnati), Andrea Howard (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: The goal of supervision is to facilitate the development of professional competencies and effective service delivery. Fundamental to the quality of supervision is the ability to continuously monitor skill acquisition and adherence to programmatic procedural guidelines for both the supervisor and supervisee. Still, many programs have failed to develop a clear and practical model for monitoring supervision and determining whether adequate progress as been achieved. In the present case study we describe a standardized protocol for assessment and evaluation of supervision based on the behavioral problem-solving model applied to 15 second-year school psychology practicum students supervised by 4 advanced doctoral students. Within this framework core competencies along with subsidiary skills were clearly operationalized and measured. The data obtained functioned as a tool that supported case conceptualization, progress monitoring, and the provision of timely feedback. This protocol aimed at enabling a system where mutual assessment of skill deficits and strengths are continuously monitored in order to provide individualized support and to meet measurable goals.
100. Practicality of Implementing a Function-Based Point System: Case Study
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
BRYAN DAVIS (Eastern Michigan University), Marilyn K. Bonem (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Rearranging complex social contingencies can be efficacious in naturalistic settings. Sainato, et al (1986) increased the interactions of socially withdrawn kindergarteners by designating them as classroom managers. Bowers, et al., (2000) reinforced public reporting of positive behaviors by peers to increase socially appropriate behavior of isolated adolescents in a residential program. The current study applied similar strategies to effectively decrease a 9-year old girl’s inappropriate and disruptive classroom behaviors that had been maintained by peer and teacher attention. The procedure combined variants of differential reinforcement of low rate or other behavior and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior by awarding 0-2 points via a rating scale for each of four behavior categories: following class rules and procedures, listening respectfully, raising hand to share aloud, refraining from making excuses and talking back. Thus, eight points could be earned daily during each of five class periods for a daily maximum of 40 points. Meeting daily point criteria, initially set at 25, allowed her to compete for either a teacher or lottery determined “Most Valuable Student” award, implemented to incorporate functionally similar reinforcement via a teacher assistant role that allowed whole-class participation thereby minimizing peer awareness of who was the target participant.
101. Retrospective Analysis of Injury Reports Related to Client Challenging Behavior in an EIBI Program
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
TOBY L. MARTIN (St. Amant Research Centre), Beverley Temple (University of Manitoba), Charmayne Dube (New Directions), Lesley Anne Fuga (St. Amant Research Centre), Chris Fyfe (St. Amant Research Centre), Rose Schwarz (St. Amant Research Centre)
Abstract: Children with autism regularly engage in challenging behaviour, and may injure staff working in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) programs. We performed a retrospective audit of accident/injury reports over a 1-year period at a community agency serving persons with developmental disabilities and autism in Manitoba, Canada. This agency includes the St.Amant Autism Programs (SAAP), delivering pre-school and school-age intensive (30+ hrs/wk) behavioral intervention. We also interviewed program staff to obtain their perspectives on injuries, policies, and training. During the reporting period (2011-06-01 to 2012-05-31), 231 unique SAAP staff (mean age 27 y; 211 female (91%), 20 male (9%)) in 245 positions (tutors, senior tutors, consultants, coordinators) had at least some exposure to clients. 22 staff reported injuries relating to client behavior, in 32 separate reports. In 5 cases (16%), first-aid or a doctor's visit was required. Notably, the primary corrective action in 29 cases was for the staff to review the existing behavior intervention plan, yet in 0 cases was the primary corrective action new training for staff. The quantitative and qualitative (interview) data obtained suggest that EIBI programs may benefit from systematic examination of injury circumstances in relation to challenging behaviour.
102. Using a Fading In Procedure in Order To Increase Compliance in an Instructional Setting
Area: PRA
Abstract: Acquiring compliance in an instructional setting is a challenge for many practitioners. Some children have never been exposed to an instructional setting (sitting at a table, in a chair, facing forward, attending to stimuli). As a result, children often exhibit problem behaviors when exposed to a controlled setting. Gaining compliance in an instructional setting is crucial in order to prepare children for discrete trials, which can lead to high acquisition rates. It is also a vital functional skill in that it is required for future academic/classroom settings. Some tools used to gain compliance include: pairing the practitioner with reinforcement, slowly introducing demands, and providing reinforcement on a dense schedule. Fading is a behavioral intervention that uses a systematic approach to change behavior over time. In this study, a fading procedure was used to move from the play area to a 1:1 room. The systematic change in requirements was used in order to gain compliance from a three year old male diagnosed with autism. The presented data represent percentage of compliance during the fading procedure.

CANCELED: Cultural Variables in Parent Training and Research Within Applied Behavior Analysis

Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida)

This poster will focus on the importance of including cultural variables in ABA research and parent training. The information presented is based on a literature review and will include a thematic analysis of articles found in behavior analytic journals. Data will also be presented on the type of paper submitted such as research studies and/or conceptual papers. The results of the literature review will be discussed in the context of including cultural variables in behavioral analytic approaches to parent training.


CANCELED: Spare me the Lecture: How to Ensure Employees Record Data on Challenging and Replacement Behavior

Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
BENJAMIN J THEISEN (Bright Futures Academy), Emily Winebrenner (Bright Futures Academy), Angie DeCormier (Bright Futures Academy), Zachary Bird (Bright Futures Academy), Jeffery LeComte (Bright Futures Academy), Whitney O’Keefe (Wokconsulting), Shawn E Kenyon (Bright Futures Academy), Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon (Bright Futures Academy)

Reliable data collection is an integral part of quality educational and clinical programs for students with special needs. The current study took place at a newly formed non-public school in southern California, serving approximately 130 students presenting with moderate to severe special needs. The clinical team purchased Rethink curriculum and training modules as part of the strategic planning to open a research driven school. Rethink allows staff members to record data and view student progress over time. The current study analyzed frequency of data collection on challenging behaviors and replacement behaviors described in behavior plans and individualized educational plans. A multiple baseline design across students was used to analyze the effects of large group training and individualized coaching and feedback on performance. The results thus far have indicated that large group training did not produce an increase in the frequency with which classroom staff records data. An increase in data collection for challenging behavior has however been observed following individual coaching. Future directions in the study include expanding data collection to replacement behaviors.

105. Evaluating the Effects of Preference for Final Products When Teaching Chained Tasks Using Video Modeling
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER LENZ ALEXANDER (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia), Katie Smith (University of Georgia), Sally Bereznak Shepley (University of Georgia), Theologia Mataras (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Although video modeling is an empirically established strategy for teaching individuals with developmental disabilities, the variables that may impact its effectiveness are still being evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of preference for the final product (e.g., eating popcorn) of a chained task (e.g., making popcorn) for four adolescents with autism and moderate intellectual disability. The participants’ preferences for final products of unknown tasks were first assessed over several sessions through a multiple stimulus without replacement procedure. An analysis of the assessment data resulted in the selection of a high preferred and low preferred activity (e.g., eating popcorn) for each participant. Chained tasks to create the final products were then taught through video modeling and effects of preference on acquisition were evaluated in an alternating treatments design. Results showed little difference between the two tasks in rate of acquisition. During maintenance, two of the participants’ level of responding dropped below 100% for the task resulting in the low preferred activity. These limited findings suggest that preference for particular activities at the end of a chain may not effect acquisition, but teaching chains that lead to naturally occurring reinforcement may influence maintenance of acquired tasks.

CANCELLED: Development of a Relational Skills Assessment: Introduction to Relational Framing and Implications for Clinical Application

Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
ANITA LI (Lodestone Academy), Ryan Lee O'Donnell (Brohavior), Marc D'Antin (Brohavior), Katherine Kavanaugh (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)

Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is an extension of Skinner's Verbal Behavior (Hayes et al. 2001). It is an evidence-based approach to language; however, its reach has not gained application in applied clinical settings. RFT is most commonly associated with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) in psychological settings. RFT is commonly misconstrued as mentalistic due to the emergence of "relational frames'. To clarify, relational frames are a metaphor of the relation between stimuli. RFT teaches individuals how to derive information based on relata. This is an important life skill that allows us to form complex verbal events such as metaphors, perspective-taking, and analogies. Currently, there is no relational skills assessment developed to assess individual relational skills or to assist practitioners in developing appropriate programming for relating. This poster will introduce an overview of relational frames, how framing can be taught, and implications for the development of applicable arbitrary relational responding (AARR) in individuals receiving intensive ABA therapy. This preliminary relational skills assessment offers new insight to current practitioners who are seeking how RFT can benefit their service delivery, how to implement it, and offer guidance in programming.

107. A Comparison of Three Indirect Behavioural Measures in an Outpatient Child Sample
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CHRYSTAL E.R. JANSZ (Texas Tech University-Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research), Nancy I. Salinas (Texas Tech University), Pik Wah Lam (Texas Tech University), Wesley H. Dotson (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: This study sought to replicate and extend a study by Freeman, Walker, and Kaufman (2007) that compared the Questions About Behavioural Function (QABF) and the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) in an outpatient child sample. We extended the study by also evaluating the Problem Behaviour Questionnaire (PBQ). The QABF, MAS, and PBQ were administered to 20 children referred to an outpatient clinic for a functional assessment and brief- consultation for problem behaviour. We analyzed both the internal psychometric properties and the convergent validity of all three indirect measures. Results generally replicated the findings of Freeman et al. (2007) for the QABF and MAS, but the PBQ did not correlate well with the other two measures. We discuss the clinical and practical implications of administering multiple indirect measures as well as the use of indirect assessments with populations beyond those for whom they were originally created.
108. Should You Repeat a Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessment?
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MARIANA I. CASTILLO IRAZABAL (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Paired-stimulus preference assessments (PSPA) are used in clinical practice to identify potential reinforcers. Thus, it is essential that PSPAs produce reliable outcomes. This study sought to assess the test-retest reliability of PSPAs. We examined sixty-eight datasets (31 with food; 37 with toys/activities), each with PSPAs conducted three times. We assessed reliability by comparing the first two rounds of the PSPA and the consistency of results across all presentations when the first two assessments did and did not produce good correspondence. When examining correspondence between the first two rounds, the top item matched for 69% of cases, three of the top four matched for 70%, and the correlation between the two rank orders exceeded 0.7 for 57%. With all these measures, if the first two assessments corresponded, the mean rank-order correlation for all possible pairwise permutations was higher than when they did not correspond, suggesting that if one observes good correspondence with two assessments, there may be limited utility in repeating the assessment. All measures of correspondence were greater for edible stimuli than for non-edible stimuli.
109. Strategies for Resolving Barriers to Toilet Training: A Review
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MAEVE G. DONNELLY (New England Center for Children), Amanda Karsten (Western New England University)
Abstract: Considerable behavioral research has been dedicated to achieving independent toileting due to the health benefits and social importance of this skill set. In particular, behavior-analytic toilet training (BATT) methods described in the seminal paper published by Azrin and Foxx (1971) have been reviewed and replicated. Despite the many empirical validations of BATT, children and adults with disabilities may not display independent toileting skills. One reason for these deficits may be the presence of practical barriers manifesting throughout toilet training. Such barriers may include problem behavior, excessive urine retention, persistent accidents during or following training, physical deficits/impairments or lower motor skills, lack of independent initiations to toilet, or persistent nocturnal enuresis after daytime continence is achieved. These barriers may interfere with toilet training to the extent that toilet training is postponed, discontinued, or not initiated. However, a proportion of the toilet training literature includes strategies designed to surmount these barriers, leading to successful toilet training for children with disabilities. The purpose of this review paper is to synthesize the collection of research-supported solutions for problems or barriers that may interfere with BATT with the goal of assisting practitioners in adopting and implementing BATT with individuals with disabilities.
Keyword(s): poster session



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