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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #457
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Analysis in the Classroom: Interventions to Decrease Problem Behavior and Enhance Learning
Monday, May 31, 2010
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/CBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Tom Sharpe, Ed.D.
Abstract: The technology of behavior analysis has great utility for enhancing student behavior in schools. Although some research has documented the utility of interventions designed for individual students and for small and large groups of students, the overall body of school-based, behavior analytic research is small. In this symposium we add to this literature base. Two papers explore the generality of the Good Behavior Game in novel settings, (a) small-group reading instruction and (b) kindergarten classrooms. A third paper examines preference for response cost, a frequently used component of classroom-interventions. The final paper examines school-wide interventions for students with behavioral and academic challenges, documenting that a standardized (i.e., implemented similarly across students) token-economy can be used effectively to address both academic and social behavior problems. Together, these papers document the use of behavior analytic interventions in school settings with typically developing children. Further, three of the four papers focus on interventions implemented by teachers and other school personnel (i.e., typical change agents).
An Evaluation of the Good Behavior Game in Kindergarten Classrooms
JEANNE DONALDSON (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Tangala Krous (Davenport, IA School District), Susan E. Downs (Davenport Community Schools), Kerri Berard (University of Florida)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game is a classroom-wide group contingency that involves dividing the class into two teams, creating simple rules, and arranging contingencies for breaking or following those rules. The game has been firmly established as an effective management strategy in numerous prior studies. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the game with a younger population of students and with a larger sample. Five kindergarten teachers and classrooms (98 total students) participated in this evaluation of the Good Behavior Game. There were three rules: 1) you must sit “criss-cross applesauce” in your designated location, 2) you must raise your hand to talk, and 3) you must keep your hands and feet to yourself. Any time a student broke a rule, a tally was scored for that team. The team with fewer tallies at the end of circle time would win, or if both teams met a set criterion, both teams would win. Rewards for winning included snacks, stickers, stamps, extra recess, etc. There was a dramatic decrease in disruptive behavior in all five classrooms as a result of the intervention. The Game was easy for teachers to implement and the majority of students voted that they would like to continue to play the Game.
Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Secondary Interventions for Students Whose With Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
JESSICA TURTURA (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon), Justin Boyd (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Schools increasingly are moving to three-tiered models of behavior support consisting of primary interventions for all students, secondary interventions for students at risk, and tertiary supports for students with significant need. Primary prevention is implemented for all students and is similar across students whereas tertiary supports typically are based on results of a functional assessment and consist of individualized interventions. In the middle lie secondary supports, small group interventions for students emitting similar, low-intensity behavior problems. A commonly used secondary intervention that is evidence-based is Check-in/Check-out (CICO; Hawken & Horner, 2003), CICO builds off of home-school notes and is effective for students whose problem behaviors are attention-maintained. Importantly, CICO offers little in terms of altering the environmental contingencies which maintain problem behaviors for students who engage in escape-maintained problem behavior (March & Horner, 2002). This presentation will focus on two modifications of CICO for students whose problem behaviors are maintained by escape from or avoidance of academic tasks and activities. Specifically, two modified versions of CICO were designed and evaluated; one for elementary-aged students and the other for middle school-aged students. Each intervention was implemented as a secondary intervention in a school, by typical school staff. We used appropriate single subject designs to assess effects of each intervention on problem behavior and academic skills.
An Evaluation of Preference for Reinforcement or Response Cost Conditions
CRISTINA M. WHITEHOUSE (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Rocio Cuevas (University of Florida)
Abstract: The use of response cost and reinforcement-based interventions (e.g., token economies & group level systems) are common in academic settings. Despite the ubiquity of these interventions, only a few investigations have evaluated child preference for response cost versus reinforcement; furthermore, the few existing investigations have yielded mixed results. We will present an extension of earlier evaluations of child preference for response cost or reinforcement conditions during skill acquisition. Specifically, typically developing children were repeatedly presented with a computerized matching to sample task under both reinforcement and response cost conditions. Following exposure to each condition, children were asked to select their subsequent working conditions. Child selections were the primary dependent measure of choice. This preparation was repeated using different stimuli to evaluate if preference results obtained could be reproduced. Additionally, this preparation was repeated using math problems appropriate for the child’s grade level. Five participants showed a preference for reinforcement, 1 showed a preference for response cost, and 2 indicated indifference. Side effects associated with response cost were not observed. These data may have implications for the growing trend of client treatment preference and discussions about the use of response cost procedures.
Enhancing Pre-Literacy Instruction With the Good Behavior Game
BILLIE JO RODRIGUEZ (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Deficits in pre-reading skills at the end of kindergarten have been shown to predict future behavior problems and lack of responsiveness to school-wide interventions over time. This suggests early intervention is important not only to prevent later reading problems but also to prevent future behavioral challenges. Small-group reading instruction often is provided for young children at risk for reading failure. Group instructors often are instructional assistants with little or no experience managing social behavior of groups. In this experiment we assessed effects of training instructors to use TGBG during reading groups. A concurrent multiple baseline across groups design was used to assess effects. For all groups, a significant reduction in problem behavior was observed. Further, all instructors implemented TGBG with fidelity and indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the intervention. This experiment demonstrates how TGBG can be used to incorporate behavior analytic techniques in school settings for students who are at-risk for academic difficulties



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