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 #24
CE Offered: BACB
Examination of Strategies to Promote Staff Performance in Human Service Settings
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA/OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Marta Leon, Ph.D.
Abstract: The identification of procedures to train employees and maintain performance is a priority for agencies that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Potential benefits include, but are not limited to (1) possible amelioration of burnout often experienced by direct care staff, (2) responsible allocation of needed resources (e.g., costs associated with training), and most importantly, (3) the promotion of excellent service delivery. The first talk presents findings from a study investigating the impact of training on therapist knowledge of single-case research design. Next, the impact of three types of training on implementation of discrete trial teaching will be presented. In the third presentation, the effects of an antecedent intervention on data recording practices of teachers will be shared. The symposium concludes with a talk that presents results of a study examining consistency of staff preference for rewards. Presenters will discuss implication of their findings in educational and clinical settings.
Training the Execution of Single-Case Research Methodology Skills in an Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention Setting
Jessa R. Love (Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Di), JAMES E. CARR (Auburn University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Auburn University), April Kisamore (Western New England College)
Abstract: Early and intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for children with autism is a fruitful area for conducting research on clinically relevant problems to investigate some of the unanswered questions about which procedures are most effective and efficient. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that therapists providing these services have received adequate training in conducting relevant single-case design research. Providing therapists with the skills needed to implement such research could improve the use of the scientist-practitioner model in these settings and expand the base of scientific knowledge in the area. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a modified behavioral skills training approach for training therapists to design and implement single-case design research protocols in an EIBI setting. The study aimed to answer the following questions: (a) Are participants able to learn the necessary skills? (b) Are participants able to apply those skills? And (c) Are participants satisfied with the training and experience? Results indicate that participants were able to both learn and apply the necessary skills as evidenced by statistically significant improvements on knowledge tests and high scores on homework assignments that required staff to engage in various research-related behaviors.
An Analysis of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Novice Instructors to Implement Discrete Trial Training With Confederates
JAMIE M. SEVERTSON (Trinity Services, Inc.), James E. Carr (Auburn University)
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is the most common technique incorporated into intensive behavioral intervention programs for children diagnosed with autism. Currently, errorless learning (EL) prompt fading strategies are recommended during instruction because they often result in more efficient instruction, reduced student errors during acquisition and post-mastery, and fewer occurrences of challenging behavior. Instructor accuracy influences student performance, and extensive training and supervision is often required to insure that instructors are implementing procedures with high fidelity. A high demand for services, budgetary limitations, and high turnover rate of staff may prevent agencies from being able to offer such extensive supervised training to instructors; therefore, time-efficient DTT staff training protocols are critical. The purpose of this study is to evaluate three training methods including (a) a self instruction manual, (b) a video model, (c) and performance feedback to teach novice instructors to implement DTT-EL strategies to teach a basic discrimination task to confederates.
Use of an Antecedent Intervention to Improve Data Collection Practices of Teachers
HELENA MAGUIRE (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England), Brad Stevenson (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The development of effective and less-resource intensive methods to facilitate data recording by staff is of critical importance since clinical decision-making rests on the availability of data to analyze. The purpose of this presentation is to describe a study that investigated the impact of an antecedent intervention (in the form of a modified data recording system) on the percentage of opportunities in which staff recorded data for two students. Staff performance during baseline was highly variable and ranged from 0-75%. Upon the introduction of the modified data recording tool, performance increased and maintained at 100% across both students. Once baseline was re-introduced, performance immediately returned to baseline levels. During the reversal, an immediate change in level was observed and maintained for nine sessions (M = 100%). Results demonstrate that an antecedent intervention in the form of a modified recording system can be an effective means to increase data recording by staff.
Consistency of Preference for Rewards Among Staff in Human Service Settings
BYRON J. WINE (AdvoServ), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Rowan University), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Oneina E. Abellon (Florida Institute of Techology), Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: The consistency of staff preference for items and activities was examined over time. Participants were residential direct care staff working with individuals with developmental disabilities in three locations across two states. The intervals assessed were six months, four months, two months, four weeks, three weeks, two weeks, and one week. A correlation coefficient was conducted to determine staff consistency of preference across assessments. Results indicate that a one week interval yielded the highest stability and contained the fewest number of shifts from high preference to low preference status and low preference to high preference status. Correlations decreased as intervals increased. These data suggest that staff preference for items and activities changes substantially over time. Implications for the development and use of staff performance improvement plans are discussed.



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