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 #426
Further Assessment of Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Acquisition of Alternative, Socially Appropriate Behavior
Monday, May 31, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Michael E. Kelley (University of Southern Maine)
Abstract: Individuals who are diagnosed with developmental disabilities often require intensive intervention strategies to produce age-appropriate social and communicative behavior. In addition, treatment gains (e.g., the acquisition of an alternative response) may be compromised such that problem behavior reemerges and appropriate behavior decreases subsequent to treatment. The data presented in this symposium address the acquisition of socially appropriate behavior and techniques to assess generalization, resistance to treatment challenges, and selection of mand modality. Results of each of the presentations suggest that applied behavior analytic techniques, based on basic principles, are effective for producing acquisition of alternative behavior and maintaining treatment gains.
Group Teaching Strategies for Promoting Acquisition, Maintenance, and Generalization of Functional Communication and Self-Control Repertoires With Preschool Children
KEVIN C. LUCZYNSKI (Western New England College), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England College), Jonathon Drew (Western New England College), Lauren Beaulieu (Western New England College), Nicole M. Rodriguez (Western New England College)
Abstract: We taught two groups of three preschoolers the functional communication and self-control skill sets similar those described in the Preschool Life Skills program described by Hanley, Heal, Tiger, and Ingvarsson (2007). Teaching occurred within center-based activities with the purpose of teaching skills incompatible with existing and developing problem behavior. Each group was taught desirable mand forms for accessing a teacher's attention and their precursors (i.e., stopping their activity, making eye contact with the teacher, raising their hand, and saying "excuse me" or "pardon me"), framed-mands for accessing activity-related material (i.e., saying "may I ___" and "will you___"), and tolerating periods when materials were delayed and denied (i.e., saying "Okay" and waiting appropriately). Interobserver agreement was collected for more than 30% of sessions and averaged 89% across all measures. The teaching tactics were evaluated using a multiple-probe design. All children acquired and maintained the targeted skill sets with corresponding decreases in problem behavior. We then evaluated generalization of the skills to novel teachers in novel classroom and observed unsatisfactory levels across the majority of skills for all children; some contingency management by the novel teachers was required for the skills to persist in the new environments.
Using Evocative Situations to Teach Social Skills in a Hospital-Based Playroom
JENNIFER DAWN MAGNUSON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Charles S. Gulotta (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Peter Girolami (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Recent research has highlighted the importance of teaching social skills to preschool age children as well as examined various methods of social skill instruction. The social skills of thirty-seven children enrolled in an intensive, hospital-based feeding program were assessed pre-and post-treatment. Participants ranged from 14 months to 8 years of age (mean 3.7 years) and several exhibited a wide variety of medical and developmental diagnoses. Ten social skills were targeted across four categories: following instructions, functional communication, tolerating delays, and friendship skills. Staff members created an environment that introduced situations that could evoke problem behavior then taught the appropriate response using descriptive praise and feedback. Additionally, group instruction focused on teaching using instructions, modeling, role-playing, and feedback. Data were collected on the percentage of situations with a social skill or problem behavior. Additionally, a multiple baseline across participants design examined the effects of the teaching strategies for 4 of the participants. Statistical results and visual analysis of the graphed data indicate that exposure to evocative situations with feedback and class-wide teaching strategies during the course of a patient’s admission are effective tools for increasing social skills in young children. Implications based on these findings are discussed.
An Evaluation of Persistence of Mands Following Functional Communication Training
KELLY M. VINQUIST (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Anuradha Salil Kumar Dutt (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa), Nizete Ly Valles (University of Iowa), Haley Whittington (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) has included the use of various mand topographies such as vocalizations, picture cards, augmentative communication devices, or signs. In many cases, children use a combination of mands or various different mand topographies when they communicate. Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the use of one mand modality versus another (e.g., Ringdahl et al., 2009) and variables that may affect response allocation (e.g., Winborn, et al., 2002). The current study extended this line of research regarding multiple mand modalities by evaluating the persistence of preferred mand modalities during long-term implementation of function communication training for a child with developmental disabilities. Interobserver agreement was collected on 30% of sessions with agreement at 90% or above for all sessions. Variables that may affect the persistence and preference of mands following initial functional communication training will be discussed. Key Terms: Functional Communication Training, Persistence, Developmental Disabilities
A Translational Approach for Evaluating the Effects of Signals on Response Persistence
NICOLE DEROSA (University of Southern Maine), Michael E. Kelley (University of Southern Maine), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clearlake), Wayne Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Henry S. Roane (SUNY, Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Applied research has generally shown that introducing treatment integrity failures (such as delays to reinforcement) often produces undesirable decreasing in appropriate behavior and increases in challenging behavior. Results of some basic research suggest that introducing signals during delays to reinforcement (i.e., a stimulus change between a response that satisfies a contingency and the delivery of the reinforcer) may attenuate response decrements typically found during unsignaled delays. In the current study, we incorporated some techniques from basic research on delayed reinforcement into a typical delay-fading procedure. Results showed that (a) responding was more robust during delayed reinforcement when signals were provided in the context of a withdrawal design but not in a multi-element design and (b) the results were very similar to those found in basic research.



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