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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Poster Session #96
DDA Poster Session 1
Saturday, May 29, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
70. The Effects of the DRO Contingency With and Without EXT Using Functional Reinforcers
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ZINA A. ELURI (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is studied extensively in the literature. However, the literature is limited in identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for effective treatment. Many studies examine the effectiveness of DRO when combined with extinction (EXT) or punishment. This study evaluated the effects of DRO using a functional reinforcer with and without an extinction component on two participants with developmental disabilities. An experimental functional analysis of the target response was completed with each participant. The functional reinforcer was then used within the DRO contingency with and without EXT. The results indicate that both variations of the DRO contingency resulted in complete suppression of the target response. However, there were notable differences in the course of response suppression between treatments. DRO without EXT resulted in immediate and significant suppression of the target response, while DRO with EXT showed a steady decline. Future research should focus on identifying the importance of EXT and its effects within reinforcement-based contingencies to ensure the best treatments are being implemented when reducing problem behavior. Additional data to be collected.
71. Reducing Problematic Sensory Behavior Using Response Blocking and DRO Procedures
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
BRANDON NICHOLS (School at Springbrook), Thomas L. Zane (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)
Abstract: Many individuals with developmental disabilities exhibit self-stimulatory behaviors for sensory feedback. These behaviors may vary in topography and may interfere with an individual’s ability to learn or engage socially. In this study the individual exhibited “fuzzing” behavior, defined as the throwing of light weight material (feather, grass, fuzz from clothes, etc) in the air and staring at it. Frequently, this self-stimulatory behavior served as a precursor to other behaviors including aggression and self-injurious behavior which presented serious risks of harm to the individual or staff. A treatment package consisting of response blocking and a brief DRO procedure were implemented using an alternating treatment design to reduce rates of self-stimulatory behavior. Both procedures successfully reduced rates of the “fuzzing” although the greatest reduction was produced by the DRO procedure. Three follow-up sessions of the DRO condition was conducted approximately a month later and levels of self-stimulatory behavior remained lower than baseline rates.
72. A Comparison of the Correspondence Between Preference Assessment Outcomes and Rapid Progressive-Ratio Analyses Using Conditioned Reinforcers
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MANDY M TRIGGS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Goldberg (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Abbey Carreau (Kennedy Krieger Institutue), Melissa J. Allman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Progressive-ratio (PR) analyses have been shown to be effective in assessing value among stimuli. However, it may be advantageous to determine a method to simplify these procedures for clinical application by using a rapid PR analysis and by incorporating conditioned stimuli. The current study investigated the extent to which preference for different stimuli corresponded to PR break points using a touch-screen computer and conditioned stimuli (i.e., picture icons). Seventeen children diagnosed with autism and 18 typically developing peers participated. A paired-choice preference assessment consisting of 12 stimuli was conducted and stimuli were ranked from highest to lowest preferred. Each stimulus was then tested using a rapid PR schedule (i.e., 1 PR analysis was conducted per stimulus and a step size of 10 was used) to index the strength of these stimuli as reinforcers. Participants received accumulated access to the stimuli at the end of the preference assessment and each PR analysis. A high degree of correspondence between preference assessment outcomes and PR break points was observed and mean correlation coefficients did not differ significantly between groups. The results suggest that using conditioned reinforcers and rapid PR analyses may be a practical and efficient method to assess reinforcer value.
73. Preference for Fluent Versus Disfluent Work Schedules
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DANIEL MARK FIENUP (Queens College, The University of New York), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute), Ashley Ahlers (The May Institute)
Abstract: The present study examined the effect of the temporal distribution of work on preference for reinforcers. Following a multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment (DeLeon & Iwata, 1996), a female student with brain injury was presented with 3 work options, each with a reinforcer option: High Sr+, Low Sr+, and No Sr+ (control condition). Six choice trials occurred per session and the student chose the No Sr+ option. Follow-up analyses compared various options to determine why the student chose a No Sr+ work option over High and Low Sr+ options. Phase 1 revealed that, with no work requirements, the student preferred High Sr+ to Low or No Sr+. Phase 2 revealed a preference to engage with the High Sr+ activity to the Low Sr+ activity or completing worksheets. In the final analysis, the student was presented with various work schedules that compared fluent work schedules (complete all work at once) to disfluent work schedules (complete single worksheet, break for Sr+, repeat) and schedules with and without an Sr+ option. In this analysis, the student demonstrated preference for fluent work schedules that included a Sr+ option. Implications for reinforcer assessments will be discussed.
74. Comparison of the Predictive Validity and Reliability Among Different Preference Assessments: A Review of the Literature
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SOYEON KANG (Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk), Mark F. O'Reilly (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Many researchers have endeavored to develop and evaluate diverse preference assessments to identify more efficient and reliable procedures for finding accurate preference. This paper reviews 13 experimental studies comparing different preference assessments for individual with developmental disabilities, published in peer- reviewed journals between 1985 and 2008. The reviewed studies have been classified into three categories: (a) predictive validity for reinforcing effectiveness, (b) correspondence among different procedures, and (c) consistency across repeated administrations of the same procedure. The findings of the studies suggested that most of the preference assessments accurately identified the most preferred stimulus with an effective reinforcing effect. The findings also suggested that the paired-stimulus procedure may produce more accurately and consistently differentiated choice results that may provide information for relative reinforcer value. The multiple-stimulus-without-replacement procedure produced relatively consistent choice results. The single-stimulus engagement procedure produced relatively accurate predictions for a preferred stimulus with an effective reinforcing value. The findings are discussed in relation to procedural differences inherent in the different assessment formats. Advantages and disadvantages of diverse preference assessments are also discussed.
75. Are Symmetric and Generalized Matching-to-Sample Skills Associated With Picture Preference Assessments?
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LESLIE THORNE (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), C.T. Yu (St. Amant Research Centre, the University of Manitoba), Carly E. Thiessen (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: In stimulus preference assessments for people with severe developmental disabilities, some individuals are able to select their preferred stimuli when pictures or the actual items are presented (Picture Group) while others can do so only with objects (Object Group). This study compared the performance of a Picture Group (n = 9) and an Object Group (n = 11) on three types of two-choice matching-to-sample discriminations: (a) symmetric object-picture matching, (b) generalized symmetric object-picture matching, and (c) generalized picture-picture identity matching. The passing criterion for each task was 80% or higher. The results showed that all 11 (100%) Object Group participants but only 1 (11%) Picture Group participant failed all three tasks. In the Picture Group, 1 (11%) participant passed the symmetric object-picture matching task, 4 (44%) passed the generalized symmetric matching task, and 6 (67%) passed the generalized picture-picture identity matching task. The two groups did not differ significantly on the symmetric object-picture matching task, but differed significantly on the generalized symmetric object-picture matching task (p = .011) and on the generalized picture-picture identity matching task (p < .001). These results suggest that generalized identity picture matching appears to be most important among the discriminations evaluated.
76. The Durability of Client Treatment Preference
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MOLLY GEMP (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Marie Andachter (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kristen L. O'Reilly (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Providing individuals with intellectual disabilities with choices and input into their treatment is an important consideration for behavior analysts (Bannerman, Sheldon, Sherman, & Harchik, 1990). Methods of assessing preference for differing treatments have been reported in the literature (Hanley et al., 1997; Hanley, Piazza, Fisher, & Maglieri, 2005). Results from these studies suggest that individuals may prefer treatments consisting of functional communication over noncontingent reinforcement procedures (Hanley et al., 1997). In the current investigation, preference for treatments consisting of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) and functional communication (FC) was evaluated as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned. Preference assessments were conducted prior to initiating schedule thinning, and after 2 min and 30 s, 5 min, 7 min and 30 s, and 9 min and 30 s of unavailable attention. As the schedule of reinforcement became sufficiently lean, it was hypothesized that preference would switch from FC to NCR due to the delayed availability of the attention stimulus card; however, the participant continued to select the FC treatment during preference assessments.
77. Establishing Preference Hierarchies and Reinforcers Based on Preferred and Non-Preferred Edibles via Picture Preference Assessment
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SHAWN VIEIRA (May Institute), Marissa Goodwin (May Institute), Katherine Gilligan (The May Center for Child Development)
Abstract: The current experiment consisted of 2 studies. The first study demonstrated that picture preference assessments can be a reliable tool in determining preference hierarchies in children with developmental disabilities. A reinforcer assessment showed that both the most preferred and least preferred edibles functioned as reinforcers when using 6 preferred edibles. The second study extended the findings of Study 1 to determine whether a hierarchy could be established based on preferred and non-preferred edibles. 3 edibles identified as preferred and 3 edibles identified as non-preferred were used in a picture preference assessment and a preference hierarchy was established. A reinforcer assessment showed that the most-preferred edible functioned as a reinforcer while the least-preferred edible did not. Data was collected on the procedural integrity and reliability of all assessments. Procedural integrity was 97% and reliability data was 95.9% across all phases. The data suggest that preference assessments will produce a preference hierarchy whether the assessment consists of all preferred or a combination of preferred and non-preferred edibles. Furthermore, any preferred edible used may function as a reinforcer regardless as to where it is on the preference hierarchy.
78. Effects of a Nondemand Schedule as Precursor for Presentation of Nonpreferred Activities for Moderate Mentally Retarded or Developmentally Disabled Adults
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DERIC E. TONEY (Spalding University), Christy Justice (Spalding University), Tom Sharpe (Educational Consulting, Inc.), David Morgan (Spalding University), Keith Hersh (Spalding University), Edward D. Parker (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Prevalent to adult day training programs for MR/DD populations, are highly structured daily regimens inclusive of frequent and varying high demand conditions by instructors and supervisors. Demands range across activity engagement to the correction of undesirable behavior. It is hypothesized that in many cases it is the demand condition itself that creates an aversive component of the antecedent resulting in escape or onset of an undesirable behavior. This study, therefore, introduced a period free from demands which was scheduled prior to the introduction of a non preferred activity. Participants were moderate MR/DD adults in a day training setting. A multiple baseline across participants design was implemented to introduce the non demand period prior to presentation of non preferred activities. Results indicated gains in prioritized non-preferred activity engagement and a decrease in undesirable behavior as a function of a pre-cursing non demand condition.
79. Does It Always Help to Warn?
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNY E. TUZIKOW (Institute for Basic Research)
Abstract: Best practice suggests that it is beneficial to update an individual with developmental disabilities on the events that are likely to occur in the near future. The understanding is that if people, especially those who require a structured routine, are warned of upcoming events, they will be more likely to cooperate and/or participate. However, what if the upcoming event is not preferred? Behavior analysts have been trained to use written or pictorial schedules to assist individuals with developmental disabilities transition appropriately, yet an apparent difficulty is that if an individual interprets an activity as an aversive, the question arises, does it really help to notify them in advance of a potential negative situation or does it exacerbate the problem? In this situation, the function of the student’s behavior is likely to be avoidance or escape of a future activity. This study reviews the available research with regard to schedules and warnings, and provides a thorough review of the implications of notification of events to individuals with developmental disabilities.
80. The Effects of High-Probability “Do” and “Don’t” Request Sequences to Increase Compliance
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAURA MAHLMEISTER (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tracy L. Kettering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Nick Wilhelm (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: A high-probability (high-p) request sequence involves delivering a series of requests that are highly likely to produce compliance (high-p request) prior to issuing a request in which compliance is less likely (low-p request). High-p request sequences have been shown to increase compliance to a variety of requests (e.g. Mace et al., 1988; Neef, Shafer, Egel, Cataldo, & Parrish, 1983). However, previous research has found little improvement in compliance to “don’t” requests even when a high-p sequence was in effect (e.g. Ducharme & Worling, 1994). This study examined the effects of a high-p request sequence on compliance to both “do” and “don't” low-p requests in children with developmental disabilities. Motivating operation (MO) manipulations were evaluated when compliance to the “don't” requests were not initially observed. The MO manipulations included altering the high-p sequence to include “don’t” requests (e.g. “don’t give me a high five”) without altering the low-p request. Results are discussed in terms of MOs and compliance to symmetrical requests.
81. The Use of Choice-Making and Rule Setting in Treatment Evaluations in an Outpatient Setting
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JULIANNE ELIZABETH ST JOHN (University of Iowa), Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster is to describe the use of choice-making and rule setting in treatment evaluations during brief 90-120 minute outpatient visits. Participants were high-functioning children and adolescents with developmental disabilities who displayed problem behavior (e.g., aggression, non-compliance). Participants’ problem behavior was hypothesized to be maintained by access to preferred activities and/or escape from demands. Assessment and treatment procedures were conducted in the University of Iowa’s Pediatric Autism Clinic and Biobehavioral Service Outpatient Clinic. Participants’ parents were interviewed by clinic staff to develop hypotheses to guide treatment evaluations. Interviews with participants were conducted to obtain information about the participants’ preference for work tasks and leisure activities. Treatment packages were developed based on interview data. Case examples are presented to illustrate treatment packages that included choice-making and/or rule setting to decrease problem behavior. During treatment, participants were allowed to choose the order of activities, the amount of work they did, the type of activities they completed, and/or were allowed to create contingency rules used during the clinic visit and in natural settings. Inter-rater agreement was assessed across 30% of all sessions and averaged 90% or greater.
82. Decreasing Intense Problem Behaviors Using a Functional Token Economy Program
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DANICA M. SIMMONS (University of South Florida), Stephani Fauerbach (Human Development Center, Inc.)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a token economy in changing high intensity behaviors. The token economy is a well established and highly developed behavior change procedure. Its usefulness and effectiveness has been documented in the literature with high levels of success in a variety of settings and populations. In this case study, the token economy was used to reduce the variety of intense problem behaviors exhibited by an adult man diagnosed with moderate mental retardation. These behaviors included physical aggression requiring medical attention, property destruction, self-injurious behavior, and elopement during which he put his health and safety at risk. Prior to the implementation of the token economy, a functional assessment was conducted to identify the consequences maintaining the participant’s maladaptive behaviors. The reinforcers that were hypothesized to serve as the function of the problem behaviors were then used and delivered when no target behaviors occurred during a specific amount of time. An ABAB design will be used to further evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Additional data to be collected.
83. Parametric and Functional Analyses in the Assessment and Treatment of Rumination
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NICOLE ELIZABETH MARCHETTO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jannette Puisseaux (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Rumination is recognized as a behavioral problem that can lead to serious health complications (Rast, Johnston, Drum & Conrin, 1981; Singh, Manning, & Angell, 1982). Rumination has effectively been treated using differential reinforcement (Conrin, Pennypacker, Johnston, & Rast, 1982), manipulations to meal presentation (Dudley, Johnson, & Barnes, 2002), and punishment procedures (Singh et al., 1982); however, little is known about the etiology of the behavior. The current study demonstrates the use of a parametric analysis of the relationship between rumination and antecedent conditions involving food (i.e., varying meal schedules, quantities and compositions of food, and levels of satiation and deprivation) as well as the use of a standard functional analysis (as described by Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman, 1982/1994) to assess the rumination of one 7-year-old boy diagnosed with Autism. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for treatment design and a subsequent function-based treatment is evaluated.
84. Stimulus Control of Manding: Combining Multiple Schedule of Reinforcement, Rules, and Non-Contingent Reinforcement
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KAREN STANLEY-KIME (Eastern Michigan University), Marilyn K. Bonem (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Stimulus control of manding is often utilized to reduce the occurrence of inappropriately frequent manding in child populations, though its application to adult individuals who may benefit from such a procedure has received limited attention. The purpose of the present case study was to reduce the frequency of manding in a developmentally disabled adult through the establishment of stimulus control using a multiple schedule with rules procedure in conjunction with non-contingent reinforcement (NCR). A novel stimulus - a necklace with a large red circle that could be flipped to reveal an equivalently large green circle - was worn by staff members of the school program in which the participant was enrolled; the participant received daily verbalization of rules regarding the meaning of the stimuli and also received noncontingent attention, the presumed functional reinforcer, on a fixed time schedule. Results indicated a significant difference in manding between red and green multiple schedule conditions. Implications for the use of this treatment with this population are discussed.



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