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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.

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Poster Session #475
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: John M. Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
60. Behaviour Analysts Opinions Regarding Treatment Adherence in Research and Practice: Predictors of Best Practices
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MEAGAN ELIZABETH SCOTT (Brock University ), Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: Given the reliance on mediator delivered interventions in our field, treatment adherence by natural mediators is an essential aspect of ABA service delivery and research. Despite this, few published studies report on treatment adherence in research (McIntyre, Gresham, DiGennaro & Reed, 2007), and fewer still focus specifically on adherence by natural care providers in non-clinical settings (Allen & Warzak, 2000). Treatment non-adherence is problematic because treatment adherence has been found to be positively correlated with treatment effectiveness and outcomes (Fryling, Wallace, & Yassine, 2012). Treatment errors, especially errors of commission, have been found to be detrimental to treatment success (St. Peter-Pipkin, Vollmer, & Sloman, 2013). To examine the issue of treatment integrity in practice, an international survey was conducted with 160 behaviour analysts working with families, direct-care staff, and educators of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This poster will present key findings relating to behavior analysts’ opinions regarding treatment adherence in research and practice. The predictive value of years of practice, levels of education, and levels of certification on the degree of reported reliance on clinical and research best practices will be explored.
61. Review of Competing Stimulus Assessments, Treatment Outcomes, and Recommendations for Practice
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL HOLDEN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Catherine Chaille (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: Competing stimulus assessments (CSA) have been used to identify stimuli that are associated with reduced levels of problem behavior, possibly as a function of reinforcer competition. While CSA have been utilized in research studies and in clinical practice, the parameters for conducting the assessments vary widely. The current study reviews 11 CSA and treatment evaluations conducted with children receiving behavioral treatment on an inpatient unit for severe problem behavior. Participants included nine males and two females, ranging in age from five to 19 years (M = 11 years). The number of competing items assessed ranged from 9 to 29 (M = 14), sampling durations ranged from two to five minutes, and number of trial series ranged from one to five. Problem behaviors targeted in the CSA included: self-injury, pica, elopement, and disruption. Based on the functional analyses, 91% of the participants’ problem behaviors were maintained solely by automatic reinforcement. Participants’ problem behaviors were reduced by an average of 88.9%, and the most common treatment components included competing stimuli and response interruption and redirection. Our evaluation indicates that the assessment is more useful for automatically reinforced behavior and can lead to effective treatments.
62. Texture Fading: A Brief Texture Probe Protocol In the Treatment of Food Selectivity
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIELLE TARVER (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University), Alison Kozlowski (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: When used in conjunction with function-based treatment, texture probes and stimulus fading are effective in advancing texture while maintaining high rates of appropriate and low rates of problem behaviors in children with food selectivity (Shore, Babbitt, Williams, Coe, & Snyder, 1998). Additionally, texture probes allow for textures to potentially be bypassed, thereby shortening treatment. The purpose of this study was to expand upon the study by Shore et al. by tailoring the texture probes to individualized treatments and conducting short bite probes to more rapidly progress treatment. The participant was Matthew, a 13-year-old boy with food refusal, gastrostomy-tube dependence, autism, intellectual disability, and hypotonia, who ate a 100% pureed diet following function-based treatment of refusal. To advance texture, following every three meals in which Matthew met success criteria at the current texture (i.e., ≥ 80% acceptance and mouth cleans, ≤ 20% gagging and coughing, and ≤ 0.5 refusals and expels per minute), a brief series of texture probes was conducted using the treatment protocol. Stimulus fading was used when success criteria were not met for whole textures. Matthew’s texture was advanced from puree to wet ground while maintaining high rates of appropriate and low rates of problem behaviors throughout.
63. Individualized Token Economy Programming in a Public School Classroom
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER JONES (The Learning Tree Inc.), Jennifer Nordal (The Learning Tree Inc.), Caitlin Kite (Auburn University)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: Token economies are used with a variety of populations for many purposes including behavioral treatment, education, and in social settings. Furthermore, modifications to the value of the reinforcers and frequency of delivery increase responsiveness to these programs. (Kazdin, 1982). Tokens are conditioned reinforcers that are paired with established reinforcers to potentially increase appropriate behavior (Fiske et al., 2015). Token economies take on many variations when applied to the classroom setting for behavioral purposes. A group contingency such as the Good Behavior Game has been used across classrooms with successful decreases in problem behavior (Tingstrom, Sterling-turner, Wilczynski, 2006). Additionally, token economies work through the process of behavioral economics to determine functional relationships between the reinforcement contingencies and behavior (Hackenberg, 2009). The current study seeks to examine the effectiveness of an individualized token economy for behavior reduction in the classroom. As tokens are earned for appropriate behavior and absence of problem behavior, higher levels of tokens earned indicate lower levels of maladaptive behaviors. Overall, the treatment package data show an increase in tokens earned as well as a decreasing trend in all problem behaviors.
65. The Use of Performance-Based Lotteries to Improve Staff Behavior in Pediatric Psychiatric Residential FaciIities
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JENNIFER S. KAZMERSKI (University of Colorado School of Medicine), Ryan Ford (East Carolina University), Jessica Buzenski (East Carolina University), Kay Exum (East Carolina University)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: Residential treatment facilities are commonly known to be understaffed, prone to high staff turnover rates and often limited to hiring staff with limited qualifications. These facilities are often limited in terms of resources and have difficulty motivating staff to engage in appropriate staff behavior. As a result the staff are less likely to respond to the appropriate behavior of residents and more likely to overrespond to inappropriate behavior limiting the opportunity for the generalization of replacement behaviors that are often the focus of treatment. An increase in the use of restraints has been noted within residential treatment facilities posing a potential risk to both residents and staff alike. Staff are often unaware of the implications of using punishment-based procedures and often use them incorrectly. Many facilities are now moving toward reducing the use of restraints, but still experience difficulty improving staff behavior to prevent the escalation of inappropriate resident behaviors. Iwata and colleagues (1976) evaluated the use of a performance-based lottery system in a residential treatment facility to improve staff task completion using a multiple baseline design. Results indicated an improvement in overall staff behavior with the use of the weekly lottery. The present study sought to extend previous research to use a performance-based reinforcement system to improve staff-resident interactions within the classrooms of a rural pediatric psychiatric treatment facility using a multiple baseline design. Additionally, the present study evaluated the schedule of reinforcement and provided audible prompts at fixed intervals to address staff behavior. Results of the present study indicated an increase in staff-resident interaction within the classroom in a pediatric psychiatric residential treatment facility. Staff-resident interaction continued to increase and maintain across treatment phases, as the audible prompt was faded. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of reinforcement-based techniques to improve staff engagement in a psychiatric residential treatment facility. The use of performance-based lottery may be beneficial in increasing the use of positive reinforcement by staff members with residents potentially decreasing the likelihood of staff overresponding to problem behavior and the use of physical restraints.
66. Does Practice Make Perfect? Volunteer Effects On Role Play Skill Demonstration
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN MARIE SPECKIN (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Audrey H. Shivers (University of North Texas), Carla M. Smith (University of North Texas)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: Behavior skills training has been demonstrated to be effective for teaching a wide variety of skills. Behavior skills training typically includes instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback with an emphasis on rehearsal and feedback as a requirement to demonstrate competency. The current project used behavior skills training to teach three behavior management tools to caregivers at a state residential facility. Training included an eight-hour instruction, modeled role play examples, and optional rehearsal with feedback. Behavior management tools were then tested in a contrived role play. Feedback and additional post-tests were conducted until competency was reached. Researchers assessed if caregivers completing rehearsal and feedback during training was correlated with demonstrating competency in a role play test. Researchers also assessed if caregivers with repeated rehearsal and feedback reduced the need for additional post-tests with feedback to reach competency. Data suggest that participants who actively participated in rehearsal and feedback demonstrated greater competency in role play tests than caregivers without rehearsal and feedback. Repeated rehearsal and feedback did not reduce the need for additional post-tests with feedback to reach competency.
67. Increasing Efficiency, Accuracy, and Timeliness of Data Management and Documentation Through the Use of an Electronic Data Collection System
Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON BARRY (May Institute), Paul W. Heering (May Institute)
Discussant: John Guercio (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: The purpose of this project was to investigate the efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness of an electronic data collection, management, and documentation system compared to pen and paper to computer-based software systems. The study took place at an adult day habilitation program and with home based consultation services for children. Timeliness data were collected for one month to determine the time between when the behavior occurred and when data were graphed. To track accuracy of transferring written tally marks into typed numbers, staff members from outside the day program entered data into spreadsheets, and percentage of agreement between day staff and outside staff was calculated. Efficiency was determined by timing one staff member entering 7 individuals data from paper sheets to computer spreadsheets. To measure documentation efficiency, 8 clinicians were timed while documenting services by hand and then in the electronic system, using a sample vignette. Results indicated notable differences between traditional data management and documentation compared to the electronic system across efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness in both settings. The time saved using the electronic system will allow time for staff to provide more direct services, make more timely decisions regarding progress, and act using more accurate data.
68. Discriminate Before You Generate: An Important Component of an Effective and Efficient Reading Curriculum
Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN L. MANSON (University of Nevada, Reno), Staheli Meyer (University of Nevada, Reno & Fit Learning), Kendra B. Newsome (Fit Learning), Donny D. Newsome (Fit Learning), Timothy C. Fuller (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Discriminate before you generate is a common mantra among Precision Teachers. This poster will demonstrate how this idea can be practically implemented in reading instruction. The act of reading requires the reader to generate a wide variety of rule-governed textual responses accurately and fluently. For a fluent reader, subtle differences in textual stimuli come to exert discriminative control over the vocal or subvocal textual responses emitted. When an aspiring reader demonstrates dysfluency in textual responding, Precision Teachers commonly employ strategies to systematically isolate and measure the accuracy and fluency of the critical conditional discriminations required for a functional reading repertoire. These operant sub-classes of reading behavior are called tool skills or component skills. When dysfluency on the component skills of reading is identified, the adage Discriminate before you generate informs the most efficient, generative path to remediation. Case studies from Fit Learning are included to show how prioritization of fluency building on simple textual discrimination tasks can produce rapid improvements in the composite reading repertoire and readily generalize to novel text.
69. Certificants' Reports of Contact With Literature and Continuing Education
Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH MARTNER (University of Florida), David J. Cox (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Maintaining competence through professional development is critical in this knowledge-based industry. The purpose of this study is to inform how, and to what extent, certified behavior analysts maintain competence by means of consuming research and obtaining continuing education. We sent a survey to all certificants through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board email campaign system. Questions addressed the methods, extent of access in various domains, and barriers to accessing literature. Questions regarding continuing education focused on the sources and domains of obtained continuing education units and the benefits and barriers to accessing online and on-site continuing education events. Based on the data reported from the 560 respondents of this survey, most board certified behavior analysts reported reading between 6 and 20 articles per year, and most certificants at the doctoral level reported reading 20 or more articles per year. The most commonly reported barrier to maintaining contact with scholarly literature was access to databases and the cost of relevant articles. Despite most continuing education opportunities currently being obtained on-site, the costs and effort of attending conferences were significant barriers providing ongoing motivation for interactive online continuing education events. Understanding the current trends in our field has important implications for its future. Additionally, approved continuing education providers can use these data to inform development of engaging continuing education opportunities that play to the benefits of the delivery format.
70. Using Tickets to Reinforce Appropriate Behavior in a Before-and-After-School Community Program for Children and Youth
Domain: Service Delivery
SEAN SAUNDERS (University of Nevada, Reno), Vanessa Willmoth (University of Nevada, Reno), Morgan L. Manson (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Appropriate behavior management can be difficult in a before and after school program setting. Staff often have no behavioral training yet are expected to keep a large group of children under control. In this particular program, the ratio is 2 staff for every 25 kids. There are a total of 15 sites with some having up to 160 children at a time. This program has no embedded system in which to assist staff in promoting appropriate behaviors in the kids. In order to encourage an increase in appropriate behavior, we implemented a ticket reward system. The tickets were to be provided to each for engaging in appropriate behaviors. In conjunction with the ticket system, we created goals for the staff as incentive for them to hand out the tickets and focus on the appropriate behaviors occurring. With some behavior management training for staff and just the implementation of the ticket system, we were able to see an increase of appropriate behaviors in children across all sites.
71. Treatment Integrity of Research Procedures Implemented by Therapists Across Sites
Domain: Service Delivery
HALEH AMANIEH (University of Florida), Jonathan K Fernand (University of Florida), Emma Grauerholz-Fisher (University of Florida), Brandon C Perez (University of Florida), Daniel Conine (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The University of Florida conducted a replication of Horner & Keilitz (1975) in collaboration with three Florida Autism Center sites. Subjects were taught daily living skills using a task analysis. Subjects were children diagnosed with autism. Staff from two of the sites were trained to implement the procedures remotely, while staff at the third site were trained directly by the researchers. Videos of sessions were recorded and shared with the authors. A trained undergraduate research assistant in the third site measured treatment integrity for all sites using a checklist. Feedback to the remote sites was given via telephone, while feedback to the third site was given directly. Treatment integrity scores varied across staff and location. Treatment integrity of the procedures from the three trained sites are presented. Variables influencing high or low treatment fidelity levels are discussed. Unusual methods (e.g. Reinforcement during baseline) may have impacted low scores during certain conditions. Implications for low treatment integrity scores on treatment outcomes are also presented.
72. An Expansion on Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) Authorship Publication Trends (1998-2014)
Domain: Service Delivery
ROCKY HAYNES (University of South Florida - Tampa), Shelley Clarke (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This investigation was conducted to ascertain changes in terms of trends related to authorship and publication in JABA over the last 16 years. The need for this analysis was deemed an important area to re-examine after the initial investigation of authorship trends completed by Dunlap, Clarke and Reyes was published in JABA in 1998. A comparison with the 1998 article was completed to compare authorship trends over time. Results for JABA show a clear increasing trend for the percentage of veteran authors starting in the mid 1990’s then remaining stable at those levels around the last two decades.
73. Time Course of Changes in Amount of Cues During Behavioral Trainings in Patients With Dementia
Domain: Applied Research
YURI HASHIMOTO (Kitasato University), Makoto Suzuki (Kitasato Univers), Aki Watanabe (Kitasato University), Harumi Kotaki (Hatsutomi Hoken Hospital), Michinari Fukuda (School of Allied Health Sciences, Kitasato University)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Decreasing behavioral independence levels is the most problematic aspect for patients with dementia. Despite the necessity of behavioral trainings, little is known about the changes in behaviors during the trainings. We examined the time course of changes in amount of cues given by the therapist in training to learn upper-body dressing, toileting and transferring. Four patients with dementia were enrolled in the study. The patients received behavioral trainings based on the time-delay method. If the patient responded with inadequate component actions or did nothing for 10 seconds, the therapist offered cues at four levels in the following order: verbal cue, gesturing, tapping, and physical assistance. When the patient carried out each component action, the therapist praised the patient. The results of the data of amount of cues fitted an exponential function gradually decreased during learning of the behavioral skills (dressing, t = 380.1, R2 = 0.59, p = 0.006; toileting, t = 1.7-2.2, R2 = 0.83-0.90, p < 0.0001; transferring, t = 0.4, R2 = 0.99, p < 0.0001). These results suggest that the amount of cues could be described by an exponential function, and dressing, toileting, and transferring were difficult to accomplish in a stepwise fashion.
74. Patient-Centered Behavioral Intervention for Schizophrenia
Domain: Applied Research
MAI SAKIMOTO (Link Yokohama Home-visit Nursing Station), Takayuki Kawaguchi (Kitasato University), Makoto Suzuki (Kitasato University), Taichi Matsuoka (Rehabilitation Dept., Fukui Memorial Hospital), Aki Watanabe (Kitasato University)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The ultimate goal of rehabilitation in patients with schizophrenia is to optimize their participation in society. Restrictions to participation are problems an individual may experience in involvement in life situations or roles. In order to achieve the patients goals in his/her own life situations or roles, the behavioral intervention process is required to use collaborative approaches that always maintain a focus on the patients needs and desires and to ensure that the patient is actively involved in making decisions about the process of patient-centered. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of patient-centered behavioral intervention on participation in a patient with schizophrenia. The AB design treatment single subject experimental design was implemented, where baseline with interview about patients goals related individual life situations, intervention with collaborative approaches focused on patients goals related individual life situations. The target behavior was frequency of participation related to patients goal. Patient-centered behavioral intervention increased the frequency of participation related to patients goal (p = 0.001). These results suggest that the patient-centered behavioral intervention had an effect on the frequency of participation in a patient with schizophrenia. The present findings may serve to optimize participation of patients with schizophrenia.
75. Effectiveness of a Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Behavior (DRL) Procedure in a Home Setting
Domain: Applied Research
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A reversal design was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of a DRL procedure on the reduction of challenging behaviors across two participants. The DRL procedures were implemented within the context of regular home-based service delivery. Both participants engaged in high rates of challenging behaviors prior to the implementation of the procedure. When the DRL procedure was in place, reinforcement was delivered contingent upon the number of responses within a period of time occurring below a predetermined criterion. In the reversal condition, the DRL was removed and modified behavior guidelines were implemented. For both participants, this plan consisted of high-probability request sequences paired with either a token economy or functional communication training. The reversal yielded differentiated results between conditions. In conditions where the DRL procedure was present, challenging behaviors decreased to low rates below the set criterion across both participants. In conditions where the DRL procedure was not present, challenging behaviors increased to differentially higher rates above the set criterion. Experimental control was demonstrated across both participants as a result of the reversal design, which indicated an effective intervention in a home-based setting.


Modifed by Eddie Soh