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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 #544
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
54. Increasing Distance-Based Provider Accountability Through Performance Feedback
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PAIGE BOYDSTON (Integrated Behavioral Technologies, Inc.), Katrina Ostmeyer (Integrated Behavioral Technologies, Inc.)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: As Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) continue to increase in prevalence (CDC, 2014), there continues to be a call for an increase in the availability of evidence-based treatment services such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This has led to an issue of demand outpacing the supply of qualified service providers, especially in historically underserved rural areas (Hartley, Britain, & Sulzbacher, 2002; Walrath et al., 2003). When working in rural areas, center-based programming may be difficult to obtain and may be infeasible altogether due to the geographic spread of clients. For this reason, home and community based intensive ABA services are frequently utilized in rural areas; oftentimes with a distance-based consultation model. Distance-based consultation models often present with unique challenges that are not seen in center-based programs or are intensified by geographic isolation. Among these are the supervision and direction of behavioral technicians, especially when high turnover is an issue in the field (Aarons, Sommerfield, Hecht, Silovsky & Chaffin, 2009; Leaf et al., 2011). Performance feedback and goal setting can be a relatively low effort and effective means of improving employee performance and productivity (Jung, Schneider, & Valacich, 2010). This study assesses the effect of a self-monitoring, goal setting, and provider feedback using permanent product data as a low-effort way of increasing behavioral technician productivity as measured by presenting sufficient opportunities to respond across and within programming in the home and community based setting.
55. Increasing Staff Task Completion Through Peer Mediation and Behavioral Skills Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENEE HARTZ (Melmark New England), Brittany Butler (Melmark New England), Kerrianne Natale (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Past research has focused on the use of intervention strategies with direct care staff to increase job performance. Staff training models are often evaluated as part of such research. Peer mediation has been found to be an effective means of teaching skills in some populations, but research is limited on using this strategy amongst staff. This study evaluated the effects of using a multi-component intervention plan (behavioral skills training and peer mediation) to increase task completion (well-body checks) amongst direct care staff at a private school serving individuals with disabilities. A reversal design was utilized to compare performance in baseline conditions versus treatment conditions. Results suggest that this intervention package was effective in increasing staff performance. Further research is suggested to analyze the most effective components of this treatment package, and to assess prompt fading strategies.
56. Acceptability of ABA Training in a TBI Rehabilitation Center
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL ARMSTRONG (Eastern Michigan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the introduction of a 90-minute introductory ABA training in terms of acceptability by direct care staff employed at a residential rehabilitation treatment center for individuals with moderate to severe TBI. Of the 102 direct care staff, 24.5% (n = 25) received their initial employee training, while 31.4% (n = 32) returned for their annual employee retraining. In summary, the majority of direct care staff indicated that the training was “very interesting” (n = 43, 42.2%), “very important” (n = 64, 62.7%), and that they would utilize “all” of the information (n = 53, 52.0%). Perceived interest, importance and usefulness of the provided information depended upon whether staff were receiving their initial or their annual training. Principles of reinforcement and punishment were endorsed as the most preferred topics (22.2%), and data recording was noted to be the least preferred (38.2%). Most employees indicated that group discussions were their preferred training format (53.4%), while lecture and written exercises were less preferred (39%). Strategies for introducing direct care staff training in settings that traditionally have not relied on principle and measurement-based behavioral interventions will be offered.
57. Culture Change in an In-Patient Child-Adolescent Mental Health Unit: CALM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
RUTH M. HURST (Central Regional Hospital; Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University; Department of Psychology, UNCW), Terrance Adams (Central Regional Hospital), Quincy Peterson (Central Regional Hospital), Sara Keane-Jordon (Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Restrictive interventions are used to prevent aggression by children and adolescents hospitalized due to severe behavior disorders and mental illness. Positive reinforcement and organizational behavior management systems were used to reduce restrictive interventions without increasing the frequency of aggression. A behavior analyst, nursing manger, and staff for 3 patient care units (38 patient beds) designed a positively-based behavioral system (CALM). During baseline, staff were provided with competency-based training on delivering praise and working with groups. After baseline, patients were provided with frequent praise for pro-social behavior and also received back-up reinforcers. Staff were provided with performance feedback. An ABC design was used. The performance monitoring component of the system was the intervention. Frequency of restrictive interventions, behavioral incidents, and percent correct for staff performance were dependent measures. A reduction in the number of restrictive interventions in comparison to baseline occurred with the implementation of monitoring and feedback. An even greater reduction in use of restrictive interventions followed increased monitoring and feedback (see Figure 1). The ratio of restrictive interventions to behavioral incidents also showed clear improvement (see Figure 2). That is, while the number of restrictive interventions decreased, the number of behavioral incidents did not increase. Thus, the system reduced restrictive interventions without increasing behavioral incidents. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a positive change in the culture of the unit also occurred.
58. Examining the Role of Staff Values in Increasing Social Engagement in Non Vocal Adults
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARIELA CASTRO (Southern Illinois University), William Root (Southern Illinois University), Megan Fults (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically based form of behavior therapy that has been shown to help decrease direct care worker burnout and increase rehabilitation workers’ health and wellbeing. The purpose of the current study was to use three 45 minute Values training session exercises (i.e., working towards being the best direct care worker one can be, helping others, being an important part of the company, continually growing financially with the company, etc.) to not only help staff clarify why they value their current career, but to also help them be present in the stressful moments of their day and act in a direction that will lead them to overall increase in health and well-being. A multiple baseline across participants was used to determine the frequency of staff engagement before and after the values workshop was delivered to non vocal adults. Results may demonstrate the effect that these training sessions will have on the frequency of staff engagement with non vocal clients, while working in a direct care setting.
59. Performance Development Plans, Preferences, and Performance Matrices: Implementing a Full Treatment Integrity Monitoring Package to Behavioral Staff
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Rocco G Catrone (SIU-Carbondale), DANIKA STONE (Gorbold Behavioral Consulting, inc.)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The quality of treatment has a significant impact on the effectiveness of behavioral treatment for those on the autism spectrum (LeBlanc, Ricciardi, & Luiselli, 2005). Paraprofessional staff do not have the extensive training, both scholarly and clinical, that Board Certified Behaviors Analysts possess. However, the training of these staff is paramount in order to implement useful behavioral procedures to a greater population. As a result, treatment integrity is a worthwhile measure to implement as it can dictate the level of effective treatment (Peter, Horner, & Wonderlich, 1982; Gongola, Barton, Gongola, Rosales, and Speece, 2014; Wheeler, Baggett, Fox, and Blevins 2006). Self-monitoring procedures have been an effective tool to increase the treatment integrity among behavioral therapists (LeBlanc et. al, 2005; Mowery, Miltenberger, Weil, 2010; Richman, Riordan, Reiss, Pyles, and Bailey, 1988). This study examined the reliability and utility of using a performance development plan (PDP) to dictate the goals on staff and employer self-monitored Performance Matrix to increase treatment integrity among its participants.
60. Group Staff Management: Incentive Based on Performance
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSE CARRINGTON (Behavior Technician), Jeana L. Koerber (Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of this intervention was to heighten staff awareness and increase the number of learning opportunities for children with autism receiving early intervention applied behavior analysis services at an outpatient program in southwest Michigan. The behavior technicians (staff) were provided a goal for the number of learning opportunities to provide in a half hour interval, a sheet to record the total number of trials per half hour interval, and a frequency clicker to track their current trial rates. Baseline data indicated that the children were receiving less than the target goal of learning opportunities, per half hour interval. Thus, a group goal was set for 80% of the children receiving services to have a five percent increase in learning opportunities over baseline per half hour. If staff met their group goal of 80% of children with the five percent increase across four consecutive weeks, they were entered into a prize drawing for a five dollar gift card of their choice.
61. Mobile Learning and Gamification: The Case of Educating Healthcare Professionals
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Marit Gulliksen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), ASLE FAGERSTRØM (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Tor-Morten Grønli (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to test the impact of the use of mobile learning and gamification in educating healthcare professionals. A mobile learning app was developed consisting of 20 flip cards with questions and answers. The learning program was related to a vital paragraph regulating healthcare professionals working with mentally and socially handicapped people in Norway. A between-subjects design was used with a randomized selection divided into one control group and two test groups. Both test groups used the mobile learning app. In addition, Test Group 2 used social media and Test Group 1 did not use social media. The Control Group was given ordinary teaching. Level of knowledge (dependent variable) was measured in a pre-test before the intervention and in a post-test after the intervention. Results show that level of knowledge for Test Group 1 and Test Group 2 increased significantly compared to level of knowledge for the Control Group. This study demonstrates that gamification can increase learning, and mobile learning technology are easy accessible for the users. Our conclusion is that elements from gamification and behavioral principles when designing mobile learning program may give a more effective learning process. Implications for healthcare educators as well as suggestions for future research are given.
62. Implementation Errors for Task Interspersal Procedures: Impact of Training Methods
Domain: Applied Research
SUMMER BOTTINI (Binghamton University), Jennifer M. Gillis Mattson (Binghamton University), Raymond G. Romanczyk (SUNY at Binghamton)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Task interspersal is a common technique demonstrated to facilitate learning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Koegel et al., 2010; Chong & Carr, 2005; Kelly & Holloway, 2015). However, this technique can be difficult to implement, with some teachers attaining as low as 67% treatment integrity in controlled, internally valid studies. Errors in implementation can negatively impact outcomes for children (Worsdell et al, 2005). The present study examines the types of errors incurred, compares two methods of staff training as to how these impact treatment integrity, and assesses whether modified data sheets reduce implementation errors. Seventy-eight undergraduate participants were trained to implement task interspersal and then video recorded while conducting three task interspersal sessions. One third of participants received behavioral skills training (i.e., description, video modeling, live modeling, and role play with feedback), 1/3 received an abbreviated training (i.e., role play with feedback), and 1/3 received the abbreviated training with modified data sheets. Initial analysis for 10 participants (complete analysis will be completed before the conference) revealed task interspersal schedule, material layout, and reinforcement to be the most frequent errors (Table 1). Findings will inform methods to improve efficiency of training staff to minimize implementation errors.
63. An Analysis of the Classes and Training Offered in Organizational Behavior Management Programs
Domain: Theory
YNGVI F. EINARSSON (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of this analysis is to get an overview of the type of graduate training in Organizational Behavior Management is being provided to students in the field. All programs listed on as graduate training programs in Organizational Behavior Management were included in the analysis. Currently, there are no specific standards a program has to meet in order to be included on the website. The analysis focused on three criteria. Primarily identifying classes specific to solving organizational issues and are required in the graduate program. Then classifying whether or not those required classes have a foundation in the philosophy of behavior analysis. Lastly, counting how many optional classes in the program are specific to solving organizational issues based on the philosophy of behavior analysis. Online materials from each program were first included in the analysis and each program was then contacted for verification. Lastly, a description or preferably a syllabus was asked for each class meeting the criteria of the study.
64. The Effects of a Remote Behavioral Skills Training Package on Staff Performance in Conducting Functional Analyses
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA RENEE WISKIRCHEN (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Yannick Schenk (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Byron Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The present study seeks to extend the current literature on utilizing behavioral skills training (BST) to teach practitioners how to implement functional analyses (FA). Using a multiple baseline design across participants, this study will measure the effects of using a remote BST package on accurate implementation of FA procedures. Specifically, researchers will use the latest HIPAA-secure teleconsultation technology and BST when training practitioners who have no previous training in FA methodologies. Each participant will experience four phases, which include baseline (only instructions with simulated clients), BST (instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback with simulated clients), post training probes (probes with simulated clients), and generalization probes (probes with actual clients). We will evaluate the effects of a remote BST package on levels of performance in simulated conditions as well as the effects of the remote BST on performance in generalization probes with actual clients.


Modifed by Eddie Soh