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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 #545
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
65. Intensity of Pharmacological Intervention Across Individuals Who Engage in Self-Injury
Area: BPN; Domain: Applied Research
CHRIS DILLON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Andrew Bonner (Arcus community resources), Chloe J. McKay (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Psychiatric medication is frequently prescribed alongside behavioral intervention for individuals who engage in self-injurious behavior (SIB). The treatment intensity rating form (TIRF) is a 10-item scale with three sub-categories. One of the sub-categories includes measures of pharmacological intervention. The two scales of pharmacological intervention examine 1) the number of medication trials a patient had over the course of their admission; and 2) the number of medications that were in place at discharge. Participants included 74 individuals who received treatment on an inpatient unit for severe problem behavior including SIB. Variables related to function of problem behavior (automatic vs. social) were examined to determine if individuals whose SIB is maintained by automatic reinforcement undergo more intensive pharmacological intervention. Four broad classes of medications are examined in more detail including antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Results indicate that patients whose SIB is maintained by automatic reinforcement received significantly more medication trials during admission and were more frequently prescribed antidepressants. Patients whose SIB is maintained by social consequences were more frequently prescribed antipsychotics and anticonvulsant medications. Finally, medications at discharge are examined across subtype of automatic reinforcement (Hagopian, Rooker, & Zarcone, 2015).
66. Comparing Health Delivery Models for Treatment of Behavioral Disorders in Children Identified in Pediatric Practice
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
LAUREN HELLER (Rowan University ), Kristen Thomsen (Rowan University ), Lynne Farbman (Rowan University ), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The current pilot study compared the outcomes of four distinct service delivery modalities of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based intervention for externalizing behavior disorders consistent with the principles of behavior analysis. Twenty participants ranging between ages 2 and 8 were recruited from a pediatricians office. Participants were eligible to take part in the study if they scored a 9 or above on the externalizing behavior section of Pediatric Symptom Checklist. Participants were randomly assigned to receive PCIT sessions either at their home, at the pediatricians office, in a university setting, or through a web-based video conferencing program. Outcome measures collected at baseline and 3-month follow-up included the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) completed by the parent, and direct observation of parent behavior in three play conditions with the child. A satisfaction report regarding the study was also completed at the 3-month follow up. Results of the ECBI indicated that there was a significant decrease in the intensity of child problem behavior from baseline to 3-month follow up and a significant decrease in the problem behavior rating dependent on service delivery method. Results of the direct observations indicated an increase in parent skills from baseline to 3-month follow-up.
67. Applied Behavior Analysis Can, and Should, Be More Actively Promoted for Saving Lives in Mainstream Public Health Problems
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
RICHARD COOK (Penn State University)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Saving Lifes and Greater Focus on Applying ABA to Mainstream Problems have been foci of recent ABAI presidents messages. Yet, as evidenced by the lectures and research presentations of past ABAI meetings, ABA, with its powerful behavior changing tools, is arguably underused in addressing many of the great public health problems, arguably crises, confronting societies today. The panels of this poster presentation will make a case for focusing greater attention upon these socially valid areas thru panels highlighting the epidemiology of such problems, as well as key facets of the application of ABA principles for public health crises including but not limited to smoking cessation, alcohol intoxication, injury control, domestic violence, family/marital dysfunction, and dementia. By presenting such information, this poster might serve as a motivation establishing operation for any of those who review or discuss it, by showing how ABA principles are directly applicable, and effective, in addressing component behavior chains in these complex public health problems. There is no reason to believe that programs and methodologies of ABA principles, well applied, could be as revolutionary and life altering for these problems and the individuals and societies that suffer from them as they have been for those with autism and other disabilities.
68. Beyond Percent Reduction: Global Outcomes of Interventions for Problem Behavior
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY TURBYFIELD (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center; Emory Healthcare), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center; Emory Healthcare), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center; Emory Healthcare)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Individuals who engage in problem behavior are likely to experience a number of negative outcomes both for the individual engaging in the problem behavior as well as the caregivers/families of these individuals (Estes et al., 2013; Sikora et al., 2013). Several studies show that interventions employing applied behavior analysis techniques are effective at reducing the rates of problem behaviors in these individuals (Von Schulz, 2014). However, little research has examined the broader impact of these interventions (e.g., impacts upon adaptive behavior of the individual or family stress levels). The current study examined the use of structured observations, clinical interviews, and self-report indirect assessments to evaluate the global impact of interventions for problem behavior across the individuals adaptive behavior, social responsiveness, perceived severity of their problem behavior, and caregiver stress to measure the impact of interventions for problem behaviors beyond a reduction in the rates of targeted problem behavior. Results suggest that this preliminary effort at identifying the collateral benefits of behavioral treatments for problem behavior show that positive outcomes extend beyond reducing problem behavior. Future research may benefit from identifying further measures that capture the range of domains impacted as well as identifying optimal times to conduct such measures.
69. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Effects of Contingent Responding on "Positive" Behavioral Change
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT HUNTER (University of Nevada, Reno), Timothy Kely Feeney (University of Nevada, Reno  ), Natalie Bennett (University of Nevada, Reno), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a relatively new and aspiring intervention which may improve the treatment of individuals with interpersonal difficulties. The fundamental element of FAP is its mechanism of change, wherein the therapist consistently provides the client with contingent shaping, which dually reinforces effective behavior and reduces counterproductive behavior. This study intends to add to the field of research with an analysis of therapist-client interactions that specifically tests the hypothesis that contingent responding is a highly effective mechanism of change due to its acute attention to the basic processes of learning. This hypothesis will be tested by coding every therapist-client interaction for a single subject over the course of treatment, and using a lag-sequential analysis to determine if contingent responding indeed leads to an increase in desired behavior compared to rates of change not induced by contingent responding. Expected results will indicate that contingent responding from the therapist optimizes behavioral output from the client for in-session behavior, with early data analysis showing a 95% confidence interval. Contingent responding produces positive behavioral change during therapeutic sessions, and in theory, such shaping will translate into the client's life outside the session, positing that contingent responding in therapeutic sessions could be a highly effective mechanism for improving overall client behavior.
70. An Evaluation of Impulsivity in Alcohol Use and Academic Work
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JOSEPH D. DRACOBLY (Eastern Connecticut State University), Stephanie Ferreira (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Many college students find drinking alcohol to be a fun and positive activity; however, there are also dangers in this practice. In the United States in 2001, one college student died per day due to alcohol use (Hingson, Heeren, Winter, & Wechsler, 2005). Researchers have reliably found that individuals who make impulsive choices are likely to have high levels of harmful alcohol use (e.g., Finn et al., 2005; Papchristou et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2010). This is particularly problematic in college students because harmful alcohol use is likely to affect both their personal life and academic work. The current study sought to examine the relationship between impulsivity and harmful alcohol use among undergraduate students. First, each participant completed self-report questionnaires that measured their impulsivity and harmful alcohol use. Second, each participant completed two simple tasks designed to measure their temporal discounting of alcohol access and future positive academic outcomes. Overall, even at a shorter delay, future positive academic outcomes were substantially less valuable than future alcohol access. Based on these results, rather than directly targeting alcohol use, it may be useful for colleges arrange more immediate contingencies for desirable academic behavior, which could indirectly decrease risky alcohol use.
71. Job Stress Sources Perception and its Effects in University Teachers
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ALFONSO VALADEZ RAMÍREZ (National University of Mexico), Cristina Bravo González (Universida Nacional Autónoma de México), Jos� Esteban Vaquero C�zares (Universidad Nacional Aut�noma de M�xico), Patricia Ortega Silva (National University of Mexico), Patricia Plancarte (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Romano Torres Hugo (Universida Nacional Autónoma de México)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Stress is a general problematic situation that impacts several work activities, but specifically in the case of teaching, has alarming evolutionary connotations. In a few years, the educative institution has been affected by numerous changes; these transformations have affected both, the teachers and the conditions in which they exercise their teaching. The main objectives were to identify the sources of stress in university teaching and analyze their impact on the teacher. 418 university professors participated in this study (men, women). They were selected through an intentional non-probabilistic sampling process. 59% of the participants work in a public university and the rest in a private university. The Inventory of Perceived Stress in University Teachers (IPEPU) and Stress Effect in University Teachers Inventory (EEPU) were used. The data showed that the mean score of the perceived level of stress is a little stressful. However, about 30% of teachers reported a significant amount of stress. Among the stressful situations, the organizations aspects are the most stressful, and the cognitive area is the one that has most of the effects. Currently it has been observed that stress occurs most often in people who work as teachers. The Teaching, one of the most widespread professions and more in touch with people, is considered a stressful and exhausting occupation.
72. Evaluating the Effect of Delays on Perceptions of Treatments for Challenging Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
JOCELYN SHIEH (Marcus Autism Center), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Delayed discounting is the decrease in the value or effectiveness of a consequence when its presentation after the occurrence of a behavior is delayed. Delayed discounting has generally been studied with monetary reinforcers, but researchers have hypothesized that the concept would generalize to a wide array of potential consequences. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of delayed discounting on caregivers perception of treatment effects for high and low intensity problem behavior. A group of college students (N=112) were presented with hypothetical vignettes to evaluate choices made when delayed discounting is applied to the value of monetary rewards and to the effectiveness of treatment for problem behaviors. Participants selected a course of treatment based on both the immediacy of improvement and the degree to which the childs problem behavior improves. Results include a comparison of monetary discounting to discounting of treatment effects. The following variables within the treatment vignette were also evaluated: whether the participant responds as a parent or a teacher and whether the participant makes treatment choices for a child with high intensity or low intensity problem behaviors.
73. Comparing Functional Analyses of Refusal for Solids and Liquids in Children With Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA RILL (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Denise Pichardo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alison Kozlowski (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Function-based treatments are effective in decreasing refusal in children with pediatric feeding disorders. In order to determine the function(s) of refusal, conducting functional analyses is advised. However, conducting separate functional analyses for refusal of solids and liquids is not commonly described in the literature. And in practice, the results of the functional analysis for solid refusal may just be applied to liquids. But what if the functions differ? The purpose of this study was to determine if the function(s) for refusal differed for solids and liquids in three children with pediatric feeding disorders. Mark was a 13-year-old male with autism, intellectual disability, laryngomalacia, and hypotonia; Ally was a 4-year-old female with autism; and John was a 3-year-old male with autism. All participants were admitted to an intensive feeding program for treatment of food and drink refusal. Functional analyses for refusal were conducted separately for solids and liquids for each participant. Although the function(s) of refusal differed across participants, each participant�s own refusal of solids and liquids was maintained by the same function(s). John�s refusal of solids and liquids was maintained by escape, while Ally and Mark�s refusal of solids and liquids was maintained by escape and attention.
74. Effect of a Brief RNT-Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Protocol in Treating Emotional Disorders
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Francisco Jose Ruiz-Jimenez (Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), Diana Riaño (Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), Juan Suárez (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia), CARMEN LUCIANO (Universidad de Almería)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The current study aims to analyze the effect of a 4-session acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention focused on disrupting worry and rumination in the treatment of emotional disorders. Both worry and rumination usually serve an experiential avoidance function and have been robustly identified as transdiagnostic factors implicated in the onset and maintenance of emotional disorders. A multiple baseline design was implemented with 5 participants suffering from depression and/or generalized anxiety disorder. Dependent variables were daily measures of repetitive thinking and weekly self-reports of emotional symptoms, worry, rumination, negative thoughts, valued living, experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion, and generalized pliance. This is an ongoing study that will collect data for a 3-month follow-up. To date, we have collected the posttreatment data from 3 participants who showed significant improvements in emotional symptoms for all participants. The results will be discussed highlighting the need to conduct a randomized clinical trial comparing the effect of this protocol with a standard ACT protocol to treat emotional disorders.
75. Comparing Novel Versus Extant Responses When Assessing Sensitivity to Attention
Domain: Applied Research
PHILLIP ORCHOWITZ (Kennedy Krieger Instittue ), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Marissa Erin Daly (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute/ Johns Hopkins Universit)
Discussant: Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Reinforcer assessments evaluate the effects of stimuli on rates of responding, and may hold some utility as an analogue format for predicting rates of problem behavior under specific contingencies. The purpose of this study was to determine if a novel response, button pressing, was sensitive to the same consequences as attention maintained problem behavior, for a 16-year-old male. In phase 1, a button press resulted in one of four consequences (praise, statement of concern, physical, or no attention). During phase 2, problem behavior produced the specific consequences. Across phases, a reversal design was used to compare responding during high or low quality attention. When results were compared, differential responding was observed, but unique patterns emerged based on the target behavior. Specifically, for button pressing, regardless of the quality of the attention, responding was highest for praise and statements of concern. However, when low quality attention was provided for problem behavior, responding was elevated in all conditions except when attention was not provided. Discussion will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using novel responses as an alternative to problem behavior to determine sensitivity to contingencies. The percentage of sessions with interobserver agreement averaged 39.4% and was adequate for all behaviors.


Modifed by Eddie Soh