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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 #546
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Mark D. Shriver (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
76. Interobserver Agreement for Chewing Skills in Children With Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Area: TPC; Domain: Applied Research
THOMAS MULDERINK (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: For children with feeding disorders, typical chewing patterns often do not develop naturally (Sheppard, 2008). Children with feeding disorders frequently engage in inefficient chewing practices such as mashing food, swallowing prematurely, packing food, or immature munching patterns. One major complication in the treatment of chewing skills is the measurement of functional chewing. Interobserver agreement (IOA) for chewing is complicated by patient use of atypical chewing patterns and closed-mouth chewing. Alternatively, methods such as mastication checks require teaching a child to delay swallowing and show the feeder the chewed bite (Volkert et al., 2013). This study explores the reliability of four measures of chewing: occurrence, frequency, duration, and mastication. Two groups of trained participants observed videos of children receiving treatment for chewing. One group of observers collected data on one specific chewing behavior (low demand) while the other group (high demand) coded all relevant behaviors during the feeding session (e.g., coughing, gagging, acceptance, etc.). IOA increased across all four measures for the low demand group; however, frequency and duration demonstrated relatively low IOA across both groups. Additional research will be presented exploring how a brief training for observers impacts the reliability of observations of these four measures of chewing.
77. Using AB Designs for Clinical Decision Making: An Examination of the Impact of Phase Length
Area: TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
MARC J. LANOVAZ (Université de Montréal)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: When working with clients, practicing behavior analysts have the ethical obligation to rigorously assess the effects of their interventions. The simplest single-case design to assess treatment effectiveness is the AB design. Because historical and maturational effects are not controlled, one concern of using the AB design is that the observed changes may be the result of confounding variables. The purpose of the study was to examine the probability of observing changes in the absence of the introduction of an independent variable (i.e., false positives) using previously published baseline data. To this end, we produced a series of 16,554 datasets with differing phase lengths from previously published studies and analyzed the graphs using the conservative dual-criterion method. Our results indicate that collecting three baseline data points is generally sufficient to minimize false positives (i.e., > .05) as long as the practitioner conducts at least five treatment sessions. Moreover, increasing the length of the treatment phase has typically more pronounced and beneficial effects than increasing the length of the baseline. Our results strongly support the validity of using the AB design as a decision-making tool within practical settings.
78. A Descriptive Study on the Work Experiences of Behavior Support Providers Across Tennessee
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN E. STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Maria Mello (Vanderbilt University, Peabody College, Special Education Department), A. Pablo Juárez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: As new Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) enter the field of behavior analysis, it is crucial to determine where, how, and what populations BCBAs are serving. We conducted an online survey to determine the potential gaps in behavior support services. The online survey link was disseminated through behavior service organizations/associations. The 94 participants in the survey were primarily white females with an average age of 36.74 years, who had been working for an average of 4.32 years as a BCBA in non-rural settings. While most BCBAs worked primarily in the top most populated counties, they reported traveling to provide services (76.1%), with a minimum distance of 12.83 miles and maximum of 61.90 miles. On a scale from 1 (never) to 5 (always), participants reported mostly working with younger children with autism, intellectual disability, and developmental delay. The results of this descriptive study show that there are different areas, both in population and location, where BCBAs can expand in regards to service provision. Service provision gaps still remain in regards to older adults, disabilities beyond IDD, and rural areas.
79. Differential Reinforcement for Low Rates of Behavior and Token Reinforcement to Reduce Bizarre Speech in an Adolescent Female
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Abstract: Differential reinforcement for low rates of behavior (DRL) and token reinforcement were used as a behavior intervention protocol for an eleven-year-old female who engaged in speaking to imaginary people and animals. A brief functional assessment consisting of behavioral interviews and direct observation suggested non-functional vocalizations was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A changing criterion DRL procedure backed by a token economy was implemented and partial interval recording method was used to assess the percentage of intervals the individual engaged in vocalizations from baseline (83%) to termination of the intervention (-0%).
80. Relationship of Severity of Behavior Problems to Impact on Quality of Life: A Pilot Study of Two New Measures
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ROSEMARY A. CONDILLAC (Brock University), Whitney Kerr (Brock University), Meagan Elizabeth Scott (Brock University )
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Condillac (2009) designed a system of program evaluation measures for publicly funded ABA programs serving individuals with ASD/DD. The Behavioural Assessment and Treatment Taxonomy (BATT) tracks ABA assessment and intervention techniques and behavioural outcomes. The Target Behavior Severity Scale (TBSS) measures caregivers’ reports of the severity of problem behaviour across the dimensions of frequency, intensity, duration, and discrimination. The Impact on Quality of Life Scale (IQOL) measures the impact of problem behaviour on quality of life for the individual and those in their environment. This poster will focus on the development of the IQOL. Caregivers of 25 individuals with ASD/DD receiving community based ABA treatment for problem behaviour completed the IQOL and the TBSS. Preliminary results suggest that the I-QOL is easy to use, has good face validity, and has acceptable internal consistency (.871 for individual, .950 for caregiver, and .949 for full scale). Correlations between the TBSS total score and IQOL scores reveal modest positive relationships (.53 to .67, p<.01) and account for between 28%-45% of the variance suggesting that the IQOL and TBSS are measuring overlapping but relatively unique concepts. These results provide support for field-testing the IQOL and TBSS within a program evaluation pilot.
81. Reliability and Validity of the Target Behaviour Severity Scale: A Measure of Social Validity
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY KERR (Brock University), Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) relies on the scientific method to decrease problem behaviour and increase skills for individuals with developmental disabilities. Program evaluation determines whether desired outcomes are being met within ABA services. However, program evaluation is inherently difficult and rarely completed due to individualized programming and lack of available measures to capture specific changes in problem behaviour. This study examined the face validity, usability, and reliability of the Target Behaviour Severity Scale (TBSS) completed by consultants and caregivers. The instrument was found to have acceptable internal consistency (consultant α= .714, caregiver α= .730) and was reported to be easy to use. When significant differences between consultant and caregivers were found, caregivers typically rated problem behaviour as more severe. Results suggest that the TBSS holds significant promise for future use in program evaluation, though some further revision is likely necessary to improve internal consistency of the scale measuring duration.
82. Self-Reinforcement With Behavioral Checklist in Patient With Schizophrenia
Domain: Applied Research
TAKAYUKI KAWAGUCHI (Kitasato University), Makoto Suzuki (Kitasato Univers), Aki Watanabe (Kitasato University), Michinari Fukuda (School of Allied Health Sciences, Kitasato University)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Patients with schizophrenia who cannot perform daily living behaviors independently become a burden to their family members and show poor integration into the community. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of self-reinforcement on daily activity and participation in a patient with schizophrenia. The target behaviors were bathing frequency related to daily activity and work time related to participation. A single subject experimental multiple baseline design where baseline with verbal prompts by occupational therapist, intervention with self-reinforcement using checklists of bathing and working was implemented. Self-reinforcement using checklists increased the bathing frequency (baseline: 1 time per week, intervention: 1-3 times per week; change in level = 3.0; binominal test, p = 0.006) and working time (baseline: 0-60 hours per week, intervention: 60-180 hours per week, change in level = 1.0; binominal test, p < 0.001). These results suggest that the self-reinforcement using checklists had an effect on bating frequency and working time in a patient with schizophrenia.
83. Increasing Self-Feeding Skills Using Backward Chaining
Domain: Applied Research
DENISE PICHARDO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily Kate Rubio (Georgia State University), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: It is common that children with feeding disorders lack age-appropriate eating skills, as they may have missed opportunities to develop typical feeding skills, such as self-feeding. Intervention may be necessary to teach these skills regardless of whether refusal results from a motivational or skill deficit. When a target behavior is rare or absent, tasks can be shaped using forward or backward chaining by targeting a pre-existing step within an individuals behavioral repertoire. Research has shown that backward chaining can shape cup-drinking and using manual guidance to complete the chain familiarizes clients with the untrained steps and may increase mastery. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to extend the use of backward chaining to increase self-feeding of solids for a child with a feeding disorder when alternative methods failed to increase consistent self-feeding. Participation criteria and self-feeding steps were established, and backward chain procedures were initiated. Once the participant accurately completed the targeted step in the chain at least 80% of the time for 3 consecutive sessions, a baseline probe was conducted to establish experimental control, and then the subsequent step was introduced. This procedure was effective in teaching to self-feed independently when other methods failed.
84. On the Relation Between Treatment Efficacy and Patient Preference for Behavioral Interventions
Domain: Theory
Catherine K. Martinez (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), KISSEL JOSEPH GOLDMAN (University of Florida), Nathalie Fernandez (University of Florida), Elizabeth Schieber (University of Florida)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: In recent years, behavior analysts have conducted several comparative analyses that have examined the efficacy of two or more procedures designed to produce the same outcome, as well as participants preferences among the procedures. We aggregated these studies to ask questions about the relation between treatment efficacy and treatment preference. Twenty-one published studies met our criteria for inclusion in the analysis, yielding 92 distinct data sets for 83 participants. Roughly 74% of the sample showed clear differences in both efficacy and preference for the procedures. When we considered only those data sets that showed a clear difference in both preference and efficacy, the participants preferred the most effective intervention in over 75% of the analyses, with correspondence as high as 90% when data sets were further divided into categories of behavior. We discuss these results, several secondary analyses, and observed trends in preference in terms of possible reasons for this high degree of correspondence and potential implications for the selection of behavioral interventions.
85. Evaluating Caregiver Compliance With Different Data Collection Methodologies
Domain: Applied Research
PAUL W. HEERING (May Institute)
Discussant: Robert Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Data collection is an important component of providing behavior analysis services. When providing consultation to families in real world settings it can be difficult to get families to consistently complete data collection forms. This study evaluated caregiver compliance with collecting data using two different data collection methodologies: a traditional pen and paper data sheet and an online form. During the first phase of the study families used traditional pen and paper data sheets. The second phase of the study involved families completing online forms that were created using free online software. The families filled out these forms using smartphones or tablets. A multiple baseline across families design was used to determine which data collection system was associated with higher rates of parent compliance. The results of the study showed that parent compliance was higher using online data collection systems. The latency for the consultant to have access to the data and parent satisfaction for each system were also examined. This study has many implications for the use of free, simple, and easily accessible technology in everyday settings.
85a. Experimental Functional Analysis: Training & Implementation by Board Certified Behavior Analysts
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HANNA C. RUE (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Chisato Komatsu (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Christine Seubert (Autism Spectrum Therapies ), Tino LoVullo (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Andrea Ridgeway (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: The current study aims to identify Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) experiences with experimental functional analyses (EFAs). Additionally, data collected will evaluate the impact of a training protocol on BCBAs ability to generalize skills necessary to conduct a trial-based functional analysis. Specifically, BCBAs reporting no experience implementing an EFA will participate in a one-day training on implementation of a traditional EFA protocol. Data will be collected regarding the participants ability to conduct an EFA with a client. Participants will then conduct a trial-based EFA to determine whether or not acquired skills generalized to a different EFA technique (i.e., traditional EFA and trial-based EFA). Results of the current study indicate that of 33 practicing BCBAs surveyed only 39% had experience implementing an EFA and 21% received training in EFA methodology outside of graduate level coursework. Preliminary results indicate in-vivo training is necessary to implement an EFA with acceptable levels of integrity. Additional results will be discussed in terms of generalization of skills and the need for EFAs to be completed during practicum placements.


Modifed by Eddie Soh