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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #449
CE Offered: BACB
Using Behavior Analytic Interventions to Increase Physical Activity and Decrease Maladaptive Behaviors in Children and Adults
Monday, May 29, 2017
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2C
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: John M. Guercio, Ph.D.
Chair: Gabrielle Trapenberg Torres (Behavior Basics LLC)
Abstract: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third of US adults have obesity and obesity and related comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease cost the United States at least $147 billion dollars a year. Childhood/adolescent obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1980 and despite the CDCs recommendations less than one-third of the nations youth partakes in the recommended 60 min of daily exercise. The studies in this symposium examined the effects of choice in physical activity on the duration of physical exercise in children, the effects of a token system on daily physical activity, as measured by pedometers, with adults with co-occurring diagnosis of developmental disabilities and psychiatric and behavioral issues and the effects of observational learning as a low effort method to increase the physical activity of children with ASD. The results of the study show how the principles of behavior analysis can be used to increase physical activity, as well as reduce aberrant behaviors such as physical aggression, property destruction, and stereotypy.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): choice, observational learning, physical activity, reinforcement
The Effects of Choice on Exercise Duration in Young Children
HEATHER WALDRON (California Autism Center and Learning Group), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno), Amanda C. Nicolson (California Autism Center & Learning Group)
Abstract: Childhood/adolescent obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1980 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011) and it is important to find practical interventions to increase physical activity in children when addressing this problem. In this study, we examined the effects of a choice in physical activity on the duration of physical exercise in four school-aged children. Baseline conditions assessed the duration of time spent in each type of physical activity in the absence of any programmed contingencies. An alternating treatments design was used to compare the effects of choice, and a reinforcement contingency, on the duration of physical exercise. The reinforcement contingency was arranged so participants could earn one minute of access to preferred leisure activities for each minute they engaged in physical activity. On average, the inclusion of the choice component resulted in a greater increase in the duration of physical exercise than the contingency alone, for most participants. Furthermore, durations of physical activity were longer during all sessions with a reinforcement contingency than in baseline sessions.
Observational Learning and Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
BHAWANDEEP KAUR BAINS (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Less than one-third of the nations youth partakes in vigorous physical activity, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) recommendation of at least 60 min of daily exercise for children (CDC, 2015). In addition to improved fitness levels, physical activity offers many other benefits to children, including but not limited to better overall cardio metabolic health, and decreased risks of mortality. These trends of sedentariness and little to no physical activity are more prominent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) than in typically developing children. In addition, low levels of physical activity are correlated with higher levels of obesity. While only 13% of typically developing children fit the criteria for obesity, over 31% of children with autism are considered to be obese. A number of recent studies have demonstrated the importance of observational learning for children with ASD. This study utilized observational learning as a low effort method to increase the physical activity of children with ASD, in an outdoor structured playground. Six children, between 4 and 8 years old, with a diagnosis of ASD participated in this study, three were designated as peers (received direct reinforcement) and three were designated as participants (observed the delivery of reinforcement fro physical activity). All three participants demonstrated higher levels of physical activity in the presence of peer reinforcement and two out of three peers also demonstrated higher levels of activity with direct reinforcement. These data suggest that observational learning may be a viable intervention to increase physical activity in children with ASD.
Impacting Exercise Behavior in Adults With High Risk Aggressive Behavior: Using Existing Incentive Based Programming to Target Low Preference Health Targets
JOHN M. GUERCIO (Benchmark Human Services), Brandon May (Washington University in St. Louis)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that increasing exercise behaviors may be achieved through the use of self-monitoring, goal setting, and feedback. However, for many individuals these interventions may be insufficient or adherence may be challenging. No published studies have examined the use of the aforementioned procedures in combination with a token system in the developmentally disabled population for clients with severe aggressive behavior. The following paper will evaluate the effects of a token system on daily physical activity, as measured by pedometers, with adults with co-occurring diagnosis of developmental disabilities and psychiatric issues as well as significant behavioral challenges. All of the clients were residing in a community based residential setting. Prior behavioral successes of the clients on the token system will be reviewed as the foundation for the inclusion of exercise behavior in the token contingency. Concomitant effects on the frequency and duration of aggressive behavior will also be monitored throughout the course of the study. The success of the program will add to the body of research evaluating exercise as an antecedent intervention to reduce aberrant behaviors such as physical aggression, property destruction, and stereotypy.
 

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