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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #477
CE Offered: BACB
Ensuring the Success of Behavior Therapists
Monday, May 29, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2B
Area: PRA/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Meghan Van Nostrand (ABACS)
CE Instructor: Meghan Van Nostrand, M.S.
Abstract: The success of behavior therapists (BTs) is essential to quality service delivery. In this symposium, success of BTs was examined in terms of procedural integrity (PI) and BT retention. First, the effects of behavior skills training and self-evaluation via video recording on maintenance of PI were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across participants. A discussion of the utility of BST and video self-evaluation of PI is included, particularly when limited resources are available. Next, a group design was used to compare lay and technical terminology in programming for staff who had not received prior training on the specific programming. Data were analyzed using descriptive and statistical analyses and identified that programming using lay terminology resulted in greater PI. Finally, a multitude of data were analyzed across more than 30 interview questions for over 60 employees to determine which variables best predict BT retention. Both descriptive and statistical analyses were conducted and identified clinically and statically significant relations between applicant variables and retention. These three presentations identify practical strategies that can be used to both select BTs and increase BT performance. Each study provides insight into allocation of resources to produce successful BTs who remain employed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate

Effects of Self-Evaluation on Training Practitioners

CHRISTINE AHERNE (ABACS, LLC.), Lauren Beaulieu (Regis College)

Procedural integrity (PI) is the degree to which techniques are implemented properly and should be maintained at a high level to ensure proper implementation of discrete trial training (DTT). We used a multiple baseline design across participants, and within session design to evaluate the maintenance of DTT skills taught through behavior skills training (BST) with three new behavior therapists at a home-based service agency. All participants learned to implement DTT through BST, and one participant maintained 100% correct implementation of DTT at the 2 week, 4 week, 6 week, and 8 week follow-ups. One participant maintained 100% correct implementation of DTT at the 2 week follow-up, but decreased below criterion at the 4 week follow-up. One participant dropped below mastery criterion at the 2 week follow-up. We taught these participants to implement self-evaluation via video recording. Following the self-evaluation program, DTT skills maintained for 6 weeks for one participant and for 7 weeks for one participant. These results suggest that skills taught through BST may maintain for up to 8 weeks; however, if skills do not maintain, self-evaluation may be a supplementary intervention to increase and maintain PI.

Predictors of Staff Retention and Performance Using Interview Data
Ashley Williams (ABACS), Stephanie Phelan (ABACS), MIRANDA COURANT-MORGAN (ABACS)
Abstract: In the current study, we analyzed a variety of observable, measurable variables observed across 90+ individuals during the interview and onboarding process in order to determine which variables might be correlated with greater length of employment and higher performance. A t-test indicated that statistically significant differences existed between applicants for number of months employed and performance checklist scores across several variables. The analysis of number of months employed yielded statistical significance at p < 0.1 for responses to two of four scenario-based questions (p = 0.06 and p = 0.05). Statistical significance was observed at p < 0.1 when examining performance checklist scores: experience under a BCBA, future goals, and education level. Many of the other variables yielded differences among the groups with respect to months employed and checklist score, and these results are discussed in terms of their clinical and practical significance. The results of the analyses suggest greater emphasis on certain aspects of the interview process as well as specific interview questions. Increased awareness of ABA as a potential career as well as opportunities for supervision by BCBAs could help address BT staffing needs in the field.

Evaluating the Effects of Lay and Technical Terminology on the Procedural Integrity of Behavior Analytic Programming

Stephanie Phelan (ABACS), HANNAH VANCE GREENWOOD (ABACS), Ashley Williams (ABACS), Lauren Werth (ABACS; Northeastern University ), Christine Aherne (ABACS)

This study was conducted to determine the impact of terminology on the procedural integrity of behavior analytic programming. A group design was utilized in which participants were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: Technical-Terminology (TT Group, n = 23) and Lay-Terminology (LT Group, n = 23). Participants were 46 individuals who were students at a local university (n = 36) or interviewees of a behavior analytic service provider (n = 12). In each condition, participants were provided with a behavior analytic program to teach intraverbal behavior: answering WH questions about Massachusetts. The TT Group received programming with technical behavior analytic terminology while the LT group received the same program with lay terminology. A paired samples t-test indicated that the lay terminology group had significantly higher procedural integrity than the technical terminology group (p = 0.079). Average procedural integrity scores for the lay terminology group was 60.49% compared to 51.72% for the technical terminology group. IOA of the participants procedural integrity was established. These results emphasize the importance of tailoring language to the audience and given context. Social validity data are reported, as well as implications that this study has on staff training and other areas of future research.




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