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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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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #459
Monday, May 29, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
Chair: Jocelyn Kuhn (University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kennedy Krieger Institute)
89. Social Validity and Fidelity of an Outpatient Implementation of the PEERS Social Skills Curriculum
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
TIFFANY BORN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tanisha Vanen (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jocelyn Kuhn (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Laura Ambrose (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Elizabeth Stratis (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Holly Majszak (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kristen M. Kalymon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: The PEERS Social Skills Curriculum, a caregiver-assisted social skills program for high-functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has been shown to be effective at improving social skills. The current study focuses on an evaluation of the social validity and fidelity of an outpatient replication of the PEERS curriculum. Eleven middle and high-school students with ASD, aged 11–16, and their parents participated in a 14-week intervention across two outpatient clinic locations. Both parent and adolescent groups received a short survey weekly to rate their level of satisfaction and indicate what, if anything, they learned each session. At the end of the intervention, both groups received a more detailed social validity questionnaire. Results indicate that both adolescents and parents found the intervention mostly favorable and beneficial. In addition to the adolescents’ and parents’ feedback, each week the adult facilitators rated each participant’s level of engagement on a three point scale. Fidelity of implementation was also assessed weekly through homework completion checks and self-reported observations. Fidelity of staff implementation was high across settings (91%-95%). Homework completion varied significantly by family and assignment. Quantitative and qualitative findings as well as clinical implications will be shared.
90. The Effects of Internet-based Deposit Contracts on Aerobic Activity in Sedentary Adults
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSEY BROWN (The Chicago School of Professional Pscyhology), Jennifer Klapatch Totsch (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: The current study assessed the effects of a deposit contract and heart rate monitoring on increasing aerobic activity in sedentary adults. Three participants, who had not engaged in any aerobic exercise for at least 30 days prior to the onset of the study, entered into a deposit contract and wore a heart rate monitoring device during physical activity. Participants were required to exercise for a specific amount of time, on a specific number of days, in their target heart rate zone in order to meet the criterion for reinforcement. In a changing criterion design, participants’ goals for the frequency and duration of exercise changed across an 8-week intervention phase. During the 7-day baseline, participants did not receive any portion of their deposit back contingent on exercise. During the 8-week intervention, participants received an incremental amount of their deposit for meeting weekly exercise goals. The results of the current study suggest that deposit contracts and heart rate monitoring could increase the frequency and duration of aerobic activity in sedentary adults.
91. Effects of Audio Recorded Praise Statements on an Adult's Running Speed
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
BONNY AISLIN BRIGHT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Fitness applications (apps) are becoming increasingly prevalent with smartphone users, but have rarely been investigated for their efficacy in improving performance. This study sought to identify whether recordings of general praise statements, delivered through a smartphone and headphones, have an effect on the speed of adult runners. Two adult participants were exposed to three conditions in an alternating treatments design: Baseline, with no praise statements; Observer Praise, with the researcher shouting the praise statements as the participant ran past; and Recorded Praise, where the praise statements were delivered through a smartphone and headphones. One participant, HY, improved her performance throughout the course of treatment while the other, DA, did not. No differentiation of conditions was observed on DA’s graph. Some differentiation between Baseline and the two experimental conditions was seen in HY’s data. This suggests that verbal praise may function as a reinforcer for running speed in some adults.
92. Individualized Heart Rate Assessments in Physical Activity Research
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON RUBY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Ryan Blejewski (University of North Carolina Wilmington ), Lindsay E. Gordon (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Physical activity research is increasingly important due to the rising levels of obesity and associated health concerns. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children engage in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) every day to contact the full health benefits of exercise. Heart rate (HR) has been used to monitor energy expenditure and determine different levels of physical exertion. The purpose of this study was to determine baseline HR levels during different levels of activity ranging from sitting to running, to determine individualized HR zones indicative of light, moderate, and vigorous exertion. Seven healthy children engaged in at least two trials of each activity type (sitting, walking slowly, walking briskly, and running) while HR was measured via the Polar M400. The results indicated that the various activities produced differential HRs, with the highest HR associated with running, and the lowest with sitting still. Average HRs across subjects for each activity differed, suggesting that even when engaging in the same activity, there are individual differences in HRs associated with those activities. These results indicate that it may be necessary to determine individualized HR assessments instead of using a predetermined standard for HRs corresponding to physical activity level.
93. A Partial Replication of “Using Habit Reversal to Decrease Filled Pauses in Public Speaking” (Mancuso & Miltenberger, 2016)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPH F. BOERDLEIN (University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg), Anja Sander (University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Public speaking is a key skill in many professions, including social work. Many students have difficulties in public speaking because of their use of filled pauses. Filled pauses consist of utterances like "uh", "um", or "er"; clicking sounds; and misuse of the word "like". Mancuso and Miltenberger (2016) successfully used habit reversal (a combination of awareness training and overcorrection / competing response training) with six participants to decrease filled pauses in public speaking. The present study is a partial replication of this study. Subjects were four undergraduate students of social work. The training phase and total number of sessions was shortened compared to the original study. Mean number of responses (filled pauses) per minute decreased from 4,65 (s²= 1,58) during baseline to 0,59 (s²= 0,04) during intervention and 0,97 (s²= 0,24) during follow-up measurement. The decreases in filled pauses per subject were comparable to the original study. Participants found the intervention generally acceptable and helpful. This study demonstrates that substantial improvement of public speaking behavior is possible even with a shortened version of habit reversal. References: Mancuso, C. & Miltenberger, R. G. (2016). Using habit reversal to decrease filled pauses in public speaking. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 49(1), 188-192.
94. Assessing a Punching Bag Feedback Performance Device
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
NEIL DEOCHAND (Western Michigan University), Richard Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Physical exercise has been integrated into treatment efforts in reversing the number of overweight and obese individuals (Ueno, et al., 1997). Furthermore, exercise extends mortality, enhances general quality of life (Fitterling, Martin, Gramling, Cole, & Milan, 1988), and it is a protective health factor for preventing the progression some mental health disorders (Strohle, 2009). Electronic athletic training equipment allows people to easily monitor their real-time physical activity, and track their training progress. There are limitations to only using visual feedback (e.g., visual depictions of heart rate, speed, distance travelled, or calories burned etc.) to track and improve exercise and athletic performance, especially for some sports, such as boxing. This issue could be addressed by incorporating real-time audio along with visual feedback on crucial dimensions of a boxing workout. The outlined study evaluated whether an audio/ visual feedback package using a multiple baseline design across eight subjects resulted in better workouts, and improved athletic performance, when compared to a standard punching bag workout.
96. Using Applied Behavior Analysis to Treat Behaviors Typically Associated with Major Mental Illness
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
MARYELLEN NEWMAN (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Karen Stufflebeam (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Joseph Tacosik (Judge Rotenberg Education Center)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: The field of mental health continues to expand exponentially. Parents in the home, parent/agency advocacy groups, outpatient clinics, inpatient hospitals and residential programs all contact persons carrying a wide range of DSM-V diagnoses who engage in challenging behavior and substance abuse. The prescribed treatment for each of these diagnoses can encompass a wide margin and consensus on the best course of action is not guaranteed. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is often thought of as a very specific treatment that is only utilized for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Intellectual Disability (ID). This notion is supported by the fact that the majority of peer reviewed, clinical practice ABA articles focus on the application of ABA to treat problem behavior of individuals with ASD and/or ID. This paper focuses on the successful application of ABA to treat overt problem behaviors (e.g., physical aggression, substance abuse, self-injury, bizarre behavior, etc.) associated with various mental health diagnoses.
97. Analyzing the Social Validity of Applied Behavior Analysis forVeterans With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
HANNAH ALYCE BERNARD (Florida Institute of Technology (FIT))
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Since operation enduring freedom and operation Iraqi freedom began in 2001, 17% of veterans deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Hoge, Terhakopain, Castro, Messer & Engel, 2007). PTSD is an anxiety disorder with symptoms that include nightmares, flashbacks, and social anxiety. Such symptoms dramatically affect an individual's ability to assimilate back into the civilian community. Despite the Veterans Administration offering current evidence-based treatments, only 30 to 40% of veterans seek treatment once diagnosed (Lu, Duckart, O'Malley, & Dobscha, 2011; Hoge et al. 2004). Reasons affecting their motivation to seek treatment include cultural underpinnings, their social network, age, or the nature of treatment (Spoont et al., 2014; Sayer et al., 2009). Therefore, it is important to develop a social validity measure identifying if behavior-based interventions developed from the field of applied behavior analysis, can provide a more socially acceptable treatment option for this population. Such interventions may include contingency management, coping skills in social situations, or desensitization to anxiety inducing stimuli. This paper breaks down the reasons veterans do not seek treatment, explores behavior analysis as a treatment option, and develops a social validity measure for behavior analysis as a treatment option.
98. Parental Stress in Parents of Children with Autism: A Review of Recent Literature
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
SADAF KHAWAR (Hybridge Learning Group)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: This poster will present a literature review of studies between 2000 to date on parental stress of parents with children with Autism. Parents of children with autism experience higher levels of parental stress than parents of children with other disabilities (e.g., Dabrowska & Pisula, 2010; Estes et al., 2009; Hartley et al., 2012; Hayes & Watson 2013). Characteristics of parents have been reported to be associated with parental stress in parents of children with autism, including employment status, marriage status, quality of life, receipt of support services). Characteristics of children with autism have also been reported to be associated with parental stress, including maladaptive behavior, level of autism severity, gender, and receipt of early intervention. However, the majority of these parental stress studies have mainly focused on parents of young children with autism. There is a lack of study focusing on parents of children with autism with a wide age range. In addition, studies on immigrant families of children with autism have showed that new immigrant families often do not have good support systems, thus, parents have higher parental stress (Starr et al., 2014). Compared with non-immigrant families, immigrant families are more likely to receive poorer quality of family-centered care, need interpreter to speak with service providers, and children are more likely to receive significantly less usual source of care (Lin et al., 2012). However, limited studies have analyzed the differences in parental stress between immigrant and nonimmigrant families of children with autism. Future directions for research in this area and a discussion on useful support strategies for parents will also be discussed.
99. Errorless Learning in Therapy
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
NICOLE R. CHANDONNET (Learning Services Neurobehavioral Institute - West), Jeff Kupfer (Learning Services Neurobehavioral Institute - West; Imagine Behavioral Health Services; Jeff Kupfer, PA)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Errorless Learning is an instructional design introduced in the 1930s by B.F. Skinner that gained further ground in 1962 with H.S. Terraces errorless discrimination training. Research on errorless discrimination suggests that errors are not necessary for learning to occur and, in fact, errorless learning reduces feelings of failure and inadequacy, escape and avoidance responses, and aggression. One common method of therapy session design (ongoing assessment) uses a hierarchy of cues moving from minimal to maximal assistance. In contrast, errorless learning therapy sessions are designed to move along a hierarchy of cues from maximal to minimal assistance. Three examples of using errorless learning during rehabilitation therapy for persons with traumatic brain injury are presented: (1) self-control of excessive lip movement and finger drumming; (2) naming people in photos; and (3) establishing a functional gait pattern. All learners generalized and maintained skills following training. APPROVED
100. Comparing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Behavioral Activation for Depression: A Meta-Analysis
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA M MUNOZ-MARTINEZ (University of Nevada, Reno ), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Depression is the first cause of disability adjustment life years, and the second problem linked to years living with disabilities. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Behavioral Activation (BA) are the two behavioral-oriented interventions empirically validated according to the APA. Both therapies refer to similar explicative variables; however, so far no evidence has demonstrated the difference between these interventions with respect to similar variables (i.e. values assessment). A subgroup analysis compared the effect sizes of 22-studies using ACT or BA for depression, establishing their effectiveness in treatment outcome. A simple meta-regression was conducted to assess the moderated effect of values assessment, and a multiple meta-regression was also performed to evaluate cost-benefit variables (e.g. duration, type of population) as predictors of treatment effectiveness. No significant differences were observed between ACT and BA outcomes, though BA effect sizes were higher than ACT. Meta-regression did not show moderated effects from cost-benefit variables. Limitations related to incomplete information about the quality of the research and therapeutic procedures reported by the authors are discussed. Future research that would allow reducing the burden of behavioral-driven intervention for depression is presented.
101. Responsiveness to Contingency Management Interventions for Physical Activity: Baselines, Reinforcers and Participant Characteristics
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JEREMIAH BROWN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kaitlyn Proctor (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sterling Rippy (College of Charleston; University of North Carolina Wilmington), Heather Fleuriet (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Haleigh Winbourne (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Wendy Donlin Washington (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Jocelyn Kuhn (Wisconsin)
Abstract: Physical activity is an important to a “healthy lifestyle.” Sedentary behavior is linked to risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Our lab has conducted six experiments in adults to increase physical activity using reinforcement. Baseline walking patterns, effectiveness of reinforcer schedule and type, and variables to predict responsiveness to interventions were examined. Participants were 107 adults (74% female) with an average age of 25.5 (18-67 years). Body Mass Index (BMI) averaged 25.5 kg/m2 (18.3-43.2), with 41% categorized as overweight or obese. Linear regression examined stepcounts during the intervention: Baseline steps and reinforcer frequency were significant correlates, but gender, age, BMI, and type of reinforcement were not significant variables. In a separate regression, only baseline stepcounts was significantly correlated with percent change from baseline to intervention. Exploratory analyses of walking patterns across days of the week, and meeting CDC recommendations will be presented.



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