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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #58
Assessing and Increasing Physical Activity in Typically-Developing Children
Saturday, May 26, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom AB
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Casey Mckoy Irwin (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Research presented in this symposium focuses on behavioral innovations in the assessment and promotion of physical activity in children. Patel and colleagues will present on implementing a token system in a combined multielement and reversal design where tokens in one tokens in one condition are delivered contingent on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and are delivered on a yoked noncontingent schedule in the other condition. Miller and colleagues will present on an intervention consisting on self-monitoring, public posting, and monetary rewards to increase day-long steps in children. And Irwin and colleagues will present on how engaging in varying bouts of moderate and vigorous physical activity influences heart rate measures of MVPA.

Instruction Level: Basic

The Effect of Token Reinforcement on Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity Exhibited by Young Children

RUTVI R. PATEL (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific), Carolynn S. Kohn (University of the Pacific), Kelly Roughgarden (University of the Pacific)

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of token reinforcement on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) exhibited by four preschool-aged children, using a multiple-baseline across participants and combined reversal and multielement design. During baseline, no programmed consequences were provided for MVPA. During the contingent token (CT) condition, tokens were delivered contingent on MVPA. During the noncontingent token (NCT) condition, tokens were delivered according to a predetermined time-based schedule, yoked to the previous, corresponding CT session. For three participants, a reversal effect was observed; that is, the delivery of tokens contingent on MVPA increased and maintained higher levels of MVPA compared to baseline and NCT conditions. For one participant, an overall reduction to near zero levels of MVPA was observed across experimental conditions, beginning with the first NCT phase. The token economy procedure was used as a method to increase physical activity and served as an adaptation of the tangible condition. Results suggest that contingent token reinforcement can be an effective way to increase MVPA. Also, results from this study might inform future functional analyses of MVPA for children who do not respond to social positive contingencies in their initial assessment.

Evaluating Public Posting, Self-Monitoring, Goal Setting, and Rewards to Increase Physical Activity in Children
BRYON MILLER (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Cynthia P. Livingston (University of South Florida), Heather Zerger (University of South Florida), Diego Valbuena (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The study evaluated behavioral procedures to increase exercise across the entire day. With the introduction of self-monitoring and public posting, class average steps per day increased above baseline levels. When goal setting was added, average steps per day did not increase, however, when monetary rewards were delivered to individual participants for attaining daily step goals, the average steps per day increased above levels observed during previous intervention phases. We will discuss the class-wide and individual data, including the effect of specific intervention components on pedometer wearing adherence.

A Bout Analysis of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Children

CASEY MCKOY IRWIN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Melissa Chappell (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

In research surrounding increasing physical activity in children, reinforcement is typically delivered contingent upon bouts of, or engagement in, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) such walking briskly, running, skipping, jumping, etc. A bout can be defined as consecutive x-intervals during which MVPA occurs until at least one x-interval has elapsed without MVPA. However, it is unclear what duration of a bout of such behavior is required to reach and maintain beneficial increases in heart rate (HR). The goal of the present research is to evaluate HR as children engage in MVPA behaviors in four different bout intervals. First, an individual heart rate assessment was conducted for each participant to determine personalized MVPA criteria. Next, participants were asked to engage in MVPA behaviors for 50% of 12-min sessions, with active and still periods divided into different length bouts (30 s, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min). Data analyses included average session HR, percentage of session reaching moderate HR criteria, percentage of session reaching vigorous HR criteria. The results suggest that despite engaging in MVPA behavior for 50% of the session, resulting HR varied depending on bout length.




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