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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #296
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Function-Based Interventions in Practice
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
CE Instructor: Tara A. Fahmie, Ph.D.
Chair: Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Experimental functional analyses are generally underutilized in practice settings given concerns regarding the time required to complete an experimental analysis. Trial-based functional analyses developed in recent years can address this concern, however, the time required to train practitioners to conduct such analyses can also contribute to underutilization. The first study in this symposium presents instructional methods that can be used to efficiently train practitioners to implement trial-based functional analyses. The second study in the symposium addresses a common practitioner concern of encountering an extinction burst when the identified reinforcer for a problem behavior is first withheld. Data on the prevalence of extinction bursts in applied behavior analytic research between the years of 2000 and 2017 are presented and implications concerning behavior intervention plans are discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: practitioners and researchers
The Effects of Detailed Written Instructions and a Task Analysis Data Sheet on Staff Implementation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis
(Applied Research)
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (California State University, Sacramento), Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento), Jenifer Price (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: This study examined the effectiveness of detailed written instructions (WI) and a task analysis data sheet (TA DS) in training three undergraduate students with no previous coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to conduct trial-based functional analyses (TBFA). This study extended previous research by using instructional materials that were written using conventional language and did not include information on the principles of ABA or the underlying rationale for functional analysis methodology. Although the WI and TA DS produced significant increases in performance and reliable data collection on the targeted problem behavior, small-group performance feedback training was necessary to achieve mastery across all trial types. Results offer a socially valid training package to teach paraprofessionals to conduct TBFAs in applied settings.
The Prevalence of Extinction Bursts in Applied Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
MIA BROUSSEAU (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: An extinction burst is a temporary increase in the rate of a previously reinforced behavior when extinction is first implemented. Previous research has suggested that extinction bursts may be less prevalent than is commonly believed by practitioners (Lerman & Iwata, 1995). The current study is a replication of Lerman and Iwata’s 1995 review. We analyzed 100 cases of extinction in peer reviewed publications between the years of 2000 and 2017 and found that only 14% of cases demonstrated an extinction burst, a number even lower than the 24% reported by Lerman and Iwata. Furthermore, only 8% of the cases we analyzed implemented extinction alone, compared to 50% in the Lerman study. Changes in conceptions of what constitutes a complete behavior intervention plan are discussed, as are implications for practitioners.
CANCELED: How Long is Long Enough? A Quantitative Review of Functional Analysis Duration on Assessment Outcomes
(Applied Research)
SO KANG (University of Southern California and FirstSteps for Kids), Penny Gilliotte (University of Southern California and Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Adel C. Najdowski (Pepperdine University)
Abstract: Experimental functional analyses are by far the most empirically supported methods for assessing the function of challenging behavior and yet they remain the least utilized by practitioners. Practitioners cite several concerns regarding experimental functional analyses as reasons for their poor adoption, one of which is the duration of time required to complete an experimental functional analysis. Very brief functional analyses (i.e., one session of each condition) have been evaluated and have produced mixed results. Much longer analyses (e.g., 5-10 sessions of each condition) reliably produce useful results. However, little or no previous research has attempted to identify approximately how many sessions of each condition are generally needed to produce interpretable results. The current study consists of a quantitative review of published functional analysis graphs of varying durations to determine the degree of agreement with final functional analysis outcomes with only two sessions of each condition, three sessions, and so on. The results of the review show that, as analyses are shorter in duration, they generally produce less reliable results, but that analyses as short as three sessions of each condition often produce sound results. Implications for future research will be discussed and recommendations for practitioners will be presented.
CANCELED: Faster and More Natural: A Review of Research on Trial-Based Functional Analyses
(Applied Research)
VINCENT E. CAMPBELL (University Southern California), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Trial-based experimental functional analyses have been developed in recent years, in order to make functional analysis methodology faster, to require practitioners to evoke less challenging behavior, and to require practitioners to reinforce less problem behavior. This presentation will review the current state of research on trial-based functional analyses. In particular, we will discuss how research has attempted to implement trial-based functional analyses in more natural settings than traditional functional analyses are often conducted in. Generally speaking, the research on trial-based functional analyses is strong but much more research is needed. Directions for future research will be discussed and recommendations for practice will be given.



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