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 #137
CE Offered: BACB
Further Refinements in Defining and Teaching Compliant Behavior
Saturday, May 26, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom B
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kristen Brogan (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Kristen Brogan, M.S.

Researchers have defined compliant and noncompliant behavior in several ways. For example, Cook, Rapp, and Schulze (2015) suggested that compliance can be broken down into two subtypes; active or passive. Active compliance involves a specific response requirement while passive involves teaching tolerance of a context. Treating compliant behavior may pose challenges unique to the type and function of the noncompliant counter-behavior. The current symposium will present three papers focused on refining the way behavior analysts define and treat compliance across diverse populations. The first paper focuses on a specific type of compliance, quiet compliance, and how it may be taught to typically developing adjudicated adolescents who receive treatment in secure residential facilities. Results showed that using a differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) procedure to treat quiet compliance as its own unique behavior was effective for seven adjudicated adolescents. The second paper compared the delivery of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement to treat escape-maintained behavior. Results suggested that the positive reinforcement condition was most effective to reduce problem behavior. The third paper compared the efficacy of time based or completion based structured schedules. Researchers will discuss results with respect to individual differences.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts

Increasing Quiet Compliance by Detained Male Adolescents
KRISTEN BROGAN (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), Amanda Niedfeld (Auburn University), Jodi Coon (Auburn University), Jan Everhart Newman (Auburn University), Barry Burkhart (Auburn University)
Abstract: Some adjudicated adolescents receive treatment for their offenses in residential facilities. Detained adolescents’ engagement in either low levels of compliant behavior or excess behavior (e.g., swearing, gestures) while following commands from residential personnel may result in decreased opportunities for those youth to access preferred activities. The current study employed nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants designs to evaluate the effects of a procedure to increase seven detained adolescents’ quiet compliance with academic and vocational demands. Results show that problem behavior decreased to zero or near-zero levels for each participant during simulated conditions and suggest that self-control, alone or in combination with a differential reinforcement of low rate behavior for omitting problem behavior, may have been responsible for the behavior changes. We discuss some clinical implications of the findings.

Further Evaluation of Positive Versus Negative Reinforcement to Treat Problem Behavior Maintained by Escape

JAMES BEVACQUA (Nemours Children's Hospital), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Ansley Catherine Hodges (Florida Institute of Technology), Nga Luong (Florida Institute of Technology), Hallie Marie Ertel (Florida Institute of Technology)

Previous research has found that problem behavior maintained by escape can be successfully treated using the delivery of preferred items contingent upon compliance, in the absence of escape extinction. In the current study, we compared the delivery of positive reinforcement (a nonfunctional intervention) to negative reinforcement (a functional intervention) to treat escape-maintained problem behavior (i.e., aggression, self-injury) among three children with intellectual disabilities. We evaluated two positive reinforcement conditions: one in which a preferred edible item was delivered contingent upon compliance and one in which a preferred tangible item was delivered contingent upon compliance. Escape extinction was not used. Results suggest that the positive reinforcement condition in which a preferred tangible item was delivered contingent upon compliance was most effective to reduce problem behavior.


An Evaluation of Impact of Time- and Product-Based Work Requirements on Instructional Performance

MAGGIE ANN MOLONY (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Meara McMahon (University of Georgia), Scott P. Ardoin (UGA Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research)

The use of structured schedules is one antecedent-based strategy that can be helpful in reducing problem behavior and increasing compliance exhibited by students with autism spectrum and other developmental and intellectual disorders. While this approach is an often-used strategy, it is possible that variations in its implementation may contribute to individual success. In the current investigation, the work portions of a structured schedule were implemented in two distinct manners. In one arrangement, work was presented for a fixed amount of time (e.g., 5 min). In a second arrangement, a specific amount of work (e.g., one worksheet) was presented to the student. Work ended when either the time criterion was met or the work requirement was met in the respective conditions. The relative effects of the two work requirement conditions were evaluated using single subject reversal experimental design. Data were collected on problem behavior and compliance exhibited across work arrangements. Results are discussed with respect to individual differences that may contribute to the relative success or failure of this type of antecedent-based intervention.




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