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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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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Poster Session #277
Sunday, May 27, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Pacific Ballroom
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
1. Effect of Applied Behavior Analysis and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy on Child Behavior
Area: DEV/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA GRANT (James Madison University ), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University), Alexa Ina (James Madison University ), Allison Brandmark (James Madison University), Emily Knox (James Madison University), Emory Bruno (James Madison University)
Abstract: Developmental disabilities affect nearly one in six children in the United States, and up to 30% of these individuals have problem behaviors causing stressors in both the child and their caregivers life. These problem behaviors have various topographical and functional forms, such as property destruction, aggression, tantrums, self-injurious behavior, and many others. If these behaviors are not nipped in the bud during younger years they have the capability of bringing about academic failure, alienation from typical peers and other adults, and in the longer term, substance abuse issues, and a decrease in functioning skills for the community. Evidence-based practices are shown to be effective for treating problem behaviors for children with developmental disabilities. These effective interventions can change behavior making it more socially acceptable, and can be implemented by various individuals in the childs life. This study utilized a multi-element and multiple baseline across participants ABAB, single-case research design to examine the effects of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) on child behavior. The caregivers in this study are graduate level therapists, and the child participants are four and six with characteristics of a developmental disability. The researcher coaches the therapists on both ABA and PCIT techniques, providing feedback on their skills while interacting with the child.
2. Using Reinforcer Assessments for Validating Preference Assessment Results and Increasing Engagement in Adults With Dementia
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
MAKENZIE WILLIAMS BAYLES (Jacksonville State University), Megan Ford (Jacksonville State University), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Low levels of engagement can lead to reduced quality of life for individuals with dementia. Research on increasing engagement with this population is limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reinforcing value of multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) activity preference rankings for individuals with dementia. To date, two participants have completed a reinforcer assessment (RA). A multielement, progressive-ratio (PR) design was initially used for both participants. Later, the PR was eliminated for one participant due to undifferentiated responding. Participants were exposed to four-, three-, and two-choice conditions in which activities were presented in a concurrent-operant arrangement. During session, the participant was given the option to choose a high-, moderate-, or low-preferred activity or the control. Interobserver agreement (IOA) was collected on activity selection (IOA 100%) and engagement (IOA 100%). Activities ranked high preferred were validated during the RA for 1 of 2 participants. Activities ranked moderate and low preferred were not validated for either participant. These results suggest the reinforcing value of activities may need to be systematically evaluated for individuals with dementia. Researchers should continue to investigate best methods for identifying reinforcers and increasing engagement to better serve this population and increase their quality of life.
3. Use of Scatterplot to Monitor Behavior Changes During Different Magnitude of Social Interaction in the Care of Dementia Patient
Area: DEV/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JORN ARVE VOLD (Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis (NAFO)), Malin Terese Thoegersen (Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis (NAFO))
Abstract: In the care of elderly and specially in nursing homes one of the main problem is that there is often a lack of competence in implementing functional analysis. One of the easy administrative functional analysis with limited need for pre-training is the use of scatterplot (Touchette, MacDonald, & Langer, 1985). Important aspects to consider, are good operationalisation of the behavior and defining timeframes when behavior is monitored. In this study scatterplot was used to map behavior six different times for 32 days. The problem behavior in the study was screaming with high intensity. The behavior of interest in the study was how many screams occurred during a 15 minutes session during different times of the day, and if the environment contained differences in social interaction. This data was analysed to see if it was differences in the count compared with supplemental data on medication, sleep pattern and time of day but the data was inconclusive and didn't show differences in occurrence linked to the supplemental data. However, data on social interaction indicate a differences in occurrence linked to the magnitude of social interaction during the session. A small number of semi - experimental sessions confirmed the analysis and added confirmation to the analysis that the behavior was maintained by social reinforcement. This study shows that the use of scatterplot is easy to implement in nursing homes for elderly, and can give supplemental knowlege in the treatment of people with dementia and behavior problems.
4. Behavior Screening of At-Risk Preschool Students Using a Group Functional Analysis
Area: DEV/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JASMINE POETRY (California State University, Northridge), Emily Mary Tierman (California State University, Northridge), Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge), Rima Hamawe (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Identifying emerging problem behavior can be an important first step in the prevention of severe problem behavior. The purpose of this study is to use a functional analysis to screen behavioral risk factors in at-risk preschool children. First, information was gathered from kindergarten teachers regarding specific establishing operations (EOs) that typically precede problem behavior in their classrooms. Next, preschool students were assigned to groups of three based on teacher ratings of behavior severity. A small-group, trial-based functional analysis was then conducted by embedding specific EOs within classroom activities. Data were collected on the occurrence of varying levels of problem and appropriate behavior. Preliminary data analysis shows that problem behavior occurs most often during EOs for escape and attention. Minor to moderate problem behavior is more common than severe problem behavior, and "tapping self to surface/object" (e.g., hitting a table) is the most frequent topography of problem behavior across children. Preliminary results also show that all participants have multi-word functional communication responses in their repertoire, which leads to interesting speculations regarding reinforcer allocation by caregivers. Researchers plan to use the outcomes of this analysis to design functional communication training as an inoculation against the emergence of severe problem behavior.
5. The Influence of Positive Parental Messages on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Sexuality
Area: DEV/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
JANAY JOHNSON (Kalamazoo College)
Abstract: Parent-child communication on sexuality has been heavily researched. However, there is a lack of research on positive parental messages about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) sexual orientation. The current study aimed to provide findings to help bridge this gap in literature by examining the influence that parental messages about sexual orientation have on one's positive, negative, and shameful sexual affect and level of sexual experience in 177 participants who identified as LGBT. It was predicted that higher levels of positive parental messages would be associated with higher levels of positive sexual affect, higher levels of sexual experience, lower levels of negative sexual affect, and lower levels of shameful sexual affect. Between parental messages and level of sexual experience, a positive correlation was found while there was no correlation between parental messages, positive, negative or shameful sexual affect. In accordance with previous research, gender differences were found between parental messages and sexual affect. Males were found to experience higher levels of positive sexual affect than females and females exhibited higher levels of negative sexual affect than males. Future studies should investigate important aspects of LGBT sexuality including mental health and sexual health disparities to help develop support programs for LGBT individuals.
6. Effects of Task and Reward Preference on Accumulated Rewards
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON RUBY (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jennifer Longren (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Taylor Harrison (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kelsea Thomaier (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Delay of gratification paradigms are said to expose types of skills and self-regulatory strategies that are needed for impulse control. Behavior analysts often conceptualize self-control as behavior that results in larger more delayed rewards while impulsive behavior results in smaller more immediate rewards. Instead of having a decision between concurrent options, delay of gratification is usually a more sustained choice. The purpose of this study was to determine if task and reward preference would influence responding in a delay of gratification paradigm that involved the accumulation of tokens contingent on task completion during the delay. The participants were four typically developing preschoolers. Preference assessments were conducted for both tasks and rewards. As they completed each high preferred (HP) or low preferred (LP) task, they received a token, which was exchangeable for HP or LP rewards. The participants could terminate the session at any time by turning a card in to the researcher, making continued task completion a sustained choice. The results showed individual differences in the effects of task and reward preference on accumulated rewards.
7. When the Function is Not Clear, Have No Fear: Using a Changing Criterion Design and Differentially Reinforcing Low Levelsto Reduce Persistent Screaming Episodes
Area: DEV/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOSEPH CORPA (The Rich Center for Autism at Youngstown State University), Rachael N. Dobson (The Rich Center for Autism at Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Children with Developmental Disabilities may encounter several road blocks when going through their daily lives. Sometimes these road blocks may present themselves in the form of challenging behaviors. When challenging behaviors prove to be resistant to extinction elimination, finding effective strategies becomes increasingly difficult. Allowing and reinforcing challenging behavior (at lower levels) has proven to be an effective strategy for reducing intense screaming episodes. An 18-year-old male student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently engaged in screaming episodes. Several behavior strategies previously put in place to reduce and/or eliminate the screaming episodes (including a DRO), proved to be inconsistently effective. Often times, attempts to interrupt screaming episodes resulted in aggressive behaviors. We hypothesized that allowing and reinforcing screaming at lower levels, would bring screaming under the stimulus control of the criteria that was set. This would allow for the criteria to be reduced over time, until screaming was at or near 0 occurrences per day. Differentially reinforcing low levels (DRL) of screaming episodes while concurrently using a Changing Criterion Design brought screaming episodes under stimulus control of the criteria set daily. Once screaming episodes were reduced to lower levels, academic and vocational skills were expanded and focused on
8. Simultaneously and Delayed Matching-to Sample in a Woman With Alzheimer's Disease
Area: DEV/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Anette Brogård Antonsen (Oslo and Akershus University College), ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: In the present study, a 91-year old woman with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) participated. She had a Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score of 17. The participant was presented for identity matching with the colors of yellow, blue, and red. The study was arranged as an ABABAB-design, where it was alternated between (A) delayed matching-to-sample 0s (DMTS 0s) and (B) simultaneous matching-to-sample (SMTS) in six phases. To assess generalization of colors, the participant was presented for the same phases again but with another set of color stimuli (green, orange, purple). The results showed that the number of trials needed to reach criterion for training, decreased as the phases were repeated (see the upper panel in Table 1). Further, when the new set of color stimuli was presented, the number of trials needed to reach criterion meet the minimum mastery criterion except in the first phase (see lower panel in Table 1).
9. Replicating the "Marshmallow" Test: Assessing Impulsivity in Preschoolers Using a Classic Delay-Discounting Task and Delay-of-Gratification Test
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Julyse Migan-Gandonou (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), JULIE A. ACKERLUND BRANDT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Alina Maria Valdes (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
Abstract: Impulsivity is a hallmark and a common symptom of many psychiatric and behavioral disorders (e.g., ADHD, pathological gambling, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, etc.). Researchers have suggested that impulsivity in young children may be a predictor of maladaptive behaviors later in life. In psychology, impulsivity is defined as a lack of regard for future consequences and an inability to delay gratification. The most common procedure used to assess impulsivity in young children is the delay of gratification test (informally called the “Marshmallow” test). In behavior analysis, impulsivity (or impulsive choice) has been defined as a preference for smaller-immediate rewards over larger-delayed rewards. The most common procedures used to assess impulsive choice are delay-discounting tasks. Although impulsivity can be assessed using both delay-of-gratification and delay-discounting procedures, previous research suggests that the two are not equivalent; but rather, two discrete, related measures of impulsivity. In both procedures, individuals are asked to choose between a smaller reward available immediately and a larger reward available after a delay. The current study replicated and extended previous research by directly comparing the “Marshmallow” test and the delay-discounting task with preschool children. The preliminary results show similar responding across both assessments for three children.
10. The Emergence of Referential Behavior and Social Interactions Between Siblings
Area: DEV/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY HENKLE (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: J.R. Kantor's theory of referential behavior is a natural science approach to studying linguistic interactions. Referential behavior refers to the interaction of a speaker (the referrer) and their simultaneous adjustment to both a listener (the referee) and the referent (the thing talked about) under specific circumstances (setting conditions). The interaction is complete when the listener, in turn, reacts relevantly to the speaker and the referent. Thus, the unit of analysis is the behavior of two people in relation to and as a function of the environment. The current study employs an observational, longitudinal design to examine the utility of this theoretical approach with respect to the emergence of referential behavior between typically developing siblings, ages 2, 3 and 5. Separated into dyads, five-minute social interactions were videotaped over the course of 12 months. A set of procedures, devised by Sidney W. Bijou and his colleagues, based on Kantor's Psychological Linguistics, was employed to train coders to identify and analyze referential interactions. Videotapes were analyzed in two phases. The primary analysis, based on quantitative measures, identifies complete and incomplete speaker-listener units and the secondary analysis identifies qualitative measures of referential interactions. Implications for studying language development will also be discussed.
11. An Evaluation of Negative Reinforcement to Increase Self-Feeding and Self-Drinking for Children With Feeding Disorders
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH HANEY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Vivian F. Ibanez (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Caitlin A. Kirkwood (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Self-feeding with a spoon and cup represents an important step in a child's progression toward age-typical feeding, which emerges in the absence of intervention for most children. Children with feeding disorders, by contrast, may lack the motivation to self-feed, which impedes progress toward age-typical feeding (Rivas et al., 2014). In the current study, we used meal termination as reinforcement to transition two children with a feeding disorder from caregiver-fed to self-fed bites and drinks. Caregivers conducted 40-min meals in which they alternated between feeding the child or prompting the child to self-feed. The caregiver told the child that he or she could end the meal and leave the room if he or she self-fed the next bite or drink the caregiver presented at about minute 30 of the meal. The caregiver continued feeding the child if the child did not self-feed the presented bite or drink. Self-feeding increased for end-of-meal bites and drinks for both participants. We discuss these results relative to their potential to inform interventions for children with feeding disorders that progress the child toward age-typical feeding patterns.



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