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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #206
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Choice Making Interventions for Children With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 26, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom B
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
Discussant: Rachel Scalzo (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Rachel Scalzo, Ph.D.

Choice making is a simple antecedent intervention that has been proven effective at reducing challenging behavior. A variety of choices can be provided including choice of activities, materials, and environmental arrangements. Not only can choice making result in reduced challenging behavior, offering choices promotes autonomy and self-determination. Despite the initial evidence supporting choice-making interventions, more research is necessary to identify the variety of approaches to successfully implement choice making into interventions to reduce challenging behavior. The first presentation will report results from the evaluation of a choice-making intervention to reduce resurgence of challenging behavior during schedule thinning following functional communication training (FCT). The second presentation will report results from an examination of the effects of two choice-making interventions, choice of activity and choice of materials, on escape-maintained challenging behavior. The final discussion will summarize these studies, highlight the applied value of the results, and discuss future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): challenging behavior, choice-making intervention
Target Audience:

The target audience includes practitioners are the BAaBA, BCBA, and BCBA-D levels as well as graduate students.


Effects of Activity Choice on Extinction-Induced Resurgence During Delays-To-Reinforcement

Emily Gregori (Purdue University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), Rose A. Mason (Purdue University), XIAOJIE GUO (Purdue University)

Functional communication training (FCT) is the most effective function-based treatment for challenging behavior. Although FCT often results in robust treatment effects, challenging behavior often resurges after the termination of treatment. Schedule thinning using delays-to-reinforcement is often used to prevent the deterioration of treatment effect following FCT. However, delays-to-reinforcement alone are often not sufficient to prevent the resurgence of challenging behavior. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of choice of alternative activity during delays-to-reinforcement following FCT. Effects of the intervention were evaluated using a single-case ABAC design, with an embedded alternating treatments design in the C phase. Three adults with developmental disabilities participated. Participants were exposed to a pre-treatment functional analysis, initial FCT treatment, and a delay-to-reinforcement. During delays-to-reinforcement two conditions, choice and no choice, were implemented. During choice conditions, participants were given two stimuli and directed to choose one to use during the delay. During the no choice conditions, the experimenter provided the participant with an activity or item to interact with g the delay. Results and interpretation of key findings will be discussed.


Comparison of Choice-Making Interventions to Reduce Challenging Behavior for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

PROVIDENCE GEE (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)

Current literature supports the effectiveness of choice-making interventions on reducing challenging behavior. However, choice-making interventions can vary by the type of choices offered, such choice of activity and choice of materials. Few studies have compared these various approaches to choice-making interventions. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of choice of activity and choice of materials on both challenging behavior and task completion with two children with developmental disabilities. The two choice-making interventions were compared within an alternating treatment design embedded within an ABAB design. Both choice-making interventions resulted in a decrease in challenging behavior and increase in task completion, relative to baseline. However, choice of activity resulted in less challenging behavior relative to choice of materials for one of the two participants. Implications of the results will be discussed.




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