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 #57
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating and Increasing Physical Activity in Children
Saturday, May 25, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 3/4
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Lorraine A Becerra (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Lorraine A Becerra, M.A.
Abstract: This symposium will highlight different methods to evaluate and increase physical activity engagement across children who are typically-developing or diagnosed with a disability. The first study determined the extent to which the Step it UP! game increased the number of steps taken by children in a physical-education (PE) class. The second study examined the use of photographic activity schedules to increase the percent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and number of different activities completed across two contexts for all participants. The final study explored factors that contributed to ineffective interventions aimed to increase physical activity for individuals with disabilities.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): fitness, Good-Behavior Game, physical activity, physical education
Target Audience: Practitioners and researchers
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe recent advances in physical activity research. 2. State methods to measure and evaluate physical activity engagement. 3. Describe factors influencing the effectiveness physical activity interventions.
Using the Step it UP! Game to Increase Physical Activity During Physical-Education Classes
CARLA BURJI (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: The Step it UP! Game is an interdependent group reinforcement contingency based on the Good Behavior Game. We evaluated the effects of the Step it UP! Game on the number of steps taken by third-grade students during physical-education (PE) classes at a local public elementary school. We divided the class into two teams and awarded a “Step it UP! Champ” badge to the members of the team with the highest mean step totals at the end of each game. We used a reversal design to compare the mean number of steps taken while playing the game and during regular PE classes. Overall, participants took more steps while playing the game than they did during class periods without the game. When given the opportunity to choose playing the Step it UP! Game or having regular PE class during a follow-up session, 16 of 18 participants voted to play the game.

An Evaluation of Photographic Activity Schedules to Increase Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

LORRAINE A BECERRA (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Mariana Vieira (Pontifícia Universidade Católica, São Paulo, Brazil), Azure Pellegrino (University of Kansas), Katelin Hobson (University of Washington Doctoral Student )

Obesity rates in children who live in the United States have increased 17% in the past few decades and affects approximately 1/3 of U.S. children (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2012). Occurrence of obesity in children with disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), were found to be 40% higher than for children without disabilities (CDC, 2014; Hinckson et al. 2013; Curtin et al. 2010). Regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is likely to reduce many risks associated with obesity in children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). The Observational System for Recording Physical Activity codes (OSRAC; Brown et al., 2009) was used to determine the lowest percent of MVPA across five different contexts (i.e., control, outdoor toys, indoor toys, empty field, fixed equipment) for three preschool children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Photographic activity schedules were used to increase the number of different activities completed and percent of MVPA in the two lowest responding contexts for all participants.

Interventions to Increase Physical Activity Don’t Always Work: What We Can Learn from Failure
DIEGO VALBUENA (University of South Florida), Bryon Miller (University of South Florida), Carolina Luque (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Research shows that various interventions such as self-monitoring, feedback, public posting, and rewards, are effective for increasing physical activity. However, research does not suggest the limits of these interventions nor the factors that may contribute to the ineffectiveness of interventions. In this paper, we describe four studies evaluating interventions implemented in schools or agencies serving adults with disabilities to increase physical activity in which interventions were not effective. We discuss these “treatment failures” and the factors that may have contributed to the failure. These factors include poor implementation fidelity, lack of administrative support from the school, issues with the individuals implementing the procedures, and the limitations of contingencies applied to daily steps. We conclude with recommendations for future research.



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