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 #35
Verbal Developmental Cusps and Reading: Conditioned Reinforcement and Phonemic Derived Relations for School-Age Readers
Saturday, May 25, 2019
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gaige Johnson (May Institute)
Discussant: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Reading is comprised of multiple textual responses including accurate responding to phonemes and valuation for reading. However, some students have difficulty acquiring these critical repertoires. In this symposium, four studies that evaluate book conditioning procedures and procedures to establish phonemic responding are presented. Participants were preschool, elementary, and middle school students with and without disabilities. The results of the studies indicate that establishing phonemic derived relations and valuation for reading increased students’ book engagement, reading accuracy, and reading achievement scores.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): derivational responding, reading, vocabulary

The Effects of a Vocal Segmentation Intervention on Establishing the Essential Stimulus Control for Textual Responding, Spelling, and Vocal Phoneme Blending in Children Who Do Not Acquire These Respones

LEANNA MELLON (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

This study tested the effects of teaching textual responses (reading) or spelling responses on the emergence of untaught repertoires. Dependent measures were the number of correct untaught (a) textual responses, (b) written spelling responses, (c) vocal segmentations for untaught words, and (d) vocally blending phonemes into a composite word. In Experiment I, participants were taught to vocally segment the component phonemes in 5-word subsets of consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. Results showed increased correct responses after acquiring vocal segmentation. Experiment 2 tested for abstraction of responding to consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant (CCVC) words. Pre-experimental probes indicated that the responses to CVC words established in Experiment 1 had not abstracted to words containing CVCC words. Results of the intervention showed that acquisition of vocal segmentation responses for CCVC words resulted in participants emitting correct responses across all topographies. Implications for vocal segmentation instruction are discussed.


Establishing Books as Conditioned Reinforcers to Increase Reading Motivation for Elementary Students With Reading Delays

MARGARET UWAYO (UNKNOWN), Denise Ross (Western Michigan University )

Establishing reading as a conditioned reinforcer has increased reading motivation, facilitated acquisition of sight words, and improved reading comprehension for children with and without disabilities. The current paper presents two studies designed to examine the effects of a book conditioning intervention on establishing books as conditioned reinforcers for one elementary and two middle school students who did not select or engage with books during free choice time. A multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of book conditioning on the following dependent variables: a) percentage of intervals that a student engaged with books, b) correct responses to reading comprehension questions, and c) if books reinforced the acquisition of sight words. Results demonstrated that book engagement increased and that books reinforced the acquisition of sight words for participants. Results are discussed in terms of the applications of this research to reading motivation.

The Enhanced Valuation of Reading and Gains in Reading Repertories for Early Elementary Students
LARA GENTILINI (UNKNOWN), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: We assessed associations among, or group differences between, the reinforcement value of reading for 15 second-grade students and reading comprehension, vocabulary, and accuracy in ‘seeing’ and assigning meaning to sentences with a contrived word, or comprehension drawing (CD) and derivational responding (DR), respectively. Results showed significant differences in reading performance between participants with and without conditioned reinforcement for reading in their repertoires. A pre- and post-intervention design with multiple-probe logic was simultaneously used to test the effects of a teacher-pairing reading intervention on conditioned reinforcement for reading. The teacher-pairing procedure was effective in establishing conditioned reinforcement for reading with grade-level increases in comprehension. Results suggest that reinforcement value of reading may influence development of comprehension, vocabulary, and other higher-order reading repertories.
Enhanced Valuation of Reading on Reading Achievement in Fourth Grade Students
BRITTANY DIANNE BLY (Teacher's College Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Two experiments were conducted to examine the relation between reading achievement and enhanced valuation for reading. Experiment 1 tested the relationship between enhanced valuation for reading and achievement scores of participants (N = 17). Significant differences in mean scores were observed between students who demonstrated enhanced valuation for reading (N = 9) and students who did not (N = 8). In Experiment 2, a pre-and post-intervention design with a multiple probe logic tested the establishment of enhanced valuation for reading on reading achievement. Six 4th graders without enhanced value for reading were grouped into dyads and a four-step, peer contingency procedure was implemented to enhance the value of reading content. Results indicated significant mean increases in grade-levels for the Woodcock Johnson comprehension (+1.95), vocabulary (+0.3), and Grays Silent Reading Test (+1.0).



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