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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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Poster Session #499
Monday, May 27, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
72.

Developing a Relational Frame Theory Based Assessment and Intervention Protocol for People With Dementia

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE ELLEN KELLY (National College of Ireland, Dublin; Psychological Society of Ireland's Division of Behavior Analysis), Catherine Marie Smyth (Trinity College Dublin)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts working in the field of behavioral gerontology have massive potential to positively impact the lives of older adults in a number of domains. Despite this, behavioral interventions in aging are largely under-researched. The aim of this study was to expand the field of behavioral gerontology by developing a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) based intervention to target improved cognition and subjective outcomes for people with dementia. This pilot study incorporated a multi-component, pre-post intervention design. Three participants with dementia completed baseline and follow-up measures of cognitive flexibility (Ghent Odysseus Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure), cognitive function (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Stroop Task, Controlled Oral Word Association Task), and subjective cognition (Cognitive Ability and Satisfaction Scales, Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, Memory Functioning Scale), as well as interviews. The intervention consisted of a 4-8 week RFT- based computerized intervention. The results demonstrated pre-post intervention improvements for all participants on cognitive and subjective outcomes. Qualitative data provided further support for the quantitative results and suggested that the intervention was socially acceptable. Recommendations for future research are included.

 
73.

Single Case Design Meta-Analysis and Applied Behavior Analysis

Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
Jesus Alonso-Vega (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Miguel Nuñez de Prado-Gordillo (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Isabel Avila-Herrero (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Sara Arias (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Maria Xesus Frojan Parga Parga (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), CONCEPCION SERRADOR DIEZ (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC))
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Nowadays meta-analysis is the most used statistical method to synthesize the intervention outcome. It helps us to decide which intervention has shown more effectiveness for a specific diagnostic label. The traditional meta-analytical syntheses based on the comparison between groups are not sensitive to the learning processes that underlie intervention effectiveness, nor the functional relationship between behavioral problems and environmental variables. Heterogeneity between groups is assumed without a behavioral functional analysis. To overcome these important limitations since the 90s, single case design meta-analysis has been developed. The purpose of this theoretical poster is to analyze the single case design meta-analysis uses in applied behavior analysis. It could be used for analyzing the methodological quality of intervention designs, for procedure development and improvement, and to create comprehensive syntheses of the outcomes of behavioral interventions, which could help us to influence the health policies decision making.

 
74.

Flexin' and Stepin': The Relationship Between Psychological Flexibility and a Contamination-Related Behavior Avoidance Task

Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
PATRICK RICHARDSON (University of Mississippi), Emmie Hebert (University of Mississippi), Claire M’Lynn Lundy (University of Mississippi), Claire Price (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Aversive control is an umbrella term for behavioral contingencies influenced by the removal or avoidance of aversive stimuli. When individuals are engaging in behavior that is under aversive control, the behavior becomes relatively insensitive to changes in the environment outside of trying to escape or avoid the aversive stimulation. Teaching individuals to increase behavioral and psychological flexibility around potentially aversive stimuli is a goal of a therapeutic perspective called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT therapists and trainers use values to motivate their clients to engage in meaningful behaviors despite ever-changing, and often aversive, contexts. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between participants’ psychological flexibility and fear of contamination at the time of the experiment and its relationship to approaching objects presented as contaminated (i.e. aversive). Participants were 200 undergraduate college students. Contrary to what was hypothesized, contamination fear was a significantly better predictor of approach behavior related to aversive objects than psychological flexibility, which was not significantly correlated with approach behavior. Theories about these findings will be presented and open for discussion.

 
75. Values Fear Factor: The Impact of Relating Values to Previously Established Aversive Stimuli
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
EMMIE HEBERT (University of Mississippi), Claire M’Lynn Lundy (University of Mississippi), Claire Price (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Using a behavioral and functional definition of aversive stimulation can be useful when examining the interaction between human behavior and the stimuli in the environment. In some situations, individuals might approach stimuli that were previously established as aversive stimuli. One reason for this may be that avoiding or escaping from the stimulus is more aversive than the stimulus itself. Another reason for engaging with typically aversive stimuli may be that there’s something reinforcing in the engagement. In other words, the engagement serves a purpose that matters to the individual. The aim of the current study is to demonstrate the effects of a values-related task on behavior in behavioral approach tasks with established aversive stimuli. College students participated in behavioral approach tasks with perceived contaminated stimuli. Data show that participants that completed a values task and contingency before interacting with the contaminated stimuli increased in approach behaviors from baseline more than those participants that just received reinforcement (tickets) for approach behaviors and the control condition with no contrived consequence. This study is one of the first that empirically support including a stand-alone values component in therapeutic interventions with an exposure component.
 
76. A Review of Training Methodologies for Providing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Caregivers
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
CARLY MAGNACCA (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University )
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to increase psychological flexibility and decrease stress in caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs). Given this population often reports high stress, this review examined the strategies for teaching ACT to caregivers of children with NDDs. The terms “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” and “Parent” or “Caregiver” were entered in SuperSearch, ERIC, and PsycINFO databases. Inclusion criteria were: an experimental or quasi-experimental group or single-case design was used, the independent variable included teaching ACT to caregivers of children with NDDs, and group or individual data were presented on the outcomes of ACT. Case studies, review articles, and articles not peer-reviewed or written in English were excluded. In total, 269 articles were reviewed with 10 meeting the inclusion criteria. All but one article (n=9) used didactic training (e.g., providing information about ACT) even though performance and competency-based training is supported in the literature. All articles (n=10) used indirect outcome measures (e.g., questionnaires) to assess psychological flexibility. Only one study included direct outcomes of ACT, and only one measured treatment integrity. Future research should assess the efficacy of performance and competency-based training for teaching ACT to caregivers, include direct outcome and treatment fidelity measures.
 
77.

Direct Measures of Committed Actions in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A Scoping Review

Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
Amanda Marcinkiewicz (Brock University), KENDRA THOMSON (Brock University )
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) increases psychological flexibility by modifying one’s relationship with internal states to overcome challenges. Committed actions (CAs) are a key component of the ACT process, yet are rarely directly measured (e.g., self-monitoring). Indirect measures of mental and physical health outcomes (e.g., stress scales) are most often reported. This review examined the ACT literature that directly measured CAs in relation to changes in health outcomes. The terms “committed actions” and “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” were entered in GoogleScholar and PsycINFO databases. Peer reviewed, experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations of ACT as the independent variable with CA outcomes were included. Case studies, those that focused on other ACT processes, and non-English articles were excluded. Of the articles that met the criteria (n = 5), four included indirect measures of beliefs about performing actions to overcome challenges and only one article directly measured overt behaviors. Two articles measured social validity, and one assessed maintenance post-ACT. Results suggest a lack of direct measurement of CAs in the ACT literature which may be directly related to changes in health outcomes. Future research should attempt to better understand how participants’ actions contribute to increased quality of life after ACT.

 
78. Behavioral Skills Training Increases Appropriate Conversation Skills in a Detained Male Adolescent
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ADAM J ALMANZA (Auburn University), Peta Kimber (Auburn University), Kristen Brogan (Auburn University), Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Due to the higher prevalence of antisocial personality disorder found in detained populations, these individuals are often more likely to show deficits in the realm of social skills that include decreased levels of social awareness and restrictive interests. These deficits may lead to many one-sided conversations and social interactions that rarely stray from the speaker’s interests and do little to involve or acknowledge the listener. Individuals with conversation skills deficits may experience difficulty in sustaining conversations with others, forming relationships, and integrating into their communities. Previous research has utilized Behavioral Skills Training (BST) to teach conversation skills to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who showed restrictive interests and lack of social awareness. We utilized BST to teach a 19-year old male with social skills deficits to tact the disinterested behavior of a listener during a conversation and then respond appropriately to regain the listener’s interest. With BST alone, the participant mastered tacting and responding to disinterest during a conversation, as well as appropriately leaving a conversation when strategies to regain listener interest were unsuccessful. The application of BST to conversation skills in detained adolescents and future directions are discussed.
 
79.

Reducing Anxiety of Adolescents With Disabilities Using Wearable Biosensor Technology: A Pilot Study

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University), Ximena Burgin (Northern Illinois University), Jennifer McCormick (Northern Illinois University), Trisha Bailey (Northern Illinois University), Elizabeth Monterosso (Northern Illinois University), Samantha Riesen (Northern Illinois University), Margaret Hoffman (Northern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this presentation is to present findings on the effectiveness of a visually-based breathing app on the reduction of anxiety and/or stress-related behaviors among three adolescents with social (pragmatic) communication disorders using wearable biomarker technology and behavioral observation measures. Two males and one female enrolled in a private therapeutic day school serving adolescents with social and emotional disabilities participated in this study. They were between the ages of 14 and 17 years old and came from diverse cultural backgrounds. Each participant engaged in a visually-based breathing activity either with tense notifications/alerts (condition 1) or without tense notifications/alerts (condition 2) prior to attending an academic class session. Data were collected on observable anxiety-related behaviors and breathing patterns as measured by a Spire Stone device across baseline and experimental conditions and were evaluated using an alternating treatments design. Although results were not significant, the visually-based breathing activity with no alerts/notifications seemed to be the most effective condition for increasing calm breathing patterns and reducing tense breathing patterns; however, more research is needed and implications for future research will be discussed.

 
80.

Behavior Analysts’ Attitudes Toward and Perceptions of Licensure Versus Certification

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
BRIAN CONNERS (Seton Hall University), Frank R. Cicero (Seton Hall University), Shawn Capell (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health )
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

This poster presentation will show results from a survey examining behavior analysts’ attitudes toward and perceptions of licensure versus certification in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Participants (N = 368) were Board Certified Behavior Analysts-Doctoral (13%), Board Certified Behavior Analysts (83%), and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (4%). Participants were recruited through state ABA associations within the United States through membership email listserves. Results from the survey demonstrated that the majority of participants believed that licensure would help protect clients from incompetent behavior analysts and that it would benefit the field of ABA by gaining power and prestige. Majority of participants also believed that holding a Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) credential should be enough requirements for state licensure and additional state requirements should not be imposed. Furthermore, participants believed that there should be reciprocity between states with licensure. Participants also identified drawbacks of licensure including an additional financial burden to behavior analysts due to fees, further paperwork, and further training requirements in some states beyond BACB credential. Additional results will be presented and future directions of considerations in licensure of behavior analysts will be discussed.

 
81. Extending Behavior Analysis to Sports: Using Precision Teaching and Fluency Building to Advance Basketball Skills
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE A. PARKS (Team ABA LLC), Kirk Kirby (Team ABA LLC), Richard M. Kubina (Penn State), Wesley J. Lowery (Team ABA LLC), Beverly Kirby (Team ABA LLC)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been used to increase performance in various sports dating back to the late 1970’s (Komaki & Barnett, 1977). While several studies have demonstrated the positive effects of positive reinforcement, consistent feedback, public performance objectives, chaining, positive practice, time out, and precision teaching to increase acquisition of skills (Allison & Ayllon, 1980), the application of precision teaching to increase the fluency of specific complex motor skills is limited (Pocock, Foster, & McEwan, 2010). This study used precision teaching to increase free throw shooting fluency in a high school varsity boys basketball team. The study included four boys who played on the local basketball team; two sophomores, one junior, and one senior. Sessions consisted of three 30-second intervals in which the players were told to make as many shots as possible while trying to be as accurate as possible. Specific feedback was provided after each 30-second interval on both what the player did correctly and what to change. Feedback included specific descriptions of what to correct, a modeled demonstration, and practice. Results indicate that free throw accuracy and fluency increased in all four players as measured by their scores in the first 30-second interval each session.
 
82. Using Self-Monitoring Techniques and Technology to Increase Physical Activity: A Review of the Literature
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
PEDRO PRADO-ROMERO (Duquesne Univeristy), Edward Justin Page (Duquesne University), Andrew S Massey (Duquesne University), Shadi Albadawi (Duquesne University)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: The current obesity epidemic and inactive lifestyles of many Americans may contribute to chronic health problems and in turn, millions of dollars in medical bills. One aspect of this problem is the lack of physical activity. Self-monitoring techniques have been effectively used to increase physical activity. Technological advancements, such as the abundance of options for computers, tablets, smartphones, and personal fitness trackers allow users to record and monitor their level and intensity of physical activity. To date there is no systematic review of the literature that summarizes these studies. The purpose of this review was to determine how self-monitoring techniques along with a technology could be used to increase physical activity. An exhaustive review of the literature was conducted and resulted in 22 articles. The results indicated that goal setting was the most popular form of self-monitoring technique used and fitness trackers were the prevalent type of technology used. Future research should continue to examine the most effective methodologies that produce lasting behavior change in physical activity.
 
83. Stepping Up: An Evaluation of Physical Activity During Fitbit Challenges
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA NASTASI (Rowan University), Mitchell Kaplan (Rowan University), Bethany R. Raiff (Rowan University)
Discussant: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: One in five adults satisfy physical activity guidelines in the United States. Sedentary behavior is associated with increased risk for multiple health conditions, thus interventions for increasing physical activity are needed. One strategy employed by Fitbit is to make “challenges” available, whereby users compete to get the most steps in the context of a leaderboard. Social comparison theory states that individuals will respond differently to individuals who perform better than them versus those who perform worse. The current study sought to examine the effect of Fitbit challenges on physical activity in sedentary individuals (n=4), and to determine the relative impact of challenges involving high activity and low activity confederates. Each challenge phase lasted 7 days, during which participants could compare their daily steps to the confederate on the leaderboard. All participants engaged in a higher average step count in challenge phases (M=53% increase) compared to their initial baseline average. There were no consistent differences across participants in challenges involving high versus low activity confederates. An additional four participants will be recruited this winter. Future research should seek to isolate and evaluate individual challenge components contributing to these results.
 
 

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