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 #84
Saturday, May 25, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
132.

Providing Alternative, Functional Reinforcers During Delays Following Functional Communication Training

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MEAGAN E SUMTER (Marquette University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Marquette University), Caitlin Fulton (Munroe-Meyer Institute )
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Following a functional analysis, Functional Communication Training (FCT) involves arranging extinction for problem behavior and reinforcement for a more desirable functional communicative response (FCR). Although effective under ideal arrangements, the introduction of delays following the FCR can result in increased problem behavior. For individuals whose problem behavior is sensitive to multiple sources of reinforcement, providing access to alternative reinforcers during delays may mitigate this increase in problem behavior. We evaluated the effects of providing alternative positive reinforcers during delays periods with an 8-year-old girl displaying multiply controlled problem behavior (i.e., sensitive to attention and access to tangibles). Providing alternative reinforcers (i.e., noncontingent attention during delays to tangibles and noncontingent tangibles during delays to attention) immediately reduced problem behavior to near-zero levels during delays; delay fading was not necessary to sustain reductions in problem behavior. These results extend prior research on developing delay tolerance.

 
133.

An Overview of Using Functional Communication Training in the Treatment of an Individual With Hemispherectomy to Reduce Aggression

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ALI A MAHAMAT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Virtus Academy)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Previous studies reported on the effectiveness of using Functional Communication Training (FCT) with individuals with autism and other developmental delays Rosenberg, OShea, & OShea, (2002). In the current study, the use of FCT with an individual with Hemispherectomy—brain procedure that involves removing half of the brain-to reduce instances of aggression. ) Peacock, Wehby-Grant, Shields, Shewmon, Chugani, Sankar, & Vinters (1996).The FCT intervention used in this study, was based on a procedure described by Hanley, Jin, Vaneselow, & Hanraty (2013) with a revision. Specifically, instead of the learner saying “my way”, the leaner was taught to show“cool hands”. This intervention was carried out in a clinic-based setting as part of the weekly applied behavior analysis therapy sessions. Overall, the data showed a decrease in the occurrence of instances of aggression. This study helps expand the application of FCT to children that underwent a Hemispherectomy who engage in severe instances of aggression. Keywords: Hemispherectomy, Functional Communication Training, applied behavior analysis

 
134.

The Effects of Reinforcement Magnitude on Resistance to Extinction

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAY HARTMAN (Western New England University; New England Center for Children), Jessica L. Thomason-Sassi (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

It is important to establish methods that promote the persistence of a functional communication response (FCR) under adverse conditions (e.g., extinction) to prevent the loss of an FCR. An individual with developmental disabilities was taught an FCR based on the results of a functional analysis. Then, the individual was given access to high magnitudes (120 s) and low magnitudes (20 s) of the reinforcer (access to preferred items) to determine if magnitude would have an effect on the mand’s resistance to extinction. Reinforcement conditions were followed by extinction in a reversal design. Resistance to extinction was assessed in three different ways: change in rate, change in rate expressed as a proportion of the average rate from the preceding reinforcement condition, and cumulative frequency of responses across sessions. Interobserver agreement was collected by a second observer for 41% of sessions from the functional analysis, 40% of sessions from functional communication training, and 33% of magnitude and extinction sessions. Results showed that there was no significant difference in the persistence of the FCR during extinction following differing magnitudes. These findings contrast with the findings in basic literature that suggest greater reinforcement magnitudes promote greater persistence during extinction.

 
135.

Rapid Treatment of Severe Destructive Behavior Within a Classroom Using Functional Communication Training With Chained Schedules

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA MAE MORRIS (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Daniel R. Mitteer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jordan David Lill (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Mark D. Shriver (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jessica Cox (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Alyson Forbes (University of Nebraska Omaha)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is the most commonly prescribed treatment for socially reinforced destructive behavior (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008) and involves teaching a functional communication response (FCR; e.g., “Break, please”) in order to access the reinforcer maintaining destructive behavior (e.g., escape from academic demands) while programming extinction for destructive behavior. Although FCT is highly effective, frequent reinforcement can be impractical for caregivers and, in the case of escape functions, could deter academic progress with excessive breaks from work. Recently, researchers have used multiple or chained schedules during FCT to rapidly reduce FCRs and destructive behavior (Greer et al., 2016) and mitigate treatment relapse (Fuhrman et al., 2016; Fisher et al., 2015). However, the aforementioned FCT treatments occurred in tightly controlled clinical settings for up to six hours per day. In the current study, a behavior analyst consulted two hours per day using chained FCT to rapidly reduce severe destructive behavior and FCRs with two students with intellectual disabilities in a special-education classroom. These findings suggest that behavioral consultants can use FCT with discriminative stimuli to efficiently and effectively treat destructive behavior even within a less-controlled classroom setting and at a relatively low treatment dose.

 
136.

Prevalence of Renewal of Problem Behavior During Context Changes

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RODRICK LEARY (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine), Scott Gillespie (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Renewal is defined as an increase in a behavior that has been reduced or extinguished as a result of a shift in environmental or social conditions. Understanding the rates at which renewal occurs provides clinicians, especially those focused on reducing rates of problem behavior, with the opportunity to provide a better quality of treatment by allowing them to address renewal effects in a proactive manner. In the current study, we used a consecutive case series analysis to investigate the probability and size of renewal effects. Of 220 context changes analyzed for this study, renewal occurred in 92 instances (41.8 %). We further analyzed if there were differences in renewal based on the function of the problem behavior (i.e., socially versus automatically maintained) and based on the type of change (i.e., environment versus person change). We used an inverse hyperbolic sine transformation to analyze these data. No significant differences were observed at individual time points (i.e. sessions) based on type of change or function of the problem behavior.

 
137. Translational Evaluation of History Effects on Resurgence
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE TALHELM (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract: Resurgence is the reappearance of an extinguished operant response when an alternative behavior is subsequently treated with extinction (Podlesnik & Shahan, 2009). Relapse of problem behavior may occur due to treatment implementation errors (Sweeney & Shahan, 2015). Problem behavior may reemerge due to its well established or unknown reinforcement history when an appropriate response is met with extinction contingencies. A potential solution to this problem is training serial alternative responses. The current study trained undergraduate students an arbitrary response analogue to problem behavior and two alternative responses. Each response was reinforced for a specific amount of time to establish different reinforcement histories and then tested for resurgence. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the duration of exposure to reinforcement contingencies on resurgence.
 
138.

Effects of Functional Communication Training on Functional Requests for a Girl With Rett Syndrome

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY KATRINA UNHOLZ (University of Minnesota), Rebecca Kolb (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to test the effects of functional communication training (FCT) on the occurrence of crying and the acquisition of functional requests with a 3-year-old girl with Rett syndrome (RTT). A multiple probe design across three functional communication responses (FCRs) was used with a reversal embedded in the first leg. All sessions were conducted by the parent with coaching from a behavior analyst. Therapists provided coaching from a remote location via telecommunication for the parent to teach her daughter to use an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device in the form of a microswitch to make each request. Different colored microswitches with a picture icon affixed with Velcro to each switch were used to signal the reinforcer for each of the three requests: ‘TV’, ‘Drink’ and ‘No thank you.’ Elevated levels of crying were observed with little or no switch pressing during baseline sessions. Preliminary intervention results demonstrate decreased crying and increased switch pressing when switch pressing is reinforced. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.

 
139.

The Effects of Extinction on Resurgence: A Retrospective Analysis

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SARA ELIZABETH WISE (University of Iowa), Eddie Lee Scott (University of Iowa ), Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa), Pei Huang (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Clinicians often use functional communication training (FCT) in conjunction with extinction to increase desired response while decreasing problem behaviors. The current study retrospectively evaluated data for seven participants who were exposed to a functional analysis of problem behavior, FCT, and extinction as part of a larger project analyzing factors influencing the persistence of mands following FCT (Ringdahl, Wacker, and Berg, 2012-2018). Recent research suggested that exposures to extinction during FCT impacted later resurgence of problem behavior for participants whose behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement (Schieltz et al., 2017). The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend Schieltz et al. (2017), by comparing the number of problem behavior-extinction pairings during FCT on the resurgence of problem behavior for participants whose problem behavior was maintained by positive reinforcement. The data revealed an inverse relation between the number of response-extinction exposures during FCT and the magnitude of resurgence during a subsequent extinction phase, similar to the results reported by Schieltz et al. (2017). The researchers collected interobserver agreement (IOA) data for reinforcement onset, offset and the occurrence of problem behavior during FCT for 20% of FCT sessions for all participants with a mean of 100% agreement for each participant.

 
140. Using Telehealth to Train Teachers on Communication Interventions that Incorporate the Use of Speech-Generating Devices in a Functional Skills Classroom
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Amarie Carnett (University of Texas at San Antonio), Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University), Christopher A. Tullis (Georgia State University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon), ALLEGRA RODRIGUEZ-TREVINO (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract: Communication skills are often a major component of educational programs for children with developmental disabilities. Research has shown effective procedures for training teachers using the Behavioral Skills Training model to for communication interventions. However, research has yet to extend to children with developmental disabilities who are learning to communicating via augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Telehealth video platforms have been used to allow greater access to medical and therapeutic services. Although the use of Telehealth has been extended as an avenue for parents to access behavioral services for their child, less of the literature has evaluated the use of Telehealth for teacher behavioral consultation. Thus, the current research aimed to evaluate the use of teacher training and Telehealth BST coaching to promote greater communication opportunities within the functional skills classroom for students with developmental disabilities. Both teacher fidelity of the communication interventions and independent student mands were measured for 4 teacher/student dyads. Lastly, data on social validity for the use of Telehealth in the classroom was also collected. Each dyad showed increases in the targeted behaviors, suggesting that the use of a Telehealth and BST may be a viable option for teacher and staff consultation.
 
141.

Results from a Pica Treatment Evaluation: Combining Functional Communication Training, Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior, andRedirection

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA THEODORE (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anlara McKenzie (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Danae Dowd (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
Abstract:

Pica, or the ingestion of non-edible objects, is a dangerous behavior exhibited by some children with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this study was to systematically examine a treatment for a 16-year-old male hospitalized on an inpatient unit for severe problem behavior with pica that was demonstrated during a functional analysis to be maintained by automatic reinforcement. The initial treatment of blocking and redirecting to preferred toys reduced pica attempts; however, continuous non-contingent access to toys is not feasible long-term. Therefore, a signal (a placemat) was introduced to establish stimulus control over eating (only items on the placement were permitted to be consumed; consumption of all other items was blocked). The participant was then taught an incompatible response, disposing of pica items, which resulted in access to one piece of a preferred edible. Finally, to reduce elopement to access pica items, a functional communication response, exchanging a card, resulted in access to picking up pica items; any attempts to pick up pica items in the absence of communication were blocked. Results indicate that the treatment reduced pica and related problem behavior (e.g., elopement).

 
143. An Evaluation of Reinforcement Rate in Treatment and Resurgence of Destructive Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NATASHA CHAMBERLAIN (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Adam M. Briggs (Eastern Michigan University), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Resurgence is a phenomenon that can occur following functional communication training (FCT). If the functional communication response (FCR) contacts extinction, destructive behavior may reemerge. Fisher, Greer, Fuhrman, Saini, and Simmons (2018) employed behavioral momentum theory to identify refinements to FCT that mitigate resurgence. Fisher et al. (2018) demonstrated the combination of three refinements to be effective at reducing the resurgence of destructive behavior relative to a condition in which they conducted FCT in a more typical manner. Because Fisher et al. (2018) combined the three refinements in one evaluation, the relative effectiveness of each is unclear. In the current study, we examined the effectiveness of one of those refinements employed by Fisher et al. (i.e., a lean rate of reinforcement during treatment) in reducing the resurgence of destructive behavior. Two male children and one female child referred for destructive behavior participated. We compared a condition in which we employed a dense schedule of reinforcement for the FCR during treatment to one in which we employed a lean schedule of reinforcement for the FCR during treatment. We did not observe significant differences between the two conditions across participants. We discuss the implications and limitations of the findings.
 
144. Using Conditional Probability Data to Inform the Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DAPHNE SNYDER (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: While the Functional Analyses are viewed as the golden standard of assessment in behavior analysis, descriptive analyses still have utility in informing functional analysis procedures and treatment. This study examines the use of conditional probability within an ABC analysis to inform the functional analysis of aggressive behaviors displayed by a 9-year-old boy. Through ABC analysis, removal of a tangible was identified as a possible maintaining variable. Additionally, when tangibles were removed as a setting event, the conditional probability data also showed that other specific antecedents were more or less likely to produce problem behavior. For instance, the addition of the presentation of a demand during this setting event showed a lesser probability of target behavior occurring. These hypotheses were tested using a standard functional analysis and pairwise comparisons. The FA first confirmed that removal of tangibles was the function of the behavior. Then, repeated reversals between tangible removal and tangible removal plus demand presented were then tested. The results of the pairwise analysis confirmed that removal of a tangible would evoke target behavior, and that the presentation of demands during this setting event would abate target behaviors.
 
145.

Evaluating the Stability of Behavior Function: A Retrospective Analysis

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON COX (Brock University)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Individuals with intellectual disabilities are characterized by significant impairments in cognitive functioning, and often engage in problem behaviors including: self-injury, bizarre vocalizations, aggression and property destruction. Problem behaviors typically persist for extended periods if left untreated, and even with effective intervention, treatment effects may not be maintained. In general, treatment effect maintenance as an objective is secondary to immediate intervention effects and often probes are administered no more than six-month post treatment. When maintenance does fail, few endeavor to explain why; leaving treatment maintenance failures a relatively understudied area in applied research. The current study uses data sets from seven cases collected during a previous study to examine the social and environmental variables maintaining problem behavior across extended periods, up to nine-months. Preliminary results suggest function stability may be observed across three, six and nine-month intervals. Clinical implications and future research direction are discussed in relation to participant outcomes.

 
146.

Brief Experimental Analysis to Inform Vocational Systems Level Change for High Schoolers With Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
LOUIS R LEIBOWITZ (Ivymount School & Programs), Iris Archundia (Ivymount School & Programs), Lauren J Lestremau (Ivymount School & Programs)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Many individuals with disabilities require explicit vocational training to meaningfully access employment. Often, the pervasiveness of disability and associated deficits necessitates short- or long-term job coaching, and accepting of such support is a critical pre-requisite for future employment. However, the most effective interventions may also be intrusive, which can be stigmatizing and aversive to clients. Although numerous evidence-based interventions exist for skill acquisition, practitioners often rely solely on clinical expertise to inform treatment selection, leading to interventions that are overly intrusive, ineffective, inefficient, or which evoke problem behavior. The use of brief experimental analysis (BEA) may help incorporate data-based decision making into treatment selection, while minimizing assessment time. This study uses BEA to identify the least intrusive, most effective intervention package required for rapid acquisition of vocational tasks for four high school students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Rates of problem behavior were evaluated to determine social validity. Results indicated that all participants performed vocational tasks to criterion or near-criterion levels with a less intrusive package than current program procedures, and a systems level change was implemented for the subsequent school year. Comparison of aggregated student skill acquisition data across school years will also be presented to evaluate long-term outcomes.

 
147. The Effects of Enriched Activities on the Latency of Challenging Behaviors
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
IRENE TSEVDOS (Services for the Underserved ), James G. O'Brien (Service for the Underserved)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: This single case study reports the effects of enriched activities on delaying on the onset of challenging behavior for an adult male with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and comorbid diagnosis who resides in an individualized residential alternative (IRA). Using an alternating treatment design the latency to onset of challenging behavior was measured between enriched versus non enriched environments. Enriched environments included both client preferred activities determined from a preference assessment and predetermined activities by researcher. Non-intervention days consisted of the individual remaining within his residence with limited access to preferred activities. The result indicated a positive correlation between latency and enriched activities allowing for individual to have more opportunities for independence and community exposure. Discussion points will include variability and the effects on latency.
 
148. A Systematic Removal of Restrictive Procedures
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KELSEY WEBSTER (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Western Michigan University ), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, including autism, may engage in severe problem behaviors that require behavior intervention plans. In addition to proactive and reactive interventions, behavior plans may include restrictive strategies. These may restrict movement, access to items, and/or activities. Though research supports the use of restrictive procedures in necessary situations, there is limited guidance for systematic removal of restrictive procedures. Without a system, these strategies may remain in place when less restrictive strategies are more appropriate. This poster will describe an example of a restriction removal process for ensuring that when no longer necessary, restrictions are faded.
 
149. Effects of Choice of Task Order on Compliance and Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BREANNA CHRISTINE BURNS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Shelby Potter (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Choice of task order has become an important element for decreasing problem behavior in individuals who engage in escape-maintained problem behavior (Kern, Mantegna, Vorndran, Bailin, & Hilt, 2001; Romaniuk et al., 2002; Seybert, Dunlap, & Ferro, 1996; Smeltzer, Graff, Ahearn, & Libby, 2009); however, little research has been conducted on using choice of task sequence as a method of increasing compliance in individuals with various functions of problem behavior. The current study extended previous research conducted by Smeltzer, Graff, Ahearn, and Libby (2009) in which choice of low-preferred tasks was shown to increase compliance and decrease problem behavior. A multiple baseline across participants design with an embedded multielement phase was used to assess the effects of choice of order of low-preferred tasks on compliance, task duration, and problem behavior with three individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. A demand assessment was used to determine low-preferred tasks to be used in choice, yoked no-choice, and experimenter’s choice conditions. Results for participant two indicated choice was not effective in decreasing problem behavior and increasing compliance.
 
150.

Examining the Effects of Response Blocking on “Arbitrary” Responses and Problem Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
MORGAN MARIE HALLGREN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anlara McKenzie (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Blocking may be used to help prevent injury to an individual who engages in intense self-injurious behavior (SIB); however, in some cases, response blocking may function as positive reinforcement for problem behavior. Because blocking all SIB may be required to maintain the individual’s safety, it may be difficult assess the effects of blocking on problem behavior by manipulating this contingency. To determine whether blocking functions as a reinforcer, “arbitrary,” free operant behaviors may be blocked, and the rate of behavior before and during contingent blocking can be examined. If contingent blocking produces an increase in behavior, a reinforcement effect is demonstrated, suggesting that blocking could increase SIB. However, if arbitrary behaviors do not increase during blocking, this may represent a false negative outcome. The purpose of this analysis was to compare the effects of blocking on arbitrary responses and SIB hypothesized to be maintained by access to response blocking with an individual admitted for the assessment and treatment of self-injurious behavior. Arbitrary behaviors did not increase when blocked suggesting that blocking did not function as reinforcement; however, a subsequent assessment examining the effects of blocking on SIB suggested the presence of a functional relationship.

 
151.

Individualized Assessment Approaches for Automatic Self-Injurious Behavior With Self-Restraint

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTY DEPALMA (University of Iowa), Lexy Walgren (University of Iowa), Kellen Hughes (University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a common challenging behavior exhibited by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays. This SIB is maintained by automatic reinforcement in approximately 20% to 25% of cases (Beavers, Iwata, & Lerman, 2013). An even smaller percentage of these cases include behaviors defined as self-restraint, defined as topographically incompatible behaviors that decrease the occurrence of SIB. Self-restraint behavior is poorly understood and rarely studied in the literature. In cases of self-restraint, SIB can be difficult to assess using traditional functional analysis (FA) methods as SIB may occur in conditions where self-restraint items are restricted or SIB may not occur at all if self-restraint is not blocked. Results from these analyses may lead to false positives or negatives that could lead to ineffective or inappropriate treatments. This poster presents three case studies of individuals with developmental disabilities and self-restraint behavior. Assessments conducted within an intensive outpatient clinic utilized different individualized assessment techniques in each case to clarify FA results. Results of these assessments and implications on treatment and future research will be discussed.

 
152.

Comparing Results from Anecdotal Assessments Given to Caregivers and an Individual With Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAELA SMITH (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Kathleen Ann Bayliss (University of North Texas), Carla M. Smith (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Anecdotal assessments are used to help determine the function of behavior and are typically administered to caregivers, rather than directly with an individual for whom an intervention is being designed. However, individuals with advanced verbal skills could also provide information on the potential function(s) of their own behavior. Two common anecdotal assessments, the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Questions about Behavioral Function (QABF), were administered to an individual, and his caregivers, living at a state center for individuals with developmental disabilities. Although this individual had advanced verbal and independent living skills, he emitted several behaviors that impeded his ability to remain in the community. After we administered separate MAS and QABF to his caregivers for aggression, property destruction, and verbal disruption, we administered the same assessments to the individual. We then compared outcomes, to determine if the individual could accurately pinpoint the potential function(s) of his behavior. Preliminary results indicate some correspondence between the individual’s and his caregivers’ anecdotal outcomes, at the level of class of reinforcer. If the individual’s anecdotal outcomes match those of their caregivers, this could foster a collaborative environment in which an individual provides valuable input in designing their intervention.

 
153.

Functional Analysis and Behavioral Contrast: Problem Behavior Outside of Session

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KARIE JOHN (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Marlesha Bell (University of South Florida), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Functional Behavior Assessment consists of indirect assessment, descriptive assessment, and functional analysis. Conducting a functional analysis (FA) is the most empirically supported method of determining problem behavior, yet clinicians report various barriers to conducting FAs. A common concern associated with conducting FAs is that by reinforcing problem behavior during assessment, problem behavior may increase outside of the assessment context (Hanley, 2012). However, little research has validated this concern. In fact, behavioral contrast research suggests the opposite may be more likely. Behavioral contrast can best be described as a change in behavior in one context as a result of the rate of reinforcement of the behavior in another context (Reynolds, 1961). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate problem behavior outside of the FA context. Response-stimulus sequences were observed through descriptive analysis observations across days as well as immediately preceding and following-FA sessions to examine temporal relations and the extent to which caregivers may influence behavior prior-to and post-FA.

 
154. Examining Unclear Functional Analysis Results: Assessment of Problem Behavior Occasioned by Interruption of Free Operant Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SHELBY POTTER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anlara McKenzie (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Determining the function of problem behavior is a pivotal first step in the development of a behavior change program. Although many studies have demonstrated that procedures based closely on those described by Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982/1994) are effective at identifying the function of problem behavior, in some cases, an initial functional analysis (FA) is inconclusive, and procedural modifications are required to determine function. In this study, an initial FA based on the Iwata et al. procedures produced undifferentiated results, and a modified FA indicated that the interruption of free operant behavior evoked problem behavior and that problem behavior was maintained by termination of these interruptions (Hagopian, Bruzeck, Bowman, and Jannett, 2007). Following the assessments, an intervention was implemented that reduced problem behavior by 95.13% relative to baseline levels.
 
155. Relation Between Selection Latency and Preference
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
RYAN HECKERT (University of Manitoba), C.T. Yu (University of Manitoba)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Preference assessments for individual with a developmental disability have typically been determined through selection-based or engagement-based procedures. However, response latency may also be a predictor of preference, with more preferred items being selected with a shorter latency during a preference assessment (e.g., Derby et al., 1995). Research on latency as a measure of preference is limited; therefore, the purpose of this report is to expand on this finding. The present study looked at the correlations between preference, reinforcing value, and the latency of item selection during a preference assessment. The reinforcing value for each item was determined using an ABAB design, preference for each item was determined using a paired-stimulus assessment procedure, and latency was determined from video recorded sessions. The sample included three participants diagnosed with a developmental disability, with four items being assessed for each participant. Although there was a strong relation between preference and reinforcing value (r = .76), the relationship between reinforcing value and selection latency was weak (r = -.24), and there was no association between preference and selection latency (r = -.07). As these results are based on limited data, further research is required.
 
156.

A Comparison of Perception on Function of Problem Behaviors Across Three Groups of Caregivers

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DONGJOO CHIN (Yonsei University), Yuna Kim (Korea Institute for ABA), Hyeonsuk Jang (Korea Institute for ABA)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Previous studies show mixed results on discrepancies across the informants on the identification of the function of behaviors. The purpose of this study is to compare the functions of behaviors identified by three different groups of caregivers (teachers, staff/therapists, parents). Teachers (N = 309), staff/therapists (N = 65), and parents (N = 107) completed the Functional Assessment for the Challenging/Problem Behaviors (FAPB) questionnaires via online survey or offline written test to assess the function of behaviors in people with developmental disabilities, whose age ranges from 2 to 49. Results from the Chi-Square Test that the proportions of the six functions of problematic behaviors were significantly different across 3 groups. The proportion of tangible function was higher in the staff/therapist group than other groups, while the percentage of attention was higher in the parent group compared to others. However, in the teacher group, the difference was minimal in teacher group compared to other two groups. Further implications and limitations of this study were discussed.

 
157. An Evaluation of a Response Allocation Assessment as an Alternative to Current Functional Analysis Methodologies
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER QUIGLEY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Joslyn Cynkus Mintz (Cigna Behavioral Health), Jessica Foster Juanico (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The “standard” functional analysis (SFA) is an empirical demonstration of a cause-effect relationship between a target behavior and environmental variables. During the past 20 years, criticisms have arisen of the SFA including (a) the experience required to successfully design and implement the analysis, (b) resources required, (c) extended duration of analysis, (d) evoking potentially dangerous behavior, (e) required control over environmental conditions, and (f) potential findings of ambiguous results. Though multiple research studies and reviews have aimed to address these concerns through a variety of modifications, the current research study aimed to replicate and extend previous research by proposing a new alternative to functional analysis methodologies, the response allocation assessment (RAA). The RAA measures the participant’s allocation of the targeted challenging behavior or functional replacement behavior in a concurrent operant arrangement with a latency measure. This methodology enables the clinician to identify the function of challenging behavior while also assessing the participant’s ability to engage in the targeted replacement behavior. The current study compared the efficiency and effectiveness of the RAA in comparison to the SFA. Discuss of the results and the social validity of the RAA will be included.
 
158. Extending Functional Analysis and Competing Stimulus Assessment Methodologies to Tracheostomy Tube Manipulation
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA HARDESTY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John Falligant (Auburn University/Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), David Pierce (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Functional analyses (FA) are widely used in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior (Beavers, Iwata, & Lerman 2013). However, with limited exceptions, the procedures are rarely applied to dangerous behaviors associated with medical equipment (e.g., Kurtz & Chin, 2004). The purpose of the current study was to extend the literature on the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior to tracheostomy tube manipulation. The participant was a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with profound intellectual disability, Moebius Syndrome and Pierre Robin sequence. He was referred to a hospital-based outpatient clinic for assessment and treatment of self-injury in the form of tracheostomy tube pulling. The client had constant supervision by trained medical staff at all times. FA results indicated that tracheotomy tube manipulation was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A modified version of the competing stimulus assessment for automatically maintained problem behavior (Haogpian et al., in press) was conducted, and results informed treatment which consisted of access to competing stimuli, prompted item engagement, and response blocking (via tracheostomy cover). Zero instances of tracheostomy touching, as well as increases in visual and tactile toy engagement were observed. Reliability data were collected 29.5% of sessions averaged 89.5% across dependent measures.
 
159. Progressing from Inconclusive Functional Analysis Results to the Development of a Novel, Idiosyncratic Function
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Catherine Maruska (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), ALEXA CECELIA MORLEY KALMBACH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Joelle Krantz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Functional analyses (FAs) are widely accepted as best practice for ascertaining behavior functions and designing effective behavioral interventions (Beavers, Iwata, & Lerman, 2013), but many times individual modifications to procedures are necessary to obtain conclusive results (Hagopian, Rooker, Jessel, and DeLeon, 2013). The purpose of the current study was to assess and intervene on problem behavior displayed by a 15-year-old female, whose functional analysis results were inconclusive, even after common procedural modifications results were utilized (Hagopian et al., 2013). After completing observations and descriptive assessments, a pairwise design was used to determine if consistent exposure to reiterative statements and topics from a therapist increased the establishing operation for problem behavior in the participant. During the test condition, the therapist engaged in conversation with Tessa. Every minute the therapist either (1) consistently discussed a specific topic (preferred or neutral), (2) repeated a question, or (3) asked Tessa to clarify a vocal response. Results of this assessment suggested Tessa engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from reiterative statements and topics. During treatment, functional communication was evaluated (“let’s chat about something else”), and a significant reduction in problem behavior was observed. This reduction in problem behavior was maintained throughout schedule thinning and generalization.
 
160.

Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Caregiver Return in Children With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BRETT JONES (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine ), Michelle D. Chin (The Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

The efficacy of functional analysis (FA) methodology to identify functions of problem behavior for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is well-established. However, in some cases, typical antecedents and consequences need to be modified to account for idiosyncratic variables. For example, Kurtz et al. (2003) reported on three cases where a modified attention condition called the ‘caregiver-return’ condition was included in the FA. In this condition, the caregiver provided pre-session attention to the child. At the start of the session the caregiver left the session room; contingent upon problem behavior, the caregiver returned to deliver verbal and/or physical attention to the child. In the present study, a consecutive controlled case series design was employed to examine FAs where a caregiver return function was identified and treatment was prescribed based on these findings (n = 6). Function-based interventions resulted in a mean 81.3% reduction in problem behavior across the seven participants. For five participants, treatment consisted of functional communication plus extinction (see Figure 1). The contribution of indirect assessment in identifying idiosyncratic variables that will impact functional analysis methodology will be highlighted.

 
161. Direct Behavioral Assessments to Evaluate Medication Effects: A Pilot Reliability Study
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA TORELLI (Vanderbilt University), Blair Lloyd (Vanderbilt University), Sunya Fareed (Vanderbilt University), Marney Squires Pollack (Vanderbilt University), Emily Weaver (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: As the prevalence of psychotropic medication use among children with intellectual/developmental disabilities and challenging behavior increases, so does the need to develop reliable measures of medication effects. Behavior analysts use direct measures of behavior to make decisions about whether to continue, modify, or discontinue interventions. In contrast, prescribing physicians commonly rely on parent or caregiver reports to inform medication effectiveness. Direct assessments of behavior under controlled environmental conditions may offer more sensitive and objective measures of therapeutic effects, with potential to inform behavioral mechanisms of drug action. We piloted two direct assessments (i.e., demand latency and progressive ratio) with a sample of 15 children with intellectual/developmental disabilities who were prescribed one or more psychotropic medications to address a behavioral concern. We repeated each assessment three times within a 90-min clinic visit. To evaluate the reliability of the behavioral outcome measures (i.e., latency to challenging behavior, break point), we conducted generalizability studies using the repeated measures data. Results of our initial analysis suggest aggregating data across multiple assessment sessions will be necessary to achieve reliable estimates of behavior, even under structured conditions. We discuss implications for refining these assessments for future research to explore behavioral mechanisms of medication effects.
 
 

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