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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #147
CE Offered: BACB — 
Fostering a Researcher-Practitioner Model in Autism Intervention in China: Two Study Examples
Saturday, May 23, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Room 102
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Chengan Yuan (Arizona State University)
Discussant: Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa)
CE Instructor: Matthew O'Brien, Ph.D.

There exists a continuous discussion on the role of research training for applied behavior analysis practitioners in their professional development (Critchfield, 2015). However, practitioners who work in applied settings often have limited access to research training and participation. This is especially the case for practitioners located in China. Isolating practitioners from research may lead to a lack of updated evidence on the intervention that practitioners expect to undertake and result in selecting an intervention that may be less effective (Kelly et al, 2015). Training practitioners to embed research in their intervention may lead to their increased awareness of research, critical analysis of existing studies, and empirical contribution to the behavioral literature. In this symposium, the presenters will discuss two studies using different research methodologies to demonstrate how to actively involve practitioners in China in rigorous applied research to help improving intervention efficacy for their clients with autism and solving clinically significant problems based on empirical evidence.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Autism, China, Researcher-Practitioner
Target Audience:

Graduates, researchers, and practitioners in the field of behavior analysis


Effects of a Group Contingency on Reciprocal Conversation and Social Preference of Children With Autism

LIQI CHEN (Jingdezhen Kindkids Autism Rehabilitation and Training Center), Chengan Yuan (Arizona State University)

Individuals with autism often have difficulties initiating and maintaining reciprocal conversations with others. Among the few studies that examined reciprocal conversations with children with autism, Koegel, Park, and Koegel (2014) proposed a reciprocal conversational framework that include the basic components that may facilitate continued conversational exchanges. In this study, we used an interdependent group contingency to improve reciprocal conversation responses of children with autism based on Koegel et al. framework. We paired the children with autism as conversational partners. Given that the interdependent group contingency may also promote cooperation and interaction between children (Smith et al. 2019), we further assessed children’s social preference through their choices between spending time with their peers or by themselves. In a multiple baseline design, we found that the group contingency immediately produced independent reciprocal conversation responses and increased preference for peers across all participants. In addition, the framework allowed children to sustain their conversation. Improvements were further maintained even after the group contingency was removed and novel peers were introduced. Practitioners in China implemented the study and participated in data collection. Verbal reports from the practitioners further indicate that they plan to include this intervention during their daily behavioral interventions.


Improving Delayed Recall of Children With Autism Through Instruction on Rehearsal Strategy and Reinforcement

LANQI WANG (University of Iowa), Chengan Yuan (Arizona State University), Qing Zhang (Arizona State University)

Challenges in delayed recall of events and stimuli are common in individuals with autism (Naoi, Yokoyama, & Yamamoto, 2007). However, few studies have evaluated the interventions that can improve recall with children with autism. Previous studies have found that individuals who used a rehearsal strategy during the delay are more likely to recall past stimuli than those who do not rehearse the recall (e.g., Bebko, Rhee, Ncube, & Dahary, 2017). This study is to examine if teaching rehearsal strategy to children with autism and providing reinforcement for recall would improve their delayed recall. Children with autism will be randomly assigned into three groups: control, rehearsal, and rehearsal + reinforcement groups. Thus, we will also assess if reinforcement for the correct recalls is necessary to improve participants’ performance. Practitioners will participate in this study as instructors who will implement the procedure and collect data. In addition, they will also collect data on treatment fidelity and interobserver agreement of each other. We will discuss fostering the role of researcher-practitioner during this presentation. Data collection will start in November 2019 and be completed by January 2020.




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