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 #581
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in Staff Training Practices via Progressive Behavior-Analytic Approaches
Monday, May 25, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty I-L
Area: OBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Arianna Charos (Arizona State University Department of Psychology)
Discussant: Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Adam DeLine Hahs, Ph.D.

A long-standing focus has been afforded to improving staff performance given the fiscal implications to organizations. To date, however, ABA-based approaches have remained relatively static in the use and conceptualization of behavioral skills training (BST) across myriad performance-based areas. Efforts to improve and increase the efficiency of training is and will remain a significant focus of organizations. To that end, the current symposium seeks to advance staff training practices by including modern behavior-analytic approaches to catalyze increased performance of services providers. The results and implications for said approaches are discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ACT, BST, Staff Training
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe how to use ACT to support staff trainers in using BST more frequently Identify effectiveness of feedback on ACT implementation accuracy. Attendees will be better able to understand various models of staff training and increasing performance feedback

Using Acceptance and Commitment Training To Enhance the Effectiveness of Behavioral Skills Training

Alexandra Little (University of Southern California), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), ERIN SILVERMAN (FirstSteps for Kids)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) to increase the percent per opportunity of behavioral skills training (BST) use in a train the trainer model within an ABA clinic. Acceptance and commitment training exercises are modeled off of the six processes for change consisting of values, present moment attention, acceptance, defusion, self as context, and committed action. This study included three participants, all of whom were RBT trained and had been working in the field for at least 6 months. This study utilized an ABC design embedded within a multiple baseline across participants. Each participant engaged in an initial BST instruction in which behavior skills training was used to teach senior staff how to train using BST. Data were then taken on the percent per opportunity of BST used with new staff in session. ACT training was conducted for all of the participants after BST alone did not produce sufficient results. The addition of ACT was found to be effective in increasing the percent per opportunity of BST used by senior therapists to train new staff, the results generalized to trainees who were not present during ACT training, and maintained after ACT training was terminated.


Feedback Makes Everyone Better: Effects of Feedback on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Implementation and Client Outcomes

SHANNON ROSE HUNYADI (Saint Louis University), Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Saint Louis University), Joshua Jimison (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been demonstrated as an effective strategy for improving pro-social behaviors including on-task behaviors, social skills, and value-directed behaviors. However, barriers to implementation is access to training in ACT strategies, specifically for behavior analysts. One strategy used by the Learning ACT book (Luoma, Hayes, & Walser, 2007) is the use of videos, which include commentary on therapist actions during role-played sessions. Long and Hayes (2018) utilized these videos to evaluate participant’s application of knowledge gained following training. The purpose of this research was to extend that study to explore the effects of feedback on the quality of ACT sessions, measuring therapist implementation scores and client-specific outcomes. Researchers watched videos of ACT sessions and scored therapist ACT-consistency on a Likert scale. Client-specific outcomes were determined based on their current curriculum (e.g. mindfulness; compliance within the session; challenging behavior), and researchers scored client outcomes accordingly. During baseline, no feedback was provided to the therapist, and ACT sessions were completed as usual. During training, feedback was provided to the therapist specific to the therapist score only, to explore effects of feedback on client measures. Implications for the use of feedback for implementer and client outcomes will be discussed.




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