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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46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Poster Session #540
Monday, May 25, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Hall D
Chair: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
105. On the Stand: A Contextual Speech Analysis of the Kavanaugh Hearing
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
SEBASTIAN GARCIA-ZAMBRANO (Southern Illinois University), Rocco G Catrone (SIU-Carbondale), Natalia Baires (Southern Illinois University), Manish K. Goyal (Southern Illinois University), Amrinder Babbra (Doctoral Student Southern Illinois University), Jessica M Hinman (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Darwin S Koch (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: Despite the availability of tools from Contextual Behavioral Science to analyze political speeches, there are biases in identifying relational frames in such behavior. The purpose of the current study was to code statements from Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation hearing using Hayes et al.’s (2001) definitions of relational frames. After formulating new definitions of relational frames, levels of reliability increased but not significantly. The results demonstrate the need for Relational Frame Theory to refine definitions of relational frames, as coding political speeches can be useful in identifying particular relational frames used to modify behaviors of a verbal community.
 
106. The Efficacy of Behavioral Skills Training on Caregiver Implementation of PEAK-Direct Training
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VIRGINIA LOUISE EASTER (Webster University), Zhichun Zhou (Webster University )
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: Prior research has shown the benefits of implementing PEAK Relational Training Systems- Direct Training (PEAK-DT) in different settings (e.g., schools and clinics) and with various implementers (e.g., teachers and clinicians). However, only a few studies have used Behavioral Skills Training (BST) with PEAK-DT, and no research has investigated teaching parents to implement PEAK-DT in home settings using BST. Therefore, the present study seeks to evaluate the efficacy of BST when it comes to teaching parents to independently implement PEAK-DT in home settings. Two participants are included in the study - a mother of Asian descent and her 10 year-old child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder who displays a limited verbal repertoire. Two direct measures are assessed: (1) a mother’s ability to correctly and independently implement PEAK-DT programs, and (2) a child’s correct tacting behavior. Results of the present study indicate that BST was effective in training a mother, and the child’s tacting scores improved following BST. We believe the current study is socially significant and meaningful in that (1) PEAK-DT can be generalized cross-culturally, (2) it is advantageous to integrate BST when training parents to use PEAK-DT, and (3) parents can independently teach PEAK-DT programs to their children in their homes.
 
107. Arbitrarily applicable relational responding following a brain injury: A comparison between injured and non-injured participants
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
NAZURAH KHOKHAR (Brock University), Marie-Chanel Monique Morgan (Brock University), Karl Gunnarsson (West Park Healthcare Center)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: Fundamental skills of cognition and language are commonly impaired following an injury to the head. Procedures of cognitive and or language within brain injury rehabilitation are limited from behavior analytic approach. With regards to language and cognition, many characteristics of autism spectrum disorder appear similar to characteristics of language and cognition deficits following brain injuries. Borrowing from the field of autism, applied approaches grounded in relational frame theory (RFT) show promise in improving language and cognition deficits. The current study investigated the difference in receptive skills by comparing injured and non-injured participants on six relational frames. To accomplish this, the researchers utilized the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Transformation (PEAK-T) Pre-Assessment Receptive Subtest. The PEAK-T is a comprehensive curriculum that provides procedures that can be used to efficiently train complex verbal skills and cognition. Results indicate that brain injured individuals score lower on the PEAK-T than non-injured individuals. Results also indicated that injured participants’ progression on the PEAK-T was orderly as they engaged in relational frames, responding on earlier frames was more accurate than later frames in the assessment. Clinical implications as well as implications for future research are discussed.
 
108.

Using the PEAK-Relational Training System to Improve Social Cognition in Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SASHA NEY (George Brown College), Lauren Rose Hutchison (George Brown College), Nazurah Khokhar (Brock University), Marie-Chanel Monique Morgan (Brock University), Karl Gunnarsson (West Park Healthcare Centre), Andrew W. McNamara (George Brown College)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract:

A common characteristic of acquired brain injury (ABI) are deficits of social cognition. These deficits can affect the lives of people with brain injury in negative ways, such as damaging social circles or limiting the person's ability to receive therapy due to aggression. Previous research has demonstrated the stimulus equivalence approaches are effective in training the detection of facial emotions, yet this literature base is narrow. Given that the literature does show promise in the area, the current study evaluated the feasibility of the PEAK-Equivalence (PEAK-E) Relational Training System to improve social cognition deficits. PEAK-E training programs that targeted a variety of social cognition deficits were presented to three participants. The programs focused on recognizing and interpreting facial expressions, relating feelings to contexts, and understanding the emotions of others. A multiple baseline design, across programs and participants, was used with a pre and post-test measure of social cognition performance; The Awareness of Social Inference Test short version (TASIT-S). Results, future research and clinical implications are discussed with regards to social cognition, mastery issues of derived relations during PEAK-E training, and the effectiveness PEAK-E training to generalize to performance on the TASIT-S.

 
109. Relational Coherence Evident in Gender Stereotyping: Relational Density Theory
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANNALISE GIAMANCO (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Morgan Brueseke (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: Relational Density Theory (Belisle & Dixon, in press) describes the apparent self-organization of equivalence classes quantitatively using classical mechanical models. Two emergent properties are relational resistance and gravity, both of which occur as a function of the volumetric-mass-density of verbal relations. That is, classes that contain more class members and stronger relations are likely to be resistant to counterconditioning and to obtain new relations without any direct reinforcement. In relational frame theory, coherence describes the pre-experimental proximity of stimulus relations. In the present study, we evaluated coherence as the geometric distance between stimuli that are traditionally masculine, feminine, or neutral. The geometric model was developed using a multidimensional scaling procedure, where the distance between stimuli could be calculated as a relative function. Participants then read passages describing four characters that were female-feminine, female-mixed, male-masculine, and male-mixed, and evaluated the relational density of emergent frames as a function of pre-experimental coherence. The present set of analyses provide a behavioral model of gender stereotyping as the self-organization of relational classes based on coherence in terms of pre-experimental gender norms. Social implications of these data are discussed.
 
110. Content Validity of ABA Language Assessments: Totality of Skinner’s Verbal Operants and Relational Frames in Four Common Language Assessments
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
TAYLOR MARIE LAUER (Missouri State University), Brylie Mason (Utah Valley University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: Content validity describes the degree to which a measure represents all facets or components of the construct being measured. This form of validity is best represented as a percentage of the totality of a given construct represented in an assessment. ABA language training is often guided by assessments of verbal operant (Skinner, 1957) and relational operant (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) performance. Using these initial texts, we identified generalized operant components that are included within each model (e.g., VB: echoics, tacting, manding, metonymical tact, magical mand; RFT: coordination, spatial reasoning, temporal reasoning). We then sorted all items contained within the PEAK Relational Training System (PEAK), the Training and Assessment of Relational Precursor Abilities (TARPA), the Verbal Behavior Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), and the Assessment of Basic Language Learning Skills - Revised (ABLLS-R) into the identified content categories. We then evaluated the percentage of content categories from both the VB and RFT models represented within each assessment. Results suggested that PEAK contained the greatest percentage of VB items and both PEAK and TARPA contained most RFT items. VB MAPP and ABLLS-R did not relational learning targets. Interrater agreement exceeded 80% and results have implications for comprehensive language training systems.
 
111. An Evaluation of the Relationship Between Derived Relational Responding and Intelligence
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Clara Merten (Utah Valley University), Mickelle Cheever (Utah Valley University), CALEB STANLEY (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract: The present study aimed to examine the relationship between derived relational responding and intelligence. Experimenters administered the PEAK-Transformation Pre-assessment, which provides a measure of relational responding, and the WISC-V, which provides a measure of IQ, with 109 participants. All participants were typically developed children between the ages of three and thirteen. The experimenters then conducted a Pearson correlation between the two measures. The results from this study showed a strong, positive correlation (r = .659, p < .05) between total scores for the PEAK-T Pre-assessment and the WISC-V, which suggest relationship between derived relational responding and intelligence. Additional correlations were conducted between each subtest of the PEAK-T Pre-assessment and the WISC-V. The results showed a moderate correlation between the PEAK-T Receptive subtest and the WISC-V (r = .568, p < .05) and a strong, positive correlation between the PEAK-T Expressive subtest and the WISC-V (r = .666, p < .05). Finally, correlations were conducted with each relational frame within the PEAK-T assessment and the WISC-V, which also showed significant correlations between each relational frame and IQ scores. The current findings are consistent with previous research which have examined the relationship between derived relational responding and intelligence.
 
112.

Evaluating Multiple Exemplar Instruction to Establish Bidirectional Naming in Children With Autism

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELICA NOEL COPPOLA (University of Southern California; FirstSteps For Kids), Amanda N. Chastain (FirstSteps For Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Courtney Tarbox Lanagan (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Zoey Isabella Ulrey (University of Southern California), Jasmine Lau (University of Southern California)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract:

A bidirectional naming repertoire consists of responding both as speaker and listener and is demonstrated when one is only taught a speaker repertoire and can then derive listener behavior without direct training and vice versa. Bidirectional naming is foundational to complex human language but many children with autism and other developmental delays may not develop this repertoire without proper instruction. A substantial amount of research by Douglas Greer’s research group has found that multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) is effective in establishing bidirectional naming in young children but very little research has attempted to replicate this finding outside of that particular research group. The purpose of this study is to evaluate MEI for establishing bidirectional naming in children with autism in a community-based autism clinic. We are using a multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of MEI on the emergence of bidirectional naming in young children with autism. The procedure is currently underway with the first participant and acquisition data are positive thus far. Results will be discussed in terms of real-life replication of university-based research in community-based settings.

 
113.

Teaching the Verbal Operants to College Students Through a Stimulus Equivalence Protocol

Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Minnesota State University, Mankato), John O'Neill (Contextual Behavioral Science Institute), Courtney Sowle (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Emily Boduch (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Iloria Phoenix (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Ibelizet Dominguez (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Breanna Perron (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Ashley Yang (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract:

Several behavioral analytic researchers report that one of the main features of a good instructional system is “it must be effective in helping students learn more rapidly than they would on their own” (Barrett et al., 1991, p.80). Since the 1980’s, there has been an elaborate amount of research on stimulus equivalence protocols (SEP) in teaching reading, spelling (De Souza & Rehfeldt, 2013), grammar (Connell, 2004), and complex academic skills with individuals with and without disabilities (LeBlanc, Miguel, Cummings, Goldsmith, & Carr; 2003; Lovett, Rehfeldt, & Dunning, 2011). A study conducted by O’Neill et al. (2015) compared an online SEP to an assigned reading study method to teach Skinner’s (1957) verbal operants to college students. O’Neill et al. found the online SEP group outperformed the assigned reading group by 10 percentage points (one full letter-grade difference). The current study aims to systematically replicate the O’Neill et al. (2015) study by examining the effectiveness of this SEP for teaching undergraduate college students to identify and understand the verbal operants. Current pilot data indicates the SEP was effective in deriving multiple untrained selection-based and topography-based relations across multiple verbal operants.

 
114.

Assessment of Reading and Writing Skills Based on Stimulus Equivalence Paradigm

Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
JULIA ZANETTI ROCCA (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso), Victor Hugo de Souza (Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso), Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Ricardo Campos Junior (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Elenice Seixas Hanna (Universidade de Brasilia), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Raquel Melo Golfeto (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract:

Reading and writing skills may be conceived as a network of equivalence relations between stimuli (e.g., printed words, dictated words, and pictures) and stimuli and responses (e.g., naming, writing, etc.). This conceptualization has been foundational to the development of evaluation tools and teaching programs. The Reading and Writing Network Assessment (Avaliação da Rede de Leitura e Escrita [ARLE]) is an online 15-task instrument that evaluates matching-to-sample, naming, reading, and writing skills. The present study sought to describe the empirical network of relations, measured by the ARLE, that characterizes performance in beginning readers. The records of 2388 students, 6 to 12 years old, were assessed through an online platform. All of the tests used the R programming language. Generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to assess potential relations between skills using the MGCV package. Generalized cross validation was used to calculate variable importance in multiple regression models using the Caret package. After calculating the importance of each variable, a single model was constructed using all variables with the GAM. The least important variables were progressively removed until all remaining variables were statistically significant, evaluated by p values. The graphs were constructed using the ggplot2 package. The data analysis showed that all of the skills were significantly related to reading and writing measures. Matching printed words to dictated words and naming consonants were strongly related to reading. Matching printed words to pictures was the skill that was most related to spelling. An index that was created to compare the network of relations for students with different repertoires indicated increasing integration between skills as the repertoire evolved, which was predicted by the stimulus equivalence paradigm. The integration index may be a useful tool for the prediction and control of effects of teaching procedures that seek to establish reading and writing in non-readers.

 
 

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