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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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details


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Symposium #367
CE Offered: BACB
Have the What Works Clearinghouse Standards for Single Case Designs Influenced Behavior Analysis Research?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Online
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Discussant: Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Kristin Griffith, M.A.
Abstract:

The evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in human services has increased interest in the quality research and synthesis of literature bases. In the early days of the EBP movement, there were no standards for evaluating the quality of research using single case designs (SCDs). As a consequence, evidence based on these designs were excluded from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on effective interventions. In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) finalized standards for SCDs. In this symposium, we examined the impact of these standards on research involving single case design in Applied Behavior Analysis. We reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to determine if there was a change in the research practices in the five years after the standards relative to the five years prior to their publication. The first paper in this session reports the method and results of this review. The second paper discusses limitations of SCD research in JABA and limitations of the standards. We will also outline suggestions for future research so that it is included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses and can contribute to the knowledge base.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): dissemination, literature syntheses, methodology, single-case design
Target Audience:

basic

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe... 1) the two components of the What Works Clearinghouse Standards (WWC) for Single Case Designs. 2) the implications for behavior analysis research for failing to adhere to the WWC standards for single case designs. 3) the limitations of the WWC single case design standards.
 
Applying the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards to Applied Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
SCOTT PAGE (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Kristin Griffith (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: The single case design (SCD) standards developed by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) have provided a framework to evaluate the quality of SCD research. The standards allow for appraisal and synthesis of the literature that is most often conducted in the field of behavior analysis, creating a bridge to other disciplines that could benefit from our findings. The extent to which these standards have been adopted by the larger behavior analytic community has not been assessed. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to review the impact these standards have had on the design and reporting of behavior analytic research using SCDs. To investigate this, we reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis from five years before and five years after the WWC SCD standards were published. Only studies using withdrawal or multiple baseline designs were included. The findings from our review indicate that there have not been substantial change in the number of behavior analytic articles that met WWC SCD standards since the standards were first published in 2013. Limitations of the review and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 
How the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards Influence Dissemination of Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Scott Page (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) formalized and published design and evidence standards to proficiently judge the quality of evidence provided by studies using single case design (SCD) methodology. Reviewing ten years of SCD research a flagship journal in behavior analysis revealed that there has not been a substantial change in the number of articles meeting design and evidence standards following their publication. This paper will briefly discuss how findings from this review may limit the ability of behavior analysts to successfully disseminate their work to other relevant disciplines. We will discuss issues encountered in applying the standards, the applicability of the standards to SCD design variations, and other barriers that may prevent behavior analytic research from being included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We conclude by discussing directions to explore to improve the reporting of SCD research, possible refinements for the WWC standards, and ways to promote the dissemination of behavior analytic research.
 

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