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.


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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Poster Session #94
Saturday, May 29, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM

Mouthing, Pacifier Use, and Pacifier Weaning: Correlations in Pennsylvania Early Intervention

Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
CIDNEY HELLER (Behavior By Design, LLC), Matthew Tyson (Behavior By Design, LLC)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)

Recommendations for pacifier use include those that encourage the use of a pacifier for infants up to 12 months of age ("Pacifiers (soothers): A users guide for parents", 2003). Mauch, Scott, Magarey, & Daniels (2012) reported that 79% of first-time mothers followed these recommendations and introduced a pacifier to their first-born infants. Cited advantages of pacifier use include the documented decrease in risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the decreased risks of future tooth development issues when compared with thumb sucking, as well as the ability to satisfy an infant’s instinct to suckle ("Pacifiers (soothers): A users guide for parents", 2003). Some of the disadvantages of pacifier use include the decreased duration of breastfeeding, future impact on teeth development, and delayed vocal exploration and language development (Sexton & Natale, 2009). Average mouthing behavior frequency, type, and duration has been reported as an under researched area of importance for children under 5 years of age (Tulve, Suggs, McCurdy, Cohen-Hubal, & Moya, 2002). Research studies cite both advantages and disadvantages to mouthing behavior. Many of the advantages include exploration of the environment (Lowsky, 2015), while many disadvantages relate to the increase exposure risk to toxins (Tulve et al., 2002). Due to the high rate of pacifier use in infants, the implications on mouthing behavior should be explored. This study seeks to begin understanding the relationship between mouthing behavior and pacifier use. A 14-question survey was developed to assess correlations. The surveys were distributed to parents who attended an Early Intervention Christmas party in York/Adams Pennsylvania. Initial findings suggest a relationship between pacifier use and mouthing occurrence.


A Systematic Literature Review on Using Motivational Interviewing to Decrease Parent Resistance in Treatment Implementation

Area: DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
MONICA GILBERT (Crystal Minds New Beginning), Maritza Torres (Crystal Minds New Beginning), Lorianne Alvarez (Crystal Minds New Beginning), Maria Fe Franco (Crystal Minds New Beginning)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)

The main goal of applied behavior analysis (ABA)is understanding behavior through the empirical application of the principles of respondent and operant conditioning to elicit a change in behavior which holds a social significance. In order to achieve its fundamental goals, behavior analysts require the aid of the caregivers in order to provide a more consistent implementation of ABA. While a great part of the therapy concerns itself with teaching and shaping skills, that is only half of the work. ABA provides great emphasis in the concept of generalization, which is the goal for these individuals to not only learn the skill but be able to generalize the concepts to others in their everyday lives and environment. The role of the caregivers is of utter importance during this phase, as direct hours are not 24/7 and generalization requires other individuals for mastery. In the field of ABA, there is resistance from caregivers when it comes to treatment implementation. Research has shown that in other fields, as part of client-based therapy, Motivational Interviewing increases the response and compliance in treatment from these individuals. Motivational interviewing is a counseling style approach which is a person-centered method that guides to elicit and strengthen personal motivation for change. This systematic literature review will explore how MI has been used and implemented in similar scientific fields with similar populations (children, adolescents, adults and people with developmental disabilities) and demonstrate that MI’s application in the field of ABA will in fact reduce resistance from caregivers in treatment implementation as it has in other cognitive behavior fields.

73. Behavioural Skills Training to Teach Caregivers to Implement Feeding Procedures: A Review
Area: DEV; Domain: Theory
AREZU ALAMI (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with feeding difficulties are at risk for a variety of health and developmental concerns, including nutrient deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, stunted growth, and rapid weight loss or gain. An extensive body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of pediatric feeding treatments; however, most of this research has been conducted with trained therapists as the feeder. Because children spend the vast majority of their time with their parents. it seems prudent that caregivers are trained to implement these feeding treatments with a high degree of fidelity. Behavioral skills training (BST) is an established teaching procedure that involves the use of written instructions, modeling, role-play/rehearsal, and feedback. BST has been widely used to teach staff, children and adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, and caregivers to perform a wide array of skills. Relatively less research has been devoted to teaching caregivers to implement pediatric feeding treatments. This poster will examine the available literature on parent-implemented feeding treatments, discuss procedural variations across studies, review the mode of BST instruction, and discuss directions for future research.

A Rapid Assessment of Sensitivity to Reward Delays and Classwide Token Economy Savings for School-Aged Children

Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
JI YOUNG KIM (Teachers College, Columbia University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Teachers College, Columbia University), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Laudan Jahromi (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)

Delay discounting tasks quantify the relationship between time and reinforcer effectiveness. The present study introduced a brief, user-friendly measure for practitioners interested in quantifying sensitivity to reward delays for school-aged children. Study 1 reanalyzed data collected by Reed and Martens (2011) and found that 1-month delay choices reliably predicted student behavior. Study 2 examined the utility of the indifference point at 1-month delay in predicting saving and spending behavior of second-grade students using token economies with two different token production schedules. Collectively, results showed that (a) the indifference point at 1-month delay predicts behavior, (b) children who discount less and have greater self-regulation accrue and save more tokens, (c) a variable token production schedule better correlates with discounting than a fixed schedule, and (d) there are group differences regarding sensitivity to the token production schedule change. Implications are discussed regarding future utility of a rapid discounting assessment for applied settings.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the Workplace: A Survey of the Use of ACT by BCBA-Credentialed Clinicians in the Field of ABA

Area: DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
LISA JACOVSKY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Laura A. Kruse (First Leap LLC)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy utilizes techniques to promote mindfulness and psychological flexibility. Working on psychological flexibility Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can help people with anxiety induced stress encouraging them to be more mindful of their thoughts and how it effects their emotions. The techniques promoted in are gaining popularity with those who work in high stress fields. To understand how well known Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is, whom is providing training to those in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, and whether the techniques have proven useful a survey was created for therapists who work 1:1 in various settings with children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The results of the survey provide support to the ever-growing research on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as to whether it should continue to be promoted and utilized in a high stress field such as applied behavior analysis.


Reducing the Screen Time at Home of a 10-Year-Old School-Going Boy Using Contingency Contracts

Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Minna Matthew (Prayatna Center for Child Development, Kochi, India)
Discussant: Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University)

Technological innovations and online education channels have attracted young people to excessive screen time, adversely affecting their physical and cognitive abilities while growing obesity, vision, sleep, depression, and anxiety issues (Domingues-Montanari, 2017). Contingency contracts have been used to address writing skills, improving social interactions, and reduce challenging behaviors (Alwahbi, 2020). The current single subject study aimed to reduce the screen time of a 10-year-old school-going boy in grade 5. His classes had moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and he attended 3 hours of daily on-screen academic sessions. Baseline measurements indicated that he spent an additional 6 hours watching TV or playing online games and declined to comply with verbal instructions to engage in other activities. We designed a contingency contract in discussions with him and his parents. The contract involved parents recording his screen time daily and rewarding him with an extra allowance at the end of the week for meeting the criteria specified in the contract. The participant was to engage in other preferred activities such as practicing notes on a keyboard and outdoor play with the extra time. The study used an A-B design. Results indicated that the contingency contract intervention reduced the screen time immediately and sustained the improvements. Keywords: contingency contracts, screen time




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