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).

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Poster Session #433
Monday, May 31, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Online
55. Characterizing and Reducing Rate and Duration of Face Touching in Adults Through Simplified Habit Reversal
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JOSIE NEWBURG (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Batchelder (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Yohan Krumov (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Ashley Haberman (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Devon Bigelow (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Hannah Reynolds (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Wendy Donlin Washington (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Respiratory illnesses, like the common cold and Covid-19, which can have severe negative consequences, may spread through face touching. The purpose of the current study was 1) to characterize face touching in adults from a non-referred population and 2) to reduce the rate and duration of face touches per minute through simplified habit reversal. Ten students were recruited through the University to meet via Zoom to participate in a “movement study”. A multiple baseline design was implemented, and throughout the study participants watched TED talks and were recorded via Zoom. During baseline, participants were blind to the face-touching purpose of the study. Following baseline, participants were debriefed that researchers were measuring face-touching. Intervention included participants being told not to touch their face, and if they did a tone would be sounded as a prompt to remove their hand. Data were collected on the frequency and duration of face touches per minute to the non-mucous membranes and the mucous membranes, eyes, nose, ears, and mouth, to get a rate per minute and overall percentage of face touching. Preliminary findings show that participants reduced face touching during the intervention portion, as compared to baseline.
 
56. Examining the Utility of a Work Completion Contingency Evaluation
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JOSHUA MELLOTT (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Research investigating treatment of problem behavior hypothesized to be maintained by social-negative reinforcement has recently provided strong evidence for the use of positive reinforcement as an alternative to negative reinforcement intervention approaches. Further, researchers have effectively treated escape-maintained problem behavior without the use of traditional escape extinction, which can be impractical for caregivers to implement. Identifying both effective and practical strategies to increase work completion and reduce associated problem behavior has become particularly important given caregivers’ newfound roles in the administration of virtual learning. The purpose of the current study was to systematically evaluate the effects of different contingencies on participant disruptive and on-task behavior in the context of virtual learning. Three contingencies consisting of both social-positive and social-negative reinforcement were evaluated via telehealth in an alternating treatment design with a 5-year-old patient with diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Findings suggest differentiated rates of participant disruptive and on-task behavior across contingencies. These results serve as initial evidence in support of the work completion contingency evaluation as a method of identifying effective and practical work completion contingencies for caregivers to implement within the home.
 
57.

A Comparison of Three Parent-Implemented Interventions With Picky Eaters

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE HANLEY (California State University, Fresno), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Picky eating among typically developing children is a major concern for parents. However, the field of behavior analysis primarily focuses on interventions that address food selectivity (i.e., pathological food refusal and lack of food intake). Previous research has not yet compared interventions to see which are the most practical for parents to implement in the home for more typical levels of food selectivity (e.g., picky eating). The current study evaluated three possible interventions that have substantial support in the research literature: the appetizer method, taste exposure, and a token reinforcement system. A multi-element probe design was utilized with two children ages 3-4 years. Parents ran 10-14 sessions per intervention across 13 to 14 weeks with probes for target vegetable consumption during regular mealtimes. Consumption and preference for the target and control non-preferred vegetables was assessed before and after the intervention and social validity measures were taken before, during, and after the study. Results of this study demonstrated that all interventions were effective to some degree, but that the token reinforcement system intervention may be the most effective, efficient, and socially valid for parents though more research is needed.

 
58.

The Effect of Taste Exposure on College Students’ Vegetable Consumption and Preference

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JENNA CARTER (CSU Fresno), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Many adults in America are considered overweight and obese and one contributing factor may be low consumption of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Despite research suggesting that antecedent or consequence interventions are effective at increasing selection, preparation, and consumption of healthier foods, more research needs to be conducted on low-cost, low-effort approaches that maintain healthy eating in the natural environment, particularly for adults. Taste exposure is one such intervention that can be used to increase both the preference and consumption of non-preferred healthy foods. Taste exposure consists of repeatedly tasting bite size pieces of a non-preferred food. Previous research has demonstrated taste exposure’s effectiveness with children, however, there is currently no research with adults. The current study evaluated the effects of 20 sessions of taste exposure with 35 young adults in a randomized control design. Results of the study were mixed, with some increases in consumption and preference for both the control and experimental participants. However, few participants increased their consumption levels beyond several bites, which suggests that more research is needed to determine how and if taste exposure is effective with adults.

 
59. The Behavioral Conceptualization of Depression in Children and Adolescents
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
JASMINE DHUGA (Eastern Michigan University), Jessica Good (Eastern Michigan University ), Efthymia Orkopoulou (Eastern Michigan University), Leah Rose LaLonde (Eastern Michigan University), Tatum Teeple (Eastern Michigan University), Michael Jon Vriesman (Eastern Michigan University), Alexandros Maragakis (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Depression is a common clinical presentation that is often seen across the lifespan and is considered one of the world’s leading disabilities. Depressive disorders are primarily characterized by a sad, empty, or irritable mood. Often, individuals experience mood fluctuations accompanied by decreases in the number and variability of activities, defined as behavioral deficits. Importantly, depressive disorders can be characterized by these psychosocial deficits that, if identified in childhood but not treated, can lead to reduced functioning in adulthood. Despite the negative impact of depression in adolescents’ lives, there seems to be a dearth of knowledge regarding the treatment of this population. In fact, given that adolescents go through many natural behavioral and mood changes, depression in adolescents is often unrecognized and undertreated. While behavior analysts are not licensed to treat depression in a clinical context, it is important to highlight the field's contributions to the understanding and treatment of depression. This poster will provide a behavioral conceptualization of depression in adolescents as well as provide different licensure paths that behavioral psychologists could pursue to better treat adolescent depression.
 
60.

Parent Involvement in the Treatment of Children With Behavioral and Emotional Concerns

Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
LEAH ROSE LALONDE (Eastern Michigan University), Efthymia Orkopoulou (Eastern Michigan University), Jessica Good (Eastern Michigan University ), Tatum Teeple (Eastern Michigan University ), Jasmine Dhuga (Eastern Michigan University), Michael Jon Vriesman (Eastern Michigan University), Alexandros Maragakis (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Children with behavioral concerns often also present with emotional challenges, such as depression or anxiety. From a clinician’s standpoint, parents undoubtedly play a critical role in shaping their child’s behavior. Parents tend to attribute their child’s behavior to their presumed emotional states. For example, a parent may explain that their child tantrums because they are anxious or their adolescent sleeps too much because they are depressed. However, from a behavior analytic viewpoint, emotions are also behaviors that require explanation, and therefore cannot be used as explanatory factors themselves. Moreover, all behavior is shaped and maintained by the same principles. This presentation will provide a behavior analytic account of emotional difficulties in childhood by discussing how the coercive family processes model can be applied to emotional concerns and its implications for intervention. The presentation will also focus on the importance of providing high-quality parent training that emphasizes helping parents learn how their interactions with their children create contingencies that maintain children's behavioral and emotional concerns. Finally, this presentation will provide recommendations on how parent training can be successfully applied to both behavioral and emotional concerns.

 
61.

Behaviorally Based Approaches to Addressing Cell Phone Use, Misuse, and Overuse: A Teenager's Perspective of What Works and Doesn't

Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
EMILY COOK (Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, PA), Matthew Gross (Shippensburg University), Richard Cook (Applied Behavior Medicine Associates, Hershey, PA East Shore Psychiatric Associates, Harrisburg, PA)
Discussant: Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract:

While cell phones have become an essential part of teenage life, even expected by teachers. They are a vehicle of wasted time, social stressors, and distraction, but are also essential for needed family communication , studying for tests, and completing homework. Standard behavioral and public health principles and techniques can be used in a methodical fashion to help the teenager develop habits to better self regulate usage. This presentation highlights use of behavioral momentum, successive approximations, differential reinforcement, token economies, the Premack principle, basic reinforcement and punishment, as well a public health fundamental that the most effective interventions are those which require the least amount of effort on the part of the targeted individual

 
63.

Demand for Specific Stimulant Effects Across College Students That are Drug Naïve and Substance Experienced

Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
BRANDON PATRICK MILLER (Eastern Michigan University), Samantha Jo Zohr (Eastern Michigan University), Kayla Rinna (Eastern Michigan University), Matthew J Dwyer (Rowan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract:

Stimulant use and polysubstance use are two well-known health concerns among American undergraduate students. Less is known about the relationships between experience with stimulants and polysubstance use, and how behavioral economic indicators of reinforcer value may differ based on these experiences. This study is a secondary analysis of data collected using a hypothetical purchasing task for stimulants. College students (n = 233) completed several purchasing tasks, and this analysis focused on the task involving their top-ranked stimulant effect. The potential role of substance use history on indices of demand was investigated in two separate analyses. The first contrasted responses by students with and without stimulant experience. The second contrasted responses by students depending upon their level of substance use experience: none, single substance, and polysubstance. Consistent with the literature, the results of the first analysis supported that a history of stimulant use is associated with higher area under the curve (AUC), higher intensity, and greater Omax. The results of the second analysis indicate that the polysubstance group had higher Omax and greater AUC compared to the single substance group. Unexpectedly, the no-use group had the highest Omax and the greatest AUC, however, this may be a small sample artifact (N = 7).

 
64. The Effect of Motivative Point-of-Purchase Prompts on Children's Restaurant Menu Choices in an Analogue Setting
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
DOLLY MIZNER (California State University, Fresno ), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno), Mariah Faith Jensen (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract: Over the last three decades, the prevalence of obesity in the United States has continued to increase. This is particularly problematic for children, as childhood obesity is likely to continue into adulthood and is associated with a variety of health issues such as type 2 diabetes and hardening of the arteries. Point-of-purchase prompts, which encourage consumers to select healthy options, have been only somewhat successful in previous research. This is likely because these prompts help consumers discriminate between the nutritional values of food items rather than motivating consumers to choose healthier options. Common marketing prompts however, especially those with unhealthy foods, have successfully utilized cartoons and bright colors to influence selection by children. Similar marketing strategies, which may function as motivating operations, may be used to increase children’s selection of healthy options. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to apply common unhealthy food marketing strategies to healthy entrées on a kids’ menu to increase the proportion of healthy orders by children on an online, analog restaurant menu. Implications of the results for how healthy foods are marketed in restaurants and other settings will be discussed.
 
65.

Behaviors of Caring for an Older Special Someone From a Distance in the Times of the COVID Pandemic: "Distance Caring"

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JOSEPH MARTIN (Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA), Matthew Gross (Shippensburg University), Richard Cook (Applied Behavior Medicine Associates, Hershey, PA East Shore Psychiatric Associates, Harrisburg, PA)
Discussant: Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract:

Many people have strong feelings of love, dedication, gratitude, obligation and want to help, to improve the life of an older relative or family friend, a grandparent, family, friend, neighbor, or godparent, but the responsibilities their own lives serve as a barrier to beginning to do so. The complexities of this situation are exacerbated by the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Roles vary from significant day to day daily living assistance to a phone call or card. As one integrates with the current system of care, roles are defined, and change. We discuss support networks, relationships, and resources.The restrictions of the pandemic can be developed into ongoing patterns of more robust future habits of caring. The presentation highlights behaviors facilitate taking the warm desire to do something nice, to the stage of commitment and implementation. We detail approaches to maintaining contentedness, allowing for sense of purpose, being mindful of and respecting preferences and concerns for both care sharer and receiver, developing the system of care sharing adapted to the level of interactions and responsibilities. It can start with a commitment to call or drive once a week, and lead to greater quality of life and sense of purpose for care giver and care receiver alike.

 
66. Comparing Undergraduate Demand for Imaginary and Stimulant Drugs.
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
SAMANTHA JO ZOHR (Eastern Michigan University), Kayla Rinna (Eastern Michigan University ), Brandon Patrick Miller (Eastern Michigan University), Matthew J Dwyer (Rowan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Valdeep Saini (Brock University)
Abstract: This study is a secondary analysis of data collected for a hypothetical purchasing task of stimulants that characterized motives for use in a non-clinical population (Dwyer et al., 2019). This analysis aimed to compare the performance on an experimental control task with that of the target stimulant purchasing task used within the primary analysis. Undergraduate participants (N = 233) rank-ordered eight hypothetical drug effects (e.g., sociability, arousal, loss of appetite) associated with stimulants. Participants then completed four hypothetical purchasing tasks of a generic drug without specified drug name or class (“ImagineX”), but with the effects ranked in position 1, 2, 5, and 8. We asked whether instructing participants only on drug effects, without specifying drug name or class, would produce orderly data on purchasing tasks. 124 participants (53.22%) produced valid data using criteria by Pickover and colleagues (2016) and Stein and colleagues (2015). Compared with performance on an actual stimulant purchasing task, purchases at zero cost were higher, maximum expenditure was higher, and overall demand was higher, as demonstrated by a greater area under the curve. These results demonstrate that rule-governed behavior about drug effects alone -- regardless of drug -- may be an important influence on purchasing task performance.
 
 

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