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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Paper Session #218
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Physical Fitness in Adults With Developmental Disabilities: A Behavior Analytic Approach to Improving Exercise and Nutrition in an Independent Supported Living Center
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:25 AM
Online
Area: DDA
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Brandon May (Washington University in St. Louis)
CE Instructor: Brandon May, Ph.D.
 
Promoting Physical Fitness in Adults With Developmental Disabilities: A Behavior Analytic Approach to Improving Exercise and Nutrition in an Independent Supported Living Center
Domain: Applied Research
BRANDON MAY (Washington University in St. Louis; Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; Elite ABA Services)
 
Abstract: Individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) experience obesity rates that are greater than their non-disabled peers due to physiological and behavioral factors. This proposal highlights three studies utilizing lottery and token reinforcement systems to target exercise and nutrition behaviors in adults with DD residing in an independent supported living (ISL) center. A fourth study increased procedural fidelity within the token economy. In study 1, lottery reinforcement was implemented to increase heart rate to prescribed levels during high-intensity interval training in three adults with DD. Heart rate was shaped to target levels for all three participants. In study 2, token reinforcement was implemented to decrease rapid eating in three adults with Down syndrome. Inter-response time between bites was shaped to target levels for all three participants. In study 3, token reinforcement was utilized to increase water consumption during dinner in 14 adults with DD. Water consumption increased from a group average of 36% at baseline to 88% during intervention. In study 4, public posting was utilized to increase accurate token delivery by ISL staff. These studies highlight the efficacy of generalized reinforcement systems in improving health behaviors in individuals with DD and strategies that are effective in implementing them in applied settings.
 
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) operationalize physical fitness behaviors that are appropriate for intervention; (2) discuss several ways token reinforcement systems can be applied to physical fitness. 
 

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