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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #127
CE Offered: BACB
Demonstrating the Versatility of Behavioural Skills Training
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205C
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: J Turner (Butler) Butler Braren (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Claire C. St. Peter, Ph.D.

This symposium includes four talks that demonstrate the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) in teaching skills to individuals in a variety of social contexts ranging from one-on-one conversations to presentations in front of an audience. Roberts will share findings of an experiment evaluating the effects of BST on conversational skills and body language of adolescents with autism. Mazza will describe the results of an experiment evaluating the effects of BST with in situ training on children and adolescent safety responses to lures during online gaming. Campanaro will present three experiments in which computer-based instruction was used to teach discrete-trial training and to teach participants to use BST to train new staff. Finally, Laske will discuss the results of an experiment evaluating the effects of BST on public speaking skills.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST
Target Audience:

Presentations during this symposium will be delivered at an intermediate instruction level. Target audience members should be able to identify the common components of behavioral skills training (i.e., instruction, model, rehearsal, feedback) to maximize learning during this symposium.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Discuss how BST can be applied to teach individuals with ASD to engage in appropriate conversation skills (2) Describe how to design BST with in situ training procedures to teach adolescents safety responses to lures (3) Explain how computer-based instruction can be used to teach BST training procedures to staff (4) Apply BST to train public speaking behaviors to students or staff

Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Adolescents With Autism How to Respond to Conversational Interest of Others

KATRINA ROBERTS (Alpine Learning Group), Nicole Torrone (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

Previous research has shown that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience deficits in social skills and can have restricted interests. While many individuals with autism report the desire to have friendships, they also report difficulty making and maintaining friendships as they are unsure how to relate in some social contexts. We used a multiple baseline design across responses to evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training on engagement in conversational exchanges around topics focused on the partner’s interests as well as appropriate body language. Both adolescent participants improved responding over baseline and social validity interviews with both participants revealed that they found the procedures worthwhile.

Using Behavioral Skills Training to Keep Children and Adolescents Safe from Online Gaming Dangers
KIRSTYN MAZZA (Hunter College; City University of New York), April N. Kisamore (Hunter College), Lauren K. Schnell (Hunter College), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Children and adolescents spend a lot of their free time engaged in online activities. One of the more prevalent online activities for this group is online gaming. While playing games online, children are possibly exposed to cyber-bullying, requests for personal information, and a variety of other predatory lures. Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of behavioral skills training with in situ training for teaching safety responses to abduction and sexual abuse lures. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training with in situ training to teach safety responses to lures that might occur during online gaming. Our participants were two neurotypical children who regularly played online games. We taught both participants a three-component safety response that included denying the requested information, escaping the dangerous situation, and reporting the dangerous situation to an adult. We programmed for generalization of the strategy across lures by including multiple exemplars of four types of lures commonly associated with abduction but modified these lures to make them specific to requests for personal information that might be made during online gaming. Results indicated that behavioral skills training with in situ training resulted in acquisition of the three-component safety response, and that the response generalized across novel lure exemplars.
Using Computer-Based Instruction to Teach Behavioral Skills Training
ALEXANDRA MARIE CAMPANARO (May Institute), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training (BST) is considered one of the most effective staff training techniques to implement a wide variety of programs; however, research has found a lack of implementation of this technique across human service settings due to a shortage of organizational time and resources. The purpose of the present study was to first teach participants a behavioral technology (i.e., DTI), and then teach the same participants how to train others to implement that same behavioral technology using BST. More specifically, in Experiment 1 we used computer-based instruction (CBI) to teach participants to implement DTI, then we evaluated the impact of CBI to teach participants to use BST to train new staff to implement DTI in Experiment 2. Finally, we evaluated generalization of the training by having three trainees from Experiments 1 and 2 use BST to train relevant staff how to implement DTI in Experiment 3. The results of the present experiments not only demonstrate the effectiveness of CBI to teach DTI and BST, but also demonstrate the generality of the BST to teach behavior therapists.
Um, So, Like: The Effects of Behavioral Skills Training on Public Speaking Behaviors
MATTHEW M LASKE (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Public speaking is a relevant skill for career advancement. Despite the importance of public speaking, it is the most common social phobia reported by Americans. Because of the discomfort it may cause and the potential impact on careers, identifying ways to teach effective public speaking is worthwhile. The current study sought to address this issue by using a multiple-baseline design across behaviors to evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) in a Zoom environment on public speaking behaviors. BST was effective in teaching three sets of public speaking behaviors. Participants' self-ratings of effectiveness increased and reported anxiety decreased following the intervention. Additionally, external experts rated the participants as more effective speakers. Last, despite teaching public speaking behaviors participants' rate of speech disfluencies remained high throughout the study. Implications of these findings for future behavior-analytic research on public speaking will be discussed.



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