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 #362
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Practical and Pragmatic Goals in Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2022
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 251
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York)
CE Instructor: Joshua Jessel, Ph.D.

Problem behavior often serves as a socially significant concern among individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In fact, severe problem behavior is unlikely to naturally decrease, as the individual ages, without some form of behavioral intervention. However, multiple assessment and treatment strategies currently exist and it may be difficult for clinicians to determine what strategies are best given the specific practical and pragmatic goals. This symposium includes three separate presentations, each identifying elements informing the selection and use of various functional assessment and treatment models. Presentation 1 introduces a new functional analysis model intended to be efficient and safe termed the performance-based, interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA). The performance-based IISCA is compared to the full IISCA including an evaluation of treatment validity. Presentation 2 presents data on the IISCA designed for use in an outpatient setting. In addition, a comparison is made between various adaptations of the IISCA and a decision-making model for clinicians is presented. Presentation 3 is a systematic review on the longevity of behavioral interventions. The review focuses on the sustainability of treatment outcomes and how studies in the research literature have measured continued impact through maintenance data. All presentations provide clinically relevant information regarding the utility of various assessment and treatment strategies.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): functional assessment, IISCA, practical utility, treatment validity
Target Audience:

The audience should be able to define functional assessment and have a cursory knowledge of different functional assessment models. The target audience includes (a) graduate level students interested in current research on functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior and (b) clinicians interested in learning about new assessment and treatment procedures.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Differentiate between different functional analysis models and their practical utility 2. Identify practical and pragmatic goals that could inform the selection of functional analysis procedures 3. Describe treatment procedures that support treatment longevity
Comparison of the Performance-based and Full IISCA with Function-Based Treatment Validation
TESS FRUCHTMAN (Queens College, City University of New York), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York), Natasha Raghunauth-Zaman (Queens College), Aaron Leyman (queens college, CUNY)
Abstract: Functional analyses are conducted to understand problem behavior and inform function-based treatments. The performance-based, interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) is a brief model that has recently been developed with the intent of improving practicality and acceptance of functional analysis procedures among clinicians. However, the efficacy of the performance-based IISCA for identifying environmental contributors to problem behavior has yet to be fully evaluated. We compared the relative efficacy of the performance-based IISCA with the full IISCA in a single-subject design with two participants who exhibited problem behavior. We began by conducting open-ended interviews with the caregivers to identify the unique contingency to be incorporated in the functional analysis process. The performance-based IISCA involved a single session in which the putative reinforcers were presented following problem behavior and removed following 30-s of calm behavior. A socially mediated function was implicated after five instances of problem behavior was observed each time a reinforcer was removed. The two participants then experienced the full IISCA that included a single test condition compared to a matched control with five, 3-min sessions conducted total. The results of both analyses corresponded and informed a subsequent function-based treatment that eliminated problem behavior and strengthened communicative responses.
An Introduction to Various Models of the Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis
THERESA FIANI (FTF Behavioral Consulting), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York), Catherine E Jessel (Long Island ABA; FTF Behavioral Consulting)
Abstract: Functional analyses allow a clinician to identify causal relations between environmental stimuli and problem behavior. The interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) was developed as a practical functional assessment format intended to be safe and efficient. Since the introduction of the practical functional assessment, various adaptations/models have been developed in response to practical clinical needs, such as safety and lack of time and resources, and to accommodate various client profiles. The presenters will describe the utility and methodology of various adaptations of the IISCA (e.g., single-session, efficient, intensive, school-based, and latency-based IISCA as well as the Enhanced-Choice Model). They will also present their research findings and experiences on the efficiency and strength of functional control of the single-session (Jessel et al., 2018), efficient (Fiani et al., accepted), intensive (Jessel et al., 2016) and latency-based IISCA (Jessel et al., 2018) adaptations. Finally, they will provide a preliminary decision-making model for how to select an IISCA adaptation based on client needs, settings, and resources.
On the Longevity of Behavioral Interventions for Challenging Behavior: A Brief Review
VICTORIA SCOTT (Brock University), Valdeep Saini (Brock University), Louis Paul Alexander Busch (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health), Nora Solomon (George Brown College)
Abstract: When treating severe challenging behavior, maintenance of treatment effects over time may be particularly meaningful for evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention. Treatment effects that fail to maintain their effectiveness are likely to be of little value to society, even if they are demonstrated to be effective initially. In this presentation, we explore the quality and quantity of maintenance data for the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior in studies published over the last five years in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. We found that for the vast majority of participants, maintenance data was not reported. For those studies that reported maintenance data, the duration of follow up ranged between 21 and 90 days, with an average duration of 45 days. We discuss possible explanations for the paucity of long-term follow-up data in the applied literature, strategies for obtaining maintenance data in research, as well as implications for the external validity of interventions for challenging behavior.



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