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 #226
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advancements in Staff Training Interventions
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 153B
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Grace Bartle (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Jason C. Vladescu, Ph.D.
Abstract: Staff and caregiver behavior impact the quality of services delivered to consumers; thus, identifying ways to effectively train staff and caregivers is a worthwhile area of study. This symposium includes four talks that address this important topic across various settings. Bartle will share findings of an experiment that evaluated the effects of a systems-wide training and incentive program on the integrity with which staff used behavioral skills training when training new staff. Cruz will share findings of an experiment that evaluated the effects of a program to teach behavior analysts how to effectively supervise therapists using discrete trial teaching. Matteucci will describe the results of an experiment that evaluated the effectiveness of remote behavioral skills training to teach dental students and professionals to implement a package of evidence-based interventions. Finally, Romero will discuss the outcomes of an experiment that remotely trained masters-level students on how to interpret results and identify behavioral function during functional analyses using ongoing-visual inspection and e-learning modules.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, OBM, Staff training
Target Audience: Presentations at this symposium will be delivered at an intermediate instruction level. Behavior analysts in practice and researchers are the target audience for this symposium.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the effects of a systems-wide training and incentive program on staff trainer integrity; (2) Discuss how behavioral skills training can be used to train staff remotely and in person; (3) Describe the results of a study that used e-learning modules to teach individuals how to interpret functional analyses.
Effects of a Systems-Wide Intervention to Improve Trainer Integrity in a Behavioral Healthcare Organization
GRACE BARTLE (University of Kansas), Abigail Blackman (University of Kansas), Sandra Alex Ruby (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas), Tyler Erath (University of Vermont)
Abstract: Within large behavioral health care organizations, direct support professionals often function as peer trainers of newly hired staff. To foster the highest quality services, peer trainers would ideally rely on empirically supported training procedures, such as behavioral skills training (BST). Unfortunately, teaching peer trainers how to effectively use BST is not a widely adopted practice. The current study extended previous research on pyramidal peer training and evaluated the effects of a systems-wide intervention to improve the integrity with which peer trainers implemented BST. The results of an assessment revealed that staff did not regularly receive contingent feedback or reinforcement. Thus, we implemented a systems-wide indicated, multi-year intervention involving coaching (i.e., feedback) and a monetary incentive that was adapted during the pandemic. In addition, we added a supplemental prompt given system challenges. The intervention effectively increased the percentage of trainers who used BST during peer training.

The Use of a Modified Behavioral Skills Training Procedure to Train Board Certified Behavior Analyst Supervisors of Discrete Trial Teaching

Yulema Cruz (Rutgers University), JONATHAN A. SCHULZ (University of Vermont)

This study evaluated a systematic method of training and evaluating supervisors in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) settings. Using a concurrent multiple-baseline across subjects’ design, this study assessed the use of a training protocol designed to teach masters’ and doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs/BCBA-Ds) to supervise therapists administering Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) sessions for children on the autism spectrum. Therapists’ performances before and during training for their supervisors was also assessed. Results revealed that the implementation of supervision training improved supervisor and therapist performances when compared to baseline values.

Remote Training of Dental Students to Promote Cooperative Behavior in Adult Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
MARISSA MATTEUCCI (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Loukia Tsami (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) engage in noncompliance in dental settings and receive relatively intrusive interventions (e.g., general anesthesia, restraint) during routine dental exams. Few dental schools have specialized curricula to teach dental and dental hygiene students to promote cooperative behavior in patients with IDD. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of remote behavioral skills training (BST) to teach dental students and professionals to implement a package of evidence-based behavioral interventions. The interventions, which dental professionals could easily deliver within the context of routine dental exams, included tell-show-do, contingent praise, noncontingent positive reinforcement (NCR), and noncontingent negative reinforcement (NCE). After the training, six of seven participants successfully implemented the intervention in-person with a simulated patient in the absence of feedback. The participants reported high satisfaction with the training. These findings suggest that dental and dental hygiene schools could incorporate this training modality to efficiently train students to implement behavioral techniques to promote cooperative behavior in patients with IDD.

Teaching Components of Functional Analyses Methodology and Evaluating the Effects of Generalization Using E-Learning Modules and Ongoing Visual Inspection: A Replication and Extension

ASHLEY ROMERO (University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)

Functional analyses (FAs) are empirical demonstrations of cause-effect relations between the environment and behavior (Skinner, 1953). An FA is determined to be complete when a behavior analyst has identified the function(s) maintaining the problem behavior or decides that continuing the analysis will not yield helpful information (Retzlaff et al., 2020). The current study sought to replicate and extend the findings of Retzlaff et al. (2016) by remotely training master-level students how to interpret results and identify behavioral function during FAs using ongoing-visual inspection and e-learning modules. Additionally, we evaluated the effects of generalization to FA methodological variations. Results suggested that our e-learning modules were not effective for 5/5 participants and all participants required additional feedback to meet mastery criteria. We address potential methodological changes that may have affected the lack of replication.




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