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

Previous Page


Symposium #312
CE Offered: BACB
Training and Supporting Staff Working in Settings Serving Adults With Disabilities
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 153B
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sandra Alex Ruby (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
CE Instructor: Marren Marie Leon-Barajas, M.A.

Staff behavior impacts the quality of services delivered to consumers; thus, identifying ways to effectively train and support staff is a worthwhile area of study. This symposium includes four presentations that address this important topic in settings serving adults with disabilities. Delapp will share findings of an experiment evaluating the effects of video-aided training on staff’s implementation integrity of a skill acquisition procedure. Iannaccone will describe results of an experiment examining a video-aided training package consisting of written coaching skills, models, video critiques, and live practice sessions on staff’s ability to collect data and coach other staff. In addition to initial training, staff need ongoing support to provide quality services. Ruby will share results of an experiment evaluating the effects of a technology-based self-monitoring procedure on staff–consumer positive interactions as research has shown that positive interactions increase leisure, self-help, and community integration skills. Finally, Leon-Barajas will summarize the results of an experiment that evaluated the effects of an indicated (i.e., function-based) intervention on appropriate mask wearing by staff serving adults with disabilities.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST, group homes, staff support, Staff training
Target Audience:

Practitioners and researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe recent research-based staff training components; (2) discuss a self-monitoring and feedback procedure; and (3) describe the effects of an indicated intervention on staff’s appropriate mask-wearing.
Effects of a Video-Aided Training on the Integrity of Skill Acquisition Interventions in an Adult Service Setting
Sarah Weddle (May Institute ), Julia Iannaccone (May Institute), CHRISTINA MARIE DELAPP (May Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (May Institute)
Abstract: Quality of services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is impacted by many systemic barriers one of which is training employees to competently implement functionally meaningful, behavior analytic interventions. Behavior skills training (BST), an empirically supported training procedure, is time consuming and requires an adequate number of competent trainers. In large human service settings, training all employees presents as an insurmountable system-level initiative. Therefore, it is critical to explore innovative approaches aimed toward standardization and efficiency. The present study evaluated the efficacy of a video-aided BST package to train employees to implement essential skill acquisition interventions commonly identified on client care plans in an adult day program. Interventions included mand, listener responding, chaining, and task tolerance procedures. Results of a multiple baseline design demonstrated an improvement in procedural integrity from baseline on the targeted intervention procedures. Limitations and future directions such as evaluating efficiency in this setting will be discussed.
Preparing Non-Behavior Analytic Administrators to Become Effective Trainers in an Adult Service Setting
JULIA IANNACCONE (May Institute), Sarah Weddle (May Institute ), Christina Marie DeLapp (May Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (May Institute)
Abstract: Behavior skills training (BST) is considered best practice for teaching a variety of skills; however, of practical concern is the expertise required to teach behavior analytic procedures. Many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of BST utilize experienced trainers including behavior analysts and graduate students studying behavior analysis. Human service organizations serving adults with intellectual and development disabilities represents a setting in which qualitied trainers are limited or absent. The purpose of the present study was to prepare non-behavior analytic administrators to: (1) evaluate trainee progress using treatment integrity measures, and (2) demonstrate coaching skills in role play and in-vivo sessions when training a variety of mand, listener responding, chaining, and task tolerance procedures. Administrators received a video-aided training package consisting of descriptions of the coaching skill, models, video critiques (i.e., exemplars with varying levels of treatment integrity), and live practice sessions. Results suggest that the current training package increased levels of accurate treatment integrity data collection from baseline, and increased levels of effective coaching skills demonstrated by non-behavior analytic administrators. Implications are suggested for all settings with limited behavior analytic resources.
Evaluating the Effects of Technology-Based Self-Monitoring on Positive Staff–Consumer Interactions in Group Homes
SANDRA ALEX RUBY (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The quality and frequency of positive interactions between staff and consumers are related to reductions in consumer problem behavior and increases in other desired outcomes, such as leisure and self-help skills. Unfortunately, the frequency with which group home staff positively interact with consumers is often low and regularly requires intervention. We evaluated the effects of technology-based self-monitoring on positive interactions between staff and consumers during consumer leisure time. Participant data were collected off-site through video recordings from cameras already present in the group homes. During baseline, participant interactions were low. Upon introduction of an intervention containing self-monitoring completed via a tablet device, staff interactions increased and maintained when the intervention was in effect. Supplemental feedback via text message was provided to two of the three participants to reach criterion. These findings demonstrate the utility of technology-based self-monitoring for some individuals to increase positive staff–consumer interactions in group homes.

Improving Mask-Wearing by Group Home Staff

MARREN MARIE LEON-BARAJAS (The University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas), Sandra Alex Ruby (University of Kansas), Abigail Blackman (University of Kansas)

Mask wearing is among the most recommended prevention strategies to slow the spread of Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mask wearing is especially important in settings where vulnerable populations (e.g., older adults, individuals with certain pre-existing conditions [e.g., type 2 diabetes], people living in congregate settings) reside and work. Despite mask wearing being a behavior amenable to change, there are no behavior-analytic studies addressing mask wearing in the workplace to date. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS) -indicated intervention to determine barriers to mask wearing. Using a multiple baseline across staff design with an embedded withdrawal, results of the present study suggest that the indicated intervention (i.e., feedback) may be an effective treatment to improve mask wearing by staff while some staff may require supplemental monetary incentives to meet mastery criterion. This study contributes to a sparse, but important, literature base to address safety in the workplace as it relates to Covid-19 and recommended practices.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh