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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #106
CE Offered: BACB
Intervention Domain Approaches to Improve Youth Engagement and Outcomes: Intervention Perspectives Across Activities and Settings
Saturday, September 3, 2022
10:30 AM–12:20 PM
Meeting Level 1; Liffey Meeting 2
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristine Jolivette (University of Alabama)
Discussant: Robin Parks Ennis (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
CE Instructor: Bradley Scott Bloomfield, Ph.D.

Youth with disabilities often present with challenging behaviors and variable skill performance during instructional programming. Such challenges can directly affect their ability to achieve desired school outcomes related to their academic, behavioral, and/or social domains – all influenced by their engagement in the instructional task. In this symposium, we will integrate the findings of four single-case design studies rooted in applied behavior analysis principles which exemplify positive improvements in youth engagement through a) a variety of intervention instructional approaches (i.e., literacy strategies, behavioral strategies, self-regulatory skills) to address such challenges, and with such approaches applied b) across disability populations (i.e., ADHD, autism, emotional and behavioral disorder, learning disability, intellectual disability), c) ages (i.e., kindergarten through adolescence), d) settings (i.e., traditional classroom, alternative residential summer program, residential treatment center), and e) interventionist (i.e., peers, teachers, researchers). The collective findings of these studies highlight the utility and flexibility of engagement and outcome focused instructional approaches applied to school-age disability populations. Discussion on the connections across these studies as related to applied research and feasibility aspects of each approach will occur with attention to future research directions, practitioner implementation, and social validity.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Practitioners in schools and alternative settings

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1)Describe behavior analytic intervention approaches to address academic, behavioural, and social outcomes; (2) Identify considerations for single-case research in applied settings; (3) Discuss implications for positive behavior supports for youth with disabilities across settings.

Effect of Acquisition Rates on Off-task Behavior of Kindergarten Students while Learning Sight-Words

JUNE PREAST (University of Alabama), Matthew Burns (University of Missouri), Lisa Aguilar (Indiana University), Kristy Brann (Miami University), CRYSTAL TAYLOR (University of Southern Mississippi)

Assessing a student's acquisition rates (ARs) is a reliable way to determine how many new words should be taught in one lesson without reducing retention. Exceeding a student's AR can result in frustration and problem behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of AR on the off-task behavior of kindergarten students while participating in a commonly used sight-word instruction video. Participants included 39 kindergarten students whose ARs were assessed before showing the sight-word video. Behavior was measured as on- and off-task using momentary time-sampling with 10-s intervals. Results indicated that students' time off task increased after exceeding their ARs, with a noticeable immediate increase. The implications and limitations of these results are discussed.


Training-the-Trainer: A Teacher Facilitated Peer-Mediated Intervention to Improve Interaction Between Students With and Without Autism

LACI WATKINS (University of Alabama), Megan Fedewa (University of Alabama), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University), Xiaoyi Hu (Education and Research Center for Children with Autism, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University)

Teachers are required to use evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for students with autism, and there is a substantial body of work concerning evidence-based practices for these students (e.g., Hume et al., 2021). Yet there is comparatively less research focusing on feasible approaches to train teachers to implement these strategies with fidelity in the typical classroom setting without the assistance of the researcher (Watkins et al., 2019). The purpose of this study was to train a teacher to train peers to deliver a peer-mediated intervention and to assess the effects of the intervention on the social interaction skills of three elementary school students with autism and intellectual disability. We used a behavioral skills training and task analysis package to teach the teacher to train peers to use support strategies and monitor intervention fidelity. Results of a multiple probe design across three participant peer dyads indicate that the teacher was able to train peers to implement strategies with fidelity, and increases in social initiations, responses, and cooperative play across all dyads were observed. Generalization of skills and high levels of social validity were also noted. Recommendations for practitioners and researchers conducting work in classroom settings will be provided.

Addressing Academic and Behavioral Comorbidity through Strategic Instruction and Self-Regulation for a Youth in a Residential Treatment Facility
SARA SANDERS (University of Alabama), Lauren Rollins (University of West Georgia)
Abstract: Youth with and at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders who are served in restrictive education settings frequently display significant deficits in literacy skills such as reading and writing. These deficits can be compounded as the youth often avoid literacy activities through aggressive and/or disruptive behaviors. These factors can complicate the accurate assessment of reading and writing performance as youth may underperform as a result of these contextual factors. Within this presentation, we will provide an overview of two studies conducted with the same adolescent female in a residential treatment facility. Specifically, we will discuss the two different methods for assessing writing outcomes and three different methods for assessing reading outcomes we investigated both through single-case design. We will discuss different modes for assessing reading and writing skills within restrictive education settings and the impact it has on motivation and behavior. Additionally, we will discuss methods for supporting youth self-regulation skills within educational programming related to their literacy development, and its interconnectedness with behavioral principles.
Beat the Clock: Group Contingency and Goal Setting to Reduce Transition Time
Abstract: Interventions have previously demonstrated a positive effect on reducing lost educational time and problem behaviors during transitions. This can be of special importance in recreational and alternative settings for students with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. In this study, we evaluated a group contingency and goal setting intervention designed to increase walking speed between learning activities in a residential summer program to develop social-emotional and learning skills using an ABAB design. Seven boys (age 10-11 years old) with autism, ADHD, or learning disabilities participated in this intervention. Upon implementation of the intervention, there was an immediate increase in walking speed with a decreasing trend. The walking speed returned to the baseline levels with slower walking speed with less variability. During the second implementation of the intervention, there was an increase in walking speed, like the initial implementation, with greater variability. The increase in walking speed resulted in an estimated 24.6 minutes more time in learning activities per day. There were also high rates of intervention fidelity, and acceptability among staff thus demonstrating a feasible approach to address slow transitions between activities that required minimal resources.



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