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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #136
CE Offered: BACB — 
Intentional Engagement and Learning Activities in Supervision and Clinical Practices: Outcomes and Considerations
Sunday, May 28, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Caitlin Fulton (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Alice Shillingsburg (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC)
CE Instructor: Alice Shillingsburg, M.S.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) established a platform for supervisors to direct and implement learning and training activities in alignment with practice standards and ethics requirements. In this symposium, authors present key topics related to skill acquisition and practice corresponding to the BACB’s® task list and ethics code. Salvatore and colleagues target collaborations with providers and present results of completed hospital provider knowledge surveys related to knowledge of behavioral function, autism knowledge, and stigma. In addition, they review key considerations to optimize quality of care received and providers. Shanker et al., address considerations related to trainee and supervisor preference in virtual supervision timing across measurable dimensions of supervision in fixed and open-ended conditions. Supervision behaviors (i.e., questions asked, feedback provided) showed different patterns between conditions across participants. Loder and colleagues present results of a program evaluation project targeting skill acquisition in constructing behavior-analytic treatment protocols. Sherman et al., present results for an evaluation of the accuracy of staff implementation of multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments when trained via a program developed in Articulate Rise. Dr. Alice Shillingsburg will provide comments on consideration for clinicians, supervisors, and supervisees in clinical practice and supervision.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): skill development, supervision, training
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: 1.) Supervision- Ethical Requirements 2.) RBT Training 3.) Skill Development
Measuring Hospital Provider Knowledge of Behavioral Function and Autism
GIOVANNA SALVATORE (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University)
Abstract: Research consistently documents deficits in physician knowledge and confidence in treating patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Qualitative data analysis from focus groups suggests that medical trainees and physicians demonstrate poor understanding of behavioral function and often rely on restraint (Salvatore et al., 2021). Although there is a need to assess behavioral function and incorporate function-based treatment across settings, there is no existing measure in the literature to assess provider knowledge of behavioral function. In this study, a measure assessing hospital provider knowledge of behavioral function was developed by the research team using an iterative development process, including (1) Stage 1: Item writing; (2) Stage 2: Expert review (feedback solicited from BCBAs, RBTs, psychologists, individuals with ASD/caregivers and medical providers); and (3) Stage 3: Cognitive interviews (i.e., provider thoughts while completing the measure). A total of 200 physicians will complete (1) the newly developed survey measuring knowledge of behavioral function and (2) the Autism Stigma and Knowledge Questionnaire to measure knowledge of ASD. We hypothesize that results will demonstrate the need for greater knowledge of behavioral function in hospital settings to maximize the quality of care received by patients with ASD. Implications for behavioral training across settings will be discussed.

A Comparison of Fixed Versus Open-Ended Supervision Timing on Trainee and Supervisor Satisfaction

MAYA SHANKER (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Abigail Moretti (Rowan University), Morgan Caione (Rowan University), Taylor Pankiewicz (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University)

Effective supervision in the field of applied behavior analysis relies on the professional development of trainees during practical fieldwork experiences; however, research evaluating virtual supervision delivery is limited. Trainee preference and satisfaction with supervision timing could result in increased skill development for trainees and positive treatment outcomes for their clients. This study explores trainee and supervisor preference in virtual supervision timing and compares measurable dimensions of supervision across methods. Using a multiple baseline with embedded reversal design, this study compared two conditions of weekly virtual supervision timing: a fixed condition (i.e., same time per client session determined by supervisor) and an open-ended condition (i.e., same percentage of client session duration at time(s) requested by the trainee). Results with five trainees demonstrate higher trainee and supervisor satisfaction scores in the open-ended condition and greater variability in scores during the fixed condition, with consistent supervisor engagement ratings across conditions. Both the supervisor and the trainees indicated a preference for the open-ended condition. Supervision behaviors (i.e., questions asked, feedback provided) showed different patterns between conditions across participants. Findings suggest that the opportunity for the trainee to request the supervisor’s presence during critical times of a client’s session may lead to more effective supervision.

An Assessment of Skill Acquisition and Skill Generalization in Constructing a Comprehensive Protocol in a Graduated Instructional Format
BRITTANY HOPE LODER (University of Nebraska Medical Center- Munro-Meyer Institute ), Kyle Dawson (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Desiree Dawson (UNMC-Munroe Meyer Institute), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Previous research demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral skills training in teaching core skills and behavior-analytic procedures to adult trainees. Developing efficient and impactful training for staff to acquire and master skills related to the registered behavior technician task list® (RBT®). In the current evaluation we conducted a program improvement project to teach RBT® staff to construct comprehensive skill acquisition and behavior reduction protocols in an outpatient clinic setting. The main aims of the project included assessing the extent to which components of graduated instructional strategies facilitated mastery of the core features of protocol development. In addition, we tested generalization of this skill when asked to construct a new protocol. Findings suggested that for all participants, the combination of textual + didactic instruction + feedback was required for mastery on the protocol construction task. For individuals who completed the generalization test, all participants maintained mastery. Additional research is warranted to determine the extent to which each training component impacted skill development and what combination of instructional strategies are required to reach mastery. Considerations will be discussed.
An Assessment of Interactive Computer Training on Staff Acquisition of MSWO Preference Assessment Implementation
JAMES SHERMAN (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center), Rebecca Hotchkiss (Evergreen Center, Cambridge College, CABAS)
Abstract: Abstract Interactive Computer Training (ICT) is an increasingly popular way to train employees on job-related skills. Advantages of interactive computer training include consistency in training, fewer resources needed in training, and flexibility for the person learning the target skill (Gerencser et al., 2018). ICT applications in applied behavior analysis have, thus far, been primarily used to teach staff discrete trial procedures (Erath & DiGennaro-Reed, 2020). In the current study, a multiple baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the effects of a program developed in Articulate Rise on the accuracy of staff conducting a multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment. Participants were newly hired staff members with no background or formal training in applied behavior analysis who attended orientation for a residential treatment school that provides services to children with severe and significant disabilities. Results indicate that while staff did show improvement, ICT alone may not be sufficient for training staff to implement multi-step procedures. No participant demonstrated mastery of the procedure without the addition of other behavior skills training components (i.e., feedback, modeling). Limitations and recommendations for future research and practice are explored.



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