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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Poster Session #206I
OBM Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 28, 2023
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall F
Chair: Abigail Blackman (Behavior Science Technology)
137. Reported Variables Contributing to Board Certified Behavior Analyst Turnover
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
SANDRA ALEX RUBY (University of Kansas), Abigail Blackman (Behavior Science Technology), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas), Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center; University of Virginia)
Discussant: Traci M. Cihon (Behaviorists for Social Responsibility)
Abstract: Employee turnover is a pervasive issue across many industries, including behavior analytic service settings. Several negative ramifications are associated with turnover such as increased organizational costs and decreased consumer outcomes. Previous research suggests direct support professionals experience turnover at high rates (M = 43.8%; The Case for Inclusion, 2020), and that predictors of turnover include staff’s satisfaction with training, supervision, pay, and job aspects (e.g., praise, opportunities for promotion; Kazemi et al., 2015). Presently, it is unknown whether turnover and its related variables are an issue at the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) level. Thus, the current survey sought to answer these questions. Online anonymous survey results from 476 BCBAs revealed 74.4% (n = 354) had left a previous job as a BCBA. Results from all respondents indicate burnout was the number one contributor to BCBA turnover (n = 202, 22.3%). Other variables such as pay and benefits, supervision and mentorship, collegiality and professional relationships, ethical violations, and training and professional development were nearly equally endorsed by respondents as variables that contributed to turnover.
138. Staff Development Model Through Behavioral Skills Training: Preventative Behavioral Skills Focused
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRIS DELAP (APA, Lakemary Center), Tyler Ré (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Mary Louise Lewis (Florida Institute of Technology)

Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is rooted in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) principles and is an evidenced-based teaching strategy to enhance staff training and staff development in a variety of employment fields. More specifically within residential treatment settings, BST strategies can teach staff at all levels the necessary competencies for working with learners who display challenging behaviors. Not only does the implementation of evidence-based training strategies positively impact the quality of care for learners within residential programs, but it also improves staff retention and perceived efficacy of their own skills in positive engagement, preventative strategies, and crisis de-escalation. The BST model is comprised of four main components: 1) providing instruction; 2) modeling skills; 3) role playing skills; and 4) providing performance feedback. This model has been used as a training strategy across several different employment settings and types of positions from direct support professionals (Lerman et al. 2015), to teachers (Sarokoff & Sturmey, 2004). This paper will review the process of implementing a BST curriculum for direct care staff at a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) in Kansas. Key implementation strategies for positive outcome include developing a staff mentor program, implementing fidelity checklists and ongoing evaluations.

139. An Evaluation of Preferred Feedback Selection on Performance
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
RUAIRI LAURENCE DEVEREUX (Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Bethany Hansen (Munroe Meyer Institute )
Discussant: Abigail Blackman (Behavior Science Technology)
Abstract: Performance feedback is commonly used to increase performance across settings and behaviors. However, it is not well understood how feedback functions relating to behavior change, or which components of feedback are necessary (Johnson, 2013; Alvero et al., 2001). Existing research suggests that feedback may have several functions, such as a consequence, antecedent, or rule depending on how components of feedback are delivered (Mangiapanello & Hemmes. 2015; Johnson et al., 2015). Limited research exists assessing employee preferences for feedback components and its impact on performance. The current study included up to three Registered Behavior Technicians in a pediatric feeding disorder program and aimed to assess whether incorporating feedback that consisted of self-reported preferences would increase performance on multiple protocols. For each participant, a multiple baseline design across treatment protocols was used to evaluate a feedback package selected by the participants, which consisted of three components: temporal location of feedback (i.e., immediate or delayed), feedback content (e.g., objective, supportive or critically evaluative, and affirmative or corrective), and feedback source (e.g., written or vocal). Additionally, participants will complete a satisfaction survey following exposure to their selected feedback package. Preliminary results found that incorporating preferences for feedback may positively increase performance.
140. Examining the Effects of Feedback Timing on Performance
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
BROOKLIN DAVIS (James Madison University), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University), Hannah Lockwood (James Madison University), Angelina Clark (James Madison University)
Discussant: Mary Louise Lewis (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of two temporal locations of feedback on performance rates of behavior specific praise and behavior descriptions. Temporal locations of feedback include feedback provided right before a session and feedback provided right after a session with a delay before the next opportunity to respond. An adapted alternating treatments design within a multiple baseline across participants is used to compare the two feedback conditions when implemented with two independent but equivalent dependent measures. Three staff members in a public school setting were given instructions on specific child-lead play interaction skills to build positive relationships with students. During baseline, participants were provided no feedback on child-directed interactions. The experimental phase includes the participants receiving feedback before a session on one skill and feedback after a session on the other skill. The temporal location of feedback can have important practical implications across settings depending on the frequency feedback can be available and time between feedback and the next opportunity to respond.
141. Evaluation of Clicker Feedback in Context of Behavioral Skills Training (BST)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE BUHRMAN (Mount St. Mary's University), Elizabeth Parthum (Mount St. Mary's University), Leora Ezri (Mount St. Mary's University), Lynn Schumacher (Mount St. Mary's University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Mount Saint Mary's University)
Discussant: Abigail Blackman (Behavior Science Technology)

Behavior skills training (BST) is an effective staff training procedure used in many diverse settings to teach many different skills. Feedback is an essential component of BST and is often delivered verbally during role play and in situ practice of skills being taught. This said however, no studies to date have systematically evaluated the use of innovative feedback procedures such as clickers, during BST to determine their additive intervention effects. The current study involved a component analysis of BST with the addition of clicker feedback in place of verbal or written feedback to train staff to implement preference assessments with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The research design comprised of a concurrent multiple baseline, with an ABCD design. Results provide useful implications on the role of immediate clicker feedback during staff training procedures.

142. ACTing to enhance Register Behavior Technicians' job performance in center-based Applied Behavior Analysis
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE CROCHET (Mount St. Mary's University), Elizabeth Parthum (Mount Saint Mary's University), Leora Ezri (Mount Saint Mary's University), Amelia Trail (Mount St. Mary's University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Mount Saint Mary's University)
Discussant: Mary Louise Lewis (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) activities from the Accept, Identify, Move (AIM) curriculum on Registered Behavior Technicians’ (RBT) job performance in a center-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. Three RBTs working in a clinic offering intensive early intervention services to children diagnosed with autism participated in the study. A multiple probe design was used to evaluate changes in RBT-initiated interactions with clients and accuracy of data collected during Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) sessions following brief ACT. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) survey was also administered as an additional self-report measure to evaluate the effects of brief ACT on the participants’ perceived degree of burnout. Current results show an increase in RBT-initiated interactions for one participant and an increase in the accuracy of data collection compared to baseline. One participant shows a steady state in the accuracy of data collection and one participant shows a slight decrease in the accuracy of data collection.
143. The Use of Metaphor to Teach Group Home Staff About Motivating Operations in Improve Reinforcer Delivery
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
SHAI MAOR (Pyles and Associates)
Discussant: Abigail Blackman (Behavior Science Technology)

The use of metaphors as described by Stewart and Barnes Holmes (2001) was used to teach four group home staff about motivating operations and reinforcement to increase accurate reinforcement schedule implementation in the home. Correct reinforcement delivery was observed to be ineffective across the four staff in the group home. Staff were offering both too much access and attention whereas other times too little access and attention were provided. The metaphors of vampires and werewolves were related to the concepts of deprivation (based on the response latency of reinforcement delivery) and satiation (based on the magnitude of reinforcement delivered) to explain when and how much reinforcement is and is not appropriate to deliver. The study employed a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effectiveness of utilizing imagery and metaphors (vampires and werewolves) during training to increase accurate implementation of the client’s reinforcement schedule. In the study, the intervention increased the treatment integrity scores in three of the four group home staff to 90% or higher across observations.




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