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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.

39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

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Poster Session #247
Sunday, May 26, 2013
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall B (Convention Center)
66. Effects of General and Corrective Statements Delivered Noncontingently on Excessive Spitting
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ELIANA PIZARRO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Erin Schaller (Kennedy Krieger Institute), James Allen Chastain (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alison Shanholtzer (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: There is a strong body of evidence showing that reprimands may serve as an effective punisher when delivered contingent on undesirable behavior (McKenzie, Smith, Simmons, & Soderlund, 2008; Maglieri, DeLeon, Rodriguez-Catter, & Sevin, 2000). The purpose of the current study was to reduce the rate of excessive spitting emitted by a 10-year-old male with autism. Results from a functional analysis indicated that spitting persisted in the absence of social contingencies and thus was automatically maintained. Interestingly, the participant emitted low rates of spitting and an increase in aggressive behavior during the attention condition; within session analyses indicated the corrective statements delivered during the attention condition functioned as a punisher for spitting. To further investigate the effects of attention as a punisher, a procedure was initiated in which a therapist delivered either a general statement or a corrective statement noncontingently on a fixed-time schedule. Results indicate that corrective statements resulted in an increase in aggression while general statements did not evoke aggressive behavior. However, results showed that when the corrective statements were delivered non-contingently, the rate of spitting increased from the initial functional analysis.
67. Effective Treatment of Ruminative Behavior in the Educational Setting
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
LLOYD R. THOMAS (Behavior Attention & Developmental Disabilities Consultants, LLC), Emily Thomas Johnson (Behavior Attention & Developmental Disabilities Consultants, LLC), Sheila Williamson (Integrated Health)
Abstract: Ruminative behavior leads to reduced availability of social opportunities and to more restrictive educational settings in childhood. ONeil, White, King, & Carek (1979) suggest that adding an aversive procedure to the use of differential reinforcement may provide greater treatment efficacy. In the current study, a service delivery intervention included antecedent manipulations and the combined use of both positive and negative consequences to decrease ruminative behavior in a 12 yr-old girl with autism. The intervention was implemented in the educational setting utilizing school personnel and led to a successful decrease in ruminative behavior by 89% when compared to baseline. Research has demonstrated the importance of abolishing the relationship between the motivating operation and ruminative behavior (Sanders-Dewey & Larson, 2006). The current treatment package included dietary manipulations, increased positive social interaction (i.e., increased stimulation and attention for desired behaviors), and verbal praise contingent on non-ruminative behaviors. Additionally, consequence manipulations were implemented contingent on the participant engaging in ruminative behavior that included an isolative time-out, an overcorrection procedure, and the participant putting on examination gloves at first sign of precursor behaviors. The success of the treatment allowed for the students inclusion in more classroom activities within a short period of time.
68. An Investigation of Indirect Versus Direct Methods in Identifying Functions of Challenging Behaviors in the Natural Environment
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
BRIAN VAN MEERTEN (Behavioral Consultation Service of Northern Arizona, LLC)
Abstract: Indirect behavioral assessment methods are a cost-effective way to gather information about functional relations between environmental variables and observable behaviors. Additionally, indirect assessment methods are useful in gathering information for low-frequency/high-intensity behaviors that are unlikely to occur in a clinical setting. However, indirect methods have been identified as having poor reliability and validity compared to more direct methods (Paclawskyj, et al. 2001). Conversely, direct methods of analysis including brief functional analyses (BFA) (Wacker, et al. 2004), extended functional analyses (FA) (Iwata et al. 1982/1994) and reversal designs have been identified as effective in establishing reliable and predictable relationships between independent and dependent variables (Vollmer, et al. 1995). However, these direct methods can also be more costly, time consuming and intrusive. The current investigation examined two commonly used indirect assessment methods: the Motivation Assessment Scale II version 2 (MAS II) (Durand & Crimmins, 1988) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) (Iwata & DeLeon, 1996). The results of these tools were compared with direct assessment methods (i.e. BFA, ABAB) for 12 participants in natural settings. Thirty-one indirect assessments (20 FASTs; 11 MASIIs) were analyzed (across multiple caregivers) and compared to results from direct assessment methods. The results indicated that identified function of 11 out of 20 (55%) of the FASTs completed did agree with direct assessment methods. Where 5 out 11 (46%) of the MAS IIs completed did agree with direct assessment methods. Moreover, when the results from FASTs displayed agreement across the majority (51%) of caregivers, the identified functions agreed more often (were higher) with the direct assessment methods (3 out of 5 cases (60%). In other words, the more agreement across care providers indicated a higher probability that the function would match the function of the direct observations. Conversely, the results from the MAS II displayed agreement between the majorities (51%) of caregivers (1 out of 2 cases (50%), but demonstrated a lower agreement about function of behavior with the results from direct assessment. Conclusions and recommendations for the use of indirect and direct methods to identify function of behavior in natural settings will be discussed.
69. Parent Training Models for Families of Autistic Children in Ontario, Canada
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
KELLY ALVES (Surrey Place Centre), Karin Earle-Williams (Surrey Place Centre), Amoy Kito Hugh-Pennie (Surrey Place Centre), Nicole Luke (Surrey Place Centre), Janet Vogt (Surrey Place Centre), Polly Choi (Brock University), Kristy Balodis (ErinoakKids), Carol Chang (Brock University)
Abstract: This poster is a review of parent training literature in the context of three different service delivery models for parent training for families with autistic children in the Canadian province of Ontario. Data collected from two of the three models indicated that only a small percentage of families are choosing to access parent training but that those families who do attend parent training feel that it is effective and that it helps to improve their ability to manage behavior and improve their quality of life. Research literature converges on the idea that parent training packages are important to the success of treatment for children with autism. There is little consensus on what elements of those training packages are essential and on what should be included when treating families with autistic children. Three different service delivery models and the elements of each model that are being provided in an urban setting in Ontario are described in detail and the elements of each package are analyzed for their contribution to the success of the entire model. Findings include information about client demographics and how they might interact with the training models.
70. Response Class Hierarchy Analyses Performed on Twenty Clients in an Outpatient Setting
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN BORGEN (Nova Southeastern University), Brenna Cavanaugh (Nova Southeastern University), Keith Lit (Nova Southeastern University), Stephanie Trauschke (Nova Southeastern University), Jillian Benson (Nova Southeastern University), Kenneth Shamlian (Nova Southeastern University), Tara M. Sheehan (Mailman Segal Institute), F. Charles Mace (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: Initial assessments in clinical outpatient settings typically include a functional analysis of target behaviors. Other assessments, such as a response class hierarchy functional analysis, offer a finer level of resolution to elucidate escalating patterns of behavior and the temporal sequence of target behaviors. Derby, Wacker, Sasso, Steege, Northup, Cigrand, and Asmus (1992) first assessed the utility of response class hierarchy analyses as part of a brief functional assessment in an outpatient setting. This study updates their work by analyzing the results of response class hierarchy functional analyses that were conducted in an outpatient setting as part of a three part functional assessment. Escalation from target behaviors that required less response effort (e.g. loud vocalizations and oppositional vocalizations) typically preceded target behaviors that required greater response effort (e.g. disruptive behavior and aggression). This suggests that interventions targeted at providing alternative behaviors to target behaviors that begin a response class hierarchy could prevent escalation to more dangerous target behaviors.
71. Effects of a Reflexive Conditioned Motivating Operation on Evocation of SIB, Aggression, and Disruptive Vocalizations
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE TRAUSCHKE (Nova Southeastern University), Jillian Benson (Nova Southeastern University), John Borgen (Nova Southeastern University), Brenna Cavanaugh (Nova Southeastern University), Keith Lit (Nova Southeastern University), Kenneth Shamlian (Nova Southeastern University), Tara M. Sheehan (Mailman Segal Institute), F. Charles Mace (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) frequently present with sensitivity to transitions from locations and activities. Interventions to address this sensitivity to transitions may improve the quality of life for these children and their families. The participant in this study is an eleven-year-old Hispanic male diagnosed with ASD currently enrolled in an intensive day-treatment program who presents with sensitivity to transitions. Various transitions from one location and activity to another location and activity were identified. Those transitions that were correlated with moderate to high rates of self-injurious behavior, aggression, and disruptive vocalizations at baseline were targeted for intervention to evaluate the effects of a timer as a Reflexive Conditioned Motivating Operation (CMO-R) on evocations of target behaviors. Results suggest that rates of target behaviors were lower when the timer was present than the rates of target behaviors when the timer was not present during a transition.
72. Cumulative Record Versus Latency to First Occurrence to Analyzea Response Class Hierarchy
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JILLIAN BENSON (Nova Southeastern University), John Borgen (Nova Southeastern University), Brenna Cavanaugh (Nova Southeastern University), Keith Lit (Nova Southeastern University), Stephanie Trauschke (Nova Southeastern University), Kenneth Shamlian (Nova Southeastern University), Tara M. Sheehan (Mailman Segal Institute), F. Charles Mace (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: A response class hierarchy is a set of topographically similar or dissimilar behaviors that serve the same function, with some responses being more probable than others. Response class hierarchy analyses are often used in clinical settings to identify a sequence of problem behaviors observed in children with severe behavior disorders. A data collection procedure that measures the latency to first occurrence for each problem behavior has been traditionally used to identify escalating sequences of problem behavior of different topographies during these assessments. The current study evaluated the problem behaviors of a 12-year-old male diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Problem behaviors were examined using an alternative data collection procedure. Rather than using latency to first occurrence data collection procedure, cumulative frequency data was collected during an extended extinction session. Results suggest that cumulative record data may be a beneficial alternative to the exclusive use of latency to first occurrence data.

Does the Behavioral Progress made at JRC Generalize Across Settings and Over Time? A Follow-up Study of Former JRC Students.

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
NICK LOWTHER (Judge Rotenberg Center)

Examining post-treatment outcomes for the users of residential care facilities remains an important aspect in assessing generalization of progress over time and across settings. We will survey post-treatment outcomes of former students of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC), a residential care facility that employs a highly consistent application of behavioral treatment and educational programming. All former JRC students who are reachable and willing to participate will be surveyed. The surveyed former students will include those who are classified as developmentally/cognitively typical as well as those with developmental delays. We will use both a subjective General Life Adjustment rating scale (performed by guardians and/or the former students themselves) and objective counts of certain quality of life (QOL) indicators. QOL/current status indicators will include the persons need for ongoing treatment services (e.g., medication, therapy, etc.), family/relationship status, place of residence status, educational status, employment status, and leisure pursuit information. Data will be reported in terms of descriptive statistics.


Effects of Positive Reinforcers as Motivating Operations for Negative Reinforcement

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether positive reinforcers served as motivating operations for escape-maintained problem behavior. The participants were 4 typically developing children who engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. All procedures were conducted within a 90 min evaluation in a behavioral outpatient clinic. Interobserver agreement was assessed for 84% of sessions and averaged 95%. Brief functional analyses of problem behavior were conducted within a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. Problem behavior was evaluated under escape conditions with and without a signaled positive reinforcer. During all conditions, escape from the demand was provided contingent on problem behavior. During the treatment (signaled positive reinforcer) condition, participants chose a toy/activity to obtain contingent on compliance with a demand. This toy/activity was placed next to the work task. For all participants, results showed that problem behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement (Figure 1, baseline left panels). Problem behavior decreased under the same escape conditions when a signaled positive reinforcer was present (treatment right panels). For all participants, results suggested that a signaled positive reinforcer was effective at altering the value of negative reinforcement without the need to use extinction procedures.

75. The effectiveness of Habit Reversal Training with and without Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult Trichotillomania.
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
YANNETTE M. BARNES (Mercyhurst University), Jennifer Girts (Private practice), Robert Gulick (Mercyhurst University), Thomas P. Kitchen (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: The standard treatment approach by mental health clinicians in treating adults diagnosed with trichotillomania can be multi-faceted. The use of medications, various forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or a combination of treatments are routinely utilized. CBT involves the examination of the participants unwanted feelings and thoughts as causal agents for hair pulling behavior. Habit Reversal Training (HRT) has been an effective behavioral treatment used to treat hair pulling in children and adolescents. In this study, both interventions (CBT and HRT) were implemented with a 23 year old female who had been participating in weekly CBT therapy. The initial phase of the intervention of CBT and HRT resulted in a reduction in the rate of hair pulling and hair manipulation from baseline. A return to baseline (CBT alone) reflected a significant increase in hair pulling and manipulation. An acute decline in the rate of hair pulling and hair manipulation behavior occurred over eight consecutive sessions during the reintroduction of CBT and HRT. In the last phase of the study, the participant was only exposed to HRT over eight sessions. The number of occurrences of hair pulling behavior and hair manipulation remained at very low levels during this last phase.

Use of Precision Teaching Methodology in the Rehabilitation of a Bilingual Brain Male with a Brain Injury

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CARYN CAPRIOTTI (Pate Rehabilitation), Shasta Brenske (Pate Rehabilitation)

Subject is a 30 year old Puerto Rican male who suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident, residing in a post acute rehabilitation facility. He was four months post injury at the start of treatment and presented with the dilemma of whether learning tasks were more efficiently taught in English verses Spanish. First, learning rates were established for picture-naming tasks in both languages. Intervention consisted of teaching and responding in Spanish for clock-reading and English for word-reading tasks using Precision Teaching. Probes of same tasks using untrained languages were conducted every fifth day to assess if rate of generalization was greater from Spanish to English-trained tasks or viceversa. Initial learning trials yielded similar learning rates in both languages and subsequent trials assessed whether there was a language preference for skill generalization. This methodology stresses the importance of assessing learning acquisition in both languages, as well as determining the preferred method of instruction to promote maximal generalization of skills with bilingual, neurologically impaired individuals.

77. Don't Walk Next to Me: A Simple Procedure to Improve Ambulation of an Adult with a Brain Injury
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SHASTA BRENSKE (Pate Rehabilitation), Caryn Capriotti (Pate Rehabilitation)
Abstract: This poster will discuss the use of an intervention to increase functional walking with an assistive device for a male with a brain injury who was several years post injury. Prior to the intervention staff at the facility proposed using a wheelchair rather than a walker because his rate of walking had become extremely slow and it appeared that the patient was at risk for increased falls. A brief functional assessment was conducted and indicated that attention from staff and their proximity to him maintained slow rates of walking. Thus, the intervention consisted of planned ignoring when walking, immediate attention when the patient reached his destination, and a daily review of his progress with one of the staff in the residence where he lived. The intervention produced an increase of approximately 3 times his average rate of walking and eliminated the need for a wheelchair in the residence.

Effects of Trait Anxiety and Experiential Avoidance on Brain Activation During Threat Avoidance in Humans

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SANDY MAGEE (University of North Texas), Michael W. Schlund (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, & University of North Texas)

Investigation of how individual difference variables modulate brain activation provides an opportunity for identifying sources of between-subject variability in human imaging studies. In human neurophysiological research on threat and avoidance, little is known about how various risk factors for affective disorders (anxiety, depression) modulate brain activation patterns during avoidance. To address this issue, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to understand how levels of trait anxiety (an increased tendency to perceive threats: STAI) and experiential avoidance (AAQ-2) modulate brain activation to threats that prompt avoidance. Imaging occurred while a healthy group of subjects (N=17) responded on a multiple FR avoidance-extinction schedule (16 s of threat-avoidance alternated with 16 s of extinction). Reported levels of experiential avoidance (AAQ-2) and trait anxiety (STAI) were correlated with activation during the initial transition to the threatening context. Significant negative correlations were found between activation associated with threat-avoidance and experiential avoidance in the right insula and trait anxiety in the left ventral putamen, bilateral thalamus, left DLPFC and dorsal medial anterior cingulate. These results suggest vulnerability factors associated with pathological avoidance modulate responsiveness in several brain regions responsible for behavioral regulation and threat recognition.

79. Shame in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Dimensions
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
SONIA SINGH (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Lindsey Knott (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Chad Wetterneck (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Although one study has noted that shame may play a significant role in anxiety disorders (Fergus et al., 2010), the literature does not address the appearance of shame within specific dimensions of OCD. This study assesses the presence of shame within four common symptom dimensions of OCD; contamination, harm, unacceptable thoughts, and symmetry. We hypothesized that shame would be significantly related to unacceptable thoughts and harm, but not to other dimensions. Ninety-one individuals with OCD completed the Dimensional Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (measuring severity of OCD symptom dimensions) and the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (assessing shame). Results indicated a positive significant relationship existed between shame and harm, but not with unacceptable thoughts. Thus, harm could be related to a greater experience of shame than unacceptable thoughts (which has some content that affects others or ones sense of self adversely and other content that does not). Additionally, a significant correlation was found between shame and symmetry. This is possibly due to relationship between perfectionism and symmetry, but further research would be required to understand this relationship (Wu & Cortesi, 2009). These findings suggest that shame is related to certain dimensions of OCD and may deserve more consideration in how it relates to treatment.



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