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.

42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Program by : Monday, May 30, 2016


 

Symposium #166
CE Offered: BACB
Outcomes of Behavioral Intervention in School Settings and Adolescence
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Dean Smith (UK Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Sigmund Eldevik, Ph.D.
Abstract: We will present outcome data on behavioral interventions for children with autism in school settings. One school in the United Kingdom reports outcome on children between 4 and 7 years at intake receiving low-intensity behavioral interventions based in the British Early Special School Teaching Model. We will also present outcome data from a school base behavioral intervention model in Norway. All children received early intervention in pre-schools. One group have continued to receive intervention well into school age, while another group was provided with generic special education when they started school. Outcome at the age of 9 years will be compared between these groups. We will also present long-term outcome data - at the age of about 15 years - from the Young Autism Project in the United Kingdom. We report long-term outcome for 19 children with ASD who initially received EIBI and subsequently received long-term school- and home-based behavioral intervention.
Keyword(s): intervention school, long-term outcome
 

Outcomes of the BESST Special Education Model in the United Kingdom

DENISE FORAN (Bangor University), Marguerite L. Hoerger (Bangor University), Hannah Philpott (Bangor University), Elin Mair Walker Jones (Bangor University, North Wales Trust, GwyneddLEA)
Abstract:

The current research describes the evidence for the British Early Special School Teaching Model (BESST), which aims to provide an education based on the principles of ABA to all young children enrolled in a special needs school.TheBESSTmodelcanbeimplementedeffectively and affordably making it available to all children who would benefit. Behaviour analysts work in a multi-disciplinary context to provide an education based on the principals of Applied Behaviour Analysis to children under the age of seven years old. Children receive 7 hours a week of 1:1 teaching, which is supplemented by group teaching. Each child has an individualised behaviour plan. Interventions are designed by Behaviour Analysts and implemented by teaching staff. Outcome data from the Vinelands Adaptive Behavior Scales, the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales, and the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills Revised will be presented for 13 children ages 4-7 years old. Results show that children make statistically and clinically significant gains within this model. We will discuss the data in context of providing cost effective behavioural interventions in maintained special educational needs school in the United Kingdom.

 

Effects of Continued Behavioral Intervention Well Into School Age for Children With Autism

SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Cathrine Olsson (Centre for Early Intervention (STI)), Astri Valmo (Centre for Early Intervention (STI))
Abstract:

Effects of continued behavioral intervention into school age for children with developmental disorders We found better outcome in intelligence and adaptive behavior scores for those children who continued to receive behavioral intervention in school compared to those children who ended their intervention. We compare the two groups of children during intervention in preschool, at eight and nine years of age. The group of children (n=12) who received behavioral intervention in school continued to gain in intelligence and adaptive behavior scores, whereas the group that stopped (n=10) lost points. This finding supports the hypotheses that behavioral intervention can continue to benefit some children with autism and other developmental disorders well into school age. We have not been able to detect any clear indications for stopping behavioral intervention, although it appears that children with scores in the normal range have more stable scores.

 

Outcome in Adolescence for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder Who received Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention

DEAN SMITH (UK Young Autism Project), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College), Diane W. Hayward (UK Young Autism Project), Catherine Gale (UK Young Autism Project)
Abstract:

This paper reports long-term outcome for 19 children with ASD who initially received EIBI and subsequently received long-term school- and home-based behavioral intervention. Mean intake age was 2 years and 11 months and mean follow-up age was 14 years and 11 months. Mean intake IQ was 55, IQ after one year of EIBI was 78, and mean follow-up IQ was 68. Mean intake Vineland Adaptive Behavior (VABS) Score was 64, VABS after one year of EIBI was 74, and VABS at follow-up was 70. Eleven of the 19 children received an IQ score and VABS score of 70 or above (Mean IQ 94 and mean VABS 86). Autism symptoms at follow-up (as assessed by the ADI-R and the CARS) is presented, so is data on the type of services the children had received after EIBI.

 
 
Panel #172
PDS: Breaking the Barriers to Inclusion: Educating Students in the General Education Setting
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kelly Mercorella (Teachers College Columbia University)
R. DOUGLAS GREER (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
JOANN PEREIRA DELGADO (Teachers College, Columbia University)
JENNIFER WEBER (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract:

In the United States, every student has the right to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. The least restrictive environment, inclusion into the general education setting, allows for students to learn the academic and social repertoires necessary for educational success in the presence of general education peers. However, for students with disabilities, there are many obstacles that prevent them from fully accessing the general education curriculum. The CABAS Accelerated Independent Learner Model (AIL) has identified verbal developmental cups/capabilities and academic literacy skills that increase the likelihood of academic and social success for students with disabilities in an inclusive setting. Through implementing protocols to induce the relevant cusps, capabilities, and skills, the AIL model has created procedures through which students are taught the necessary skills to be successfully included into the general education setting. The purpose of the present discussion is to explain the cusps/capabilities necessary for inclusion, the ways in which students are instructed in order to increase their likelihood of success, and the criterion utilized to allow students access to the general education setting.

Keyword(s): CABAS AIL, Cusps/Capabilities, Elementary Education, Inclusion
 
 
Symposium #175
CE Offered: BACB
From Research to Practice: Current Procedural Advances in the Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
CE Instructor: Michele D. Wallace, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will include recent research on the assessment and treatment of problem behavior with a focus on implications for practice. The first study will present the translation process that was undertaken to produce a reliable and valid indirect assessment in Japanese. The second paper, will highlight the development and utilization of a flow-chart for interpreting transitional functional analyses. The third paper, will present on the effects of an FCT+DRA intervention aimed at decreasing problem behavior maintained by social negative reinforcement, while increasing both communication and compliance. All presenters will provide insight on implications related to both future research and practice.

Keyword(s): Application, Assessment, Treatment
 
Translation, Reliability, and Validity of the IFA-Japanese
SARAH KAGAWA (Seek Education), Michele D. Wallace (Seek Education), Yuki Ikezaki (Seek Education), Kae Yabuki (SEEK Education, Inc.)
Abstract: Functional behavior assessments used to identify functions of problem behavior rely on three main categories of assessment methodology: Indirect Assessments, Descriptive Assessments, and Functional Analysis. In fact, best practice suggests that these assessments are necessary to effectively reduce behavior problems. Most of these assessment methodologies are mainly only available in English. However, problem behavior is not only seen in individuals whose main language is English. Given the various cultural and languages encountered in the treatment of problem behavior, translations of these instruments and assessment methodology is best clinical practice and is in need of our efforts. This study presents the steps taken to translate and test for reliability and validity of the Indirect Functional Assessment (IFA) – Japanese assessment. Results are presented as well as a dissemination of the IFA – Japanese.
 
Systematic Process for Analyzing Transition Functional Analyses
SARAH CONKLIN (Family ABA), Michele D. Wallace (Seek Education, Inc.), Sarah Gonzalez (Seek Education)
Abstract: Over the last 30+ years researchers have extended the methodology of Functional Analyses to incorporate a number of procedural and behavioral variations. One such advancement was the development of the transition functional analysis (McCord, Thomson, & Iwata, 2001) to effectively analyze function and aspects of transitions. Although this advancement has been important in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior related to transitions, there are no current systematic rules or instructions for analyzing the results of this assessment. Moreover, the rules applied to analyzing multielement functional analyses do not simply convert to analyzing transition functional analyses. This study developed a flow chart to interpret transition functional analyses. This flow chart was utilized to interpret 2 transition functional analyses prior to treatment development and resulted in accurate determination of function of problem behavior as well as selection of intervention and reduction in problem behavior. Moreover, we have also successfully utilized this flow chart and went back and utilized it to determine function of transition functional analyses published in behavioral journals. Using the flow chart was both valid in interpreting function as well as reliable. Results as well as dissemination of the flow chart will be provided.
 

Using a Concurrent Reinforcement Schedule to Eliminate Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior and Increase Compliance

KATHRYN WHITE (Behavior Services of the Rockies), Michele D. Wallace (Behavior Services of the Rockies), Travis Blevins (Behavior Services of the Rockies)
Abstract:

Functional Communication Training with extinction is one approach to eliminating problem behavior and increasing appropriate behavior. When applied to problem behavior maintained by social positive reinforcement, it produces rapid decreases in problem behavior as well as socially significant increases in appropriate behavior (e.g., asking for attention or tangible items). It is equally effective for eliminating problem behavior maintained by social negative reinforcement in the form of escape; however, most caregivers are not satisfied with only increasing asking for a break. In fact, when treating problem behavior maintained by escape from tasks, socially significant behavior changes would include increasing compliance as well as asking for a break. The purpose of this study was to utilize FCT (1 min break) + Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (5 min break contingent on compliance) to decrease problem behavior and ultimately increase compliance. Results demonstrate that the intervention was highly successful. Implications for practice as well as avenues for future research will be

 
 
Symposium #179
CE Offered: BACB
Navigating the Social World: Innovations in Social Skills Treatment for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
CE Instructor: Marjorie H. Charlop, Ph.D.
Abstract:

For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), having severe deficits in social skills prevent them from functioning in typical situations and properly navigating the social world in which we live. This symposium will consist of four research studies that use innovative behavioral approaches to address some of the pervasive challenges children with ASD face. In the first study, researchers use video modeling to teach children with ASD how to assertively respond to different bullying situations. The second study uses theatre-play as a method to teach appropriate social skills behaviors to dyads of children with ASD. The third study focuses on the need to reduce vocal stereotypy and aims to decrease inappropriate vocalizations by replacing them with appropriate singing. Finally, the last study provides a spin on teaching joint attention to lower functioning children with ASD. In these studies, multiple baseline designs were used to analyze treatment effects, generalization was assessed, and inter-observer reliability was calculated. These four studies provide new ideas to ameliorate the social challenges that children with ASD display, provide evidence-based procedures for treating a range of functioning levels of children on the spectrum, and provide potential approaches for children with ASD to navigate their social world.

Keyword(s): autism, bullying, play, social skills
 

Using Video Modeling to Teach Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Assertive Responding to Bullying Scenarios

Catherine Rex (Claremont McKenna College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), VICKI SPECTOR (Claremont Graduate University)
Abstract:

Bullying is related to depression, loneliness, and social anxiety (Hawker & Boulton, 2000), and unfortunately, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a higher risk than their typically developing peers for becoming victims of bullying (Wainscot et al., 2008). The current study involved a video modeling intervention that aimed to teach six children with ASD how to assertively respond to physical and verbal bullying, social exclusion, and to report instances of bullying to a parent. Using a multiple baseline design, measures of appropriate responding to bullying were assessed in baseline, intervention, and generalization probes. During baseline sessions, participants appropriate responses to bullying were either nonexistent or inconsistent. Following baseline, participants were asked to watch a video of an adult assertively responding to three different types of bullying (i.e., physical bullying, verbal bullying, and social exclusion). Results showed that following the introduction of video modeling, all six participants met criterion for appropriate responding to bullying, with four participants demonstrating generalization of learned skills to a novel setting. Findings from this study have implications for the use of video modeling in teaching children with ASD the proper skills to respond to bullying.

 

Using Theatre-Play to Teach Social Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Melisa Rojas (Pomona College), NATALY LIM (Claremont McKenna College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract:

Theatre-based programs have been shown to improve the social skills in high-functioning children with ASD, such as increased positive interaction, decreased solitary play (Guli, Semrud-Clikeman, Lerner, & Britton, 2013) and increased social perception (Corbett et al., 2011). The present study was conducted to teach social skills behaviors to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) via a theatre intervention conducted in dyads. Specifically, a multiple baseline design across three dyads of children with ASD was used to assess the efficacy of a theatre intervention on increasing verbal social skills, nonverbal social skills, and appropriate sociodramatic play behaviors. Measurements of social skills behaviors were taken during naturalistic play sessions and baseline, as well as after theatre intervention sessions. The theatre intervention involved sessions of learning how to act out and also do improvisation of theme-based plays in dyadic pairs for several weeks. Results showed that all participants reached at least 80% criterion performance for one or more targeted social behaviors. The current study demonstrates that a theatre-based procedure, a largely untapped therapeutic technique, is an effective social skills intervention for children with ASD.

 

Effects of Singing on Vocal Stereotypies in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

BENJAMIN R. THOMAS (Claremont Graduate University), Catelyn Gumaer (Claremont Graduate University), Nataly Lim (Claremont McKenna College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract:

Vocal stereotypy can be disruptive and interfere with social opportunities; yet, it is often a preferred activity for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Decreasing motivating operations to engage in inappropriate forms of the behavior (e.g., sounds, high pitched speaking or singing) while increasing topographically similar appropriate behaviors might be an indicated course of treatment. In this study, we taught three children with ASD who engaged in inappropriate forms of vocal stereotypy to sing appropriately. We used a changing criterion design plus a backward chaining procedure to increase the word length of their singing phrases. After the children learned to sing a song through this procedure, we used multi-element comparisons to determine if pre-session singing sessions would decrease vocal stereotypy in their subsequent intervention sessions. Preliminary results showed that participants learned to sing appropriately, and all forms of vocal stereotypy occurred less frequently immediately after singing sessions. Discussion will focus on implications for teaching pro-social vocal behaviors as replacements for vocal stereotypies.

 

Joint Attention in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Using Play and the Natural Language Paradigm

Taylor Basso (Claremont McKenna College), CATELYN GUMAER (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract:

A key deficit in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is underdeveloped joint attention skills. Joint attention is a pivotal social communication skill that is very complex and can be difficult to teach in isolation. It may behoove us to find other ways in which joint attention might be easier to teach. In Experiment I, basic functional play was taught to three children with ASD through imitation, with joint attention embedded within the procedure. Reinforcement was contingent on joint attention during the play imitation sessions, compared to baseline in which joint attention without play was reinforced. The results demonstrated that play-based treatment can increase joint attention and that generalization of joint attention across person and setting occurred. In Experiment II, the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP; Laski, Charlop, & Schreibman, 1988), which has been shown to increase both speech and play (Gillett & LeBlanc, 2007), will be assessed to determine whether NLP can also generate and increase joint attention in children with ASD. Together, the results of these studies may hold implications for alternative ways for teaching joint attention via procedures that evoke motivating operations.

 
 
Symposium #183
CE Offered: BACB
The Efficacy of Stimulus Control Technologies to Increase Skill Acquisition
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center)
Discussant: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Russell W. Maguire, Ph.D.
Abstract: It is critical that the relevant features of discriminative stimuli come to predict and control learner responding. However, use of inadequate transfer of control procedures and inappropriate training structures often result in prompt dependency and lack of skill acquisition. These four studies employed various transfer of control methods and innovative training structures, based on a stimulus control analysis. In study 1, participants demonstrated both trained and emergent stimulus-stimulus relations following an errorless teaching protocol. The errorless protocol was shown to be more effective for acquiring skills than a trial-and-error strategy. Study 2 utilized errorless teaching procedures to teach novel conditional discriminations for stimulus classes comprised of non-auditory stimuli. The instructional design was arranged such that emergent topography-based verbal behavior was demonstrated. The third study analyzed the relative effectiveness of response prompts versus stimulus prompts to increase conditional discriminations. Results showed that participants acquired skills more rapidly when provided with stimulus prompts. In the 4th study, control by multiple elements was assessed through a stimulus equivalence paradigm. It was demonstrated that participants demonstrated both trained and emergent stimulus-stimulus relations when presented with both complex and simple sample stimuli.
Keyword(s): equivalence, errorless, verbal behavior
 
The Formation of Equivalence Classes Following Errorless Instruction and Trial-and–Error Teaching
RUSSELL W. MAGUIRE (Simmons College), Kelly O'Loughlin (RCS Learning Center), Christina M. Boyd-Pickard (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting/Simmons College)
Abstract: The emergence of untrained stimulus- stimulus relations indicative of equivalence class formation typically occurs following the teaching of specific conditional discriminations. Past research has suggested that instruction of the prerequisite relations via an errorless protocol, as opposed to typical trial-and-error training resulted in fewer trials-to-criterion, fewer errors, and the formation of more stimulus classes. Despite this evidence, trial-and-error strategies are often still part of instructional practice. In the present experiment, which replicated Maguire (1986), two participants with an autism spectrum disorder were taught discriminations via errorless instruction or trial-and–error training. The results indicated that both participants failed to acquire the targeted conditional discriminations following trial-and–error training but learned them during remediation via delayed prompt training. Additionally, the errorless instruction protocol resulted in more rapid acquisition of the prerequisite relations and the emergence of subsequent equivalence class formation. The results are discussed in terms of teaching complex skills to children with developmental disabilities.
 
The Emergence of Derived Verbal Behavior in the Absence of an Auditory Stimulus
CHRISTINA M. BOYD-PICKARD (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting/Simmons College), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of training three stimulus-stimulus relations (tacting and arbitrary conditional discriminations) and then testing for the emergence of nine additional untrained relations: tacts (naming or labeling), listener behavior (physically dissimilar stimuli to one another), and arbitrary visual-visual stimulus relations. Participants were taught to name three different nonsense forms from one class (e.g. B1, B2, B3) and trained to match physically dissimilar stimuli across two relations and three classes (e.g. B-C and D-B). Following training, participants were tested in matching physically dissimilar experimental stimuli (e.g. C-B, C-D, D-C, B-D), listener responding (e.g. A-B, A-C, and A-D), and tacting (e.g. C-E, and D-E). The purpose of this study was to extend a previous study (Boyd-Pickard, 2015) and to evaluate if replacing the auditory stimulus with a motor movement and altering the training structure would result in emergent stimulus-stimulus relations. Participants included two typically developing adults and preliminary results indicate replication of previous findings. Keywords: stimulus equivalence, verbal operants, derived relations, naming
 

Response Prompts Versus Stimulus Prompts: A Comparison for Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

MEGAN BREAULT (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Christina M. Boyd-Pickard (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting/Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract:

A potential problem with the use of response prompts in applied settings to teach children with autism is that the prompts are susceptible to procedural drift. While stimulus prompts may serve an efficient and effective alternative to response prompts, these are often not utilized. This study compared the use of response prompts to a simple technological intervention using stimulus prompts. (e.g., systematically altering the intensity of S-stimuli within a PowerPoint program on a laptop computer). Three participants diagnosed with autism between the ages of 812 were taught conditional discriminations, either by response prompts or stimulus prompts, within a changing conditions design. Not only were the stimulus prompts more effective and efficient (e.g., fewer trials to criterion and fewer errors) because of the technological delivery system of the stimulus prompts, the possibility for procedural drift was eradicated. These results are discussed in terms of improving the efficacy of teaching students with autism spectrum disorders.

 

The Acquisition of Complex Conditional Discriminations in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders via Matching-to-Complex Samples

COLLEEN YORLETS (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting/Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College), Christina M. Boyd-Pickard (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center/Simmons College), Kelly O'Loughlin (RCS Learning Center)
Abstract:

Students with autism spectrum disorders have been reported to demonstrate stimulus over-selectivity or restricted stimulus control (i.e., failure to respond to all the critical elements of multi-element complex stimuli). This potential may have a detrimental impact on the acquisition of academic skills for these individuals if the stimuli in question contain multiple controlling elements (i.e., learning the relation between spoken words and PECS symbols and AAC icons). This study presents a number of methodologies by which attention to, and the subsequent control by, multiple elements of a complex stimulus was demonstrated. In Experiment One, a 13-year-old non-vocal boy with an autism spectrum disorder was taught to select printed word comparisons contingent on their spoken + signed name comparisons (e.g., a complex stimulus) via errorless instruction. Following training, tests conducted in extinction verified accurate control by each element over printed word comparison. In Experiment 2, a 8 year-old student with autism spectrum disorder was taught identity-matching-to-complex samples (e.g., samples containing two, physically dissimilar yet related visual stimuli). Following training, tests conducted in extinction verified accurate control by each element. The data are discussed in terms of maximizing student learning while avoiding the potential pitfalls of error histories.

 
 
Symposium #184
CE Offered: BACB
Understanding the Contingencies of Systems and Implementing Change
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: DEV/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Dristi Adhikari (Colby-Sawyer College)
CE Instructor: Michael Lamport Commons, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The symposium on Understanding the contingencies of systems and implementing change focuses on social, behavioral and cultural aspects of change in business and society as a whole. Change is perceived to be uncertain and complex; therefore it is often met with resistance and fear. As adaptation to change requires conscientious effort, not everyone is able to make it. The symposium attempts to demystify this uncertainty and analyze the process. The presentations dissect different cultures and schools of thought to discuss how new memes evolve, propagate and adapt and thereby play a critical role in an individuals survival. Further, the symposium will include empirical reports as well as theoretical reviews focusing on organizational change. The scope of the presentations spans across behavioral aspects of partners in start-up to stakeholder in large, top-down organizations. The presentations will emphasize the effects of reinforcement contingencies, task mastery and recognition, behavioral momentum and successful startup partnership.

Keyword(s): behavioral momentum, change, startups, success
 
The Effects of Regression to the Mean and Behavioral Momentum in Organizations
WILLIAM JOSEPH HARRIGAN (Harvard Extension School), Saranya Ramakrishnan (Core Complexity Assessments ), Sarthak Giri (Core Complexity Assessments ), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Large, top-down organizations tend to be bureaucratic, less innovative and more resistant to change. There are two forces that prevent such an organization from changing. 1) Behavioral momentum, which is the tendency for behaviors to continue as it has been, rather than evolving with the dynamic world. 2) Regression to the mean, which refers to the phenomenon that ensures that even if an organization overcomes behavioral momentum and adopts change, the windfall gains of the change is always at risk of being lost. This may happen by mass adoption from large competing organizations. Furthermore, in such organizations the chain of command extends from top to bottom, which implies a greater superiority and domination of higher levels over multiple lower ones. However, in a rapidly changing business world, these characteristics are a death knell to business success and sustenance. Adopting a highly autonomous 2-3 layer flat management structure on the other hand fosters creativity and innovation. Companies then can rely on a broad base of leaders and employees who feel ownership for the overall success of the organization and innovation can occur in small units that have autonomy and power over their own culture.
 
Decoding Successful Startup Partnerships
SARTHAK GIRI (Caldwell University), Saranya Ramakrishnan (Core Complexity Assessments ), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Startups are high risk and high reward environments with an extremely high rate of failure. Marmer et. al, in their report on “Why high-growth technology startups fail?” report that the success rate of these startups is lower than 10%. Understanding co-founder partnerships that have a higher likelihood of success could be a crucial factor for business survival. This study attempts to understand interest and stage of successful past co-founder partnerships. We then derive trends about their compatibility and complementarity to assess the success of co-founder pairs in Start-ups. The study focuses on start-ups that are less than 5 years old. There are three hypotheses: 1) Successful past co-founders would have had complementary interests/ skills; 2) They would have been at least Metasystematic Stage or higher; 3) At least one of the cofounder would be high on Enterprising on the Holland’s interest scale. To test these hypotheses, secondary data primarily from biographies and peer-reviewed articles will be used for past co-founders whereas primary data mainly from surveys and interviews will be used for Startup co-founders. We believe this study would help current entrepreneurs seek out co-founders that lead to a thriving and profitable startup.
 

Cultural Adaptability

SARANYA RAMAKRISHNAN (Core Complexity Assessments), Anne Zhang (Swarthmore College), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract:

Human beings face similar adaptive challenges as all other organisms. However, humans are unique in that for the last 150,000 years, most of their adaptations have been cultural. Culture may be roughly described as consisting of an extremely large set of memes, which are units of information. As humans interact within their society or social groups these memes are continually reinforced and thereby play an integral part in molding their perception of cause and effect. When individuals translocate from one country to another, specifically from one country with a relatively traditional social structure to one with a more liberal social structure, these individuals have to adapt in order to assimilate into society. This is because the memes and reinforcers of the different societies vary significantly. Cultural adaptations are spectacularly complex and essential for their survival. They are also not without an underlying biological basis of sociability, inventiveness and imitativeness. In this paper we explore the reasons around why some individuals adapt and why some are more resistant to change.

 

Social Change

NICHOLAS HEWLETT KEEN COMMONS-MILLER (Tufts University), Saranya Ramakrishnan (Core Complexity Assessments ), Dhushanthi Ramakrishnan (Lake Forest College), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract:

Social change is characterized by (1) the creation of powerful memes by a single individual (2) propagation of those memes to a large group of people (3) sustenance of those memes via behavioral change and transmission to associated social groups as well as to the next generation. Thus social change is complete when there is a collective change in group behavior. When large social groups adapt to a new way of thinking or behaving however behavioral momentum of social groups needs to be overcome. To displace a current group behavior with new behavior, therefore this new behavior or thinking has to be often more potent than the current behavior. In such a scenario the adoption curve of new behavior is often slow at the beginning but as time progresses the number of people who adopt increases. The pace of adoption however can range from a few months to one or two generations. Finally to sustain this change the operation of long term contingencies with long term attractors acting as reinforcers need to be at play.

 
 
Symposium #186
Choice and Levels of Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Stephanie Gomes-Ng (University of Auckland)
Discussant: Sarah Cowie (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Abstract: Traditionally, choice has been analyzed by aggregating responses to each alternative across several experimental sessions. Such extended-level analyses have shown that response ratios tend to match reinforcer ratios (the generalized matching law; Baum, 1974). However, extended-level analyses may not reveal the processes that may control choice. Thus, more recently, choice has been analyzed on a less-temporally-extended (‘local’) time-scale. These local analyses have shown that there are local-level regularities in choice, and these local choice processes may underlie extended-level choice. Some researchers have argued that these local-level regularities reflect the local effects of reinforcers on behavior, while others have argued that local-level regularities, such as the preference pulse, are merely artifacts of analysis type that arise due to more extended-level variables. This symposium will present research and theory examining choice on different levels of analysis. Presentations will discuss whether local-level regularities in choice reflect the local effects of reinforcers, importance of contingency discriminability, the local- and extended-level effects of changeover delays on choice, local-level processes underlying suboptimal choice, and whether phylogenetic and ontogenetic explanations of behavior can be united to explain choice.
Keyword(s): local choice, multi-scale selection, preference pulse, suboptimal choice
 

Evolution as a General Theoretical Framework for an Explanation of Behavior

CARSTA SIMON (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

Since biologists no longer limit themselves to studying the evolution of physical bodies but have developed theories of complex human behavior such as altruistic and cooperative actions (cf. group selection theory,) their area of study overlaps considerably with that of behavioral scientists. Behavior analysists study how environmental events during an organism's ontogeny correlate with changes in that organism's allocation of time to different activities. Those events cause changes in behavior because of their effect on the individual's relative fitness. Despite the overlap in topic areas, both biologists and behavioral scientists are largely uninformed about each other's work. How do biology and behavior analysis relate to each other? How can biology benefit from behavior analysis by paralleling the behaviorist's approach to developing explanations of behavior omitting human agency as a causal factor? How can behavior analysis benefit from Baum's (1994) introduction of the Multi-Scale View, which paves the road between the two disciplines by arguing for a selection of nested activities through their correlation with phylogenetically important events? By breaking ground for uniting phylogenetic and ontogenetic explanations of behavior, the answers to those questions not only benefit basic knowledge but can also inform effective public policy making.

 
The Effects of Changeover Delays on Choice
STEPHANIE GOMES-NG (University of Auckland)
Abstract: In concurrent schedules with a changeover delay (COD), the cause of preference pulses (transient, extreme preference towards the just-reinforced alternative) is unknown. When a COD is arranged, reinforcers can only be obtained from the just-reinforced alternative in the seconds after a reinforcer; a switch to the not-just-reinforced alternative instigates the COD. This change in the local reinforcer differential may produce preference pulses. Alternatively, preference pulses may arise because the COD increases mean visit length, hence decreasing the probability of a switch after a reinforcer. We investigated which of these explanations best accounts for the COD’s effects on choice. Pigeons participated in four conditions, in which the COD either did not operate, only operated after switches not preceded by a reinforcer, only operated after the first switch since a reinforcer, or operated after all switches. Preference pulses were obtained in conditions with the longest visits; changes in the local reinforcer ratio were not always accompanied by changes in local choice. Thus, preference pulses may be attributed to the COD’s effects on mean visit length. However, subjects appeared unable to discriminate the local reinforcer ratio. The present results therefore highlight the importance of contingency discriminability in control by time-based contingency changes.
 
Local Choice Processes Underlying Melioration: Extending the Findings of Vaughan (1981)
VIKKI J. BLAND (The University of Auckland)
Abstract: Studies show that even when negative or harmful outcomes of choice patterns are signaled, humans and animals may continue to distribute choice sub-optimally. Sub-optimal choice may be defined as choice that results in less response-contingent reinforcement across time, relative to the overall availability of reinforcement. Sub-optimal choice may be the outcome of both global and local choice processes. One theory that attempts to explain sub-optimal choice is melioration theory (Herrnstein & Vaughan, 1980; Vaughan, 1981). Melioration theory suggests that organisms allocate their time between competing options in an attempt to equilibrate local rates of reinforcement to obtain a higher per unit return, rather than the greatest overall return. Whilst several studies have investigated and challenged melioration theory, there has been no direct replication of Vaughan’s seminal 1981 study. The present study used pigeons to replicate that study. Global and local choice analyses of results suggest that pigeons use different choice strategies to maximize overall rates of reinforcement, resulting in matching. However, when maximization and matching contingencies are placed in opposition to melioration contingencies, pigeons meliorate. These findings provide a platform for investigating operant procedures that may subvert the process of melioration, and potentially reduce the negative impact of sub-optimal choice.
 
Local Effects of Reinforcement in Corrected Preference Pulses
ANTHONY P. MCLEAN (Canterbury University), Randolph C. Grace (University of Canterbury), Rebecca Bodeker (University of Canterbury)
Abstract: Preference pulses are intended to reveal what reinforcers do, locally, to responding in a choice situation. The characteristic shape of the preference pulse is determined largely by local probability of switching away from the currently-engaged choice alternative. Because this probability is generally low, preference pulses appear even in responding that occurs after an unreinforced response. Because switching probability may be further reduced immediately after reinforcement, preference pulses may be enhanced when constructed from post-reinforcer responding, but only the enhancement can be attributed to recent reinforcement. Thus, the difference between post-reinforcement and post non-reinforcement preference pulses might give a more accurate assessment of local reinforcement effects. In the present experiment, four pigeons responded on concurrent schedules in which some of the arranged reinforcers were delivered, and some were withheld. Separate preference pulses were constructed from responding that followed delivered and withheld reinforcers. In all four subjects, the difference between these preference pulses was initially very small, then increased and later, decreased. Thus, the local effects of reinforcement on do not appear immediately, as suggested by uncorrected preference pulses. This pattern is consistent with a visit-lengthening effect of reinforcement described by Buckner, Green and Myerson, and more recently by Baum.
 
 
Symposium #187
Consumer Behavior Analysis: Applications and Implications for Our Field
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shannon Biagi (Florida Institute of Technology and ABA Technologi)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract:

There are many fields interested in the behavior of consumers (e.g., consumer psychology, consumer analysis, marketing, behavioral economics). Most of these are not behavior analytic, however behaviorists have ventured into these fields, expanding the Organizational Behavior Management literature in a discipline termed Consumer Behavior Analysis (Foxall, 2010). This symposium provides four demonstrations of applied behavior analysis applied to understanding the impact on consumer behavior. Rocha will be presenting on the transfer of care as it relates to patient care and patient safety at a hospital. Assemi and Rafacz will focus on behavior analytic methods to identify stimuli that may function as motivating operations and the utilization of these stimuli to increase healthy food selection at the point-of-purchase by consumers. Biagi and Rodriguez will present data and thoughts on the need for further behavior analytic approaches to examining the long-term impacts marketing and other strategies have in influencing consumer choice. Finally, Stratton et al., will be presenting a 5-year study aimed to determine whether increased availability and point-of-purchase promotion of healthy concession food options influenced consumer acceptance at county-owned waterparks.

Keyword(s): Consumer Behavior, Motivating Operations, OBM, Patient Care
 

Transfer of Care: Something to Talk About

LILIANE DEAGUIAR-ROCHA (NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County)
Abstract:

Communication is a central process that can enhance or hinder Patient Safety and affect Patient Experience. Shift Change meeting is a tool commonly used to report on patients conditions during transfer of care. The shift change meeting is designed using an easy and concise standardized framework highlighting important aspect of patients care that need to be discussed, commonly referred to as an SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation). This report investigated the effects of a checklist plus a verbal feedback procedure on the percentage of SBAR components discussed at a shift change meeting. This checklist included the following components: background, observation level, risk, strategy, and outcome. The study used an ABAB reversal design, which compared the percentage of all checklist components reported during baseline and intervention. Results showed that the percentage of components of SBAR discussed during the meeting increased when the intervention phase was implemented. Time spent on off-task behaviors and the length of the meeting substantially decreased during the intervention. In addition, follow up data indicated that rates of assaults and aggression, and the incident rate level on the unit steadily declined during three months following the intervention.

 
Assessing Verbal Motivating Operations and How They May Influence Healthy Food Selection by Consumers
KIAN ASSEMI (California State University, Fresno), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: It has been well-established within the behavior analytic literature that there are numerous variables that will affect consumer behavior at the point-of-purchase. The field of consumer behavior analysis has expanded greatly upon a number of these variables and how they interact to alter the probability of purchasing behavior (Foxall, 2010). One such variable, that of motivating operations, has become particularly relevant to the broader field of Organizational Behavior Management over the last several years as evidenced by the increasing number of publications on the topic in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (Lotfizadeh, Edwards, & Poling, 2014). However, research on the motivative effect of antecedent stimuli on consumer behavior has been lacking (Fagerstrøm, Foxall, & Arntzen, 2010). As such, the current presentation will focus on behavior analytic methods to identify stimuli that may function as motivating operations and the utilization of these stimuli to increase healthy food selection at the point-of-purchase by consumers.
 
Behavior Analytic Strategies in E-Marketing
SHANNON BIAGI (Florida Institute of Technology and ABA Technologies, Inc), Manuel Rodriguez (ABA Technologies, Inc.)
Abstract: There are many fields interested in the behavior of consumers (e.g., consumer psychology, consumer analysis, marketing, behavioral economics). Most of these are not behavior analytic, however behaviorists have ventured into these fields, expanding the Organizational Behavior Management literature in a discipline termed Consumer Behavior Analysis (Foxall, 2010). Technological advances have resulted in rapidly changing markets for goods of all kinds, the net result requiring organizations to systematically predict consumer choice, influence consumer behavior, and marketing or products/services. This presentation will focus on how an organization providing online education products has been utilizing behavior analytic methods towards evaluating the use of popular e-marketing techniques, including “newsletter” emails, social media and coupons to increase consumer behavior in the form of purchasing the products. Although a market such as online education is impacted by a vast array of variables (competition, learning histories, and motivation for e-learning) the presentation will present data and thoughts on the need for further behavior analytic approaches to examining the long-term impacts marketing and other consumer behavior strategies have in influencing consumer choice.
 

Point-of-Purchase Advertising and Consumer Patterns of Healthier Food Choices: Examination of a 5-Year Community-Based Collaboration

Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University), SARAH LINDEN NEWBOLD (Furman Univercity)
Abstract:

Antecedents can influence consumer decision-making during point-of-purchase (POP) transactions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether increased availability and POP promotion of healthy concession food options influenced consumer acceptance at county-owned waterparks. An applied, five-year study was conducted at two Greenville County, South Carolina, waterparks serving between 75,000 and 100,000 patrons each season (10 weeks). Several POP antecedent interventions were assessed, where healthy options were labeled on menu boards and promoted throughout the park via banners and A-frame displays during the treatment seasons. Weekly sales data for each healthy concession option (summed as healthy sales) and all concession options (total sales) were collected during the comparison season in 2011 and in each intervention season (2012-2015). Consumer selection of healthy food options was assessed by analyzing unit and net sales data. Findings indicate increased availability and POP promotion of healthy menu options may positively influence consumer acceptance. Sustained acceptance of healthy menu options for four years is promising, but additional promotional methods may be warranted to further increase consumer acceptance of healthy options. Implications for behavior analysis work in consumer behavior and marketing practices will be presented.

 
 
Symposium #188
CE Offered: BACB
Treatment Integrity in Behavioral Interventions
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Regency Ballroom D, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
CE Instructor: Mandy J. Rispoli, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The success of behavioral interventions relies in part on the accuracy with which the intervention is implemented. Coaching and performance feedback are two of the most commonly researched approaches of changing interventionist behavior in applied behavior analysis. However, the feasibility of these practices can be challenging in school and home settings. This symposium will present empirical data from four studies evaluating innovations in enhancing treatment integrity of behavior analytic interventions for young children. The first two single case research studies evaluate teacher self-monitoring on behavioral interventions fidelity in Head Start centers. The second two papers present results from parent-implement interventions to increase social-communication skills in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Peter Sturmey will offer a discussion regarding the potential impact of behavioral interventions to increase treatment fidelity among teachers and parents. He will also reflect on factors that may enhance the generalization and maintenance of teacher and parent implemented behavioral interventions

 

The Effects of Preschool Teacher Self-Monitoring on Classroom Transitions

MANDY J. RISPOLI (Purdue University), Lisa Rodriguez Sanchez (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ninci (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Self-monitoring is a low cost intervention that enables performance feedback while minimizing reliance on outside personnel. Self-monitoring involves observing ones own behavior and recording those observations. While self-monitoring has extensive research support in the literature as an intervention strategy for students with disabilities, relatively little research has been conducted evaluating self-monitoring for teachers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of preschool teacher self-monitoring within a practice-based coaching framework on teacher fidelity of class-wide transitions. Results of this multiple baseline design across teachers demonstrate that teacher fidelity of transition practices increased to 100% for all three Head Start teachers with the practice-based coaching plus self-monitoring intervention. The percentage of 10 s intervals in which all children were engaged in appropriate transition behaviors also increased with the teacher intervention. Each teacher identified a student in need of additional behavioral supports during transition. Challenging behavior for each of these three students decreased to low levels following teacher self-monitoring and practice-based coaching.

 

A Step Ahead: Multi-Tiered Professional Development Supports

KATE ASCETTA (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a preschool teacher intervention around the use self-monitoring and the use online learning modules. The study involved two intervention phases: (a) universal supports - use of an in-service training around daily self-monitoring and instructional supports focused on language modeling strategies, and (b) secondary supports - online learning modules that provided exemplars of the operationally defined instructional supports. The first phase involved 7 Head Start lead teachers who all received the universal supports. The teachers (4 in total) who required additional professional development supports received the second phase; which provided them with access to the online learning modules. Treatment effects were evaluated using individual single-case research design (two concurrent multiple baseline designs across classrooms). The teachers daily self-reported their frequency of use of specific language modeling strategies. The results suggested that the exposure to self-monitoring was effect in increasing all teachers use of language modeling strategies. However, the use of the online learning modules, specifically the video exemplars, increased the consistent use of strategies by the teachers.

 
A Parent Implemented Play Based Early Social Skills Intervention
Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon), SARAH HANSEN (University of Oregon), Tracy Raulston (University of Oregon), Rebecca frantz (Universityof Oregon)
Abstract: Joint attention is a pivotal social communication skill often missed in young children with ASD. Joint attention is the shared and alternating attention of two individuals on an object or event, and has implications for later communication and social communication skills. This study used a concurrent multiple-baseline design across four parent-child dyads to train parents to teach response to joint attention behaviors to their 3-6 year old children with moderate to severe ASD. Parents were trained on strategies including elements of DTT and naturalistic instruction and implemented the intervention in brief 10 minute sessions 2-3 times per week. Results indicate parent mastery of intervention and substantial increase in child response to joint attention behaviors both prompted and unprompted. Implications for practice and areas for future research are discussed.
 

Responsive Interaction Parent Training

TERRY HANCOCK (Texas State University), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University), Caitlin Murphy (Texas State University), Mariana Cardenas (Texas State University), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

A manualized protocol designed to teach parents a series of intervention components designed to improve the language of children with autism spectrum disorders was developed and tested with 21 parent child dyads arranged in a series on multiple baseline designs. Parents were taught to (a) follow their childs lead in play; (b) match conversation turns; (c) mirror their childs play; (d) expand on childs utterances; (e) arrange the environment; and (e) prompt language at target level. Previous research aimed at teaching parents similar target skills required 24 to more than 30 sessions of instruction. The manualized protocol developed here resulted in parents reaching mastery in only 6 sessions. Child language was measured and improvements in language were found (e.g., increased mands, mean length of utterance and language diversity). This presentation will describe the development and content of the parent training protocol and present representative data from parents and their children.

 
 
Symposium #189
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Planning for the New BACB Compliance Code: Exploring How Ethical Behavior is Taught Across Different Behavior Analytic Training Programs
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: TPC/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shawn Patrick Quigley (University of New Mexico Medical Group)
Discussant: Matthew T. Brodhead (Purdue University)
CE Instructor: Shawn Patrick Quigley, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has recently announced a change in the ethical guidelines for credentialed behavior analysts. Specifically, a new enforceable compliance code (i.e., Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts) was developed and will take effect in January 2016. The new Code is intended to more clearly present ethical expectations and expand the range of professional conduct (BACB, 2014). Given the new Code and its intent for creation, it seems reasonable that the new Code would affect pre-service training of behavior analysts to ensure newly credentialed behavior analysts have the prerequisite skills to understand and follow the Code. The purpose of this symposium is to provide an overview of four different training programs and how each program is providing pre-service training specific to the new Code. Presenters are from varied training programs that provide training on campus, online, hybrid (online and on campus) and within community-based practicums.

Keyword(s): Compliance Code, Ethics, Supervision, Training
 
Developing Ethical Behavior Analysts in a New BCBA Program
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Much emphasis is placed on ethical behavior of practitioners and researchers within the field of behavior analysis. Programs across the globe face the challenge of training and supporting behavior analysts to make ethically sound decisions. The formation of a new Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) approved course sequence at Northern Illinois University will be discussed, including the development of a course devoted to ethical behavior against the backdrop of a state with a long history of well-publicized malfeasance. Our program primarily recruits school-based practitioners. As such, our approach focuses on applying ethical principles in school settings, where the multiple interests of students, families, teachers, administrators, and various service providers often come in conflict, and interventions with little or no research base are used regularly with students with disabilities. An overview of the course will be described, as well as student feedback from the course.
 
Ethics and Applied Behavior Analysis in Online Education
SUSAN WILCZYNSKI (Ball State University), Laura Bassette (Ball State University)
Abstract: Correct application of our ethical standards to every day practice requires a thorough and fluent knowledge of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and consistent vigilance. In addition, skilled practitioners are able to “unpack” complex cases and separate personal views from ethical concerns. Fine discrimination between similar yet meaningfully different environmental conditions and behaviors is never more important than in ethical practice. In order to achieve our goal of highly ethical practice, professors must teach using methods that help students develop their knowledge, vigilance, and capacity to make fine discriminations when confronted with complex cases. Given the sensitive nature of many ethical concerns, professors need to create a classroom climate that encourages intense engagement in the learning process and participation in robust discussion. Online professors must take particular care to use innovative methods to create this climate. This presentation discusses how online professors can teach ethics courses in a manner that achieves these goals.
 

Ethical Behavior in Behavior Analysis: Ensuring Code Compliance for Individuals and Organizations

Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), LORRAINE OTTE (Endicott College)
Abstract:

The BACB's New Ethical and Professional Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts is the standard for the professional behavior of behavior analysts. It is also our compass- the main source for information about navigating ethical challenges and inculcating the values of the profession into students and trainees. Information on how this can be approached from a teaching/training perspective will be shared. In particular, strategies for teaching ethical decision-making will be described. Specific strategies for helping young professionals to adhere to the code and to reduce their risk of noncompliance will be discussed. The need for signal detection skills and resource management skills will be highlighted. In addition, considerations for the promotion of ethical behavior will be discussed at both the individual and organization levels.

 
What Would You Do? Making Real Life Ethical Dilemmas Learning Opportunities for Practicum Students
JESSICA E. FRIEDER (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Students completing practicum and community based training are faced with a myriad of ethical dilemmas that may vary based on client population, setting, and behavior analytic services being trained and delivered. Preparing students for the wide array of ethical quandaries they may encounter in supervised experiences and beyond can seem like an enormous task in and of itself especially when balancing this with the many other direct service skills students need to be able to proficiently demonstrate. This talk will focus on strategies for embedding exercises that engage ethical problem solving into practicum and community based training practices. A variety of examples and resources will be highlighted including mechanisms for coordination of activities and teaching opportunities with community sites.
 
 
Symposium #190
CE Offered: BACB
Interventions Using Technology for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Leslie Singer (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Maria G. Valdovinos (Drake University)
CE Instructor: Leslie Singer, M.A.
Abstract:

This symposium will present some of the latest research that utilizes technology in the form of videos and iPads with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first study evaluated the speed of acquisition and level of generalization of tacts across three different stimulus modes: picture-flashcard, video clip, and 3D object. Results indicated that two of the three participants learned tacts slightly faster when using the video clip mode compared to the other two modes. The second study evaluated if participants engaged in higher rates of problem behavior when using traditional materials or an iPad to complete school work. Results indicated that one participant only engaged in problem behavior when using traditional materials and all three participants chose to do work on the iPad when provided a choice between the two materials. Implications from the results for both studies will be discussed in detail.

Keyword(s): iPad, stimulus modes, tacts, video clips
 

Acquisition and Generalization of Tacts Across Stimulus Modes in Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

LUZ CORREA (Positive Behavior Supports Corp; University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Labeling everyday objects and actions is a foundational skill for the development of language (Sundberg & Partington, 1998) which is vital for reading comprehension and proficiency in vocal communication (Wood, 2001). Tacting is a complex task that encompasses objects or events with arbitrary and particular names (Greer, Yuan, & Gautreux, 2005). This study evaluated the speed of acquisition and level of generalization of tacts across three different stimulus modes: picture-flashcard, video clip, and 3D object. Three young children diagnosed with autism participated in this study. The acquisition of tacts was evaluated during Discrete Trial Training sessions (DTT). Two of the three participants learned the tacts more rapidly in the video clip condition in contrast with the picture condition. All three participants generalized the three tacts learned through a specific stimulus mode to the remaining stimulus modes. One week after the generalization test, all participants generalized to all novel 3D objects. The use of video clips to teach tacts to children with autism may be a useful method for teachers or instructors who do not have easy access to a variety of settings, as well as for the development of verbal behavior teaching programs.

 

The Evaluation of Tablets to Increase Compliance and Decrease Problem Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

LESLIE SINGER (University of South Florida), Chau Vo (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Tablets are being incorporated into interventions with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. So far research has focused mainly on academics and communication, but only one study has evaluated using tablets to decrease escape maintained behaviors. The purpose of this study was to replicate the effects of the study by Neely et al. (2013) and also determine if the tablet served as a reinforcer for three participants with escape maintained behaviors. A multiple baseline with an alternating treatment design was utilized in the first phase in which academic work was completed on either traditional materials or the tablet. The following phases for each participant were dependent on the prior phase, with a final choice phase. All participants showed lower levels of problem behaviors and higher levels of compliance when tablets were introduced contingent upon completing work. For all participants, the tablet was chosen 100% of the time, and two participants had 100% accuracy and compliance while using the tablet.

 
 
Symposium #198
CE Offered: BACB
Improving Clinical Practice Through Translational Research on Conditioned Reinforcers and Delayed Punishment
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher J. Perrin (Georgian Court University)
CE Instructor: Christopher J. Perrin, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The link between basic and applied branches of behavior analysis has often flowed from the laboratory to the clinical setting. This flow has led to technologies that have promoted meaningful outcomes for clients in a variety of settings. At times however, questions arise in the applied realm that are best examined in a more controlled environment. This symposium presents three talks illustrating the intersection between basic preparations and clinical practice via what is commonly coined translational research. All three talks use preparations inspired from basic research involving human participants to inform the design of interventions commonly implemented in applied settings. Two talks discuss different aspects of interventions involving conditioned reinforcers. The first talk presents data from a study which examined establishing and maintaining the effects of conditioned reinforcers. The second talk presents data examining the generalized effects of conditioned reinforcers. The third talk presents data from an investigation of delayed punishment. Specifically, the effects of a verbal rule on the efficacy of delayed punishment were evaluated

Keyword(s): conditioned reinforcement, delayed punishment, generalized reinforcement, translational research
 

Procedures in Establishing, Testing, and Maintaining Conditioned Reinforcers for Individuals With Disabilities

YANNICK SCHENK (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

A common characteristic of individuals with developmental disabilities is a restricted range of interest. Developing procedures to establish new reinforcers could promote the acquisition of new skills and reduce decreases in motivation related to repeated presentation of the same reinforcer or natural shifts in interest. Two procedures have been reported in the research literature on establishing neutral stimuli as conditioned reinforcerspairing and the SD procedures. Few applied studies have directly evaluated the use of these procedures. Also, additional research is necessary to determine their effectiveness and whether effects can be maintained. The purpose of this study was to (a) to compare the pairing and the SD procedures in the development of conditioned reinforcers, (b) to test the effectiveness of the reinforcers using progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement, and (c) to evaluate the robustness of reinforcing effects.

 
A Comparison of the Durability of Specific and Generalized Reinforcers
CHRISTOPHER J. PERRIN (Georgian Court University), Cynthia Policastro-Smith (Toms River Regional Schools)
Abstract: Although commonly used in clinical practice, the properties of token economies in general and tokens in particular have received insufficient attention in the literature. One area with limited attention is that of the generalized functions of reinforcers. Specifically, the extent to which generalized reinforcers are more durable than specific reinforcers remains unclear. Progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement are well suited for this analysis as they measure the durability of reinforcers under increasing response effort. That is, a more durable reinforcer will have a higher break point than a less durable reinforcer. The purpose of this study was to use PR schedules to compare the break points for specific and generalized reinforcers. Children with autism completed computer based academic tasks with increasing response requirements to earn a) specific reinforcers, b) tokens paired with a specific reinforcer, or c) tokens paired with multiple terminal reinforcers. Results and implications for future research and program design will be discussed.
 

Altering Contingent and Contiguous Responding by Incorporating Rules With Delayed Punishers

JAMES NICHOLSON MEINDL (The University of Memphis), Neal Miller (University of Memphis), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis)
Abstract:

Delayed punishers are typically less effective than immediate punishers at suppressing behavior. Another disadvantage is that delayed punishers may inadvertently decrease the responses they immediately follow but are not contingent upon. Occasionally, however, delayed punishers may be necessary, so developing effective strategies to maximize the effects of a delayed punisher is crucial. One strategy for increasing the suppressive effect of a delayed punisher is to provide a verbal rule describing the contingency related to the punisher. It is unclear, however, whether this strategy minimizes the effect of the delayed punisher on contiguous (but not contingent) responses, which would be particularly important from a clinical perspective. In this study, five college-age students engaged with a computer program consisting of four conditions: immediate punishment, delayed punishment, delayed rule without punishment, and delayed rule with punishment. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the addition of a verbal rule altered the effect of a delayed punisher on both contingent and contiguous responses. Results indicate that adding a verbal rule not only increased the suppressive effect of a delayed punisher on contingent responses, but also decreased the likelihood that the delayed punisher would suppress the response it immediately followed.

 
 
Symposium #199
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Applications in Educational Settings for Students of All Ages
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michele R. Traub (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Michele R. Traub, M.S.
Abstract: A strong literature base exists for behavioral interventions in elementary and special-education classrooms, but fewer studies have examined the role of behavior analysis in teaching skills and managing behavior in general education settings, with older students, or with preschool-aged children. This symposium will detail recent applications of behavioral programs with these less common populations. The first paper addresses a common prerequisite behavior needed for children to succeed in school: appropriate sitting. This paper details a treatment package used to teach preschool-aged children to sit appropriately for short periods of academic task presentation. The second paper focuses on the use of group contingencies in middle-school classrooms to increase duration of on-task behavior and rate of worksheet completion. Finally, the third paper will address interventions used in college classrooms to increase student attendance and engagement in class. Overall, this symposium aims to educate the listener on applications of behavioral principles, at both individual and group levels, within educational contexts in which behavior analysis is not currently a common approach to classroom management.
Keyword(s): Classroom Engagement, General Education, University Teaching
 
Teaching Pre-Academic Skills: Evaluating a Treatment Package to Teach Preschoolers to Sit Appropriately
Catherine B Simms (Florida Children's Institute), MICHELE R. TRAUB (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Kara L. Wunderlich (University of Georgia)
Abstract: For individuals who are early in their learning career (e.g., preschool, kindergarten) one of the first skills they need to learn is to sit at a table and tolerate a therapist or teacher presenting learning tasks. However, little research has focused on how to teach these prerequisite skills efficiently and effectively to young learners with developmental disabilities and learning delays. The current study first evaluated a multi-component treatment package (consisting of three-step prompting, continuous access to toys, and contingent edible delivery) to teach children to sit appropriately in a chair when instructed and to remain seated without engaging in problem behavior. The treatment package was effective for two subjects but problem behavior emerged when we faded toy access. We then applied each component of the intervention in an additive manner to determine which components were necessary for efficient learning of the skill, and we incorporated demand fading to ensure that appropriate sitting would be maintained during an instructional session. Results for two subjects to date showed that this treatment was effective at teaching sitting for up to five minutes.
 
An Investigation of the Effects of Group Contingencies on Worksheet Completion
MEGHAN DESHAIS (University of Florida), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: We conducted two experiments investigating the effects of group contingency arrangements on worksheet completion in two classrooms. In the first study, we compared two different types of group contingencies, an independent group contingency and a randomized dependent group contingency, during a literacy period in a first-grade classroom. In the second experiment we evaluated the effects of a randomized group contingency with individualized criteria in a middle-school classroom for pre-delinquent students. Our results with respect to the effectiveness of the group contingencies at increasing students’ worksheet completion were mixed. Results from the first study indicate that both group contingency arrangements effectively increased students’ worksheet completion relative to baseline. For the target (low-performing) students in the first-grade classroom, the two arrangements were either equally effective or the independent group contingency was superior. Results from the second study suggest that the randomized dependent group contingency with individualized criteria did not produce clear effects on levels of student worksheet completion. Potential explanations for these results and implications for future research will be discussed.
 
Modifying Contingencies in College Courses to Improve Student Attendance and Engagement
CLAIRE C. ST. PETER (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University), Jessica Cheatham (West Virginia University), Jenny Ozga (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Although attendance and participation at collegiate class meetings is a strong predictor of course success, less is known about how instructors can structure courses to improve attendance and engagement. One established intervention is to provide points for desirable student behavior. We recently conducted two studies evaluating the influence of points and games on student attendance and engagement, respectively. In the first study, we assessed the relation between the percentage of points available on class days and student attendance across three psychology courses at a large, public university. Students were more likely to attend when the most course points were available (4% to 8%) than when fewer (1% to 3%) or no course points were available. In the second study, we implemented a classwide game modeled after the Good Behavior Game to increase student participation. Students were more likely to raise their hands when playing the game for extra credit than when playing for no points or when no game was played. Additionally, a large majority of students (85%) preferred playing the game for points over playing with no points or not playing. Our results suggest that college instructors can influence attendance and participation through relatively easy and cost effective manipulations of course contingencies.
 
 
Symposium #202
CE Offered: BACB
Examples of Computer-Based Training to Teach a Variety of Behavior Analytic Skills
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
St. Gallen, Swissotel
Area: OBM/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
CE Instructor: Rocio Rosales, Ph.D.
Abstract:

All agencies that that serve populations with special needs must train direct care staff on an ongoing basis. Training that is provided directly by a behavioral consultant may often be limited due to time constraints. For this reason, it is worthwhile to explore the effectiveness of computer-based training programs. Computer-based training may enhance the generality of target skills since it is possible to include multiple exemplars in a single video or module; it also provides a standardized method of training multiple staff, which can help increase procedural integrity; and the training results in a permanent product that can be revisited as necessary to train new staff or as ‘booster’ training for seasoned staff. This symposium will highlight research from three labs that have incorporated a form of computer-based training to teach the following skills: 1) identification of safe eating practices for individuals with disabilities; 2) implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); and 3) visual analysis of single-case AB design graphs. Presenters will discuss limitations of the work conducted to date and propose areas for future research.

Keyword(s): computer-based training, staff training, video modeling
 

The Impact of Online Scenario-Based Training on Direct Support Professionals' Implementation of Safe Eating and Drinking Practices With Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

EMALEY BLADH MCCULLOCH (Relias Learning), Amin Lotfizadeh (Easter Seals Southern California), Gia Biscontini (Easter Seals Southern California)
Abstract:

An estimated eight percent of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a diagnosed difficulty swallowing food or liquids (dysphagia) (Chadwick 2009). These problems raise the risk of choking and can lead to serious health problems if correct protocols around eating and drinking are not followed. It is imperative to put in place interventions that prevent choking and aspiration incidents by training Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) about meal modifications and identifying dangerous situations at mealtime. In this study we used a pretest-posttest experimental design to investigate whether a scenario-based online training combined with a fifteen-minute client protocol review statistically increased DSPs knowledge of meal modifications and their ability to identify dangerous situations in scenarios and pictures. The control group received a protocol review only. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control group. After the intervention, a generalization session will be conducted to determine whether the DSPs can generalize the knowledge to their clients meal protocols. Our hypothesis is that online training combined with a client protocol review will statistically improve staffs ability to 1) follow eating and drinking protocols within presented scenarios 2) identify dangerous situations during presented scenarios 3) generalize these skills to the clients they serve and maintain over time compared to DSPs that receive a protocol review only.

 
Video Modeling to Teach Implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System
NICOLE MARTOCCHIO (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: Video modeling is a training method with empirical support for teaching trainees to implement a variety of behavior analytic procedures, however currently there is no published research examining the use of video modeling to teach implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The purpose of the present study was to use video modeling to teach implementation of Phases 1-4 of PECS to university students who expressed interest in working with populations for which PECS would be appropriate. Three undergraduate students viewed video modules comprised of visual examples, voiceover explanation, and text describing each step in the protocol for each phase, then implemented each phase with a confederate learner. A multiple probe across participants design was used. Results showed that all participants achieved mastery-level performance in each phase following video modeling, however one participant required feedback from the experimenter to attain mastery in Phase 1. Follow-up probes conducted 2-3 weeks following completion of training indicate that performance may not remain at mastery-level over time following video modeling alone, further suggesting a feedback component might be necessary. Future work should conduct generalization probes with actual learners with disabilities, and explore the use of computer-based training programs that incorporate a feedback component.
 
Evaluation of Computer-Based Training to Teach Individuals Visual Analysis Skills of Baseline-Treatment Graphs
ALEXANDRA ANISKO (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Candee Lake (Wedgwood’s Autism Center for Child Development)
Abstract: The primary method of data analysis in applied behavior analysis is visual analysis. However, few investigations to date have taught the skills necessary for accurate visual analysis. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate computer-based training on the visual analysis skills of individuals with no prior experience. Visual analysis was taught with interactive computer-based training that included written instructions and opportunities for practice with feedback. Generalization of participant skills to graph paper and actual data graphs was programmed for and assessed during the study. A multiple-baseline design was used across visual analysis properties (i.e., variability, level, and trend), with continuous overall intervention effect generalization probes, replicated across 4 participants to evaluate computer-based training for accurate visual analysis of A-B graphs. The results showed that all individuals accurately visually analyzed A-B graphs following the computer-based training for variability, level, trend, and overall intervention effect. These visual analysis skills generalized to graph paper and actual data graphs and maintained approximately 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1 month following mastery of each property for two participants. Implications of the results suggest that computer-based training improved accurate visual analysis skills for individuals with no prior experience.
 
 
Panel #203
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Behavior Analysts as Designers: Success Stories of International, Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Expand Our Services and Research
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Robyn M. Catagnus, Ed.D.
Chair: Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
JANE YIP (Purdue University)
MARI URAMOTO (Children Center Inc.)
SAKURAKO SHERRY TANAKA (Mutlicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
Abstract:

Training programs for pre-service behavior analysts, and common arrangements of clinical practices, too often result in ABA being siloed from other disciplines. If we are to succeed with our mission of facilitating change globally, in all meaningful domains of our lives and environments, we must successfully integrate services and research with those in different fields. Behavior analysts might also have an ethical obligation to shed light on how we might design and re-design our "contextual fit" to meet our cultural standards. Presenters from multiple disciplines: academia, linguistics, special education, and neurology, will explore how they introduce ABA into new cultures, teach pre-service professionals to program for research and collaboration with non-behavioral providers, expand their own interdisciplinary relations, and are changed personally and professionally by the experience. Panelists will also discuss their research and efforts to integrate ABA with art therapy, ceremonial and cultural participation, and religious studies while giving consideration to scientific as well as ethical dimensions that define the field of behavior analysis. We invite professionals working in medicine, psychology, business, ecology, anthropology, religious and cultural studies, sociology, and more to share their challenges and strategies. How are you creating interdisciplinary connections, opportunities, and collaboration that strengthen relationships and result in behavior analysis being integrated in larger initiatives and with other fields?

Keyword(s): cultural standards, interdisciplinary, international, service delivery
 
 
Symposium #206
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
The Ethics of and Alternatives to Traditional Escape Extinction in Education and Home Settings
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robert Schramm (Knospe-ABA)
Discussant: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Megan Miller, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analysts recognize the importance of incorporating motivation and reinforcement within service delivery. Additionally, behavior analytic treatment programs incorporate effective function based procedures to increase compliance with demands and decrease escape maintained challenging behavior. These procedures often include forced physical prompting and paced prompts that may increase the occurrence of challenging behavior or reduce acceptance of the procedures by caregivers and staff. This symposium explores potential ethical alternatives to traditional escape extinction using 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control, wait-outs, and conditioning work as a reinforcer that address the problems behavior analysts face with traditional escape extinction procedures in discrete trial programming.

Keyword(s): Escape Extinction, Ethical Practice, Instructional Control
 

Ethical Considerations and Exploration of Alternatives to Forced Prompting

MEGAN MILLER (FSU CARD/Navigation Behavioral Consulting)
Abstract:

Behavior analytic intervention programs frequently include the use of forced prompting to earn compliance with demands and reduce escape maintained challenging behavior. This approach is effective but can result in an increase in challenging behavior if the challenging behavior is also maintained by attention or can be difficult to implement with clients who are larger in size. Additionally, caregivers and staff may not accept the use of forced prompting and may not implement the procedure during the naturally occurring routine, which also reduces the effectiveness of the procedure. The purpose of this presentation is to explore ethical considerations regarding the use of forced prompting by drawing from the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct and Van Houten et al. (1988). Additionally, the presentation will explore how the 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control addresses these ethical considerations and whether research in the basic or applied areas supports alternatives to forced prompting such as the 7 Steps as viable options for reducing escape maintained challenging behavior.

 
Developing Learner Cooperation through the 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control
ROBERT SCHRAMM (Knospe-ABA)
Abstract: The ABA/VB Autism Intervention Institute Knospe-ABA GmbH (based in Germany), which serves over 350 children throughout Europe, prioritizes the research and procedural recommendations of Verbal Behavior. Robert Schramm, Knospe-ABA's lead supervising Behavior Analyst has developed an approach to earning instructional control that encapsulates ABA/VB and brings motivated learning to its fullest potential. Over 95% of the providers using these techniques have been able to demonstrate greatly improved instructional control with their learners. The 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control are based on sound behavioral principles and practice. This approach to instructional control does not rely on basic escape extinction techniques such as escape blocking, forced physical prompting or repeating SD's. In addition to offering a more simple way to develop instructional control with most learners, it also is easy to teach to adults and therefore valuable in reproduction with less trained caregivers and therapists. Preliminary data will be presented to demonstrate that instructional control can be earned with the 7 Steps. Additionally, an integrity checklist for training on the 7 steps, which has demonstrated the benefits of training providers on this technique in order to decrease non-compliance of learners with autism, will be presented.
 

The Use of Wait Outs and Task as a Reinforcer as an Ethical Alternative to Traditional Escape Extinction

STEVEN J. WARD (Whole Child Consulting LLC)
Abstract:

Escape-avoidance behavior is a common impediment to skill acquisition and a frequent maintaining variable for a variety of behavioral excesses. While a great number of antecedent interventions (e.g., demand fading, student choice, errorless teaching) can decrease problem behavior levels, escape- avoidance behaviors do not immediately drop to zero levels, and reactive measures invariably account for some part of the behavior intervention plan. Among potential reactive treatments, escape extinction has the greatest empirical support and is typically recommended. This presentation will demonstrate the efficacy of an alternative to escape extinction in 3 studies across 5 participants. In this procedure, task resistance is followed by a temporary withdrawal of that task and a substantial limit upon student options until the task has been completed. Though counter-intuitive (because escape-maintained behavior produces temporary escape), this procedure, colloquially known as a wait out, tends to not only decrease escape-maintained behavior, but also to improve a number of qualities of student participation. Participants will learn the rationales behind the use of wait and will see examples of how to implement the procedure.

 
7 Steps of Instructional Control to Decrease Maladaptive Behaviors and Increase Skill Acquisition: A Case Study
HEATHER GILMORE (Autism Centers of Michigan), Leasa Androl (Autism Centers of Michigan)
Abstract: A case study was conducted to address maladaptive behaviors, including severe self-injurious behaviors (head banging, chin hitting, and scratching) and whining/crying behaviors, as well as limited skill acquisition in a four year old child with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The intervention was conducted in a center-based setting. A functional analysis was conducted which identified both escape from demands and access to tangibles as the function of maladaptive behaviors. This study involved evaluating the effectiveness of the "7 Steps of Instructional Control" developed by Robert Schramm, MA, BCBA. The "7 Steps" were used as a replacement for the previous maladaptive behavior reduction plan. The previous plan (baseline) included escape extinction procedures. Reliability was strengthened by providing Behavior Technicians with extensive training and continuous monitoring of procedural fidelity by the BCBA using a treatment integrity checklist developed by Megan Miller, PhD, BCBA, LBA. The results indicated that maladaptive behaviors decreased and skill acquisition increased for this child.
 
 
Symposium #207
Behavioral Evolution and Selection by Consequences
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Alpine, Swissotel
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jose E. Burgos (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Jose E. Burgos (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: Darwin’s theory of evolution may be summed up in the phrase “selection by consequences.” Seen as a general process, selection by consequences applies to genetic evolution, cultural evolution, and behavioral evolution. Genetic evolution concerns change in populations of organisms across generations. Cultural evolution concerns change in behavioral patterns within groups across generations or lesser time periods. Behavioral evolution concerns change in the behavior of an individual organism within its lifetime. This symposium will illustrate a variety of approaches to understanding behavioral evolution as selection by consequences: by analysis, by modeling, and by applying known theory and data. Catania will focus on verbal behavior as a cultural phenomenon. McDowell will discuss how behavioral evolution may be implemented in artificial life forms. Smith will discuss the conceptual benefits of selection by consequences to scientific thinking about behavior. Baum will talk about the analytical power of an equation derived by George Price when applied to behavioral dynamics. These various approaches to behavioral evolution may bring behavior analysis closer to biology and restate or replace the law of effect.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Evolution, Selection, Variation
 
Improving on the Meme: Cultural Selection and the Shaping of Verbal Behavior
A. CHARLES CATANIA (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Skinner has discussed three varieties of selection: in phylogeny, as in Darwin’s natural selection; in ontogeny, as in the shaping of operant behavior; and in culture, as behavior is passed on from some individuals to others in what he called cultural selection. Dawkins introduced the meme as a unit passed on from some individuals to others, but it was not well-defined; also, the transmission of memes received more attention than their evolution. If we regard memes as units of behavior, however, they become examples of Skinner’s cultural selection, and for Skinner the most crucial example of cultural selection was verbal behavior. Phonemes provide good examples of such culturally selected or memetic units: infant vocalizations are shaped by automatic reinforcing consequences, as they come more and more closely to resemble those heard in the verbal environments created by their caregivers (cf. Skinner, Risley, Palmer). Echoic behavior, a product of this shaping, is defined by correspondences of phonetic rather than physical units. Such selectionist accounts of verbal behavior can be extended to other properties of verbal behavior, such as verbal governance, and they have implications for theories of language evolution.
 
Two Versions of Variation and Selection
TERRY SMITH (Edinboro University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract: If one focuses upon behavior that adapts to a changing environment in the interest of the organism, then a framework of variation and selection offers a promising approach to the analysis of behavior. Two contemporary behavioral scientists that exemplify this approach are John Staddon and Jack McDowell. In both cases, behavioral adaptation during the lifetime of the individual is analyzed as a process of evolutionary interaction between behavior and the environment. In quite different ways, these two scientists offer alternatives to mentalistic, cognitive theorizing. Staddon’s formalization addresses the impulse to posit beliefs and desires; McDowell’s the impulse to posit information processing structures. Together, they provide a broadly unified approach to doing without beliefs, desires, and information processing structures. Both formulations, however, are theories of a kind that B. F. Skinner suggested were unnecessary in his 1950 article, “Are Theories of Learning Necessary?” They nevertheless exemplify behaviorism and have demonstrated significant advantages over Skinner’s non-theoretical behaviorism.
 
Algorithmic Behavioral Evolution as Artificial Intelligence
JACK J. MCDOWELL (Emory University)
Abstract: Artificial Life is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that seeks to animate artificial agents using algorithms that mimic the functioning of biological organisms. An algorithmic evolutionary theory of adaptive behavior dynamics has been studied extensively over the past decade and has been shown to produce behavior in virtual (software) agents that is qualitatively and quantitatively indistinguishable from live organism behavior in a variety of environments. Because these agents reproduce the behavior of biological organisms, they are artificial life forms. It is also possible to create artificial life in mechanical agents. To illustrate, a specific mechanical agent, a robot spider, can be animated by the evolutionary theory and placed in a 2-dimensional grid world where prey items are made available at various locations and times. Surface navigation of the grid world requires the addition of stimulus control to the evolutionary theory. The robot spider’s foraging behavior is completely determined by the evolutionary theory, which means that it behaves autonomously in the grid world. The evolutionary algorithm causes the spider’s foraging behavior and prey capture to adapt to the spatial and temporal pattern of prey availability, and to readapt when the pattern of prey availability changes.
 
Behavioral Evolution and the Price Equation
WILLIAM M. BAUM (University of California, Davis)
Abstract: Price’s equation describes evolution across time in simple mathematical terms. Although it is not a theory, but a derived identity, it is useful as an analytical tool. It affords lucid descriptions of genetic evolution, cultural evolution, and behavioral evolution (often called “selection by consequences”) at different levels (e.g., individual versus group) and at different time scales (local and extended). The importance of the Price equation for behavior analysis lies in its ability to precisely restate behavioral selection by consequences, thereby restating, or even replacing, the law of effect. When applied to dynamics in operant performances, the equation affords a way to evaluate methods and measures and to compare among measures, because deviations from it indicate deficiencies either in assumptions or in measures. Price’s equation may also serve as a base for theory. For example, applying the equation to the dynamics within stable performance on a variable-interval schedule, with a few assumptions, results in a complete explanation for the moderate response rates that occur.
 
 
Symposium #208
CE Offered: BACB
Strategies to Promote Emergent Verbal Behavior in Typically Developing Adults
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Michigan ABC, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College)
CE Instructor: Sarah A. Lechago, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Scientific examination of strategies that produce emergent verbal behavior is significant with respect to the potential conceptual and applied contributions to the field of Behavior Analysis and even to fields outside of Behavior Analysis. These strategies can inform important decisions regarding educational practices and can contribute to narratives and research related to stimulus control. One study compared a stimulus equivalence online teaching protocol to a standard online teaching protocol to teach single-subject research design to graduate students. A second study evaluated a mand-based training protocol to a tact- and two intraverbal-based training protocols to teach foreign language words to typically developing adults. A third study investigated the role of tact and intraverbal training in developing intraverbal naming, and the mediating effects of intraverbal naming in the formation of generalized equivalence classes in undergraduate students. A final study conducted two experiments and investigated the effects of an auditory pairing procedure on the emergence of tacts, selection responses, and intraverbals to teach information about musical instruments to 24 typically developing adults.

 
Comparison of Mand Training and Other Strategies to Teach a Foreign Language
WAI-LING WU (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Sarah A. Lechago (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: A current recommendation for verbal behavior training with individuals with autism is to initiate training with the mand due to the multiple benefits it brings the speaker (Sundberg & Michael, 2001). Inspired by this recommendation, the current study endeavors to examine the effects of mand training in teaching a foreign language. A multiple baseline across participants design with an embedded adapted alternating treatments design is used to compare the effects of mand training, tact training, and bidirectional intraverbal training on acquisition of foreign language words. Previous foreign language studies have shown that untrained responses emerged after participants were taught foreign language words using tact training, bidirectional intraverbal training, and listener response training (Dounavi, 2014; Petursdottir & Haflidadottir, 2009). The current study also examines the emergence of untrained foreign language responses for each training condition. Data for one participant suggest that mand training is the most efficient training procedure with respect to the total number of training trials to the mastery criterion and resulting emergent responding. Data are being collected on additional participants.
 
A Comparison of a Stimulus Equivalence Protocol and Standard Study to Teach Single-Subject Design to Graduate Students
WILLIAM ROOT (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The Online Consortium for Higher Education (2012) reported that in 2012, 6.7 million students were enrolled in at least one online course. With this number growing each year, the need for empirically based, online instructional methods is critical. The effect of an online stimulus equivalence protocol was compared to that of a more standard online study protocol on the emergence of untaught relations involving single subject designs. Participants were instructed on relations between design name, design definition, design graphs, and clinical vignettes. Experimental groups deferred only in the instructional format: The stimulus-equivalence group was instructed using a protocol similar to Lovett, Rehfeldt, Garcia, and Dunning (2011), whereas the Standard Study group read a standard text book and article that covers single-subject methodology. Generalization was assessed by comparing scores on novel questions directly taken from the CBA learning modules, developed by Behavior Development Solutions, as a measure of possible performance on the BCBA exam. Data collected to date suggest that when compared to the standard online study protocol, the stimulus equivalence protocol produced greater changes in correct responding from pre to posttest scores, further suggesting the practical utility of a stimulus equivalence protocol as an instructional tool for online courses.
 

Emergence of Naming Relations and Intraverbals After Auditory Stimulus Pairing

JOSE JULIO CARNERERO ROLDAN (Centro Almudarïs, Spain), Luis Antonio Perez-Gonzalez (Universidad de Oviedo)
Abstract:

We analyzed the emergence of tacts, selections, and intraverbals after observing paired auditory stimuli. In Experiment 1, 12 typical developing adults were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions. In Part 1, four sounds of musical instruments were paired with their respective names spoken by the experimenter; in Part 2, the sounds were paired with their native country names. Participants in Condition 1 received Part 1 first; participants in Condition 2 received Part 2 first. After pairing, the emergence of tacts was probed. When the tacts emerged, the selections were probed. After Parts 1 and 2, the intraverbals were probed. In Experiment 2, 12 novel adults received a similar sequence, but after pairing the selections were probed and after reaching criterion the tacts were probed. The results indicate that probing the tacts or the selections after each pairing phase does not influence emergence in adults; pairing first the sound and the name and then the sound and the country seems to produce more instances of naming than pairing first the sound and the country and then pairing the sound and the name. The findings have direct implications on the teaching procedures to facilitate these types of emergence.

 

The Role of Intraverbal Naming on The Emergence of Generalized Equivalence Classes

ADRIENNE JENNINGS (California State University Sacramento), Charisse Ann Lantaya (California State University, Sacramento), Amanda Chastain (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the role of intraverbal naming on the emergence of generalized equivalence classes. Seventeen undergraduates were exposed to tact training with 3 stimulus sets (A1B1C1, A2B2C2, and A3B3C3) and baseline intraverbal training (A?B? and B?C?). Formation of equivalence classes was assessed using visual-visual matching-to-sample (MTS) tasks and intraverbal tests for symmetrical (BA, B?A?, CB, C?B?) and transitive relations (AC, A?C?, CA, C?A?). Generalization MTS posttests were then presented for 4 untrained sets of stimuli. Thirteen participants passed all MTS and intraverbal posttests. Two of the remaining 4 required either tact or intraverbal remedial training in order to achieve passing criterion. Performance improved for 5 participants during the vocal MTS posttest. These findings show the efficacy of tact and intraverbal training in the formation of generalized equivalence classes. Overall, results suggest verbal mediation strategies (i.e., intraverbal naming) may have facilitated MTS performance.

 
 
Symposium #209
Decreasing Canine Problem Behavior in the Animal Shelter Environment
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Zurich C, Swissotel
Area: AAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Steven W. Payne (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Erica Jowett Hirst (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Abstract: The functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior in humans has a long history in applied behavior analysis. However, there is limited research in extending these findings to problem behavior in non-human animals, especially in the animal shelter setting. The two studies in this symposium tackle this issue from different perspectives (operant vs. respondent), procedures (consequent vs. antecedent), and aims (individual behavior vs. shelter environment). Discussion to follow.
Keyword(s): canines, functional analysis, problem behavior, shelter animals
 
Functional Analysis and Intervention of Problem Behavior in Animal Shelter Dogs
TATUM WINSLOW (California State University, Fresno), Steven W. Payne (California State University, Fresno), Kacie A Robles (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) is an empirical method for determining the functions of problem behavior by manipulating antecedent and consequent events. By determining the functions of problem behavior, one can develop function-based treatments to effectively reduce problem behavior and increase appropriate alternative behavior. FAs have been shown to be very effective in identifying the functions of problem behavior in typically and atypically developing humans. However, little research has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of FA methodology in identifying the functions of problem behavior in non-human animal populations. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the effectiveness of a modified functional analysis in determining the maintaining function of inappropriate behaviors of animal shelter dogs. Function-based treatments were used to verify the results of the functional analysis. For all three subjects, a single or multiple functions were identified. The results of the FAs were verified through successful function-based treatments. Overall, results demonstrated that functional analyses were effective in identifying the maintaining variables of behaviors of shelter animals that were potentially unattractive to adopters and lead to effective treatment plans. They also showed that each dog scored higher on an adoptability rating scale after treatment was implemented.
 

An Evaluation of Respondent Conditioning Procedures to Decrease Barking in an Animal Shelter

STEVEN W. PAYNE (California State University, Fresno), Kian Assemi (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

Euthanasia of adoptable animals is a prevalent problem in animal shelters across the nation (The Humane Society of the United States: HSUS, 2014). Of the 6 to 8 million pets being relinquished, only half (i.e., 3 to 4 million) are adopted yearly (HSUS). In order to decrease the number of animals euthanized each year, it is important to determine what factors affect the likelihood of adoption. One such factor that decreases the likelihood of adoption is the noise in the shelter environment (Copolla et al., 2006). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a respondent conditioning procedure on the reduction of noise in the kennel area of a California-based animal shelter. We conditioned the sound of a door chime (CS) with the delivery of food (UCS) to elicit a salivary response (CR), which is partially incompatible with barking. Baseline measures indicated that the sound in the shelter was louder than the volume needed to cause hearing loss over prolonged exposure (85dB). Results of the respondent conditioning procedure showed that the noise level decreased below this threshold. Implications and future directions are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #210
CE Offered: BACB
The Evolution of Technology for Individuals With Disabilities: Uses of Advanced Portable Devices to Teach Students and Train Staff
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Helen Bloomer (Helen Bloomer & Associates)
CE Instructor: Jessica Zawacki, M.S.
Abstract:

A variety of traditional high and low technological applications (smart boards, communication devices, picture schedules, timers) have long shaped the way special educators approach the education of persons with disabilities. The use of smart phones, tablets, and the ubiquitous Internet to teach are now widely accepted practices, have become routine and can often be found integrated into core curriculum, all with the great expectation that the new technology will result in significant gains in knowledge and competence. Much like the typically developing population, individuals with disabilities are increasingly relying upon their I Phones to make them more independent in their daily functioning. Recent advances in both hardware and software have greatly expanded the affordability, portability and wearability of technological devices. As technology continues to develop, the potential for evolutionary applications to advance solutions of some of the most daunting challenges to identify functions of behavior, frame effective intervention and increase staff competencies is great. However, the empirical research database is deficient with studies demonstrating the effectiveness of this new technology. Although educators use technology with abandon, technology is not yet firmly identified as evidenced-based practice, particularly with the older learner. The papers in this symposium will provide data-based empirical investigations on two examples of the use of advanced technology to teach. The first paper will comprehensively review the existing research regarding the use of technology to teach and whether there is an empirical basis to support these practices. The second paper investigates the use of wireless audio and live streamed video to train staff to competently implement instructional protocols with learners with autism. The third paper focuses on evaluating the biophysical correlates associated with self-injurious behavior, attempting to demonstrate possible variables that might aid in the reduction of such problems through the use of a FitBit.

Keyword(s): adolescents, autism, staff training, technology
 

A Review of the Use of Technology in the Education of Learners With Disabilities

Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Cheryl J. Davis (7 Dimensions Consulting/Endicott College), KARI ANNE DUNLOP (HMEA), Danielle LaFrance (Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College)
Abstract:

Special educators have long used technology in the education of persons with disabilities. Smart boards, communication devices, picture schedules, and timers are examples of technological strategies to teach and maintain a variety of academic, communication, and social skills. As the technology has evolved, there is currently a new generation of personal technology devices that have great potential for supporting the education of these individuals. For example, smart phones, tablets, and the ubiquitous Internet can be used to support individuals with disabilities and make them more independent in their daily functioning. These devices are being used extensively in the education of special learners, with teachers purchasing IPads, loading them with education apps, and teaching the learners to use these devices, all with the great expectation that the new technology will result in significant gains in knowledge and competence. This paper reviews the breadth and depth of technological educational strategies. Technology was classified into its abilities, the skills needed to use, the skills it targets to teach, and the characteristics of the user. A review of the literature on the degree of evidence of effectiveness showed that technology is not the panacea and promise initially believed. There is little empirical investigation of its effectiveness, and the results are mixed. Conclusions will be drawn about the future use of technology, future research studies, and the extent to which skills can be supported by these new strategies.

 

Use of Remote Technology to Increase Fidelity in the Community-Based Instruction of Adolescents and Adults With Autism

JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Eric Schindeldecker (PAAL), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL))
Abstract:

Over the next 10-15 years, approximately 800,000 children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis will be entering adulthood. Services for adults are likely to be decentralized with training taking place in various community settings; such as vocational environments, restaurants, exercise facilities, offices, hospitals, and during recreational activities. In adult services, the physical distance of various community placements, coupled with additional administrative and clincial responsibilities, may influence supervisors to selectively choose which programs and interventions to supervise based on the above constraints rather than the needs of students and staff. Fortunately, there is an increasing research database showing that various technologies can be successful in training and supporting staff. The purpose of this studey was to use a live-streaming device to train staff to implement instructional protocols while teaching adults with ASD across various community settings. Specifically, board certified behavior analysts listened in and viewed via a live streaming device instruction of learners and were able to provide immediate feedback to the staff to improve the fidelity to the instructional protocols. Using a multiple baseline design across participants, the findings showed that supervisors could effectively supervise staff from a distance using the live streaming technology and offer staff support that in turn reduced staff errors and increased fidelity of programming.

 
The Relationship Between Biophysical Markers and Self-Injurious Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement.
DAVID DRAGONE (Melmark/PAAL), Kaitlin Ross (PAAL), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Thomas L. Zane (Endicott College/PAAL), Lauren Erion (PAAL)
Abstract: Self-injurious behavior (SIB) has been shown to occur for all of the four functions – attention, escape, tangible, and automatic. For those behaviors that are socially mediated in some way, there are generally accepted treatment strategies, such as escape extinction, functional communication training, and Differential Reinforcement for Other Behaviors (DRO). SIB that is automatically maintained is a unique dilemma. Since there are no obvious or detected environmental influences on this category of SIB, the cause(s) often remain murky and difficult to identify. One approach to explaining SIB involves examining biophysical variables that might elicit or evoke such behaviors. There are two competing theories related to physiological state of the person engaging in this behavior. Both hypotheses suggest that individuals engage in SIB to regulate their arousal state; either to activate (excite) the central and peripheral nervous systems, or lower/reduce the activity of these autonomic systems. Often the measurement of arousal states focuses on heart rate, salivary cortisol, and brain activity (via electroencephalogram). The purpose of the present study was to examine heart rate measures to facilitate the reduction of SIB in a teenage girl with autism. Wearing a wireless device that transmitted real-time heart rate data, baseline conditions involved measuring heart rate across her daily activities, particularly before and after episodes of hand biting. Intervention consisted of implementing antecedent interventions when heart rate was noticed to suddenly increase, and prior to the occurrence of the SIB. Results showed that there was a correlated pattern of heart rate changes along with different environmental conditions (e.g, leisure activities and SIB), and that when antecedent interventions were employed (cued by the heart rate), rates of SIB reduced. Results were discussed in terms of the use of physiological measures when examining problem behaviors of an automatic function.
 
 
Symposium #214
Current Research on Self Control
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Fernanda Castanho Calixto (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract:

Impulsive behavior is at the center of attention of educators and clinicians alike. Behavior analysts have a long tradition in the experimental study about the variables which yield impulsive behavior and the alternative and more socially acceptable and otherwise relevant behavior, known as self control. This symposium comprises three papers representing current research on self control and its controlling variables. One paper investigates the effects of equalization and non-equalization of inter trial intervals on self control performance of children. Another paper aims to study the effects of larger and smaller reinforcers chosen via a pre experimental assessment to investigate the effects of mediating responses on self control of small children. A third paper implemented a self-monitoring system as an intervention for inappropriate body movements along with a differential reinforcement of lower rates of responses component. All papers contribute to the understanding of the variables responsible for self control and bring important implications to the development of more effective educational procedures and to conceptual issues regarding the behavioral definition of self control.

Keyword(s): intertrial intervals, mediating responses, self-control, self-monitoring
 

The Effect of Equalization and Non-Equalization of Inter-Trial Intervals Over Self-Control Performance of Typical Children

FERNANDA CALIXTO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Júlia Varoto (LAHMIEI, Psychology Department, UFSCar), Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

Under the paradigm of concurrent choices, self-control is understood as the choice of delayed and larger consequences in detriment of choices of immediate and smaller consequences. Previous research indicates that the duration of inter-trial intervals affect the choice behavior of delayed consequences, among other variables. A common procedure to increase experimental control over what determines choice consists of equalizing trial duration. The present study aims to investigate, in a single subject design, the effect of equalization and non-equalization of inter-trial intervals over self-control in four pre-scholar children with normal development, aged between 3 and 4 years. The study is structured in five phases: Simple Discrimination Training (SDT), Reinforcement Amount Training (RAT), Delay Reinforcement Training (DRT) and Interval Between Trials Equated with reversal of equalization (NE-EI). Results show that participants chose larger reinforcements in 100% of trials during RAT Phase. During DRT Phase, choices on delayed consequences stabilized on 33% along three sessions and the participant obtained 10 reinforcers per session (4 minutes each session). During NEI Phase, choices on delayed consequences stabilized on 50% and the participant obtained 12 reinforcers per session (5 minutes each session). Results suggest that on NEI phase occurred maximization of number of reinforcers per session time. Keywords: self-control, inter-trial intervals, delayed consequences.

 
Teaching Self-Control to Preschoolers
ERIN MCGUIRE (Caldwell College), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Previous researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of teaching mediating responses to increase self-control with typically developing children (Mischel, Ebbesen, & Ziess, 1972). Past research did not include data from normative assessments to inform the selection of mediating responses nor were baseline performances well documented. The purpose of this study was to complete a pre-experimental assessment with 4.5 to 5 year old preschool children to gather data about mediating responses during choice situations. Information from this assessment was used to inform the mediating responses taught to 3 to 4 year old children. Effects of mediating response training were evaluated in a multiple baseline across participants design. Results show that when children were first presented with a larger delayed reinforcer versus a smaller immediate reinforcer, they chose the smaller immediate reinforcer. Following mediating response training, participants chose the larger delayed reinforcer. Keywords: self-control, descriptive assessment, typically developing children
 

The Effects of a Self-Monitoring System and DRL on Inappropriate Body Movements in a Young Male With Autism

KATHRYN LOONEY (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract:

We used a reversal design to evaluate the effects of a DRL plus self-monitoring system on decreasing inappropriate body movements (IBM) in a young male with autism. Baseline data indicated that inappropriate body movements ranged between 14 and 34 occurrences each day. A trial- based functional analysis revealed IBM were multiply maintained by automatic reinforcement, access to tangibles, and attention. Thus self-monitoring would allow the implementation of an intervention when the participant was alone, as well as during instruction. First, discrimination training was used to teach the participant to score when IBM occurred while watching video segments of himself and then in-vivo. Self-monitoring training in-vivo showed that the self-monitoring system acquired stimulus control over IBM, in that IBM were more likely to occur in the absence of the system than in its presence. Therefore, we implemented the self-monitoring system across the day as an intervention for IBM along with a DRL component. We demonstrated the effectiveness of the DRL+ self-monitoring system within a reversal design when reliable changes in IBM occurred when the intervention was applied and removed. With the implementation of the intervention, IBM decreased to under five occurrences.

 
 
Symposium #215
CE Offered: BACB
Improving the Precision of OBM Intervention: Recent Advancements in Functional Assessment, Stimulus Preference, and Incentive Schedules
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jason M. Hirst (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jason M. Hirst, Ph.D.
Abstract: Increasing the precision of an intervention effort means being able to identify a targeted, function-based intervention, and to understand how variations in the environment affect the success of treatments. The introduction of diagnostic models and algorithms like the Performance Diagnostic Checklist increased the focus in organizational behavior management on identifying causal factors affecting staff behavior. Further, even function-based interventions require some degree of individualization as preference and histories of reinforcement differ across individuals. Recent research has pursued these issues in an effort to make organizational behavior management more analytic in nature. The first study seeks to determine the degree to which the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services reliably identifies an effective, function-based intervention. The second study seeks to identify how stimulus preference and reinforcement schedule interact to influence staff performance. Finally, the third study proposes a novel conceptualization of the impact of unprogrammed aspects of performance incentive arrangements through behavioral economic analyses of choice and probabilities in the workplace.
Keyword(s): Functional Assessment, Incentives, Reinforcement Schedules
 

Use of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services to Assess and Increase Teaching of Verbal Operants by Therapists

Joshua Lipschultz (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), CHANA GEHRMAN (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

The Performance Diagnostic Checklist Human Services (PDC-HS) is an informant-based tool designed to assess the environmental variables that contribute to poor employee performance in human service settings. Although the PDC-HS has been shown to be effective in diagnosing potential variables maintaining problem performance, it is yet unclear whether a function-based intervention identified by the PDC-HS is the only intervention that is likely to work. In the current study, the PDC-HS was administered to various supervisors to assess the potential variables maintaining low levels of providing opportunities to use verbal operants with 3 therapist-client dyads. Three of the four PDC-HS domains were evaluated. Various non-indicated interventions from the different PDC-HS domains were implemented prior to implementing an indicated intervention. Results show that the PDC-HS-indicated interventions were more effective than the PDC-HS non-indicated interventions for each dyad. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of the PDC-HS to identify appropriate interventions to manage therapist performance in human service settings.

 

Evaluation of Stimulus Delivery Arrangements on Staff Performance in a Simulated Work Setting

Ashley Tudor (Florida Institute of Technology), Yanerys Leon (Florida Institute of Technology), Adam Thornton Brewer (Florida Institute of Technology), STEPHANIE VASQUEZ (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Supplementary, contingent pay arrangements can result in improved employee productivity and may lead to the development of more efficient performance improvement plans in organizational settings. In Experiment 1, we examined the effects of various stimulus delivery arrangements on performance in a computer-based task in a simulated work context. Participants entered hypothetical client data onto a Microsoft Excel invoice and earned gift-cards for task completion according to the following four conditions: (a) fixed-ratio/high-preference stimuli (FR/HiP), (b) variable-ratio/high-preference stimuli (VR/HiP), (c) fixed-ratio/varied stimuli (FR/Var), and (d) variable-ratio/varied stimuli (VR/Var). For both participants, constant access to their highest preferred stimulus delivered under a fixed-ratio schedule produced the greatest increases in performance relative to baseline. In a second experiment, we evaluated participant preference to perform under the four stimulus delivery arrangements using a concurrent-chains schedule. Results of the preference assessment indicated that one of the participants' preference did not correspond with the stimulus condition that resulted in the highest levels of task completion or reinforcers earned during the performance evaluation.

 
Effects of Probabilistic Arrangements of Incentives and Disincentives on Work Task Performance in an Analogue Setting
JASON M. HIRST (Southern Illinois University), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The current study seeks to synthesize concepts from organizational behavior management and behavioral economics through an exploratory, translational paradigm. The degree to which workplace contingencies are subject to variables common to the behavioral economic literature was assessed in three experiments. The first experiment was a hypothetical discounting task that extended the cross-commodity discounting literature by comparing monetary outcomes with access to mobile devices, a potential competing reward in organizational settings. The second experiment was a systematic replication of Experiment 1 in the context of the workplace. Both studies demonstrated that probability discounting predicted the subjective value of both monetary and nonmonetary outcomes. The third experiment examined the effects of probability on the efficacy of an incentive system in an analogue work environment. Participants were given the opportunity to complete a work task under varying probabilities of incentive availability. The results showed that incentive availabilities of less than 25% failed to maintain allocation of behavior to the work task for three of six participants. The applicability of behavioral economics, specifically discounting, for organizations are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #219
CE Offered: BACB
Instructional Practices for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Syntheses of the Literature
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jennifer Ninci (Texas A&M University)
Discussant: Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Ninci, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Aggregations of single-case research studies are useful in assessing the external validity of evidence in a given area. Aggregations of the literature can provide behavior analysts with a cohesive understanding of a certain practice; they can also inform us of the most effective treatments demonstrated for a specific domain of behavior. This symposium includes quantitative syntheses and meta-analyses of single-case literature on specific interventions (i.e., errorless teaching and embedding preferences) as well as on certain domains of behavior (i.e., academic skills and functional living skills). All of these reviews are focused on learning in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals with ASD face unique challenges in learning and development. A common purpose to each of the reviews here is to identify the current state of the evidence for individual practices. Standards for aggregating and analyzing single-case research have undergone much refinement in recent years. Meta-analytic reviews of single-case research are only recently becoming prevalent in the special education and applied behavior analytic literature. Thus, this symposium will be useful for attendees with interest in educational interventions for individuals with ASD as well as for those interested in advancements in methods for study aggregation.

Keyword(s): Generalization, Meta-analysis, Skill acquisition
 

A Review of Academic Interventions for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in School Settings

FAHAD ALRESHEED (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

This review of single-case research is on interventions aiming to enhance academic/pre-academic skills and/or task completion and engagement during academic contexts for children with ASD in school settings. Forty-eight studies published between 1995 and 2014 were included. These articles were coded according to (a) design; (b) participant demographics; (c) setting type; (d) intervention type and implementer; (e) duration and dosage; (f) outcomes; (g) inter-rater reliability, social validity, treatment integrity, and (h) generalization and maintenance. Tau-U was used to determine overlap indices for each study and across intervention categories of literacy, math, science, social studies, engagement and task completion, and prerequisite skills. Findings showed that most studies included students in grades K-12. The mean Tau-U score across all studies was moderate to high (Tau-U = 0.74, range 0.15 - 1.00). All interventions were effective or very effective in improving targeted pre-academic or academic skills. Interventions targeting task engagement and completion had the lowest mean Tau-U (Tau-U = 0.59); approximately half of the interventions were not effective for improving task engagement and completion (Tau-U = 0.65). These results reveal the need for further research targeting academic skills for preschool students with ASD and interventions targeting on task engagement and completion.

 

Errorless Teaching Procedures on Learning Outcomes for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

BETHANY P. CONTRERAS YOUNG (Utah State University ), Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Errorless learning, or errorless teaching, is a technology that has been developed as a way to teach individuals with autism a variety of skills. The purpose of this systematic review was to review the extant literature on errorless teaching procedures that have been used with individuals with autism. Our goal was to determine which forms of errorless teaching have been researched and what the effects of each form were in terms of learning outcomes. We conducted a comprehensive search using 7 databases and studies were included in the review if they included participants with autism, were primary research, were written in English, and directly tested the effects of errorless teaching procedures. Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria and we conducted an independent appraisal of the results and methodological quality of each study (based of the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook). We found that five different forms of errorless teaching have been researched and that, in general, errorless teaching procedures are effective at teaching discrete skills to individuals with autism. We also found that errorless procedures seem to produce learning slower than non-errorless procedures in terms of sessions to mastery. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.

 

Embedding Preferences in the Learning Environment for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), Leslie Neely (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

A body of research has explored how embedding interests into the learning environment by modifying aspects of the original activity may facilitate positive outcomes in an area of need for individuals with ASD. We reviewed this literature base to (a) determine the quality of the evidence and (b) evaluate potential moderators of results according to variations in participant characteristics and dependent variables. Studies were included that targeted participants with ASD, included quantitative data, and compared conditions with high- versus lesser-preferred objects/activities embedded into the environment. Studies were rated on quality and evidence using two rubrics. A total of 21 studies with 86 participants were included. Thirteen studies with 42 participants targeted children in early childhood, 12 of which were single-case studies with 28 participants and 74 effects/targeted dependent variables. In evaluating the quality of this initial sample of studies, findings were mixed. There was emerging support among studies targeting social-communication type skills (e.g., joint attention). It is possible that stereotyped or repetitive behaviors associated with restricted interests of children with ASD could deter the effects of this intervention at times, such as during instructor-led activities. Professionals should structure the environment to monitor added benefit when considering use of this intervention.

 

Generalization and Maintenance of Functional Living Skills for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

LESLIE NEELY (University of Texas at San Antonio), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), John Davis (University of Utah), Margot Boles (Texas A&M University), Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Jennifer Ninci (Texas A&M University), Whitney Gilliland (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

This systematic review and meta-analysis analyzed peer-reviewed research concerning the generalization and maintenance of functional-living skills for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Following the application of predetermined inclusion criteria, 31 articles (containing 32 studies) were reviewed and summarized in terms of: (a) generalization dimension, (b) generalization assessment design, (c) maintenance assessment design, (d) maintenance and generalization teaching strategy, and (e) latency to maintenance probes. Using Tau effect size and post-hoc analyses, the type of generalization and maintenance teaching strategies were analyzed as potential moderators. Outcomes identified strong effects for generalization strategies employed. Resulting maintenance effects demonstrated strong effects for baseline to maintenance contrasts. Negative effects for the train and hope method were identified using intervention to maintenance contrasts. Results indicated statistically significant findings supporting the use of training in a natural setting and training to a criterion as compared to the train and hope strategy. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual and Applied Considerations in Staff Training Related to Complex Verbal Behavior and Children With Autism
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Net)
Discussant: Francesca Degli Espinosa (Private Practice)
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.
Abstract:

Training staff to teach skills beyond the basic verbal operants involves consideration of conceptual, social and training variables. Four papers will be presented that review considerations for training peer to peer interactions, conceptual considerations related to speech perception, and two papers describing large group competency based trainings for conceptual and procedural skills relevant to complex verbal behavior for teachers of students with autism. The first study includes a description of training systems relevant to peer to peer verbal interactions focused on a manding treatment package consisting of the use of differential reinforcement and time delay procedures to effect the rate of unprompted peer mands in individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. A behavioral interpretation of the McGurk Effect will relate conceptual issues relevant to training staff in skills related to observational skills of vocal verbal behavior. The McGurk effect is an auditory and visual phenomena in which what is seen effects what is heard. The final two papers summarize outcome data from large scale trainings focused on having staff acquire implementation skills for procedures derived from advanced concepts in verbal behavior including joint control, extended tacts, and verbal conditional discriminations.

Keyword(s): verbal behavior
 
The Effects of Peer to Peer Mand Training on Unprompted Mand Frequency for Children With Autism and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
RACHEL KITTENBRINK (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: The current study used a peer manding treatment package, embedding the use of differential reinforcement, controls for motivation, and time delay procedures to assess the effects on peer manding and reinforcer delivery rates in elementary school students with autism and IDD. A multiple probe across dyads design (Horner & Baer, 1978) was used to evaluate effectiveness of the peer manding treatment package on unprompted peer mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries during 12 min mand sessions. All participants were active in the baseline, intervention, withdrawal, generalization, and maintenance phases of the investigation. All participants demonstrated increased unprompted mands and unprompted reinforcer deliveries following exposure to the treatment package, demonstrating a functional relation between the treatment package and increased response levels. Participants' response levels in the phases following the intervention phase were more variable, but as a whole, response levels maintained throughout the investigation. Considerations for interpreting the results are included and recommendations for future research and practitioners are discussed.
 

A Behavioral Interpretation of the McGurk Effect

DAVID ROTH (Cal State Stanislaus)
Abstract:

The McGurk Effect is a perceptual phenomenon in which the combination of discrepant visual and auditory speech stimuli (e.g,. hear-ba/see-ga) produces the reports of hearing a completely novel response form (e.g., "a"). The present study attempted to explain the McGurk Effect and related phenomena in terms of principles of behavior. Skinner (1953) proposed that perception itself is behavior, and interpreting experimental results within the framework of experimentally validated behavioral principles may help to guide future research on perceptual phenomena. Additionally, the present study contributed to the analysis of the McGurk
Effect by comparing results from a discrepant isolated syllable condition (e.g., hear-ba/see-ga) with a second condition, in which the isolated syllables were presented to participants as the initial sounds of responses existing within their verbal repertoires (e.g., hear-BUST/see-GUST). The results supported the authors' hypothesis that the McGurk Effect would be stronger when syllables were presented in isolation than when they were presented in the context of whole words. Implications for training staff in observing vocal behavior will be discusse.

 

Competency-Based Staff Training for Implementation of Procedures Related to Instruction of Complex Verbal Behavior for Students With Autism

MICHAEL MIKLOS (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Amiris Dipuglia (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative)
Abstract:

Outcomes of a large scale training effort for public school autism teachers in Pennsylvania include data on acquisition of conceptual skills and specific teaching programs will be presented. This session will review the structure and rationale for methods for teaching staff to implement protocols such as generative responding for tacts of actions and features, tacts of class of items and transfer to intraverbal responses. Includes description of training methods and outcomes for specific methods for developing participant conceptual competencies for extended tacts and concept development, joint control processes and issues related to verbal conditional discriminations. Training methods have included multiple formats for participant responding including choral responding, guided notes, and analogue demonstration of specific procedures. The training model has been implemented with public school teachers serving students with autism. The training represents efforts of the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Autism Initiative. Training participants have included a wide range of professionals employed in public schools including teachers, para-educators and various support staff including school psychologists and speech and language clinicians.

 

Transfer of Training Complex Verbal Behavior Concepts and Protocols for Autism Support Teachers to Classroom Settings

AMIRIS DIPUGLIA (PaTTAN/ Autism Initiative), Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Abstract:

This session will review data and processes involved in the transfer of training competencies from large scale analogue training sessions to actual classroom practices. The role and function of on-site consultation from behavioral consultants involved in the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Applied Behavior Analysis Supports effort in supporting teams in implementing protocols related to complex verbal behavior will be presented. Consideration of the design of training includes structure of training content related to efficient data collection and analysis that can be adopted in school settings that typically do not include clinical practice staff to student ratios. Additionally, methods to insure treatment integrity for teaching protocols related to target skills such as generative responding for tacts of actions and features, tacts of class of items and transfer to intraverbal responses will be described. The data will be related to a process established to promote system-wide acceptance of behavior analytic processes for teaching complex skills.

 
 
Symposium #224
CE Offered: BACB
ABA Revisited: A Paradigm Shift for Understandingand Treating Psychopathology, Trauma, Anxiety, and Medical Issues
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Discussant: Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Typically, applied behavior analysis has focused on individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. Often behavior analysts shy away from addressing areas such as psychopathology, trauma, anxiety and emotional aspects (e.g. depression) of medical issues. These diagnoses and their symptoms involve private events and are therefore difficult to operationally define, observe and measure. However, Friman and others have suggested that behavior analysts should not ignore these important areas because they will then be studied only by non-behaviorists. Unfortunately, non-behaviorists view aberrant behaviors in individuals with psychiatric disorders as symptoms of underlying constructs and use the diagnosis as a reason for these behaviors, proposing more global treatments such as therapies or medications. On the other hand, behaviorists view those behaviors as serving an environmental function that can be replaced with a more acceptable behavior serving the same function. The behavioral perspective would also include an analysis/understanding of establishing operations in the form of private events, physical sensations, bio-behavioral states, psychological feelings, and covert tacts/mands and learning history with particular discriminative stimuli for reinforcement or punishment. The presenters in this symposium will present their analyses of these areas from a behavioral perspective and provide treatment strategies or research methodologies that are based on these analyses.

 
Behavior Analysis and the Psychopath: Methodology for Investigating Behavioral Analogues of Traditional Psychoanalytic Conceptualizations
ANDRE V. MAHARAJ (Florida International University)
Abstract: While paradigm shifts have informed largely all areas of psychology, some spheres of research are still dominated by the perspectives of the schools within which they germinated. The presentation and analysis of psychopathy has long been the domain of psychoanalysis, and the trend of psychoanalytic interpretation exists even today, despite the incorporation of methodologies from other fields such as cognitivism and neuroscience. The diagnostic literature delineates Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) as the adult representation of psychopathy, but many argue that there exists a qualitative distinction between the DSM-V conceptualization and the actual behavioral presentation of psychopaths. We propose that the behavior analytic framework offers a viable means for investigating corresponding analogues to dominant psychoanalytic and cognitive constructs used in the classification of psychopathy. Further, contributions at this level of analysis may aid in the reliable identification of traits, and increase the variance accounted for by established independent variables for predictive analysis.
 
Treating Children With Trauma and Attachment Difficulties: Redefining Trauma-Based Therapy in Behavioral Terms
JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Many children who experienced early abuse/neglect, multiple placements and multiple caregivers have experienced trauma and attachment issues. The impact that this may have on the child’s behavior is likely to cause continued problems for the child and those providing care and treatment. Inappropriate behaviors may be related to learning histories and contingencies that are not observable in the immediate environment. Feelings may be establishing operations for the salience of particular reinforcers and punishers. Certain adult and peer behaviors may be discriminative stimuli for particular reinforcers and punishers in children’s learning histories. Negative peer models and naïve adults may provide inadvertent reinforcement for inappropriate behaviors such as lying, stealing and cheating. The presenter will discuss the impact that this learning history has the effectiveness of behavioral treatments as well as generalization of treatment effects. Alternate treatment approaches, such as trauma-based therapy, which are more likely to promote change that will generalize to the natural environment, will be presented in a behavioral framework.
 
Using FBAs to Select Coping and Self-Management Skills for Youth Exhibiting Anxiety-Related Behaviors
JESSE (WOODY) W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Instruction in coping and self-management strategies have been demonstrated as effective interventions for children and youth with anxiety disorders (Oswald, 2008). Coping strategies include: problem solving, self-instruction, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. An emerging body of research is demonstrating that the effectiveness of coping and self-management skills can be further enhanced by the use of functional behavior assessment. These strategies can serve as replacement behaviors in the presence of stressful situations (Kendall, 2010). Often, adolescents who are experiencing anxiety in school may exhibit noncompliant, oppositional, and even disruptive behavior. The presenter has worked with adolescents who exhibit anxiety-related behaviors in a school setting that have created problems for these students. The purpose of this presentation is to a) summarize recent research on developing function-based self-management skills, b) outline a series of steps for practitioners to use when developing function-based self-management programs, and c) demonstrate the process through case study examples.
 

Dealing With Medical Issues in Adolescence: Ensuing Anxious, Depressed, and Helpless Behaviors

JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University), Katy Scott (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Coping with medical diagnoses such as diabetes and asthma is particularly difficult during adolescence. Living in a rural community that is lacking in resources can make these diagnoses even more difficult, leading to behaviors that present as anxiety, depression and helplessness. Understanding how these behaviors can serve as establishing operations and have functions in the form of direct escape or socially mediated access is helpful in developing interventions that promote more positive behaviors such as treatment adherence, seeking support, and coping effectively. The presenter works with adolescents who are being treated at a school-based health clinic which serves high school students in a rural, impoverished area, some of whom are in families of migrant workers. The presenter will describe how to conduct a functional assessment and analysis of motivating operations in the treatment of behaviors related to medical disorders, using case examples of two adolescents who have been diagnosed with diabetes and asthma.

 
 
Symposium #226
CE Offered: BACB
New Quantitative Approaches to the Synthesis of Evidence in Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD South, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sarah Leadley (The University of Auckland)
Discussant: Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Sarah Leadley, M.S.
Abstract:

The synthesis of evidence is central to the translation of scientific knowledge into practice. Most clinical sciences use meta-analysis methodology to aggregate the evidence from multiple individual studies. Meta-analyses are often used as the final scientific product preceding the transfer of evidence to health and education decision-makers and to the wider public. The use of meta-analysis in behavior analysis has been hampered by (a) the multiple metrics used across studies, (b) the limited use of randomized and non-randomized controlled studies, (c) the absence of purposely-developed effect size estimators for single-subject experimental designs, and (d) the lack of quantitative approaches to appropriately evaluate the idiosyncrasies of individual studies and individual participants within studies. Analytical developments over the last few years have helped to overcome some of these limitations. Some of these developments are illustrated in the current series of review studies. K. Hurl's meta-analysis compares the relative effectiveness of interventions for problem behavior that were and were not preceded by a functional assessment. R. Anderson's study features a quantitative synthesis of behavioral interventions for severe feeding disorders. J. McCormack will present a meta-analysis of the differential outcome effects in clinical and non-clinical population. Finally, A. Arnold-Saritepe will present a review of evidence-based practices for severe behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities and autism.

Keyword(s): feeding disorders, functional analysis, meta-analysis, review
 
The Differential Outcome Effect in Humans: A Quantitative Synthesis of Evidence
JESSICA CATHERINE MCCORMACK (The University of Auckland), Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Abstract: In conditional discrimination learning, the differential outcome procedure can be used to enhance learning by providing reinforcement unique to each stimulus or response. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the differential outcomes procedure in humans. An electronic search of the literature recovered 33 papers comparing the differential outcomes procedure to a non-differential outcomes control, from which 23 were suitable for meta-analysis. Effect size estimators (Hedges g) were calculated for a total of six dependent variables: overall accuracy, test accuracy, transfer accuracy, latency, errors, and trials to mastery. A random-effects meta-analysis revealed significant medium-to-large effect sizes for all three accuracy measures, and a large effect of differential outcomes for clinical populations. Seven papers were analyzed as single-subject designs. They showed improved accuracy and sessions to mastery when aggregated, but individual results were variable. The results suggest that the differential outcomes procedure can be a useful addition to discrimination- and equivalence-based interventions, especially for individuals with cognitive impairments and intellectual disabilities.
 
A Meta-Analysis of Single-Subject Experiments of Function-Based and Non-Function-Based Interventions
KYLEE HURL (University of Manitoba), Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland), Jade Wightman (University of Manitoba), Stephen N. Haynes (University of Hawaii)
Abstract: This study examined the relative effectiveness of interventions based on a pre-intervention functional behavioral assessment (FBA), compared to common-practice interventions not based on a pre-intervention FBA. We examined 19 studies that included a direct comparison between the effects of FBA- and non-FBA-based interventions with the same participants. A random effects meta-analysis of effect sizes indicated that FBA-based interventions were associated with large reductions in problem behaviors when using non-FBA-based interventions as a reference intervention (Effect size = 0.85, 95% CI [0.42, 1.27], p < .001). In addition, non-FBA based interventions had no effect on problem behavior when compared to no intervention (0.06, 95% CI [-0.21, 0.33], p = .664). Interestingly, both FBA-based and non-FBA-based interventions had significant effects on appropriate behavior relative to no intervention, albeit the overall effect size was much larger for FBA-based interventions (FBA-based: 1.27, 95% CI [0.89, 1.66], p < .001 vs. non-FBA-based: 0.35, 95% CI [0.14, 0.56], p = .001). In spite of the evidence in favor of FBA-based interventions, the limited number of comparative studies with high methodological standards underlines the need for further comparisons of FBA-based versus non-FBA-based interventions.
 

A Quantitative Synthesis of Interventions for Pediatric Feeding Disorders (Tube Dependency)

Sarah Leadley (The University of Auckland), RACHEL ANDERSON (The University of Auckland), Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Abstract:

There is a growing interest in treatments to transition children from tube feeding (e.g., nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes) to oral feeding. A number of literature reviews identify applied behaviour analysis as having the strongest evidence for the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. However, few studies have reviewed the nutritional outcomes for tube fed children. These outcomes include primarily the reduction or elimination of tube feeds and weight gain. In addition, the individual studies available do not allow a cogent comparison of behaviour-analytic intervention with other multidisciplinary treatment studies, such as tube weaning or hunger provocation programs. In the current investigation we conducted a meta-analysis of treatments for children dependent on tube feeding, combining datasets of different metrics (e.g., single-case and group designs). This presentation will cover our meta-analysis methods, results, and implications for future research and clinical practice.

 

Evidence-Based Practice for Severe Behavior in Individuals With Developmental Disabilities and Autism

ANGELA ARNOLD-SARITEPE (The University of Auckland), Katrina J. Phillips (The University of Auckland), Javier Virues Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Severe behavior presents a significant challenge for both the individual and caregiver in terms of quality of life. Challenging behavior is commonly reported in individuals with intellectual disabilities, 10-15 %, however for those with autism and / or profound intellectual disabilities the prevalence is much higher, 39-65%. At least 10% of individuals in the latter category have challenging behavior that would be considered to be severe. Adolescent and young adult males make up two-thirds of this group. While the progression of severe behavior disorders has not been well documented, it would appear that the overall prognosis for this group of individuals is not good, with potentially 80% continuing to engage in these behaviors 20 years later. Many of the studies published contain complex multi-component interventions that do not always report long term follow up or generalization data. This paper aims to review the behavioral literature for the intervention of the most severe challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, property destruction and self-injurious behavior) using Reichow, Volkmar and Cicchetti?s (2008) method for evaluating and determining evidence-based practice. It is hoped that this review will support researchers and clinicians in developing effective long lasting interventions that allow those with severe behaviors to live a less restricted life in the community.

 
 
Symposium #227
CE Offered: BACB
Computers, Complexity, and Contingencies, Oh My!
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: DEV/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Alexandria Leidt (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Patrice Marie Miller (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In this multi-domain symposium, the intersection of the use of computers and contingencies to address complex human behavior is addressed in various ways by each presentation. All of the talks focus on the assessment of either the tasks involved, the behavior emitted by humans, or both. The assessment of tasks is required for a clear task analysis of what is required in the various domains in which behavior change is desired. The assessment of behavior in terms of how well it matches, under-matches, or over-matches the tasks is an important part of the assessment involved in shaping behavior. In this symposium, high inter-observer reliability scores are reported by several presentations, along with effective strategies to change socially important behavior as a result of contingencies that are applied to human behavior. The use of these reliable and valid methods of assessment is important for the field of behavior analysis and beyond.

Keyword(s): complex behavior, computers, task analysis
 
Shaping Complex Repertoires in Undergraduate Courses
DARLENE E. CRONE-TODD (Salem State University)
Abstract: Complex, higher-order thinking is expected of university students, and the complexity of the tasks increases as one completes different levels of higher education. Traditional methods of assessing the complexity of tasks and of student performance typically result in low inter-scorer reliability (ISR). However, a model of hierarchical complexity shows promise as a more reliable and valid measure of both academic tasks and performance. In this presentation, data will be presented related to educational interventions (i.e., inter-teaching methods) at the undergraduate and graduate levels that are related to developing complex behavioral repertoires. Specifically, pre- and post-test data, along with two exams are analyzed in terms of the levels at which questions are asked and the percentage of students who can answer questions at each of these levels. In addition, ISR was at, or above, 85%. This suggests that the model can be useful for academic assessment purposes, and that inter-teaching interventions can be used to increase complex thinking.
 
Slow Your Roll: Using Behavioral Principles to Decrease Response Speed in Speedy Survey Participants
YASH BHAMBHANI (University of Mississippi), Solomon Kurz (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Most survey research in psychology relies on undergraduate student samples. Data obtained from these samples is often of poor quality and questionable validity. One of the issues is that up to one quarter of students participating in survey research complete instruments too quickly. The purpose of the present study is to examine the effectiveness of two interventions—a warning condition and a warning plus time penalty condition—for slowing down speedy responders compared to a no intervention condition. Participants will be a large sample of undergraduates from a public university who will be invited to complete a lengthy online battery survey for course credit. The survey is intentionally long so as to burden participants and occasion hasty responding. We will examine to what extent the intervention conditions slow down speedy responders. Our secondary analyses will assess how conditions differed with respect to straightlining (e.g., answering all questions with the same response, such as 1 1 1), missing data, answering correctly to attention-check items, and a number of multivariate outliers. We will also examine whether speedy responders differ by demographic variables. Finally, we will discuss future directions for using behavioral interventions to improve the validity of survey data
 
Effects of a Rubric on Inter-Observer Agreement in Narrative Task Analysis
ANA CAROLINA SELLA (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil), Daniela Mendonça Ribeiro (Universidade Federal de Alagoas)
Abstract: Since 2005 our group has conducted research involving the assessment and teaching of narrative skills. Narratives are complex verbal behavior units and several dependent variables can be targeted for analysis in any given task involving these repertoires. Usually, the data analysis process consists of reading a story transcription several times and transforming the target dependent variables into quantifiable data (e.g., presence of story categories, mean length of utterance, episode complexity). A recurrent problem we have been facing is achieving acceptable inter-observer agreement (IOA) when one of the observers is an undergraduate student (i.e., at least 80% agreement). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of reading a rubric on the percentage of IOA for four different dependent variables: presence of story categories, total number of words, number of different words, and number of conjunctions. No other procedures were used. Three undergraduate students took part in the study. Overall, the rubric alone was effective to increase IOA in the last three dependent variable measures. Other procedures, such as immediate feedback and discrimination activities, might be necessary to increase IOA regarding the presence or absence of story categories.
 
Creating a Measure that Measures Up: Exploring Self-Report, Experience Sampling, and Behavioral Measures of Body Image Flexibility
JESSICA AUZENNE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Nolan Williams (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Grayson Butcher (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux Boullion (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Heather Chiasson (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Michael Bordieri (Murray State University), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Body image flexibility involves a pattern of responding where effective, values-consistent action can be taken, even in the presence of aversive experiences of one’s body. As body image flexibility is associated with more favorable clinical outcomes, the ability to assess this behavior in ways that accurately reflect behavior of the individual become important in research and practice. To date, the primary way of assessing this behavior is through the use of self-report measures, which are typically single-administration, retrospective reports. A tool with the ability to model the body image flexibility in a lab setting while also assessing the behavior might be of even greater utility if related to observations of individuals’ day-to-day behavior. This paper will examine the relationships among a developing computer-based-behavioral measure of body image flexibility, single-administration retrospective reports and samples of day-to-day experiences of body image flexibility. Reports of the unique contributions of each assessment along with data to the current validity and utility of this novel computer-based assessment will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #228
Changing Impulsivity: Manipulations That Affect Delay Discounting
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB/BPN; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maggie Sweeney (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Leonard Green (Washington University)
Abstract:

Decades of research suggest that degree of delay discounting differs in clinically relevant populations relative to control populations. For example, individuals who smoke cigarettes, use illicit drugs, are obese, or fail to take preventative health measures tend to discount delayed rewards more relative to comparison groups. Recent evidence suggests that degree of discounting, previously been compared to a stable trait, is sensitive to experimental manipulation. This symposium presents data in which experimental manipulation affected delay discounting. Meredith Berry will present data suggesting visual exposure to natural environments decreases discounting, and that this effect may be related to lengthened time perception. Renee Renda will present data with rat subjects suggesting lasting reductions in discounting can be produced by delay exposure. Sarah Snider will present data in which episodic future thinking decreased discounting and intensity of demand for alcohol in alcohol dependent individuals. Matthew Johnson will present data suggesting acute doses of cocaine and alcohol increase discounting of condom-protected sex, but do not affect discounting of money. Leonard Green will integrate these presentations as discussant. Data in this symposium suggest degree of discounting has both trait and state characteristics. This knowledge is important for the development of interventions for impulsive decision making.

Keyword(s): behavioral pharmacology, delay discounting, episodic-future thinking, timing
 
Making Time for Nature: Visual Exposure to Natural Environments Lengthens Time Perception and Reduces Impulsivity
MEREDITH STEELE BERRY (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Meredith Repke (University of Montana), Kerry Jordan (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Impulsivity in delay discounting is associated with maladaptive behaviors such as overeating and drug and alcohol abuse. Identifying techniques to decrease impulsivity in delay discounting could help improve decision-making on a global scale. Visual exposure to natural environments is one recent approach shown to decrease impulsive decision-making in a delay discounting task, although the mechanism driving this result is currently unknown. The present experiment was thus designed to evaluate whether visual exposure to natural (mountains) relative to built (buildings) environments resulted in less impulsivity, but also whether this exposure influenced time perception. Participants viewed photographs of either natural scenes or built scenes before and during a delay discounting task in which they made choices about receiving immediate or delayed hypothetical monetary outcomes. Then measures of time perception were administered including how many minutes participants thought had passed during the session and a scale measurement of whether time "flew" or "dragged" during the session. Participants exposed to natural as opposed to built scenes were less impulsive and also reported longer subjective session times. These results are the first to suggest that decreased impulsivity from exposure to natural as opposed to built environments may be related to lengthened time perception.
 
Experimentally Manipulating Delay Discounting in Rats: Durability and Generalization
RENEE RENDA (Utah State University), Jacy Draper (Utah State University), Brian Hess (Utah State University), Gregory J. Madden (Utah State University)
Abstract: Delay discounting characterizes the subjective devaluation of outcomes delayed in time. Robust, positive correlations exist between excessive delay discounting and many maladaptive behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, gambling). Several studies have demonstrated that delay discounting can be reduced and many hypothesize that this may result in more efficacious treatment outcomes. Experimentally manipulating delay discounting in nonhumans allows for the examination of variables that are not susceptible to human research (e.g., drug self-administration). Using a training regimen that involved early, extended experience with delayed reinforcement, Stein et al. (2013) found significant reductions in rats discounting delayed food rewards. A similar reduction was not observed in control rats (i.e., delay-naïve group) that had extended experience with immediate reinforcement. The present research sought to replicate and extend those findings. In our first study, we observed a significant, lasting reduction in delay discounting when reassessed at a 4-month follow-up (Panels A & B). In our second, ongoing experiment, we are examining whether this delay-exposure effect generalizes to other types of impulsive-choice assessments. Preliminary data with a small group of rats suggests that the data are trending in the predicted direction in the adjusting-delay procedure, but not in the variable-delay procedure (Panels C & D).
 
Episodic Future Thinking: Expansion of the Temporal Window in Alcohol Dependents
SARAH EMILY SNIDER (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Stephen LaConte (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Warren K. Bickel (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Abstract: Episodic future thinking (EPI) requires an individual to truly pre-experience a realistic future event. Given previous reports of reducing delay discounting following EPI in other populations, we examined the effects of engaging alcohol dependent individuals in episodic future (Active) or recent (Control) thinking to examine its effects on delay discounting and alcohol purchasing. Participants (n=50) were allocated into EPI or Control groups and asked to generate positive future or recent past events for each of five time-points. Participants then completed a delay-discounting task, during which event cues were displayed, and a hypothetical alcohol purchase task. EPI significantly increased valuation of future monetary rewards, while decreasing initial consumption (Q0) of alcoholic drinks indicative of lower demand intensity. Two additional findings suggest potential mechanisms. EPI more readily influenced alcohol dependents with low AUDIT scores, and self-reported cue valence differed between groups. Together, these results suggest a widening of alcohol dependents’ temporal window following engagement of EPI. While our data suggest that EPI may be moderated by certain susceptibility criteria, exercises such as episodic future thinking could be easily adaptable as a potential therapeutic tool for use in rehabilitation programs.
 
Does Drug Administration Affect Delay Discounting in Humans? It Depends on What's Being Delayed
MATTHEW W. JOHNSON (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Human studies have tended to show that alcohol and other drugs do not occasion changes in delay discounting. These studies have assessed discounting using money reward outcomes. However, substantial evidence indicates that individuals are not characterized by a single, universal discounting rate. Rather, delay discounting rate is dependent on the outcome being discounted, with discounting rate differing due to outcome magnitude, and outcome valence (reinforce or punisher). Moreover, an emerging literature has shown commodity-specific relations to clinical disorders, with the discounting rate of clinically relevant outcomes, as opposed to money, showing a stronger relation to pathological behavior. Systematically extending such observations, this presentation will review recent studies showing that administering drugs of abuse (e.g., alcohol, cocaine) causes no change in the discounting of money, but causes significant increases in the discounting of condom use within casual sex scenarios. This finding is consistent with substantial evidence showing episode-level associations between consumption of these drugs and sexual risk behavior. These findings suggest that universal conclusions regarding delay discounting as a behavioral process should not be based exclusively on tasks using money discounting. Moreover, these data indicate studies should assess discounting of outcomes that are closely tied to the clinical behavior of interest.
 
 
Symposium #229
CE Offered: BACB
Basic and Applied Research on Response Dynamics: Implications for the Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Laura L. Grow (University of British Columbia)
Discussant: Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Laura L. Grow, Ph.D.
Abstract: The results of basic research on the dynamics of responses during reinforcement and extinction can inform applied studies related to the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior (Notterman & Mintz, 1965). Response force is a clinically and socially relevant dimension of behavior, although few applied studies have been conducted on the force of responses during the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. This symposium will include four studies that are a combination of basic and applied studies related to the force of responses and behavioral variability during reinforcement and extinction. The first study is a basic study on the force of responses during periods of extinction among college students. The second and third studies evaluated the force of button pressing during continuous and intermittent reinforcement and extinction among individuals with developmental disabilities. The final presentation is an applied study that examined the rate and variability of response topographies during functional analyses of problem behavior. We will discuss the implications of the results in terms of the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior and areas for future research.
Keyword(s): force, functional analysis, problem behavior
 

Effort-Related Processes Modulate Extinction Bursts

Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas), BRYANNA LILLY (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Previous research in the treatment of severe behavior problems has found the appearance of extinction bursts following the suspension of reinforcer delivery is less than common, and similar findings have been found in basic human operant research. In contrast, extinction bursts have been reported widely in animal research following suspension of reinforcer delivery, leading some to suggest a difference between humans and non-humans. We propose that extinction bursts, in fact, have not received a thorough functional analysis, and it may be premature to conclude lack of consistent findings with humans are due to species differences. The present study was designed to clarify the role response topography and stimulus modality may play in promoting extinction bursts. Twenty-five human participants watched a preferred video. Across groups, the audio or video stream was removed from playback, leaving the other stream intact. Participants could restore the video/audio stream by pressing a force-sensitive button, where either low (250 g) or high (750 g) forces were required to restore playback. At 20 and 30 minutes into the session, video/audio streams were removed, but participants could not restore playback for 20 s. The results showed that extinction bursting was more likely when baseline forces were lower and when audio streams were removed compared to the removal of video. The findings suggest that the wide variability in the observation of extinction bursts may be due to incidental differences in response topographies. Specifically, high-force topographies appear less likely to result in “bursting” during extinction. Also, reinforcer modality is shown to alter the likelihood and extent of extinction bursts.

 
Force and Frequency of Button Pressing During Progressive Ratio Schedules and Extinction in Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
NABIL MEZHOUDI (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jessica Del Carmen Garcia (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Chris Dillon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Research on operant behavior often focuses exclusively on response frequency because it is a convenient measure and easier to quantify than are changes in other dimensions such as topography (form) or force. However, basic and applied research have consistently demonstrated that contingencies on response frequency also affect response force. This finding is particularly relevant for individuals who engage in severe problem behavior (aggression, self-injury, etc.), where the force of the response is a defining feature of the behavior and varying schedules of reinforcement and extinction are common in treatment. This study evaluated changes in the frequency, and the collateral effects on force, of reinforcing button pressing (as an analogue) during a progressive ratio schedule and then the cessation of reinforcement (extinction) for seven individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), who also engaged in severe problem behavior. Results suggest several commonalities with the published research, as well as some differences, and shed new light on how contingencies on response force affect the force of responding within the IDD population.
 

The History of Reinforcement Affects the Force and Rate of Responses During Extinction

OFELIA M. FLORES (University of British Columbia), Laura L. Grow (University of British Columbia)
Abstract:

Previous basic studies have demonstrated how different schedules of reinforcement affect the rate and force of responses (Notterman & Mintz 1965). The results of basic studies on force are relevant for applied studies on the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. The present study evaluated the force and rate of button pressing during continuous and intermittent reinforcement and extinction. We conducted two experiments with three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. In Experiment 1, two conditions were compared using a reversal design (i.e., intermittent reinforcement and extinction). In Experiment 2, three conditions were compared in a sequence using a reversal design (i.e., intermittent reinforcement, continuous reinforcement, and extinction). In summary, the results across both experiments demonstrated how changes in the schedule of reinforcement affected the rate and force of responses. The results will be discussed in terms of future applied research on the force of problem behavior during assessment and function-based intervention.

 

Changes in Response Topographies During Sessions of Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior

VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA (University of Florida), Jonathan K Fernand (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Functional Analysis (FA) methodology has become the hallmark of behavioral assessment and plenty of studies have been conducted to refine its procedures (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003). However, there is almost no research about changes in the variation of target responses as the assessment progresses. The purpose of the current study was to describe changes in the number and rate of aggression topographies observed during demand sessions of FA for four participants whose problem behavior maintained by escape. The results showed that for all participants the number of topographies decreased from the first to the last session. Also, the rate of responding for one particular topography either increased or remained at high levels after the first session while the remaining topographies of response decreased in rate. The implications of the decrease in variability in topographies of response when conducting FAs for problem behavior will be discussed as well as how this relates to research on modification of response classes.

 
 
Symposium #236
Human-Animal Interactions and Animal-Assisted Interventions
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich C, Swissotel
Area: AAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Terri M. Bright (MSPCA Angell)
Abstract:

Although the benefits of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) for both animals and humans are often reported in the media, systematic and experimental research is largely lacking in this field. Furthermore, behavioral research is even rarer. In a sequence of talks, we will explore the variables that improve the relationship between cats, dogs, and humans. Then, we will report on research in the use of Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) for special human populations. The first talk will assess the utility of therapy dogs as reinforcers in educational settings with children. The second talk will examine how human interaction and reinforcement histories of domesticated cats can alter cat sociability. Finally, the third talk will determine the utility of service dogs to reduce work stress in military veterans. This symposium highlights research that strives to bring together behavioral methodologies and HAI and AAI fields.

Keyword(s): Cat behavior, Human-Animal Interaction, Therapy dog, Veterans
 

Comparison of Contingent and Non-Contingent Access to Therapy Dogs to Improve Reading in Children

ALEXANDRA PROTOPOPOVA (Texas Tech University), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Texas Tech University), Katie Wiskow (Texas Tech University), Ashley Matter (Texas Tech University), Breanna Harris (Texas Tech University)
Abstract:

The aim of the project was to determine the benefit of access to a therapy dog as a reinforcer for educational task completion in children and to develop a screening assessment to predict this benefit. In Experiment 1, we conducted a preference assessment, in which various leisure items as well as a therapy dog were included in the stimulus array. In Experiment 2, in a single-subject multi-element design, we then determined the efficacy of a therapy dog in improving task-related behavior as well as mitigate associated stress. In Experiment 2, each child was randomly assigned to a sequence of conditions: contingent access to a therapy dog, non-contingent access to a therapy dog, contingent access to other preferred leisure activities, and contingent praise. The motivation to engage in the educational activity as well as behavioral and physiological markers of stress were assessed in all conditions.

 
Factors Influencing the Social Behavior of Pet Cats
KRISTYN VITALE (Oregon State University), Monique Udell (Oregon State University)
Abstract: Although cats have coexisted with humans for thousands of years, relatively little scientific research has investigated how human interaction influences the social behavior of individual cats. This study examined if human familiarity or attentional state influences cat sociability- or the individual preference of a cat to seek contact and close proximity with a human. Twenty-three adult pet cats participated in a sociability test in their homes. Cats were presented with a familiar or unfamiliar human who was either inattentive or attentive. Data were analyzed using Fisher’s exact tests. Results indicate when the human was attentive the cats were more social. Significantly more cats spent time in proximity to the attentive unfamiliar and familiar human as compared to the inattentive condition. Additionally, pet cats displayed a large range of individual variability within each condition. This indicates other factors, such as lifetime experience or learning, may influence cat sociability. We are currently conducting positive reinforcement based kitten training classes to investigate how factors, such as training and additional socialization, influence the behavior of cats and their owners. This body of research demonstrates that human interaction can influence cat social behavior and other experiences, such as training, may influence an individual cat’s sociability.
 

Returning Our Veterans to Employment and Reintegration: Work Stress and Assistance Animals

ANNE M. FOREMAN (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Lindsay Parenti (West Virginia University), B. Jean Meade (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), Matthew E. Wilson (West Virginia University), Oliver Wirth (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Abstract:

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder face barriers that can prevent them from successfully reintegrating into society and returning to work. Service dogs are increasingly used as an intervention to help ameliorate symptoms of psychiatric disorders, but there is a dearth of empirical evidence on their effectiveness. Nine male veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who have service dogs were recruited to participate in a laboratory study. The magnitude and time course of their stress and startle responses before, during, and after a task designed to simulate different kinds of work-related stress were assessed. Stress and startle responses were measured using physiological, psychological, and behavioral metrics during baseline, task, and recovery periods. Across conditions, the veteran was alone, with his dog, or with an unfamiliar, friendly dog. The effects of the presence or absence of each dog was compared to the alone condition. Preliminary results suggest that familiar dogs produce greater reductions in stress responses when compared to unfamiliar dogs. These results contribute to our understanding of the therapeutic effects of emotional support and psychiatric service dogs.

 
 
Symposium #238
Behavioral Relaxation Training: Update, Applications, and Relevance to Applied Behavior Analysts
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anita Li (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavioral relaxation training (BRT) is an evidence-based behavior analytic procedure used to train and assess relaxed behaviors. This symposium will describe: (a) recent research and applications of BRT in practice settings across the lifespan and with patients/clients of varying ages and conditions; (b) how teaching relaxation skills is a functional, self-management skill for many individuals; and, (c) the relevance of BRT to applied work with children and adults with ASD with anxiety and stress-related behavior.
Keyword(s): BRT
 
We've Come a Long Way, Baby: Behavioral Relaxation Training and Assessment
Duane A. Lundervold (University of Central Missouri), SARAH CORWIN (University of Central Missouri)
Abstract: The first reported use of behavioral relaxation training (BRT) and the behavioral relaxation scale (BRS), a direct observation measure of relaxed behavior, the occurred in 1983 (Schilling & Poppen), with the second edition of Behavioral Relaxation Training and Assessment published in 1998. An update, review and analysis of the applications of BRT across the lifespan and the use of the BRS will be presented. Discussion will focus on: (a) the applicability of BRT in addressing challenging behavior and anxiety and its relevance to establishing self-management skills; (b) how relaxed behavior, established through BRT, fits within function-based behavior analytic interventions; and, (c) what additional BRT- related research needs to be conducted.
 
Addressing Severe High Risk Aggression in an Adult With an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) as Part of a Comprehensive Treatment Package
John M. Guercio (Benchmark Human Services), ROBERT CORMIER (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract: The following talk will detail the treatment of severe self-injurious behavior (SIB) and property destruction in an adult with an autism spectrum disorder. The subject was a 43 year old male that had been residing in a locked forensic unit in a state operated facility prior to his transition to his present community based living situation. Upon his transition, he displayed outbursts of aggressive behavior on a daily basis. He was then trained in Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT)(Schilling & Poppen, 1983) using a behavioral skills training approach. He was able to participate in the training and became proficient in the use of the 10 postures that BRT is comprised of. Consistent in-vivo practice and feedback resulted in his using the skills with minimal prompting. His displays of SIB and property destruction were decreased drastically as he acquired these skills. Data will be presented related to his acquisition of these skills and his subsequent decreases in aggressive responding.
 
Behavioral Relaxation Training and Anxiety Reduction in a Child With Autism
ALICE WALKUP (New Roads Consulting)
Abstract: Individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) may experience intense anxiety that interferes with their ability to perform everyday activities. Muscle tension, crying, and increased heart rate are responses that may occur alone or as precursors to more severe escape and avoidance-maintained behaviors, such as self-injury. While there are many treatment approaches marketed toward service providers and caretakers of individuals with DD, such as autism, few have established scientific evidence supporting their use with this population. Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) is a well-established, effective treatment for behaviors collectively referred to as anxiety. The present study was designed to reduce escape and avoidance-maintained responses in a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the home setting. Paraprofessionals were taught how to score relaxed behavior for each targeted response, and began implementing BRT sessions once inter-observer agreement was acceptable. Nine relaxed behaviors were trained and performance recorded; overall relaxation was also calculated. BRT was taught using behavioral skill training procedures (instruction, modeling, practice, and feedback). The child was able to successfully meet relaxation mastery criteria for each targeted behavior, as well as overall relaxation.
 
 
Panel #239
Law Enforcement and Applied Behavioral Science: Cultivating Positive Police-Community Relations
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
E. SCOTT GELLER (Virginia Tech)
JOSHUA KINSER (University of North Texas)
BOBBY KIPPER (National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence)
Abstract: The nurturing of positive relations between police officers and the citizens they serve will be addressed by describing a process that engages law-enforcement officers in the application of a behavior-based reward process in their communities. The initiation of this program was reported on Fox News (http://video.foxnews.com/v/4349936151001/beyond-the-dream-actively-caring-for-people/?playlist_id=926093635001#sp=show-clips) and described in an article published and distributed to every police department in the U.S. (Geller & Kipper, 2015). Each panelist will give a brief description of a primary component of this ongoing process, referred to as Actively Caring for People (AC4P) Policing. Then the Chair will facilitate a question-and-answer session between panelists and the audience. The first panelist, E. Scott Geller, will explain how AC4P Policing (www.AC4PPolicing.org) evolved from the AC4P Movement (www.ac4p.org) that began in 2007 after a gunman took the lives of 32 at Virginia Tech. Then, Bobby Kipper, a retired police officer who served for 25 years and founded the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence (www.NCPCV.com) will show how this positive approach to policing has been spreading nationwide, and explain the strategies that contributed to this dissemination. Thirdly, Joshua Kinser will discuss plans to test the impact of AC4P Policing on both law-enforcement officers and citizens.
Keyword(s): Actively Caring, Community Intervention, Humanistic Behaviorism, Positive Policing
 
 
Symposium #241
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Research on Reinforcement and Related Phenomena
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anna Garcia (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Anna Garcia, M.A.
Abstract:

The speakers in this symposium have taken translational approaches to answering applied questions regarding reinforcement and related phenomena. Although the populations or target behavior topographies addressed may not include immediate clinical targets in all three papers, all of the topics examined have important clinical applications. The following papers will be presented: Effects of Schedules of Reinforcement on Spontaneous Recovery, Sensitivity to Parameters of Positive Versus Negative Reinforcement, and Further Comparisons of Pairing Procedures Used to Condition Praise as a Reinforcer.

Keyword(s): Pairing Procedures, Praise, Reinforcement parameters, Spontaneous recovery
 
Effects of Schedules of Reinforcement on Spontaneous Recovery
RYAN KIMBALL (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Clare Liddon (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Extinction of operant behavior is frequently accompanied by various unwanted side effects. One example is spontaneous recovery, the re-emergence of a response after having been extinguished. Although spontaneous recovery of responding can be a considerable problem in clinical settings, this relapse phenomenon has rarely been investigated in applied formats. The present study examined the effects of dense and lean variable interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement on the occurrence of spontaneous recovery in a translational format. Results of the current study were consistent with past research on spontaneous recovery. That is, relatively dense schedules of reinforcement produced greater levels of spontaneous recovery.
 
Human Sensitivity to Parametric Manipulations of Positive and Negative Sound Reinforcement: Revisited
Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Rachel Mottern (Vanderbilt University), Chelsea Marie Jennings (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that reinforcement parameters (e.g., rate, magnitude, and delay) can interact to influence choice. Furthermore, preliminary evidence exists suggesting that the effect of these interactions can differ across reinforcement processes (i.e., positive or negative) for some individuals. However, this finding has only been shown in one study and more research on the matter is warranted. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to determine whether identical manipulations of identical parameters of positive and negative reinforcement would influence human response allocation in different ways. In Study 1 we identified preferred and aversive sounds whose contingent presentation (or removal) had similar reinforcing values (as determined via progressive ratio reinforcer assessments). In Study 2, we conducted concurrent operant parameter sensitivity assessments for both positive and negative reinforcers to evaluate whether sensitivity differed across processes. Findings have implications for assessment of positive and negative reinforcement sensitivities.
 
Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer: A Comparison of Two Pairing Procedures
JEANINE R TANZ (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida I), Stephanie Wathen (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Aurelia Ribeiro (Florida Institute of Technology/The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Typical practice includes using praise as a consequence for desirable behavior. An implicit assumption is that social praise and other forms of social interaction function as conditioned reinforcers. If praise actually functions as a reinforcer, the contingent delivery of praise should increase the probability of and maintain consistent responding. However, there are several unknown questions that suggest praise may not function as a reinforcer as reliably and readily as practice might imply. In addition, it is important to identify a procedure that will be effective in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for populations commonly used in applied behavioral research and for individuals for whom additional modes of reinforcement are necessary. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to compare two pairing procedures, stimulus-stimulus and response-stimulus pairing, in establishing praise as a conditioned reinforcer for simple target responses demonstrated by individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The pairing procedure included pairing a neutral stimulus (praise statement) with an unconditioned reinforcer (highly preferred edible) to determine if the neutral stimulus would take on the reinforcing properties of the unconditioned reinforcer, thereby becoming a conditioned reinforcer.
 
 
Symposium #244
CE Offered: BACB
Reinforcement, Error Correction, and Generalization: Effective Instruction in Applied Settings
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Hazel Baker (Advances Learning Center and Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Hazel Baker, M.S.
Abstract:

Programming for effective behavior-analytic instruction requires practitioners to review research to make evidence-based decisions regarding implementation. This symposium will address three aspects of behavior-analytic instruction: selecting proper correction procedures, the effectiveness of varied reinforcer pools and programming for generalization of instructional materials. There is conflicting research guiding practitioners about choosing an effective error-correction procedure when instructing children with autism. This symposium will present research and provide a discussion of the possible reinforcing effects of different correction procedures to help further the research in this area. Assessing the effects of replenished versus unreplenished reinforcer pools has implications for applied settings with limited resources when working with adolescents with autism. Results showed that novel stimuli were preferred over stimuli available in the participants environment. These results have implications about how to allocate resources when considering purchasing new stimuli as potential reinforcers. The third symposium outlines clear recommendations for specific ways to promote generalization in taught skills and will evaluate the success of programming common stimuli to achieve generalization of social skills taught in a behavior-analytic clinic when working with children with autism. Data indicate that bringing stimuli into the teaching environment may not be sufficiently effective to generalize to a new environment.

Keyword(s): Error Correction, Generalization, Reinforcer Assessment, Social Skills
 
Error-Correction Procedures and Basic Principles of Behavior
HAZEL BAKER (Advances Learning Center and Endicott College)
Abstract: Error-correction procedures have been categorized into two categories. These categorizations of error-correction procedures examine if an active student response is necessary for efficient learning, or if the instructor modeling the correct response is sufficient. Results to date indicate that results are idiosyncratic, and specific to individual learner histories. This leads to a theoretical discussion of the maintaining function of error-correction procedures. Active student responding as described in the research requires a great deal of attention, and may be reinforcing the errors it attempts to correct. A teacher model of a correct response may result in removal of demands for a few moments, which could reinforce errors through escape. The literature on error-corrections will be reviewed with the purpose of analyzing the efficacy of error-correction procedures within the context of their potential reinforcing effects. This will guide future research by connecting error-corrections that are supported by literature to conceptually systematic principles of behavior.
 
Assessment of Unreplenished vs. Replenished Reinforcer Pools
MONICA SPEAR (Advances Learning Center)
Abstract: Researchers have yet to identify the conditions under which people with autism spectrum disorders demonstrate restricted interests. This study will extend past research on preferences of children with autism by 1) examining participants’ preferences for unreplenished (familiar) play or leisure items versus items that are replenished frequently, 2) assessing whether participants who prefer replenished items select items with properties that are matched or unmatched to their most preferred unreplenished item, and 3) assessing whether participants who show an exclusive preference for unreplenished items will select replenished items during response-restriction and enhanced-replenished pool manipulations. Participants were four adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and a history of restricted interests. One participant selected both unreplenished (familiar) items and replenished (novel) items without further manipulations. The remaining three participants only selected replenished-matched leisure items after additional manipulations. Results are discussed in terms of the ethical and practical importance of assessing a range of potential reinforcers, particularly with clients who demonstrate restricted interests.
 
Promoting Generalization of Social Skills Taught in a Small-Group Clinic Setting by Programming Common Stimuli
ASHLEY RODMAN (Advances Learning Center)
Abstract: Skills taught in a controlled setting with contrived reinforcement may not generalize to a natural setting without specific programming to achieve that goal. School-aged children with autism participated in this study during their enrollment in behavior analytic social skills groups. These social skills groups use the principles of applied behavior analysis to teach skills in a controlled setting that have not emerged in less-intrusive teaching environments. A generalization assessment in the participant’s natural environment was conducted following at least one semester of small-group clinic-based social skills instruction. Without explicit programming, participants demonstrated generalization of very few of the taught skills. Additional programming for generalization will be provided to promote generalization across the skills that were not demonstrated in the natural environment. The results will reveal if specific programming for generalization implemented in a structured teaching setting successfully promotes generalization in the natural setting. Future research could compare generalization strategies to assess which one is likely to be most efficient at promoting generalization.
 
 
Symposium #247
CE Offered: BACB
Roots of Behavior Analysis and the Road Not Taken
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Alpine, Swissotel
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Travis Thompson, Ph.D.
Abstract: Basic and applied behavior analysts often wonder how it happened that the field adopted one or another strategy and rejected others. Why do we hold some theoretical assumptions early with great tenacity without giving them much thought in our daily pursuits, but are reluctant to let them go, nonetheless. We treat some as fundamentally important, without considering where they came from, and asking whether they may possibly be misguided shiboleths. Understanding how those positions came to be, is fundamentally important in our decisions about the field's future. Which traditions and associated assumptions do we believe are essential to the corpus of the meaning of behavior analysis, and which are ephiphenomenal. This symposium examines those questions beginning with late 19th century physiology and early 20th century behaviorism. The speakers, all well known in their fields, examine what might have happened had the field led by young Fred Skinner taken a different road at the fork in the 1930s, and pursued one guided more by his physiology mentors, Crozier and Henderson.
Keyword(s): behaviorism, philosophy, physiology, theory
 
Conceptions of Behavior From Dewey to Skinner
(Theory)
JAY MOORE (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: This presentation reviews historical conceptions of behavior beginning with John Dewey's (1896) "The concept of the reflex in the description of behavior" and extending to Skinner's conception of operant behavior. Dewey argued that psychologists needed to take how reflex mechanisms contributed to the adaptation of an organism to its environment. Classical S-R behaviorism, such as found in Watson (1913), sought to be objective by rendering temporally extended sequences of behavior in terms of concatenated chains of S-R reflexes. E. B. Holt (1914) argued that classical behaviorism ignored that behavior was organized around achieving some terminal outcome. E. C. Tolman (1932), Holt's student in the Harvard Department, took Holt's message to heart and argued for a purposive orientation to behavior and a molar, rather than molecular level of analysis. However, Tolman continued the sense of antecedent causation that others had begun, inserting various intervening variables between stimulus and response in an effort to account for the richness and flexibility of behavior. B. F. Skinner, also a graduate of the Harvard Department, formally distinguished between respondent and operant processes. Respondent processes did indeed entail antecedent causation. In contrast, operant processes entailed selection by consequences. Intervening variables played no role in either case.
 
John B. Watson's Influence on B. F. Skinner: Science, Philosophy, and Behavioral Interpretations
(Theory)
EDWARD K. MORRIS (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: In Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist, John B. Watson (1913) founded classical behaviorism as a system of psychology. In The Behavior of Organisms, B. F. Skinner (1936) founded a science of behavior and, nine years later, its philosophy radical behaviorism (Skinner, 1945). To date, the influence of Skinner’s predecessors in science and philosophy (e.g., Pavlov, Loeb, Bacon, Mach) on his science and philosophy is well documented, whereas the influence of Skinner’s predecessor in behaviorism (Watson) is not. Based on a systematic review of Skinner’s published works and citation practices, as well as relevant secondary and tertiary literatures, this presentation addresses Watson’s influence on Skinner. Specifically, it integrates a history of Watson’s influence with Watson’s influence on Skinner’s science (e.g., subject matter, research methods), philosophy (e.g., behaviorism, positivism), and behavioral interpretations (e.g., verbal behavior, emotion, private events), that is, collectively, on Skinner’s system. These findings are discussed in the context of Watson’s influence on Skinner relative to (a) Skinner’s predecessors in science and philosophy, (b) what might be surmised from the behavior-analytic literature, and (c) what is related in the secondary and tertiary literatures.
 
An Alternative History of Behavior Analysis Evolving From Crozier and Henderson's Influence
(Service Delivery)
TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Inspired by Harry Turtledove and H. G. Wells this presentation will discuss what might have happened had B. F. Skinner remained strongly influenced by his primary Harvard physiologist mentors, William J. Crozier and Lawrence J. Henderson. Skinners primary mentor, W. J. Crozier had two strengths; the first was strategies for investigating organ systems influencing important behavior of the whole organism. Crozier was especially interested in vision and discriminative behavior; his reasoning was guided by Darwinian premises, similar to later ethologists, namely that behavioral dispositions should be consistent with evolutionary function. His second strength was his canny, highly technical device-building skills, which he passed on to Skinner. Crozier designed and fabricated remarkable devices to solve complex behavioral measurement problems, such as invertebrate visual discriminations. Lawrence Henderson was both a molecular and a molar theoretical physiologist. He was especially interested in understanding how molecular variables and components, like blood cells, could be used to elucidate how groups of individual components functioned together to produce social actions. He created a Harvard discussion group of faculty members devoted to the Italian sociologist, Pareto. Hendersons nomogram for expressing relations among gases was influenced by Paretos chart from sociology and groups of people. This presentation will explore what might have occurred had Skinner more strongly pursued collaborations with these two important figures in early 20th century general physiology.
 
 
Panel #248
CE Offered: BACB
A Call for Translational Research in Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: TPC/EAB; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Marlene J. Cohen, Ed.D.
Chair: Marlene J. Cohen (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
KIMBALLEE CHEUNG (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CYNTHIA BOYD (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CONNY M. RAAYMAKERS (Evidence Based Consultants)
Abstract:

The debate between basic and applied researchers has existed since the inception of our field. There are many valid arguments that address the strengths of both basic and applied research. However, debate does not yield outcomes other than the products of the discussions themselves. The panelists are doctoral students in the Applied Behavior Analysis Online Department of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. They will present a brief review of translational research conducted across four different topic areas that have solved important problems. Their presentations will be followed by open discussion, which will be moderated by a discussant. As the field of behavior analysis continues to grow, so will the number of problems we need to solve. Collaboration among basic and applied researchers as well as interdisciplinary research can provide an avenue for a wider array of solutions in an increasingly complex world. This panel presentation hopes to motivate the development of additional translational research in behavior analysis.

Keyword(s): translational research
 
 
Symposium #249
Behavioral Approaches to Evaluate and Address Memory Deficits in Older Adults
Monday, May 30, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Michigan ABC, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. population segment aged 65 years and older have increased by 15.1%, notably larger than the 9.1% growth for the total U.S. population (Werner, 2011). The growth of the older adult population segment is projected to continue in the future, and at a substantially greater rate. It is also expected that the prevalence of Major Neurocognitive Disorder (NCD) will concomitantly increase alongside this graying of america. Language and memory difficulties are hallmark diagnostic markers for NCD. Both language and memory impairments can be conceptualized as stimulus control deficits. The two presentations describe methods to assess for and address stimulus control deficits in older adults. The first presentation evaluated methodologies for testing and training stimulus equivalence performance and compared this performance to participants' scores on various cognitive and functional impairment screening measures. Participants demonstrated higher levels of accurate responding on tests of direct and emergent relations when using a linear series training structure and non-arbitrary stimuli, however, lower levels of accurate responding were observed across methodologies in comparison to previous research. The Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) was more sensitive to cognitive impairment than the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). The second study used multiple probe tactics throughout spaced retrieval training to assess for tacting and delayed tacting of staff members in an assisted living facility. Results indicated that spaced retrieval alone did not produce improvements across all probe measures, and that modified procedures tailored to the observed deficits resulted in improved generalization. The results of these studies are discussed in the context of previous research on stimulus equivalence and spaced retrieval, and how the presence or absence of pre-requisite verbal skills can influence performance during these procedures.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Gerontology, Spaced Retrieval, Stimulus Equivalence
 
Evaluation of Equivalence Relations: Models of Assessment and Best Practice for Older Adults
DAWN SEEFELDT (Southern Illinois University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Due to changing age demographics in the United States, by 2050, an estimated 62.1 Americans will be over the age of 65 and the number of Americans with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, will increase drastically as well (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014; Ortman, Velkoff, & Hogan, 2014). Once a diagnosis or behavioral indicators of cognitive impairment are present, it would be beneficial to apply a treatment package that promotes the maintenance or re-establishment of stimulus control in the environment. From a behavioral perspective, stimulus control aids in learning and memory through both respondent and operant conditioning. In the current study, stimulus equivalence training was completed and compared to cognitive and functional assessments scores with older adult participants with and without cognitive impairment as a systematic replication of Gallagher and Keenan (2009). Formation of equivalence relations after exposure to linear series (LS) training with 2 3-member stimulus classes across arbitrary, familiar, and stimuli from Gallagher and Keenan (2009) was compared via trials to criterion, accuracy per relation, and session length to scores on the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE), Saint Louis University State Exam (SLUMS), and Barthel ADL Index. A classification analysis was conducted between MMSE and SLUMS scores. Several methodological changes were applied to a second study to examine the impact of increased programmed stimuli, training changes, and the use of one-to-many (OTM) and many-to-one (MTO) training structures with 3 3-member stimulus classes on equivalence formation. Composite performance scores were created for accuracy during LS, OTM, and MTO training. Non-parametric analyses were conducted between assessment and composite scores. The SLUMS and Barthel ADL Index were not correlated with any composite scores. However, MMSE scores and LS composite scores were correlated. The SLUMS was more sensitive to the detection of cognitive impairment as judged by classification and diagnoses. OTM and MTO composite scores also had a strong, positive correlation. Overall, more participants demonstrated higher levels of accurate responding during LS training than during OTM and MTO training. In contrast to previous research, only 25% of the sample demonstrated equivalence formation. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
 

Memory Deficits in Older Adults: Evaluating Spaced Retrieval With Multiple Probe Techniques

CHRISTOPHER WALMSLEY (Western Michigan University), Richard Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Difficulties in recognizing and remembering the names of individuals are a common behavioral symptom of major neurocognitive disorder. A number of behavioral strategies have been proposed to improve memory deficits, including spaced retrieval, an intervention that emphasizes delayed recall of target information. Unfortunately, many of the studies that report beneficial effects of spaced retrieval use a very limited range of outcome measures, thus calling into question the magnitude and generality of any reported memory improvement. This study reports on the impact of spaced retrieval using four older adults with cognitive impairment living in an assisted living facility. All participants demonstrated difficulty naming and recalling names of staff members at the facility who provided care. A multiple baseline across participants design with embedded probes was used to evaluate the effects of spaced retrieval on the acquisition, delayed recall, and generalization of naming a target staff member. Probe measures included a non-identity matching-to-sample task, naming in the presence of untrained photographs of the target staff member, and naming during brief video presentations of the target staff member. Non-example presentations were also interspersed. Spaced retrieval resulted in within-session increases in delayed recall for all participants, and also resulted in minimal evidence of generalization across probe measures, including live-person probes. Modified spaced retrieval interventions were then employed to address stimulus control deficits. These modified conditions resulted in further gains in delayed recall performance, as well as improved generalization across probes. These results are discussed in the context of previous research with spaced retrieval. Future directions are also discussed.

 
 
Symposium #258
CE Offered: BACB
Sensory and Social Reinforcers in Infants and Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning Delays, and Typical Development
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Discussant: Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
CE Instructor: Svein Eikeseth, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Recent research has shown that infants who later develop ASD have a strong preference for sensory stimuli in contrast to typically developing children, who have a strong preference for social stimuli. For infants with a preference for sensory stimuli, geometric patterns and non-speech sounds in the environment select their attention and these sensory stimuli likely function as powerful reinforcers for the behavior of the infant. As the infant grows older, they will not only attend to sensory stimuli, they will also exhibit repetitive and stereotyped behaviors to produce additional sensory reinforcement. The affinity for sensory stimuli at the cost of social stimuli may result in a negative spiral of acquiring social reinforcers and social behaviors. Consequently, the infants fail to learn by imitation and to achieve developmental milestones such as joint attention, verbal skills, and theory of mind. Typically developing infants, in contrast, will attend to the eyes and the voices of the caregivers, because these stimuli function as powerful reinforcers. These social reinforcers select additional social and verbal skills such as social smiling, imitation, joint attention and pragmatic language.

Keyword(s): ASD, Autism, Sensory Reinforcement
 

Assessing Sensory and Social Reinforcers in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Typically Developing Children and Children With Intellectual Disabilities

CATHERINE GALE (UK Young Autism Project), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

An application for a tablet to assess responding to social stimuli and geometric stimuli was developed. Two blurred visual stimuli, one social and one geometric, were presented simultaneously on the tablet screen. Whenever one of the stimuli was touched, it becomes complete for 2 seconds before getting blurred again. Dependent variable was number of touches on each type of stimuli, to determine the reinforcing property of the social stimuli and the geometric stimuli. Results showed that children with autism, on average, responded most frequently to the geometric stimuli and less frequently to the social stimuli, as compared to typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities. We hypothesize that if social stimuli function as reinforcers for the behavior of an infant, the social reinforcers will select social- and verbal behavior, such as looking at adults, imitation, joint attention, social communication and theory of mind behavior. If sensory stimuli (such as geometric forms) function as a more potent reinforcer for an infants behavior as compared to social stimuli, the sensory reinforcers will select stereotyped and repetitive behavior rather than social and communicative behavior. Indeed, the presence of stereotyped behavior and the lack of social skills and communication define autism.

 

A Sensory Reinforcement Hypothesis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

SVEIN EIKESETH (Oslo and Akershus University College), Catherine Gale (UK Young Autism Project)
Abstract:

This presentation begins by reviewing recent studies examining infants preference for social stimuli and sensory stimuli. Using eye-tracking technology, studies have shown that infants who later develop ASD spend less time looking at eyes and listening to the voice of caregivers, as compared to typically developing infants. Moreover, research has shown that infants who later develop ASD show preference for geometric forms, as compared to typically developing infants and infants with learning delays. Research from our lab shows that children with ASD will not only prefer looking at geometric stimuli, but will also show increased responding when the consequence for responding is viewing geometric stimuli as compared to social stimuli, as compared to typically developing children and children with learning delays. Hence, sensory stimuli seem to function as a more powerful reinforcer for the behavior of infants developing ASD as compared to social stimuli. Sensory reinforcers will likely select a different behavioral repertoire in an infant as compared to social reinforcers. Sensory reinforcers will select stereotype behavior and other non-nonsocial behavior consistent with ASD, whereas social reinforcer will likely select attention to faces and human voices, imitation, joint attention, communication and other more advanced social skills.

 
 
Symposium #262
CE Offered: BACB
We're Not Always Screaming for Attention: Considerations for Suicidal Behaviors and Bizarre Vocalizations
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Shannon Shea McDonald Shea(WCI-Work, Community, Independence)
Discussant: David B. Lennox (QBS Inc.)
CE Instructor: Shannon Shea McDonald Shea, M.S.
Abstract:

Practitioners working with developmentally disabled populations frequently contact dually diagnosed individuals that present with less common, but clinically relevant behavioral concerns such as bizarre speech and suicidal behaviors. Behavior analysts generally are not trained to evaluate or treat the specific topographies presented in these less common behaviors. However they may be the only treatment team member available to help or provide guidance to staff members. While assessment and treatment for these behaviors is theoretically the same, there are some less common factors to keep in mind when intervening functionally in complex and dangerous behaviors. Treating bizarre speech as simply attention maintained, or suicidal behaviors as simple self injury could have extreme consequences. Even when suicidal behaviors are maintained by attention, extinction or NCR may be too high risk to consider for implementation. Factors the behavior analyst should consider when evaluating and treating complex behaviors will be discussed. Possible assessment and treatment options for further investigation will be reviewed. Special consideration when responding to these behaviors may prevent injury or death, as well as improve the individual's quality of life. We will also suggest important areas for future research.

Keyword(s): bizarre speech, self injury, suicide
 

Managing Risk in Suicidal Individuals With Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

SHANNON SHEA MCDONALD SHEA (WCI-Work, Community, Independence)
Abstract:

Behavior Analysts are often the only sole Mental Health Professionals in organizations supporting Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities. Suicidal statements and attempts (suicidal behaviors) would certainly be classified as maladaptive behaviors, and it is common for support staff to ask a Behavior Analyst for guidance when these behaviors are exhibited. However, many Behavior Analysts have little or no background in Mental Health or Social Work. This leaves us woefully unprepared to confidently respond to suicidal behaviors. This session will address simple screening and prevention methods by identifying Setting Events and Establishing Operations that may increase the likelihood of a suicide attempt. Common misconceptions about suicide in general and specific to the ID/DD population will be clarified. Finally, we will suggest some possible responses to suicidal behavior for each functional behavior class. There is little awareness of suicide risk in the ID/DD population, although Individuals with ID/DD attempt and have completed suicide. Increasing awareness of Suicide Risk and promoting future research is essential to address one of the most preventable causes of death across the lifespan.

 
Complex Behaviors, Complex Solutions: What is the Behavior Analysts Role in Treating Less Common Behaviors
COURTNEY BUCKLEY (Vinfen Corporation)
Abstract: Bizarre, non-contextual speech or erratic behaviors presumed to be exhibited in response to covert stimuli are often left unattended in Functional Analysis and treatment. However, this class of behavior is not extraordinarily different from other behaviors, and are certainly within the realm of study for the Behavior Analyst. With an estimated 30-35% of intellectually disabled individuals carrying comorbid mental health diagnoses, Behavior Analysis has a foundation upon which to start taking a closer look at treatment of these complex behaviors impacting one of our most common treatment populations. Some initial attempts to evaluate and treat the complex contingencies mediating bizarre speech and other unusual behaviors have identified attention as a function of behavior, while these results are promising in a conventional sense they present some misconceptions that can be conveyed in present research. These and other studies will be reviewed with a focus on major factors to consider when attempting to evaluate and treat bizarre speech patterns and other complex behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #267
CE Offered: BACB
Effectiveness of Video-Based Instruction to Support Parents, Teachers, and Learners With Disabilities in Applied Settings
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Video-Based Instruction (VBI) is emerging as an evidence-based practice for improving skill acquisition of individuals with and without disabilities across a broad range of environments and skill sets. It has many applications for improving behavioral outcomes not only for individuals with disabilities, but also for caregivers and teachers who deliver instruction for these learners. The purpose of this symposium is to present research on various strategies for implementing VBI across providers (teachers and parents), devices (iPad, Google Glass), instructional formats (video feedback, video prompting, and simultaneous video modeling), and skill sets (daily living skills, vocational skills, and effective teacher praise). The first study presents results of a study that involved presenting simultaneous video models on Google Glass to improve vocational skills of individuals with ASD and/or IDD; the second study presents results of a study that used video feedback to improve teachers use of praise in classroom settings; and the third study presents results of a study that involved teaching parents to implement video prompting strategies presented on iPads to increase daily living skills of learners with ASD. Presenters will offer practical strategies for using VBI effectively across devices, participants, and instructional formats.

Keyword(s): Autism, Google Glass, Video-Based Instruction, Vocational Skills
 

Effectiveness of Using Google Glass to Teach Vocational Skills to Students With Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder

TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University), Caylee Irving (Northern Illinois University), Daina Hunt (Indian Prairie School District #204), Michael Ackerman (Indian Prairie School District #204)
Abstract:

A multiple probe across participants design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of using Google Glass to teach vocational skills to three young men with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. Instructional trials involved a simultaneous video model presented on the Glass device to teach participants to pack a first aid kit. The video model had an embedded demonstration of how to use a visual checklist to prompt task completion and the generalized skill of using a visual checklist was also measured with another task (stocking a coffee station). Results indicated that all three participants demonstrated an immediate increase with independent correct responding for packing the first aid kit when simultaneous video models were presented on Google Glass. In addition two of the three participants demonstrated generalization of visual checklist usage following intervention. All students indicated that they liked using Google Glass and stated they would like to use it again in the future. The practical utility of using Google Glass as a prompting system will be discussed.

 
Effects of a Video-Feedback Intervention on Teachers’ Use of Praise
ERIKA PINTER (Northern Illinois University), Allison East (Northern Illinois University), Nicole Thrush (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a video-feedback intervention on the frequency of teachers’ use of a) general group praise, b) general individual praise, c) specific group praise, d) specific individual praise, e) negative comments directed toward the entire class, and f) negative comments directed toward an individual student. The video-feedback intervention involved teachers watching video-recordings of their own teaching and self-evaluating their use of praise. A multiple-baseline across subjects single-case design was used across four secondary-level teachers to examine the effect of a video feedback intervention on teacher’s use of praise. Frequency data were collected for all types of praise and negative teacher comments. While further study is warranted, results indicate that video-feedback may be an effective method for increasing teacher’s use of praise in classroom settings.
 

Teaching Parents to Deliver Video Prompts via iPads to Teach Individuals With Autism Daily Living Skills

ELISA M. CRUZ-TORRES (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract:

Utilizing visual resources presented on various technological devices to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has yielded?positive outcomes and promoted independence across a variety of skills. Parents and caregivers have not only attained these advanced?technological devices, but often actively seek to become more competent in using them. While there is?ample research to support the use of portable devices to promote daily living skills for individuals?with autism, relatively few studies have examined whether parents can be trained effectively to?deliver evidence-based practices, such as video prompts, using portable, mainstream devices. The?current study sought to evaluate parent fidelity in the implementation of behavior skills training procedures aimed at delivering video prompts to their child using an iPad. A multiple baseline across participants' design was used to determine if child participants with ASD, between the ages of 12 and 17, were able to acquire and master the steps of a targeted daily living skill. Results indicated that parents were successful in their delivery of the training procedures. Results also demonstrated that their children were able to correctly and independently complete the steps of their daily living skills with high accuracy.

 
 
Panel #268
PDS: Organizational Behavior Management in Health Care
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: David Kelley (Florida Institute of Technology)
T. V. JOE LAYNG (Generategy, LLC)
E. SCOTT GELLER (Virginia Tech)
MICHAEL MCCARTHY (Sustain Lean Gains)
Abstract:

This panel discussion includes three presentations that cover different applications of Organizational Behavior Management to issues within the healthcare industry. Some topics that will be covered include the application of Behavior Based Safety to healthcare and using behavioral science to sustain Lean and Six Sigma initiatives.

 
 
Symposium #270
CE Offered: BACB
Attention, Escape, and Tangible: Critical Analysis of Problem Behavior and Its Controlling Variables
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)
CE Instructor: Joseph Michael Lambert, Ph.D.
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) is a dynamic assessment that allows practitioners to produce empirical evidence of the relationship between problem behavior and its controlling variables. Furthermore, standard test conditions (i.e., attention, escape, and tangible) have demonstrable utility and provide practitioners with obvious starting points when tasked with the organization and analysis of the unique learning histories of strangers who engage in chronic problem behavior. However, positive test outcomes are a function of more than the mere arrangement of contingencies between problem behavior and known reinforcers (talk 1). Often, nuanced analysis of idiosyncratic behavioral and/or environmental events is required to identify functional relationships between response classes and their controlling variables (talks 2 and 3). The primary purpose of this symposium is to highlight factors that might contribute to successful functional analysis outcomes when traditional test conditions are contraindicated. A secondary purpose is to dispel myths of the counter-therapeutic qualities of the FA and to highlight the complexity of positive function identification.
 
Prompts, Probes, and Correspondence Between Reinforcer Assessments and Functional Analysis Outcomes
RACHEL MOTTERN (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Lillian Stiff (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: One concern with functional analysis (FA) is that practitioners evoke and reinforce problem behavior, with the potential of facilitating its acquisition of new functional classes. If arranging contingencies between known reinforcers and problem behavior (in the absence of additional instruction) can confound FA results, then reinforcer assessment outcomes should be predictive of FA outcomes. In the current investigation we conducted a series of preference assessments to identify high-preferred tangible items, high-preferred social interactions, and low-probability demands. We then evaluated the reinforcing effects of contingent access to (or escape from) these stimuli/events during subsequent reinforcer assessments. Finally, we conducted FAs of each participant’s problem behavior and arranged consequences identical to those manipulated during previous reinforcer assessments. Correspondence between reinforcer assessments and FA outcomes was low, with reinforcer assessments implicating both false positive and false negative behavior functions. Our results suggest that the threat of new learning during FAs is likely minimal.
 

Functional Analysis and Treatment of Aggression Maintained by Access to Physical Play

ELIZABETH DAYTON (Melmark), Jim Chok (Melmark), Lauren Davison (Hogan Learning Academy), Amanda Gill (Melmark), Arthur Dowdy (Melmark)
Abstract:

In the case of severe challenging behavior there are instances that require physical restraint in order to maintain safety for the individual served as well as others. There are many concerns with the use of physical restraint, including the possibility that restraint may serve as a reinforcer. One possible way to compete with the reinforcing effects of restraint is to find an alternative activity that the individual can access. We discuss a case in which a childs aggression often necessitated the use of physical restraint. During a functional analysis, physical play was used as reinforcer for aggression during test conditions and applied noncontingently during control sessions. Differentiated results were obtained during the functional analysis. Subsequently, the individual was taught a functional communication response that provided access to physical play. The intervention resulted in a decrease in aggression and an increase in the functional alternative response. The results of the study highlight a possible intervention for individuals with severe aggression who often require physical restraint to maintain safety, but whose aggression is also maintained by the stimulus properties associated with restraint.

 
Assessing Physical Aggression and Physiological Reaction to Environmental Noise
SAMANTHA RUSSO (Melmark), Samantha Smith (Melmark), Jennifer Croner (Melmark), Kady Gahman (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Forty percent of children with Autism have hypersensitivity to noise (Rimland & Edelson, 1995). Few studies have evaluated aversive noise in correlation with challenging behavior, even less show treatment interventions following assessment. Results in the current published literature evaluating noise have found that various types of noises may serve as an establishing operation for challenging behavior (McCord, Iwata, Galensky, Ellingson, & Thompson, 2013). The purpose of this study was to evaluate heart rate as a reliable measure of agitation and to identify the correlation between increased heart rate and aggression when presented with an aversive noise. This hypothesis was evaluated using a pair-wise functional analysis with a multi element design testing various aversive noises which were found in the participant’s natural environment. The participant engaged in relatively low levels of challenging behavior across all test conditions, however there was a significant correlation between instances of aggression and maximum heart rate.
 
 
Symposium #272
Weapons of Influence: Examining Persuasion, Conformity, and Cooperation Through a Behavior Analytic Lens
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher Hebein (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract:

Many researchers have suggested the scope of behavior science is far-reaching. However, given such claims, social phenomena such as cooperation, conformity, and persuasion have been left to the assumptions of less equipped fields. The extent to which behavior scientists can examine such phenomena depends on ways the role of verbal behavior are examined in the analysis of cultural phenomena. The importance of rhetoric in cultural analysis has been highlighted as weapons of influence by marketing, political science, social psychology, to name a few. Within the behavior analytic literature, for instance, there have been a number of experimental studies on cooperation. However, what does or does not constitute cooperative behavior has remained unclear. As such, many researchers have adapted the definition of cooperation to complement their experimental procedures, resulting in a number of contradictory and unclear definitions. For example, whether or not cooperation necessitates a social element and/or verbal behavior is not consistently addressed. By drawing upon some of the literature in social sciences and behavior analysis, presentations in the symposium will provide behavior scientific accounts of persuasion, cooperation and conformity.

Keyword(s): conformity, cooperation, persuasion, social issues
 

Cooperation and Conformity: Cultural Implications for Delineating the Two Terms in Applied Work

ELIZABETH GHEZZI (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Voter turnout for the 2012 United States presidential election was 53.6% of eligible voters, a relatively low percent as compared to other developed countries with democracies. Recent political science research suggests voting is an act of cooperation -- a shared outcome not achievable by any one source acting alone (Rafacz). Behavior analysis can contribute to the complex cultural phenomenon of voting by looking at cooperation and conformity, whether there is a difference between the two terms, and the implications they have on the study of voter turnout and other political choices from a behavior analytic perspective. This paper will address cooperation and conformity from a conceptual and theoretical framework, and the advantages and disadvantages of delineating the two terms. Lastly, future methodology for researching voter behavior, specifically voter turnout, from both a cooperation and conformity standpoint will be discussed.

 

Take My Word for It: A Behavioral Account of Persuasion

JOVONNIE L. ESQUIERDO-LEAL (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

For centuries, philosophers, researchers, and psychologists have been hard at work studying the verbal weapons of influence, more specifically, the phenomenon of persuasion. Although persuasion has been studied across four millennia, the bulk of the experimental work has been conducted within the last century, and primarily exists in the literatures of social psychology. Despite a robust line of research in social psychology, the literatures still lack a theoretically and empirically sound explanation for how skilled persuasive repertoires are shaped and maintained. It can be argued that a behavior analytic approach, especially one that focuses on verbal behavior, would serve useful to the scientific community. For instance, by eschewing futile mental associations and focusing on the behavior involved in principles outlined by social psychologists, the scientific utility of behavior analysis can be demonstrated. This presentation will provide an overview of ways by which behavior analysis may offer a scientific contribution to the analysis of persuasion.

 
 
Symposium #273
CE Offered: BACB
Reviews and Research on Perspective Taking and Problem Solving With Children With Autism and Related Disabilities
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Michigan ABC, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Judah B. Axe (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Judah B. Axe, Ph.D.
Abstract:

There is an abundance of research on behavior analytic strategies for teaching simple skills to children with autism and related disabilities. These relatively simple skills include manding, tacting, imitating, matching, sorting, and tooth brushing. There is less research on teaching more complex skills such as engaging in conversation, initiating joint attention, and solving difficult math problems. The analysis of verbal behavior has much to contribute to the analysis of complex repertoires. This symposium centers on two complex repertoires often limited in children with autism and related disabilities: perspective taking and problem solving. The first paper, by Taylor-Santa and colleagues, is a theoretical paper and literature review paper on perspective taking. The authors offer an account of the controlling variables of perspective taking and suggest problem solving is involved in the repertoire. The second paper by Phelan and colleagues offers a conceptual analysis of problem solving and reviews applied studies examining the teaching of problem solving skills to establish complex social, communicative, and academic skills. The third paper is a study by Frampton and colleagues who taught two children with autism the problem solving strategy of sorting, sequencing, and tacting pictures to establish explanations for how to complete familiar activities.

Keyword(s): perspective taking, problem solving
 
Perspective Taking: A Functional Account and Review of the Literature
CATHERINE TAYLOR-SANTA (Caldwell University), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social interactions including more complex social behavior such as perspective taking (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Individuals with ASD might continue to show deficits in perspective taking as they age due to insufficient learning opportunities and insubstantial teaching methods. It is possible that programs designed to teach perspective taking fail to teach some component behaviors needed for success (e.g., listener behavior). This failure could be attributed to a lack of a complete account of the behaviors involved in perspective taking as well as their controlling variables. The purpose of this paper is to provide a functional assessment of perspective taking in which relevant behaviors (i.e., self-speaker and self-listener) are identified and defined according to their controlling relations. To aid in this analysis, relevant behavior analytic literature on perspective taking was reviewed and analyzed. Suggestions for future research on perspective taking are provided.
 

Problem Solving: A Conceptual Analysis and Review of Applied Research

STEPHANIE PHELAN (ABACS, LLC), Caitlin Irwin (Newton Public), Judah B. Axe (Simmons College)
Abstract:

The field of Applied Behavior Analysis is commonly criticized for teaching rote responding. However, teaching problem-solving skills to children with disabilities has produced novel responses to novel stimuli. Problem solving has been defined as manipulating stimuli to increase the probability of arriving at a solution to a problem (Palmer, 1991; Skinner, 1953). When given a problem, such as a question that involves recalling a past event, an individual problem solves and arrives at a solution by emitting “self-probes,” such as asking questions, drawing out possible solutions, and visualizing. Although people problem-solve on a daily basis, there is limited empirical guidance on teaching problem-solving strategies to individuals with disabilities. A challenge of analyzing problem solving is it often occurs covertly. In this paper, we provide a conceptual analysis of problem solving and a review of six applied, behavior analytic studies in which participants were taught to use problem-solving to improve math, communication, and social skills. The review highlights the procedures for teaching problem solving skills. The review ends with recommendations for research, as well as recommendations for incorporating the instruction of problem solving into behavior analytic programming for students with disabilities.

 

Teaching Children With Autism to Explain "How" Using a Problem Solving Strategy

SARAH FRAMPTON (Marcus Autism Center), Stacy A. Cleveland (Marcus Autism Center), Kelly Schleismann (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

The current study evaluated whether children with autism could learn to use a problem solving strategy (PSS) to explain how to complete familiar activities. A multiple probe across sets (paired activities) was used to isolate the effects of tact training and the PSS. During baseline neither participant could explain how to complete familiar activities. Both participants were first taught to tact pictures that corresponded to the steps of two familiar activities (e.g., bowling and making juice) in set 1. Following tact training alone, the participants remained unable to successfully explain how to complete the tasks. A PSS consisting of sorting the pictures by activity, sequencing them in order, then tacting the position of the pictures in the sequence (e.g., "First... next... then... last") was trained. Following training of the PSS, the participants explained how to complete the first set of tasks in several contexts. For sets 2 and 3, tact training alone was sufficient to teach the children to explain how, as the use of the PSS generalized across sets. These results extend the problem solving literature through the inclusion of combined visual and verbal PSS and demonstration of generalization of the strategy to untrained sets.

 
 
Symposium #275
CE Offered: BACB
Refining Instructional Procedures for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University)
Discussant: Jennifer Ledford (Vanderbilt University)
CE Instructor: Sacha T. Pence, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Practitioners make decisions about skill-acquisition programming for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on best-practice recommendations in the literature. However, there is still much we do not know when providing recommendations on how to best develop and implement skill-acquisition programming. This symposium is a group of presentations that look to refine instructional procedures when teaching skills to individuals with ASD. The first presentation will evaluate the types of prompts used during discrete-trial instruction. The second presentation will compare the materials used (flashcards compared to tablets) used during discrete-trial instruction. The third presentation will examine the level of instruction necessary for preschool children to learn social skills. Finally, the fourth presentation will compare chaining procedures to teach cooking skills. The presentations will include implications for clinical practice. A discussant will review the presentations and provide suggestions for future research and clinical considerations.

Keyword(s): chaining, discrete-trial teaching, prompting procedures, skill acquisition
 

Evaluating Efficacy and Preference for Prompt Type During Discrete-Trial Teaching

VICTORIA MARKHAM (University of South Wales), Aimee Giles (University of South Wales), Richard James May (University of South Wales)
Abstract:

Discrete-trial teaching is an evidence-based teaching strategy that may be individualized to each learner. One way to individualize discrete-trial teaching is the type of prompts which are used. Prompts may include: modelling the correct response, gesturing, providing verbal cues, and physical guidance. There is limited research on the relative efficiency and effectiveness of these different prompt types making it difficult to identify which prompt will be best for each learner (Seaver & Bourret, 2014). In addition, the learners preference for how they are taught is not always considered. The present study compared the relative effectiveness of three different prompt types to teach a receptive identification task for three boys with autism. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare a gesture, modeling, physical guidance, and a no-prompt control condition. For one participant, the physical prompt was the most effective. For a second participant, the model prompt was the most effective. Following mastery, a concurrent chains preference assessment was conducted to assess individual preference for prompt type. Both efficacy and client preference may be used to determine prompt selection during discrete-trial teaching.

 
A Comparison Between Presenting Receptive Language Stimuli on a Tablet vs. Flashcards
AZURE PELLEGRINO (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Kristina Gerencser (Utah State University ), Lorraine Becerra (Utah State University)
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching is often a component of behavior analytic services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Typical materials used in receptive labeling programs using discrete trial teaching include flashcards. Recent advances in technology, including the use of tablets, have been implemented in the area of skill acquisition for children with ASD. The current study extends these findings to examine if children with ASD acquire receptive labeling skills when the stimuli are presented on a tablet as quickly as when the stimuli are presented on flashcards. The results for the first participant show that most stimuli sets were acquired quicker using a tablet than using flashcards.
 

Preschool Life Skills Training Using the Response to Intervention Model With Preschoolers With Developmental Disabilities

JOHN FALLIGANT (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Children with developmental disabilities are at increased risk to develop problem behavior in the absence of appropriate social and communication skills. Hanley, Heal, Tiger, and Ingvarsson (2007) created a classwide preschool life skills (PLS) program that taught young children to request teacher assistance, tolerate delays or denials in the delivery of materials, friendship skills, and functional communication skills. The purpose of the current study was to assess the effectiveness of the PLS program when implemented with children with developmental disabilities and at risk for developing classroom problem behavior. A multiple-baseline across-behaviors design was used to demonstrate the effects of instruction, differential reinforcement, and error-correction procedures that systematically increased as necessary for participants to acquire the target skills. Probes were also conducted in the classroom with adults and peers following acquisition to test for generalization. The level of instruction varied across participants. Four participants acquired the skills with least-to-most prompting and praise. Three participants required individualized instruction and reinforcers. Overall, there was little generalization of the acquired skills to peers and adults in the participants classrooms.

 

Clustered Forward Chaining as a Strategy for Teaching an Adult With Autism to Follow Written Recipes

KATE CHAZIN (Vanderbilt University), Danielle Bartelmay (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the utility of a clustered forward chaining (CFC) procedure for teaching a 23-year-old male with autism to follow written recipes. CFC incorporated elements of forward chaining and total task chaining by teaching a small number of steps (i.e., clusters) using total task chaining, and introducing new clusters sequentially, contingent upon sustained mastery of previous clusters. For each of three recipes targeted in a multiple probe design, we organized 45 total steps into 15 functional triads (i.e., read, do, record). We then organized the triads into three clusters (five triads each). We used a 5-s constant time delay to prompt responses for every step within a training cluster and immediately prompted responding for all untrained clusters. We probed for mastery of the entire response chain after demonstrations of mastery of each individual cluster (and before initiating training for a new cluster). Results showed that CFC successfully established independence of all three response chains and required considerably fewer training trials than what would have been required had we implemented a traditional forward chaining procedure. Maintenance probes 3-5 weeks after training demonstrated continued independence of all three cooking recipes.

 
 
Symposium #276
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in Teaching Language Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Daniel R. Mitteer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: April N. Kisamore, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In early intensive behavioral interventions for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), teaching language skills (verbal operants) is a fundamental educational goal (Love, Carr, Almason, & Petursdottir, 2009). The outcomes from comparisons of teaching strategies may identify how to teach these skills more effectively and efficiently and create more preferred instructional contexts. This symposium presents advancements in how best to teach language skills (e.g., intraverbals, tacts) to children with an ASD. Majdalany et al. compared the efficacy of tact prompts and textual prompts during intraverbal teaching. Mitteer et al. evaluated the effects of including or omitting background stimuli when teaching expressive-identification of images, with an emphasis on efficiency and stimulus generalization to novel images, videos, and figurines. Lorca et al. taught children to engage in reciprocal conversational skills (e.g., asking a question following a partners statement) and assessed the emergence of intraverbal responding with novel topics. Haygood and Pence compared the efficacy, efficiency, and childrens preference for least-to-most, most-to-least with a delay, and progressive-time delay prompting hierarchies during discrete-trial training, and analyzed the correspondence between efficiency and preference. Taken together, recommendations based on these studies may assist clinicians in selecting teaching procedures that are more efficient, efficacious, and preferred.

Keyword(s): early intervention, intraverbal, prompting strategies, tact
 

A Comparison of Textual and Tact Prompts on the Acquisition of Intraverbal Behavior in Children With Autism

BROOKE TOMPKINS (Florida Institute of Technology), Randi Margarian (Florida Institute of Technology), Lina M. Majdalany (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Prompts are supplemental stimuli used to facilitate the development of novel skills. Textual prompts are written cues, while tact prompts are pictorial cues. Both textual and tact prompting techniques have been shown to be effective in the acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of intraverbal behavior in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. However, the direct comparison of the textual and tact prompts has yet to be conducted. In the current study, we taught one young child to engage in intraverbal behavior using tact and textual prompting techniques. Tact prompts resulted in quicker acquisition and fewer trials to criterion when compared to textual prompts. Responding maintained one week later in both textual and tact conditions. The participant scored 100% on generalization probes across people in both conditions. The participant scored 80% on generalization probes across stimuli in the tact condition, and 100% on the generalization probes across stimuli in the text condition.

 

Effects of Background Stimuli on Acquisition and Generalization of Tacts Across Pictures, Videos, and Figurines

DANIEL R. MITTEER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kevin C. Luczynski (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Victoria Smith (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Teaching children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to name (tact) images is a common skill area. Teaching with backgrounds may increase the difficulty of discriminating the target stimulus and may lead to faulty stimulus control (e.g., background images evoke the target response). However, including backgrounds may enhance stimulus generalization to additional exemplars of the category (stimulus class) with backgrounds. To date, no study has examined the effects of including or omitting backgrounds. We used an adapted alternating treatments design to evaluate the effects of teaching with and without backgrounds on acquisition and stimulus generalization to novel images, videos, and figurines. Across four participants, ages 3-4 with an ASD, we observed minimal differences in the number of sessions to mastery when teaching with backgrounds (M = 6) or without backgrounds (M = 4). Stimulus generalization occurred more often in the condition taught with backgrounds (33%) than without backgrounds (0%). When differential reinforcement was programmed during generalization tests, mastery was observed in 64% of targets taught with backgrounds and in 50% of targets taught without backgrounds. Teaching with backgrounds may produce slower acquisition of pictures but enhance generalization to images and videos exemplars containing backgrounds as compared to teaching without backgrounds .

 

The Emergence of Generative Intraverbal Responding in Children With Autism

JOHANNA F. LORCA (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Hoang T. Nguyen (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.), Junelyn Lazo (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to investigate if novel conversation responses would generate after teaching specific conversational styles and minimal components of intraverbal responses to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Intraverbal responses involved making general statements, asking questions, and developing conversation styles. Statement/Question and Question/Statement style of conversation were taught to three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The participants in the study ranged in age from 6 to 9 years. During the statement/question and question/statement, the participants discussed topics of their own interest. Then specific topics of conversation were used in these conversation styles. Finally, they were taught to ask about the interests of various conversation partners. In the generalization testing phase, the participants were able to begin conversations with others using similar conversational styles, but with novel topics (topics of various conversation partners interests) and components of each topic. Results showed that novel intraverbal responses can generate after training of minimal number of discrete stimulus-responses relationships.

 
Evaluation of the Efficiency of and Preference for Three Prompting Procedures
SARAH BROOKE HAYGOOD (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Discrete-trial teaching (DTT) is frequently used to teach new skills to individuals with developmental disabilities and can include a variety of prompting procedures. Currently, little research exists to help guide best-practice recommendations for practitioners. During Experiment 1, least-to-most (LTM), most-to-least with a delay (MTL-D), and progressive-time delay (PTD) prompting hierarchies were compared. Acquisition during DTT was evaluated with seven preschool children with a developmental disability. Least-to-most prompting was most effective for 2 participants, MTL-D was most effective for 2 participants, and PTD was most effective for 1 participant. In general, the most efficient prompting hierarchy was idiosyncratic across participants. During Experiment 2, a modified concurrent-chains preference assessment was used to evaluate participants’ preferences for the different prompting procedures. Four of five participants preferred the prompting strategy that was most efficient in Experiment 1. These data replicate previous studies suggesting that there are individual differences in prompting effectiveness and efficiency. Similar to previous research, LTM was consistently associated with the highest number of errors across participants.
 
 
Symposium #276a
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Medicine SIG Presents: A Sampling of Current Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Promotion
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College)
Discussant: Richard K. Fleming (University of Massachusetts Boston)
CE Instructor: Gretchen A. Dittrich, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral medicine is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes behavior analytic principles and methodology to identify behaviors associated with health and disease states, identify the controlling variables, and increase behaviors associated with improved health outcomes and decrease behaviors associated with illness and disease states. There are myriad studies investigating behavioral interventions to improve behaviors associated with health and disease, including blood glucose monitoring in diabetes, substance use, dietary intake, feeding disorders and food selectivity, disordered eating, sedentary and physical activity, sleeping challenges, dental hygiene, and chronic pain management. Furthermore, behavioral medicine research also targets preventative techniques to avoid health-related issues, such as early screening and self-screening for cancer, following specific recommendations for dietary consumption and physical activity to prevent obesity and other related illnesses, and accident prevention in elderly, pediatric, and work populations. Treatment adherence may also be targeted during routine medical procedures, in continued care for health conditions, such as diabetes, and following injury (e.g., compliance with physical therapy). Behavior analysts are well-equipped to address these problems of public health, yet many studies in behavioral medicine are published outside of behavior analytic journals. The purpose of this symposium is to highlight current and diverse research in the area of behavioral medicine, and to provide attendees an opportunity to hear from established researchers in the field.

Keyword(s): Behavioral dentistry, Behavioral Medicine, Obstetrics, Sleep problems
 

Assessment and Treatment of Sleep Problems of Young Children: Application of Behavioral Medicine

SANDY JIN (Eastern Connecticut State University), Melanie Byrne (Eastern Connecticut State University), Royce Manifold (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Abstract:

Sleep problems are prevalent in typically-developing children and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These problems negatively impact the health and development of youths and present challenges to parents, caregivers, and clinicians. Pharmacological interventions are commonly recommended despite limited research on their efficacy and social acceptability. Behavioral interventions shows merit as a promising alternative but has yet to draw to focus of mainstream treatment providers. We will discuss the assessment and treatment of sleep problems as an area of application of Behavioral Medicine. Efficacy data of behavioral intervention with and without pharmacological intervention on the sleep problems (i.e., sleep onset delay, night and early wakings, and problem behaviors that interfere with sleep) of children diagnosed with and without autism are presented.

 
Momentary Prompting and Modeling of Behavior-Based Labor Strategies
ASHLEY EDEN GREENWALD (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The Cesarean Epidemic is categorized by the increasing cesarean section rate in the U.S., currently 30.8% (Boyle et al., 2013), which is in stark contrast to the 5% cesarean rate during the early 1970’s (Goer & Romano, 2012). The “cascade of interventions” resulting from an otherwise healthy women utilizing non-medically-necessary but often routine pain medications during labor contribute to the U.S.’s poor outcomes in maternal and infant health. A troubling statistic released by the United Nations in September of 2010 placed the U.S. 50th in the world for maternal mortality, higher than almost all European countries (WHO, 2010; Coeytaux, Bingham & Langer, 2011). In a report summarizing the World Health Organization’s principles of perinatal care, appropriate methods for pain relief are all suggested to be behavioral (Chalmers, Mangiaterra & Porter, 2001). However, skills learned during childbirth education are difficult to generalize and the unavailability of ongoing labor support are major contributing factors in high requests for pain medication (Goer & Ramano, 2012). This talk addresses these concerns using a contingency analysis as well as results from an empirical study utilizing a behavior analytic software program for labor support during unmedicated labor.
 

A Review of a Program of Research in Behavioral Dentistry

KEITH D. ALLEN (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Compliance with medical/dental routines is an important part of basic health care for everyone. Many diseases and illnesses are preventable or treatable, but the benefits only accrue if patients cooperate with the procedures involved in the delivery of care. Unfortunately, many children do not cooperate. This presentation will review both the respondent and operant components of medical/dental noncompliance and the common treatments for promoting compliance. The presentation will then review a program of research in applied behavior analysis (both small n and RCT) that follows the development and empirical validation of applications based on negative reinforcement in treatment of noncompliance with routine dental care in every day practice.

 

Current Publication Trends in Behavioral Medicine Research

GRETCHEN A. DITTRICH (Simmons College), Richard K. Fleming (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Abstract:

The field of behavioral medicine focuses on identifying the variables associated with health and disease states, and manipulating those variables to facilitate change in the behaviors relatedto improved health status. The variety of research within the behavioral medicine field is extensive. However, trends in current publication data suggest much of the research within the field is published outside of behavior analytic fora. The current presentation will review the state of behavioral medicine research in the field of behavior analysis and in other related fields. Data reviewed will focus onpublication trends in behavioral medicine research, provide an overview of health behaviors of interest, offer suggestions for future publications, and emphasize theneed to continue disseminating research both in behavior analyticjournals and conferences.

 
 
Symposium #279
Current Research on Behavioral Persistence and Relapse With Humans and Nonhuman Animals
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Toshikazu Kuroda (Aichi Bunkyo University)
Discussant: Mark E. Bouton (University of Vermont)
Abstract:

This symposium will present current research on behavioral persistence and relapse. The persistence of problem behavior and the recovery of once-extinguished behavior following treatment are common issues in applied/clinical settings. Findings from laboratory settings suggest some variables relevant to the issues. Ribeiro, Kelley and Tanz point out that noncontingent reinforcement, which is a common technique for decreasing problem behavior, may actually increase its persistence in children diagnosed with autism. Ferreira and Canado show that behavioral persistence can partially be determined by the dependency between a response and the reinforcer that follows it. Abreu-Rodrigues, Canado, Ferreira and Siqueira, and Kuroda, Podlesnik and Canado, show that the manipulations of contextual stimuli (i.e., renewal procedures) also affect the degree of resurgence in rats and humans. Our discussant, Mark Bouton, will address implications of these studies. This symposium should be informative for both basic and applied researchers.

Keyword(s): Autism, Non-human Animals, Renewal, Resurgence
 

Non-Contingent Reinforcement and Behavioral Persistence: A Translational Evaluation

AURELIA RIBEIRO (Florida Tech), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Jeanine R Tanz (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida I)
Abstract:

We evaluated the persistence-strengthening effects of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) and some factors that may interfere with maintenance of treatment effects. Basic, translational, and applied research have demonstrated that the resistance of a given response rate to change depends on the baseline overall rate of reinforcement, regardless of response rate, such that the greater the rate of reinforcement the greater the resistance of behavior to change. These findings suggest that adding reinforcers to a context in which problem behavior has been reinforced (as it is usually the case with NCR) is likely to increase behavioral persistence when treatment is challenged. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of NCR on behavioral persistence during extinction (Experiment 1), with five children with autism, and during other disruption procedures (Experiment 2), with three autistic children. Basically, we compared responding during disruption following a reinforcement only condition and responding during disruption following a condition with both contingent and non-contingent reinforcement. Results from Experiment 1 were not consistent across participants and may be related to the procedure used to test for resistance. In Experiment 2, we found that behavioral persistence was greater after NCR for all three participants, which replicates previous findings on behavioral persistence.

 

Response-Reinforcer Dependency and Resistance to Change: A Parametric Analysis

FLAVIA FERREIRA (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), Carlos Renato Xavier Cancado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract:

A parametric analysis was conducted with four rats to investigate the effects of different percentages of response-dependent food on resistance to change. Lever pressing was maintained under a three-component multiple schedule with the same rate of food in each component. The percentage of response-dependent food was 10 and 100 in the first and second components, respectively, throughout the study. The percentage in the third (Alternative) component varied across conditions from 10 to 80 for each rat. In each component, interfood intervals were variable. Responding in the first component (10%) consistently was more resistant to change than that in the second component (100%). When the percentage of response-dependent food was 10, 20, or 30 in the third component, resistance to change approximated that in the first component. When it was 50 or 80, resistance to change was closer to that in the second component. Overall, resistance to change was an inverse function of the percentage of response-dependent food. Replicating previous findings, these results suggest that resistance to change is at least partially determined by aspects of the response-reinforcer relation.

 

Effects of Contextual Stimuli on Resurgence

JOSELE ABREU RODRIGUES (Universidade de Brasilia), Carlos Cancado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), FlÁvia Ferreira (Universidade de Brasilia), �talo Siqueira (Universidade de Brasilia)
Abstract:

The effects of contextual stimuli on resurgence were studied in two experiments with rats. In each, lever pressing was reinforced on a multiple variable-interval (VI) 20 s VI 20 s schedule in the Training phase. In the Elimination and Test phases, respectively, a differential-reinforcement-of other-behavior schedule (DRO) and extinction were in effect in each component. Contextual stimuli (houselight illumination patterns) were manipulated across components and phases. In Experiment 1, contextual stimuli were similar across phases in one component (AAA, with letters representing the context in each phase); in the other component (ABA), contextual stimuli changed from Training to Elimination phase, but in the Test phase, the context was similar to that in effect in the Training phase. In Experiment 2, the context changed from Training to Elimination phase in both components. In the Test phase, the context was that in effect in the Elimination phase in one component (ABB), and that in effect in the Training phase in the other component (ABA). Resurgence of greater magnitude occurred in the ABA than in the other component for all rats in Experiment 1, and for two of three rats in Experiment 2, indicating the relevance of contextual control for conceptualizations of resurgence.

 
Effects of ABA and ABB Contextual Changes on Resurgence in Rapid Assessment Procedures for Humans
TOSHIKAZU KURODA (Aichi Bunkyo University), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology), Carlos Cancado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract: It remains unclear whether resurgence and renewal can combine to determine relapse effects. The present study tested this question in a rapid assessment procedure for humans. Resurgence was assessed by first reinforcing button pressing as the target response in Phase 1 in a computerized task. In Phase 2, target responding was extinguished while a concurrently available alternative response was reinforced. In Phase 3, extinction was in effect for both responses. The three phases were in effect within a single laboratory visit. Moreover, contextual stimuli were manipulated through changes in the background color of the computer screen across the three phases according to either an ABA or ABB renewal preparation, counterbalanced across participants for the sequence of exposure. Target responding extinguished more quickly with the second exposure to extinction in Context B (Phase 2), but resurgence generally was greater when returning to Context A than when remaining in Context B. These findings suggest that the reinforcer- and stimulus-control processes underlying relapse procedures can combine to determine relapse effects. Additionally, these methods provide a rapid way to assess these processes in humans.
 
 
Symposium #280
CE Offered: BACB
Out of the Organism and Into the Lab: Contemporary Basic Research on Motivating Operations
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Matthew Lewon, M.A.
Abstract: There has been much recent interest in motivating operations (MOs) in the applied wing of behavior analysis, and this is likely due to the fact that MOs exert a ubiquitous influence on behavior in real-world circumstances. Within the laboratory, motivational variables are more easily controlled and are therefore sometimes overlooked as independent variables in their own right. Perhaps because of this, contemporary basic behavior analytic research on MOs has lagged somewhat behind applied research on the topic. Nevertheless, important basic research on MOs is currently being conducted, and the purpose of this symposium is to highlight some of this research. The presentations in this symposium will describe recent developments in the experimental analysis of motivation, including investigations pertaining to the relationship between MOs and stimulus discrimination and generalization, the relevance of Pavlovian conditioning to the study of motivation, and the importance of MOs in the evaluation of the behavioral characteristics of transgenic mouse models of human disease.
Keyword(s): basic research, establishing operations, motivating operations, motivation
 
The Effects of Establishing and Abolishing Operations on Stimulus Control
AMIN LOTFIZADEH (Easter Seals Southern California/Western Michigan )
Abstract: Studies have found that stimulus control, as evident in generalization gradients, changes when the organism is deprived more or less of the relevant reinforcers. Drug-discrimination studies, however, have not revealed such an effect consistently. A procedural detail that may account for this inconsistency is that deprivation was reduced relative to the training condition in most drug-discrimination studies. Recently, we examined how substantially increasing deprivation affects d-amphetamine discrimination in non-humans. Rats initially were trained to discriminate d-amphetamine (1.0 mg/kg) from vehicle (0 mg/kg) injections under 22-h food deprivation conditions. Dose–response gradients were then obtained under 22-h and 46-h deprivation levels. The ED50 was significantly higher with greater deprivation. This finding suggests that increasing motivation relative to the training condition may reduce stimulus control by drugs, while decreasing it may improve discrimination. This phenomenon was subsequently examined in an observational study to see if the results generalize to human performance, particularly batters' performance in professional baseball as a function of specific establishing operations (EOs).
 
Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer and Establishing Operations
TIMOTHY EDWARDS (University of Waikato)
Abstract: Conditioned stimulus presentations can function as establishing operations in that they often result in a momentary increase in the efficacy of relevant reinforcers and an increase in the strength of responses that previously produced those reinforcers. The relevance of respondent conditioning to establishing operations has been noted in much of the literature dealing with establishing operations on the conceptual level. However, little relevant experimental research has been carried out. Data from two experimental arrangements designed to study the effects of conditioned stimulus presentations on response strength and reinforcer efficacy with rats will be presented. Because discriminative stimuli are likely to have respondent functions, presentations of discriminative stimuli are also likely to function as establishing operations. On a conceptual level, the distinction between discriminative stimulus functions and establishing operations remains. In practice, however, the respondent functions of discriminative stimuli have important implications. These implications and examples of the relevance of this analysis to applied settings will be discussed.
 
Motivational Characteristics of the mdx Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
CHRISTINA M. PETERS (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Pam Van Ry (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Dean Burkin (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Kenneth W. Hunter (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Geneticists have engineered a variety of transgenic knockout mice to serve as animal models for human diseases. One such model, the mdx mouse, is used extensively for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) research. While the mdx mouse has been utilized effectively to research various cellular and muscular deficits associated with DMD, attempts to identify behavioral differences between mdx and wild-type (WT) control mice using behavioral neuroscience methods have been unsuccessful. The identification of such differences is important for the evaluation of the effects of preclinical treatments for DMD. The present paper will describe an attempt to evaluate the behavior of the mdx mouse through operant conditioning procedures including but not limited to a delayed non-matching to position task (DNMTP) and escape/avoidance of loud noise. The main finding of this research was that food deprivation and aversive stimulation appeared to have differential motivational effects on mdx relative to WT mice. We will describe these differences and discuss the implications of such findings for behavioral research using nonhuman models of human disease. Potential benefits of this type of interdisciplinary collaboration will also be discussed.
 
Reassessing the Value-Altering Function: Motivating Operations, Extinction, and Stimulus Discrimination
MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Two classes of antecedent conditions affect the probability of response at any given moment: discriminative stimuli and motivating operations (MOs). While a conceptual distinction between these two classes of events has been maintained, they are both always concurrently operating and function together to evoke behavior. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about the interaction of these two types of events in the development of stimulus control. We will present a combination of data obtained from experimentation we have conducted as well as conceptual analyses drawing from data appearing in the literature to suggest that MOs contribute to the development of discriminated responding by differentially affecting stimuli correlated with either the availability or unavailability of reinforcement. Specifically, greater motivational levels appear to increase the evocative efficacy of stimuli correlated with the availability of reinforcement while simultaneously increasing the extent to which responding is suppressed in the presence of stimuli correlated with the unavailability of reinforcement. This suggests that motivational level during extinction is particularly important in bringing responding under discriminative control. The implications of this analysis will be discussed with regard to the putative value-altering function of MOs.
 
 
Symposium #283
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
The Use of a ShaperSpace to Support the Development of Behavior-Analytic Identity
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Regency Ballroom D, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: TBA/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lee L. Mason (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Alicia Bravo (Victoria University at Wellington)
CE Instructor: Lee L. Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In this symposium, we extend the use of the term makerspace to environments that allow for the contingency-shaping of behavior-analytic interventions and verbal repertoires. A makerspace is an informal establishments where makers gather to create science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects of their own devising. Concomitantly, an increasing number of educational researchers are dedicating substantive time to examining the affordances of makerspaces for supporting interest, engagement, and participation in STEM learning. A defining feature of a makerspace is the informal approach in which instructions are minimized to allow for maximal contingency-shaping. Extended to the science of behavior, we propose the term "shaperspace" to describe an environment in which ABA students are challenged with behavioral excesses and deficits, and learn to employ behavior-analytic interventions primarily through successive approximations. Additionally, shaperspaces offer a verbal behavior community to differentially reinforce tractable, pragmatic descriptions over explanatory fictions. The current state of shaperspace and project-based learning community research should not obfuscate the potential benefits of such environments for facilitating the acquisition of a behavior-analytic repertoire. Nor should the current state of shaperspace research, presented here, impede rigorous behavioral research into the educational affordances of such environments.

Keyword(s): behavioral phenomenology, makerspace, supervision, verbal community
 
Novice Behaviors in a MakerSpace: A Behavioral-Phenomenological Investigation
DON DAVIS (North East Independent School District)
Abstract: Given the substantive recent attention given to makerspaces and their potential for supporting learning, this researcher conducted a behavioral-phenomenological investigation of novice behaviors in a makerspace. The results presented here provide a behavioral-phenomenological analysis, similar to a “pre-treatment” functional analysis (Groden, 1989), in the style of Day (1977) and McCorkle (1978) among others (e.g., Dougher, 1989; Leigland, 1989) intended to inform future makerspace / maker research and design. Moreover, the methodology represents a reconciliation between past approaches (e.g., Lahren, 1978; McCorkle, 1978), methodological concerns, such as interrater reliability, and modern development in behavioral research such as derived relational responding (Hayes et al., 2001; Leigland, 1997). Similarly, the research focus on makerspaces and computer science participation highlights research areas of great contemporary interest commonly ignored by the community of behavioral researchers. The researcher will discuss discriminated relationships among participant-articulated relationships to computer science (CS) and related topics, researcher-discriminated participant relationships to CS and related topics, and behaviors observed in situ at the makerspace as well as in interviews.
 
The Effects of Fluency Building on Intraverbal Equivalence Formations
LEE L. MASON (University of Texas at San Antonio), Katherine Tyler (North East Independent School District), Victoria Escobedo (TEAM Autism Center), Rebecca Martinez (Northside Independent School District)
Abstract: The results of three interventions to address deficits in derived responding are presented here. Project-based learning was incorporated within the context of an intensive practicum for graduate students accruing supervised field experience hours. Three pre-service behavior analysts were charged with addressing the verbal behavior deficits of three children with autism spectrum disorder. Each behavior analyst employed a stimulus control ratio equation (SCoRE) to identify individual deficits in derived responding emitted from their assigned child. The results of the derived operant SCoRE served as a "judgmental aid" to more effectively control the behavior of the novice analyst throughout the duration field experience. Based on the results of their child's SCoRE, the behavior analysts then developed specific interventions that were conceptually-systematic with the behavior-analytic literature to address their child's deficits, and then experimentally-evaluated the effects of these interventions. The distinct behavioral deficits of the three children led to three different research questions that provided the context for each pre-service behavior analysts' field experience. One student evaluated different error correction techniques to address deficits in derived responding. Another examined the extent to which teaching reflexive sequelic responses to fluency led to increased transitive sequelic responding. The third researched the effects of transitive response training by assessing the concomitant outcomes of novel transitive responses and structurally-similar symmetrical responses.
 
Conditioning the Control of Reflexive Stimuli Over Derived Responses to Wh- Questions
ALONZO ANDREWS (University of Texas at San Antonio), Laura Joann (TEAM Autism Center), Melissa Kaplan (San Antonio State Supported Living Center)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty responding to Wh- questions. This may be due to a deficit in relational responding that prevents the individual from producing a response based on the class memberships of stimuli found in the question (Daar, Negrelli, & Dixon, 2015). Hall and Chase (1991) described how intraverbal responding may be analyzed within an equivalence framework. The present study attempted to apply this framework through an intervention designed to increase the responses to "who," "what," and "where" questions. A 6-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, who displayed deficits in responding to rotating wh- questions, served as the participant in this idiographic research. A concurrent mulitple-baseline across behaviors design was used to demonstrate a functional relationship between the explicit reinforcement of fill-in-the-blank symmetry relations and stimulus generalization to corresponding wh- questions. Additionally, the emergence of untrained responses to transitive Wh- questions were also assessed. Results indicate that correct responding to Wh- questions was functionally related to the reinforcement contingencies applied specifically to each type of Wh- question. Additionally, our data support the functional independence of symmetrical and transitive control over intraverbal relations.
 

Behavioral Hermeneutics: The Effects of Written Feedback on Special Educator's Use of Behavior-Analytic Terminology

Ernesto Salinas (University of Texas at San Antonio), Caleb Hood (North East Independent School District), Mariana De Los Santos (Bloom Childrens Center), LEE L. MASON (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

A significant obstacle towards developing the behavior-analytic perspective is penchants for using tautological "explanatory fictions" or "mentalisms,"which obfuscate the behavioral conceptualization necessary to effectively address clinical concerns. At a university-based center serving as a field-experience site, pre-service behavior analyst participating in verbal operant training with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders were trained to write a technical description of their interactions with their client subsequent to composing a daily therapy notes. The daily therapy notes were prepared to review with the children's caregivers, and so were specifically composed in common parlance. For the technical description, however, the pre-service behavior analysts were asked to precisely describe how their manipulation of the environment supported their clients' performance and contributed to reducing challenging behavior using the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis. Specifically, the technical description asked:(a) Which of the childs behavior are you strengthening/weakening? (b) Under what circumstances are the childs behavior excesses/deficits present? And (c) How do you manipulate the childs environment? How does your behavior affect childs responding?The supervising BCBA reviewed this documentation tallying behavior-analytic terms for cumulative examination. This paper presents the results of a multiple-baseline across participants design employed to evaluate the contingent effects of written feedback on supervisees use of behavior-analytic terminology.

 
 
Symposium #284
CE Offered: BACB
Doing Gender: Behavioral Assessment of Implicit and Explicit Gender(ing)
Monday, May 30, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Alpine, Swissotel
Area: TPC/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maria R. Ruiz (Rollins College)
Discussant: Anthony O'Reilly (University of Essex )
CE Instructor: Maria R. Ruiz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The past dozen years has seen an increased interest by behavior analysts in assessing what cognitivists refer to as implicit cognitions. In response to The Implicit Association Test (IAT) by Greenwald and colleagues behavior analysts have developed and published studies focusing on verbal histories as a core process (e.g. Roche, Ruiz, O'Riordan & Hand, 2005; Gavin, Roche & Ruiz, 2008; Gavin, Roche, Ruiz, Hogan & O'Reilly, 2012; O'Reilly, Roche, Ruiz & Champion, 2013). The most recent iteration is the Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) developed by O'Reilly and colleagues. This symposium focuses on Gender related issues and extending the behavioral analysis of doing gender (Ruiz, 1995, 2003) and applying the FAST to assess verbal histories that the authors have demonstrated are related to implicit attitudes.An application to the gaming community is included and implications of negative gendering practices are examined.

 

Developing the Function Acquisition Speed Test: Methodological Improvements and Conceptual Challenges for Attitude Measurement From a Behavioural Perspective

ANTHONY O'REILLY (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Aoife Cartwright (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract:

The Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) is a novel implicit attitude measure that applies behavioural principles and methodology to the assessment of subjects' histories of verbal behaviour with regard to particular natural stimulus relations in the vernacular - or, more commonly, their "implicit attitudes". The implicit attitude construct is ubiquitous in social cognitive psychology, but how are "implicit attitudes" best discussed in behavioural terms? This paper will discuss the developing FAST methodology and the conceptual questions surrounding "implicit attitudes", and consider the implications for applying a functional approach to attitude measurement for intervention.

 
Using a Modified Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) for Assessing Gender Stereotypes
AOIFE CARTWRIGHT (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Michelle Gogarty (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Anthony O'Reilly (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The current study was an application of the Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST) procedure to the assessment of natural stimulus relations in the vernacular. Specifically, this experiment assessed the sensitivity of the FAST to common gender stereotypes of men as “masculine” (i.e., dominant or competitive) and women as “feminine” (i.e., nurturing or gentle). Thirty participants completed a FAST procedure consisting of two testing blocks. In one block, functional response classes were established between classes of stimuli assumed to be stereotype-consistent (i.e., men-agentic and women-communal), and in the other between classes of stimuli assumed to be stereotype-inconsistent (i.e., men-communal and women-agentic). Differences in the rate of class acquisition across the two blocks were quantified using cumulative record-type learning curves plotting correct responses as a function of time. Acquisition rates were significantly faster (i.e., steeper learning curve) for the stereotype-consistent relative to the stereotype-inconsistent block. Corroborating agency/communality stereotypes were observed on an Implicit Association Test containing identical stimuli.
 
Gendering Practices in Video Games: A FAST Assessment
MARIA R. RUIZ (Rollins College), Kevin M. Miraglia (Rollins College), Rachel Vlahov (Rollins College), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The gaming industry has built itself as a male-dominated space, despite relatively recent efforts to become more inclusive. These efforts have met with backlash against the perceived intrusion of women into gaming recently manifested as Gamergate. We examined the portrayal of women and gamers’ reactions using the Function Acquisition Speed Test (FAST). The FAST yields behavioral measures of so-called implicit attitudes, or as behaviorists understand them, verbal histories. Seven college undergraduates responded to colors directly related to images of a sexualized and a non-sexualized female video game character and to nonsense syllables indirectly (transitively) related to a neutral word / derogatory word used to describe women. In general, participants found it easier to respond to the sexualized character combined with the derogatory word, which may have implications for the way female characters are portrayed in the gaming industry.
 
Sex as a Discriminative Stimulus for Gendered Practices: A Case for an Operational Definition of Gender
MARK RZESZUTEK (St Cloud State University), Elizabeth Harri-Dennis (MNABA), Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Radical behaviorism generally rejects dualistic interpretations of natural phenomena, but our culture often imposes dualisms that require our continued analysis (cf. Skinner, 1953). Ruiz (2003) noted that gender as a subject of analysis is mired in dualistic interpretations such as; individual versus environmental control of behavior, male and female as distinct biological categories, and cultural practices that divide into masculine and feminine categories. The purpose of this paper is to extend Ruiz’s (2003) analysis of sex as a discriminative stimulus of gendered practices. For behavior analysts, the object of concern is that gender is dualistically interpreted as a stimulus class and a response class. When gender is defined as a stimulus, a person becomes a discriminative stimulus for how to act in their presence. This is useful in some ways, and helps us to align our behavior with cultural norms. The difficulty becomes when we impose gender as a stimulus on people whose behavior does not align with cultural norms. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that a definition of gender that includes such an imposition is not in alignment with radical behaviorism by including a pragmatist-feminist interpretation of gender to inform an operational definition of gender.
 
 
Panel #287
Open Data and Community Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Bradley G. Frieswyk (BGF Performance Systems, LLC)
RON VAN HOUTEN (Western Michigan University)
PATRICK B. MARCOTTE (Chicago Community Data Project)
REGINA L. MAENDLER (Chicago Community Data Project)
Abstract: Data related to crime, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and economic development are becoming publicly available at an unprecedented rate. States, counties, and cities are making data available through open application programming interfaces, which allows developers to create data analysis platforms and a variety of customized visualizations. This increase in the availability of open data presents a unique opportunity for behavior analysts interested in working at the community level. Legislative decision-making based on careful analysis of public data can ensure better allocation of time, money, and resources to programs producing meaningful changes in each community, and behavior analysts are uniquely positioned to help community stakeholders and policymakers use public data to identify socially significant community interventions. In this panel discussion, presenters will describe trends in the availability and scope of open data, examples of the use of open source tools for analyzing data and presenting data to community stakeholders, and examples of effective community interventions.
Keyword(s): Community Interventions, Open Data, Standard Measurement
 
 
Symposium #288
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Components and Variables Associated With the Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Negative Reinforcement
Monday, May 30, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Ballroom CD South, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Emory University/Marcus Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Mindy Christine Scheithauer, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Problem behaviors (PB), such as aggression and disruption, are prevalent among individuals with developmental delays. These behaviors negatively impact development and create a stressor for caregivers. PB is often maintained by negative reinforcement (i.e., escape from demands or aversive situations). The current symposium discusses the effects of specific treatment components and variables associated with the treatment of PB maintained by negative reinforcement exhibited by individuals with developmental delays. The first presentation evaluates diaphragmatic breathing (DB), an intervention commonly recommended, which lacks quantitative evidence for reducing PB. The experimenter prompted DB contingent on precursor behaviors in a demand context and observed decreased rates of PB in one participant, while another required additional treatment components. The second presentation evaluated the weekly frequency of treatment sessions targeting tolerance of dental appointments, finding that more frequent treatment sessions may promote superior outcomes. The final presentation describes the use of a multiple schedule in the treatment of PB maintained by escape from interruption to ones environment. Multiple schedules were used to successfully thin the reinforcement schedule in treatment with two participants. This symposium provides guidelines for clinicians designing treatments for PB maintained by negative reinforcement and provides important extensions to the current literature.

Keyword(s): Autism, Escape, Negative Reinforcement, Problem Behavior
 
Evaluation of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Decreasing Escape-Maintained Aggression
LAUREN PHILLIPS (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Lisa Rettig (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: The use of coping skills, such as diaphragmatic breathing (DB), is sometimes recommended to prevent or reduce the occurrence of problem behavior. For example, the Autism Speaks Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit (2012) advises parents to prompt their children to take deep breaths when they are engaging in challenging behaviors and then to praise independent responding. However, research to date only has demonstrated qualitative improvements in behavior for participants through the use of DB, and further investigation is needed to assess quantitative decreases in problem behavior. In this study, the effectiveness of DB was assessed on reducing the rate of aggression maintained by social negative reinforcement exhibited by two individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A precursor assessment was conducted to determine behaviors that reliably occurred before aggression, and DB was prompted contingent on precursors during treatment without extinction. Treatment was evaluated using an ABAB reversal design, and reliability was calculated for at least 50% of sessions and averaged over 90%. DB treatment without extinction was effective at reducing aggression for one of two participants. A different treatment that included extinction was required to produce socially significant reductions in the second participant’s aggression.
 

An Evaluation of Inter-Session Interval Duration in Treating Problem Behavior During Mock Dental Exams

JULIA SZALWINSKI (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Jessica L. Thomason-Sassi (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract:

Dental professionals have reported that problem behavior in individuals with autism precludes adequate care (Kuhn et at., 1994). Prior research has illustrated effective treatments for escape-maintained behavior in this context; however, there is little information on whether the amount of time between treatment sessions impacts treatment effectiveness. However, prior literature has shown that intertrial interval (ITI) duration could have an effect on skill acquisition (e.g.,Tincani et al., 2005). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the length of the ITI impacts the effectiveness of an intervention for escape-maintained problem behavior. The intervention consisted of demand fading and extinction for problem behavior; in one condition, treatment sessions were conducted weekly, and in the second condition treatment sessions were conducted 3-5 times per week. Participants included two students from a residential school for children with autism. A multiple baseline across subjects design is being used to demonstrate experimental control. Results for Subject 1 suggest that ITI is an important variable, in that more frequent sessions produce better treatment outcomes. Subject 2 has not yet experienced the second treatment condition. Inter-observer agreement was calculated for 47% of sessions with 97.4% agreement.

 

Use of a Multiple Schedule for Problem Behaviors Maintained by Avoidance of Interrupted Play

SARAH J. MILLER (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Jessica Alvarez (New Directions Counseling Center), Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center/Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Up to 96% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder exhibit complex repetitive behavior (McDougle et al., 1992). Functional analyses have demonstrated that some individuals engage in problem behavior maintained by termination of interruption of repetitive or rigid behaviors, such as a therapist manipulating items the participant has arranged (e.g., Fisher, Adelinis, Thompson, Worsdell, & Zarcone, 1998; Leon, Lazarchick, Rooker, & DeLeon, 2013). In both of these previous studies, participants were taught a functional communication response to terminate or avoid the interruption, resulting in a decrease in problem behavior. However, both studies reinforced mands on a FR1 schedule, and such dense schedules of reinforcement may not always be feasible in the natural environment. The current study used a multiple schedule for two individuals whose problem behavior was determined to be maintained by avoidance of interruption of repetitive play. During the multiple schedule, participants were required to tolerate a periods of interruption of increasing duration without engaging in problem behavior. Access to repetitive play served as the reinforcer for tolerating interruptions. Results show that participants were able to tolerate periods of interruption as a result of treatment.

 
 
Symposium #295
CE Offered: BACB
Service Delivery Models for Caregiver-Mediated Interventions
Monday, May 30, 2016
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher A. Tullis (Georgia State University)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
CE Instructor: Christopher A. Tullis, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Many caregivers are playing a larger role in the service delivery of interventions to their children with developmental disabilities. These services can be provided across a variety of settings. This symposium includes four papers on behavioral parent training to address the core and associated deficits associated with autism and related development disabilities. Each study provided caregiver-implemented interventions in a particular setting or across a different medium (i.e., clinic-based, home-based, web-based, or live telehealth). Specifically, Connolly, Wilczynski, Finch and McIntosh evaluated the use of an online training to improve parent confidence within a school setting. Lea, Baker, Gillespie, Walton, and Delfs compared parent satisfaction and programmatic outcomes across three different service delivery models in a large scale parent training program. Walton, Yosick, Shillingsburg, Kansal, and Delfs evaluated the feasibility of a 12- week mand training program delivered via telehealth to the parents of preverbal children with ASD in rural Georgia. Durand and Parks modified a feeding intervention delivered in home by parents and evaluated the generalizability of the intervention. Data will be presented on individual outcomes, parent satisfaction, attendance, and other variables relevant to each study. Information on the feasibility and utility of these technologically-based parent interventions will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Caregiver training, Technology
 

Caregiver-Mediated Mand Training Using Telehealth: A Feasibility Study

WILLIAM WALTON (Marcus Autism Center), Rachel Yosick (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Abstract: Language deficits are one of the most common presenting complaints of parents of children with ASD (De Giacomo & Fombonne, 1998). Mand Training (MT), which focuses on teaching individuals to request items, activities, or actions from others, is based on the conceptualization of language as verbal behavior first described by Skinner (Skinner, 1957). MT is an intervention for severe language delays that incorporates behavioral techniques (e.g., prompting, reinforcement, specific antecedent manipulations) within naturalistic teaching opportunities (Paul, 2008, Le Blanc et al., 2006). MT can be implemented by therapists through direct services or delivered as a caregiver-mediated intervention (Loughrey et al., 2014). Several barriers to accessing evidence-based treatment for language deficits in ASD are unfortunately, common, and include cost and distance. Other behavioral services have been previously delivered via telehealth technology; however, it is not yet clear if MT is feasible for delivery via telehealth. The purpose of this open pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of caregiver MT in a well-characterized sample of 15 preverbal children with ASD (ages 2.0 years to 4.9 years) via telehealth in rural Georgia that participated in a 12 week MT program. Data has been collected to determine if therapists can reliably train caregivers with a high level of fidelity, if caregivers can implement MT with fidelity, if there is improvement in the childs social communication skills, and if caregivers find the use of telehealth technology acceptable.

 
Web-Based Parent Training and Identification of Evidence Based Treatments
SARAH CONNOLLY (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine), Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University), Holmes Finch (Ball State University), David E. McIntoch (Ball State University)
Abstract: The process of entering into the special education maze may be an overwhelming task for parents of children with autism who seek to best meet the needs of their children. Poor communication and collaboration between the family and school personnel may result in parental feelings of confusion during IEP meetings, as well as dissatisfaction with services (Stoner et al., 2005). A lack of knowledge regarding their child’s condition or the evidence-based treatments that can improve their child’s educational experiences may serve as a significant barrier to parental involvement. Families who have not learned enough credible information about their child’s diagnosis or treatments may have increased difficulty in advocating for their child’s needs. Web-based instruction is a method of increasing parental knowledge of evidence-based treatments for ASD is an emerging area of research, with a limited number of existing studies exploring the effects of web-based instruction on knowledge acquisition for parents of children with ASD (Jang et al., 2011). Should web-based learning become an option for parents of children with ASD, this may result in more cost effective and time efficient delivery of training in the area of behavioral interventions. The purpose of this study was to explore web-based training as a method of increasing parent knowledge of behavioral interventions for children with autism. The current study also aimed to determine if parents who received the training were better equipped to request these evidence based treatments in their child’s IEP. Findings, implications, and future directions will be discussed.
 

Comparison of Service Delivery Models for a Behavioral Parent Training Program: Clinic-Based, Home-Based, and Telehealth

CLAIRE LEA (The Marcus Autism Center), Ashley Baker (Marcus Autism Center), William Walton (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Parent training programs based in applied behavior analysis have been utilized as an alternative to intensive behavioral interventions for children with autism to alleviate the costs for parents and lessen the disparity between the number of children with autism who need services and the number of available trained professionals. Positive outcomes of parent training programs have been found when conducted in the home, in the clinic, and more recently via telehealth services; however, more research is needed to evaluate the feasibility and comparative effectiveness. The current study evaluates a 12-week parent training program that provides strategies on teaching new skills and managing problem behavior to over 100 parents of children with autism across the three service delivery models. Collectively, the data show the parent training program increases participants parenting skills and decreases parental stress. The current analysis aimed to assess whether the parents ability to acquire new skills and evaluation of the service differed depending on the location of parent-training.

 

Procedural Modifications of an In-Home Feeding Treatment to Facilitate Generalization and Maintenance With Parent Implementation

SHANNON DURAND (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation), Natalie A. Parks (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
Abstract:

Feeding issues and difficulty during mealtime effects up to 40% of all children, ranging from picky eating to almost complete refusal or selectivity (Sharp et al., 2010). Anywhere between three and ten percent of children develop chronic feeding issues that will not resolve without specific intervention. While research on feeding treatments and their effectiveness is rather vast, the literature on parent implementation of protocols, long-term outcomes, and implementing feeding treatments solely in the home setting are much more limited. This study examined the effects of a treatment developed solely within the home setting and that focused heavily on parent training and implementation. The caregiver was trained to implement treatment and long-term gains were measured. Initially the child made remarkable gains in both variety and texture; however, these gains were lost over time. Measures of treatment integrity of caregiver were measured and modifications were made as a result of caregivers inability to maintain high integrity over time to ensure long-term success and outcomes.

 
 
Symposium #296a
CE Offered: BACB
Best Practice Recommendations for Behavioral Economic Demand Curve Analyses
Monday, May 30, 2016
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Zurich C, Swissotel
Area: BPN/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Derek D. Reed (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Steven R. Hursh (Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Derek D. Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract: The subdiscipline of behavioral science known as “operant behavioral economics” (hereafter termed simply “behavioral economics”) integrates concepts from microeconomic theory and behavior analysis. Behavioral economics provides scientists, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers with unique insights into motivation and reinforcer efficacy. Of particular noteworthiness is the influence of behavioral economics in the domains of addiction, behavioral pharmacology, and empirical public policy. Central to behavioral economics’ success is its unique demand curve analysis that quantifies the degree to which an organism/agency defends its baseline rate of consumption of a target commodity (i.e., its blisspoint). Recent advances in data collection for demand curve studies, as well as the quantitative modeling and analysis of subsequent data, have advanced both the theoretical interpretations and practical applications of behavioral economic principles. This symposium highlights these recent advances in both data collection for and quantitative analyses of demand curves. Contributors will provide data-based recommendations for best practices in this line of research.
Keyword(s): behavioral economics, demand curve, quantitative analysis
 
Construction, Interpretation, and Novel Application of Hypothetical Purchase Task Questionnaires
PETER G. ROMA (Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.), Brent Kaplan (The University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (The University of Kansas), Steven R. Hursh (Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc.)
Abstract: Hypothetical purchase task (HPT) questionnaires provide quantitative insights on behavioral, motivational, and decision-making processes, preferences, and outcomes at the individual, group, market, and population levels when measuring actual consumption is impossible, impractical, illegal, or unethical. However, the development of HPTs beyond the substance abuse field has been limited. To facilitate broader application of HPTs and provide empirical guidance for construction of novel tasks, we tested the effects of HPT price density (17, 9, or 5 prices) and purchase type (quantity purchased or probability of single purchase) on behavioral economic (BE) measures in 1,219 participants for six generic commodities related to food, household/utility, entertainment, and recreation. The Exponential Model of Demand provided excellent fits (mean R2=0.98). High density HPTs were most