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 : Tuesday, May 31, 2016


 

Symposium #385
CE Offered: BACB
Developing Social Repertories with Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership)
CE Instructor: Joseph H. Cihon, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder have qualitative impairments in social behavior, which can range from withdrawing from others to a failure to develop meaningful friendships. These impairments in social behavior can lead to negative long term outcomes such as loneliness, depression, and, in the most extreme cases, thoughts or attempts of suicide. In this symposium, three papers will be presented that evaluated different interventions to improve the social behaviors for individuals diagnosed with autism. The first paper will describe a modified teaching interaction procedure to teach specific social skills to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and who had an intellectual disability. The second paper evaluated the effects of conditioning social reinforcement to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The third paper evaluated the methodological soundness of previous studies evaluating social stories, opinions of several behavior analysts on social stories, and, finally, comparing social stories to the cool versus not cool procedure. Throughout the entire symposium, the authors and discussant will provide clinical recommendations and ideas for future research.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): condition reinforcement, social stories, teaching interactions
Target Audience:

BCBAs, graduate students

Learning Objectives: Pending
 

Using Teaching Interactions to Teach Social Skills to Children With Autism and Intellectual Disabilities

Aubrey Ng (St. Cloud State University), CHRISTINE MILNE (Autism Partnership Foundation), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have qualitative impairments in social behavior which can range from rejecting others to failure to develop meaningful friendships. Thus, it is important for researchers to evaluate various methodologies that engender social behavior. One methodology which has been implemented with may children diagnosed with autism, and has a growing body of empirical support, is the teaching interaction procedure (TIP). The TIP consists of labeling and describing the behavior, providing a meaningful rationale, breaking the skill into smaller components, teacher demonstration of the behavior, the learner role-playing the behavior, and the provision of the feedback. This study implemented a modified TIP to teach social skills to three children diagnosed with ASD and an intellectual disability. A multiple baseline design across social skills, replicated across participants, was utilized to evaluate the effects of the modified TIP. The results showed the TIP resulted in acquisition, maintenance, and generalized of the targeted social skills for all participants. Clinical implications and future directions will be discussed within the presentation.

 

Changing Preference From Tangible to Social Activities Through an Observation Procedure

JEREMY ANDREW LEAF (Autism Partnership), Misty Oppenheim-Leaf (Behavior Therapy and Learning Center), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have qualitative impairments in social interactions and often prefer food or tangible reinforcement to social reinforcement. Therefore, therapists working with children diagnosed with ASD often utilize food or tangible items as reinforcers to increase appropriate behaviors or decrease aberrant behaviors. The goal of the present study was to shift childrens preference from a highly preferred tangible item to an initially non-preferred social reinforcer using an observational conditioning procedure. Participants observed a known peer engage in a simple task and select the social reinforcer that was not preferred by the participant. The observation procedure resulted in a shift of preference toward the social reinforcer with all participants. Maintenance data demonstrated that although the preference change did not endure for one of the participants, it was quickly re-established with additional observational trials. Results provided further support for the use of observational procedures to alter preferences. Clinical implications and future directions will be discussed within the presentation.

 
The Never Ending Story: A Methodological Review, Clinical Usage, and Evaluation of Social Stories
ERIN MITCHELL (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Misty Oppenheim-Leaf (Behavior Therapy and Learning Center), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: This symposium will take a closer look at the methodological soundness of previous studies evaluating social stories, opinions of several behavior analysts on social stories, and, finally, comparing social stories to the cool versus not cool procedure. First, 41 studies were reviewed which evaluated social stories for individuals diagnosed with autism. Results of this analysis showed the majority of studies either showed a partial demonstration or no clear demonstration that the social story procedure was responsible for observed behavior change. Second, we sent surveys to over 500 BCBA’s or BCaBA’s on their use of social stories and their perception of the research on social stories. Results of this survey revealed widespread use and mixed perceptions on the research on social stories. Finally, we compared social stories to the cool versus not cool procedure for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Using an adapted alternating treatment design we taught each participant three social skills with each procedure. The cool versus not cool procedure resulted in rapid skill acquisition while the social stories resulted in no skill acquisition. Clinical implications and future research will be discussed
 
 
Symposium #387
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Pivotal Response Treatment Parent Training Models for Young Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Discussant: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
CE Instructor: Amy Kenzer, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Parent involvement in early intervention services is considered best practice for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (National Research Council, 2001). Pivotal Response Treatment, in particular, places emphasis on the naturalistic implementation of intervention and including parents as providers of treatment. Training parents to implement intervention with fidelity can maximize the intensity of treatment and extend beyond time, locations, and contexts of professionally provided services. Research has demonstrated that caregivers can be taught to implement Pivotal Response Treatment with fidelity in both group-based and individual formats (Symon & Koegel, 2002; Minjarez, Williams, Mercier, & Hardan, 2011). However, it is only recently that specific components of these programs have begun to be systematically evaluated or explained. While some parents succeed in short-term training programs, others make minimal gains with variable outcomes observed across families. Following effective parent training programs, skill maintenance can also be variable across time and participants. The presentations in this symposium will provide information about variables contributing to increased skill performance and maintenance for short-term parent training programs teaching Pivotal Response Treatment using community-based service models. These variables include parent measures of self-efficacy prior to a parent-training program, the provision of follow-up training sessions, and compliance with on-going training.

Keyword(s): early intervention, parent training, PRT
 

Maintenance of Implementation Following an Intensive Parent Training Program

ALEXIS N. BOGLIO (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Daniel A Openden (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Christopher Smith (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Parent involvement is a critical component of effective interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with limited access to professional providers. Several short-term training models have demonstrated efficacy in teaching caregivers to implement evidence-based interventions (Koegel, Symon, & Koegel, 2002). However, recent research suggests that for caregivers who attain fidelity of implementation, approximately half of the participants do not maintain those skills over time (Gengoux et al., 2015). In the current study, 42 parent-child dyads participated in a week-long, intensive training model in a clinic setting (Koegel et al., 2002) with 17 dyads randomly selected to receive remote coaching follow-up sessions across a 12-week period. Results indicate that 9 dyads (53%) completed all scheduled follow-up sessions. Of these 9 dyads, 8 dyads obtained fidelity of implementation during the one-week training period. Following completion of follow-up sessions, 7 dyads maintained fidelity of implementation while 1 dyad achieved the fidelity criterion for a total of 8 out of 9 dyads (89%) demonstrating fidelity 12-weeks post-training. These results further support the short-term training model and suggest that follow-up sessions may enhance skill maintenance. Practitioners offering short-term parent training services may consider this practical, remote-coaching follow-up model to improve maintenance of fidelity for participants.

 

JumpStart Program: Parent Training in Pivotal Response Treatment and Predictors of Success

BEATRIZ ORR (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Nicole Matthews (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Many behavioral treatment models for autism spectrum disorder include a parent training component (Steiner et al., 2012). JumpStart is a 20-hour education and empowerment program for parents of young children considered at-risk or recently diagnosed with autism. Caregivers receive didactic instruction, guided observation, and in-vivo coaching in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) in addition to didactic instruction about the autism diagnosis, Applied Behavior Analysis, and navigating funding and service systems. Upon completion, many parents are able to successfully implement PRT, however, there is considerable variability in parent fidelity of implementation. The current study examined parent fidelity of implementation of PRT, child responsivity to parent-implemented intervention, parenting self-efficacy scales, and depression measures for 31 parent-child dyads. Findings indicate increases in child responsivity, parent fidelity of implementation, and self-efficacy, with decreased measures of depression following completion of the program. Additionally, initial parenting self-efficacy measures predicted positive change in child responsivity and parent fidelity of implementation. These results suggest that meaningful outcomes can be achieved with minimal training and that parenting self-efficacy measures may influence the effectiveness of parent-training programs.

 
 
Symposium #389
CE Offered: BACB
Technically Flexible: Using Basic Behavioral Procedures to Detect Areas of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Victoria Diane Hutchinson (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Michael Bordieri (Murray State University)
CE Instructor: Michael Bordieri, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Some clinical behavioral analysts have suggested that psychological flexibility may be a fundamental aspect of psychological well-being and a mechanism of change in clinical behavior analysis. A mid-level term, psychological flexibility is often defined in the clinical context as involving open, ongoing awareness to private events in such a way as to decrease avoidance and facilitate effective, values-based behavior. This symposium includes two papers that link mid-level conceptualizations of psychological flexibility with basic behavioral principles. Each explores potential methods of measuring psychological flexibility directly rather than relying on self-report measures. The first paper explores potential relationships between performance on two behavioral measures of body image flexibility the Body Image Flexibility Assessment Procedure (BIFAP) and the Body Image Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). The second paper explores qualities of derived relational responding as indicative of flexibility and inflexibility and investigates the IRAP as a tool for predicting inflexibility in certain domains of living.

Keyword(s): ACT, body image, IRAP, psychological flexibility
 

Assessing Body-Relevant Behavior: Examining Convergence Between Two Behavioral Measures of Body Image Flexibility

GARRET M CANTU (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Nolan Williams (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Jessica Auzenne (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Grayson Butcher (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Boullion (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Michael Bordieri (Murray State University), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Body image flexibility has been described in the non-behavioral literature as the capacity to experience the body fully and intentionally while pursuing effective action in important life domains. Self-report measures of body image flexibility are psychometrically sound, but limited in their validity as they rely on the responders honesty and ability to tact their private experiences and reactions thereof. The current study aimed to explore potential relationships between performance on two behavioral measures of body image flexibility the Body Image Flexibility Assessment Procedure (BIFAP) and the Body Image Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). The BIFAP was designed to measure body image flexibility, while the IRAP was developed to measure brief immediate relational responses (a.k.a., implicit cognitions), and was adapted for this study to measure responses to body image. Responses on both tasks are considered in terms of response latencies, and rate of correct responses. Aspects of both divergence and convergence speak to the complexity of assessment of private events. Implications for assessment in clinical and research domains will be discussed.

 

Where Are You Stuck? Use of Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure Analyses to Identify Relative Flexibility and Inflexibility With Specific Verbal Stimuli

SARAH WILSON (University of Mississippi), Emmie Hebert (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) has most often been used to examine differences between the performances of groups of people with a particular set of stimuli and between specific trial-types. The present study is a continuation of several previous studies that examine the possibility of using analyses of the IRAP to identify relatively strong verbal repertoires at the level of the individual. These repertoires may be clinically relevant for the participating individual or for his/her community. They may also be seen as areas of psychological inflexibility. This paper examines multiple methods for examining IRAP outputs. Undergraduate students who participated for course credit chose IRAPs from an array of topics that they viewed as being related to areas of difficulty and areas of ease. The participants showed marked variability in IRAP performance across IRAPs and trial types. The discussion focuses on the potential to predict and develop interventions for specific domains for individuals where high levels of bias, rigidity, or fusion are present.

 
 
Symposium #397
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Effective Communication With Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Schools
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jonathan Burt (University of Louisville)
Discussant: Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Paula Chan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) can face difficulties in many aspects of life. They often have weak social skills (Gresham, Sugai, & Horner, 2001), poor academic performance (Trout, Nordness, Pierce, & Epstein, 2003), more restrictive school placements (Yell, 1995), and more frequent suspensions or expulsions (Department of Education, 2013). One method for improving outcomes for students with EBD may be to explicitly teach students how to communicate with peers and adults in their lives. The purpose of this symposium is to present research about communication interventions for students with EBD. The first paper will present the results of a comprehensive literature review of functional assessment based interventions for students with EBD to determine the extent to which the interventions employed meet the technical definition of functional communication training (FCT). Of the studies using FCT, participant characteristics, intervention components, and general outcomes will be discussed. The second paper will present findings from a research study designed to teach students how to effectively communicate about their behavior by reporting antecedents, behaviors, and consequences. Authors will discuss results, and implications for research and practice.

 

Functional Communication Training for Students With Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders: A Review of the Literature

ALEXANDRA HOLLO (West Virginia University), JONATHAN BURT (University of Louisville)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is a technique used to reduce problem behavior through systematic training of a communicative response serving an equivalent function as the target behavior (Carr & Durand, 1985). It is most often used for individuals with limited or no vocal language. Of 204 participants in a recent review of FCT, all but six had intellectual, developmental, or autism spectrum disorders (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). FCT has been used to remediate problem behavior of individuals with high-incidence disabilities such as ADHD or emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). However, a review limited to these cases is difficult due to inconsistent terminology: Researchers in EBD use procedures congruent with FCT but do not typically label the procedures as such. Before the efficacy of FCT for students with EBD can be analyzed, it must first be determined which functional assessment-based interventions are, in fact, FCT. The purpose of this review is to determine the extent to which and how FCT is used for this population. Participant characteristics, intervention components, and intervention outcomes will be discussed.

 

Evaluating the Effects of an Explicit Instruction Intervention on Students? Identification of Antecedents, Behaviors, and Consequences

PAULA CHAN (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University), Moira Konrad (The Ohio State University)
Abstract:

One way to increase student involvement in their educational programming is to give them the opportunity to contribute during the functional behavior assessment process. Unfortunately, current research shows that that without training, some students are unable to accurately report on their behavior (e.g., Chan & Cannella-Malone, under review; Murdock, O'Neill, & Cunningham, 2005). One way to increase meaningful student engagement may be to explicitly teach students to identify antecedents, behaviors, and consequences. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an explicit instruction package designed to teach students to identify antecedents, behaviors, and consequences using video clips of challenging behavior scenarios. Results indicated that students learned to accurately report what happened in the video clips; however, they struggled to generalize the skills to reports about their own behavior. Authors will make recommendations for future research and discuss implications for practice will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #398
CE Offered: BACB
Celeration and Behavioral Agility: Meaningful Measures for Skill Acquisition
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ashley E. Bennett (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Ashley E. Bennett, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analysts continuously seek to identify efficient and effective procedures to teach novel skills to fluency. Fluency can be measured in terms of celeration, or change in frequency across time, or behavioral agility as measured on the standard celeration chart (SCC). Behavioral agility has been measured as the change in celerations across the acquisition of skills, which can include steeper slopes, rising bottoms, and fewer timings to reach aims (goals). The first study evaluated the effects of differential consequences on the fluency and celeration of learning the endangered Hawaiian language within the stimulus equivalence framework. The second study evaluated the effects of self-management procedures, specifically self-charting, on measures of self-control in addition to changes in celerations, bottom frequencies, and the number of timings to fluency for a series of skill slices. Participants from both studies were typically developing. Outcomes will be discussed in terms of applicability within and across populations, skillsets, settings, and areas for future research.

Keyword(s): behavioral agility
 
Effects of Differential Outcomes on the Celeration of Learning the Hawaiian Language
AUTUM HARMAN (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: The extinction of the Hawaiian language will result in the lack of maintaining language variations, the loss of a unique source of human knowledge, and a decrease in the variability of human cultures. Stimulus equivalence is the ability to treat and act towards different stimuli as being “the same” and occurs as a result of conditional discriminations which emerge within a match-to-sample program. Research indicates the ability to learn a second language is strongly associated with an individual’s ability to learn stimulus equivalence relations. The purpose of the present study examined the effect of differential consequences on the fluency and celeration of learning the Hawaiian language within the framework of stimulus equivalence with adults. Stimulus equivalence was used to teach Hawaiian words using a computer-based program. A combination of A-B within and between subjects experimental design was implemented to analyze the use of differential consequences on the five dependent variables. Analogous to earlier research, the results of this study supports the use of stimulus equivalence procedures for teaching a second language, obtaining more learning by the learner for less instructional time, and is likely a necessary and sufficient condition for learning some component skills relating to second languages.
 

Effects of Self-Charting Versus Teacher-Charting of Participant Performance on Behavioral Agility and Measures of Self-Control for Typically Developing Children

ASHLEY E. BENNETT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Ashley Whittington-Barnish (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current investigation was to explore whether self-charting or teacher-charting would produced steeper celerations, rising bottom frequencies, and/or fewer timings to fluency (i.e., behavioral agility) for typically-developing children between the ages of 4 and 6. In addition, the purpose of this study was to identify if there was a relationship between measures of behavioral agility and measures of self-control during delay probes in which participants waited to consume highly preferred edibles. Participants were separated into three groups: experimental self-charting, control teacher-charting only, and control temporal delay probes only. Results did not provide evidence that self-charting was more beneficial than teacher-charting in producing indicators of behavioral agility. In addition, the data did not show a clear relationship between measures of self-control and charting. However, all participants who received instruction became fluent in multiple slices of instruction across multiple programs. In addition, five out of seven participants across experimental and control groups improved their performance on waiting for a large portion of a highly preferred edible when having free access to the item. Findings should be considered with caution due to the small sample size, and future research should continue to explore ways to increase the rate of student learning and possible avenues to measure correlations between self-control and self-management.

 
 
Panel #404
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Faculty Research Productivity in Graduate Training Programs in ABA: How Important Is It?
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Regency Ballroom D, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: TBA/PRA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: David A. Wilder, Ph.D.
Chair: David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
SHARON A. REEVE (Caldwell College)
MARK R. DIXON (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Dixon et al. (2015) ranked graduate programs in behavior analysis on the basis of their faculty research productivity. Although controversial, this paper prompted a number of responses from researchers and practitioners in ABA on the important of research in graduate ABA training and how to appropriately rank graduate programs according to the productivity of their faculty. The purpose of this panel is to continue that discussion in an open forum. The panel includes three members with experience in both research and practice in ABA. The panel will discuss the importance of research in graduate ABA training, the importance of formal ranking systems for graduate programs in ABA, whether programs should be ranked on additional factors, such as the research productivity of its students and / or graduates, and the relationship between research productivity and clinician competency. The panel will be chaired by a fourth participant with an interest in this topic.

 
 
Symposium #406
CE Offered: BACB
Considering Discrimination Ability: Assessment of Stimulus Control in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
CE Instructor: Michael D. Hixson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Despite demonstrations of treatment efficacy, research suggests some learners fail to make significant gains in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) programs, particularly in the domain of language acquisition. A possible explanation for insufficient progress is that some children do not have the prerequisite skills to effectively benefit from language and social skills instruction. Discrimination ability and assessment of stimulus control are often overlooked when assessing and choosing intervention targets, and the failure to identify these important foundational skills can lead to the introduction of beginning targets that are too difficult for the learner. The following symposium examines the impact of discrimination ability, as assessed by the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised, on rate of learning in EIBI, focusing on the role of auditory discrimination in echoic acquisition. In light of the above findings and an examination of learning trajectories of typically developing children, preliminary treatment modifications for early learners in EIBI will be discussed, with a focus on identifying prerequisite skill areas that are critical for a child to master prior to teaching language. By attending to discrimination ability and prerequisite skill acquisition, we can better teach early learners in EIBI settings important language and social skill repertoires.

Keyword(s): ABLA-R, Auditory Discrimination, EIBI, Stimulus Control
 
The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities: Echoic Acquisition and Rate of Learning
TERYN BRUNI (Central Michigan University), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised (ABLA-R) measures the ease or difficulty with which a learner acquires simple motor, visual, and auditory discrimination tasks in a limited number of learning trials. This study evaluated the ability of the ABLA-R and AAIM/AANM tasks to predict acquisition of echoic behavior and rate of progress in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) programs among children with ASD. Participants included 34 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder sampled from four EIBI providers across Michigan. Using prediction accuracy statistics, receiver operating characteristic curve, and correlation analysis, it was found that the ABLA-R was an excellent predictor of echoic responding in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive prediction, classification accuracy, and AUC values. Data from participants’ EIBI programs revealed better participant performance on tasks at or below their ABLA-R level than on tasks above. Similarly programming identified as appropriate by the ABLA-R was positively correlated with progress ratings by service providers. The results have implications regarding the possible role of auditory discrimination as an important component skill or even a behavioral cusp for more advanced language. Future research should further examine the role of auditory discrimination training in the acquisition of important listener repertoires.
 
Matching Task Difficulty to Learning Ability Using the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised
GENEVIEVE N. ROY-WSIAKI (Université de Saint Boniface), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) is used in many Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) programs. The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised (ABLA-R) is a robust indicator of discrimination learning ability. Failed ABLA-R levels are difficult to teach and tasks mismatched to a client’s highest-passed ABLA-R level result in more aberrant behaviors than matched tasks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the difficulty of the training tasks taught to children enrolled in an EIBI program matched the learning abilities of the children, using retrospective assessment data. First, observers who were knowledgeable about the ABLA-R reliably categorized 99 of the 544 ABLLS-R tasks into individual ABLA-R levels. For a random sample of those 99 ABLLS-R tasks, autism consultants averaged 90.5% agreement that those tasks were taught at their categorized ABLA-R levels. Additionally, across a sample of 14 children, 81% of their training tasks were mismatched to each child’s highest-passed ABLA-R level. Across their 31 maladaptive behavior assessments, 61% of the assessments had elevated levels of maladaptive behavior. Finally, rates of acquisition of new training tasks were lower for mismatched tasks than for matched tasks. These findings have important implications for potentially improving EIBI services.
 
The Effects of Auditory Matching Acquisition on Subsequent Echoic Performance: Two Case Studies
JORDAN P. BOUDREAU (Autism Centers of Michigan)
Abstract: There are many children enrolled in EIBI programs who are missing important prerequisite skills, impacting their ability to learn even the most basic language skills. Some studies suggest that auditory discrimination ability could be a critical prerequisite skill for learning basic verbal repertoires including echoics and naming. The following case studies examine the relationship between teaching auditory discrimination and echoic acquisition for two children attending an EIBI program in Michigan. The children included in this case study demonstrated minimal or zero progress with current intervention strategies for teaching echoics and had missing auditory discrimination skills as identified by the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised (ABLA-R). Auditory-auditory matching was then taught directly to each participant while still engaging in regular echoic programming. Consistent with research findings, both clients made marked progress with their concurrent echoic programing, following successful acquisition of auditory matching. Implications for an assessment that allows for more effective and efficient guidance when choosing intervention strategy will be discussed.
 

Focusing on Early Developmental Discrimination Skills to Improve Treatment Outcomes for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

KRISTA M. CLANCY (University Pediatricians Autism Center)
Abstract:

When implementing intensive intervention plans for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we tend to see two profiles of children, those who are in the best outcome group and those who are not. The typical profile of a child in the best outcome group is one with some basic language, imitation and a multitude of available reinforcers. Auditory discrimination has been linked to the development of these early learning skills. By using the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities Revised (ABLA-R) to assess a childs ability to discriminate we can determine if they are likely to respond well to a typical ABA curriculum. If a child does not discriminate, it will be necessary to teach earlier developmental skills in visual and auditory discrimination, that when missing, are likely to hinder a childs response to treatment. This presentation will focus on preliminary treatment modifications aimed to teach early discrimination skills identified from comparison studies between children with ASD and those that are typically developing between the ages of 0-1. If these early developmental discrimination skills are targeted in treatment before working on language, imitation and play skills, children with poor discrimination skills may more readily respond to intensive ABA treatment intervention techniques.

 
 
Symposium #411
CE Offered: BACB
Pre-Session Pairing: Procedural Development and Experimental Evaluation of a Commonly Recommended Practice in Early Intervention
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall GH, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Ashley Marie Lugo, Ph.D.
Abstract: Pre-session pairing (PSP) is a procedure designed to function as an antecedent intervention to decrease challenging behavior exhibited during structured teaching (e.g., discrete trial teaching). Pre-session pairing consists of multiple topographies of interactions between a therapist and client in an unstructured format (e.g., play). Literature on the verbal behavior approach to teaching language suggests the use of PSP at the onset of treatment and as a component of ongoing therapy. Procedures are described as a therapist delivering preferred tangible items and/or activities to a client prior to introducing demands (Barbera, 2007; Sundberg & Partington, 1998). However, such resources lack technological precision to promote reliable procedural implementation across clinical service providers. This symposium will first review pre-session pairing and rapport literature and operationally define behaviors that pre-session pairing encompasses. Following a review and introduction of pre-session pairing, methodology to train staff to implement pre-session pairing will be introduced and the final presentation will examine the effects of pre-session pairing on child behavior.
Keyword(s): Early Intervention, Pre-Session Pairing, VB Approach
 
What is Pre-Session Pairing? Developing a Procedure to Reflect Clinical Recommendations
ASHLEY MARIE LUGO (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Pre-session pairing and rapport are referenced as important components to successful early intervention programming (Barbera, 2007; Smith, 2001; Sundberg & Partington, 1998). However, little research has been conducted examining pre-session pairing. Given the importance of quality rapport between service providers and clientele, efforts should be made to operationally define rapport and experimentally evaluate its effects. During this presentation, literature referencing pre-session pairing and rapport will be reviewed, the clinical rationale for PSP in early intervention will be presented, and a technological PSP procedure will be introduced.
 
A Comparison of Procedures to Train Staff to Implement Pre-Session Pairing
Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), LAUREN STROKER (Florida Institute of Technology), Natalie Rose Mandel (Florida Institute of Technology), Regina Nastri (Florida Institute of Technology), Marilynn Vanessa Colato (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Popular curriculum guides on EIBI for children with autism often recommend that staff conduct “pairing” sessions prior to running skill acquisition programs. It is unclear whether the descriptions provided in these treatment manuals are sufficient to evoke the desired behaviors among staff. The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of three training approaches in a sequential fashion: first, staff read a published description of the procedure. If that was not sufficient to evoke the desired behaviors, Behavioral Skills Training (instructions, modeling, practice and feedback) was delivered. If the accuracy criteria were still not achieved, the trainees were then asked to self-monitor their behavior. Experimenters collected data on staff performance on each step of a task analysis depicting the pairing procedure. In addition to treatment integrity data, inter-observer agreement data were collected. A combined reversal and non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants was used to evaluate the effects of training on accurate implementation of pairing procedures. Data collection are ongoing at the present time; however, pilot data with three participants indicate that Behavioral Skills Training is effective at achieving the desired level of accuracy on implementation of the pre-session pairing procedure. We anticipate that data collection for all components of the study will be completed by the end of December.
 
Effects of Pre-Session Pairing on Child Behavior and Preference for Alternative Therapeutic Conditions
Ashley Marie Lugo (Saint Louis University), JANELLE PECK (University of Nebraksa Medical Center), John Lamphere (Little Leaves Behavioral Services)
Abstract: Pre-session pairing is a procedure referenced by professional literature on the Verbal Behavior Approach to build rapport and increase compliance of children with autism (e.g., Barbera & Rasmussen, 2007; McGreevy, 2009; Sundberg & Partington, 2008). There is limited empirical evidence describing pre-session pairing in a technological manner and a scarcity of data demonstrating the effects of said pairing procedures on child behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of pre-session pairing and alternative therapeutic conditions on compliance with instructions and negative vocalizations. Participants were exposed to three conditions using a multielement design: pre-session pairing prior to DTT, free play prior to DTT, or immediate onset of DTT. A concurrent chain arrangement was used to assess preference for therapeutic conditions. Treatment integrity and inter-observer agreement were calculated across both phases of the study. Responding across dependent variables indicated differentiation in the pre-session pairing condition. Subsequent allocation of responses in the concurrent chain arrangement showed differentiation of the pre-session pairing condition from the free-play and DTT conditions. Data from additional participants and implications for future research will be discussed. Data collection is expected to be complete by December 2015.
 
 
Panel #413
CE Offered: BACB
Insurance and Autism Providers: Putting the Pieces Together
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Teresa M. Boussom, M.S.
Chair: Howard Savin (Autism Services Group)
TERESA M. BOUSSOM (Beacon Health Options)
ADRYON KETCHAM (Goals for Autism)
Abstract:

The emergence of insurance funded Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) benefits has introduced new requirements and complexity for providers of ABA services. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are finding themselves in a new contractual relationship with health care plans without prior experience with utilization management and submission of claims. Managed care plans apply traditional insurance principles including medical necessity to the authorization of autism services to ensure appropriate treatment is being provided. They also demand knowledge of insurance terminology, billing practices and information sharing that may be outside the realm of a BCBA practitioners historical practice. The panelists will address the barriers that can arise between a managed care plan and ABA providers and focus on steps for facilitating the development of a collaborative relationship between provider and health plan. The panel will include professionals from managed care organizations that will discuss the importance of using data to inform and direct treatment progress, keys to obtaining authorization for treatment and critical information that is consistently reviewed by care managers. Other panelists will be ABA service providers who will share their perspective as to lessons learned and effective strategies used in their work with managed care organizations.

Keyword(s): autism providers, insurance, service delivery
 
 
Symposium #414
CE Offered: BACB
Engineering Behavioral Cusps for Verbal Behavior Development
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gladys Williams (CIEL, SPAIN)
Discussant: Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Richard E. Laitinen, Ph.D.
Abstract: Verbal behavior development requires not only the acquisition of the major functional classes (tact, mand, intraverbal, etc) but the acquisition of mediated behavioral cusps that support the generative use of established verbal behavior capacities. The first paper presented here will explore the sequential attainment of primary verbal operants throughout the course of several years during intensive verbal behavior instruction. The second paper will demonstrate the application of shaping technology to establish direct line of sight, “visual regard,” as a propaedeutic behavioral cusp for the further development of more complex and multiply determined joint attending capacities. The presentation of these studies will be followed by a discussant.
 
A Functional Analysis of Primary Verbal Operants on the Continuum of Language Development
Gladys Williams (CIEL, SPAIN), SARA GARBARINI (David Gregory School )
Abstract: The purpose of these series of longitudinal studies was to show the gradual and sequential attainment of primary verbal operants during the teaching of functional language in several young children within the autism spectrum disdorder. The children were taught language following the Verbal Behavior Curriculum™. Prior to teaching verbal operants we taught basic core programs to obtain instructional control, generalized imitation and listener repertoire. Each verbal operant was taught in isolation. Data were collected and analyzed on each verbal operant taught. The analysis of the data indicated that (1) the acquisition of a listener repertoire was needed before primary verbal operants were acquired and (2) the acquisition of ecoic repertoire was needed before mands and tacts were acquired.
 

Shaping Visual Regard as a Behavioral Cusp

RICHARD E. LAITINEN (Educational and Developmental Therapies, San Jose), Gladys Williams (CIEL, SPAIN)
Abstract:

The purpose of the study was to demonstrate the application of shaping technology to establish direct line of sight, visual regard, as a propaedeutic behavioral cusp for the further development of more complex and multiply determined joint attending capacities. The participants were three boys classified with autism with ages ranging between three and five years old. All three learners attended an ABA-based special needs school for children with autism. A multiple probe design across participants was used to document the impact efficacy of the procedure, which consisted of several systematically applied steps, with some variations, per learner. Visual regard was observed in different settings and at different times to determine maintenance and generalization of the skill.

 
 
Symposium #416
If I Were You and You Were Me: Clinical Applications of Perspective Taking Protocols
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Alyson Giesemann (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Perspective taking is an important skill in the interaction of humans. Perspective taking can be defined as the ability to understand ones own experience as separate from another individuals experience. It is typically studied in developmental psychology using Theory of Mind Tasks. Relational Frame Theory offers a behavioral conceptualization of perspective taking as based in deictic relational responding relational responses that involve discrimination of a particular perspective (i.e., here vs. there, or now vs. then). This symposium explores deictic relational responding in children on the autism spectrum, individuals who are deaf, or individuals with traumatic brain injury. The first paper will extend previous research on the convergence between deictic relational responding and true and false beliefs in children with autism. The second paper will present data on teaching perspective taking skills to adults with TBI through established protocols, which utilize deictic relational frames. The third paper will review the literature on perspective taking in the Deaf and will offer an overview of the adaptation of the Deictic Relational Task for use with deaf individuals.

Keyword(s): autism, brain trauma, deaf community, perspective taking
 

Examining the Effects of Deictic Relation Training on Advanced Theory of Mind in Children With Autism

SAMANTHA BRODERICK (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (Tandem Behavioral Health & Wellness)
Abstract:

Perspective taking is a pivotal behavioral repertoire essential for social functioning, and is what some recognize as a hallmark deficit of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Relational Frame Theory conceptualizes perspective taking in terms of deictic relational responding, or the ability to relate events based on the discrimination of a particular perspective. Advances in the study of deictic relational responding have included the development of a perspective taking training protocol shown to improve performance on false belief tasks in typically developing children; however, there has been little research on the generality of these findings in children with ASD. The role of deictic relational responding in social interaction is also undetermined. The following data extend on previous findings of the role of deictic relational responding on true and false belief and lend support to their application on advanced Theory of Mind tasks. Implications for promoting social skills in children with autism are also discussed.

 

Teaching Perspective Taking to Adults With Traumatic Brain Injury

JACQUELINE COHEN (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (Tandem Behavioral Health & Wellness)
Abstract:

Each year in the U.S., around 1.7 million people sustain a TBI and of those, approximately 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million are treated and released from an emergency department. There are several factors which contribute to potential outcomes for people with TBI related disabilities, including the age at which the person sustained the injury, amount of time since the injury occurred, and the severity of the injury. Behavior analytic approaches to TBI recovery generally include basic behavior change programming involving both reduction and acquisition. One repertoire known to be severely affected after brain injury is perspective taking. The ability to take the perspective of another greatly contributes to social interactions and involves a complex set of skills. To date, behavior analysis has not shown the ability to adequately affect the re-acquisition of this repertoire. A small number of studies have attempted to train perspective taking skills in populations lacking the ability, but none with people with TBI. This study aimed to teach perspective taking skills to adults with TBI through established protocols, which utilize deictic relational frames.

 
Do You Hear What I See: Perspective Taking and Deictic Relational Responding in the Deaf
REBECCA COPELL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Perspective taking is the ability to understand one’s own experience, thoughts, and ideas as separate from another individual’s experience, thoughts, and ideas. In developmental psychological research, perspective taking is conceptualized in terms of Theory of Mind. In short, perspective taking is thought to be individuals’ understanding that others have minds. Tasks to assess theory of mind include but are not limited to the Sally-Anne test and false-photograph test. Data comparing Theory of Mind in Deaf vs. hearing individuals is mixed. This inconsistency may be attributable to cultural or language differences rather than actual perspective taking abilities. Relational Frame Theory offers a behavioral conceptualization of perspective taking as based in deictic relational responding – relational responses that involve discrimination of a particular perspective (i.e., here vs. there, or now vs. then). The Deictic Relational task was developed to assess perspective taking in terms of deictic relational responding. This paper will review the literature on perspective taking in Deaf individuals, and provides an overview of the adaptation of the Deictic Relational Task for use with Deaf individuals. Implications for further assessment and treatment development targeting perspective taking in the Deaf will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #424
CE Offered: BACB
Examination of Training to Enhance Safety Skills of Children With and Without Disabilities
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gregory Richmond Mancil (Louisiana Tech University)
CE Instructor: Gregory Richmond Mancil, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Safety skills are important for children with and without disabilities. Children with autism typically have difficulties with safety skills often related to problems with communication and problem solving. The first presenters evaluated the effects of video modeling and programming for common stimuli on children with autism answering or making a FaceTime call on an iPhone 6 or exchanging an identification card when approached by an employee or after approaching an employee when lost. Results demonstrated that children with autism can learn and generalize low-and high-tech help-seeking behaviors. The second group of presenters examined the use of video modeling for teaching children with autism to use the telephone to call someone for help. Results of the study suggest that teenagers diagnosed with autism can be taught problem solving skills by breaking down problem solving scenarios into task analyses and using video modeling strategies. Typically developing children also have issues with safety skills, particularly regarding abduction. The third presenter focused on the differential effects of verbal instructions, social stories, video modeling, and practice on child responses during in-situ abduction assessments. Results demonstrated that each participant performed better following practice compared to verbal instructions, social stories, and video modeling.

Keyword(s): child safety
 

Teaching Help-Seeking When Lost to Individuals With Autism

KELLY A. CARLILE (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Linda S. Meyer (Linda S. Meyer Consulting, LLC)
Abstract:

Deficits in safety skills and communication deficits place individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at increased risk of danger. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of video modeling and programming for common stimuli to teach low- and high-tech help- seeking responses to children with autism when lost using a multiple probe across participants. All of the participants with autism acquired the skills of answering or making a FaceTime call on an iPhone 6 or exchanging an identification card when approached by an employee or after approaching an employee in a contrived setting, generalized the skills to novel community settings, and maintained the skills over a one and two- week follow-up. Normative data were collected with typically developing peers (i.e., without a diagnosis of a developmental disability) across the dependent variables during pre-baseline and post-intervention phases, with all participants being able to seek help when lost. Additionally, social validity measures showed that the procedures, goals, and outcomes of the study were acceptable to direct consumers, indirect consumers, immediate community members, and extended community members. Results demonstrate that children with ASD can learn and generalize low-and high-tech help-seeking behaviors.

 

Teaching Problem Solving Skills to Teenagers With Autism

ELIZABETH GARRISON (Clarity Service Group), Kathleen Bailey Stengel (Clarity Service Group)
Abstract:

For many teenagers diagnosed with autism, problem solving can be a complex skill to teach. Research indicates that using video modeling can be successful when teaching children with autism skills such as reciprocal conversation and play, but few studies address video modeling to teach problem solving skills. This study utilized a multiple baseline research design, to teach three teenagers diagnosed with autism the skill of using the telephone to call someone for help. During intervention, video modeling was introduced for each step of the problem solving task analysis, then faded as participants demonstrated the skill independently. For all participants, maintenance probes were completed one year after the initial training. Following intervention, all three participants completed 100% of the problem solving task analysis independently. One year later, two out of three participants maintained the skill at 100% of the task analysis. Results of the study suggest that teenagers diagnosed with autism can be taught problem solving skills by breaking down problem solving scenarios into task analyses and using video modeling strategies.

 

An Examination of the Effectiveness of Instructional Modalities on Child Abduction Prevention Related to Family and Friend Confederates

SUZANNE MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University), Gregory Richmond Mancil (Louisiana Tech University)
Abstract:

Family members or friends of the family commit the majority of child abductions (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2015). Much of past research has focused on conducting in-situ assessments with novel confederates to determine if abduction prevention training was successful (Beck & Miltenberger, 2009, Johnson et al., 2005). The purpose of this abduction prevention analysis was to analyze the differential effects of verbal instructions, social stories, video modeling, and practice on the responses of children. A multi-element design was used to examine the differential effects of the various instructional modalities on child responses during in-situ abduction assessments. Four participants, two female and two male, participated in this study. They were all typically developing and ranged in age from four years of age to seven years of age. Following each instruction period, the in-situ assessment was done with an adult friend of the parents who the child knew. Results demonstrate that each participant performed better following practice compared to verbal instructions, social stories, and video modeling. Verbal instructions had no positive effects during the in situ assessments. Social stories and video modeling had mixed results as indicated on the graphs.

 
 
Symposium #428
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Approaches to the Analysis of Animal Behavior in Zoological Settings
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Zurich C, Swissotel
Area: AAB/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom and Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Timothy J. Sullivan (Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)
CE Instructor: Christy A. Alligood, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will focus on current issues in the applied analysis of animal behavior in zoological settings while covering conceptual, theoretical, and methodological considerations of behavior analysis. Thus, while experimental in format, this symposium emphasizes translational work. The first presentation is mainly theoretical/methodological (with data-based examples) and concerns the application of single-case methodology to the evaluation of environmental enrichment efficacy in research and practice. The second presentation is data-based with theoretical implications of two widespread animal care strategies and will discuss a comparison of zoo animals choices for participating in positive reinforcement training or enrichment strategies. The remaining two presentations and the discussants remarks will comment on the content of these two presentations. These presenters will provide commentary on the two presentations from different perspectives and different areas of expertise, including experimental, translational, and applied analyses of behavior. By bringing together presenters with different areas of expertise, we hope to draw an audience that might not typically attend applied animal behavior presentations and offer perspectives that audiences at AAB presentations might not typically hear.

Keyword(s): environmental enrichment, operant conditioning, preference assessment, single-subject
 
Applying Behavior-Analytic Methodology to the Science and Practice of Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums
CHRISTY A. ALLIGOOD (Disney's Animal Kingdom and Florida Institute of Technology), Katherine A. Leighty (Education and Science, Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Abstract: Environmental enrichment in zoos and aquariums is often evaluated at two overlapping levels: published research and day-to-day institutional record keeping. Several authors have pointed out ongoing challenges with small sample sizes in between-groups zoological research and have cautioned against the inappropriate use of inferential statistics (Koene, 2013; Shepherdson, 2003; Shepherdson et al., 2013; Swaisgood, 2007; Swaisgood & Shepherdson, 2005). Multi-institutional studies are the typically-prescribed solution, but these are expensive and difficult to carry out. Kuhar (2006) provided a reminder that inferential statistics are only necessary when one wishes to draw general conclusions at the population level. Because welfare is at the individual level, we believe evaluations of enrichment efficacy are often an example of instances in which inferential statistics may be neither necessary nor appropriate. In recent years there have been calls for the application of behavior-analytic techniques to zoo behavior management, including environmental enrichment (e.g., Bloomsmith et al., 2007; Tarou & Bashaw, 2007). Single-subject designs (also called single-case, or small-n) provide a means of designing evaluations of enrichment efficacy based on individual behavior. We will discuss how these designs might apply to research and practice at zoos and aquariums, contrast them with standard practices in the field, and give examples of each.
 
Is Positive Reinforcement Training Preferred Over Environmental Enrichment? New Extensions of Preference Assessments in Zoos
LINDSAY RENEE MEHRKAM (Oregon State University), Nicole R. Dorey (University of Florida), Jay Tacey (Sea World Parks and Entertainment )
Abstract: Environmental enrichment (EE) and positive reinforcement training (PRT) are both essential components to animal welfare initiatives in zoological institutions. Whether or not PRT can be considered enriching to captive animals, however, has recently become a topic of debate (e.g., Melfi, 2013; Westlund, 2014). The aims of the present study were a) to test the feasibility of using paired-stimulus preference assessments to measure an animal’s preference for engaging in a trained behavior and b) to determine whether or not individual wolves prefer to participate in PRT for versus a previously encountered EE stimuli in four captive wolves housed at Wolf Haven (Busch Gardens Theme Park, Williamsburg, VA). The results indicated that two of the four subjects preferred PRT, whereas the remaining two subjects preferred EE. This study sheds light on captive animals’ relative preferences for PRT and EE and demonstrates that preference assessments can be used to measure preference for PRT in captive animals, allowing for animals to voluntarily choose which husbandry strategy to participate in. Although future research is needed, our results suggest that this preference depends upon the individual animal, rather than being a fixed preference among species or zoo animals in general.
 
Analysis of Animal Behavior in Zoos: Theoretical, Experimental, and Methodological Perspectives
PETER R. KILLEEN (Arizona State University)
Abstract: In recent years, methodological concerns have been a topic of discussion amongst researchers studying animal behavior in zoos. Typically these discussions center around (a) the use of behavioral measures of indicators of welfare and welfare components, and (b) issues surrounding the application of inferential statistics to studies involving small sample sizes. The experimental analysis of behavior perspective has been under-represented in this conversation. These issues are of great importance in addressing theoretical questions surrounding environmental enrichment and animal welfare, as well as practical questions surrounding best practices in daily animal care in zoological settings. The Alligood/Leighty and Mehrkam/Dorey presentations will address the theoretical and practical importance of these issues, and Dr. Killeen will then provide commentary. Dr. Killeen’s expertise in the science of behavior, and particularly in the use of single-case methodology to elucidate basic processes in animal behavior, will allow him to comment on the theoretical and methodological issues raised by the Alligood and Mehrkam presentations.
 
Analysis of Animal Behavior in Zoos: Basic, Applied, and Translational Perspectives
ALAN D. POLING (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: There has been increased discussion amongst behavior analysts in recent years regarding the facilitation of diverse applications of the science of behavior. These discussions have included applications to animal behavior for several different purposes, including improving animal behavior that is important to humans (e.g., obedience training) and animals (e.g., facilitating species-typical behavior), training animals to engage in behavior that directly benefits humans (e.g., detecting land mines and tuberculosis), examining behavioral phenomena of applied significance, and training humans to work with animals. The Alligood/Leighty and Mehrkam/Dorey/Tacey presentations both represent elements of the wider effort to broaden the scope of applied behavior analysis by applying behavior-analytic methodology to questions and challenges in the zoological setting. Dr. Poling’s expertise in translational work, particularly in the application of operant learning to socially significant animal behavior, will allow him to comment on the experimental, theoretical, and applied issues raised by the Alligood/Leighty and Mehrkam/Dorey/Tacey presentations.
 
 
Symposium #430
Research, Pop Psychology, and Motivation: The Controversy and Real-World Application of Motivational Theories
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Daniel B. Sundberg (ABA Technologies)
Discussant: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Motivation and the source of control of behavior is a topic of great interest for many, both within and outside of behavioral science. One sub-domain of cognitive psychology advocates for distinguishing motivation based on its supposed source. Advocates suggest that “intrinsic motivation” comes from within the individual, and is independent of outside sources of control, and “extrinsic motivation” which comes from external sources. There has been a resurgence of interest in the topic of intrinsic motivation being applied to business, much of which can be attributed to the 2009 New York Times bestselling book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us by Dan Pink. The impact of this book and the theory of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation on applied practice will be discussed, as well as ways that behavior analysts can use and discuss this research in a proactive manner. The talk will conclude with a case study of an organization that has taken a behavior-based approach to applying some of the suggestions from Pink’s book.
Keyword(s): Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation, Motivation theories, OBM, Overjustification effect
 

It All Started With Monkeys and Raisins: The History of the Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation Debates

MERRILYN AKPAPUNA (Western Michigan University), Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Scientists have long studied the motivation to perform certain behaviors. Motivation has been proposed as a way to explain why people engage in goal-directed behaviors and is sometimes invoked as an explanatory construct/fiction. Behavioral scientists often avoid the problems associated with such constructs by conceptualizing motivation in terms of antecedent and consequences that impact goal-directed behavior. A long-standing debate emerged many decades ago about how to best motivate behavior and this debate has been one of the centerpieces in the divide between behavioral and non-behavioral perspectives. Although many theories such as the cognitive evaluation theory and the overjustification effect have been proposed, the argument comes down to one key issue: Do rewards/reinforcers provided by external forces harm ones natural interest in performing certain behaviors? How this question is answered has profound implications for business, education, or any other settings where it is important to manage the behavior of others. Six decades worth of objections to external rewards will be summarized, along with their counterarguments and the implications for organizational practices. Understanding this contentious history is important in order to critically evaluate the more recent variations of this debate, such as the arguments outlined in popular books such as Drive.

 

Evaluations of the Overjustification Effect: A Replication of Deci

KERRI P. PETERS (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

The utility of reinforcement-based procedures has been well established in the behavior analysis literature. The overjustification effect is one commonly cited criticism of programs that use tangible rewards. The overjustification hypothesis suggests that the delivery of an extrinsic (socially mediated) reward contingent on engagement with an activity that previously occurs at some level without apparent socially mediated reinforcement will result in a reduction in the amount of engagement in that activity from baseline levels when the reward phase is discontinued. One of the most commonly cited series of studies on the overjustification effect was conducted by Deci (1971). Deci evaluated the effects of money and verbal praise on undergraduate students performances on a puzzle task. Deci concluded that intrinsic interest decreased when money was used as a reward. This study is a direct replication of the landmark study evaluating the overjustification hypothesis conducted by Deci. The subjects were undergraduate psychology students. The findings did not replicate those obtained by Deci, and the results did not provide support for the overjustification hypothesis. Additional investigations of the overjustification effect with first grade children will also be presented leading to implications for the use of rewards in child behavior management will be discussed.

 

Throwing the Baby Out With the Bath Water? The Surprising Implications of Dan Pink's Drive

DANIEL B. SUNDBERG (ABA Technologies), Alyce M. Dickinson (Western Michigan University), Manuel Rodriguez (ABA Technologies, Inc.)
Abstract:

In 2009 Dan Pink published what would become a New York Times best-selling book for 159 weeks, thereby rekindling the longstanding debate over intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and the adverse effects of reinforcement on performance. This talk will build on the foundational overview of the research presented in previous talks, and will discuss the implications of Pinks book, and contemporary debate around motivational theories. This talk will critique Pinks arguments and conceptual analysis of extrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the research base of his book, and his contentions that if-then rewards are out of place in todays creative workplace. Implications of this perspective will be discussed, particularly in the context of Organizational Behavior Management, including a discussion of why we as behavior analysts should not be too hasty to dismiss out of hand all of the suggestions made by Pink. The talk will conclude by suggesting ways that behavior analysts can make practical use of Pinks book, both as a source of data, and a method for addressing organizational performance.

 

A Behavior Analysts Approach to Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose: A Case Study

BRET MIXON (JG Management Systems, Inc.)
Abstract:

Despite the debate around the history and theory of Dan Pink's conceptualization of motivation, his notions of Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose can be put to use in the workplace by applied practitioners. This framework can easily be broken down into behavioral principles and procedures, and used as an approachable toolset. For example, Mastery and Autonomy are facilitated through meaningful goal-setting during an evaluation period, the use of shaping techniques for successive approximations of independent functioning, intermittent feedback on worker performance, and dependent and independent group contingencies for team project completion. Purpose is established and maintained via the articulation of the organizations mission and values, the explanation of individual employees role in this mission, and the crafting of setting events that easily connect an individual employees behavior to the organizations mission. This talk will present a case study to demonstrate to audience members how Pinks approach has been integrated with the principles and procedures of ABA in both a school setting, and a human resource setting in a non-behavior analytic government contracting firm.

 
 
Symposium #431
CE Offered: BACB
Current Advances in Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Problems
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Laura J. Seiverling (St Mary's Hospital for Children)
Discussant: Keith E. Williams (Penn State Hershey Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Laura J. Seiverling, Ph.D.
Abstract: The following presentations address several important areas within the field of pediatric feeding disorders. Two studies examine the effects of innovative interventions for treating food refusal and teaching chewing skills while one study compares the effects of two interventions for food refusal and the final study examines the effects of a caregiver training package on both caregiver and child behavior. In the first study, authors examined the role of a visual cue in the treatment of a child's food refusal. In the second study, authors used modeling, positive reinforcement, shaping, fading, and physical prompting to teach tongue lateralization and biting to establish chewing. Across the course of treatment, the child moved from consuming pureed food only to table food. In the third study, authors used an alternating treatments design to compare the effects of differential reinforcement and response cost treatment packages on percentage of bites/drinks accepted and interruptions in a child with food refusal. Lastly, the fourth study examined the effects of combining behavioral skills training and general-case training to teach caregivers how to implement a food selectivity intervention with their children.
Keyword(s): caregiver training, chewing, food refusal, visual cue
 
Examining the Role of a Visual Cue in the Treatment of Food Refusal
Whitney Harclerode (Penn State Medical Center), Laura Creek (Penn State University--Harrisburg Campus), Katherine Riegel (Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center), KEITH E. WILLIAMS (Penn State Hershey Medical Center)
Abstract: Food refusal in a nine-year-old boy was addressed using interventions consisting of in-meal reinforcement, a visual cue, fading, and praise. Across the course of treatment, the participant increased his intake of both solids and liquids, learned to chew crunchy foods, and decreased his tube feeding by 54%. Multi-element designs were used to assess the most efficient method of drinking and to compare his consumption of soft table foods versus crunchy table foods. An ABCBADC reversal design was used to conduct a component analysis to assess the effectiveness of a visual cue which signaled post-meal reinforcement in increasing food consumption. The data showed that neither the in-meal reinforcement nor visual cue and post-meal reinforcement alone were sufficient to increase the number of bites consumed, but an intervention consisting of both in-meal reinforcement and the visual cue did result in increased bites consumed suggesting a multiplicative effect. Many interventions for feeding problems consist of “treatment packages” or combinations of several intervention components. This study showed that the necessity of having more than one component in an effective treatment for food refusal.
 
Teaching Tongue Lateralization and Biting to Establish Chewing
Whitney Harclerode (Penn State Medical Center), Keith E. Williams (Penn State Hershey Medical Center), KATHERINE RIEGEL (Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center), Shannan Lamparski (Penn State University--Harrisburg Campus)
Abstract: Chewing was taught to a seven-year-old girl whose diagnoses included autism and intellectual disability through the use of a multi-component treatment package including modeling, positive reinforcement, shaping, fading, and physical prompting. Shaping was used to teach her to both lateralize food from her tongue to her teeth and to repeatedly bite through foods. Initially, these skills were taught in separate sessions and when she met criteria for each skill, then these two skills were combined into a single chain of behaviors. A multiple probe treatment design was used to access treatment efficacy. Assessments were used to determine skill levels for tongue lateralization and biting of different textures of foods. Across the course of treatment, the child moved from consuming pureed food only to table food. Maintenance of her chewing skills was also demonstrated. This study was unique in its direct instruction of tongue lateralization and the integration of tongue lateralization into the instruction of chewing.
 

A Comparison of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors and Response Cost in a Treatment Package for Food Refusal

CHRISTINA ALAIMO (St. Mary's Hospital for Children), Laura J. Seiverling (St Mary's Hospital for Children), Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York), Kisha Anderson (St Mary's Hospital for Children)
Abstract:

Food refusal is a severe feeding problem in which children refuse to eat all or most foods which often leads to insufficient caloric intake and malnutrition. Food refusal can be effectively treated using a variety of multicomponent intervention packages. The purpose of the present study was to use an alternating treatments design to compare two intervention packages-- differential reinforcement (DRA) with escape extinction and response cost (RC) with escape extinction for treating food refusal in a 2-year-old boy with developmental delays and failure to thrive (FTT). There were not differences across conditions in the childs level of acceptance and interruptions initially; however, the childs acceptance was consistently higher and percentage of interruptions were consistently lower in the DRA condition after implementation of a phase in which empty spoons were presented in both treatment conditions. In addition, the childs total volume of solids and liquids was greater in the DRA condition. Potential explanations for results as well as suggestions for future researchers will be discussed.

 

The Effects of Behavioral Skills Training and General-Case Training on Caregiver Implementation of a Food Selectivity Intervention With Their Children

Christina Alaimo (St. Mary's Hospital for Children), LAURA J. SEIVERLING (St Mary's Hospital for Children), Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York), Jaimie Sarubbi (Queens College (City University of New York))
Abstract:

This study used a multiple baseline design to examine the effects of a combined behavioral skills training (BST) and general-case training (GCT) package for teaching caregivers how to implement an intervention to treat food selectivity in their children. Following baseline during which caregivers were given written instructions of the intervention, experimenters implemented BST training which involved instructions, modeling, rehearsal and feedback as well as GCT which involved the experimenter following scripts which simulated the range of child responses (e.g. accepting bites, expelling, refusal, etc.) caregivers could encounter during post-training sessions with their child. The food selectivity intervention involved having caregivers implement single-bite taste sessions with several target foods using exit criterion. Following training, all caregivers increased their percentage of correct steps performed of the intervention compared to their performance in baseline. In addition, all children demonstrated increases in the cumulative number of bites accepted under 30 s during post-training compared to baseline.

 
 
Symposium #433
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Discussing the New Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Compliance Code
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
St. Gallen, Swissotel
Area: TPC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: David J. Cox (University of Florida)
Discussant: Gina Green (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Steven Woolf, 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 current behavior analytic services in various settings. For example, do previously trained 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 behavior analytic service programs and how each program is handling implementation of the new Code. Presenters are from varied service programs specializing in early intervention and challenging behavior in community and university-based clinics.
Keyword(s): Compliance Code, Ethics, Supervision, Training
 
University Early Intervention Practitioner Training and Management Under the New BACB Ethical Compliance Code
TYRA P. SELLERS (Utah State University)
Abstract: Preparing and managing Early Intervention Practitioners requires some specific considerations related to establishing professional and ethical behavior. Specifically, families may develop close ties to professionals providing services to their young children. This is likely due, in part, to the frequency of services (up to 40 hours per week) and that services may occur (to varying degrees) in the home setting. This discussion will address some of the important aspects of training and managing EI clinicians, teachers, and therapists. Special attention will be paid to preparing training sites and provider agencies to address relevant changes in the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts that the BACB will being enforcing January, 2016.
 

Applied Ethics for Current Behavioral Practitioners

STEVEN WOOLF (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

The funding and monitoring sources for behavior analysts have changed over the last five with the introduction of behavior analyst licensure and health care coverage for families affected by ASD. Additionally, the number of BACB certificants continues to grow nationally. Due to the high number of new BACB certificants, new licensing laws, and increased health-care funding sources for ABA treatment, behavior analysts must be responsive to pertinent field based ethical issues associated with the practice of behavior analysis in homes and communities. This discussion will introduce the topic of applied ethics as to identify the common ethical issues encountered by practicing proving home/communizing based ABA services. Furthermore, the discussion will address cross reference these identified ethical concerns with the BACB compliance code and behavior analysts licensing regulations across the country. Finally, the presenter will recommend the best course of action based on established case law when behavior analysts encounter these ethical dilemmas.

 

Ethical Considerations in Behavior Analysis: Analysis of "the Code" for Unique and Challenging Circumstances

ABRAHAM GRABER (Western Illinois University), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Effective January of 2016, the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (the Code) outlines the expectations of professional and ethical behavior for individuals practicing in the field of behavior analysis. Despite its intentions, behavior analysts are likely to encounter ethical dilemmas that may not be fully resolved with application of the Code. For example, based upon the Code, behavior analysts are obligated to tailor behavior-change programs to the uniquegoals of each client. However, with nonverbal adult patients there is a unique challenge in determining their goals. New, but similarly complex ethical dilemmas are likely to develop as a result of changes to the landscape of fee-for-service models. For example, accountable care organizations, which have been established under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act, employ a pay-for-performance reimbursement model that may compel behavior analysts to develop performance metrics for behavioral interventions. This talk explores ethical questions for behavior analysts that may challenge the Code and provides a breakdown of such questions from the perspective of an ethicist and a practicing behavior analyst.

 

Ethical Considerations for Providing Services in Rural Settings With Diverse Populations

ANDREW W. GARDNER (Northern Arizona University)
Abstract:

BCSNA currently offers services based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles including: skill acquisition for young children with ASD and other neurological disabilities and disorders, functional behavior assessments and analyses for individuals demonstrating challenging behavior, parent training, school consultation, supervision services, etc. One of the recent services requested of BCSNA by the state of Arizona (motivated by cost containment issues) includes a Placement Stability Package (PSP) to assess, treat/stabilize children and adults in their home settings prior to transferring them to an inpatient facility in another state. The PSP is a program where parent and care provider training is vital to keeping the individual stable and abate the need to send them out of state. As licensed Behavior Analysts in Arizona (under the Board of Psychological Examiners), BCBAs are held to both the APA and BACB ethical guidelines. Issues and challenges surrounding how services are provided to rural culturally and linguistically diverse minority health populations will be discussed.

 
 
Panel #435
CE Offered: BACB
A Follow-up: Are We Meeting Our Obligation to Learners With Autism Spectrum Disorder Transitioning to Adult Services?
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jill E. McGrale Maher, M.A.
Chair: Jill E. McGrale Maher (Autism Intervention Specialists)
JILL E. MCGRALE MAHER (Autism Intervention Specialists)
PETER F. GERHARDT (EPIC School)
PAUL MAHONEY (Amego)
Abstract:

The current service model for learners with ASD is falling short of the goal to provide skills required to transition seamlessly into adult life. It is critical that practitioners rethink the current model of 1:1 or 1:2 staff to student ratios prior to students "aging out." Additionally and more critically, as the incidence of ASD has recently increased by 30%, with further predictions that in 5 years 122,493 students will turn 22 nationwide at an annual cost of $3,623 million dollars. Clearly the current model falls short of the goal to provide learners with skills required to transition more effortlessly into adult life. We need to consider preparation for next environments as a primary obligation of service provision. Working in groups, working independently, identification of relevant outcome measures, targeting functionally relevant skills and working with minimal and reduced supervision must be explicit goals for learners with ASD. Furthermore, we must develop creative and cost-effective methods to more efficiently prepare, teach, support and monitor adults with ASD in community and employment settings. Moreover, identification of relevant outcome measures and targeting functionally relevant skills must take precedence. The panel will discuss the topic and possible solutions within behavioral frameworks.

Keyword(s): Transition
 
 
Symposium #438
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethics in Transition Programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Laura Bassette (Ball State University)
CE Instructor: Laura Bassette, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Achieving the best outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in adulthood begins with an early interdisciplinary teamwork including multiple types of activities related to transition. Practical and ethical considerations should include who should be involved, what skills should be taught, where these services should be offered, when they should be delivered, how services should be delivered, and why they should be taught. This symposium will address ethical considerations involving interagency collaboration across the lifespan, creating a balance in teaching academic, functional, and self-determination skills, the need to consider community settings and programming for generalization across settings, and how technology can facilitate skill acquisition across settings. There is a need for practitioners to consider these areas when working with children as they transition through various services with a mindful approach about factors related to adult outcomes including quality of life, sustainability of naturally occurring contingencies, resources allocated, and both individual and societal benefits. The symposium will present the various ethical considerations associated with selecting skills that are most relevant to long-term goals, precursory skills, and environmental factors related to the utilization of those skills.

Keyword(s): ethics, self-determination, technology, transition
 
Ethical Concerns, Applications, and Contrast in Transitional Programming Scenarios
FRITZ KRUGGEL (Indiana Mentor)
Abstract: Early, on-going, conscientious effort must be taken to ensure that the individuals being served remain at the forefront of any transitional programming effort. Appropriate support delivered in a collaborative, interpersonal and interagency approach is critical to ensuring successful transition outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in intensive clinical and post-secondary settings. The efficacies promoted as a consequence of these factors can be enhanced via programming and skill development strategies that balance concerns related to “dignity of risk”, organizational regulations, and contingencies both present and absent in the terminal transition environment. Furthermore, the 2016 Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts emphasizes, among other concerns, the need for interagency collaboration. This presentation will discuss how behavior analysts can uphold and advance their ethical obligations through interagency collaboration, programming for generalization, focusing on the sustainability of naturally occurring reinforcement, and how these will ultimately benefit both the individuals’ served and their surrounding community.
 
The Practical and Ethical Considerations for Using the FITT Model to Promote Independence in Transition
EVETTE A. SIMMONS-REED (Ball State University), Jennifer Marie Cullen (Ball State University)
Abstract: Using technology to empower students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become self-determined adults starts with a good match. Successful transition outcomes for young adults with disabilities can be enhanced through universal and assistive technology. The long and short-term benefits of the Self-determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) include: providing a self-directed process to facilitate assessment, teaching, and evaluating how supports promote independence for students with disabilities. Universal and assistive technology was used to help students acquire skills (e.g., academic, employment); however, environmental factors (e.g., specific job, course content) frequently determine the technology selected and used. The Facilitating Independence through Technology (FITT) model encompasses the SDLMI and outlines the process of matching appropriate tools and apps. Specifically, the FITT model identifies how to find the right technology based on individual preferences, interests, needs, strengths, and overall daily activities. Through facilitating assessment, instruction on use of the process in employment settings, trying it on for size, and tweaking, students are able to maximize the tools to facilitate independence across settings and activities. This presentation will discuss the FITT model, how it can be implemented, and follow-up steps to enhance independence that result in successful employment and educational outcomes.
 
Ethical Considerations in Skill Selection for Transition-Aged Students
LAURA BASSETTE (Ball State University)
Abstract: Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (e.g., autism) continue to face significant challenges in independent living, employment, and community access as they transition from school-based entitlement services into eligibility-based adult service systems. It is critical for behavior analysts to consider the types of skills being taught to students and the behaviors addressed to ensure relevancy in inclusive real-world settings. While the question of what to teach should be individualized with the client at the center, it is critical to find a balance between functional (e.g., activities of daily living), meaningful (e.g., recreational activities), and academic (e.g., mathematics) skills during instruction to ensure the best possible post-school outcomes. The purpose of this presentation will be to review instructional strategies to effectively address these skills. Additionally, an example of a behavioral-based intervention that utilized technology to teach safety skills to students with a moderate intellectual disability during community-based instruction using a multiple probe across participant will be reviewed. The ability to efficiently, effectively, and economically identify and teach skills to assist individuals with I/DD in achieving ideal quality of life outcomes will be discussed.
 
 
Panel #441
PDS: Fame, Fortune, and Fixed-Interval Schedules: Promoting the Future of Basic and Translational Research in University Settings
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tyler Nighbor (West Virginia University)
MIRARI ELCORO (Armstrong State University)
CARLA H. LAGORIO (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
JONATHAN W. PINKSTON (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Although basic behavioral research was one prevalent, numerous factors have contributed to the current scarcity in basic research programs in university settings. However, ensuring the future of behavior analysis will certainly require the training of basic behavioral scientists. Panelists will be asked to share their experiences in training students (undergraduate and graduate) in basic and translational research. Additionally, panelists will be asked to provide recommendations for future researchers on how to obtain and maintain their own animal labs and get students interested in basic and translational research at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Panelists will discuss how to incorporate basic and translational research components into existing programs, even programs with a currently heavily applied focus. Panelists will also be asked about their predictions about the future of basic behavior analytic research, and will be asked to provide advice for researchers interested in pursuing a career in basic and translational research.

Keyword(s): Basic Research, Translational
 
 
Invited Panel #443
CE Offered: PSY
The Real Evolutionary Psychology: Nature-Nurture, Behavior Analysis, and the Systems Approach
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: TPC/DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Susan M. Schneider (University of the Pacific)
CE Instructor: Susan M. Schneider, Ph.D.
Panelists: SUSAN M. SCHNEIDER (University of the Pacific), TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College), HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, LA)
Abstract:

Nature and nurture always work together. Genetic determinism in any form is not a viable concept. Evolution is a continuous process. Do contemporary "evolutionary psychologists" give these facts more than lip service? Some talk as if human behavior is determined (somehow) by genes that were selected 10,000 years ago and unchanged since then. Many evolutionary psychology observations can be explained more parsimoniously by the principles of behavior, mediated by a nervous system, that have been selected for just such plasticity. Indeed, behavior is both a product and a driver of evolution. Then, there are the implications of the immense flexibility in the larger biobehavioral system. The "systems" approach offers an evidence based alternative encompassing everything, including the many complex, nonlinear interactions across all levels of behavior and its development. This panel discussion compares the typical views of evolutionary psychologists with the systems approach and explores where behavior analysis fits in.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and others interested in evolutionary psychology.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe scientific weaknesses in typical evolutionary psychology claims; (2) explain how systems theory encompasses the entire biobehavioral system, including complex, nonlinear interactions across all levels; (3) describe how behavior principles influence and are influenced by the other system variables; (4) describe the similarities between behavior analysis and the systems approach.
SUSAN M. SCHNEIDER (University of the Pacific)
Schneider's involvement in behavior analysis goes back to high school when she read Beyond Freedom and Dignity and wrote B. F. Skinner, never dreaming that he would reply.  They corresponded through her master's degree in mechanical engineering at Brown, her engineering career, and her stint in the Peace Corps.  At that point Schneider bowed to the inevitable and switched careers, obtaining her Ph.D. in 1989 (University of Kansas).  A research pioneer, she was the first to apply the generalized matching law to sequences and to demonstrate operant generalization and matching in neonates.  Her publications also cover the history and philosophy of behavior analysis and the neglected method of sequential analysis.  Schneider has championed the inclusive "developmental systems" approach to nature‑nurture relations, culminating in reviews in JEAB and The Behavior Analyst, and she has served on the editorial boards for both of those journals.  Her book, The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World, summarizes the field of operant behavior, its larger nature-nurture context, and its full range of applications.  It earned a mention in the journal Nature, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club, and won the 2015 SABA Media Award.
TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College)
Tim Hackenberg received a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 1982 and a doctorate in Psychology from Temple University in 1987, under the supervision of Philip Hineline. He held a post-doctoral research position at the University of Minnesota with Travis Thompson from 1988-90. He served on the faculty in the Behavior Analysis program at the University of Florida from 1990-2009, and is currently a Professor of Psychology at Reed College in Portland Oregon. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior, as Associate Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, as President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, as the Experimental Representative to the ABAI Council, and as the Director of the ABAI Science Board. His major research interests are in the area of behavioral economics and comparative cognition, with a particular emphasis on decision-making and social behavior. In work funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, he and his students have developed procedures for cross-species comparisons of behavior. He is blessed with a talented cadre of students, and has the good fortune to teach courses he cares about.
HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, LA)
Henry D. (Hank) Schlinger Jr. received his Ph.D. in psychology (applied behavior analysis) from Western Michigan University under the supervision of Jack Michael. He then completed a two-year National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology with Alan Poling. He was a full tenured professor of psychology at Western New England University in Springfield, MA, before moving to Los Angeles in 1998. He is now professor of psychology and former director of the M.S. Program in Applied Behavior Analysis in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Schlinger has published numerous scholarly articles and commentaries in 25 different journals. He also has authored or co-authored three books, Psychology: A Behavioral Overview (1990), A Behavior-Analytic View of Child Development (1995) (which was translated into Japanese), and Introduction to Scientific Psychology (1998). He is a past editor of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and The Behavior Analyst, and on the editorial boards of several other journals. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Keyword(s): Evolution
 
 
Symposium #444
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluations of Pairing Procedures to Increase Social Responses Among Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Catalina Rey (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Catalina Rey, M.S.
Abstract:

Pavlovian pairing procedures are often used in practice to condition reinforcers. However, applied pairing studies have produced mixed results. This symposium will cover a review of the research on stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures and some empirical studies evaluating the effects of different pairing procedures.

Keyword(s): Conditioning reinforcers, Pairing procedures, response-stimulus pairing, stimulus-stimulus pairing
 
A Review of Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedures to Facilitate Early Language Acquisition
APRIL MICHELE WILLIAMS (Rollins College), Vanessa Oller (The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute)
Abstract: The speed and accuracy of verbal behavior acquisition depends on the strength of an individual’s echoic repertoire. The echoic repertoire develops quickly for most children but, for those with developmental disabilities, sometimes explicit training is required. Without such training, children who have difficulties acquiring language often are observed to have higher rates of problem behaviors. Problem behaviors and avoidance of the setting where training is conducted also can occur when the child fails to acquire the echoic repertoire. The stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) procedure may be an alternative to direct echoic training. This procedure pairs adult-emitted sounds, words, or phrases with delivery of conditioned and unconditioned reinforcers, eliminating the response requirement. The result can be an increase in modeled as well as novel sounds and the eventual acquisition of echoic and mand repertoires. Unfortunately, implementers of the procedure have had mixed results, which could be due to significant discrepancies in how the procedure is implemented. The purpose of this review is to analyze the specific components of SSP in the hopes of uncovering the most effective parameters with which to implement the procedure as well as to determine for whom it is likely to be most effective.
 
Comparing Social and Tangible Reinforcers During Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing
AIMEE GILES (University of South Wales), Gemma Bond (University of South Wales), Cynthia Ewers (University of South Wales), Jayne Snare (University of South Wales)
Abstract: Communication deficits are a core characteristic of autism and there is a sub group of children with autism that do not develop vocal speech. Stimulus-stimulus pairing increases the frequency of speech sounds by pairing specific sounds with reinforcing items or interactions (Partington & Sundberg, 1996). One variable that may affect stimulus-stimulus pairing outcomes is the type of reinforcer during pairing (i.e., social versus tangible reinforcers; Stock, Schulze, & Mirenda, 2008). Kelly, Roscoe, Hanley, and Schlichenmeyer (2014) identified procedures for identifying and empirically validating social reinforcers for individuals with autism. The purpose of the proposed study was to evaluate if the social stimuli assessment procedures (Kelly et al. 2014) could identify social reinforcers for young children with autism. In addition, we compared the effectiveness of stimulus-stimulus pairing using tangible and social reinforcers. Three children with autism participated in the study. Following social and tangible preference assessments, an alternating treatments design was used to compare stimulus-stimulus paring with tangible or social reinforcers to a control condition. Results were idiosyncratic across participants. Future research should consider evaluating the relative reinforcing effectiveness of stimuli included in stimulus-stimulus pairing.
 

Effects of Using a Response-Stimulus Pairing Procedure to Teach Children With Autism to Respond to Their Names

Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology), Catalina Rey (Florida Institute of Technology), Chelsea Moore (Florida Institute of Technology), Ansley Hodges (Florida Institute of Technology and Nemours Children’s Hospital), Andressa Sleiman (Florida Institute of Technology ), SANDRA BEATRIZ CASTELLON (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Children with autism often display deficits in social interaction and communication. One of the first signs of autism is lack of eye contact and responding to ones name. Given these behaviors are often prerequisite for additional social interactions, it is critical that they are targeted during early intensive behavioral intervention. Unfortunately, it is often the case that commonly used teaching procedures such as prompting and prompting fading strategies are ineffective. In the current study, we used a response-stimulus (R-S) pairing procedure to condition participants names as reinforcers. We then evaluated whether the name acquired discriminative control over the response of looking at the researcher. During test probes we presented the participants name and recorded whether he responded by looking at the researchers face. During pairing sessions, following every instance of eye contact, the researcher used a delayed pairing procedure to condition the name with a preferred edible. Results suggest that this procedure may be an effective alternative to more traditional prompting strategies.

 

Conditioning Peers as Reinforcers and the Effects on Mand Training With Preschool-Aged Children

NICOLE M. HANNEY (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University), Samantha Lee (Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract:

Programming that simultaneously targets communication and social deficits is common in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention. Previous literature has taught children to mand for preferred items from peers, targeting communication and social skills (e.g., Kodak, Paden, & Dickes, 2012; Taylor et al., 2005). The pairing trials that occur during mand training with peers may mimic conditioning procedures and could establish peers as reinforcers. Several studies have evaluated using response-stimulus (RS) pairing and stimulus-stimulus (SS) pairing to condition neutral social stimuli as reinforcers; however, results have been idiosyncratic. In the current study, Experiment 1 compared SS pairing procedures and RS pairing procedures in conditioning preschool-aged peers as reinforcers. Response-stimulus pairing may be more effective and efficient than SS pairing (i.e., 3 of 6 participants had a successfully conditioned peer using RS pairing). Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of peers as conditioned reinforcers or peers with a history of pairings on the acquisition of manding to peers. Mand training to conditioned peers was just as effective as to novel peers for 3 of 4 participants.

 
 
Symposium #445
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Clinical Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/TPC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Richard T. Codd (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Center of WNC, PA)
CE Instructor: T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium presents an overview of important new research and conceptual foundations for a behavior analytic approach to complex clinical issues. In the 1970s work at the University of Chicago’s Behavior Analysis Research Laboratory directed by Israel Goldiamond pioneered an exciting new approach to understanding and intervening in complex human problems. This approach had its its roots in the consideration of disturbing behavior as being an adaptive outcome of normal behavioral processes and not maladaptive or pathological. This Constructional Approach formed the basis for interventions that included the consideration of alternative sets of consequential contingencies resulting in what became known as Topical and Systemic interventions. The approach treats emotions as indicators of contingencies and works to sensitize patient behavior to them in terms of the contingencies they reflect, and harnessing them in a problem solving strategy that is primarily patient/client directed. Patient verbal behavior is likewise treated as the sensible outcome of consequential contingencies, including the tendency of response bias to enter into self-descriptions and reports. The work presented in this symposium provides clinical case studies involving complex behavioral problems, new formal research concerned with helping parents of autistic children, research on the potential for response bias when using surveys in clinical research, and experimental laboratory contributions to the study of Constructional Change Therapy and Mentoring.
Keyword(s): Autism, Clinical, Constructional, Therapy
 
Need Results Fast? Use Your Imagination: Response Bias in Questionnaire Reports
RUSSELL LAYNG (Scout My Style)
Abstract: In a classic study Azrin, Holtz, and Goldiamond (1961) raised the issue of the role response bias may play in survey research. They found response patterns obtained by means of questionnaire almost completely predictable on the basis of response bias. Despite the implications of their findings, questionnaire reports with no control for response bias remain prevalent; further, these results are often treated as dependent variables in clinical studies. The research presented here examines the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II), “which assesses the construct referred to as, variously, acceptance, experiential avoidance, and psychological inflexibility” (Bond et al, 2011). The study investigated whether the pretreatment to post treatment results obtained by this questionnaire may be a product of response bias. Participants, without knowledge of the purpose of the study, were drawn from a pool of online survey responders and given prompts designed to reflect the likely "demand characteristics" implicit in the administration of the AAQ-II. Pretreatment prompts produced questionnaire responses reflecting high psychological inflexibility, while post treatment prompts produced responses showing significant improvement (p < .01). No treatment was provided. The present findings suggest that questionnaire responses may be independent of the behavior being studied, and unreliable indicators of clinical change.
 

Toward Happiness: A Constructional Approach to Improving the Lives of Parents With Children Diagnosed With Autism

TIMOTHY ALLEN LIDEN (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Parents of children diagnosed with autism face a variety of stressors. Parents who are unable to successfully cope with these stressors are often given labels such as anxious, angry or depressed. The typical treatment approach is pathological and focuses on the problem, often through counseling, behavioral therapy, tutoring, and/or drugs. This presentation will show data from a study that assessed an alternative approach, the constructional approach (Goldiamond, 1974). Three parents were taught how to build off of their strengths and assets and how to analyze their life, formulate goals, and develop programs to reach these goals. Teaching this new repertoire enabled the parents to make changes in their lives and reach their goals. Also, for each parent, the percentage of time each day during which she felt happy increased. Each parent was able to reduce or eliminate her stressors by analyzing the circumstances and focusing on her ideal outcome, rather than focusing on her psychological deficits and misfortunes of life. The results suggest that the use of a constructional program is very effective in helping parents develop a new repertoire that will ultimately improve their overall quality of life.

 
Complex Constructional Change: Topical vs. Systemic Clinical Intervention
T. V. JOE LAYNG (ChangePartner Healthcare)
Abstract: In “topical intervention” the presenting complaint is either treated directly, or its function is determined and intervention proceeds accordingly. One may also consider the consequences contingent not only on the disturbing pattern, but the consequences contingent on its alternatives as well. This type of topical intervention seeks to understand the behavior by attending to the matrix of outcomes (costs and benefits) of both the disturbing pattern and its available alternatives. A “systemic intervention” also considers the matrix into which the disturbing pattern enters, but asks what potentiates the consequences and their relations. Often, consequential contingencies that are a part of yet other matrices may be the source of such potentiation. Intervention may be targeted at these systemic relations and not at the presenting complaint or the matrix into which it enters. Clinical examples will show how the presenting complaint may often be considered a symptom of these systemic relations. Attention to these systemic matrices may result in the disturbing behavior "dropping out" without direct attention to the presenting complaint or symptom (Goldiamond, 1979, 1984; Layng, 2009; Layng and Andronis, 1984). The implications for understanding and treating complex behavior of clinical interest will be discussed.
 
A Radical Proposal for Training and Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis
PAUL THOMAS THOMAS ANDRONIS (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: The term “behavior modification” for the most part has been supplanted by “applied behavior analysis” as a description of the application of behavioral principles in practical settings. Though this is a welcomed development, it seems to have coincided with a regression of both training and practice to the heady early days of behavior modification, back in the late nineteen-sixties to early nineteen-seventies. Many contemporary applied programs seem to be only modestly improved, “cookie-cutter” version of interventions available since the sixties. The successful implementation of behavioral technologies in various settings and with diverse populations has proceeded apace, but apparently at the expense of the more perspicuous analyses and invention that characterized the early days in the field. Students trained in applied behavior analysis are often wholly unaware of classic experimental work, and are acquainted only superficially with the major contributors. The present paper will survey some important areas of the experimental analysis of behavior that remain under-appreciated with respect to their potential contributions to the analysis of behavior in applied settings, and calls for a return to the roots of our interest and investment in a comprehensive science of behavior.
 
 
Symposium #446
Recent Advances in Assessment and Treatment of Challenging and Appropriate Behavior via Remote TeleConsultation
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD North, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Functional analysis (FA) and functional communication training (FCT) have been conducted via remote teleconsultation for approximately 10 years now. Since the earliest demonstrations of its effectiveness as a service delivery system, the use of teleconsultation has been expanded in a variety of ways. This symposium will feature recent applications of teleconsultation and discuss the issues related to its use. Alyssa Suess will present first with a demonstration of FA and FCT for individuals with autism who are on a waiting list for treatment of problem behavior. Jessica Simacek will give the second presentation on teaching young children with neurodevelopmental disabilities to mand across home contexts. The third presentation, by Traci Ruppert, will address the effects of coaching and performance feedback on parent acquisition of intervention strategies for challenging behavior across family routines. Matt O'Brien will deliver the fourth presentation on a multi-site study that employs a randomized control trial of functional analysis and treatment for challenging behavior. Wayne Fisher will serve as the discussant and synthesize the presentations as well as discuss implications for future research.

 
A Demonstration on the Use of Telehealth in an Outpatient Behavior Clinic
ALYSSA N. SUESS (Trinity Health), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Jessica Emily Schwartz (The University of Iowa), Nicole H. Lustig (The University of Iowa), Jessica Detrick (University of Iowa)
Abstract: There is a high demand for behavior analytic services for the treatment of problem behavior in children with autism, often resulting in long waitlists for outpatient behavior clinics. In the current study, we incorporated telehealth services into the routine services provided in our outpatient clinic in order to provide brief consultation to families waiting to be seen in the clinic. We specifically coached parents of children with autism via telehealth to conduct functional analyses within multielement designs during one 60-min appointment. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design was used when the parents implemented functional communication training (FCT) during three 15-min appointments. Interobserver agreement was collected on 59.6% of sessions and averaged 91.5%. Results showed that behavioral functions were identified for 4 out of 5 children, and problem behavior was reduced by an average of 61.2%. Manding and task completion also increased during FCT. The results from this study replicated and extended previous findings by demonstrating how telehealth could be incorporated into the clinical practice of an outpatient clinic. The access to services provided to families via telehealth permitted the families to begin treating the children’s problem behavior without having to wait for months to be evaluated in the clinic.
 

Parent-Implemented Communication Intervention With Coaching via Telehealth on the Acquisition of Early Communication Skills

JESSICA J. SIMACEK (University of Minnesota), Adele Dimian (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

There are numerous barriers to children with severe neurodevelopmental disabilities accessing recommended early and intensive intervention services that are related to optimal outcomes. The purpose of the current study was to determine the efficacy of parent-implemented assessment and intervention with coaching via telehealth (i.e., video conferencing) on the acquisition of early communication skills for three young children (3.5-4 years old) with severe neurodevelopmental disabilities. A structured descriptive assessment and functional analysis were used to identify idiosyncratic/potentially communicative responses and communicative contexts for each child. Functional communication training (FCT) was implemented to increase early communication skills. Parents conducted all sessions with remote coaching via telehealth by experts in functional analysis and FCT. The effects of FCT were evaluated using an adapted, multiple-probe design across three contexts for each child. Prior to intervention, none of the children engaged in reliable or easily recognizable communication forms; however, the results indicated that during FCT intervention all three children acquired the targeted communication skills. Implications from this study support the efficacy of parent-implemented intervention delivered with coaching via telehealth and the potential for future research to examine telehealth within a service delivery model to increase access to services for children with disabilities and their families.

 

Effects of Behavior Specialists' Use of Coaching and Performance Feedback via Telehealth to Train Parent of Children With Challenging Behavior

TRACI ELAINE RUPPERT (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Although prior studies have evaluated and supported the use of telehealth to deliver coaching and performance feedback to parents of children with developmental disabilities, there have been few studies that have evaluated the use of telehealth to provide behavioral consultation across family routines. The current investigation examines the effects of coaching and performance feedback provided via telehealth on parent acquisition of intervention strategies across desired family routines for three parents of children with developmental disabilities who engage in challenging behavior. A multiple-probe design across participants was used to examine the effects of immediate performance feedback on parent implementation of intervention strategies and of parent implemented intervention on challenging and adaptive behavior. This study broadens the existing research base by training graduate students to deliver behavioral consultation via telehealth to train parents on how to implement multi-component interventions in their home. Suggestions for future research will be discussed.

 

Using Telehealth to Compare Behavioral Assessment and Treatment for Children With Autism

MATTHEW O'BRIEN (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Jessica Detrick (The University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Scott D. Lindgren (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Published studies on the use of telecommunication technology in the field of applied behavior analysis date back nearly 10 years (Barretto et al., 2006). Recent research has established the telehealth model as an effective service delivery modality for behavior analytic services. For example, Lindgren and Wacker have recently completed a series of studies using telehealth in home and clinic settings (Lindgren & Wacker, 2009, 2011). In the most recent study (Wacker et al., 2014), telehealth was used to conduct a randomized controlled trial of functional communication training in the home setting. The results revealed outcomes similar to face-to-face service delivery and telehealth in clinic settings. Given robust findings on the effectiveness of the telehealth model for service provision, this model should also be considered an appropriate modality for conducting behavior analytic research. A new, multi-site research grant (Lindgren & Wacker, 2015) is underway using telehealth to conduct a randomized controlled trial of functional analysis. This presentation will provide insight into the use of telehealth as a research tool to evaluate functional assessment and treatment and will offer a look at case studies from early grant participants.

 
 
Symposium #447
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Advances in the Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD South, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Discussant: Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Javier Virues-Ortega, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium presents a series of original studies featuring functional analysis methodology and function-based interventions for a variety of problem behaviors in individuals with and without disabilities. S. Taylor’s study introduces a novel approach to the functional analysis of feeding disorders among children with nasogastric tube dependency. She conducted a series of gradual antecedent manipulations of volume, texture, feeding method, and other important antecedent dimensions. This assessment strategy is aimed at identifying an optimal start point for treatment. The initial phases of functional communication training (FCT) often use dense schedules followed by a schedule thinning procedure. The study by N. Nuhu features an experimental analysis of schedule-thinning procedures following FCT among individuals with problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. The current analysis compared the effects of two schedule thinning procedures: chained schedules and multiple schedules. K. A. Benhart examined the effect of reinforcement delay during the differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) of automatically maintained food stealing. The authors evaluated the latency to the alternative response and food stealing across progressively increasing reinforcement delays. Finally, A. Cox presents a series of extended side-by-side functional analyses conducted before and after psychotropic prescription changes among individuals with intellectual disability and problem behavior. Medication changes provided the opportunity to conduct analogues to parametric and reversal experimental analyses using medication changes as a secondary independent variable.
Keyword(s): feeding disorders, food stealing, psychotropic medication, schedule thinning
 

An Antecedent-Based Assessment Model for Children With Severe Feeding Disorders

SARAH LEADLEY (The University of Auckland), Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Abstract:

There is increasing use of antecedent-based treatments in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, but limited reporting of systematic assessment of antecedent manipulations. In the current study, we developed an experimental assessment method to evaluate the effects of varied antecedent manipulations (e.g., changes to liquid or food properties) on acceptance or mealtime problem behaviour. Conditions showing the most improvement are matched to an individualized treatment protocol for each child. This study is conducted in family homes in New Zealand, with children that are dependent on some degree of tube feeding to meet their nutritional needs. Preliminary results from five participants have shown that this assessment may identify effective treatment protocols to increase oral nutrition in the absence of escape extinction.

 
Schedule Thinning Following Functional Communication Training: A Comparison of Chained Schedules and Multiple Schedules
NADRATU NUHU (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is used to reduce rates of problem behavior by teaching communicative responses that access functionally equivalent reinforcers. During the initial phases of FCT, the communicative response is typically placed on a dense schedule of reinforcement that is not likely to be maintained in the natural environment. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of two schedule-thinning procedures (chained schedules and multiple schedules) following the implementation of FCT with problem behavior maintained by escape from demands. In Experiment 1, a reversal design was used to demonstrate experimental control over the effects of FCT on rates of problem behavior with three participants. A multielement design was used to compare the chained schedule and multiple schedule thinning procedures on rates of compliance, the communicative response, and problem behavior. In general, participants engaged in similar levels of problem behavior in the chained and multiple-schedule conditions as they progressed through schedule thinning. For some participants, higher rates of compliance were observed during the chained-schedule conditions. Following the completion of schedule thinning, preferences for the two schedule thinning conditions will be assessed in Experiment 2 with a modified concurrent-chain preference assessment.
 
The Effects of Delayed Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior on Food Stealing
KELLY ALEXANDRA BENHART (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: A series of assessments were conducted to determine whether an alternative response could be taught to replace food stealing. Three students in a residential school for children with autism participated. We examined the durability of the alternative response by measuring the latency to the alternative response and food stealing across progressively increasing delays. Results of a functional analysis indicated that food stealing was automatically maintained for all participants. A DRA with immediate reinforcement decreased food stealing, but, once a delay to reinforcement was introduced, food stealing increased for all participants. The reinforcement schedule was successfully thinned for all three participants, however, the effective treatment varied slightly for each individual. Delay fading with praise was effective for one participant, and a ratio fading procedure was effective for the other two participants. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 33% of sessions for all participants and averaged over 95% for all dependent measures, and for all participants.
 

Long-Term Dynamics of Automatically- and Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior Exposed to Antipsychotic Medication: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis.

ALISON COX (University of Manitboa), Javier Virues-Ortega (The University of Auckland)
Abstract:

Psychopharmacological and behavioral interventions are used to treat challenging behaviors in individuals with intellectual disability (ID), often in combination. However, little is known about the interaction between medication pharmacodynamics and behavior function. A better understanding of these mechanisms could serve as the conceptual foundation for combined interventions. We conducted extended functional analyses to assess the impact on behavior function of various dosages of primarily antipsychotic medications. We explored the relation between the changes in medication (i.e., new prescription, dosage change in an existing prescription) and problem behavior by conducted a very long series of functional analysis sessions. Four individuals with ID and challenging behavior who were also receiving psychotropic medications participated. Behavior function remain the same after a change in medication in 14 out of the 21 medication manipulations examined.

 
 
Symposium #451
Application of Applied Behavior Analytic Strategies in Early Childhood Education Classroom Settings
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Dacia McCoy (University of Cincinnati)
Discussant: Ashley Shier (Nationwide Children's Hospital, Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract: Behavior analytic strategies have long been applied to the treatment of a wide range of academic and behavior concerns. With the passing of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1997/2004, behavior analytic assessment and intervention techniques have become a necessary component in the school environment. Additionally, with the continued emphasis on standardized tests and curriculums, as dictated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, academic readiness and success is becoming a crucial component in early childhood settings. The presentations in this symposia address unique applications of behavior analytic principles to students in an early childhood setting. Interventions focusing on Autism and English Language Learner populations, as well as a child with selective mutism will be presented. Additionally, presentations will discuss interventions that address problem behavior, academic readiness, and pre-academic skills. Data from all presentations supports the effectiveness and feasibility of behavior analytic interventions in a classroom environment. Discussions will emphasize the feasibility of assessment and intervention techniques within this setting as well as explore the long term maintenance of intervention effects.
Keyword(s): Classroom Setting, Early Childhood, ELL, Selective Mutism
 

Using Trial-Based Functional Analysis to Design Effective Interventions for Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

WALLACE LARKIN (University of Cincinnati), Renee Hawkins (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

Functional behavior assessments and function-based interventions represent effective methods for addressing the challenging behaviors of children. However, traditional functional analysis has limitations that impact feasibility in school and community settings. Trial-based functional analyses have been shown to address concerns relating to the length of time, level of expertise required, and the contrived nature of analogue functional analyses. The current study expanded on previous research by using trial-based functional analyses to determine the function of challenging behaviors within an educational setting for four early childhood education students with autism spectrum disorder. Results of the trial-based functional analyses were then used to create corresponding individualized function-based interventions for three of the four students assessed. For two students, the intervention was based on differential reinforcement of other behavior, and one students intervention was based on differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior. Each of these individualized function-based interventions resulted in both decreases in problem behaviors as well as increases in classroom engagement. The students teachers conducted all assessment and intervention procedures, and collected trial-by trial student data during assessment.

 

Using Differential Reinforcement to Increase the Communicative Behavior of a Kindergarten Student With Selective Mutism

HILARY B. DENUNE (Cincinnati Public Schools)
Abstract:

Researchers have only recently begun assessing the function of selectively mute behavior likely due to the fact that selective mutism (SM) is defined by the absence of verbal behavior, and because it has historically been attributed to unobservable, private events (i.e., anxiety). More recently, research has begun exploring the treatment of SM through the use of functional behavior assessments (FBA). In this study, an FBA was conducted in order to determine the function of a female kindergarteners selectively mute behavior. It was determined that the behavior was maintained through escape. A differential reinforcement procedure was designed to shape the students communicative behavior. Teacher collected frequency data and direct observation measures were used to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the students communicative behavior using a changing criterion design. Direct observation data were also used to evaluate the influence of intervention procedures on the students behavior, as well as to obtain peer comparison data, using an AB design. Results indicated that intervention procedures effectively increased the target students vocal behavior to rates similar to classroom peers. Discussion focuses on contributions to current research, implications for the practice of ABA in educational settings, and suggestions for further research.

 

Video Self-Modeling With English Language Learners in the Preschool Setting

DACIA MCCOY (University of Cincinnati), Renee Hawkins (University of Cincinnati), Julie Morrison (University of Cincinnati), Laura Nabors (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

English language learners (ELL) are at risk of academic failure when classroom expectations are not effectively communicated and they are unable to engage in classroom instruction. A delayed multiple baseline design across participants was utilized to investigate the effects of a video self-modeling (VSM) intervention on the classroom behavior of ELLs. This study was implemented in the preschool setting with ELLs exhibiting low levels of engagement and/or high levels of off-task behavior during group time. Prior to group time, the child viewed a brief self-modeling video of appropriate behavior. A parent of the child provided voice-over in the childs home language, clearly stating the classroom expectations described by the teacher. Through visual analysis, the results indicated an increase in engagement and decrease in off-task behaviors for all 4 children to levels comparable to English-fluent speaking and ELL peer comparisons in the classroom. These results were maintained during the brief follow-up phase. In addition, teacher and child social validity data suggested the intervention was viewed favorably by both the teachers and children. This study demonstrates promising evidence that VSM may be an effective antecedent intervention for ELL children in the preschool classroom setting.

 

Creating Stimulus Equivalence Using a Matching-to-Sample Intervention With a Preschool Student to Improve Preacademic Skills

JESSIE RICHARD (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

Historically preschool has been primarily focused on social behavior; however in recent years there has been an increased emphasis being placed on academics particularly due to increased academic standards within grades K-12. In this study, an intervention was created to examine the effects of a matching-to-sample intervention on the preacademic skills of a preschool student. This case was implemented in a preschool with a student who was well below the expected level associated with being able to identify shapes, colors, numbers, and the letters of his name. During free play, the classroom teacher implemented one of the matching-to-sample interventions with the preschool student per day. A different matching-to-sample intervention was completed each day of the week. Results indicated that the intervention was effective in increasing the number of correctly identified shapes, colors, numbers, and letters compared to baseline. Social validity data also suggests that the teacher viewed the intervention positively. This study demonstrates promising evidence that a matching-to-sample intervention for preschool students struggling with acquisition of preacademic skills may be an effective technique for teachers to utilize in the preschool classroom.

 
 
Symposium #453
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Evidence-Based Practice for ABA Practitioners: Strategies, Ethical Obligations, and Challenges
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University)
CE Instructor: Wayne Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a multi-component process in which practitioners select, refine and deliver clinical services based on a) the best available scientific evidence, b) unique client and contextual features and c) ongoing clinical progress monitoring and decision making. Developed initially in medicine, EBP has been extended to the delivery of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services and is considered an essential feature of ethical and high quality (ABA) service delivery. This symposium reviews the defining features of EBP as applied to ABA service delivery and provides a synopsis of the challenges encountered in implementing the EBP process in ABA. This symposium will offer practical advice for ABA practitioners and supervisors who are interested in improving the quality and accountability of ABA and clinical behavior analysis service delivery. Additionally, it will offer guidance for instructors and researchers who are interested in the dissemination of ABA technology and quality assurance.

 
What is the “Best Available Evidence” to Guide Clinical Practice?
TIMOTHY A. SLOCUM (Utah State University)
Abstract: The concept “best available evidence” is one of three pillars of evidence-based practice. A nuanced understanding of this concept is necessary for evidence-based practice to be compatible with the conceptual and ethical tenets of Applied Behavior Analysis and clinical effectiveness. This paper outlines a multifaceted understanding of “best available evidence” and demonstrates its clinical utility.
 

Is Standardization of ABA Eroding Our Scientific Foundations?

KIMBERLY A. SCHRECK (Penn State Harrisburg), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract:

As Applied Behavior Analysis principles and procedures have been shown to be effective, many ABA practices have become standardized with non-individualized procedures. The idiosyncratic practices of some of these standardized programs' have eroded their ABA scientific foundations. These practices often ignore the research supported principles and application procedures of ABA creating possible ethical violations. This symposium will present examples of ABA practices which have possibly eroded and compromised the efficacy of ABA. We will also discuss the possible ethical implications of these trends.

 

Sometimes It Works, But Is It Worth It?

PETER STURMEY (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has typically evaluated its outcomes using reliable and valid observational data of increases in adaptive behavior, decreases in maladaptive behavior, generalization, maintenance and social validity and more recently systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Despite the evidence for effectiveness, wide spread adoption, beyond adoption of simple contingency management has been scarce. Once important and neglected aspect of evidence-based practice is economic evaluation. This paper highlights opportunities for promoting ABA by demonstrating economic benefit of ABA.

 

Detecting and Troubleshooting Treatment Failures: Guidelines for ABA Practitioners

WAYNE FUQUA (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Sometimes the best-intentioned practitioners implement ABA interventions that fail to produce behavior change of sufficient magnitude, generality and durability to resolve the presenting problem. This presentation will review the ethical obligation to incorporate clinical benchmarks and clinical progress monitoring in a manner that allows for early detection of treatment failures and shortcomings. It also reviews seven practical strategies for troubleshooting treatment failures.

 
 
Panel #456
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis is a Science and, Therefore, Progressive
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: John James McEachin, Ph.D.
Chair: Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
JOHN JAMES MCEACHIN (Autism Partnership)
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
ROBERT K. ROSS (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis is a science and, therefore, involves progressive approaches and outcomes. In this panel discussion we argue that the spirit and the method of science should be maintained in order to avoid reductionist procedures, stifled innovation, and rote, unresponsive protocols that become increasingly removed from meaningful progress for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We describe this approach as progressive. In a progressive ABA approach, the therapist employs a structured yet flexible process, which is contingent upon and responsive to child progress. We will describe progressive ABA and provide rationales for both the substance and intent of ABA as a progressive scientific method for improving conditions of social relevance for individuals with ASD. The chairperson will pose a variety of questions to the other panel members to engender a discussion about how, as a field, we can move toward a more progressive approach and the potential obstacles behavior analysts might face along the way. Finally, we will take questions from the audience members to help facilitate the discussion. The goal of the panel is to help the audience to identify what constitutes progressive ABA and how we as behavior analysts can reach these high standards.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Best Outcome, progressive ABA, Quality Intervention
 
 
Panel #460
Applied Behavior Analysis at Two Brazilian Public Hospitals: Research, Intervention, and Discussion
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Martha Hübner (University of São Paulo)
LUIZA HUBNER HÜBNER DE OLIVEIRA (University of Sao Paulo/Behavior Analysis Hubner C)
ADSSON MAGALHAES (University of Sao Paulo)
MARTHA HUBNER (University of São Paulo)
Abstract:

The panel presents possibilities and challenges of a multidisciplinary and inter domain approach, applying Behavior Analysis to two nationally renowned public hospitals in Brazil. Three different applications are shown, at three different units and faculties at the largest University in South America (USP), inside and outside it, with professionals coming from diverse organizations. It involves, mainly, two different domains of Behavior Analysis: applied research and service delivery, all of them in the context of a partnership between public university, public hospital and private initiatives. It involves different disciplines: psychology, psychiatry, art, nursing and education, with the common context of Behavior Analysis. It describes and discusses three different approaches: 1) a program of creating a behavioral environment at a Children Ward, at the Psychiatry Institute; 2) a research on the process of adults behavior change during one year of Behavioral Therapy at a University Hospital; 3) a parent training program for those parents at the Children Ward and for those at the Daily Hospital Program. Results shows: 1) pivotal changes in the behavior of the nursery staff, related to the knowledge and application of Behavior Analysis; decreased in the organizational indexes of contention due to aggressive behavior of children; 2) positive correlation between progresses in the behavior of clients and points in psychiatry and social scales; 3) changes in the parents behavior in the direction of a more positive reinforcing contingencies. Considering the involvement of different disciplines and professionals originated from different organizations, discussion will be conducted in the light of the possibilities and challenges of a multidisciplinary and inter domain approach application of Behavior Analysis.

Keyword(s): BST, children ward, parent training, severe disabilities
 
 
Symposium #463
CE Offered: BACB
Next Gen Behavior Analysis: Merging Computer Tech With Behavior Tech
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University)
CE Instructor: William F. Potter, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Digital technology is ubiquitous. It has exponentially extended our ability to contact molar and molecular phenomena across all areas of science. This symposium offers two presentations and a discussion of the evolving symbiotic relationship between behavior analysis and digital technology. With the increasing ease of computer programming, non-computer science professionals can develop powerful apps beneficial to research and application. Researchers who have taken advantage of technological advancements have not only benefited in efficiency, but have been able to investigate increasingly complex phenomena otherwise too cumbersome for analysis. This symposium celebrates the success of behavioral researchers in applying modern technology to basic and applied phenomena. This symposium also aims to empower audience members to hack their own hardware and software to create truly unique applications. Audience members will walk away able to identify and participate in a growing community of do it yourselfers committed to the free-sharing of information. We welcome all scientists, practitioners, and hackers.

Keyword(s): Computer Programming, Mobile Devices, Technology
 
Response Rhythm: Software Enables a New Look at an Established Process
KENNETH J. KILLINGSWORTH (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (Praxis2LLC)
Abstract: Response rhythm, or pacing, is a topic discussed among precision teachers and fluency researchers, yet quantification of this phenomenon has proven difficult. The use of computer programs with a behavior analytic foundation allows practitioners and researchers the opportunity to capture additional variables associated with masterful performance. The present study investigated the patterning of response latencies in a frequency-building task and tracked the change in these patterns across varying degrees of mastery. Two data sets are presented – the first entails typically functioning adults in an computerized arbitrary matching to sample task and the second entails school-aged children learning letter-sound correspondence with nearly identical software. The first data set gives a look into a basic learning process while the second data set translates the process into something socially meaningful. This research has the potential to inform the design of computerized learning programs that automatically optimize the presentation of stimuli to match a learner’s performance. In essence, behavior analytic computer programs offer a powerful engine in the marketplace of worthy behavioral technologies.
 
Why and How: Behavior Analysis and Technology
WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: Incorporating computer and other technology into behavior analysis can provide some cost and time savings, and allows for unprecedented data gathering opportunities. This presentation will discuss some of those benefits - either currently being used, or that could be incorporated across a number of settings (applied, experimental). Examples of data derived from prior basic and applied studies will be presented to illustrate how modern technology informs the design of testable solutions. The second part of this talk will examine how technology has become increasingly more accessible - with some training and persistence most individuals can learn to program computers, as indicated by the push by the LiveCode programming environment's drive to: "Empower Individuals With Autism Through Coding". Some examples of simple coding will be demonstrated, as well as suggested routes for learning. Ultimately, attendees will walk away with a sense of the accessibility of programming and some resources for further education.
 
 
Symposium #464
An Investigation of Techniques to Improve the Delivery of Training and Coaching
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Training is an essential component for the success of any organization. Although critical, it is an intervention that can be delivered in many different ways and disseminated through a variety of outlets. One method of dissemination is electronically through computer-based instruction (CBI). Despite the numerous benefits of employing computer-based instruction, there are several challenges that accompany this mode of instruction which require further investigation into specific techniques one can use to improve this form of training. Another method of dissemination is interpersonally such as the type of training one might observe when a manager is attempting to train a sales team. Many companies have narrowed their focus to both training and selection despite the apparent shortcomings associated with both of these sales improvement strategies. In doing this, there is much less emphasis on attempting to teach specific sales behaviors. Coaching has been proposed as an effective alternative given the multidimensional nature of this approach, which incorporates prompting, feedback, and evaluation. The purpose of the two present studies was to investigate techniques to improve the delivery of training and coaching.
Keyword(s): behavior-based feedback, computer-based instruction, sales coaching, training
 
Coaching as a Packaged Intervention for Telemarketing Personnel
RACHAEL TILKA (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The multidimensional approach taken in coaching which incorporates prompting, feedback, and evaluation has led many to conclude that it may be an effective strategy for sales improvement. The purpose of the present study aimed to utilize direct observation in assessing the effects of a coaching package on sales performance. The participants included four telemarketing personnel. The procedures incorporated an initial phase of task clarification followed by practice through modeling and role play. Once the telemarketer became fluent with role play, the coach allowed her to begin calling customers. Feedback was provided after each opportunity. Incentives were also given for engaging in the correct behaviors and setting a pending sale. Each week, a meeting was held during which the coach provided continued modeling, practice, and feedback. The results allow one to conclude with high confidence that coaching as a packaged intervention was successful in increasing the average percent of critical behaviors as well as both pending and successful phone sales. Coaching can be seen as an effective strategy that, if implemented properly, can be utilized to achieve both desired behaviors and results within one’s sales team.
 
Using Postfeedback Delays to Reduce Racing in Online Learning
ANNA CONARD (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Throughout the last decade, computer-based instruction (CBI) has become an increasingly popular tool in both business and education. Research investigating the efficacy of CBI has often found that it is just as good, if not better, than traditional forms of instruction. Despite the numerous benefits of employing CBI, there are several challenges that accompany this mode of instruction, specifically computer-based racing. Computer-based racing occurs when learners respond so quickly that frequent mistakes are made, even on well-known material. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the impact of postfeedback delays on racing through an online lesson. Six different postfeedback delay formats are being assessed in terms of learner performance using a between group repeated measures design with pretest and posttest scores. There is currently data for 65 undergraduate students from a large Midwest university. The current findings demonstrate the greatest posttest gains for those individuals receiving active feedback with a 5-second postfeedback delay.
 
 
Symposium #468
CE Offered: BACB
The Impact of Research: Scope, Dimensions, and Translation
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Alpine, Swissotel
Area: TPC/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sam Blanco (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Cheryl J. Davis, M.Ed.
Abstract:

This symposium will present a review of the 7 Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as outlined by Baer, Wolf and Risley (1986/87) as well as the cumulative number of published articles and citations across BCAB approved program faculty. In regards to the dimension review, both a review of The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), from 2000 to 2015, as well as a variety of non-evidence based autism practices were evaluated on each dimension. Preliminary results indicate that some dimensions, such as effective were met with rigor while other dimensions are minimally considered in applied studies, such as generalization. The citation review was based on Dixon, Reed, Smith, Belisle, and Jackson (2015) who asserted that research productivity measured by the total number of published articles in behavior-analytic journals is a quality metric for analyzing graduate training programs. The current study examined the number of citations that each published study produced. In addition, the authors searched for the total number of publications and citations in any journal for all faculty in all BACB-approved graduate programs. The cumulative number of published articles and citations across faculty, graduate program and journal were calculated.

 
Is the "Gold Standard" Journal Applying the Dimensions of ABA in Current Research?
CHERYL J. DAVIS (7 Dimensions Consulting/Endicott College), Lesley A. Macpherson (Endicott College), Timothy Nipe (Melmark/Endicott College), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: This symposium will present a review of the 7 Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as outlined by Baer, Wolf and Risley (1986/87) as well as the cumulative number of published articles and citations across BCAB approved program faculty. In regards to the dimension review, both a review of The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), from 2000 to 2015, as well as a variety of non-evidence based autism practices were evaluated on each dimension. Preliminary results indicate that some dimensions, such as effective were met with rigor while other dimensions are minimally considered in applied studies, such as generalization. The citation review was based on Dixon, Reed, Smith, Belisle, and Jackson (2015) who asserted that research productivity measured by the total number of published articles in behavior-analytic journals is a quality metric for analyzing graduate training programs. The current study examined the number of citations that each published study produced. In addition, the authors searched for the total number of publications and citations in any journal for all faculty in all BACB-approved graduate programs. The cumulative number of published articles and citations across faculty, graduate program and journal were calculated.
 
Using Baer Wolf and Risley (1968) to Assess Autism Interventions: Back to Science
JOSEPHINE SOUTHWICK (Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Requirements for evidence-based practice exist in many fields such as education, medicine, and the social sciences. A variety of treatment options are currently available for consumers who require service delivery in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Some are clearly evidenced-based, while others clearly are not. There are also a number of treatment models that include interventions that have ambiguous evidence, or have not yet been tested empirically. Some behavior analysts use interventions that are not scientifically supported nor behavior analytic. We propose using Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) to clinically evaluate the extent to which treatments for autism adhere to the basic dimensions of applied behavior analysis. By so doing, behavior analysts can more consistently use treatments and strategies that adhere to the fundamentals of our philosophy and approach. It is our hope that this call to action will reduce drift within the field and ensure a consistent commitment to science-based interventions.
 
Publication and Citation Analysis: A Systematic Replication and Extension
LESLEY A. MACPHERSON (Endicott College), Bryan J. Blair (Cape Abilities/Endicott College), Emily Debacher (Endicott College), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Dixon, Reed, Smith, Belisle, and Jackson (2015) asserted that research productivity measured by the total number of published articles in behavior-analytic journals is a quality metric for analyzing graduate training programs. While this is certainly a valid metric to evaluate the research productivity of a behavior analyst, the current authors argue that it is also relevant to examine the number of citations that each published study produces. The purpose of the current review was to replicate and extend Dixon et al. (2015), by further examining the number of times each published study was cited in six behavior-analytic journals. The authors conducted searches in Google Scholar for each faculty name listed in Dixon et al. (2015). In addition, the authors searched for the total number of publications and citations in any journal for all faculty in all BACB-approved graduate programs. The cumulative number of published articles and citations across faculty, graduate program and journal were calculated. These data will be presented and discussed in terms of their relevance and impact on the analysis of graduate programs.
 
 
Symposium #479
Unique Applications of Behavioral Science: Actively Caring for Athletes, College Students, and Mother Earth
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: This symposium describes three ongoing applications of behavioral science to improve athletic performance, prevent alcohol abuse, and conserve environment resources. The first behavioral-observation and intervention study demonstrates how the verbal behavior of wrestling coaches can facilitate or inhibit an athlete’s self-motivation. The impact of an intervention to improve coaching within this context is ongoing and the behavioral impact per athlete and coach will be described. The second presentation describes a community-based study of eight of the most popular BAC-estimation phone applications to determine their accuracy among 583 participants. Actual BACs were taken of the participants and compared with estimations from eight phone applications used frequently throughout the U.S. The third study was conducted at a large Kroger grocery store to evaluate a behavior-based interventions to increase the use of re-usable shopping bags. The community-based intervention included commitment and branding components. For 45 years, the Chair has conducted or supervised community and organizational behavioral-science research to design and evaluate interventions to improve human welfare on a large scale. Thus, he will provide valuable insight regarding the potential of the research presented here to benefit organizations and communication in the U.S. and beyond.
Keyword(s): alcohol intervention, coaching athletes, environmental sustainability
 

Self-Motivation Among College Athletes: What Difference Can a Coach Make?

DEVIN CARTER (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Center for Applied Behavior Systems), Peter Coiley (Virginia Tech), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract:

Sport psychologists claim self-motivation is key to becoming a successful athlete. Plus, behavioral scientists have found that perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness enhance self-motivation. Question: How does the verbal behavior of a coach benefit or stifle the self-motivation of a college athlete? We explored empirical answers to this question by systematically observing verbal interactions between college wrestling coaches and wrestlers during practice and during inter-collegiate competition. Specifically, we developed and applied a behavioral checklist to categorize a coach's statements as potentially increasing or decreasing a wrestler's perception of autonomy, competence, and/or relatedness, and used a semantic differential to assess wrestlers’ perceptions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as well as their overall self-motivation before and after practice and a competition. Preliminary data after just two weeks of observations indicated that 65% of coaching feedback was corrective and of the supportive feedback behaviors, 68% were general rather than behavior-based. We will continue these observations for four weeks and then show the coaches their own data as feedback. With a multiple-baseline design between coaches, we will evaluate behavioral impact per coach and athlete. We will explore the addition of an individual feedback intervention to coach the coaches.

 
Smart-Phone Applications for Blood Alcohol Concentration: Do They Help or Hinder?
ALEXANDRA BAZDAR (Center for Applied Behavior Systems), Ryan C. Smith (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute), Ashley Underwood (Virginia Tech), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Phone applications have been developed to inform people when they are too intoxicated to drive. This field study systematically evaluated eight of the most popular BAC-estimation phone applications (four Android; four iPhone). These apps usually require users to enter how long they’ve been drinking, the number of drinks they’ve consumed, their gender, and their weight. Then the app provides an estimated BAC to the user. These phone applications have reported hundreds of thousands of downloads by users throughout the United States. We tested their accuracy among 583 participants. Our RAs helped the participants enter their drinking information. The estimate provided was then compared with the BAC obtained via a breathalyzer. To our surprise and disappointment, the average phone application was incorrect by 0.043g/dL. The figure depicts the differences between the PhoneApp estimation and actual BAC. The positive difference in all but one can indicate the PhoneApp usually overestimated BAC. However, if the user had a BAC over the legal limit to drive, the phone application told the individual s/he was actually under the legal limit on 14.2 percent of these occasions.
 
Encouraging Environmentally Responsible Behavior: Will Social Identity Increase the Use of Reusable Shopping Bags?
RUTH-ANNE E. POLI (Virginia Tech), Micah Roediger (Virginia Tech), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Applied behavioral science has increased the frequency of environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) with interventions that include public commitment and consequence strategies. However, antecedent strategies and individual difference variables have been largely unexplored as explanations for who is most influenced by an intervention to increase ERB occurrence. In this field study, we evaluated the impact of Virginia Tech (VT)-branded versus non-branded reusable shopping bags distributed to students and community residents at a large Kroger grocery store. Shoppers are being surveyed on measures of their organizational identity, identity fusion and environmental attitudes. By tracking 100 individually-numbered VT-branded and 100 plain reusable bags, the impact of a public commitment intervention is being evaluated. Prior survey results were used to address barriers for not using reusable bags and for designing the intervention. The connection between the survey data (see the table below) and the intervention will be explained, as well as the impact of VT-branding and commitment on repeated use of a reusable bag.
 
 
Symposium #484
Recent Findings in Behavioral Economics: Methodological Innovations, Schedule-Dependent Choice, and E-Cigarette Abuse Liability
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jeffrey S. Stein (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Abstract: Behavioral economics, or the study of the allocation of behavior under constraint, provides a framework for basic and applied science to understand, predict, and influence behavior. For any given commodity, variations in income and price (broadly defined; e.g., money, time, effort) determine quantity of consumption and preference between choice options. This framework identifies clear targets for intervention and has been used to study a wide range of human problem behavior. In this symposium, we discuss a diverse set of recent findings from this field. Topics include: (1) development of a novel hypothetical purchase task in which price is defined as effort, allowing rapid assessment of demand for a wide range of commodities (including money); (2) assessments of preference between predictable and unpredictable ratio schedules of reinforcement in autism, in which preference for sameness in this disorder is pitted against known preference for unpredictable ratio reinforcement in the general population; and (3) assessments of demand for electronic cigarettes in response to potential health risks and regulatory policies.
Keyword(s): behavioral economics, demand, electronic cigarettes, reinforcement schedules
 
Alternative Forms of Price: Using Hypothetical Effort to Assess Demand in Humans
JILLIAN RUNG (Utah State University), Gregory J. Madden (Utah State University)
Abstract: Recent experiments measuring individual-subject level demand for goods do so by obtaining consumption across different prices by varying the monetary cost per unit of the good. This characterization of price constrains our ability to assess the value of other important reinforcers such as money. In the present experiment, we developed a means of assessing demand that is independent of monetary cost by expressing price in terms of the degree of physical effort exerted. Undergraduate students recruited from a local university completed hypothetical purchase tasks to assess demand for both food and money. Demand for food was assessed using both a traditional hypothetical purchase task and our novel effort-purchase task. Demand for money was assessed using only the effort-purchase task. Our results show that money has higher essential value than food. Convergent and construct validity of the effort-purchase task is discussed, in addition to applications in which assessing demand in terms of effort may have clinical and theoretical utility.
 

Assessing Schedule-Dependent Choice: Unpredictable Versus Predictable Response Requirements

ADAM THORNTON BREWER (Florida Institute of Technology), David M. Richman (Texas Tech University), Michael W. Schlund (University of North Texas), Yanerys Leon (Florida Institute of Technology), Ashley Tudor (Private Practice), Andrea Hudspeth (Project HOPE Foundation/Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism-spectrum disorders are reported to exhibit intolerance for uncertainty. The current study sought to assess whether this construct is related to preference for positive reinforcement schedules with predictable response requirements over unpredictable reinforcement schedules. Predictable reinforcement schedules were comprised of a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule in which emission of the same number of consecutive responses was required to earn a reinforcer; the response requirement remained constant across trials. By contrast, unpredictable schedules were arranged by using random-ratio (RR) schedules that varied the response requirement across trials, but averaged a particular number of responses across trials. Using a concurrent chains procedure, choice allocation was assessed in 5 adults with ASD between FR and RR schedules that both required 10 responses on touchscreen monitor to earn a nickel per trial. Mixed results were obtainedperhaps, due to equal unit prices. A future direction is to conduct behavioral economic price manipulations to address this concern.

 
Predicting E-Cigarette Consumption in an Uncertain Future: Potential Health Risks and Regulatory Policies Modulate Behavioral Economic Demand and Substitution
JEFFREY S. STEIN (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute), Marianne Vannoy (Jefferson College of Health Sciences), Warren K. Bickel (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Little is known about how demand for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is influenced by their perceived health risks, their utility for smoking cessation, or regulation of their use. In the present study, cigarette smokers (N = 109; all naive-e-cigarette users) on Amazon Mechanical Turk read hypothetical scenarios describing: (1) relative harm from e-cigarettes (i.e., less vs. as harmful as conventional cigarettes), (2) e-cigarettes' efficacy for smoking cessation (i.e., helps vs. does not help people quit smoking), (3) governmental policy regulating the sale of flavored e-cigarette products (i.e., flavors are vs. are not allowed), and (4) workplace restriction of e-cigarette use (i.e., allowed vs. not allowed indoors). Participants were asked to assume these scenarios were true and subsequently completed hypothetical purchase tasks to estimate own-price elasticity of conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes (i.e., sensitivity to increases of each product's own price), as well as e-cigarette cross-price elasticity (i.e., sensitivity of price-constant e-cigarettes to increases in the price of conventional cigarettes). In each task, participants rated the probability that they would purchase a single disposable e-cigarette or a pack of cigarettes across a range of cigarette or e-cigarette prices. We observed lower own-price elasticity for e-cigarettes (i.e., higher demand) when they were described as less harmful, efficacious as a smoking-cessation aid, were available in flavors, and were allowed indoors in the workplace. Likewise, each of these conditions increased the degree to which e-cigarettes substituted for conventional cigarettes. Combinatorial effects of these conditions will also be presented, as well as implications of these data for regulation of e-cigarette use.
 
 
Symposium #486
CE Offered: BACB
Effects of Behavioral Interventions on Core Academic Subject Areas: Analogical Reading Comprehension and Mathematic Skills
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University)
Discussant: Hye-Suk Lee Park (Seoul Municipal Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Jinhyeok Choi, Ph.D.
Abstract: In 2 experiments, the researchers showed the effects of behavioral interventions on core-subject areas: reading and mathematics. The first study demonstrated the effects of the direct teaching intervention for three analogical relations (i.e., category and instance, synonym, & antonym) on the emergence of untaught analogical word relations after reading a paragraph. The independent variable of this study was the completion of the direct teaching intervention in which the participants were taught three analogical relations (i.e., category and instance, synonym, & antonym) separatedly using pre-developed analogy worksheets. Results demonstrated that the direct teaching intervention for three analogical relations was effective to improve basic reading comprehension and understand the analogical relationships between words. The second study showed the effects of video self-modeling using a tablet PC on the math word problem solving for a student with autism spectrum disorder. The dependent variable of this study was the percentage of correct responses on the math word problem worksheets which was pre-developed based on the Korean National Special Education Curriculum. During the intervention phases, the participant was required to watch video files on the tablet PC which showed he solved math word problems by sequential steps. The results indicated that the video self-modeling intervention significantly increased the percentage of correct responses to the math word problems for all addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
Keyword(s): analogy, mathematics, reading comprehension, verbal behavior
 
Effects of Direct Teaching Intervention for Three Analogical Relations on Basic Reading Comprehension
Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University), Jisoo Park (Jurye Middle School), YOON SEON HAN (Pusan National University)
Abstract: We tested the effects of the direct teaching intervention for three analogical relations (i.e., category and instance, synonym, & antonym) on the emergence of untaught analogical word relations after reading a paragraph. Two middle school students participated in this study, who were diagnosed with an intellectual disability. The independent variable of this study was the completion of the direct teaching intervention in which the participants were taught three analogical relations (i.e., category and instance, synonym, & antonym) separatedly using pre-developed analogy worksheets. An intervention session consisted of (a) teacher’s brief lecture, (b) participant’s written responses to the analogy worksheet, and (c) teacher’s feedbacks (e.g., reinforcement and correction procedures) on participant’s responses. The intervention sessions were run two or three times a week for 45 min for approximately three months. The dependent variables were the percentage of correct responses to (a) the probe worksheets which were conducted prior to and after the direct teaching intervention, and (b) practice tests which were conducted in the middle of the intervention phase. An multiple probe design across participants was employed to identify a functional relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Results demonstrated that the direct teaching intervention for three analogical relations was effective to improve basic reading comprehension and understand the analogical relationships between words.
 
The Effects of Video Self-Modeling Procedure Using a Smart Device on the Math Word Problem Solving
Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University), ILSOO KIM (Busan Yeongseon Middle School)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to analyze the effects of video self-modeling using a tablet PC on the math word problem solving for a student with autism spectrum disorder. A middle school male student participated in this study. He was a 7th grader diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A time-delayed multiple base design across behaviors was employed to identify a potential functional relationship between dependent and independent variables. The dependent variable of this study was the percentage of correct responses on the math word problem worksheets which was pre-developed based on the Korean National Special Education Curriculum. The researchers implemented a video self-modeling as a primary independent variable. During the intervention phases, the participant was required to watch video files on the tablet PC which showed he solved math word problems by sequential steps. Then, he was to solve the math word problems on the worksheets. As subsequent phases progressed, we gradually faded out the opportunities with which the participant was able to watch the video. The research indicated that the video self-modeling intervention significantly increased the percentage of correct responses to the math word problems for all addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
 
 
Panel #487
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Entrepreneurism: Perspectives, Challenges, and Rewards
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Eric J. Fox, Ph.D.
Chair: Eric J. Fox (Foxylearning LLC)
TODD A. WARD (bSci21Media, LLC)
ADAM E. VENTURA (World Evolve, Inc.)
STEPHEN E. EVERSOLE (Behavior Development Solutions)
Abstract:

In recent years, the demand for behavior-analytic services in the treatment of autism and related disorders has undoubtedly resulted in the formation of many new business ventures focused on the delivery of such services. Some behavior analysts, however, are starting or running businesses that are behaviorally oriented, but not focused exclusively on clinical services. Like any entrepreneur, these behavioral entrepreneurs face challenges in areas such as business planning and strategy, marketing and branding, technology and innovation, financing, customer support, intellectual property, operations, and more. What advantages does a background in behavior analysis offer such entrepreneurs in dealing with such challenges? What additional challenges do behavior-analytic small businesses face? How do behavioral entrepreneurs use data and contingency analyses to guide their businesses? The panelists will address such questions and describe how they built and grew their businesses. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions, offer their own experiences, and participate in a discussion designed to help any behavior analyst pursuing or considering entrepreneurship.

 
 
Symposium #493
CE Offered: BACB
Towards a Better Understanding of the Efficiency and Validity of Different Functional Analysis Formats
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Discussant: Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Gregory P. Hanley, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Functional analysis (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) was initially developed as part of an assessment process for enhancing treatment of severe problem behavior. Researchers have since developed different formats for increasing the efficiency of the analysis while retaining the methodological features that allow one to demonstrate control over problem behavior by a suspected reinforcement contingency. Via literature review and several new empirical analyses, the presenters will address the important topics of efficiency and validity of different functional analysis formats.

Keyword(s): functional analysis, interview informed, synthesized contingency, validity
 

Trial-Based Assessment to Inform Treatment of Elopement and Flopping When Walking Near or Leaving a Playground

Melissa Bowen (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), ANDREA CLEMENTS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Trial-based functional analyses (FA) have been successful in determining the variables maintaining problem behavior (Bloom, Iwata, Fritz, Roscoe & Carreau, 2011; Lambert & Bloom, 2010), and the results have corresponded to traditional FAs (Larue et al., 2010). The current study utilized a trial-based FA to assess problem behavior when participants walked near and left a playground. During a pre-assessment, three boys between the ages of 3 to 7 years old with autism eloped to access a playground. When we attempted to remove them from the playground, they flopped to the ground. We then conducted an analysis in which trials alternated between the child being led past a playground, the child being prompted to leave the playground following brief access, and a control trial in which the child had free access to the playground. Results showed increased elopement when we brought each child near the playground and elevated levels of flopping when we prompted him to leave the playground. For all participants, two functional communication responses were taught to functionally replace the child�s elopement and flopping. Elopement and flopping both reduced to zero levels in their respective test conditions. For two participants, treatment was successfully extended to teach the child to tolerate when the functional communication response would not be honored.

 
On the Efficiency of and Control Shown by Different Functional Analysis Formats: A Literature Review
JOSHUA JESSEL (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Mahshid Ghaemmaghami (Western New England University)
Abstract: Because functional analysis was developed as a clinical tool to enhance treatment effects of severe problem behavior (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994), researchers have since developed multiple formats geared towards increasing the efficiency of the analysis while retaining the capability to demonstrate control over problem behavior by a reinforcement contingency. We conducted a literature review of all published and differentiated functional analyses to determine the (a) procedures emphasized across different functional analysis formats, (b) average amount of time each format required to produce a differentiated result, and (c) level of control over problem behavior provided by each format. Results showed that the interview-informed, synthesized-contingency analysis (IISCA, Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014) yielded the most control while requiring the least amount of time to conduct. The methods unique to the IISCA that are likely responsible for the enhanced speed and control afforded by this analysis format will be discussed.
 
Preliminary Comparisons of the Convergent and Divergent Outcomes of Synthesized- and Individual-Reinforcement Contingencies During Functional Analysis
AMANDA ZANGRILLO (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Researchers typically modify individual functional-analysis (FA) conditions only following initially inconclusive FAs (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003). Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, and Hanratty (2014) introduced a radical departure from this conventional practice by using an open-ended interview in combination with brief, informal observations to develop an efficient functional analysis with a single, synthesized test condition and a single control condition. In the test condition, they delivered multiple reinforcers (e.g., attention, escape) simultaneously, as a synthesized contingency, following each occurrence of problem behavior; in the control condition, they delivered those same reinforcers continuously on a response-independent basis. In the current investigation, we compared the results of this synthesized FA with a more traditional FA in which we evaluated each putative reinforcer individually. The synthesized FA produced false-positive outcomes for four of five consecutive participants. We discuss the implications of these findings relative to developing accurate and efficient functional analyses.
 
Relying on Effective Action to Determine the Validity of Synthesized- and Individual-Reinforcement Contingencies During Functional Analysis
JESSICA SLATON (Nashoba Learning Group), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Kate Raftery (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, and Hanratty (2014) described a functional analysis model in which reinforcement contingencies identified via open-ended interviews with caregivers were combined in a single-test analysis. This interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) was shown to provide an effective baseline from which to develop socially-validated treatments. However, the contingency synthesis prohibits an understanding of whether problem behavior is maintained by the interaction of contingencies or by one or more of the individual contingencies. We therefore compared the results of IISCAs to the results standard analyses (Iwata et al., 1982/1994) and the results of treatments derived from both to determine the relative merits of synthesizing or isolating contingencies of reinforcement in analyses of problem behavior. For five children, the IISCA yielded differentiated results whereas the standard analysis did not; these data illustrate the importance of searching for interactions rather than or in addition to main effects of contingencies. Both analysis types were differentiated for four other children. Differential reinforcement-based treatments were effective for two of the four when designed from the standard FA. By contrast, treatments were effective for all children when designed from the IISCA. The relative efficacy, efficiency, and treatment utility of the IISCA and standard functional analysis will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #495
CE Offered: BACB
Modifications to Negative Reinforcement Procedures: Demand Assessment and Alternative Reinforcement Practices
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Claire Elizabeth Karlen (University of Nebraska Medicine)
Discussant: Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Christina Simmons, M.A.
Abstract: An important component of treatment is the ability to translate it to the natural environment. For individuals with behaviors maintained by negative reinforcement, this challenge can arise both at the beginning of treatment as well as during generalization. First, Simmons and colleagues will discuss the use of demand assessments to identify negative reinforcement test conditions in FAs for children with severe behavior disorders; results suggest that use of this procedure may more accurately identify effective conditions. Second, Betz and Henry will present results providing evidence for the effectiveness of using social reinforcement in addition to negative reinforcement to increase task completion and reduce problem behavior. The paper presented by Swartzmiller and colleagues will discuss the use of tangible reinforcement during negative reinforcement intervals for individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior. Finally, the paper presented by Phillips and colleagues will discuss treatment of ritualized behavior maintained by escape from interruption (e.g., negative reinforcement) using a visual schedule, response cost, and choice board. The overall theme and implications of these evaluations will be discussed and summarized by Dr. Meagan Gregory.
Keyword(s): Negative reinforcement
 

Evaluating Methods of Identifying Demands to Include in Functional Analyses

CHRISTINA SIMMONS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Clinicians often use preference assessments to identify appetitive stimuli to include in positive reinforcement test and control conditions in functional analyses (FAs). However, clinicians often rely on caregiver report to identify aversive stimuli to include in negative reinforcement test conditions. In the present evaluation, we provide a comparative analysis between the preference hierarchy derived from caregiver-nominated stimuli, the demand latency assessment (Call et al., 2009), and a paired-choice assessment of demands. We provide a comparison between the preference hierarchies identified by each assessment and a validation of assessment results via FA. Preliminary results indicate that the caregiver-nominated demand hierarchy showed low correspondence with demand latency and demand paired-choice hierarchies. The demand assessment identified a hierarchy of demands that, in some cases, corresponded with results of the demand latency assessment, suggesting that individuals may accurately identify low preferred demands. In some FAs, low preferred demands evoked more problem behavior than high preferred demands, suggesting the utility of empirically deriving and selecting stimuli for inclusion in the negative reinforcement test condition of a FA. These results offer directions for future research and means to empirically select stimuli to include in negative reinforcement test conditions to decrease the likelihood of false negative findings.

 

Further Evaluation of Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement to Decrease Problem Behavior Maintained by Negative Reinforcement Without Extinction

JUSTINE HENRY (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Alison M. Betz (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment)
Abstract:

Previous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of implementing escape extinction procedures to decrease problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement; however escape extinction may not be feasible to implement in certain settings (e.g., school setting). Given this, the current study aimed to replicate and extend the results of Hoch et. al. (2002) by evaluating the effectiveness of concurrent schedules of reinforcement on problem behavior and task completion while omitting the use of escape extinction. In initial phases, results demonstrated that problem behavior was high and task completion remained low when both resulted in a negative reinforcement. During subsequent phases, task completion increased and problem behavior decreased when task completion resulted in negative reinforcement and high quality attention while problem behavior resulted in negative reinforcement only.

 

Chained-Schedule Thinning Procedures With and Without Escape to Alternative Tangible Reinforcement

MELISSA SWARTZMILLER (University of Nebraska Medicine), Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andresa A. De Souza (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Previous research has supported functional communication training (FCT) as an effective intervention for reducing problem behavior across socially mediated functions (Hagopian, Boelter, & Jarmolowicz, 2011; Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). Following initial implementation of FCT, clinicians often program schedule-thinning procedures (e.g., multiple schedules; Hanley, Iwata, & Thompson, 2001; response restriction, Roane, Fisher, Sgro, Falcomata, & Pabico, 2004; chained schedules, Lalli, Casey, & Kates, 1995) to increase the portability of the treatment package to the natural environment. For individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior, chained schedules have proven effective in increasing task completion, thus leaning overall rates of negative reinforcement (Lalli et al., 1995). Additionally, supplemental procedures, such as embedding alternative reinforcement during the reinforcement interval, may ameliorate reemergence of problem behavior associated with schedule thinning (Rooker, Jessel, Kurtz, & Hagopian, 2013). The present study evaluated the use of a chained schedule-thinning procedure with and without tangible items (alternative reinforcement) embedded in the negative-reinforcement interval for two individuals with escape-maintained problem behavior. The inclusion of tangible items within the reinforcement interval produced quicker decreases in problem behavior and increases in compliance relative to schedule thinning without alternative reinforcement.

 
Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Evoked by Ritual Interruption
JENNIFER WEYMAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Cara L. Phillips (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Bo Kim (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Restricted and repetitive behavior is one of the hallmarks of Autism. This category of behavioral deficit or excess can manifest in a number of ways, including near obsession with particular items or activities, perseverative speech, and more complex or higher-order rituals. In some cases, these rituals may be difficult to predict and thus challenge our standard assessment techniques. In the present study, problem behavior related to rituals was assessed in a multiple baseline design. An adolescent boy with Autism who engaged in severe problem behavior participated. Frequency of, and latency to engage in, problem behavior (i.e., aggression and disruption) were recorded. First, four rituals were intentionally established and then periodically interrupted in order to assess for problem maintained by re-gaining access to the ritual. Then, treatment in the form of a visual schedule with response cost and a choice board was evaluated. Results suggest that the subject’s problem behavior was maintained by restitution of the rituals. The treatment was effective in reducing problem behavior. The possible mechanisms responsible for the change in behavior will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #496a
Why Mother’s Little Helper Keeps “Helping”: Behavioral and Pharmacological Determinants of Benzodiazepine Self-Administration
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich C, Swissotel
Area: BPN/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sally L. Huskinson (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Discussant: Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Benzodiazepines are prescribed widely as anxiolytics, hypnotics, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants. Although benzodiazepines are among the safest psychoactive drugs in modern medicine, their utility is often limited by unwanted side effects such as their potential for abuse. The talks in this symposium will cover the avenues that we have taken to understand the pharmacological and behavioral determinants of the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepine-type drugs. Specifically, we will discuss theoretical perspectives and highlight key findings on benzodiazepine self-administration in rodents, non-human primates, and humans, followed by three major focuses of our research programs: 1) Establishing benzodiazepine self-administration in rodents, a task that has received little attention and has proven to be challenging relative to monkeys, 2) Determining the interaction of drug experience and GABAA receptor subtypes in benzodiazepine self-administration in rhesus monkeys, and 3) Examining the effects of modulating the neuroactive steroid system on the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepines in rhesus monkeys. Collectively, these talks should provide information and discussion on both the “endogenous” (receptor subtypes, hormonal systems) and “exogenous” (drug history, behavioral phenotype) factors that underlie benzodiazepine-maintained behavior.
Keyword(s): benzodiazepines, drug combinations, neuroactive steroids, self-administration
 

Benzodiazepines as Reinforcers: Recent Findings and Perspectives

JAMES K. ROWLETT (University of Mississippi Medical Center; Tulane National Primate Research Center), Sally L. Huskinson (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Meagan Elizabeth Follett (University Of Mississippi Medical Center), James E. Cook (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Abstract:

Over the past decade, pre-clinical research has made great strides in understanding the pharmacological underpinnings of benzodiazepine-maintained behavior. A major determinant of benzodiazepine self-administration by human subjects is antecedent conditions, e.g., drug history, anxiety disorders. Studies with non-human subjects offer unique opportunities for understanding the intersection of antecedent conditions and pharmacological mechanisms underlying benzodiazepine self-administration. Benzodiazepines are challenging to establish as reinforcers, most likely due to modest reinforcing effectiveness compared with other drugs of abuse (e.g., stimulants). Unequivocal reinforcing effects of benzodiazepines have been demonstrated with non-human primates, and we recently have shown that drug history is a key determinant of the pharmacological mechanisms underlying reinforcing effects of benzodiazepines. Rodent models have proven more difficult to establish. In one example, C57Bl/6J mice were given unlimited access to midazolam plus sucrose in one bottle and sucrose alone in a second bottle, and approximately 50% chose the midazolam bottle significantly more than the sucrose-alone bottle. Because C57Bl/6J mice are genetically identical, these findings illustrate how environmental factors can robustly determine the extent to which a benzodiazepine is consumed. Overall, these observations suggest that the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepines may be uniquely reliant on exogenous factors, such as drug history and behavioral phenotype.

 

Self-Administration of Midazolam in Rats: Antecedents and Reinstatement

JAMES E. COOK (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Barak Gunter (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Sally L. Huskinson (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Kevin B. Freeman (University of Mississippi Medical Center), James K. Rowlett (University of Mississippi Medical Center; Tulane National Primate Research Center)
Abstract:

Animal models of self-administration have been useful in understanding factors that contribute to the abuse of benzodiazepines, but there are few demonstrations of benzodiazepine self-administration in rodents, the most widely-used preclinical model. Rats with chronic intravenous (i.v.) catheters were trained to self-administer the short-acting benzodiazepine midazolam on a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. The response-dependent i.v. delivery of midazolam maintained steady, but relatively low rates of responding. Following the acquisition of responding, factors that may contribute to the frequency of responding maintained by midazolam were investigated including multiple doses and food deprivation. In this regard, varying the dose of midazolam resulted in a characteristic inverted U-shaped dose-response function, whereas food deprivation appears to enhance rates of responding. Lastly, following extinction of responding maintained by midazolam, reinstatement tests were conducted with non-contingent injections of benzodiazepines and response-dependent presentations of drug-paired cues. Responding previously maintained by midazolam self-administration recurred during reinstatements tests, but only when the drug-paired cues were present. These projects have developed and are refining a rodent model of benzodiazepine self-administration that may prove useful in studying the effects of environmental and pharmacological factors related to benzodiazepine use, abuse, and the relapse of benzodiazepine-maintained behavior.

 

Self-Administration of Benzodiazepines in Cocaine-Experienced Monkeys: Role of GABAA Receptor Subtypes

SALLY L. HUSKINSON (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Kevin B. Freeman (University of Mississippi Medical Center), James K. Rowlett (University of Mississippi Medical Center; Tulane National Primate Research Center)
Abstract:

The ?-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors are pentamers constituted from structurally-distinct proteins, with each protein family comprised of different subunits (i.e., a, , and ? subunit families). Benzodiazepines bind to a site on the GABAA receptor located at the interface of the a and ? subunit, with a1, a2, and a3 subtypes likely involved in self-administration of benzodiazepines. TP003, a compound selective for a3 subunit-containing GABAA receptors, was self-administered under a progressive-ratio schedule of reinforcement in rhesus monkeys experienced in benzodiazepine self-administration but not by those experienced in cocaine self-administration. However, compounds selective for a1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors were self-administered by benzodiazepine- and cocaine-experienced monkeys, indicating that GABAA subtype and past drug experience combine to determine the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepines. The finding that TP003 was not self-administered in cocaine-experienced monkeys may be due to this compound being either a neutral stimulus without reinforcing effects or a punishing stimulus. Using a choice procedure in cocaine-experienced monkeys, we are evaluating the ability of selective compounds to enhance or attenuate cocaine choice. Based upon current views on neural circuitry of benzodiazepine reinforcement, we predict that TP003 will function primarily as a punisher, although initial findings do not support this idea.

 

Reinforcing Effects of Benzodiazepines and Neuroactive Steroids Alone and in Combination

MEAGAN ELIZABETH FOLLETT (University Of Mississippi Medical Center), James E. Cook (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Bradford Fischer (Cooper Medical School of Rowan University), James K. Rowlett (University of Mississippi Medical Center; Tulane National Primate Research Center)
Abstract:

Neuroactive steroids and benzodiazepines share behavioral effects, such as anxiolysis and self-administration, which may be enhanced differentially when these drugs are combined. Under a progressive-ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement, combinations of the benzodiazepine, triazolam, and neuroactive steroid, pregnanolone, resulted in infra-additive reinforcing effects in male rhesus monkeys. It is unknown, however, if these findings extend to female subjects as well as other benzodiazepine-neuroactive steroid combinations. We are currently re-examining self-administration of triazolam and pregnanolone in female monkeys and including the clinically-relevant benzodiazepine, clonazepam, and a neuroactive steroid currently in clinical trials, ganaxolone. We are also using a behavioral economics approach to assess the extent to which combining the drugs alters reinforcing effectiveness relative to either drug alone. For these studies, male rhesus monkeys were trained to self-administer midazolam under a fixed-ratio (FR) 5 schedule of reinforcement. Both clonazepam and ganaxolone functioned as reinforcers under these conditions, and we are determining demand curves by systematically increasing the FR value for the drugs alone or combined. Using PR and behavioral economic approaches to assess the reinforcing effects of benzodiazepine and neuroactive steroid combinations may shed light on their potential clinical utility as anxiolytic treatments with reduced abuse liability.

 
 
Symposium #497
CE Offered: BACB
Examining Treatment Outcomes for Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Progressing From Small-N to Larger-Scale Analyses
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
Discussant: Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Henry S. Roane, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Previous investigations have identified techniques for assessing and treating behaviors associated with pediatric feeding disorders. The current symposium will focus on extensions of previous research, and will provide data ranging from small-n analyses of common feeding procedures to larger analyses of treatment and program outcomes. The first presentation describes a comparison of two functional analysis procedures to identify the reinforcers maintaining inappropriate mealtime behavior among three children with autism. The second presentation is an examination of outcome data on the treatment of food selectivity among 13 children with autism. The third presentation will examine expulsion during liquid refusal, specifically the efficacy of re-presentation as a treatment for expulsion among 21 children. The final presentation describes outcome data from 227 participants over a 12-year period who received services in a home-based multidisciplinary treatment program. Dr. Nate Call will serve as the discussant and will provide a synthesis of these studies within the context of examining outcome data in the area of feeding disorders and other childhood behavior disorders.

Keyword(s): feeding disorders, functional analysis, outcome data, treatment
 

A Comparison of Functional Analysis Conditions in the Assessment of Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior

JONATHAN K FERNAND (University of Florida), Varsovia Hernandez Eslava (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Food selectivity and refusal behavior remain a prevalent problem in children, and especially those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of the current project was to compare two different functional analysis methodologies from prior research in the assessment of inappropriate mealtime behavior. In particular, procedural variations for social-positive and social-negative test conditions have varied across prior studies. The current study evaluated those variations using a within-subject analysis to identify functions of inappropriate mealtime behavior for three children diagnosed with autism. Results indicated certain conditions used in prior functional analysis literature might not control for all relevant variables (e.g., motivating operations), thus producing potential false positive identification of behavioral functions; specifically, a social-positive function was only identified in the attention-test condition in which implicit demands to consume nonpreferred foods were placed. The idiosyncratic pattern of responding across subjects will be discussed as well as how those patterns relate to implications for research and clinical practice in the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding problems.

 

Clinical Outcomes for Food Selectivity Displayed by Children With Autism

NICOLE DEROSA (Upstate Medical University), Heather Kadey (Upstate Medical University), William Sullivan (Upstate Medical University), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
Abstract:

Autism is defined by social communication deficits and restrictive and/or repetitive patterns of behavior. One way in which restrictive behavior might present in this population is via the selective consumption of foods. If left untreated, food selectivity may result in poor nutrition and other issues, such as problematic behavior and poor socialization. Research in applied behavior analysis has identified several methods for effectively treating food selectivity in individuals with autism but, to date, that literature has focused on small sample sizes, and presumably, has focused only on successful treatment outcomes. The current study will present data from individuals with autism and co-morbid food selectivity who were treated in an outpatient clinic (n=13). Data will be reviewed regardless of treatment success. Case examples as well as an overall effect size will be presented as a means of documenting treatment outcomes. Treatment integrity data (exceeding 90% in all cases) and interobserver agreement (exceeding 80%) also will be provided. The results will be discussed in relation to a preliminary decision-making model for efficiently selecting treatments to treat food selectivity based on client characteristics.

 

The Emergence and Treatment of Expulsion During Treatment of Liquid Refusal

LINDA PHOSALY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Suzanne M. Milnes (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jennifer M. Kozisek (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Treating food or liquid refusal with escape extinction procedures reliably results in increased acceptance and decreased inappropriate mealtime behavior. However, problematic behaviors may emerge or persist in response to treatment, interfering with consumption. Coe et al. (1997) and Sevin et al. (2002) showed that treatment of refusal with a putative escape extinction procedure, nonremoval of the utensil, resulted in emergence of expulsion. Both investigators used re-presentation, in which the feeder scooped up expelled food and placed it into the participants mouth, to decrease expulsion to near-zero levels. Their results raise the question of whether emergence of expulsion is a common corollary effect during treatment of refusal with nonremoval of the utensil. The current investigation sought to determine whether expulsion emerged during treatment with nonremoval of the cup and to evaluate the efficacy of re-presentation as treatment for expulsion with 21 children with liquid refusal. Results indicated that 19 (90%) children exhibited expulsion during the nonremoval of the cup evaluation. The incorporation of re-presentation resulted in lower expels per opportunity and higher mouth clean for 13 (68%) and 14 (74%) of the 19 children, respectively, relative to nonremoval of the cup alone. Implications and directions for future research will be discussed.

 

Evaluating 12 Years of Outcome Measure Data for an Interdisciplinary Home-Based Feeding Program for Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

CHELSEA CRUM (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz), Christa F. Curtaz (Clinic 4 Kidz), Stephanie Miller (Clinic 4 Kidz), Ashlee Jackson (Clinic 4 Kidz), victoria pham (Clinic 4 Kidz), Kerri Caltabiano (Clinic 4 Kidz), Aida Miles (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Abstract:

Feeding problems are common in children with autism and other disabilities and may also be evident in typically developing children with a variety of medical issues (e.g., gastroesophageal reflux, food allergies etc.). Feeding problems may result in poor weight gain, deficiencies in vitamins/minerals as a result of poor nutrition, and/or tube dependency. In some cases, children may not advance to age-typical textures as a result of selectivity or a skill deficit (e.g., chewing). Since there are a variety of problems displayed by children with feeding issues, it is imperative that treatment be provided by a team of professionals (i.e., pediatric gasteroenterologist, occupational/speech therapist, nutritionist, social worker and/or behavior analyst). Typically these services are provided in a clinic/hospital environment; however, a similar model is also used in the home environment. The purpose of this presentation is to give the audience an overview of how intensive treatment can be initiated for children with feeding problems in the home environment using an interdisciplinary model. Data will be presented for at least 227 patients who were admitted to the Clinic 4 Kidz Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program in the last 12 years. Preliminary data suggests that this type of intensive home-based program is effective at increase weight, increasing variety, and decreasing tube dependency. Data also shows a high percentage of children getting to age-typical eating patterns by discharge. Outcome data will also be presented specifically on children with autism and the treatment approach used to treat feeding problems in these children. Case study video clips will also be included in the presentation so you can see treatment from the beginning to discharge for two different types of feeding problems. Data will be discussed in relation to training and the importance of the interdisciplinary approach when working with children with complicated medical histories.

 
 
Symposium #498
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Economics to Promote Healthy Behavior: Effects of Individual and Group Incentives
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/BPN; Domain: Translational
Chair: Bethany R. Raiff (Rowan University)
Discussant: MaryLouise E. Kerwin (Rowan University)
CE Instructor: Bethany R. Raiff, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral economics is becoming an increasingly well-known field, particularly in the area of promoting healthy choices. Contingency management, which involves delivering immediate incentives (usually money) contingent on objective evidence of the desired target behavior (e.g., drug abstinence), is a behavioral economic intervention that is not only successful, but also has recently received widespread support. In the current symposium, a series of talks will address recent advances in the area of incentive-based interventions as they have been applied to a variety of health behaviors (smoking and cocaine abstinence, as well as participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs), as well as under a variety of conditions (group versus individual contingencies, deposit contracts, etc).

Keyword(s): behavioral economics, contingency management, health, incentives
 

Use of Contingency Management to Increase Cardiac Rehabilitation Participation Among Medicaid Enrollees

DIANN GAALEMA (University of Vermont), Stephen T. Higgins (University of Vermont), Phillip Ades (Univesity of Vermont)
Abstract:

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program of structured exercise and education that is standard of care following a serious cardiac event and significantly reduces morbidity and mortality following such events. Patient populations differ significantly in how likely they are to attend, with low-income patients having some of the lowest participation rates. In the current study we are testing the effectiveness of using contingency management to increase cardiac rehabilitation participation among low-income patients, specifically those enrolled in Medicaid or other state-supported insurance. Patients agreeing to participate are randomized into a usual care or an incentive condition. Those in the incentive condition earn financial incentives on an escalating schedule for completing each of the 36 prescribed exercise sessions. Those in the usual care condition do not earn incentives but are compensated for completing study measures. Thus far 74 patients have been randomized in this study. Currently those in the incentive group are 5-7 times more likely to complete the cardiac rehabilitation program than those in the usual care condition. These initial results demonstrate that incentives substantially increase participation in cardiac rehabilitation among low-income patients and may be an important tool for addressing disparities in health care access.

 

Birds of a Feather Abstain Together: Group Contingency Management for Smoking Cessation With Pairs of Smokers Who Have a Prior Relationship

BETHANY R. RAIFF (Rowan University), Amy Arena (Rowan University), Steven E. Meredith (University of Connecticut)
Abstract:

Previous research has shown that Internet-based group contingency management (CM) can promote comparable rates of smoking cessation relative to individual contingencies (Meredith et al., 2011; Meredith & Dallery, 2013). Although previous group CM studies enrolled groups of smokers with no pre-existing relationships, Christakis and Fowler (2008) found that smoking abstinence can be influenced by the abstinence of one's friend, spouse, sibling, close neighbor, or coworker. Thus, the aim of the current study was to explore the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a group CM intervention that was developed for pairs of smokers with a pre-existing relationship (e.g., friends). Six pairs of smokers participated in a multiple-baseline design. During a two-week intervention, participants could earn monetary rewards that increased for meeting successive abstinence goals ($1.50, $1.75, $2.00, etc.) plus a bonus when both members were abstinent ($3.00). Recruitment was challenging with approximately 50% of interested applicants unable to identify a partner. Preliminary results showed that pairs of participants either did very well together (both abstained) or very poorly (both smoked), with no groups showing a split pattern. Thus, although social support of a familiar partner may have been helpful in some cases, it may have been harmful in others.

 
Comparative Acceptance, Efficacy, and Effectiveness of Health Incentive Structures for Smoking Cessation
KATHRYN SAULSGIVER (University of Pennsylvania), Scott Halpern (University of Pennsylvania), Benjamin French (University of Pennsylvania), Dylan Small (University of Pennsylvania), Michael Harhay (University of Pennsylvania), Kevin Volpp (University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract: Financial incentives promote smoking cessation and other health behaviors. The optimal ways to deliver health incentives remain uncertain. We compared acceptance, efficacy, and effectiveness of individual and group incentive programs on biochemically confirmed smoking abstinence in a 5-arm RCT using adaptive randomization. Two programs targeted individuals, two targeted groups of participants. Two programs involved rewards, the other required a deposit of $150, and provided $650 as matching and bonus payments. Reward programs were more accepted than deposit programs (90.0%, 13.7%, p<0.001) for 2,538 participants randomized. Individual and collaborative reward arms were significantly more likely to be accepted (94.8%, 85.2%) than individual and competitive deposit arms (12.9%, 15.1%, p<0.0001). Rates of sustained smoking abstinence were higher for incentive programs (9.4% – 16.0%) than usual care (6.0%, p<0.05). Group and individual programs produced similar abstinence rates (13.7%, 12.1%, p=0.29). Reward programs produced higher abstinence rates than deposit programs (15.7%, 10.2%, p<0.001). Among those accepting assigned intervention, adjusting for differential acceptance rates, deposit programs produced 13.2% greater abstinence than reward programs among participants who would accept either intervention. Deposit programs are more effective if people are encouraged to use them, however reward may be preferred due to most people’s unwillingness to enter commitment contracts.
 

Group vs. Individual Reinforcement Contingencies to Reduce Cocaine Use Among Methadone Maintenance Patients

KIMBERLY C. KIRBY (Rowan University), Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University), Carolyn M. Carpenedo (Treatment Research Institute), Brian E. Versek (Treatment Research Institute), Lois A. Benishek (Treatment Research Institute), Elena Bresani (Treatment Research Institute)
Abstract:

Positive reinforcement of cocaine abstinence has established efficacy, but low acceptance for reasons including complexity and an individual format in community treatment programs, which rely primarily on group treatments. The primary purpose of this pilot study was to examine the efficacy of positive reinforcement for cocaine abstinence using Individual (I) or Interdependent Group (G) contingencies in comparison to a standard care non-contingent condition (S). Thirty-three adult opiate-dependent patients at a community-based methadone maintenance treatment program who screened positive for cocaine use via urinalysis participated. Eleven were block randomized to each group. A between-group comparison and within group ABA reversal design indicated that the percent of cocaine abstinent urine tests increased in both contingent groups, but group contingencies resulted in the largest increase in percent cocaine abstinence (G=17%; I=11%; S=3%) during treatment. The maximum duration of abstinence was higher for individual contingencies, but this group also showed the greatest decrease in abstinence when the contingencies ended (G= -12%; I = -20%; S = -13%). This preliminary work suggests that group contingencies may have similar efficacy to individual contingencies, while having potential advantages including reduced implementation complexity, consistent treatment format, and potential for better maintenance.

 
 
Symposium #499
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Basic and Applied Research on Behavior in Transitions Between Rich and Lean Schedules of Reinforcement
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Forrest Toegel (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Dean C. Williams (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Einar T. Ingvarsson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Discriminable shifts between rich and lean schedules of reinforcement can produce maladaptive disruptions in behavior. The disruptions have been studied in rats, pigeons, monkeys, and humans using a variety of procedures to arrange transitions between rich and lean schedules. The presentations in this symposium represent some basic and applied efforts to investigate this phenomenon and to expand findings to novel areas of the field. The first presentation investigated effects of the rich-lean transition on water consumption in non-thirsty rats; the second, effects of warning pigeons of an upcoming transition to a lean schedule of reinforcement; the third, pausing and escape in children with autism in the presence of stimuli associated with the rich-lean transition; and the fourth, the use of aversive features of the rich-lean transition to correct errors when teaching skills to children with autism. Our aim is to promote the dialogue between basic researchers, applied researchers, and practitioners interested behavior during transitions between rich and lean schedules.

Keyword(s): Autism, Behavioral Disruptions, Rich-Lean Transitions, Translational Research
 
Regulation of Rats’ Fluid Intake by Shifts in Reinforcer Magnitude or Response Requirement
LESLIE SAWYER (College of Charleston), Chad M. Galuska (College of Charleston)
Abstract: In both animals and humans, negative incentive shifts (transitions from rich to lean) in reinforcement context have been shown to produce behavioral disruption in the form of extended pausing. Research in our laboratory has demonstrated that these transitions also engender water drinking in non-thirsty rats. Rats responded on a multiple fixed-ratio (FR) 100 FR 100 schedule with components differing in terms of reinforcer magnitude (1 versus 6 pellets). In a subsequent experiment, components differed in response requirements (multiple FR 30 FR 120) with the reinforcer held constant at one pellet. The two components were signaled by the lever inserted into the chamber (left versus right), and alternated pseudo-randomly. The transition between a just-received large reinforcer (or small ratio) to a signaled upcoming-small reinforcer (or large ratio) produced extended pausing and water drinking as recorded by lickometer beam breaks. Water drinking usually did not occur in the other transitions between reinforcers (i.e., small-small, small-large, large-large). Current manipulations include the use of sweetened water, with has produced transitory polydipsia during the negative incentive shift.
 
A Method to Study the Effects of Advance Notice on Transition-Related Problem Behavior
FORREST TOEGEL (West Virginia University), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Abstract: “Advance notice” refers to procedures that include signals that warn of upcoming events. Applied research has considered whether advance notice of a transition from preferred to non-preferred activities will reduce the problem behavior that sometimes occurs in these transitions. Interpretation of this research is complicated by procedural variation in both the arrangement of transitions and the presentation of advance notice. We developed a laboratory method to study advance notice in pigeons. Key-pecking was maintained on a two-component multiple schedule. In the “lean” component, completing a fixed-ratio produced access to food pellets for a short time; in the “rich” component, completing the ratio produced longer access. The problem behavior occurred in the transition between rich and lean components, when pecking was disrupted for an extended period. Advance notice was provided by flashing the houselight early or late in some ratios preceding a lean component. Preliminary results indicate that, in our preparation, providing advance notice does not reduce the disruption in responding during the rich-lean transition, and may worsen it. Furthermore, advance notice may disrupt responding within the component in which it is delivered.
 

Pausing and Escape in Transitions Between Activities

BERGLIND SVEINBJORNSDOTTIR (Western New England University), Chata A. Dickson (Western New England University), Caroline McDonnell (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Differential pausing in signaled transitions from more favorable to less favorable conditions has been demonstrated with humans and animals in the experimental analysis of behavior. Analysis of the variables responsible for pausing could be useful in understanding problem behavior in transitions between activities for children with autism. We conducted two experiments to extend previous research on pausing and escape during transitions between relatively rich and lean schedules of reinforcement. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders served as participants. The purpose of the first experiment was to replicate previous research on pausing in a two-component multiple schedule with a richer and a leaner schedule of reinforcement. The purpose of the second experiment was to examine whether escape responses would be emitted under the same conditions as pausing. In addition, we examined whether the participants would emit an escape response that removed the schedule or the stimuli associated with the lean schedule. For 2 participants the longest median pause duration was in the LL transition type and for 2 participants the longest median pause duration was in the RL transition type. Mixed results were found when pausing duration data was compared to frequency of escape data.

 

Incorporating Rich-to-Lean Transitions Into Error Correction Procedures

EINAR T. INGVARSSON (Child Study Center), Joshua Jessel (Child Study Center)
Abstract:

Research on error correction procedures often include the manipulation of different prompting strategies (e.g., Carroll, Joachim, St. Peter, & Robinson, 2015) or reinforcement schedules (e.g., Hausman, Ingvarsson, & Kahng, 2014), both of which can improve independent responding and acquisition during discrete trial training. We extended error correction research with different schedules of reinforcement by incorporating rich-to-lean transitions following incorrect responses with three boys diagnosed with autism. In the rich-to-rich condition, there was no differential reinforcement and the more-preferred edible was presented regardless of correct responding. During the rich-to-lean condition, errors resulted in the participant receiving less-preferred edibles for the next three correct responses. In the final comparison, the rich-to-no reinforcement condition, errors resulted in no reinforcement for a single trial. The latter two conditions were the most efficient and effective procedures for improving accuracy for two of the three participants. This finding suggests that the aversive properties of rich-to-lean transitions might function to correct errors in the context of differential reinforcement.

 
 
Symposium #500
Non-Optimal Choice: Gambling, the Sunk Time Effect and Academic Discounting
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: John Bai (University of Auckland)
Discussant: Anne C. Macaskill (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

When more than one option is available, why do people sometimes fail to select the alternative that is in their own long term best interests? This symposium will explore a range of contexts in which people often make non-optimal choices by gambling, persisting in losing endeavours and procrastinating instead of working towards valued academic goals. Talks will cover experimental, translational and applied research aimed at understanding and addressing the drivers of non-optimal choice.

Keyword(s): delay discounting, gambling, sunk-time effect
 

Discounting of Reinforcer Value and Student Success

REBECCA ANNE OLSEN (Victoria University of Wellington), Anne C. Macaskill (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Understanding the decision making processes involved in student procrastination could lead to the development of interventions for this common problem that improve student learning outcomes. Delay discounting refers to the fact that reinforcers lose their value if you have to wait for them. Procrastination may be caused by the fact that reinforcers for studying are delayed, however no task measuring delay discounting of academic outcomes currently exists. We developed a measure of academic discounting modelled on tasks successfully used in the discounting literature. Participants were first year psychology students. We piloted two versions of the academic discounting task and identified the superior version; all participants showed systematic discounting. In general, large delayed rewards are discounted less steeply than small delayed rewards (the magnitude effect). We found that the magnitude effect also exists in academic discounting; participants discounted a not important assignment more steeply than an important assignment. The overall results of these experiments show that delayed rewards are an important contributor to student procrastination

 

Do Prior Investments or Future Payoffs Drive the "Sunk-Time" Effect?

JOHN BAI (University of Auckland), Sarah Cowie (University of Auckland, New Zealand), Jason Landon (Auckland University of Technology)
Abstract:

The sunk-cost effect describes a suboptimal tendency to continue investing in a losing course of action due to a prior investment, and despite a low expected payoff. Following recent demonstrations of the sunk-cost effect in non-human animals, we presented pigeons with discrete trials separated by 1-s inter-trial intervals. Each trial arranged either a short or long fixed-interval (FI) schedule and ended after a single food reinforcer. Short and long trials were not differentially signaled and pecks to a concurrently-available escape key terminated the current trial and initiated the next trial. Therefore, a sunk-time effect can be indexed by a tendency to persist through long trials, rather than escape after the duration of the short FI. The pattern of escaping shifted when we varied the initial investment and future payoff by manipulating the duration and probability of the short FI, respectively. Furthermore, when exposed to extended conditions, three of six pigeons reliably persisted while the other three reliably escaped after the short Fl. These two stable patterns of responding demonstrate the importance of obtained over arranged contingencies and suggest a key role of reinforcement history on sunk-cost decisions.

 

The Effect of Free Spins Features on the Persistence of Slot Machine Gambling

LORANCE TAYLOR (Victoria University of Wellington), Anne C. Macaskill (Victoria University of Wellington), Maree J. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Slot machines are the primary mode of gambling for problem gamblers in New Zealand, yet are played by fewer people than other gambling activities like the national lottery or scratch tickets. The structural characteristics of gambling activities are an important factor in determining gambling behaviour. One feature of slot machines that has received little experimental analysis is the bonus feature or free spins that are commonly central to the design of slot machines. The current study used an experimental design with slot-machine simulations and hypothetical money, to investigate whether a free-spins feature increased the persistence of slot-machine gambling in the face of disruption. Preliminary datashow that participants rate of gambling is higher on a free-spins machine compared to a control machine without free spins. This procedure has the potential to answer more general questions about behavioural momentum in humans.

 

Contingency Management and Behavioural Momentum: Application to the Treatment of Disordered Gambling

DARREN R CHRISTENSEN (University of Lethbridge)
Abstract:

Treatment seeking disordered gamblers (n=11) were counselled using cognitive behavioural therapy (total sample n=44). Treatment consisted of 12-weeks of counselling where participants could attend up to three sessions per week. In addition, participants were able to earn study credit that was transferrable into gift vouchers redeemable at local businesses. Study credit was earned by treatment attendance, evidence of gambling abstinence based on their financial records, and corroboration from significant others of gambling abstinence. Study credit rates monotonically increased when participants attended consecutive sessions and/or provided consecutive evidence of gambling abstinence. Participants also completed as series of questionnaires and assessments including behavioural measures of inhibition and impulsivity (i.e., Stroop, delay-discounting). Gamblers nearing completion have attended approximately 20 sessions. This compares with typical out-patient gambling counselling retention rates by Alberta Health Services of approximately four sessions. Further, participants that have attended multiple sessions per week earned more gift-cards and had the longest number of abstinent weeks. This preliminary data suggests that contingency management can successfully be applied to the treatment of disordered gambling and that mass like behavioural momentum effects can be induced when multiple treatment sessions and the opportunity to earn credit are available.

 
 
Symposium #501
The Other Emergent Performance: Recent Basic, Translational, and Applied Research Advances in Exclusion Learning
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Discussant: William J. McIlvane (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract:

Teaching methods based on exclusion learning are effective for rapidly establishing conditional discriminations under a variety of applications. Beyond its effectiveness, the exclusion-learning procedure is theoretically interesting, as it not only results in emergent performance, but the stimulus-control requirements of the task offer opportunities to examine the fundamental nature of conditional-discrimination learning. Moreover, the exclusion-learning procedure itself can be used as a tool to study other behavioral phenomena. In this symposium we present recent research that showcases the use of the exclusion-learning procedure, from basic studies to translational research to direct application. Catherine Graham (UNC-Wilmington) will present a study in which classes of equivalent stimuli were established through emergent exclusion performances. Richard Serna (UMass Lowell) will describe a study that examined factors that may limit the extent to which exposure to exclusion trials predicts accurate outcome performance. Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de So Carlos) will present research that extended exclusion-learning research with nouns to relations involving verbs and adjectives. Devon White (UMass Lowell) will present research that investigated the effects of using an identity-matching instead of arbitrary-matching baseline from which to introduce the exclusion protocol. William McIlvane (UMass Medical School) will serve as the symposium discussant.

Keyword(s): conditional discrimination, emergent performance, exclusion learning, matching-to-sample
 
Can Stimulus Relations Established Only Through Exclusion Yield Equivalence?
CATHERINE ELIZABETH GRAHAM (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Sidman (2000) has suggested that equivalence is a product of the reinforcement contingency, and that all positive elements of a contingency will become equivalence-class members. This study was designed to explore the possibility that stimuli never involved in a programmed reinforcement contingency could become members of an equivalence class. Typically developing 6 to 8-year-old children underwent AB and AC conditional discrimination training with class-specific reinforcers. Exclusion trials without programmed consequences were designed to establish XY relations, and YX symmetry trials were then presented. Identity matching was conducted next, with the X stimuli and the class-specific reinforcers from conditional discrimination training. Probe tests evaluated the formation of three equivalence classes (A1B1C1X1Y1, A2B2C2X2Y2, and A3B3C3X3Y3). Four of four participants demonstrated the exclusion phenomenon and YX symmetry relations. Two participants completed all training and testing phases and demonstrated the formation of 5-member classes, including the Y stimuli that were never related directly to reinforcers during training. This experiment documents the potential for stimuli never related directly to reinforcers to become equivalence-class members.
 
Limitations to Exclusion Learning: The Effects of Difficult-to-Discriminate Stimuli on Exclusion vs. Outcome Trials
RICHARD W. SERNA (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Michelle M. Foran (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Selena Tran (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: This study examined factors that may limit the extent to which exposure to exclusion trials predicts accurate outcome performance. Specifically, we examined the effects of difficult-to-discriminate visual stimuli on both auditory visual exclusion performance and subsequent outcome performance in a matching-to-sample task. Participants were eight typically developing preschool children, ages 4-5 years old, all of whom entered the experiment capable of matching the spoken words “dog” and “cat” to line drawings of a dog and cat. This served as the exclusion baseline. The to-be-taught conditional discrimination (via the exclusion method) consisted of nonrepresentational forms that were very similar to one another, save for a single distinguishing feature, and the spoken nonsense words “veem” and “zid.” In an identity matching-to-sample pretest, four participants could match the nonrepresentational forms to one another and four could not. Three of the four that could not were trained successfully to do so with a stimulus-control shaping program designed to direct observing to the distinguishing stimuli. The participant acquired the discrimination without training. In subsequent exclusion-exposure tests, all participants showed highly accurate exclusion performance. However, in a test of conditional-discrimination outcome performance, the participants trained to discriminate the nonrepresentational forms failed to meet criterion, while three of the four participants who entered the study able to discriminate the forms met criterion. The results will be discussed in terms of the stimulus control engendered by exclusion trials and its interaction with observing behavior. Follow-up studies are ongoing.
 

Probing Exclusion Responding With Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Using Nouns, Adjectives, or Verbs as Sample Stimuli

DEISY DAS GRACAS DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Thais Ribeiro (UFSCAR), Tamiris Gallano (UFSCAR)
Abstract:

Responding by exclusion (fast mapping) is usually investigated using a baseline of auditory-visual conditional discriminations in which the auditory samples are names (i.e., word-object relations). Exclusion probes present a novel (undefined) noun and a novel stimulus displayed among defined comparisons; under a variety of conditions, participants typically select the unfamiliar comparison (emergent responding). Considering many other types of mapping relations within a language, this study investigated exclusion responding in relations involving verbs and adjectives. Typically developing children (24-29 months) participated in two conditions: Noun and Adjective (Experiment 1), or Noun and Verb (Experiment 2). The conditions were counterbalanced between participants. At baseline the auditory stimuli were Portuguese words equivalent to /Ball/, /Motorcycle/, /Airplane/ (Nouns); /Happy/, /Sad/, /Angry/ (Adjectives); and /Eat/, /Drink/, /Paint/ (Verbs). In exclusion probes samples were pseudo-words (respectively: /Fapi/, /Beva/; /Fob/, /Piva/; /Fobar/, /Mupir/); comparisons were pictures of unfamiliar objects (Noun), facial expressions (Adjective), or videotapes of actions (Verb). All participants showed exclusion in all three conditions; however, in the first trial scores for Adjectives and Verbs were lower than for Nouns (but above 75%), despite the fact that participants required more training to reach the baseline criterion in the Adjective and Verb conditions. The study replicated the exclusion responding with names, and extended it to other classes of words, thus suggesting that behavioral processes underlying fast mapping are the same (or highly similar). The exclusion procedure could be potentially useful in early intervention for children who are showing delays in language acquisition.

 

Using Identity Matching as a Baseline for Teaching Arbitrary Stimulus Relations With the Exclusion Method

DEVON WHITE (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract:

Learning by exclusion" is a teaching method used to rapidly establish new arbitrary stimulus relations. Typically, a baseline of known sample-comparison relations first is verified. Then exclusion trials are presented: a novel sample and S+ comparison and a known S- comparison from the baseline. Participants tend to exclude the S- in favor of selecting the S+. Outcome trials pit relations learned by exclusion against one another to verify that new conditional relations have emerged. A potential drawback to this method is that it requires a baseline of known arbitrary relations, which some individuals (e.g., with intellectual disabilities) may not be able to perform. This study examined whether an identity matching baseline -- often an easier task -- could replace an arbitrary baseline in a learning-by-exclusion protocol. Using a multiple-probe-across-participants design, three typically developing preschoolers were exposed to a computer-presented protocol of identity matching and exclusion trials, in which the known identity matching stimuli served as S- comparisons. Stimuli were pictures of fruit and single letters of the alphabet. All participants met criterion performance on outcome and maintenance trials. Future research should examine the necessary and sufficient conditions of the protocol, as well as its effectiveness with intellectually disabled individuals.

 
 
Symposium #505
Issues of Fidelity and Precision When Scaling and Disseminating Behavioral Principles
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Alpine, Swissotel
Area: TPC/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amanda Munoz-Martinez (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

While behavior analysis has far-reaching implications for behavior and cultural change, disseminating and implementing those principles in more diverse settings has met with several stumbling blocks. Among those are scaling the application of principles to large units such as communities and altering cultural practices. Additionally, disseminating principles to primary service providers has sometimes made use of terminology and practices that are removed from the basic science. This symposium will address the how translating our basic science to the application of behavior change at multiple levels might occur with more scope and fidelity.

Keyword(s): Culture interventions, dissemination, fidelity
 
Contextualistic Principles in the Evolution of Cultural Practices
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: The same contextualist principals that have led to a revolution in our understanding of human behavior are relevant to understanding the evolution of cultural practices. In this presentation, I will present a framework for a pragmatic science of cultural evolution. I will propose a definition of human well-being and a set of measures of well-being. I will then focus on the larger social system of groups and organizations, including especially corporations that affect well-being. I will describe the recent evolution of these systems, concentrating on, but not limiting the discussion to, the United States. I will then describe principles that are guiding efforts to bring about change in the cultural practices relevant to wellbeing and will describe numerous efforts that are underway to influence the direction of cultural evolution as it relates to the prevention of psychological, behavioral, and health problems.
 

Examining the Principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

YVONNE BARNES-HOLMES (Ghent University)
Abstract:

It is always important but difficult to identify the core principles on which any therapy or clinical intervention is entirely based and this task is even greater in the context of whole therapeutic regimes or packages. However, this endeavor is particularly important for behavior therapies, that are meant to be rooted in behavioral principles, if not directly supported by empirical evidence. But, there are limited discussions of this issue and thus third wave behavior therapies are acutely at risk of slipping away from their behavioral roots. This situation would be good neither for the therapy, nor for behavior analysis in general. This paper explores the difficulties inherent in anchoring any third wave behavior therapy package to its behavioral roots and discusses the situation in ACT in particular

 

Functional Analytical Psychotherapy Based on Processes

AMANDA MUNOZ-MARTINEZ (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Behavioral therapies have demonstrated along year a strong effectiveness in psychological treatments (APA, 2015). However, there are an important number of therapies, whose explanatory mechanisms do not have a clear bond with well-developed theoretical principles (Kazdin, 2007; Rosen & Davison, 2003). Therefore, explanations about why those therapies work are hardly known. Clinical Behavior Analysis (CBA) is a behavioral approach to traditional psychotherapy (Guinther & Dougher, 2013), whose goal is integrating principles from behavioral traditions to clinical practice. One of the therapies developed within CBA is Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP). According to FAP, therapist-client interaction in session promotes changes out-of-session. Here, therapist sets the context for producing change in-session (discriminative stimulus for clients problems and improvements) and delivers consequences (e.g. reinforcing, punishing). However, some FAP researches developed therapeutic strategies, whose connection with behavioral principles is unclear (e.g. ACL FAP model), loosing precision on treatment when they use middle-level terms to explain change. This presentation seeks showing the current state of FAP research based on behavioral principles, the problems of using middle level terms for a coherent therapeutic approach, and the importance of strengthen FAP translational studies to establish the relation between behavioral principles and practice instead to adopt fuzzy explanatory terms.

 
The Complexity of Conducting a Functional Analysis When You Are Part of the Analytic Unit
WILLIAM C. FOLLETTE (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: One of the hallmarks of behavior analysis is the idiographic approach to analyzing problems. Commonly, this entails conducting a contextualistically sensitive functional analysis. In adult, outpatient settings where there is wide topographical variability in behavior, there are few protocols to guide such analyses. This problem is made significantly more complicated when the clinician is an integral part of the analytic unit. That is, the clinician can participate in all three stimulus functions that influence the very behavior he or she is trying to functionally analyze. This paper will address the difficulties of identifying behavioral principles that affect a client’s behavior when the clinician’s own behavior and history impact that which being functionally analyzed and altered
 
 
Symposium #508
CE Offered: BACB
Training Complex Verbal Behavior With Individuals With Autism
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ansley Hodges (Florida Institute of Technology; Nemours Children's Hospital)
CE Instructor: Ansley Hodges, M.S.
Abstract:

Teaching complex verbal behavior in individuals with autisms warrants further research. Language deficits are an important characteristic with this population. Thus, the primary purpose of this research is to teach advanced verbal behavior repetorites. These studies address important topics such as, increasing variability with intraverbal responses, recalling past events, and providing instructive feedback (IF). The variability study investigated lag schedules of reinforcement to increase the number of different intraverbal responses. Results showed that a Lag 1 alone was effective with 1 participant while lag schedule 1 with additional training was effective with two other participants. The recalling past events study evaluated their treatment package using end-of -the-day probes. Results showed the treatment was effective in increasing recall accuracy. The instructive feedback (IF) study extended previous research to individuals with autism and examined secondary measures.

 

Teaching Mands for Information Using "When?" to Children With Autism

BETHANY HANSEN (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Robin K. Landa (Western New England University), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Previous research has evaluated contrived motivating operations to teach mands for information. However, literature evaluating acquisition of the mand, “When?” is comparatively limited. As an extension of Shillingsburg et al. (2014), we taught three children with autism to engage in mands for information using “When?” under alternating conditions in which a contrived establishing operation was present (EOP) or absent (EOA). Following treatment with a constant prompt delay, all participants acquired the mand for information and demonstrated correct use of the provided information and a decrease in inappropriate attempts to access restricted items.

 

Teaching Listener Skills for Detecting Problem Scenarios and Emergence of Explanations of the Problem via Instructive Feedback

CHRISTOPHER A. TULLIS (Georgia State University), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Instructive feedback (IF) is a procedure in which extra information is presented to a student during instruction for other skills. Previous research has demonstrated that students with intellectual and developmental disabilities may acquire at least some additional non-targeted skills (secondary targets) without explicit instruction when extra information is presented, resulting in more efficient instruction. Although effective for students with disabilities as a whole, few studies focus on students with autism spectrum disorders, and the measures of secondary target acquisition focused on discrete responses (e.g., one word utterances). The purpose of the current investigation was to extend the instructive feedback literature related to students with autism spectrum disorders and evaluation of the responses given. Across all participants, IF resulted in the acquisition of at least a portion of secondary targets without explicit teaching. For two students, additional instruction was required before IF resulted in acquisition of secondary targets without explicit teaching.

 

Reporting Past Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

TOM CARIVEAU (University of Oregon; The Marcus Autism Center ), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Robin Landa (The Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Wymer (Marcus Autism Center), Brittany Lee Bartlett (Marcus Autism Center), Taylor Thompson (The Marcus Autism Center ), Bethany Talmadge (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Deficits in social communication are a paramount feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behavior analysts have made considerable gains in identifying methods to promote functional communication for individuals with autism. Methods to establish more advanced verbal repertoires have received less support and evaluation despite the clear implications of these repertoires on social development. Reporting past behavior is of interest because of its significant role in social communication. That is, accurately recalling past behavior is expected frequently across social contexts (e.g., a caregiver asks a child "what did you do today?" or a teacher asks "did you practice reading last night?"). Prior research has identified deficits in recalling past behavior with individuals diagnosed with autism compared to typically developing and developmentally delayed peers. The current study sought to increase the accuracy of reporting past behavior in four children with autism. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants was used to examine the effect of our treatment procedure on participants' recall of past behavior during end-of-day probes. Results indicated that participants reported past behavior with greater accuracy on end-of-day probes following our treatment procedure. Participants' accurate reporting to caregivers also increased following treatment. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #510
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice SIG Symposium 2 of 3: Lessons Learned: Sex Research and the Science of Changing Sexual Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Deric E. Toney (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Sorah Stein (Partnership for Behavior Change)
CE Instructor: Deric E. Toney, M.A.
Abstract: What is it like to research human sexuality using a single-subject research approach? How is targeting sexual behavior in a clinical setting similar to, and unique from, work in other areas of ABA? The purpose of this symposium is to present perspectives of those who have worked in the areas of sexuality, gender, and relationships, including valuable lessons that has been learned, common obstacles tackled, and professional recommendations for research and practice in the area of sexual behavior.
Keyword(s): families, sex education, sex research, sexuality
 

Working in the Fields of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Socio-Sexual Behavior: Professional, Practical, Ethical, and Legal Issues Discussed

FRANK R. CICERO (Eden II Programs)
Abstract:

On a gradient, the majority of individuals consider themselves to be sexual beings. Individuals with developmental disabilities are no exception. Socio-sexual behavior includes responses characteristic of sexual acts as well as social behaviors associated with gender identity, romantic relationships and perspective taking. As behavior analysts, we are well aware of the power of behavior analytic principles on the shaping of behavior. Through behavior analysis we can increase socially significant behavior to address behavioral deficits while decreasing behavioral excesses that lead to social and developmental problems. Although they are potentially sensitive, target behaviors included within the realm of sexuality should be no exception. In this presentation, the author will discuss common issues encountered when behavior analysts target socio-sexual behaviors with individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Topics covered will include practical issues such as where and when to provide instruction; professional issues such as how to assess behavioral needs and select behavior analytic teaching techniques; ethical issues such as how to effectively work alongside guardians while respecting the desires of the individual; and legal issues such as consent laws. Issues will be discussed through a review of the literature along with experience gained through real life case studies.

 
The Naked Truth: Researching Sexual Behavior, Gender, and Romantic Relationships as a Behavior Analyst
FAWNA STOCKWELL (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Our gender identities, sexual orientations, and romantic and sexual relationships with others are critical parts of how we experience the world, but only a small subset of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis focuses on these topics. In this presentation, the author will present anecdotes, discoveries, challenges, and recommendations specific to their experiences researching sexuality, gender, and relationship topics as a behavior analyst. Topics covered will include how to select a research topic, how to design research that is inclusive of people of all gender and sexual identities, exploring one’s own biases as a sex researcher and how they impact decisions made throughout the research process, discovering and utilizing research studies and other resources that exist outside the field of ABA, handling IRB challenges, using deception ethically in research, measurement of sexual behaviors in ways that are as unobtrusive as possible, and navigating assumptions that others make about those who work within the realm of sexuality, gender, and relationship research. It is the author’s hope that this presentation will equip other behavior analysts with useful guidelines and considerations as they apply the science of behavior analysis to sexuality, gender, and relationships.
 
 
Symposium #511
Translational Evaluations of Basic Findings: Bridging Research and Concepts to Practice
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Katherine Hoffman (University of Texas)
Abstract:

Translational research has been described as part of a bidirectional continuum in which an emphasis is placed on the bridging basic laboratory work and applied research in terms of discoveries, mechanisms, and concepts. In this symposium, three papers will be presented describing evaluations that translated basic findings and concepts pertaining to renewal, resurgence, and differential-reinforcement-of-low-rates-of-responding (DRL) within human operant experimental preparations as well as with clinical populations within more applied/translational experimental arrangements. In the first paper, Clare Liddon and colleagues evaluate both ABA and ABC renewal of previously extinguished behavior on a within-subjects basis. In the second paper, Jessica Becraft and colleagues present the results of two comparative evaluations of the effects of two variations of DRL procedures entailing the presence or absence of discriminative stimuli during the procedure. In the third paper, Katherine Hoffman and colleagues present data on the effects of the presence of alternative stimuli on the resurgence of previously extinguished responding in individuals with developmental disabilities.

Keyword(s): DRL, renewal, resurgence, translational research
 
A Within-Subjects Analysis of ABA and ABC Renewal of Operant Behavior
CLARE LIDDON (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Catalina Rey (Florida Institute of Technology), Ashley Abel (Therapist), Aurelia Ribeiro (Florida Tech)
Abstract: Treatment for problem behavior is often challenged when transferred to the natural environment (e.g., errors in treatment integrity or exposure to a new environment). Such challenges may result in treatment relapse (i.e., the recurrence of a previously treated problem behavior). Renewal is a type of treatment relapse resulting from changes in stimulus contexts. There are varying arrangements of renewal, including ABA and ABC. Previous research demonstrates ABA renewal may occur in the operant behavior of children diagnosed with autism. In the present series of studies, we conducted a translational analysis to establish a proof of concept for both ABA and ABC renewal, and establish whether these two renewal arrangements may be present in a single participant’s behavior (i.e., establish a within-subject analysis). An analysis of the results shows evidence of both ABA and ABC renewal effects, and both types of renewal present in individual participants’ behavior.
 
Slow Down: Further Comparison of Differential-Reinforcement-of-Low-Rate Procedures
JESSICA BECRAFT (UMBC), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Barbara J. Davis (UMBC & Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Amber E. Mendres-Smith (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Mariana I. Castillo (UMBC), Joshua Jessel (Child Study Center)
Abstract: The goal of differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate of responding (DRL) is to decrease the overall rate of, but not eliminate, the response. Two variations of DRL exist. However, one may eliminate, rather than decrease, the target response. We directly compared the two DRL procedures and evaluated the role of discriminative stimuli (SD). In Experiment 1, 19 college students played a computer game in which they could earn points according to DRL schedules. Sometimes, SDs signaled when participants should and should not respond to earn points. Other times, the stimulus did not change with the schedule and was correlated with extinction. Most participants responded near optimal levels when SDs were present and near zero levels with the extinction-correlated stimulus. In Experiment 2, we replicated the procedure and results of Experiment 1 with 5 preschool students. In Experiments 1 and 2, the no SD stimulus was correlated with no reinforcement. In Experiment 3, we replicated Experiment 2 with 5 preschool students and evaluated a neutral stimulus. Responding was highly variable with the neutral stimulus. Results of all three experiments suggest that the DRL schedules may function similarly, but that SDs are important to maintain optimal response rates.
 

An Evaluation of the Effects of the Presence of Alternative Stimuli on Resurgence

KATHERINE HOFFMAN (University of Texas), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Samantha Swinnea (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the presence of low-preferred items during phase 3 on the resurgence of a previously taught communication response in persons with developmental disabilities and communication delays. To set up the phase 3 experimental condition, we implemented two phases consistent with the resurgence paradigm including (1) the reinforcement of communication response 1 and (2) extinction of communication response 1 and reinforcement of communication response 2. During the third phase, we applied extinction to all communicative responses and they extinguished across conditions; and we rapidly alternated every two minutes between to conditions in which (a) two low-preferred items were available and (b) no items were available. Results indicated that considerably lower levels of resurgence of communication response 1 occurred during the phase 3 condition in which low-preferred items were available for some participants. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for the possible prevention and/or mitigation of treatment relapse pertaining to challenging behavior.

 
 
Symposium #514
Understanding Consumers’ Credit Use
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University)
Discussant: Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology)
Abstract: A notable change in consumer behavior over the past few decades has been the increasingly use of credit cards. Arguments for using credit card are convenient means of payment, a resource in case of emergencies, and a means of establishing a good credit history. In addition, credit cards are no longer a convenient way of paying at a restaurant and at a department store for the wealthy consumers. Credit cards have today become a common financial service by consumers in all social strata. Although most consumers manage their finances well, a significant minority gets into serious debt due to compulsive buying. This symposium aims to contribute to our understanding of consumers’ use of credit cards by the use of behavior sciences and behavioral economics. The first paper explores the endowment effect to the issue of replacing a broken item versus buying it for the first time. This was done in the context of buying the item with cash or credit. The second paper explores how different situational conditions impact consumer credit use.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Economics, Consumer Behavior, Consumer Credit, Discounting
 
The Impact of Situational Conditions to Consumer Credit Use
ASLE FAGERSTRØM (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Donald A. Hantula (Temple University), Lars Syndnes (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts. Communication and Technology)
Abstract: The current study seeks to contribute to an understanding of how situational conditions impact upon consumer credit use. An experiment with 19 participants was conducted. A simulated purchasing situation was devised with two different situational conditions. The first situation (“can wait”) indicated that the participants have the product but could buy a new model that had recently had been launched. The second situation (“need it now”) was one where a much-needed product had broken down, and they had to buy a new one as soon as possible. For both situations, the participants were told that they could either save money for the product and get it in the future, or buy the product on credit and get it now. A titration procedure over accepted price was run for the credit alternative over seven conditions: save money and get the product in 1, 3, 5, 7, 14 and 21 week(s). The point where participants switched between saving and purchasing the item on credit was recorded. The result shows that the two situational conditions influenced the participants’ willingness to choose the credit alternative differently. We discuss the results in light of discounting models. Moreover, practical implications as well as suggestions for further research are given.
 

The Endowment Effect as a Motivating Operation in Credit Purchases

Emily Hiserodt (Temple University), DONALD A. HANTULA (Temple University)
Abstract:

The endowment effect is the phenomenon in which people demand a considerably higher price for a product that they own than they would pay for it. This study explores the endowment effect to the issue of replacing a broken item versus buying the item for the first time in the context of buying with cash or credit in an extension of Fagerstrom and Hantula (2013). Participants completed delay-discounting purchase decisions for an iPad and formal shoes. Some were replacing a broken item (endowment effect) and others were buying it new. Participants replacing a broken item exhibited significantly steeper discounting rates than those buying it new, indicating that willingness to purchase the items on credit at higher interest rates increased as weeks to save to buy the item using cash increased. This provides further evidence that contextual factor such as the endowment effect influence credit consumption, perhaps as a motivating operation

 
 
Panel #520
CE Offered: BACB
PDS: A Discussion of Rising Pharmaceutical Interventions in Autism: Implications for Practitioners and Researchers
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/BPN; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Anita Li, M.S.
Chair: Anita Li (Western Michigan University)
ALAN D. POLING (Western Michigan University)
STEPHEN RAY FLORA (Youngstown State University)
MARIA G. VALDOVINOS (Drake University)
Abstract:

There has been a rising trend in pharmaceutical interventions for individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities in addition to the rising need for behavioral interventions. It is not uncommon for service recipients to be receiving psychotropic medication in addition to behavioral treatment concurrently. Practitioners are commonly told to consider effects of medications during service delivery; however, this typically is not covered in the practitioners formal education as evidenced by the lack of requirement of pharmacology courses in most applied graduate programs. Without consideration to drug effects, this may compromise the integrity of data collection and interpretation. The purpose of this panel is to discuss the status of pharmaceutical interventions in Autism, overview of behavior analytic studies evaluating drug treatment, and provide insight and recommendations for practitioners and researchers to bridge the disconnect between medical and behavioral interventions. In addition, the panelists will each offer a unique perspective on this topic to facilitate discussion among each other in addition to audience participation.

Keyword(s): Autism, Behavior pharmacology, Drug interaction
 
 
Panel #521
Should/Could BCBAs Intervene for Anxiety and Stress-Related Behavior Among Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
JOHN M. GUERCIO (Benchmark Human Services)
DUANE A. LUNDERVOLD (University of Central Missouri)
KATRINA OSTMEYER (Integrated Behavioral Technologies, Inc.)
Abstract:

Anxiety disorders are a highly prevalent co-occurring condition among children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ranging from specific phobia to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Co-morbid anxiety disorders have a significant negative impact on quality of life, in increased disability and social exclusion. Respondent extinction procedures (exposure), combined with teaching incompatible behavior (relaxation training), and escape/avoidance extinction (response prevention) have been shown to be highly effective in lessening fear/anxiety and escape/avoidance across all sub-types of anxiety disorders. Research syntheses have indicated that the addition of cognitive restructuring adds little to treatment outcomes. The purpose of this panel discussion is to: (a) briefly review the research on ASD and comorbid anxiety disorders; (b) raise the question as to whether BCBAs should and could provide intervention for comorbid anxiety disorders; (c) discuss the graduate education and training needed to target this response class; and, (d) examine the legal and ethical issues related to this area of applied behavior analysis.

 
 
Symposium #522
CE Offered: BACB
Skills Training Research for Adults With Autism or Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rocky Haynes (University of South Florida - Tampa)
Discussant: Paula E. Chan (Cleveland State University)
CE Instructor: Rocky Haynes, M.A.
Abstract:

This symposium will present research on teaching skills to adults with autism and/or developmental disabilities. The first study evaluated video feedback to improve job interview skills, specifically eye contact for young adults with autism and found increases in eye contact after implementing the video modeling intervention. Social validity indicated that the intervention participants thought the intervention helped them and they would recommend it to others. The second study evaluated Behavioral Skills Training (BST) to teach a response to bullying (RtB) to adults with developmental disabilities living in a group home setting. The adults who participated were often reported as being victims of bullying by other men living at the group home. In-Situ Training (IST) was added for participants whose skills did not generalize to the natural environment. BST alone was successful in teaching the RtB to two participants while IST was needed to improve responding for the other two participants.

Keyword(s): BST, Bullying, Interviewing Skills, Video Feedback
 

Using Video Feedback to Teach Job Interview Skills to Young Adults Diagnosed With Developmental Disabilities

JESSICA MOORE (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Hewitt B. Clark (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities often lack the skills needed to gain meaningful employment in the community. One crucial skill is interviewing as this is the first and often the only pre-job interaction an individual has with his or her employer. In a short interaction, the person must convey information about specific work history, employability, and a general impression of character. This study evaluated the effectiveness of video feedback in improving job interview behaviors for three young adults with developmental disabilities. The interview related-behaviors were appropriate greeting, responses to interview questions, and appropriate closing statement. The performance across the participants was assessed in simulated interviews under a multiple-baseline design across behaviors and participants, with the average baseline performances ranging from 0% to 21% and only improving after video feedback was introduced resulting in averages ranging from 93% to 100%. The social validity supports the feasibility of this video feedback intervention. Issues related to future research and implications for the field are discussed.

 

Response to Bullying (RtB): Behavioral Skills and In Situ Training for Individuals Diagnosed With Intellectual Disabilities

REBECCA STANNIS (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Bullying is a continuing problem for adults with intellectual disabilities who live in group homes and attend adult day training settings together. Most research in this area focuses on bullying in schools with typically developing children, and therefore, a need for effective behavioral interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities still remains. Previous research has found success in teaching safety skills to a variety of populations using behavioral skills training (BST) and achieving generalization of these skills using in situ training (IST). This study evaluated BST to teach a response to bullying (RtB) to the victims of bullying, with added IST for participants whose skills did not generalize to the natural environment. In situ assessments (ISA) were conducted in the natural setting after BST sessions had already occurred. When BST was not sufficient in evoking the correct response during ISA, IST was added for 2 participants and an incentive was added for 1 participant to increase motivation when responding still did not meet completion criteria. However, BST alone was successful in teaching the RtB to two participants, evident by their responses during ISA. The results of this study are consistent with previous BST and IST research.

 
 
Symposium #526
Acceptance and Commitment Training: Values and Mindfulness-Based Interventions Outside of the Therapy Room
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Translational
Chair: Madison Gamble (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) developed as clinical behavior analytic intervention for problems typically classified as psychopathology. Nonclinical applications of ACT, however, have demonstrated significant behavior change outside of the context of psychotherapy. This symposium offers preliminary work with ACT interventions with individuals seeking help with problems in living rather than psychopathology. The first paper explores the potential of ACT as a behaviorally-based model of equine therapy through the processes and outcomes of a 5-week equine therapy intervention. The second paper examines the daily behavior change of students during a class aimed to teach ACT fundamentals for college student adjustment. The last study examines the feasibility and effectiveness of an ACT-based intervention with a group of athletes. Preliminary data suggests that ACT may be a useful model for building behavioral interventions for individuals simply seeking to improve their functioning. Implications of processes and outcomes of each intervention, along with challenges for applications of ACT in nonclinical settings will be discussed.

 
Effects of Equine-Facilitated Group Therapies on Mindfulness in Women
RACHAEL JUDICE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) is an emerging approach to fostering positive behavior change for women, men, and children of all ages and of all distress levels. The intervention is based on the idea that people benefit from learning to relate to a horse in ways that facilitate trust, communication, and mutual respect. While the particular forms of EAAT vary widely, there seem to be some indication that they are effective at fostering reductions in psychological struggles and increases in quality of life. It is not clear, however, what skills are learned that may foster improved functioning outside of the intervention. The current study explored daily levels of self-reported psychological flexibility, mindfulness, self-worth, and quality of life during a 5-week EAAT intervention. Preliminary data suggest that participants experience an increase in quality of life throughout the 5 week session, which may be attributable to changes consistent with the psychological flexibility model.
 
Talk Is Cheap: Student Behavior Change in Response to Experiential Learning Exercises Targeting Psychological Adjustment
HEATHER CHIASSON (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Daryl Rachal (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Being in college is hard. College students are often faced with a number of transitions across important domains of life. For many students, academic demands, living conditions, financial status, primary relationships and social activities undergo repeated changes during the course of their college education. Psychology of Adjustment is a course designed to teach non-majors fundamental concepts of psychological health. The course at University of Louisiana at Lafayette includes experiential exercises in which students learn the concepts of psychological adjustment by practicing psychological flexibility in and out of class. Informal student evaluations suggest that these methods not only ensure intellectual grasp of the concepts but also improve student’s psychological adjustment more broadly. This study examined daily diary data including students’ reports of their values-consistent behavior that defines their own college adjustment. Implications of findings for facilitating college adjustment within this context will be discussed, along with characteristic patterns of behavior change and broad implications for behavior change under aversive and appetitive control.
 

Reaching High Keeps a Player on His Toes: A Mindfulness Approach to High School Basketball

RYAN ALBARADO (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

In the past, psychology-based sports interventions have focused on teaching athletes to improve athletic performance by controlling their thoughts and feelings. However, not much data support this approach. It may be, instead, that accepting ones private experiences can foster sensitivity to the rapidly changing conditions of an athletic competition and promote perseverance in the face of challenging circumstances. In other words, athletes who demonstrate more psychological flexibility may perform better, even in the face of great self-doubt or anxiety. The current study aimed to evaluate the application of the psychological flexibility model to athletic , which is increasingly applied with athletes all over the world. The Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment (MAC) Seminar, based on empirically-supported techniques for increasing psychological flexibility and effectiveness of behavior, aims to train the psychological skills of openness toward and effectiveness during a range of emotional states. Feasibility, acceptability, and athletic performance, along with psychological processes accompanying behavior change will be discussed.

 
 
Panel #528
CE Offered: BACB
The Matrix Project: An Empirical Strategy to Potentiate the Impact of Behavioral Systems Science on Progressive Social Change
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/OBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Molli Luke, Ph.D.
Chair: Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago)
RICHARD F. RAKOS (Cleveland State University)
TARA M. GRANT (Brohavior)
Abstract:

The panelists discuss the Matrix Project, an ambitious collective undertaking by Behaviorists for Social Responsibility (BFSR; the oldest ABAI SIG). Many behavior analysts came to the field, often inspired by Skinner and others since, because they wanted to contribute to addressing the enormous challenges faced by human societies. Many may find themselves frustrated by limited preparation and opportunities for applying our science to such challenges. Behavioral systems science (cultural analysis) now has reached a point where real potential exists for promoting progressive social change, albeit in close partnership with related disciplines, in areas like climate change and sustainability, poverty and income inequality, human rights and violence, among others. The Matrix Project focuses first on conceptual work and literature reviews of large-scale, systemic practice and research areas. Practices that hold promise for expanding behavioral systems contributions among 26 societal sectors are being explored, as well as contingency networks that could support and oppose adoption of those practices. The Matrix is an evolving document that consists of a sector-specific integrated set of hypotheses, with the goal of identifying practices that support, oppose, motivate, and select the development and utilization of scientific behavioral systems. The sectors under examination include education, behavior analytic organizations (like SEABA), several levels of government, business, NGOs, foundations and research institutes, religious and political community organizations, and a number of others. This panel will identify the supporting practices and contingency relations through providing examples of the analytical work completed on the project to date. The panelists will suggest next steps in the project, particularly advocacy within the identified sectors to introduce and experiment with the identified practices, and the development of a discipline-wide task force to encourage behavioral systems work related to major societal and global issues. Those attending will be encouraged to contribute to the project, and will be offered several specific actions they might take to do so.

Keyword(s): Human Rights, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sustainability
 
 
Symposium #530
Conceptual Developments in Relational Frame Theory: Translational Analyses
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
Abstract:

Psychology has struggled to identify the basic processes that underpin human suffering. However, recent advances in Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) may contribute to both this conceptual and empirical dilemma, and the current series of papers illustrate several ways in which this contribution is being made. Paper 1 attempted to functionally separate implicit fear, approach, and avoidance in the context of non-clinical phobias. Results demonstrated that these concepts can be differentiated at the implicit level, however only implicit approach predicted actual approach behavior, whereas fear and avoidance did not. Paper 2 investigated the flexibility of the perspective-taking frames using the IRAP in a non-clinical sample. Results showed large inflexibility only for the self-perspective (i.e., I-HERE-NOW), which is consistent with typical psychological development of the self. Paper 3 continues RFTs advance into the clinical domain with the IRAP to explore ways in which clinical and non-clinical individuals with psychotic experiences respond implicitly to these events. It was found that implicit acceptance responding (rather than valenced responding) predicted coping behaviors. Overall, the symposium describes how the robust effects delivered by the IRAP can be used to refine current models of human suffering and its alleviation.

Keyword(s): clinical applications, IRAP, RFT, Translational research
 

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a Measure of Spider Fear, Avoidance, and Approach

AILEEN LEECH (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
Abstract:

The current research examined the use of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of spider fear, approach and avoidance. The research is comprised of 2 studies. The first study employed two IRAPs, one targeting spider fear, the other targeting spider approach/avoidance, to an undergraduate population (N=45). The FSQ and a BAT using a tarantula molt were also employed. Both IRAPs failed to provide evidence for the predictive validity of the IRAP in terms of the BAT. The second study was similar to Study 1 (N=31), however a live Irish house spider was used. Results revealed that the IRAP predicted performance on the BAT and, furthermore, provided evidence that it is possible to separate fear, avoidance and approach at the implicit level. Specifically, the trial-type that targeted implicit approach predicted approach behavior on the BAT, whereas implicit fear and avoidance responses on the IRAP did not.

 

Measuring Perspective-Taking Relations in Non-Clinical Population Using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure

DEIRDRE KAVANAGH (Ghent University), Ciara McEnteggart (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
Abstract:

Perspective-taking has been argued to be a key process in the development of the self, particularly within a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) framework. The current study investigated the flexibility of established perspective-taking relations in a non-clinical population using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Thirty undergraduate students completed a simple perspective taking IRAP (PT-IRAP). The PT-IRAP comprised four trial-types: 1. I-HERE-NOW; 2. I-THERE-THEN; 3. OTHERS-HERE NOW; and 4. OTHERS-THERE-THEN. Results demonstrated a strong, significant effect on the I-HERE-NOW trial-type, indicating inflexible responding. However, responding on the other trial-types indicated flexible patterns of responding. These effects appear to be consistent with the typical verbal development of the self, where I is anchored HERE-NOW. While the current data is preliminary, the current methodology may provide a useful way of investigating: 1. The presence of deictic frames; and 2. The flexibility of these frames in the typical psychological development of the self-perspective.

 

The Emotional and Behavioural Responses to Voices: An Implicit Approach

CIARA MCENTEGGART (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Jos Egger (Radboud University)
Abstract:

The current study used the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure as a step toward a more functional approach to understanding of voice hearing, by exploring the potentially different implicit reactions of clinical and non-clinical groups to voices. In doing so, we attempted to parse out emotional versus behavioural responses toward voices (n=55) using a Valence and an Acceptance IRAP. Both non-clinical and clinical voice hearers showed implicit negativity in the Valence IRAP, and clinical and non-clinical voice hearers implicitly accepted positive voices and avoided negative voices in the Acceptance IRAP. Furthermore, acceptance of positive voices correlated with high psychological inflexibility, and acceptance of negative voices correlated with overall voice acceptance. The current study demonstrates the utility and precision of the IRAP in this domain, and it is through this precision that we can begin to look at the functional processes at play in the voice hearing experience.

 
 
Symposium #531
Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group Distinguished Contributions Award: Celebrating the Contributions of Dr. Carol Pilgrim
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: J. Adam Bennett (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom and Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

The Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Special Interest Group invites you to formally recognize the contributions of Dr. Carol Pilgrim. Dr. Pilgrim's research interests have long focused on category or class formation, symbolic or relational stimulus control, stimulus equivalence, and issues related to the acquisition and modification of symbolic function. Dr. Pilgrim's research has transcended the boundaries of basic and applied research and her contributions to the field are immeasurable. Dr. Christy Alligood Rice, a former student, and Dr. Manish Vaidya, a long-time colleague, will review and reflect upon Dr. Pilgrim's career and her many contributions toward advancing our understanding of complex human behavior. Subsequently, Dr. Pilgrim will deliver an address in which she will review the current state of her research program with an eye toward future directions. Please join us to appreciate and celebrate the contributions of Dr. Carol Pilgrim.

Keyword(s): EAHB, Stimulus Equivalance
 

Recognizing Dr. Carol Pilgrim's Distinguished Contributions to EAHB

MANISH VAIDYA (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Dr. Carol Pilgrim's contributions to the field have helped to define the experimental analysis of human behavior as an interesting and viable area of study. Under the mentorship of Drs. James Johnston and Henry S. Pennypacker, Dr. Pilgrim obtained her Ph.D. with an emphasis in the experimental analysis of behavior at the University of Florida. She currently serves as Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she generously nurtures the next generation of behavior analysts. The Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Distinguished Contributions Award is designed for researchers such as Carol Pilgrim, whose impressive history and tireless dedication have not only contributed to our basic understanding of the determinants of human behavior, but have also served to so effectively bridge the gap between basic and applied research.

 
Remarks
CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: My research interests lie in experimental and applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis on human operant preparations, and in the work that bridges those essential domains. The research program in my laboratory is focused on class formation, relational stimulus control, stimulus equivalence, and issues related to the acquisition and modification of symbolic function. We primarily involve young children as participants, including typically developing children as well as those diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. For this symposium, I will discuss research which investigates the formation of equivalence classes involving class-specific reinforcers in young children and will present a theoretical perspective/experimental evaluation of Sidman’s suggestion that all members of a reinforcement contingency become equivalence class members. Time permitting, I will highlight possible future avenues of research. I am honored to accept the Distinguished Contributions Award from the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior SIG.
 
 
Symposium #533
Consumer Behavior Analysis Through Social Media Experimentations
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology)
Abstract:

Social media has made a strong impact not only on how organizations do business, but also on how consumers behave. As online shopping becomes more and more omnipresent, both practitioners and consumer behavior scholars should gain more insight into online consumer. Despite in-store consumer behavior analysis in the offline world, researchers have done rather few studies on social media from a behavioral perspective. This is rather unfortunate given the increasing influence of social media on online decision-making, as well as amplified opportunities for experimentation and data gathering in this respect. In this symposium we will discuss recent empirical studies in online consumer behavior analysis through social media from a behavioral perspective. The symposium starts with an empirical paper on identifying and classifying reinforcing content in Social Media Marketing using the Behavioral Perspective Model. In the second paper, the authors will focus on influencing consumer observational behavior through social media. The final paper explores the relative impact of facial image and expressions on user choices within a peer-to-peer online accommodation rental.

Keyword(s): Behavior Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Social Media
 

Identifying and Classifying Reinforcing Content in Social Media Marketing Using the Behavioral Perspective Model: A Case From the Aviation Industry

VALDIMAR SIGURDSSON (Reykjavik University), Vishnu Menon (Reykjavik University), Herborg Sørensen (Reykjavik University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University)
Abstract:

The objective of marketing promotion from the point of view of the Behavioral Perspective Model (BPM) is to identify and facilitate reinforcing brand related communication with consumers at each step of the marketing funnel. The purpose of the study was to analyze content that could increase post popularity on an airline companys Facebook site, operationalized as the number of times a particular post was liked, shared or commented on by Facebook users. Data consisted of 242 Facebook posts from its brand fan page from 2011 to 2015 and their effectiveness in terms of 139,877 likes, 14,584 shares and 9,480 comments during the period. These posts were categorized in several categories within utilitarian (promotional, informative, entertaining) and informational (social) context, with an 84% inter-observer agreement. We also analyzed the richness of the posts, in terms of possible reinforcement value or numbers, their environmental-behavior interactive ability and intermediary variables such as on what weekdays the post was sent and its length. The results revealed a positive correlation between entertaining, interactive and rich content and post popularity and a negative relationship with promotional content. This strengthens the importance of highly engaging and interactive material as reinforcing content on what seems to be on the top of the marketing funnel (consumers mostly interested in entertainment instead of sales oriented stimuli).

 
Influencing Consumer Observational Behavior in Social Media Marketing: A Focus on Pricing and Total Time Spent on Site
VISHNU MENON (Reykjavik University), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Nils Magne Larsen (Harstad Univeristy College), Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University)
Abstract: Considering the impact of social media on the day-to-day life consumers, it is highly important for marketers to understand the attention and evaluation process of consumers in an online social media environment. Two studies were conducted to identify the attribute that was most important to consumer when making an online purchase through Facebook and to investigate the observational and fixation pattern of consumers on this attribute in fashion retailing. Study 1 identified the salient stimuli used in social media marketing for the fashion industry by analyzing the motivating impact of these stimuli on online purchase behavior using conjoint analysis. The main attribute, price, from Study 1 was then tested in Study 2 by utilising an eye-tracking device to examine the total fixation time on page and the fixation time on the price label. The online interventions included different price visibility, models (e.g., human models vs. mannequins), price labels as well as intermediary variables such as participants’ gender and age. Although price was deemed to be the most important choice criterion, with a decelerating utility curve in study 1, the findings from study 2 showed a clear U-shape function for both fixation on price and total fixation on page. These results imply that an online fashion retailer can control attention to the most important attribute (in this case the pricing) through direct manipulations of price or indirectly through manipulations of other competing variables on the site.
 
Relative Impact of Facial Expressions in a Peer-to-Peer Online Context
GORDON R. FOXALL (Cardiff University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University), Sanchit Pawar (Westerdals Oslo School of Arts. Communication and Technology), Jonathan Gilmore (Cardiff University)
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate whether the presence of a facial image and its expression have any influence on the choices made by the user within the context of peer-to-peer accommodation rental. The relative impact of facial expressions is investigated using theory from evolutionary psychology. Impact of facial expression was investigated together with other relevant variables such as price and other customer ratings. Results from a conjoint experiment show that reviews had the most influence on participants’ choice, followed by price and facial expressions. Moreover, we find that facial expressions had more impact on women then towards men. Managers should, therefore, keep in mind that facial expressions should be prominent in the design of per-to-per websites. In the light of these results, we present managerial implications, as well as directions for future research.
 
 
Symposium #535
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Special Ethical Issues in Intrusive Programming
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Bruce Linder (Pryor, Linder & Associates/Safe Management Group Inc.)
CE Instructor: Bruce Linder, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium presents three special ethical issues in intrusive programming. First, the importance of insuring a meaningful stimulating environment will be discussed that focuses on Daily Activity Scheduling (DAS). Six years of research of six groups homes serving adults with acquired brain injury will be presented that gives the results of a House Manager DAS Training Program to improve the quality and implementation consistency of DAS. Second, the importance of adequate Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) will be discussed that focuses on Safe Management Group’s Program which meets several important criteria of CIT for intrusive programming – individualization, documentation, and specification. Staff training outcome data for initial and refresher training that focuses on knowledge and performance competency assessment will be presented and will highlight the special techniques of teaching and maintaining effective preventative verbal de-escalation skills. And third, the necessity of “hands-on” assessment by supervising clinicians of non-intrusive and intrusive programming will be discussed. A “One-Day” programming assessment protocol will be presented with outcome data for 10 adults with developmental disabilities that shows the assessment of “Safe Extinction” in treating severe aggressive escape behaviour.
Keyword(s): Behavior Assessment, Ethics, Intrusive Programming, Staff Training
 

The Effectiveness of Manager Training in Programming and Monitoring Activity Schedules for Residential Group Homes

JACKLYN NOBRE PERES (Pryor, Linder & Associates), Bruce Linder (Pryor, Linder & Associates)
Abstract:

Despite studies demonstrating that predictable activity schedules improves challenging behavioural among developmentally disabled children under experimental conditions, very little is known about the level of consistency with which residential staff provide daily activity schedules (DAS) in naturalistic adult group home settings and how to improve such consistency. Four years of research will be summarized. Study 1 of 6 group home settings servicing 35 adults with acquired brain injuries found, using six 2-week probes over three years, that written DASs were implemented on average only 37% of the time. A second intervention study in two of the group homes over a 12 month period found that DAS implementation could be substantially improved to 80% or higher with a 47% reduction in group home negative behavioural incidents with a DAS training program that focused on supervisor training in on-the-floor DAS supervision. In addition, the positive preventative components of Behaviour Support Plans were implemented significantly more consistently than in 5 comparison group homes which had not received DAS training. Study 3 demonstrated that DAS training conducted for 4 different agencies servicing adults with developmental disabilities improved quality and implementation of DASs, and quality of life. Implications for quality of care will be discussed.

 

The Effectiveness of Safe Management Group's Crisis Intervention Training for Staff Serving Adults With Acquired Brain Injury or Developmental Disabilities

BRUCE LINDER (Pryor, Linder & Associates/Safe Management Group Inc.)
Abstract:

Despite the importance of crisis intervention training (CIT) for insuring staff and client safety, no peer-reviewed published data are available for the effectiveness of CIT on performance competencies. Safe Management Groups CIT will be described especially in relation to proposed standards for intrusive programming including Individualization of techniques for client and staff; written Documentation for accountability; and Specification and approval of technique in Behaviour Support Plans supervised by behavior analysts. Knowledge and Performance Competency outcome data for 2-day initial training and 1-day refresher training will be presented that shows greater success and retention in teaching physical intervention skills than verbal de-escalation skills. The outcome of a specialized enriched verbal de-escalation program will be presented which illustrates the need for specialized CIT.

 

An Assessment Protocol and Outcome Data for "Safe Extinction" With Adults With Severe Behavioural Disorder and Developmental Disabilities

JOANNE SALAMEH (Pryor, Linder & Associates), Bruce Linder (Pryor, Linder & Associates)
Abstract:

A substantial research literature has established the prevalence of escape-motivated aggressive behaviour in children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. A small subgroup of adults, perhaps about 3-5 percent, can be defined as severe, in that there is substantial daily risk with limited effectiveness of so-called positive programming only and psychopharmacologic treatments. This talk will introduce a form of escape-extinction called safe extinction (SE) in which contingent physical interventions and preventative mechanical restraints are used in combination with typical differential reinforcement of alternative and incompatible behaviour to produce substantial reductions in aggressive behaviour and increases in complaint and productive behaviour. A one-day assessment protocol will be presented that enables rapid and efficient assessment of the effectiveness of SE, a critical feature of intrusive programming. Data for ten adult cases of 1-day SE will be presented illustrating the extinction and generalization process.

 

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