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.

45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Program by : Monday, May 27, 2019


 

Symposium #400
CE Offered: BACB
Investigating the Impact of Derived Relational Responding and the PEAK Relational Training System
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Arianna Charos (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Becky Barron, M.S.
Abstract:

The present symposium serves as investigation to the various ways in which the technology of Derived Relational Responding (DRR) and the PEAK Relational Assessment System may extend beyond the typical contexts in which it is applied and the implications for the science of behavior analysis and beyond. We will provide promising evidence supporting PEAK's use within behavior analysis and the potentially massive impacts these endeavors could have when communicating with or about other psychologies, diagnoses, and ethnicities.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): DRR, Intelligence, PEAK
Target Audience:

beginner-intermediate behavior analysts

 

An Evaluation of Low Dose Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy With the Inclusion of Derived Relational Responding on Changes of Intelligence for Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
BECKY BARRON (Southern Illinois University), Jessica M Hinman (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) therapy has one of the largest bodies of literature on effective treatment interventions for children with autism. Parents, providers, teachers, and insurance companies always have to worry about how much intervention is best, and at what cost is enough. There is limited research on the effects of ABA at various hour doses per week, although most providers will always advocate for “more is better.” The current study sought to investigate the impact of a low dose of ABA at 4 hours per week compared to a larger dose of ABA at 10 hours per week, over an 8-week period. In addition to traditional discrete trial intervention, all participants received. Children’s intelligence quotients were measured before and after intervention. Preliminary results suggest that children who received the larger dose had greater gains in intelligence, but some children who received the lower dose also made positive gains. These preliminary results suggest that ABA with relational training at a low dose may still be an effective treatment option for some children if a larger dose is not available. In addition, improvements on derived relational responding skills will also be assessed and discussed.

 

Relational Framing to Promote Academic Achievement and Intelligence Scores in Individuals With and Without Autism

(Applied Research)
CALEB STANLEY (Southern Illinois University), Ayla Schmick (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Over the past several decades, the number of individuals that receive an education from the public-school system has increased significantly, along with an increase in equal access regardless of disability or socioeconomic status. Despite the increased access and amount of resources afforded to the educational system, a corresponding increase in academic performance and intellectual ability has not been observed. Therefore, an empirically validated method for increasing these behaviors is necessary. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of a set of procedures based on Relational Frame Theory on academic performance and intelligence. Experimenters obtained pre-training and post-training performances by administering Curriculum-Based Measures and WISC-V IQ tests to a control group and an intervention group. Following pre-training assessment, the intervention group was exposed to a series of relational training phases, in which the participants were required to respond in accordance with arbitrarily applicable relational responding across a series of relational tasks. Following training the participants in the intervention group showed improvement in academic performance and an increase in IQ, whereas those in the control group did not. Taken together, the results add to a growing body of literature that support the use of RFT-based interventions to promote complex behaviors.

 
Normative Sample of the Chinese Version PEAK Relational Training System: Direct Training Module
(Applied Research)
ZHIHUI YI (Arizona State University), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Abstract: The PEAK Relational Training System is an increasingly popular assessment and treatment program among clinicians working with developmental disabilities. However to date, no research has examined to what extend the knowledge gathered can be generalized into a different language or cultural setting. The current research examined and established the normative sample of a Chinese version of the PEAK: Direct Training Module. All 184 programs were translated into Chinese. 21 programs were modified to adapt to the Chinese language setting. Programs were back-translated and verified by a PEAK expert. 310 families with typical-developing children from Beijing, China signed up for this research. Preliminary data suggested that the PEAK total score among Chinese participants fit the score-age distribution among US populations. However, discrepancy existed between different factors. As we collect more responses, we would examine the correlation between the performance-age distribution between the Chinese population and the US population. We would provide the normative sample of the Chinese version of the PEAK: Direct Training Module and assess whether it would be appropriate to use this module to assess the behavioral skill among 2-12 years old children.
 
 
Symposium #401
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Intervention: Adjusting the Lens
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom D
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Cynthia P. Livingston (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Cynthia P. Livingston, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Both clinicians and applied researchers describe themselves as applied behavior analysts. This symposium includes three presentations that provide information and strategies that are relevant to both. The first presentation is on the use of praise in the demand condition of an FA, and examines its effect on escape as a reinforcer. The second examines a strategy to increase the range of preferred and reinforcing stimuli for children with autism. The third presents an alternative way to examine data that can both clarify results for researchers and provide useful information for clinicians.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): data analysis, escape, functional analysis, video modeling
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts who work with children with disabilities including autism.

Learning Objectives: 1. What alternatives are there to examine latency data? 2. What, if any, are the effects of video modeling on preference? 3. What effect does praise during the demand condition of an FA have on rate and establishing operations.
 

Effects of Video Modeling on Preference and Reinforcer Value in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
CYNTHIA P. LIVINGSTON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability characterized by social, behavioral, and communicative impairments. A primary characteristic of Autism includes restrictive and repetitive patterns of behavior. Because having few preferred items and activities can lead to educational, social, and communication barriers, it is important to identify additional preferred stimuli to incorporate into the individual’s environment. One way to identify potential reinforcers is via preference assessments. Although substantial literature exists on ways to identify preferred stimuli there may be occasions when those methods fail to identify a large variety of preferred items, or items that function as reinforcers . In these cases, another approach to increasing the variety and number of preferred and reinforcing stimuli may be to increase preference and reinforcer value for items that are readily available, but low preferred. One novel approach to doing this includes video modeling. The purpose of the current study was to assess effects of video modeling on preference and reinforcer value of previously low-preferred stimuli.

 

Instantaneous Rate: A Method to Assist Visual Analysis of Latency-Based Data

(Applied Research)
ANTHONY CONCEPCION (University of South Florida), Andrew L. Samaha (University of South Florida), Paige Talhelm (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Recent studies have demonstrated the use of latency as an index of response strength in the assessment and treatment of behavior (e.g., Thomason-Sassi et al., 2011). However, latency-based single subject designs may be difficult to interpret given how latency values are depicted graphically. Although visual inspection is the primary method of analyzing single-case subject designs, previous studies have primarily focused on interrater agreement of rate or frequency as primary measures. An alternative method to depicting latency-based measures and instantaneous rate may be a useful tool for clinicians to interpret latency-based graphs and in comparing latency to non-latency-based graphs.

 
Some Effects of Praise During the Escape Condition of the Functional Analysis
(Applied Research)
JENNIFER REBECCA WEYMAN (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology), Anna Garcia (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Many researchers provide praise for complying with demands during the escape condition of the functional analysis. However, praise may function as a reinforcer for some individuals diagnosed with autism and intellectual disabilities. This may reduce the aversiveness of task presentation or increase behavior that competes with problem behavior (e.g., compliance with demands). In general, this may result in lower or less stable levels of problem behavior and decrease the efficiency of the functional analysis. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate some effects of praise on the rate of problem behavior and compliance during the escape condition of the functional analysis in children diagnosed with autism and intellectual disabilities. We found that there may be a slight advantage to not providing praise for compliance during the escape condition of the functional analysis for some individuals. We will discuss the implications of our results and future research directions.
 
 
Symposium #409
Genetic Heritability of Stage Performance and Occupational Interest Lends Support for a Genetic Mapping Project
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Marie Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: In this symposium, three studies of development across different populations is discussed, with an emphasis on the genetic heritability of stage performance (referred to as “smarts”) and occupational interest. The papers utilize the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC) to discuss the behavioral developmental stages. The first paper demonstrates the increase of behavioral-developmental stage performance in non-literate adults to only half a stage below western educated adults’ after training with reinforcement. The results support the notion that stage performance is mostly genetic and not learned through years of education. The second paper discusses four different sources of knowledge in regards to how an individual thinks about truth. Individuals differ on their sources of knowledge depending on their behavioral-developmental stage. The study resulted in four major ways of “knowing”: analytical, anti-analytical, phenomenological (experiential), and empirical. This study shows the different approaches humans take in learning and understanding the world. In relation to both these above studies, the third paper proposes a genetic mapping project to locate the genes responsible for the “smarts” and interest in the consequence of completing work tasks (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, entrepreneurial and conventional).
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): analytical knowledge, developmental-stage change, genetic mapping, MHC
 

Training With Reinforcement Increased Stage of Performance in Non-Literate Adults to Just Half a Stage Below Educated Westerners'

(Applied Research)
AARATI RAGHUVANSHI (Dare Association, Inc)
Abstract:

To determine the highest behavioral-developmental stage in non-literate populations, 40 Nepalese adults were trained and tested on stage-based isolation-of-variables instruments (thatched roof problem and laundry problem). The thatched roof problem was a culturally based variant of the laundry problem. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups depending on the order of problems given (thatched roof first or laundry first). Correct answers were reinforced monetarily. The overall mean stage performance increased from M stage 8.98 (SD = 0.97) to M stage 9.18 (SD = 1.06) from training to transfer tasks. This transfer task performance was only half a stage lower than the behavioral-developmental stage educated westerns attain (Commons & Davidson, 2015). The order in which the problems were presented had a statistically significant effect on stage score improvement F(1, 38) = 6.218, p = 0.017, η2 = 0.113. When the thatched roof problem was presented first, it led to greater stage score improvements. This could be because the thatched roof problem matched the participants’ cultural experience better than the laundry problem. The results highlight that content and reinforcement are important in assessing behavioral-developmental stage in cross-cultural populations. They also support the notion that stage performance is mostly genetic and not learned through education.

 

Ways of Knowing

(Basic Research)
Mansi Shah (Dare Association, Inc), SHUTONG WEI (Dare Association, Inc.)
Abstract:

Illusions have been a topic of research for decades. Kalderon posits that an illusion is “an experience of an object o appearing F, where o is not in fact F.” Commons describes illusions as “those instances where people report the appearance of stimuli in a way that distorts their physical properties”. Illusions influence perceptual understanding. Thus, they also distort truth and knowledge. Perturbations are changes that can potentially be observed. How they are perceived altered by their way of knowing. There are four major ways of “knowing”: a) Analytical knowledge is always true irrespective of "experience" or “data”; b) Anti-Analytical knowledge is not believing in “mathematical” or “logic” knowledge; c) Phenomenological which is experiential (Art, Law, Religion); d) Empirical include Science. Forty participants were asked about different sources of knowledge. They answered 77 questions on all forms of knowledge. A principle-components factor analysis on 77 items confirmed that there were 4 clear factors showing 3 positive ways of knowing and one negation of analytic. The four factors explained 54.39% of the total variance. Factor loadings ranged from .803 to .706.

 
Genotyping Smarts and Interests
(Theory)
ELIZA GOING (Dare Association, Inc)
Abstract: DNA sequence structure may underlie the factors that make up a person’s interests and “smarts”. Interests are defined as work pursuits that are reinforcing. They consist of five factors: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, entrepreneurial, and conventional. We have developed a test of “smarts” consisting of a series of problem-solving tasks as well as a scale measuring social perspective taking. The test determines the behavioral-development stage at which an individual performs (of the Model of Hierarchical Complexity). The results show that nonliterate, uneducated populations perform at roughly the same problem-solving level as literate, educated populations. Thus, intelligence is supported as a genetically determined characteristic, and unaffected by environmental factors. In addition to smarts, interests have a genetic basis. This supports the notion that interests are heritable. If smarts and interests are inherited genetically, they must be associated with specific genes. We propose that by including our smarts and interest scales as follow-up surveys to buyers of DNA genetic testing kits, and comparing those results to the participants' genotyped DNA, we will be able to locate genes that determine human beings' smarts and interests.
 
 
Panel #412
CE Offered: BACB/NASP
Flexibly Navigating Outcomes That Matter in Academic Settings
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Fairmont, Third Level, Crystal
Area: EDC; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Corinne Gist, Ed.S
Chair: Kathy Fox (Haugland Learning Center)
CORINNE GIST (The Ohio State University)
MARY SAWYER (TEAM Coaching)
LUCIE ROMANO (TEAM coaching)
Abstract:

The number of behavior analysts consulting in school settings has increased significantly over the past few years. Allowing an “outsider” into the classroom can sometimes be difficult for teachers and staff. Although behavior analysts are well trained in operationally defining behaviors and developing systematic and structured intervention plans, rigid adherence to specific procedures, protocols, and practices can be counterproductive. The result of rigidity around practices is often times detrimental to children who are the recipients of cookie-cutter interventions. This panel seeks to address settings, contexts, and populations for which it may be appropriate to be more flexible as a behavior analyst. The panelists have been consulting in public and private schools for a combined 30 years; additionally, all three presenters are former school-based practitioners themselves. Data, case studies, and anecdotal experiences consulting in a variety of educational settings from a behavior analytic perspective will be shared.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Behavior Analysts, School Psychologists
Learning Objectives: •Participants will be able to list appropriate strategies to use when building relationships with teachers and school staff. •Participants will be able to state specific strategies to use when including teachers and staff in the development and implementation of research-based interventions. Participants will be able to name Participants will be able to determine when a "flexible" intervention is needed.
Keyword(s): Classroom Management, School consulting, Skill acquisition, Teacher training
 
 
Symposium #418
CE Offered: BACB
Individualizing Instruction for Greatest Efficiency: From Children to Parents
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Fairmont, Second Level, Gold
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Discussant: Christina Fragale (The University of Texas)
CE Instructor: Christina Fragale, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Behavior analysis can be considered a science of learning. Not only does the field address how learning occurs, but it also seeks to improve teaching technologies. To make learning more efficient, the goal should be on increasing rate of acquiring individual targets and increasing generative learning. In the literature, the focus is often on explicitly taught skills (e.g. Kodak et al, 2016; Sidman, 1994). However, generative learning, the ability to demonstrate responses that have not been explicitly taught or reinforced prior, is a crucial component of efficient learning (e.g., Critchfield & Twyman, 2014). Howard, Sparkman, Cohen, Green, and Stanislaw (2005) investigated the effects of having children with an autism spectrum disorder in an intensive behavior based preschool program compared to an electric program and a control, non-intensive program. In their discussion, they point out that in order for a child with a developmental delay to close the gap with neurotypical peers, an intervention must produce learning rates that are faster than the typical peer, which was seen in the intensive behavior-based program. Thus, it is imperative to have teaching procedures which are both effective and efficient (Albarran & Sandbank, 2018) to reach this learning rate.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Equivalence-Based Instruction, Error Correction, Instructive Feedback
Target Audience:

The target audience is both newer BCBAs as well as those who have been in the field for a long time and may continue to use certain procedures because that is what they are used to doing. It provides both an overview and more in depth view into the various methods to improve efficiency in learning.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to identify ways to determine the correct error correction procedure for their learners. 2. Participants will be able to use instructive feedback to increase efficiency in learning. 3. Participants will be able to use equivalent-based instruction to increase efficiency in learning.
 

Error Corrections: Why Do We Use Them and Are They Important?

(Service Delivery)
TRICIA CLEMENT (LaBAA; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Touchstone)
Abstract:

Procedures developed to provide corrective feedback are part of many types of instructional programming (Englemann, 1988; Binder & Watkins 1990). A correction procedure is essential to the formation of operants and literature has provided some considerations that should be made in regard to correction procedures. Within the literature a large degree of variations is used within similar procedures for example reinforcement delivery; number of repetitions; errorless learning vs. error corrections (Worsdell, 2005; Cowley, Green, & Braunling-McMorrow, 1992; Koegel & Egel, 1979, Carr & Kologinsky, 1983; Wheeler & Sulzer, 1970, and Carey & Bucher, 1983; Remington & Clarke, 1983). These variations regarding error correction procedures have resulted in numerous studies with inconclusive findings (Smith et al., 2006; Turan, Moroz, & Croteau, 2012; Rodgers and Iwata, 1991). The purpose of this study included gaining a better understanding of how and why practitioners currently select error correction procedures for their students and how they may affect student progress. In this study, ten questions were presented to BCBAs using an electronic survey. Survey data and the importance of the findings will be discussed.

 

CANCELED: Error Correction Within Direct Instruction for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

(Applied Research)
TIM HITCHMOUGH (Nicholls State University)
Abstract:

This study added to existing research on the use of error correction procedures when teaching children with direct instruction. Previous research has shown that different error corrections can lead to increased numbers of correct responses or objectives met depending on the individual (Turan, Moroz and Croteau, 2011; Smith et al., 2006; Carroll et al., 2015). Recent research has also suggested that different error corrections may be successful depending on the types of academic program being taught or level of a pupil’s verbal behavior (Gautreux et al., 2017). This experiment was conducted with two pupils with autism spectrum disorders aged 10 and 11, using an alternating treatments design that tested programs across listener selection, listener production, speaker and visual matching topographies. The error correction procedures utilized were variations sourced from the existing literature. As well as looking at the impact of the treatments on the individual’s responses to academic programs (created for the purposes of the study), the experiment also recorded data on the amount of inappropriate behavior that was emitted during each treatment.

 
Expansion of Instructive Feedback: Tacting the S- During Error Correction
(Applied Research)
LAURA A. KRUSE (First Leap LLC; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Daniel Mark Fienup (Columbia University)
Abstract: The field of behavior analysis seeks to improve the efficiency of learning while maintaining effectiveness. Improving rates of learning and promoting derived responding are two ways to improve efficiency. Instructive feedback has been shown to effectively facilitate the learning of additional targets within instruction, yet this feedback is rarely used as an error correction procedure. Additionally, there are many methods for error correction, yet there is not one procedure that has been shown to be effective for all learners, nor do any attempt to teach the error as an additional learning target. As a learner progresses and moves towards a more natural setting, less invasive, more naturally occurring error correction procedures should be used. This paper discusses a novel minimally invasive error correction procedures in which errors are not only corrected via a model, error, the S-, is labeled for the learner. This paper also expands upon the stimulus equivalence research by examining the impact these various error correction methods may have on the emergence of derived equivalence relations for neurotypical learners.
 

Stimulus Equivalence Instruction to Teach Parents About Functions of Problem Behavior

(Applied Research)
TIM CALDWELL (Behavior Interventions Inc.; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jack Spear (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg ), Kaitlyn Burylo (Behavior Interventions, Inc.)
Abstract:

Equivalence-based instructional (EBI) technology has been shown to be highly effective in teaching relations among arbitrary stimuli (Sidman, 1994). The present study examined the use of EBI to train caregivers a five-relation stimulus class consisting of the following elements: a) labels of social functions of behavior, b) descriptions of antecedent events, c) descriptions of consequence events, d) vignettes with both antecedent and consequence events, and e) function-based responses (Albright, Schnell, Reeve, & Sidener, 2016; Fienup, Covey, & Crithchfield, 2010). Initial results demonstrated a functional relation between teaching the first set of relations (A:B:C) and a significant increase within untrained relations (B:C:D:E). These results must be viewed cautiously as responding in the pre-test of the second teaching set (A:D:E) was higher than expected. This supports previous experience with these stimuli as part of the formation of the untrained class merger (B-C-D-E) relations. Demonstration of an effective EBI intervention could lead to the development of computer-based training that could assist caregivers in acquiring more efficient function-based responses to problem behavior.

 
 
Symposium #420
Examinations of Complex Human Behavior
Monday, May 27, 2019
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD North
Area: VRB/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Alison M. Betz (Behavior Services of the Rockies)
Abstract: This symposium will address several areas related to complex human behavior: private events, self-control, instructive feedback and chaining. Specifically, the first study evaluated a method of teaching children with autism to tact sensations, and following mastery, assessed for generalization to novel body parts, novel stimulating objects, and novel sensations. Second, previous research on self-control has found that accessing alternative activities (e.g., toy play) during delays may facilitate self-control responding. The purpose of the second study was to evaluate how pre- and post-exposure to an alternative activity affects choice between a smaller immediate reward or a delayed larger reward. The third study examined the effects of a mediation-blocking task on acquisition of instructive feedback targets. A vocal task, a motor task, or no task was presented following instructive feedback, and findings showed that the vocal task had little effect on participants' ability to acquire the instructive feedback statements. The final presenter will summarize a quantitative literature review on chaining.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): chaining, instructive feedback, private events, self-control
 

An Evaluation of a Procedure to Teach Children With Autism to Tact Sensations

(Applied Research)
SANDHYA RAJAGOPAL (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua Addington (Florida Institute of Technology), Ashley Felde (Florida Institute of Technology), Tiara Rahadian Putri (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology), Elise Haury (Florida Institute of Technology), Yaara Shaham (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Children with autism may be unable to communicate sensations such as pain to caregivers and other individuals. Inability to describe pain may have serious implications for quality of life, family interactions, and medical care. Since parent report is not a sufficient indicator of pain in children with developmental delays, it is imperative that they learn to describe sensations such as pain. A behavior analytic view suggests that children can learn to tact private events when a publicly observable event occurs simultaneously. The present study evaluated a proposed method of teaching children with autism to express stimulation of specific body parts by various objects. In a multiple baseline design across participants, each participant experienced a baseline phase, followed by an intervention phase in which tacts of stimulation to three body parts were taught, and the evaluation concluded with tests of generalization to three novel body parts. Thus far, two participants have completed the study and acquired the tacts of sensations, and a third participant has completed pre-experimental probes. The first participant successfully generalized sensation tacts to two of three body parts, and to novel objects for two of three sensations. He did not demonstrate generalization to novel sensations. This study provides a foundation for research investigating teaching children with autism to tact sensations such as pain.

 
The Effects of Establishing Operations on Alternative Activities During Self-Control Training
(Applied Research)
MICHAEL PASSAGE (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Adam Thornton Brewer (Florida Institute of Technology), Dana M. Gadaire (Florida Institute of Technology), Virginia Richards (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Previous research on self-control has found that accessing activities during delays may facilitate self-control responding. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate how pre-and post-exposure to an alternative activity (e.g., toy play) affects choice between a smaller immediate reward or a delayed larger reward. Participants in the study were (a) age 3 -14 years old, and (b) able to distinguish between smaller and larger rewards. In addition, all participants discounted delayed reinforcement when presented with a choice between a smaller immediate reward and a larger delayed reward. During Experiment 1, participants were exposed to three conditions in a multielement design to examine the effects of accessing an alternative activity prior to choosing between a larger delayed reward, a smaller immediate reward, and control option in which no rewards were delivered. During Experiment 2, sessions were similar to conditions during Experiment 1 except access to alternative activity is contingent upon self-control responding. Results in both experiments were evaluated using an adapted multielement treatment design embedded with a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design.
 

The Effect of a Mediation-Blocking Task on the Acquisition of Instructive Feedback Targets

(Applied Research)
Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Amelia Dressel (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristin M. Albert (Florida Institute of Technology), VICTORIA RYAN (Florida Institute of Technology ), Basak Topcuoglu (Florida Institute of Technology), Tiara Rahadian Putri (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Including instructive feedback (IF) targets in discrete trial training (DTT) has been shown to increase the efficiency of DTT. Students may self-echo the feedback, which mediates later responding. The present study sought to understand the role of self-echoics in the acquisition of IF by including three conditions: a typical IF procedure, a vocal mediation-blocking procedure (participants engaged in a competing vocal response after the IF was presented), and a motor-distraction procedure, (participants engaged in a motor response after the IF was presented). Inclusion of the vocal mediation-blocking task had little effect on the participants’ ability to learn the IF statements.

 

The Many Meanings of “Chaining”: A New Terminological Taxonomy Proposed From a Quantitative Literature Review

(Theory)
KRISTIN M. ALBERT (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Elbert Blakely (Quest, Inc.)
Abstract:

Behavior chains are often named as singular response units, such as tooth brushing or hand washing. However, these skills are actually complex sequences comprised of many individual responses (i.e., component steps) that, when performed in a specific order, result in the completion of a complex, composite skill. Behavior chains are often taught using chaining, with the most widely used chaining procedures commonly called forward chaining, backward chaining, and total task presentation. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight selected findings from a comprehensive literature review of the applied research on chaining from 2007 - 2017. This review was warranted given 1) that a such a broad review of chaining does not appear to have yet been conducted, 2) the last review of any kind on chaining is over 10 years old, and 3) chaining procedures are still widely used by applied behavior analysts. In addition to reviewing interesting findings from the quantitative literature review, this presentation will also include a proposal for restructuring the terminological taxonomy to be more technological and conceptually systematic. Recommendations for clinical practitioner and suggestions for future research will also be included.

 
 
Symposium #422
CE Offered: BACB
Token Reinforcement: An Examination of Token Function and Application
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
CE Instructor: Jonathan W. Ivy, Ph.D.
Abstract:

A token economy is a complex system of reinforcement in which a token is delivered (or removed) contingent upon target behavior(s) and can be later exchanged for back-up reinforcers. The complexity of a token economy is derived from three-interconnected schedules of reinforcement. Following the pioneering research of Ayllon and Azrin (1965; 1968), token economies and token reinforcement has become a common component of behavioral programming. Despite the broad success of this behavioral technology, the mechanics of token reinforcement have not been thoroughly studied (Hackenberg, 2009; 2018). Further, token economy literature often contains vague or incomplete procedural descriptions (Ivy, Meindl, Overly, & Robson, 2017). The purpose of this symposium is to present and synthesize token reinforcement and token economy literature. The first presentation will examine the methods to condition token reinforcers. The second presentation will explore assessment strategies to evaluate the function of tokens. Finally, the third presentation examines the application of token economies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): token economy, token reinforcement
Target Audience:

Practitioners and researchers who use token economies or token reinforcement.

Learning Objectives: The audience will be able to label and describe four methods to condition a token reinforcer. The audience will be able to describe strategies to access the function of tokens. The audience will be able to discuss the state of token economy research for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
 
Methods to Condition Token Reinforcers
(Service Delivery)
JONATHAN W. IVY (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg ), Kathryn Glodowski (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg)
Abstract: A token reinforcer is a type of conditioned reinforcer that can be exchanged for other, already established reinforcers (i.e., terminal reinforcers; Skinner, 1953, p.79). Tokens are unique among other conditioned reinforcers (c.f., attention) in that contact with the terminal reinforcer requires tokens be accrued and exchanged. Since the pioneering work of Ayllon and Azrin (1965; 1968), token reinforcement has become a common component of behavioral research and practice. Despite the large body of empirical evidence supporting the use of token reinforcement, the process to condition a token reinforcer has not undergone thorough evaluation. The purpose of this presentation is to identify and describe methods to condition token reinforcers from research and the conceptual analysis of behavior. The author will describe four primary methods of token conditioning: a) verbal description of token-reinforcer relation, b) token-reinforcer (i.e., stimulus-stimulus) pairing, c) response-independent token delivery with exchange, and d) response-dependent token delivery with exchange. Common procedural variations, implications for practice, and areas of future research will be discussed.
 
Measuring the Stimulus Functions of Tokens: Assessment Strategies for Clinicians
(Service Delivery)
MARY-KATE CAREY (Glenwood)
Abstract: Tokens are traditionally referenced as functioning as generalized reinforcers when used in clinical settings (Kazdin & Bootzin, 1976). However, evidence from basic research demonstrate tokens functioning as S-deltas and actually suppress early-component responding within a token schedule. (Foster, Hackenberg, Vaidya, 2001). Given that the clinical utility of tokens rests of the expectation that tokens will maintain behavior in the absence of or in the face of long delays to primary reinforcement, it is essential that they function as conditioned or generalized conditioned reinforcers. Likewise, avoiding token economy arrangements that facilitate S-delta effects is equally as important. This talk will focus on assessment strategies for measuring the stimulus function of tokens that are practical to implement in a clinical setting as well as provide suggestions for how to optimally arrange a token economy given varying stimulus functions.
 

A Systematic Review of the Token Economy With Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
STEPHANIE ORTIZ (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Jenny-Lee Alisa Aciu (Caldwell University )
Abstract:

Token reinforcement systems are widely used in the field of applied behavior analysis to promote behavior change across settings, behaviors, and populations (e.g., individuals of typical development and with developmental delays). While previous literature reviews on token reinforcement have assessed staff training, selection of backup reinforcers, programed consequences, and generalization procedures across diverse populations, none have explicitly evaluated these procedures with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this systematic literature review was to extend previous analyses by evaluating applications of the token economy with individuals with ASD. The included studies were summarized across (a) participant demographics (age, gender, and diagnoses), (b) experimental setting, (c) token conditioning (d) target behavior defined, (e) inverse of target behavior, (f) programed consequences, (g) individual delivering tokens, (h) training on token delivery, (i) token production schedule, (j) exchange-production schedule, (k) token-exchange schedule, (l) token economies implemented, (m) token boards, (n) conditioned reinforcer, (o) token exchange, (p) backup reinforcer selection, (q) designated backup reinforcers, (r) opportunity to select backup reinforcer, (s) faded token economy, (t) maintenance, (u) generalization, (v) social validity, (w) procedural integrity, (x) interobserver agreement (IOA), and (y) outcomes.

 
 
Panel #424
CE Offered: BACB
Discussion of Behavior Analysis in Community Corrections, Criminal Justice, and Policing
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Fairmont, B2, Imperial Ballroom
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Holly Seniuk, Ph.D.
Chair: Janice Ellen DeWitt (University of Mississippi)
AUTUMN KAUFMAN (Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice)
SARAH M. RICHLING (Auburn University)
HOLLY SENIUK (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Society has begun to increasingly notice problematic practices within Criminal Justice, Community Corrections, and Policing systems. The public’s attention and work within academic criminal justice programs has led to an increased use of data within these systems. The use of empirical research to shape the culture of the criminal justice system, particularly community corrections, is relatively new. As the use of empirically supported interventions is emerging, behavior analysts may have the opportunity to make large and lasting impacts within these systems. Some states and regions have already sought out behavior analytic support and have seen this support positively impact outcomes. Behavior analysts have also conducted and published research in this area, yet many within these systems have little awareness of the potential use of behavioral principles and methods. This panel will explore various behavior analytic employment opportunities within these systems, discuss the variety of behavioral research that has been conducted, and discuss potential next steps for increasing behavioral influence.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Practicing behavior analysts looking to expand areas of expertise and practice, graduate students and faculty interested in research and practice in the criminal justice system
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe employment and research opportunities within the criminal justice, community corrections, and policing systems. 2. Discuss recent behavioral research within these systems 3. Identify
Keyword(s): Community Corrections, Criminal Justice, Policing, Recidivism
 
 
Symposium #431
CE Offered: BACB
Model Dependency in Basic Research and Clinical Practice: Why Behavior Analysis Cannot Be the Same Tomorrow as it is Today
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD South
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jordan Belisle, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Science is self-correcting, generating quantifiable and testable predictions of events in nature (basic experimental models) and influencing such events to improve the lives of people (applied clinical models). Skinner discussed the importance of understanding the behavior of scientists in his radical behavioral account, and more recent attempts have been made in other fields to develop a self-correcting and evolving science of science. In particular, model dependent realism developed by Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) puts forward contextual and pragmatic criteria for vetting competing scientific models. In the first presentation, Dr. Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University) compares four basic theories of human language learning framed within model dependent realism. He also discusses advances in the quantitative analysis of behavior that could be used to make quantitative predictions about human language. In support of a quantitative approach, the presenter will show new data that support Relational Density Theory as a model for predicting and potentially influencing higher order properties of language. In the second presentation, Dr. James Moore (Canopy Children’s Solutions) extends model dependent realism in the context of comparing applied clinical models from within a pragmatic truth criterion. Traditional models that have emphasized direct contingency control and verbal behavior are compared against contemporary treatment models in relational training and acceptance and commitment training. Finally, the discussant highlights the need for basic experimental and applied clinical models that can generate large-scale outcome research, as only by examining the utility of our models in changing the lives of people, can we move toward a more complete, adaptive, and evolved science of human behavior.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): ACTraining, Model Dependency, Relational Density, Relational Framing
Target Audience:

BCBAs

Learning Objectives: Define stimulus equivalence and related research Interpret research on relational training Interpret research on acceptance and commitment training with children with autism
 

Model Dependent Realism in Behavior Science and Higher-Order Relational Behavior

(Basic Research)
JORDAN BELISLE (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

A defining feature of radical behaviorism is the assumption that behavioral principles can be applied to the behavior of the scientist, and indeed, to the science itself (Skinner, 1945, 1956, 1974; Chiesa, 1992). Two model dependent theories of science have been put forward by Kuhn (1962) and Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) that are largely consistent with radical behaviorism. Model dependent realism in particular establishes four criteria that can be used to compare competing models in basic science that may be useful when models are incompatible. The criteria propose that models should (a) be elegant, (b) contain few if any arbitrary or adjustable elements, (c) explain all existing observations, and (d) make quantifiable predictions about future events that are falsifiable. Current models of human language learning (verbal behavior, bidirectional naming, equivalence, and relational frame theory) are compared using these criteria to determine elements of each that are compatible, and when models are incompatible, to determine which models best explain human language. In pursuing the fourth criteria, Relational Density Theory (Belisle & Dixon, in press) is put forward as a model of higher-order and self-emergent properties of relational language that generates quantifiable predictions that can be directly tested. Data are presented that support the predictions made in Relational Density Theory, along with preliminary data in application with children with autism.

 
Model Dependent Clinical Application: Extending the Account to Autism Treatment
(Applied Research)
JAMES MOORE (Canopy Children's Solutions), Breanna Newborne (Canopy Children’s Solutions), Christopher M. Furlow (Canopy Children's Solutions )
Abstract: Contextually controlled relational responding, also referred to as relational framing, has been established as a basic model of complex human learning. Hayes et al. (2001) conceptualized phenomenon as generalized operant behavior that is learned through multiple exemplar training. This behavior appears to emerge spontaneously in typically developing children, as they learn through natural language contexts (e.g., Lipkens, Hayes & Hayes, 1993; Luciano, Gómez & Rodríguez, 2007). However, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) do not easily learn this key form of responding and may experience psychological suffering when language emerges (e.g., Rehfeldt, Dillen, Ziomek, & Kowalchuk, 2007). Relational training and acceptance and commitment training provide clinical training models that make use of contemporary advances in relational frame theory. The former emphases derived relational responding and transformations of stimulus function that participate in language development. The latter emphasis the role of experiential avoidance and cognitive fusion in psychological inflexibility in human suffering. In the presentation, we present data demonstrating the efficacy of training relational frames in the early portions of intervention for children with ASD. We also present data suggesting that acceptance and commitment training can effectively influence behavior when language is evident. Whereas prior work has posited that more basic models may be needed developmentally prior to introducing relational training, we review data suggesting that these elementary verbal operants may be accounted for within relational learning, leading to early generative language acquisition, and a necessity for more complete clinical models in autism treatment.
 
 
Symposium #433
CE Offered: BACB/NASP — 
Ethics
The Ethics of Functional Analysis: Implementation Challenges and Practical Solutions
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Weinberg (Amego, Inc)
Discussant: Joshua Jessel (Queens College)
CE Instructor: Michael Weinberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Given the current ethical standard to conduct a functional assessment when addressing problem behavior, there are a myriad of challenges for practitioners in applied settings to conduct such an assessment consistent with evidence-based practices. Ethically, we are bound to conduct the most efficient, evidence-based assessment to find the function and other maintaining variables for problem behavior then devise a plan that is most likely to be effective. This symposium will provide an overview of several perspectives by the presenters regarding ethical and legal challenges to conducting functional assessments in applied settings and offer potential practical solutions for practitioners. One potential barrier pertains to acceptance by administrators, funders, parents and others regarding implementation of traditional functional analysis methods in the behavior analysis literature (cf. Iwata et al., 1982/1994). Reliable approaches to functional analysis are currently under development that are promising in addressing acceptability, and thus alleviate ethical and legal challenges (e.gs. Bloom et. al., 2011; Hanley et. al., 2014). Presenters will offer current approaches to functional assessment and functional analysis that may serve as potential solutions to these challenges and permit for evidence-based methods in settings where these are not currently permitted and may serve to address acceptance concerns.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Ethical Considerations, Evidence-Based Methods, Functional Analysis, Practical Solutions
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCaBAs, School Psychologists, Psychologists,  ABA practice owners and managers, school administrators, others involved with policy and financial roles for provision of ABA services.

Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of the symposium, participants will learn to: 1) identify three barriers to the implementation of FAs in applied settings; 2) identify which FA procedures meet the standard of Evidence Based Practices; 3) discuss which FA procedures should be used in which situations; 4) describe how functional analysis conditions can be altered to use in school settings.
 
The Ethics of Functional Analysis: Implementation Challenges and Ethical Considerations
(Service Delivery)
MICHAEL F. DORSEY (Amego, Inc.), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Functional assessment and functional analysis technologies have been extant in the field for decades, as has been the mandate to use these tools. One of the historic defining differences between the field of behavior modification and the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been the advent of the age of functional analysis (Bailey and Burch, 2005). Unfortunately, as noted by Oliver, A. C., Pratt, L. A., and Normand, M. P. (2015), the utilization of such diagnostic approaches is not commonplace within our profession, which seems to exemplify a disappointing, and somewhat confusing, inconsistency/disparity between the hundreds of functional analysis research publications and that of its clinical application. Addressing concerns by administrators, funders, parents and service recipients, as well as newer approaches to conducting valid and reliable functional analysis methods will be discussed. This presentation will address some of the challenges practitioners face in implementing Functional Analysis across applied settings, and how we might work to overcome these barriers
 
Ethical Challenges to Functional Analysis and Potential Practical Solutions
(Applied Research)
WILLIAM T. MARSH (Brevard Public Schools), Michael Weinberg (Amego, Inc)
Abstract: Conducting Functional Analyses poses legal and ethical dilemmas. Ethically, we are bound to conduct the most efficient, evidence-based assessment to find the function and other maintaining variables for problem behavior then devise a plan that is most likely to be effective. However, there have been legal and ethical challenges to doing so in many settings, such as public schools, and public funded services such as state departments of developmental disabilities. This presentation will review the main concerns regarding functional assessment and how these are presenting ethical and legal challenges to behavior analysts and some possible solutions to these dilemmas. The presenters will offer approaches to functional analysis that may serve as potential solutions to these challenges and permit for ethical, and evidence-based functional analysis methods in settings where these are not currently permitted or are considered an ethical human rights violation. The concept of the approach we refer to as “Molecular Functional Analysis” will be presented along with procedures and results of application of the method. This approach can change how behavior analysts apply and interpret results of functional analyses and gain acceptance from various concerned individuals, consumers, and stake-holders.
 
Ethical Considerations in the Absence of State Regulations: Relying Heavily on the Ethical Code
(Service Delivery)
RON DEMUESY (Dublin City Schools)
Abstract: Like many behavior analysts, as a behavior analyst employed by a school district, one’s role is to lead the completion of functional behavior assessments and writing behavior plans based upon assessment data. Unlike many behavior analysts, in the State of Ohio, there is little guidance surrounding how to complete Functional Behavior Assessments. The state has no current standards in place in public schools regarding acceptable practices for conducting a functional assessment or functional analysis. As a result, school administrators are left to make decisions regarding what will be allowed in their school district or school. Behavior analysts have a responsibility to adhere to the BACB’s™ Ethical and Professional Compliance Code which may pose challenges to the practice of behavior analysis in the school. This situation may open the doors to possible law suits by parents of children receiving special education services, and possibly child advocates as well as other concerned parties in the state. Given these considerations, this presentation will outline how the BACB™ Ethical Code Numbers 3.01–Behavior Analytic Assessment and 2.09 –Treatment Intervention Efficacy, are met using data collection, functional analyses and staff participation within a school district in Ohio.
 
Analyzing Consent: Ethical Practice in Assessment
(Service Delivery)
ANN B BEIRNE (Global Autism Project)
Abstract: Within the clinical practice of behavior analysis, consent is among our primary responsibilities. In this presentation, we will examine the nature of informed consent and the consent of acquiring and maintaining consent through a behavior-analytic framework. Although we as a field acknowledge environmental factors as influential in behavior, we often fail to apply this science in our interactions with stakeholders, leading to frustration, damaged rapport, and possible ethical violations. This is a significant issue in that the public, including parents of children receiving behavior analysis services, and colleagues in other disciplines, are not familiar with our evidence-based practices and methods nor terms. This can be a challenge for behavior analysts who are ethically responsible to provide a reasonable explanation of our services and approaches in a manner that parents and others can understand. Participants will identify the elements of informed consent, and the environmental factors that influence the process of gaining consent, as well as identify potential ethical pitfalls in the acquisition of consent to conduct assessments and ways to avoid them.
 
 
Symposium #437
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Basic and Applied Research on Reinforced Behavioral Variability
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich E-G
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Armando Machado (University of Minho)
Discussant: Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
CE Instructor: Sara Pound, M.A.
Abstract:

In this symposium, presenters will describe basic and applied research in the field of operant variability. This symposium will be chaired by Armando Machado, who will provide brief commentary between presentations. First, Galizio and Odum will share a basic research study on the generalization of reinforced variability across response topographies, levers and nosepokes, in rats. Next, Roberts, Biondolillo, and Yarbrough will show data from a basic research study examining operant variability of timing responses in rats. Next, Falcomata, Bagwell, Ringdahl, McComas, and Shpall will present a translational research study using a human operant resurgence paradigm to determine the effects of using a lag schedule as an alternative response. Lastly, Wolfe, Pound, McCammon, Chezan, and Drasgow will present a systematic review of interventions that promote variability in communication for individuals with autism. They will analyze the existing research on variability interventions for individuals with autism and make recommendations for future research and clinical applications. Finally, Allen Neuringer will serve as the discussant and will discuss theoretical implications of this research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): FCT, operant variability, relapse, timing
Target Audience:

Basic and applied researchers; practitioners

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe current research on reinforced variability in nonhuman animals. 2. Participants will describe the application of research on variability to mitigating the effects of resurgence during FCT. 3. Participants will describe the current state of the literature on interventions to promote variability in individuals with ASD.
 
Investigating Generalization of Reinforced Variability in Rats
(Basic Research)
ANNIE GALIZIO (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: A great deal of research suggests that behavioral variability may be an operant, and can be controlled by reinforcement. If variability is an operant, then variability training should generalize across situations. The present study was designed to determine whether variability training on one response topography would generalize to another response topography. In Phase 1 of this experiment, rats produced four-response sequences across two nosepoke apertures (e.g., LRLR, where L and R indicate left and right responses, respectively). One group of rats (Vary) earned food for producing sequences of nosepokes that differed sufficiently from previous sequences using a threshold contingency, in which only infrequent sequences produced a reinforcer. The other group (Yoke) earned food at the same rate, but was not required to vary. In Phase 1, levels of variability were high for the Vary group and low for the Yoke group. In Phase 2, all rats were exposed to a threshold contingency for lever presses. If rats in the Vary group learned to vary lever presses more quickly than the Yoke group, then it is likely that variability training generalized across response topographies. Such evidence of generalization would support the idea that variability is an operant and inform clinical applications.
 
The Impact of Reinforcement Contingency on Interresponse Time in Rats
(Basic Research)
JAROD CLARK ROBERTS (Arkansas State University), Kris Biondolillo (Arkansas State University), Gary Yarbrough (Arkansas Northeastern College)
Abstract: Current research in the area of operant variability suggests that response variability can be controlled by operant reinforcement; however, there have been few studies of variation in timing of responses. To investigate the latter phenomenon, five female Wistar rats were exposed to a series of contingencies in which subjects were required to vary the times between lever press responses in order to obtain reinforcement. After a baseline condition, rats were exposed to three increasingly demanding variability contingencies with a return to baseline following each, and finally a comparison phase in which reinforcement probability was limited. It was predicted that subjects would vary sequences of responses as a function of variability contingency. The results of the study supported this hypothesis, with high levels of interresponse time variability observed, particularly in the most stringent variability contingency. These results support the notion that reinforcement can control variability in the timing of operant responding.
 

A Comparison of Lag Schedules and a Serial Approach to Training Multiple Responses on Persistence and Resurgence of Responding Within an Analogue of Functional Communication Training

(Applied Research)
Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), ASHLEY BAGWELL (University of Texas at Austin), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Cayenne Shpall (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Myriad previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of functional communication training (FCT) for the treatment of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with disabilities. However, resurgence may occur if the treatment is challenged by lapses in fidelity. One strategy for “inoculating” against resurgence of problem behavior involves the teaching of multiple modalities of communication during FCT. In the current human operant-based study serving as an analogue to FCT, we alternated two conditions across a 3-phase resurgence preparation. During Phase A, in both conditions, a target response was reinforced on a variable ratio (VR) 10-s schedule. During Phase B, target responding was on extinction in both conditions; an alternative response was reinforced on sequential (i.e., serial) fixed ratio (FR) 1 schedules in one condition and multiple responses were reinforced on a Lag 3 schedule in the other condition. During Phase C, all responses across both conditions were on extinction and persistence of alternative responding and resurgence of targeting responding was compared across conditions. Results varied with regard to resurgence of target responding while the majority of subjects exhibited higher persistence of alternative responding in the Lag schedule condition. Future avenues of research and potential implications of the current results will be discussed.

 

A Systematic Review of Interventions to Promote Variable Communication Behaviors in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders

(Applied Research)
SARA POUND (SCABA), Katie Wolfe (University of South Carolina), Meka McCammon (University of South Carolina), Laura C. Chezan (Old Dominion University), Erik Drasgow (University of South Carolina)
Abstract:

Abstract: Some individuals with ASD do not acquire vocal language, and those who do may engage in repetitive communicative behaviors that can limit skill acquisition, access to reinforcement, and access to less restrictive settings. Basic and applied research indicate that variability, or the extent to which responses are topographically different from one another, is influenced by antecedent and consequence interventions. Our purpose in this study was to systematically review the literature on interventions to increase variable communication behaviors in individuals with ASD. We identified 31 articles through a database search, and screened them using the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Single-Case Design Standards. Twenty studies containing 58 cases met WWC Design Standards. We coded the descriptive characteristics and strength of evidence, based on visual analysis, from each of these 20 studies. Our results indicate that mands and intraverbals were the most frequently targeted verbal operants, and that lag schedules were the most common intervention used to promote variability (65%). Most cases (72%) provide strong evidence of a functional relation between the interventions and varied communicative behavior. We will discuss the implications of our results for practice and for future research on interventions targeting variability with this population.

 
 
Symposium #438
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Why You Are Still Biased, Prejudiced, and Culturally Incompetent: Behavioral Conceptualizations to Possible Solutions
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Swissôtel, Lucerne Ballroom Level, Lucerne 1/2
Area: PCH/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Every attendee at this conference, including you, is impacted by social and clinical effects of bias, racism, and cultural incompetency; it’s critical to further conceptual and theoretical study of, and practical approaches to, mitigating those effects. This is a local, global, and personal problem. Personal because of our direct experiences of discrimination. Personal, too, because you suffer bias’s negative effects as a clinician, related to client outcomes and career burnout. Locally, communities and schools continue to experience the devastating effects of bigotry and racism. Globally, we are disseminating our science and practice into new cultures but creating extraordinary ethical risk when we replicate ‘what has worked’ without culturally adapting and researching carefully. You are not immune from these concerns if you don’t work internationally. In a global world, diversity is so much more than visible differences, and your assessments, interventions, and interactions require nuanced and practiced cultural competencies: in higher education, in clinical practice, in training and supervision. Behavior science can help ameliorate these clinical and social effects in career, education, community, and international settings. We will share some of what we’ve found to work. Join us as we continue the fight to mitigate bias and increase multi-cultural competencies.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Bias mitigation, Burnout, Cultural competency, Diversity
Target Audience:

This topic of diversity, bias, burnout, and multicultural competency applies to every person living, working, and learning in the field of ABA. The topic is growing in importance, and everyone from students through seasoned doctoral level experts will benefit from exploring how all of us are affected by implicit cognition - and to learn how to culturally adapt our effective behavior analytic practices to cross-cultural, non-Western, and diverse populations of clients and students.

Learning Objectives: Explain racism and prejudice from the perspective of radical behaviorism. Describe two ways RFT and ACT can be utilized to ameliorate the effects of racism, prejudice and discrimination in school settings. Define a behavioral conceptualization of implicit cognition. Specify how to assess bias with a behavior analytic, computer based tool. Discuss two methods to intervene on patterns of behavior related to the construct of burnout. Utilize culturally adapted behavior analytic procedures to enhance outcomes of cross-cultural interventions. List three key methods for teaching multicultural competencies to graduate students while simultaneously accommodating students from different cultural backgrounds.
 
Diversity submission A Brief Behavior-Analytic Conceptual and Applied Review of Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination
(Theory)
KOZUE MATSUDA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Children Center Inc), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract: Despite ongoing efforts to eradicate racism, it persists globally, affecting education, health, and employment. The science of behavior analysis aids in understanding human behavior but requires constant evaluation to improve its methods. Recent research on relational frame theory (RFT) and acceptance and commitment theory (ACT), both based on contextual behavioral science (CBS), has helped this evolution. CBS provides new tools for dealing with racism issues in basic and applied studies. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief conceptual and applied behavior-analytic review of racism, prejudice and discrimination. First, we present an analysis of racism, prejudice and discrimination from the traditional behavior-analytic perspective. Second, we describe the role of CBS in racism research. Third, we explain the roles RFT and ACT can play in ameliorating the clinical and social effects of racism, prejudice and discrimination, and briefly discuss applications in school settings.
 
Diversity submission 

Culturally Focused Caregiver Training to Increase Praise for Ghanaian Students With Autism

(Applied Research)
ASHLEY ELIZABETH KNOCHEL (University of South Florida ), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

The effectiveness of behavior-analytic interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is well- documented. However, little is known about the contextual appropriateness or translational capacity of those interventions in non-western cultures. ASD treatment centers in majority world countries lack funding for teacher or staff training. Thus, those programs rely heavily on the western community for training supports. Therefore, research on how to best culturally adapt training methods is crucial for increasing training effectiveness and sustainable dissemination of behavior-analytic services around the world. This study examined the impact of self-monitoring with performance feedback on caregivers’ use of culturally adapted praise. We also measured collateral effects on student academic engagement. Four caregivers and four students with autism in Accra, Ghana participated. Results indicated that self-monitoring and performance feedback effectively increased caregivers’ use of praise across phases. Additionally, adaptations to the topography of praise were critical for establishing desired student outcomes. This experiment provides an impetus for further examination of behavior-analytic interventions for children with autism in non-western contexts.

 
Diversity submission Assessing Implicit Cognition Related to Burnout and its Relevance for Behavior Analysts
(Applied Research)
GREGORY SCOTT SMITH (CARD; University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Nicole Jacobs (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Timothy Baker (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Mary Froehlich (University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine), Alison Szarko (University of Nevada, Reno), Carolyn Brayko (University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine), Melissa Patricia Piasecki (University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine)
Abstract: Although the construct of implicit bias was formulated by researchers of a social-cognitive orientation, contemporary advancements in behavior analysis have allowed for a functional-behavioral conceptualization of implicit cognition and a corresponding computer-based assessment tool. While much of the research on implicit bias has focused on areas traditionally associated with diversity, such as race, ethnicity, and gender, research of implicit cognition is by no means limited to these topics. This paper will present ongoing interdisciplinary research at the University of Nevada School of Medicine which focuses on the assessment of implicit cognition across a broad range of domains, including but not limited to burnout among medical students. Burnout, its sources, its impact on well-being and behavior, and efforts to mitigate its effects are currently top priorities within the field of medical training, but behavior analysts would be remiss if we did not consider the relevance of burnout in our own field, from behavior technicians to BCBAs, administrators, and academicians. Relational Frame Theory and Contextual Behavioral Science provide a useful framework to conceptualize, assess, and ultimately intervene on patterns of behavior related to the construct of burnout, which is of social significance to people in virtually all areas of professional life.
 
Diversity submission 

Sensitivity in Teaching Multicultural Competencies: Developing Frameworks for Teaching Graduate Students From Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

(Service Delivery)
VANESSA PATRONE (Daemen College), Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen College)
Abstract:

As the demand for behavior analytic services grow, we can expect to see increased diversity among both people seeking behavior analytic services and people seeking licensure or certification as behavior analysts. We must consider the best methods for teaching multicultural competencies to graduate students while simultaneously accommodating students from different cultural backgrounds. This case study describes a potential framework for a parallel process of remaining culturally sensitive as instructors while teaching students how to maintain their ethical responsibility of cultural sensitivity when practicing as a behavior analyst.

 
 
Symposium #450
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Procedures for Teaching Children With Autism to Communicate Using Speech-Generating Devices
Monday, May 27, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD North
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher A. Tullis (Georgia State University)
Discussant: Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Wendy A. Machalicek, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Approximately 30% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder do not develop speech. As a result, there may be benefits from interventions that teach the use speech-generating devices to establish verbal behavior repertoires. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of teaching the use of speech-generating devices in the context of basic manding. However, extension of this research is needed to evaluate procedures for teaching advanced verbal behavior for children who use SGDs. This symposium will present empirical data related to teaching verbal behavior to children using speech-generating devices. The first single case study evaluated procedures aimed at teaching two nonvocal children with autism spectrum disorder to use a speech-generating device to mand to their peer and engage in listener responding. The second study replicates the procedures from Frampton, Wymer, Hansen, & Shillingsburg (2016) to teach children who use speech-generating devices tacts of noun-verb combinations using matrix training. Wendy Machalicek will sever as the discussant.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, generalization, speech-generating device, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Target audience are practitioners, students, and researchers in the field of applied behavior analysis who work with individuals with autism who have limited communication skills.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will learn about nonvocal children with autism learning to communicate use SGDs. 2. Participants will learn about two types of intervention smethods to teach communication to children using SGDs. 3. Participants will understand the implications of interventions as they relate to generalization of these skills.
 

Teaching Mands to Peers and Peer Listener Behavior to Children With Autism Using a Speech-Generating Device

(Applied Research)
JOSHUA CHARPENTIER (Butterfly Effects), Amarie Carnett (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder with limited speech are often taught to use speech-generating devices as an alternative communication mode. Intervention with speech-generating devices often begins by teaching the child to mand for, or request, preferred objects. To date, research on teaching children to produce mands for actions via a speech-generating device is limited. In the present study, we evaluated procedures aimed at teaching two nonvocal children with autism spectrum disorder to use a speech-generating device to mand to their peer and engage in listener responding. Naturalistic teaching procedures were used to teach both speaker and listener behavior. We also assessed for maintenance of the skill over time. A multiple baseline design across participants design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Both participants acquired the mands to peer and listener responding. These results suggest the feasibility to teaching mands to peers and listener behavior to children who communicate using speech-generating devices.

 

Matrix Training to Promote Recombinative Generalization in Children With Autism Using a Speech Generating Device

(Applied Research)
VIDESHA MARYA (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Frampton (May Institute, Inc. ), M. Alice Shillingsburg (May Institute)
Abstract:

Approximately 30% of individuals diagnosed with autism fail to develop vocal communication. For these individuals, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems such as manual signs, picture exchange communication system (PECS), and speech generating devices (SGD) are often used. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of selection-based pictorial systems to promote functional communication. However, there is a dearth of research on strategies to teach advanced verbal behavior using SGDs. The current study presents a replication and extension of previous work conducted with vocal children teaching tacts of noun-verb combinations using matrix training (Frampton, Wymer, Hansen, & Shillingsburg, 2016). Three males diagnosed with autism were exposed to matrix training with mastered tacts of nouns (e.g., “elephant”) and verbs (e.g. “reading”). Two matrices were constructed (Matrix 1 and Generalization matrix), using mastered nouns and verbs. Following baseline of the matrices, diagonal targets within Matrix 1 were trained (e.g., “elephant reading”). Post-tests were conducted for the Generalization matrix followed by post-tests for Matrix 1. Two participants showed recombinative generalization with the Generalization matrix after training of diagonal targets in Matrix 1. For the third participant, correct responding with the Generalization matrix targets was observed after training with four different matrices (Matrix 1 – 4).

 
 
Symposium #451
CE Offered: BACB
Understanding Complex Relational Stimulus Control Does Not Require a Relational Frame Theory
Monday, May 27, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom CD South
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Is a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) really required to account for responding to complex relations between stimuli? This symposium will provide alternative accounts not requiring a hypothetical relational operant for relational responding found in both the experimental laboratory and more applied or everyday settings. The emergence of relational responding has been explained by RFT as a product of a history of multiple exemplar training. However, the formation of relational responding might be better characterized by the process of adduction. We will look at an experimental study that explores this idea. This symposium will also review procedures in applied settings that produce responding to relational stimuli that have their origin in research beginning over 60 years ago, and that have routinely been applied to establishing complex “relational responding” for decades. These procedures demonstrate that central to establishing control by relational stimuli is the non-example, and that it is discrepancy as well as sameness that is critical to establishing such control. The contribution of hierarchal and coordinate abstract tacts to understanding the acquisition of complex relational responding in both controlled and everyday settings will be described.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Adduction, abstract-tact
Target Audience:

Basic and applied behavior analysts

 

Equivalence Relations: Emergence or Adduction?

(Basic Research)
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

When people are taught the conditional discriminations A-B and B-C, untrained conditional discriminations often emerge (e.g, B-A, C-B, A-C, C-A). A, B, and C become interchangeable events in the contingency and are said to be members of an equivalence class. Current explanations of the emergence of stimulus equivalence point to the immediate history of conditional-discrimination training (Sidman, 2000), perhaps to organismic variables (Sidman, 1992, 1994), and to a history of differential reinforcement across multiple exemplars (Hayes, 1991; Hughes & Barnes-Holmes, 2016). In addition to training history, the explanations also include some kind of selection mechanism that occurs during testing. That mechanism could be seen as a context controlling the appropriate relational response (Hayes, 1991) or as a process that screens out alternative stimulus control (Sidman, 1992). These views suggest that equivalence will emerge as a result of the right training history and favorable testing conditions. An alternative to this view is that equivalence classes may be the result of the fusion of two (or more) repertoires (Hineline, 1997), as exemplified by the process of adduction (Andronis, 1983). This presentation will explore this alternative and present an experiment relevant to this question.

 

Responding to Complex Relations Among and Between Stimuli: The Intradiemesional and Interdimensional Abstract Tact

(Theory)
T. V. JOE LAYNG (Generategy, LLC)
Abstract:

Treatments of the tact often do not extend beyond the simple tact. Skinner (1957), however, described the abstract tact where the speaker’s behavior is guided by a subset of stimulus properties. The abstract tact “chair” is guided not by a specific piece of furniture, but by features of that stimulus. Layng (in press) has described such guidance as an “intradimensional” tact. Abstract tacts also include behavior under control of relations between stimuli, such as distant, larger, opposite, same, different, me, you, to believe, etc. Layng (2014; 2016; in press) describes these relations as “interdimentional” tacts. This presentation will describe how these relations may be analyzed and sequences designed for their effective teaching, often without using match-to-sample procedures. It will be argued that these procedures may more closely resemble how these relations are acquired outside the laboratory than do the match-to-sample preparations often found in the laboratory. Further, it will be shown how such interdimensional tacts form the basis of “autoclitic frames,” whereby interdimensional relations can guide both speaker and listener behavior in completely novel situations, such as, “Y believes X will…” No hypothetical arbitrarily applicable relational operant is required to understand or teach these relations.

 
 
Symposium #454
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Math and Writing With Typical and Near-Typical Learners, and Children With Autism
Monday, May 27, 2019
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Fairmont, Second Level, Gold
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Holloway, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The four presentations in this symposium illustrate how evidence based practices in instructional design and Precision Teaching can be combined in new ways to provide instruction and practice to fluency with foundational and complex math and writing learning objectives. The first three presentations will demonstrate applications of the Morningside Mathematics Foundations Fluency, progressing in their scope from within a single classroom, to two studies with a large number of participants, to a schoolwide, multi-year implementation. First, Nicole Erickson will describe the synthesis of the conceptual aspects of Singapore Primary Math’s number bond component into the Morningside Math Facts Fluency program, along with a procedure for effective classwide implementation with typical and near-typical learners. Next, Jennifer Holloway will present the results of two studies that examine the effects of Precision Teaching, frequency building, and the Morningside Math Facts Fluency program on the computation repertoires of typical learners in the United Kingdom. Third, Kathy Fox will describe a long-term, schoolwide implementation of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction with students with autism, with particular focus to moving beyond foundational math skills and computation skills to higher order problem solving involving word problems using Morningside’s Algebra for Beginners program. Lastly, Marianne Delgado will move into the area of writing, describing an even more complex program which assessed the effect of instructional design and Precision Teaching of specific sentence combining repertoires on the syntactical maturity of middle school students’ writing. The chair will make comments on each presentation in turn as the symposium proceeds.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

behavior analysts and other psychology and educational professionals

 

Evidence-Based Practice and Constructivist Curricula: Synthesizing Precision Teaching With Concepts From Singapore Primary Mathematics

(Service Delivery)
NICOLE ERICKSON (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

In 2016, Morningside Academy began using the popular, constructivist curriculum PrimaryMathematics (a Singapore Math program)as its core mathematics curriculum. Morningside’s team of expert teachers and instructional designers have been thoroughly investigating the application of evidence-based practices in instructional design and Precision Teaching to this curriculum in order to maximize learning outcomes with typical and near-typical learners. Nicole Erickson developed a fluency-based activity, based on Primary Mathematics’ concept of the Number Bond, to help build conceptual understanding of themathfact families taught in MorningsideMathFacts. This program teaches students simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems, then provides opportunities for students to practice these basic facts to fluency with celeration. During structured fluency blocks, students were first taught to discriminate different error patterns and prescribe appropriate interventions. Then, students learned to analyze performance data from their Standard Celeration Charts, set their personalized daily improvement goals, and construct daily celeration lines that empowered them to make within-session decisions about when academic interventions were needed. Videos of how the Number Bond component was integrated into the daily Morningside Math Facts routine and examples of peer coaching repertoires will be shown.

 
Moderators of Fluency-based Instruction: The Impact of Individual Differences on Outcomes of Intervention
(Applied Research)
Aoife McTiernan (University of South Wales), JENNIFER HOLLOWAY (National University of Ireland, Galway), Olive Healy (Trinity College Dublin), Caroline Leonard (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The research investigated the effects of precision teaching (PT), frequency-building (FB) and the Morningside Mathematics Fluency: Math Facts curriculum, as well as exploring the potential individual moderators of FB, across two experimental studies. The first study demonstrated outcomes of PT and the Morningside Curriculum with addition and subtraction computation. Twenty-eight fourth grade children were randomly assigned to experimental and treatment as usual (TAU) conditions. Results demonstrated outcomes similar to previous research and showed the effectiveness of PT, frequency-building, and the Morningside Mathematics Fluency: Math Facts curriculum. The second study explored the potential individual moderators of frequency-building, across an additional 71 participants, who received frequency-building with the Morningside Mathematics Fluency: Math Facts curriculum. Participant age, grade, gender, standardised measures of mathematical ability, and pre-intervention rates of correct responding with instructional materials, were investigated as potential moderating variables. Following correlational analysis, a hierarchical multiple regressesion was employed and showed that participant age and pre-test rates of correct responding demonstrated the greatest moderating factors on intervention outcomes. The current findings are discussed in terms of the contribution to the design and delivery of fluency-based intervention for children to promote lasting positive outcomes in mathematics performance.
 

An Evaluation of The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction on the Mathematics Performance of Students With Autism

(Service Delivery)
KATHY FOX (Haugland Learning Center), Jason Guild (Haugland Learning Center), Morten Haugland (Haugland Learning Center)
Abstract:

For the past eight years, the ASPIRE program at Haugland Learning Center has collaborated with Morningside Academy to replicate the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction (MMGI) with students with autism. This presentation will focus on student growth in the area of mathematics during that time period. Many parents and students of incoming students report math as a primary area of academic need. Students often arrive in the ASPIRE program with minimal classroom participation skills, as well as deficits of two or more years in the areas of math facts fluency and calculation. These areas of concern are addressed via direct instruction programming in coordination with the Morningside Mathematics Foundations Fluency curriculum. In addition to math fact and computation fluency, ASPIRE has recently implemented the newest Morningside Math program: Algebra for Beginners, which uses evidence-based practices in instructional design and Precision Teaching to teach students strategies for solving increasingly complex word problems. The heavy focus on constructing strong academic repertoires, and the use of unique classroom management techniques has led to several years of impressive outcome data. This presentation will discuss practices to facilitate student growth, the collection and evaluation of performance data, and data-based decision protocols. Specific examples of student growth will be presented.

 

Using Curriculum Based Assessment to Evaluate the Application and Adduction of Sentence-Combining Skills and Syntactical Maturity

(Service Delivery)
MARIANNE DELGADO (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy), Geoffrey H. Martin (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

The presence of 12 sentence combining skills denoting syntactic maturity was tracked, every two weeks, using 13-minute curriculum-based writing assessments (CBAs) with middle school students. Skills tracked, in order of increasing complexity, were usage of: adjectives, compound subjects, and compound predicates; adjectival, adverbial, participial, and infinitive phrases; parenthetical expressions; and adjectival, adverbial, and noun clauses. 15 students from three different classrooms participated, all using Dr. Arthur Whimbey’s Keys to Quick Writing Skills in coordination with Morningside’s Advanced Sentence Combining. Each class started their sentence combining instruction in staggered six to eight week intervals, allowing for a multiple baseline study. Data was recorded on a Standard Celeration Chart, which allowed for phase change lines as instruction on different skills occurred. Skill acquisition was analyzed for application (occurring close to instruction) or adduction (occurring further from instruction in unique combinations). Skills acquisition was compared across skill levels (high, medium, low), classrooms, and periods of instruction. Developing a twice-monthly method of assessing syntactic maturity will provide timely and useful feedback to teachers to help them provide effective instruction.

 
 
Symposium #459
CE Offered: BACB
Stepping Outside of Our Comfort Zone: Behavior Analysts Addressing Anxiety and Other Mental Health Challenges in School and Community Settings
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 1/2
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson, Ed.D.
Abstract:

Historically, applied behavior analysts have focused on the development of interventions to address problematic behaviors that are easily defined and measured. As a result, many behavior analyst have avoided working with individuals with more complex mental health concerns such as anxiety. Mental health diagnoses involve private events and are therefore difficult to operationally define, observe, and measure. Unfortunately, non-behavioral practitioners often view aberrant behaviors in individuals with mental health diagnoses as symptoms of underlying constructs and use the diagnosis as the reason for these behaviors. As a result, these practitioners often propose more global treatments such as therapies or medications. On the other hand, behavior analysts view those behaviors as serving an environmental function that can be replaced with a more acceptable behavior serving the same function. The behavioral perspective also includes an analysis of motivating operations in the form of private events, physiological sensations, bio-behavioral states, psychological feelings, and covert tacts/mands and learning history with particular discriminative stimuli for reinforcement and punishment. The presenters in this symposium will describe tools and strategies for addressing mental health issues from a behavioral perspective.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): anxiety, biomarkers, mental health, wearable devices
Target Audience:

BCBAs working in school and community settings

 

Overview of Wearable Biomarker Devices in Applied Behavior Analysis: Implications for Individuals Who Experience Significant Anxiety

(Service Delivery)
JESSE (WOODY) W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University), Toni R. Van Laarhoven (Northern Illinois University), Michael Ackerman (Indian Prairie School District ), Natalie Andzik (Northern Illinois University ), Maria Wheeler (Indian Prairie School District), Gretta Ward (Northern Illinois University), Heather Kerfoot (Northern Illinois University), Ann Robinson (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Up to 80% of children and youth with ASDs experience clinically significant anxiety (Leyfer, Folstein, Bacalmen, et al., 2006). Individuals with ASDs and comorbid anxiety are at increased risk for displaying externalizing behavior problems, social avoidance, and difficulties establishing/maintaining peer relationships across environments (Davis, Hess, Moree et al., 2011). A number of physiological markers associated with stress have been identified and often involve measurement of electrodermal activity (EDA)/skin conductance level or response (SCL and SCR), heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP), muscle tension, respiration/breathing patterns (Choi & Gutierrez-Osuna, 2009), and other measures such as Error-Related Brain Activity (ERN) (Rosen & Lerner, 2017), and cortisol (Moskowitz, Rosen, et al, 2017). Much of the research involving biomarkers conducted to date has been done by researchers in the medical field in lab settings with participants having various electrodes and wires attached to their bodies; however, many researchers are investigating the effectiveness of using wearable sensors that are unobtrusive and allow for measurement of physiological markers associated with stress over longer periods of time in naturalistic settings (Lakudzode & Rajbhoj, 2016; Moskowitz, Walsh, et al, 2017). New research is beginning to investigate the effectiveness or wearable biosensor devices to measure physiological indicators of stress and anxiety in naturalistic settings (Lakudzode & Rajbhoj, 2016). The purpose of this presentation is to describe a number of commercially available wearable technologies that have the capacity to measure physiological markers (biomarkers) associated with stress and anxiety. The presenters will provide an overview of current research on the use of wearable biomarker devices and discuss the implications for using these devices in applied settings.

 

Integrating Wearable Biomarker Devices Into Behavioral Assessment and Intervention

(Service Delivery)
TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Jesse (Woody) W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University), Lisa Liberty (Northern Illinois University ), Beth Collins (Northern Illinois University), Veronica Cornell (Northern Illinois University), Angie Lobdell (Northern Illinois University), NATASHA A RADNOVICH (Core Therapy, Inc), Jennifer Johnson (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Researchers suggest that anxiety-related concerns are among the most common presenting problems for children and adolescents with ASD (White, Oswald, Ollendick, & Scahill, 2009). Up to 80% of children with ASDs experience clinically significant anxiety (Leyfer, Folstein, Bacalmen, et al., 2006). Anxiety is a multi-component construct involving affective states (e.g., subjective fear), cognitions (e.g., thoughts, beliefs) behavioral patterns (avoidance), and associated physiological arousal (e.g., increased heart rate, changes in respiration patterns) (Moskowitz et. al 2017). Assessing anxiety in individuals with ASD and IDD is difficult due to communication deficits, difficulty distinguishing symptoms of anxiety from symptoms of ASD/IDD, and the idiosyncratic behavioral expression of anxiety in individuals with ASD/IDD (Hagopian & Jennett, 2008; While et al., 2009). Behavior analysts frequently rely on direct observation measures to quantify observable behaviors associated with anxiety, agitation, and/or stress for individuals with limited verbal skills (e.g., increased rocking, change in tone of vocalizations) while also attending to environmental variables associated with anxiety or stress. Although direct observation is effective for identifying behavioral manifestations of anxiety, this type of measurement may result in incomplete information as anxiety and stress are internal states that may not be accessible through direct observation. As a result, research on behavioral assessment and interventions for individuals with ASD/IDD has not adequately addressed the role of anxiety as a contributing factor in challenging behavior with these individuals. The purpose of this presentation is to describe how physiological information obtained from wearable devices can be used for behavioral assessment and the development of function-based interventions for anxiety-related challenging behavior. We will also provide case study examples to illustrate how these devices can be used to teach the individuals to self- regulate or use coping and/or relaxation strategies.

 

Treating Children With Complex Behavioral and Mental Health Concerns Across Settings

(Service Delivery)
KATHERINE SAGE (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee)
Abstract:

Complex cases of behavioral, medical, and social difficulties in adolescents can cause emotional distress for children, adolescents, and their families. Helping individuals to build an understanding of their internal emotional states as well as the motivating operations of their behaviors and emotions can decrease problem behaviors due to emotional distress. The presenter works with adolescents in both medical and school settings in a rural, impoverished area. Many of the individuals in this area lack the resources to seek mental health or behavioral services that are needed to address emotional and behavioral concerns. The presenter will describe how she bridged medical, school, and home settings using behavioral principles to address social skill deficits and anxiety in an adolescent presenting with school refusal and Autism-Spectrum Disorder related deficits.

 
 
Symposium #460
I Bet You Think This Talk is About You: Philosophical and Practical Perspectives on the Self in Solitude and in Society
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Fairmont, B2, Imperial Ballroom
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Hayden Hudson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

This symposium will focus on philosophical and practical perspectives on the self in solitude and in society. Topics such as practical implications for behaviorists and behavioral interventions of a non-ontological self, relational frame theory, the RFT-informed concept of the self, the implications of "no-self" for both simple and complex behavioral interventions, and the ways in which RFT-informed behavior analysis shares considerable common ground with self-abnegating spiritual traditions will be considered. Also discussed will be the role of psychological flexibility in prosocial and helping behaviors, the relationship between self-compassion and prosocial behaviors, and implications for contextual interventions to increase prosocial behavior. Further discussion will be on the relationship between self-enhancement and self-verification in those diagnosed with depression, moral assessments of the self and others, the relationship between self-judgments of character and behaviors as well as how these judgments are formed, and whether imaginative engagement could increase the frequency of people engaging in helping behaviors.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): psychological flexibility, RFT, self-compassion, social behaviors
 
Differential Moral Assessments: Judgments of Character and Behaviors of Self and Others
(Theory)
MAKENSEY SANDERS (Univeristy of Mississippi)
Abstract: Studies of self-enhancement and self-verification have shown that people diagnosed with depression report lower levels of self-esteem and are more likely to report a fundamental disposition to see themselves as bad and undeserving than others.  It may be that people diagnosed with depression do not incorporate positive feedback or instances of helping behaviors into their self-concept and verbal self-knowledge. While this has not been specifically examined, it seems that depression could affect the relationship between self-judgments of character and behaviors as well as how these judgments are formed. This paper will discuss a theoretical framework that incorporates principles from moral philosophy and behavioral psychology in the understanding of the relationship of depression and judgments of character. The paper will also propose an experiment that could 1) determine whether people reporting varying levels of depression provide different moral assessments of their own character and behaviors and others’ character and behaviors and 2) consider whether imaginative engagement (i.e., engagement with vignettes of helping behaviors in the first and third person) could increase the frequency of people engaging in helping behaviors. The paper will also discuss potential implications on clinical treatments and the role of psychological flexibility in judgment formation and imaginative engagement.
 
Help Yourself by Helping Others: The Relationship Between Self-Compassion, Prosocial Behavior, and Psychological Flexibility
(Theory)
LAUREN ANN SHORT (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Daryl Rachal (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Jessica Auzenne (University of North Texas), Emmy LeBleu (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Self-compassion, described as treating oneself with kindness, connecting with humanity, and being mindful of one’s emotions, has been demonstrated to be important to psychological health and functioning. For example, self-compassion has been proposed to share many core characteristics with psychological flexibility, which is the tendency to engage in values-directed behavior in the presence of unwanted experiences. Self-compassion has also been associated with improved interpersonal outcomes, such as increased social connection and other-focused concern. The present study further assessed the relationship between self-compassion and prosocial behavior, considering the role of psychological flexibility in that relationship. Ninety-six undergraduate students completed questionnaires assessing self-compassion, empathetic concern, altruistic behavior, psychological flexibility, and valued living. In addition, self-reports via ecological momentary assessments of the same were utilized collected four times a day for seven days. Both self-compassion and psychological flexibility contributed to the prediction of prosocial behavior. Moderation and mediation effects further highlighted the complex relationships amongst these repertoires. Implications for contextual interventions to increase prosocial behavior will be discussed.
 
Who Are You? Practical Implications for Behaviorists of a Non-Ontological Self
(Theory)
TROY DUFRENE (California School of Professional Psychology: San Francisco), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette )
Abstract: Relational frame theory (RFT) offers a purely behavioral account of language and cognition, the building blocks of which are bidirectional relations between things, whether in-the-world objects or symbols. This idea scales up to an account of the self, which identifies the self construct as the set of bidirectional relations in which a given subject is a relatum. In this conceptualization, "self" is not an ontological category but a convenient description of a particular set of relata. For behaviorists, this raises some interesting questions: Does the self exist? If so, how? And what might that imply for behavioral interventions? Virtually all contemporary psychologies agree that self-ideation is a perilous activity, but none have been willing to concede that the self concept is unnecessary baggage that should be tossed into the nearest trash can (a practice advocated for by several of the great spiritual traditions.) This conceptual paper explores the RFT-informed concept of the self, the implications of "no-self" for both simple and complex behavioral interventions, and the ways in which RFT-informed behavior analysis shares considerable common ground with self-abnegating spiritual traditions.
 
 
Symposium #461
CE Offered: BACB
Increasing Activity Engagement in Older Adults With Intellectual Disabilities and Neurocogntive Disorder
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sandra Wagner (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Maranda A Trahan (Trahan Behavioral Services)
CE Instructor: Maranda A Trahan, M.A.
Abstract:

1. Activity engagement is imperative to promoting independence, reducing the number of opportunities to engage in problem behavior (e.g., wandering), and has been associated with increasing quality of life among older adults. Given the benefits of activity engagement, it is imperative to examine how we can effectively increase engagement with preferred activities. With some activities, social attention may be a significant component and may help facilitate engagement. This symposium will include two talks: 1) Assessing Preferences for Care of People with Dementia: A Simultaneous Treatments Design and 2) Promoting Activity Engagement in Older Adults.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Activity engagement, Neurocognitive disorder, Older adults, Preference assessment
Target Audience:

This presentation is tailored to practitioners and researchers in the field of behavioral gerontology; however, practitioners and researchers outside the field of behavioral gerontology are encouraged to attend. Given the importance of activity engagement, practitioners, both in and outside the field of behavioral gerontology, prioritize increasing engagement.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the importance of activity engagement in the older adult population, (2) describe the different treatments to increase activity engagement in older adults with intellectual disabilities and dementia, and (3) describe the issues of faulty stimulus control among older adults with dementia.
 

Promoting Activity Engagement With Older Adults

(Applied Research)
SYDNEY BULOCK (Western Michigan University), Andrea Perez (Western Michigan University), Sandra Wagner (Western Michigan University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Older adults with intellectual disabilities are likely to have lower levels of engagement. In efforts to increase activity engagement, researchers have implemented various strategies to increase engagement (Engelman, Atlus, & Mathews, 1999; Engstrom, Mudford, & Brand, 2015). Current literature, however, has not directly compared those approaches to one another. The purpose of this study was to use an alternating treatments design to compare the following four strategies: 1) provided access to preferred items with no attention, 2) provided attention every 10 minutes for 60 seconds, 3) provided attention every 10 minutes for 10 minutes, and 4) provided 30 minutes of attention followed by 30 minutes of no attention. The participant was a 63-year old male diagnosed with moderate intellectual disability and attended an adult day program. Prior to implementing those approaches, a paired stimulus preference assessment was conducted to determine the participant’s top preferred activities. Results suggest that providing social attention for 30 minutes followed by no attention produced the greatest level of activity engagement. Implications and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

 

Assessing Preferences for Care of People With Dementia: A Simultaneous Treatments Design

(Applied Research)
ZOE LUCOCK (Bangor University), Rebecca A Sharp (Bangor University)
Abstract:

Stimulus preference assessments have previously been used with people with dementia to determine their preferences for tangible items such as edibles and leisure items. However, to date there is no literature exploring preferences for the type of social interaction that may accompany engagement with preferred activities. We used a rarely-used simultaneous treatments design to measure the preferences of people with dementia who were unable to state vocally their preferences for different contingencies of care. For example, for a participant for whom completing jigsaws was a preferred activity, we investigated whether she preferred to be provided with prompts to complete the activity jigsaw, to be left to complete the jigsaw alone, or to receive non-contingent attention during the activity. We compared simultaneous presentations of the available contingencies to sequential presentations in order to determine whether either presentation format was more effective than the other for measuring preference. Additionally, we took continuous data on engagement and indices of happiness as corollary measures of preference during the delivery of each chosen contingency. We will discuss our findings in relation to supporting people with communication difficulties and dementia, and with regard to issues of faulty stimulus control in the behavior of people with dementia.

 
 
Symposium #467
CE Offered: BACB
Repetitive Responses: Treating Obsessive Compulsive and Stereotypic Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Cook, M.S.
Abstract:

Practitioners treating children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will inevitably encounter the problem of decreasing repetitive behavior. One form of repetitive behaviors are obsessive compulsive behaviors, and the paucity of research in this area leaves practitioners with few options. The first presentation will describe a randomized control trial involving 37 children to evaluate the effects of Functional Behavior-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The second presentation will suggest how the role of respondent and operant conditioning on obsessive compulsive behavior, and the implications for assessment and treatment. The third presentation will transition into a discussion on another commonly encountered form of repetitive behavior, stereotypy. Selections for stereotypy treatment may be context-specific; as such 5 children were assessed and treated to the extent necessary within an instructional setting. The fourth presentation extends stereotypy treatment into the home. Researchers in this study designed an iOS app, the iSTIM, and assessed the utility this app as a tool to be used by parents to treat stereotypy of their own children.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): OCD, repetitive behavior, stereotypy, treatment methods
Target Audience:

Psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Board Certified assistant Behavior Analysts, graduate students, teaching faculty

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Discriminate between and identify the different types of repetitive behavior (2) Describe an appropriate assessment method that can be used for a specific type of repetitive behavior (3) Describe an appropriate treatment method that can be used for a specific type of repetitive behavior (4) Search the literature for unique approaches or methodologies for repetitive behavior
 

A Blended Approach of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis for Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

(Applied Research)
TRICIA CORINNE VAUSE (Brock University), Heather Yates (University of Manitoba), Nicole M. Neil (University of Western Ontario), Jan Frijters (Brock University), Grayzna Jackiewicz (Private Practice), Maurice Feldman (Brock University)
Abstract:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently experience obsessions and compulsions similar to those specified in DSM-5 for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) yet a paucity of research exists on treating these behaviours. Thirty-seven children (7 to 13 years old) received random assignment to a nine-week Functional Behavior-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (Fb-CBT) or Treatment As Usual (TAU). Fb-CBT combines CBT (e.g., exposure and response prevention) and ABA elements (e.g., extinction, functional communication training and differential reinforcement) derived from functional behavioral assessment. Independent assessors administered measures pre- and post-treatment and at 6-months. Two primary outcome measures including the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised and the Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale indicated statistically significant differences between groups, with large corrected effect sizes (Hedge’s g = 1.00 and 1.15, respectively). Time series parent report data corroborated these findings with two-thirds of treated behaviors in Fb-CBT showing a positive treatment response. This is the first known RCT to exclusively treat OCBs in children with high functioning ASD, and suggests that CBT with ABA components may be efficacious in decreasing OCBs and associated functional impairment.

 
A Behavior Analytic Conceptual Framework for the Assessment and Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors
(Theory)
EMILY GUERTIN (Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Jan Frijters (Brock University), Maurice Feldman (Brock University)
Abstract: A subset of repetitive behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including insistence on sameness, ritualistic behavior, and compulsions overlaps topographically with symptoms characteristic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The overlapping symptoms often present a challenge in the literature for selecting how to assess and treat these behaviors. This presentation discusses the often-complex role that the function of an obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB) serves for an individual. Based on Mowrer’s (1951) two-factor theory of avoidance learning, both classical and instrumental learning processes can be involved in the development and maintenance of repetitive behaviors. Using behavioral models, four case examples from clinical treatment studies illustrate the influence of primary or multiple functions on obsessive compulsive behaviors in ASD, highlighting that the topography of the behavior alone may not indicate the function of the behavior (see Figure 1 for a clinical example of a multiply controlled behavior). Behavioral models describe the role of respondent and operant conditioning and ways that behavioral technologies can be integrated to enhance treatment efficacy. Methods of functional behavioral assessment including informant and observational methods and recommendations for incorporating assessment results in treatment are provided. Limitations and future directions for function-based treatment of OCBs in persons with ASD are discussed.
 

To What Extent Do Practitioners Need to Treat Stereotypy During Academic Tasks?

(Applied Research)
JENNIFER COOK (University of South Florida, Monarch House), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Researchers frequently argue that a child’s engagement in stereotypy may compete with his ability to acquire academic skills, engage in appropriate social interactions, or both; however, few studies have directly tested these suppositions. We used a five-phase assessment to evaluate the extent to which behavioral interventions with a progressively greater number of components were necessary to decrease stereotypy and increase correct responding during academic instructions for five children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. For one participant, stereotypy decreased when instructors provided standard instruction without specific intervention for stereotypy. For two participants, stereotypy decreased when instructors provided standard instruction plus antecedent intervention for stereotypy with continuous music. For another participant, stereotypy decreased when instructors provided enhanced consequences for correct responding during standard instruction without either antecedent or consequent intervention for stereotypy. For the final participant, stereotypy decreased and correct responding increased when instructors provided standard instruction and consequent intervention for stereotypy.

 

Reducing Stereotypy in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
LYDIA TRUDEL (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal), Isabelle Préfontaine (Université de Montréal)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often engage in stereotypy, which may interfere with social integration, adaptive functioning and learning. Unfortunately, many children with ASD do not have access to behavioral interventions that could effectively reduce engagement in stereotypy while improving appropriate behavior. To address this issue, we developed an iOS app, the iSTIM, designed to support parents in reducing stereotypy in their child with ASD. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of the iSTIM when used by parents. More specifically, we tested the effects of the app with ten children with ASD between the ages of 3 to 12 years old within a noncurrent multiple baseline design. To date, four families have completed their participation in the study. The iSTIM reduced stereotypy in the four participants, but only increased functional engagement in one participant. The preliminary results suggest that the iSTIM may benefit from modifications to improve the clarity of the procedures of the intervention.

 
 
Symposium #468
Further Evaluations of Teaching Verbal Operants to Children With Autism
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom B
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Ashley Marie Lugo (Southeast Missouri State University)
Abstract:

In this symposium, the authors will present on research evaluating different procedures to teach verbal operants to children diagnosed with autism. In the first paper, the author will describe a study examining effects of single-operant (different targets from one program presented within each trial block) and multiple-operant (different targets from multiple programs presented within each trial block) conditions on cumulative duration to mastery and percentage of independent, correct responses, for two children with autism. In the second paper, the author will present on the effect of a stimulus equivalence procedure on acquisition and maintenance of piano skills, novel piano performance, and generalization and maintenance of taught and untaught piano skills, with three individuals diagnosed with autism. In the third paper, the author will describe the effect of using a concurrent schedule of reinforcement with and without a prompting procedure to increase rates of manding for three individuals diagnosed with autism. The fourth presenter will discuss a comparison of the effects of video- versus picture-based instructional stimuli on generalization of action tacts for three children with autism.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): mand, music, tact, verbal operant
 

A Comparison of Trial Arrangement Procedures in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
ASHLEY FELDE (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristin M. Albert (Florida Institute of Technology), Amelia Dressel (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Improving the rate of skill acquisition for children with autism is an important focus for behavior analytic researchers. Prior research showed massed-trial instruction is more efficient than task interspersal. Less research has been conducted on the commonly recommended procedure task variation, sometimes called mixing and varying across the operants. The current study extended these lines of research by comparing the efficiency of two trial-arrangement procedures for skill acquisition. In the single-operant condition, all targets from a single program (e.g., tact) were taught during trial block 1, then, only targets from the next program (e.g., listener) were taught in block 2, and only targets from the third program (e.g., intraverbal) were taught during block 3. In the multiple-operant condition, acquisition targets across the 3 programs were interspersed within each of the 3 trial blocks (i.e., a few trials from each of the tact, listener, and intraverbal programs). A combined adapted alternating treatment and multiple probe design was used with 2 young boys with autism to compare efficiency of these arrangements through percentage of correct, independent responses and cumulative duration to mastery.

 
Manipulation of Reinforcement Schedules and Prompts to Produce Manding in a Multioperant Environment
(Applied Research)
JONATHAN SEAVER (The New England Center for Children), Michelle P. Kelly (Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)), Rasha Baruni (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), Clodagh Mary Murray (National University of Ireland Galway)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display social communication deficits (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Although some research has targeted increasing response variability (Baker, 2000; Charlop-Christy & Haymes, 1996, 1998; Hanley, Iwata, Lindberg, & Conners, 2003; Hanley, Iwata, Roscoe, Thompson, & Lindberg, 2003), limited research designed to modify the distribution of manding in multioperant environments exists. The results of Bernstein and Sturmey (2008) indicate that manipulation of concurrent schedules of reinforcement may effectively modify the distribution of manding in a multioperant environment. For three individuals diagnosed with ASD, we examined the individual effects of manipulating concurrent schedules of reinforcement, and the combined effects of concurrent schedule manipulation plus prompting to increase rates of target manding. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of the independent variables. Increases in target mands were produced for all three participants. Concurrent schedule manipulation plus prompting was effective in producing increased target manding for the two participants exposed, whereas the concurrent schedule manipulation alone was effective in producing increased target manding for one of the three participants exposed.
 

An Evaluation of a Stimulus Arrangement to Produce Equivalence in Piano Skills Among Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
KRYSTIN HUSSAIN (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael Passage (Florida Institute of Technology), Marilynn V. Colato (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Music-based interventions have been shown to benefit those with autism, improving deficits such as social behaviors, communication, and vocalizations, as well as improving behavioral excesses such as stereotypies. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of equivalence-based instruction (EBI) on acquisition and maintenance of piano skills, novel piano performance, and generalization and maintenance of taught and untaught piano skills among children with autism. Training consisted of auditory-visual musical stimuli in a matching-to-sample format. Following training, post-tests were conducted to test the emergence of novel untrained relations and generalization. Maintenance probes were conducted at least one week following the final post-test. Results were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple-probe design across participants.

 

An Evaluation of Static Versus Dynamic Stimuli on Generalization of Action Tacts

(Applied Research)
JOSHUA ADDINGTON (Florida Institute of Technology), Shana Fentress (Florida Institute of Technology), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology), Jacqueline Noto (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty generalizing responses to stimuli beyond training conditions. This study investigated the effects of two types of stimulus delivery forms on generalization of action tacts to in-vivo performances: static (i.e., pictures), which are typically used during instruction and dynamic (i.e., videos), which provide stimulation similar to what a child would encounter in a natural setting. Videos were more effective and efficient for promoting generalization of action tacts to the natural environment for two of three participants. Results of an assessment to determine client preference for teaching procedure were unclear.

 
 
Symposium #470
Diversity submission A Verbal Behavior and Relational Frame Theory Examination of Sexuality, Gender, Privilege, and Power
Monday, May 27, 2019
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Rouge
Area: CSS/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Glenna S. Hunter (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario)
Discussant: Worner Leland (Upswing Advocates)
Abstract:

Perceptions of sexuality, gender identity, and relationship structures are all shaped and maintained by our verbal communities. Additionally, verbal communities often have rules (both direct and implicit) that specify appropriate roles, and which reinforce alignment with those roles and punish stepping outside of them. Because of this, individuals who adhere to the rules of a verbal community through behavior or through endogenous traits often experience privilege- social advantages or benefits for aligning with the dominant group. Relational Frame Theory (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) provides a framework for examining this ingrouping and outgrouping in verbal communities. This presentation provides a behavior analytic examination of identities and privilege and offers initial suggestions on behavior analytic approaches to ethically supporting clients with marginalized identities and on decreasing inequity in our verbal community at large.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): gender identity, jealousy, privilege, sexuality
 
Diversity submission Tacting Internal Experiences: Asexual and Aromantic Identities
(Theory)
JANANI VAIDYA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Worner Leland (Upswing Advocates)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) is a cognitive framework that defines language as operant behavior, in that language can be influenced by antecedent and consequent stimuli in the same manner as overt behavior. RFT further posits that language involves identifying stimuli as well as the act of relating stimuli events, and that changes in the function of these events can result in behavioral change. An important contribution of RFT is the concept of derived relational responding, i.e. the ability to train a few relations between arbitrary stimuli under the influence of certain contexts and derived a multitude of other relations that are not directly trained. One type of relation that can be trained in this manner are diectic frames of relational responding that rely on the perspective of the learner. This type of verbal responding is responding from a particular locus (Montoya-Rodríguez,McHugh, & Molina, 2016). This paper is an attempt to examine the formation of asexual and aromantic identities using relational framing. Specifically, how these communities have evolved to develop their specific language for types of relationships that fall outside of traditional definitions of romantic and sexual relationships and learning histories. Additionally, an examination of how to use perspective-taking to include an understanding of these orientations when disseminating sexual education, considering that they require the inclusion of the lack of specific covert behaviors or "desires" to be examined under the context of sexual behavior itself, is posited.
 
Diversity submission 

When Your Lover Loves Another: Understanding Jealousy and Compersion

(Theory)
GLENNA S. HUNTER (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario), August Stockwell (Upswing Advocates)
Abstract:

Jealousy — the emotion and collection of collateral responses that occur when a person is faced with a perceived threat to an important relationship — is a common source of distress within romantic and other close interpersonal relationships (Elphinston, Feeney, Noller, Conner, & Fitzgerald, 2013). In contrast, some people report an experience of compersion – joy in response to a partner experiencing emotional or sexual attraction toward and interactions with another person (Aumer, Bellew, Ito, Hatfield, & Heck, 2014). Jealousy and compersion are collections of responses emitted by individuals in both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships, and both can be understood in terms of their surrounding environmental contingencies. This presentation explores several potential contingencies at play in situations involving jealousy, and in so doing, identifies ways in which contingencies may be altered to produce a reduction in jealous responding. Finally, potential contingencies involved in compersion are presented, and suggestions made as to how it may be fostered within relationships in which compersion is a goal.

 
Diversity submission 

CANCELED: Toward Gender Euphoria: A Behavior Analytic Conceptualization of Body Image Flexibility

(Theory)
Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Worner Leland (Upswing Advocates), TOEKNEE MORALES (N/A)
Abstract:

Body image has been studied through many psychological lenses, but for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals, traditional approaches to body image which focus on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) may not be appropriate or account for the unique verbal behavior which contributes to gender dysphoria (Garcia-Falgueras, 2014). Gender dysphoria can include a discomfort with how one is treated based on cultural perceptions of physical stimuli. Conversely, gender euphoria can include experiences of joy from being treated in ways that align with one's identity, irrespective of assumptions based on physical stimuli. Psychological inflexibility may be a useful construct to examine body image, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) tools may assist in addressing BDD. These may or may not be useful when examining gender dysphoria and gender euphoria. This paper will examine the utility of this model when examining dysmorphia when contrasted with dysphoria, the ways in which language around each may be shaped, and components of ACT tools which may be useful across populations.

 
Diversity submission Beyond Checking: A Behavioral Analysis of Privilege as a Manipulable Context
(Theory)
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Evelyn Rachael Gould (McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School; FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.)
Abstract: Privilege involves the advantages or benefits accessed by members of dominant groups at the expense of members of nondominant groups. For example, in the U.S., privilege is generally granted to members of groups who are: white, able-bodied, heterosexual, cisgender, male, Christian, middle or owning class, middle-aged, and/or English-speaking. Over the past decade, activists have increasingly called for us to “check our privilege,” or to acknowledge ways that our social status may have given us advantages (often unrequested, unearned, and unnamed advantages) while others of different social status suffered disadvantages. Describing, predicting, and understanding the inequities privilege creates is certainly important. And, as behavior analysts, we challenge ourselves to extend the analysis beyond describing, predicting, and understanding behavior to influencing it. In this way, a behavioral analysis of these inequities necessarily involves considering privilege, not merely in terms of personal characteristics, but in terms of the manipulable contexts those characteristics afford. This paper will review traditional conceptualizations of privilege, provide a behavior analytic conceptualization of privilege, and offer initial suggestions on a behavior analytic approach to studying, and intervening on privilege to decrease inequity.
 
 
Symposium #475
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Training Care Givers in Applied Behavior Analytic Skills, Part 1: Training Individual Staff and Volunteer Skills
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom D
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
CE Instructor: Peter Sturmey, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Training staff in evidence-based practices is a key skill for behavior analysts. Despite the large number of studies in this area, there are still many under-researched and un-researched topics and a need for replication. This symposium, the first of two related symposia on this topic, presents three empirical papers on staff training. The first by Gormley et al., provides an overview by reporting a research synthesis of 156 staff training studies in Intellectual Disabilities including applied behavior analysis, positive behavior supports and other interventions. The second paper, by Gregori et al., evaluates the effectiveness of behavioral skills training to teach direct support staff to implement functional communication training correctly and its effects consumer mands and challenging behavior. The final paper, by Davis et al., reports a component analysis of behavioral skills training to teach volunteers in a university-based physical education program to teach motor skills to individuals with developmental disabilities. These empirical studies contribute to the growing literature on the effectiveness of behavioral skills to teach ta variety of skills in diverse contexts with individuals with autism and / or intellectual disabilities.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Communication Training, Motor Skills, Staff Training, Systematic Review
Target Audience:

BCBAs in training; BCBAs requiring continuing education; applied researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe evidence-based practices that they should train caregiver to implement; (2) Describe how to train staff to conduct functional communication and measure its effects on client mands; and (3) describe the effective components of behavioral skills training and the implications for training caregivers.
 

Synthesizing Research on Staff Training in Intellectual and Developmental Disability Settings

(Applied Research)
Laura Gormley (Trinity College Dublin), Olive Healy (National University of Ireland, Galway), Amanda Doherty (Trinity College Dublin), Darragh O'Regan (RehabCare), MAEVE BRACKEN (Trinity College Dublin)
Abstract:

Front line staff are a valuable asset within an intellectual disability service. Their work dictates the overall standard of care delivered by the organization. This research synthesis examines staff training in practices to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Systematic searches of relevant databases identified 156 papers for inclusion in the review. Practices in which staff were trained were categorized as: a) Positive Behavior Support (PBS) interventions; b) Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions, or c) other interventions. The ABA category was sub-divided into: a) assessment-based; b) antecedent-based; c) consequence-based and, d) “mixed” practices. Results showed that although staff were trained in a range of evidence-based practices, many empirically supported interventions were not utilized (e.g., functional communication training and non-contingent reinforcement). Importantly, this research synthesis also highlighted a continued reliance on individualized training packages, rather than the implementation of empirically supported training models. Finally, future research should prioritize training protocols for front line staff supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as assessing the impact of staff training on service user outcomes. Findings from the current review provide a potential explanation for the apparent disconnect between theoretical advancements and practice in the applied setting.

 

Training Direct Care Staff to Implement Functional Communication Training Using Behavioral Skills Training

(Applied Research)
EMILY GREGORI (Educational Studies, Purdue University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Direct service providers (DSPs) are staff who support individuals with developmental disabilities (i.e., consumers) in residential, community, and employment settings. DSPs are responsible for providing a number of services including managing challenging behavior. However, DSPs often lack training in effective behavior management procedures. Behavioral skills training (BST) is an empirically supported method of staff training and has been used to teach DSPs a number of skills. However, to date, no studies have evaluated the efficacy of BST on staff implementation of complex behavioral interventions. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of BST on staff implementation of functional communication training (FCT). Three DPSs and consumers participated in the current study. The effects of BST on DSP and consumer behavior were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design. Results indicated that BST was effective in increasing DSP fidelity of FCT. However, an additional coaching phase was necessary for some DSPs to reach mastery criteria. Improvements in DSP fidelity corresponded with decreases in consumer challenging behavior and increases in appropriate communication. Findings suggest that BST is an efficient, effective, and socially valid method to train DSPs to implement FCT.

 

A Component Analysis of Behavioural Skills Training With Volunteers Teaching Motor Skills

(Applied Research)
SARAH DAVIS (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University ), Maureen Connolly (Brock University), Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Catharine Lory (Perdue University), So Yeon Kim (Perdue University), Marie David (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Few physical education programs address motor development challenges for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). The Special Needs Activity Program is one exception that capitalizes on university student volunteers to assist individuals with DD in developing motor skills. Evaluating efficient and effective ways of training these volunteers may positively impact outcomes and save valuable time and resources. We conducted a component analysis of behavioural skills training for teaching volunteers how to also use the BST framework to support individuals with DD. In an alternating treatment design embedded within a multiple baseline design across five volunteers, we measured the number of BST steps that volunteers completed correctly while teaching four motor skills from the SNAP curriculum. In the initial training phase, each motor skill received a different mode of training (i.e., instructions, modeling, rehearsal, or feedback). In subsequent training phases, modes of training were combined for skills that did not reach mastery criterion. Maintenance was also assessed at a 2-week and 1-month follow-up. Results indicated that instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback alone were sufficient for volunteers to meet a predetermined performance criterion; however, the full BST framework was necessary for skill maintenance. Strengths, limitations, and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #478
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptualizing, Developing, and Using Treatments to Prevent and Address Trauma in Veteran and Related Populations
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 1/2
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nicole C Groskreutz (PEAK Behavioral Services, LLC)
CE Instructor: Mark P. Groskreutz, Ph.D.
Abstract: The effects of extreme stressors (e.g., combat-related) and trauma can be severe and persistent in active duty military personnel, veteran, and other populations: the trauma can lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and effects can include relationship difficulties, substance abuse, increased rates of suicide, among others (see Cornum, Matthews, & Seligman, 2011). Researchers and practitioners have been challenged to identify consistently effective antecedent and consequence interventions to address these concerns. Using a behavior analytic approach to resilience and treatment may help prevent the effects of and reduce the impacts from trauma. These talks will explore how behavior analysis can support effective treatment for trauma, training of professionals delivering treatment, and prevention of trauma. Because much of the previous work on resilience and trauma treatment has come from non-behavior analytic sources, these talks will also address links between behavioral analyses and other areas of psychology. Discussions will focus on how a behavior analytic approach to resilience and treatment for trauma may enhance research and practice.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): PTSD, Resilience, Trauma, Veterans
Target Audience: Professional behavior analysts
 

Prolonged Imaginal Exposure in Behavior Analytic Terms

(Theory)
KOMLANTSE GOSSOU (Université de Montréal)
Abstract:

Prolonged Imaginal Exposure (PE) is one of the few efficacious treatments for treating combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD; Foa, Hembree, & Rothbaum, 2007; Gros, Tuerk, Yoder, & Acierno, 2011; Resick, Monson, & Gutner, 2007; US Veteran Affair / Department of Defense, 2017). PE has been shown to be an effective manualized treatment in both the civilian and the military populations, and it has been endorsed as a best practice for the treatment of PTSD by the United States Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense (VA/DoD, 2017), the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2007), and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (Boa, Keene, Friedman, and Cohen, 2010). Since it works, it must somehow operate via behavioral principles. However, our review of the literature indicates that it is difficult to find a behavior analytic conceptualization of PE, or a behavior analytic explanation of its effectiveness. This paper offers a behavior analytic explanation of why PE is effective and makes recommendations for improving this treatment using ABA strategies.

 

Training a Student to Conduct Acceptance and Commitment Therapy With Active Duty Military and Veterans Using Behavior Skills Training

(Applied Research)
JOHN BORGEN (Oregon Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is being utilized by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to increase the effectiveness of caregiver training, decrease behaviors associated with diagnosed psychological disorders, and augment graduate programs and other organizations. Increasingly, more attention is being given to BCBAs implementing ACT to work with adults, targeting behavioral excesses or deficits associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain (American Psychological Association, 2018). This talk will focus on the use of behavioral skills training (BST) to assist a student in gradually increasing proficiency with ACT and in a talk-based therapeutic context in general. We present an evaluation of BST to teach the student to participation and utilization of ACT behaviors by the student in ACT sessions. Specifically, we evaluated client verbal behavior relevant to the six core processes of ACT (e.g., cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, etc.). We will also discuss the logistics of starting a pro bono practice.

 
Behavioral Resilience in Military Personnel: Implications for Assessment and Intervention
(Theory)
NICOLE C GROSKREUTZ (PEAK Behavioral Services, LLC), Mark P. Groskreutz (Southern Connecticut State University)
Abstract: There is an extensive, multi-disciplinary body of literature exploring resilience within varied populations and across contexts. Yet there is no consensus amongst researchers on how resilience should be operationalized. The American Psychological Association (2018) defines resilience as “the process of adapting well” when faced with “adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress” (para. 4). Defining resilience behaviorally, we might replace ‘adapting well’ with ‘particular patterns of positive behaviors that will persist’ in the presence of behavioral disruptors. Within the context of combat-related trauma, researchers and clinicians have looked to promote resilience as a means of decreasing the risk of soldiers developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We may be able to enhance these efforts by applying a behavior analytic conceptualization of resilience, as it could result in identification of the particular adaptive behaviors (both overt and covert) that must persist in the face of various behavioral disruptors. Presumably, soldiers could then be trained, targeting increases in behavioral resilience through the application of behavior analytic interventions similar to those used to address other behaviors. We will review research targeting increasing resilience, and discuss the potential benefits of a behavior analytic interpretation of resilience within a military context.
 
 
Symposium #482
CE Offered: BACB
Basic and Applied Evaluations in Behavioral Gerontology With Older Adults With Neurocognitive Disorder
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Haley Ciara Hughes (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Andrea Perez, M.A.
Abstract:

As the aging population continues to grow and the prevalence of neurocognitive disorder increases, there is an increased need for behavioral gerontology and opportunities for research with a wide range of empirical questions needing to be answered. This will ultimately inform behavior analytic treatments available and increase the quality of life of older adults diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder (NCD). This symposium includes three talks that will cover wide applications of behavioral gerontology from basic preparations: (a) Stimulus control and Extinction with Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorder: A Basic Research Study, in which researchers will present data from an ongoing evaluation on reinforcement, extinction and stimulus control; (b) Reinforcer Identification Form- a Tool to Identify Preferred Stimuli for Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorder. Researchers will present on the development and use of a tool to assist in the identification of preferred stimuli; and (c) Lounge Layout to Facilitate Communication and Engage People with Dementia, which will expand upon previous literature by demonstrating the importance of living arrangement design and the impact of modifications of those arrangements on older adults’ communication and engagement levels.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

graduate students in behavior analysis, board certified behavior analysts, behavioral gerontology practitioners, behavioral gerontology researchers.

Learning Objectives: 1. Determine the impacts of environmental arrangement on communication and engagement levels with older adults with NCD 2. Identify considerations for stimuli selection to inform treatment for engagement with older adults with NCD 3. Identify how stimulus control and extinction may impact responding for older adults with NCD
 

Stimulus Control and Extinction With Older Adults With Neurocognitive Disorder: A Basic Research Study

(Basic Research)
JORDAN BAILEY (Western Michigan University), Sandra Garcia (Western Michigan University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

The effects of extinction have been demonstrated in community dwelling older adults (Plaud, Plaud, & Duvillard, 1999), but to date, there have been limited empirical demonstrations of the the effects of extinction for older adults with neurocognitive disorder. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine whether withdrawal of a reinforcer from a previously reinforced behavior would result in behavior change for this population. This study extends a study presented last year with the use of a multielement design rather than a reversal. Preferred stimuli (pictures) were identified prior to implementation through use of a preference assessment followed by reinforcer assessment. The effects of the schedules were assessed with a computer program on a tablet PC. Conditions were signaled by the presentation of various shapes along with the buttons. The effects of reinforcement were compared with extinction and/or non-contingent reinforcement schedules. The experimental arrangement consisted of a presentation of two buttons that (a) would activate a preferred picture; (b) produce nothing (in the extinction condition); or (c) produced nothing (but pictures were available on a time-based schedule). These data will be discussed with respect to the implications for both basic and applied research.

 

Reinforcer Identification Form: A Tool to Identify Preferred Stimuli for Older Adults With Neurocognitive Disorder

(Applied Research)
ANDREA PEREZ (Western Michigan University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

An important line of research within behavioral gerontology has been skill acquisition and activity engagement procedures with older adults with neurocognitive disorder. A critical underlying aspect of such work is to ensure that the stimuli that are being used in these procedures are functioning as reinforcers. Currently, research on preference assessments with older adults appears to involve the arbitrary selection of items informed by existing structured, close-ended and non-individualized tools. This approach is problematic because it may lead to the identification and selection of items that may not be preferred by an individual, and can lead to poor programming. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of a new tool, The Reinforcer Identification Form, and to validate the items identified by implementing a stimulus preference assessment and a modified engagement assessment.

 

Lounge Layout to Facilitate Communication and Engagement in People With Dementia

(Applied Research)
REBECCA A SHARP (Bangor University), Emma Williams (Bangor University), Rebecka Rornes (Bangor University), Choo Ying Lau (Bangor University), Carolien Lamers (Bangor University)
Abstract:

Direct measures of indices of happiness, engagement, and communication can serve as proxies for measures of quality of life in people with dementia. The design of care settings for people with dementia is often guided by expert opinion rather than empirical data. We evaluated the effect of arranging lounge furniture in different configurations on communication, engagement with activities, and indices of happiness in people with dementia living on a specialized dementia ward. We found that the common configuration of chairs placed around the outside of the room resulted in the least communication, engagement, and indices of happiness. Communication occurred most when the furniture was arranged in small groups, and engagement occurred most when the furniture was arranged to maximize the salience of the available activities. Our data show that simple antecedent manipulations that do not require extensive staff training or involvement can improve the quality of life of people with dementia in care settings.

 
 
Panel #485
PDS: Master's Done: Get a Job or a Ph.D.?
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Toronto
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ronald Joseph Clark (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment)
LINDA A. LEBLANC (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)
NICHOLAS WEATHERLY (Florida Institute of Technology)
ANSLEY CATHERINE HODGES (Florida Institute of Technology; Nemours Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

So, you've spent the past few years dedicated to developing yourself into the best behavior analyst you can be. You've completed hours and hours of writing papers, supervised practicum, and learning the difference between a mixed and a multiple schedule. Well, you finally did it! You successfully completed your Master's degree (CONGRATULATIONS!). But now what? Is it time to find a job as a BCBA in your local area? Is it possible your next steps might actually be more hours of writing and research labs? If you are unsure of what to do next, this event was inspired with you in mind. This panel is the perfect event to help guide you on what might be the biggest professional decision yet – getting a job as a behavior analyst or pursuing a doctoral degree? We have experts in the field who will be providing insight into the different roles masters and doctorate level personnel play in both the clinical and OBM worlds, as well as the career path for aspiring academics. At the completion of this panel, you will hopefully walk out a little more confident about getting a job or a Ph.D.!

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Development, Doctorate, Masters, Student
 
 
Panel #486
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Diversity submission What’s Culture Got to Do With It?: Essentials of Supervision
Monday, May 27, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Swissôtel, Lucerne Ballroom Level, Lucerne 1/2
Area: PCH; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Shane Spiker, M.S.
Chair: Shane Spiker (Positive Behavior Supports, Corp.)
JENNY PAGAN (BlueSprig Pediatrics)
SABRINA DE LA FE (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
ONAIDA SANCHEZ (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
Abstract:

As our field expands our analysts are exposed to various cultures, including work in international markets as well as diverse populations within our own communities. Because of the diversity of individuals we serve, there is a clear need to begin a discussion about the consideration of ethics when navigating the nuances between cultural norms. In addition, we may be missing the opportunity to support a large portion of the population due to our lack of cultural sensitivities. While this overarching discussion is broad and sometimes difficult to operationally define, there are areas of our practice that we can begin developing to create socially significant changes in the culture of our field. In this panel we would like to address how including multi-cultural competencies in our supervision process are crucial and can develop culturally sensitive practitioners. We would also like to address the ethical dilemmas we come across when working with differing cultures. As we are working in the homes of our clients for months sometimes years, and cultural sensitivity is imperative for programing, training of caregivers, and successfully achieving the client’s ultimate outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This Panel is developed for current Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts.

Learning Objectives: 1) Participants will identify multicultural competencies in behavior analytics. 2) Participants will learn how to navigate difficult cultural challenges in the supervisory role. 3) Participants will learn how to navigate ethics and respecting cultural systems. 4) Participants will learn how to effectively supervise and train their team on cultural competencies
Keyword(s): Culture, Ethics, Supervision, Training
 
 
Panel #508
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Addressing the Global Application of Applied Behavior Analysis: The Expansion of an Orphanage to an Applied Behavior Analysis-Based School in China for Children With Multiple Disabilities
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Cuvee
Area: CSS/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Dorothy Xuan Zhang, Ph.D.
Chair: Dorothy Xuan Zhang (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABA Professional Committee of China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (ABA-CARDP)
JESSICA CALIXTO (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABC Behavior)
HELAYNA BANKS (ABC Behavior)
LEAH JOY MADDOX (ABC Behavior; George Mason University)
Abstract:

There is a call for behavior analysts to research and create adaptations for those with multiple disabilities and impairments in all areas of the world. With growing attention to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as an approach to assist children with disabilities, ABA methodologies are spreading globally. Popular assessments available in the field, however do not adhere to individuals with multiple disabilities and significant impairments. This session will address the challenges encountered by a group of behavior analysts who spent two weeks introducing ABA to an orphanage in Fuzhou, China, that has had no prior exposure to ABA principles. The treatment plans created, incorporated child-specific adaptations for 25 children in the orphanage that are not easily assessed through common modalities. From this trip, it was ascertained that steps would need to be taken to accurately assess the skills and deficits of these children, many of whom were non-verbal, blind, and/or wheelchair bound. Since this experience, the expansion of the orphanage to include a school specializing in ABA has begun. The successes and challenges of creating an ABA school in a novel setting as well as ways to contribute to the school will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

The target audience would be for those interested in continuing their education on the global application of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Learning Objectives: The audience will be able to identify cultural factors that may influence treatment. The audience will gain basic understanding of adaptations possible for children with multiple disabilities and significant impairments. The audience will have an understanding of establishing an ABA-based school in a novel location and global application.
Keyword(s): adaptations, China, global application, multiple disabilities
 
 
Symposium #509
CE Offered: BACB
Filling in the Gaps: Expanding Our Understanding of Automatic or Undifferentiated Functional Analysis Findings for Individuals With Challenging Behavior
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: David R Donnelly (University of Rochester)
CE Instructor: David R Donnelly, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Since first published (Iwata et al., 1982), the process of Functional Analysis (FA) has profoundly changed the process and effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analytical (ABA) treatment for individuals with challenging behaviors. Across ages and diagnoses, ABA has provided empirically validated evidence based treatment for behaviors maintained by attention, escape from demand, or tangibles. Yet in the years that have followed, the identification of automatic (assumed to be sensory) or undifferentiated findings has not kept pace, and this has left Behavior Analysts without a clear approach to treatment. This often results in needing to rely on default technologies that are often controversial, and less effective. In this symposium, we will discuss the potential significance of behavioral history on understanding the individual’s idiosyncratic function(s) of behavior; Looking at biological variables as potential motivating operations in further clarification of the function(s) of behavior; and working toward moving to more environmentally mediated variables informed by fine grained analysis of automatic reinforcement maintaining the behavior. Practical suggestions regarding more effective practice and research to address challenging behavior will be included.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBAs and BCBA-Ds in practice, as well as those providing training for Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: 1) Symposium attendees will be able to identify potential benefits to Functional Analysis from including Behavioral History in their assessment. 2) Symposium attendees will be able to identify potential biological contributors to challenging behavior, as well as treatment approaches incorporating this information. 3)Symposium attendees will be aware of the relationship of scheule of automatic reinforcement, and the potential this information has in providing effective treatment for challenging behavior.
 

Expanding the ‘Standard’ Functional Analysis: The Contribution of Behavioral History to Understanding and Treating Challenging Behavior

(Service Delivery)
DAVID R DONNELLY (University of Rochester)
Abstract:

Each individual’s behavior is a result of their own ontogeny, or individual behavioral history, in the environment(s) where the behavior occurred. The concept that future behavior is influenced by past consequences is a cornerstone of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In assessing the function of present behavior, however, most Functional Analysis (FA) approaches place little or no emphasis on this important source of information. Obtaining a behavioral history can shed light on the potential function of behavior that would otherwise seem to be maintained by sensory or undifferentiated (unknown) reinforcement, but may in fact be maintained by idiosyncratic consequences. This presentation will focus on the process and value of analysis of historical information in developing a hypothesis regarding the function of challenging behavior, which is the purpose behind FA. Application of this process can significantly improve the accuracy of a FA, and potentially give rise to treatment that is more effective.

 
Transfer of Behavioral Function: From Automatic Function to Social Function
(Service Delivery)
ZHICHUN ZHOU (Webster University ), David R Donnelly (University of Rochester)
Abstract: Prior work in the behavioral field has produced four main functions to explain the exhibition of challenging behaviors. Different variations of socially mediated functions and the schedule programming of these social functions have also been discussed in hopes of developing tools to fully analyze behavioral functions, thereby designing and strengthening function-based behavioral interventions. However, the degree of understanding of automatically-maintained challenging behaviors remains at the beginner stage in the field. This presentation will shed light on the topic that has been barely examined by behavioral researchers; namely, the function of the schedule of automatic reinforcement on challenging behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement. The presentation will examine how behavior analysts can program the schedule of social functions to compete the effects of the schedule of automatic reinforcement, in order to gradually transfer the function that is unobservable and unmeasurable to the social function that is observable and measurable. Further, potential behavioral intervention that is based on the schedule of automatic reinforcement will be discussed.
 
Toward a Biological Analysis of Self-Injury: A Critical Review of Behavior Analysts' Methods of Analyzing Automatic Functions of Challenging Behavior
(Theory)
ELIZABETH ANDRESEN (Autism Learning Partners), David R Donnelly (University of Rochester)
Abstract: The field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has greatly progressed since Iwata and colleagues (1982/1994) established a method to analyze and understand challenging behavior with the standard functional analysis (FA). However, behavior analysts still continue to face difficulty when analyzing and treating complex behaviors; particularly self-injurious behavior (SIB) maintained by automatic reinforcement. Automatic reinforcement as we know it is defined by the absence of social reinforcement; however, does this really indicate full understanding? Recent data suggest that treatment for automatic reinforcement, especially when indicated by an undifferentiated FA pattern, is significantly less effective than treatments for socially mediated behaviors (Hagopian, Rooker, & Zarcone, 2015). Additionally, despite a significant literature base supporting biological components of these complex behaviors, little research has been done in this area since the late 20th century, and little has been incorporated into functional analysis methodologies. This presentation will serve as a critical review of the literature analyzing behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement, indicated through functional analysis, citing data from behavior analytic and neurobiological journals. All in all, this presentation will strongly suggest a synthesis of biological and environmental variables when analyzing behavior to promote the most effective treatment.
 
 
Symposium #510
CE Offered: BACB
Aging and the Future: Developmental and Conceptual Analyses
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Genevieve M. DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Frances K. McSweeney (Washington State University)
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The present symposium considers two socially important topics pertinent to behavioral development; aging and planning for the future. The first presentation will focus on aging specifically. In doing so the presentation especially describes the various aspects of aging, both biological and psychological, as well as how cultural factors impact the aging process. The second presentation will focus on planning for the future, highlighting both conceptual and practical implications of this. Moreover, planning for the future will be considered in developmental perspective, and the difficulty associated with planning for the future across the lifespan is considered. This analysis will consider a number of topics, including time, distinguishing the future from the past, rule-governed behavior, and the vast contextual circumstances that impact all behavior. Given all of this, strengths and limitations of common strategies in planning for the future will be considered, and implications for understanding behavior development over time are highlighted.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practicing behavior analysts, researchers, graduate students, those interested in behavioral development and conceptual analysis.

 
The Unbecoming of Age
(Theory)
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Along with changes of a biological sort, and in keeping with them, an individual’s psychological repertoire deteriorates with advancing age. Some changes of the biological sort, such as failing eyesight or hearing loss, may be remediated by eyeglasses or a hearing aid. Bones and joints may be fortified or replaced, and so on. So valuable is the property of youth in culture that the deterioration of biological characteristics is resisted, an intention facilitated by the partially implicit character of perception. And the tendency to resist aging becomes even more pronounced for women who, by virtue of the additional value attached to beauty, aspire to maintain this property in themselves beyond the natural course of its demise. By contrast, the deterioration of the psychological repertoire, as observed in memorial and intellectual difficulties, is not so readily corrected. For the most part, these changes are failures of responding with respect to verbally attributed and substitutive properties of stimuli, coupled with the disruptions to other activities produced by them. This presentation is focused on the psychological aspects of aging including the nature and implications of the repertorial decline, as well as the reasons and means by which it resisted and disguised.
 

Planning for the Future: The Good and the Bad

(Theory)
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract:

As verbal organisms, humans spend a great deal of their time planning for the future. Common sense tells us that this is a good thing, as we may be more prepared for that future when it inevitably arrives. Indeed, developing a general repertoire of planning behavior may be considered a good developmental target during childhood. Of course, the future individuals plan for may or may not ever happen. “Things change”, as the saying goes. One’s behavior is functionally related to number of dynamic factors, it is context dependent. While this is always the case, behavior is increasingly contextual over the course of one’s lifetime. Stimulus functions continue to evolve, and an increasingly large set of setting factors may be present or absent in any given circumstance; planning for the future can become difficult over time. Moreover, such planning may even result in less adaptation to an evolving context. This presentation considers all of this in developmental perspective, while discussing the subject-matter of behavior analysis, the constructs of time and the future, and implications from the literature on rule-governed behavior.

 
 
Panel #513
CE Offered: BACB
A Panel Discussion on the Impact of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Applied Behavior Analysis on Educational Systems
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Fairmont, Third Level, Crystal
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Rose Iovannone, Ph.D.
Chair: Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida/Florida Center for Inclusive Communities)
ASHLEY EDEN GREENWALD (University of Nevada, Reno)
ROBERT F. PUTNAM (May Institute)
JODIE SORACCO (UNR)
Abstract:

This session will be a panel discussion comparing and contrasting the impact School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have had on educational systems. Upon entry into the session, audience members will be provided a polling link, accessible via smart phones, tablets, and computers. The polling link will provide potential questions to which participants can rank order based upon what each attendee considers to be of interest. Additionally, each person can contribute a discussion topic or question for the panelists. The five top ranked questions will be addressed by the panel and an additional three to five questions suggested by participants will be randomly suggested. Questions will be presented by the chair and the panelists will alternate in responding or each be given a chance to respond, depending on the nature of the question. Topics the panel intends to cover during the session through audience questions or pre-organized questions prepared by the discussant include (a) impact on current educational laws and regulations, (b) impact on educational funding and initiatives; (c) impact on implementation of evidence-based practices; (d) impact on building system capacity, and (d) impact on social, emotional, and academic outcomes for all students.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts Graduate Students University Faculty/Staff Educators

Learning Objectives: Participants will: 1. Compare and contrast positive behavior support and behavior analysis contributions to sustainability of implementation of evidence-based practices. 2. Identify how positive behavior support and behavior analysis have contributed to current policies, funding, and research in educational settings. 3. List features of positive behavior support and behavior analysis that are complimentary in improving behaviors of K-12 students.
Keyword(s): behavior supports, capacity building, educational policy, sustainability
 
 
Symposium #514
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Organizational Behavior Management in Autism Service Delivery: A Three Year Review
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Toronto
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Paul Shreiber (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
CE Instructor: Kevin J. Brothers, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In this presentation, we report longitudinal outcomes of two systems-based organizational behavior management strategies to improve staff performance at a private, not-for-profit school for children with autism. Instructional staff at the organization undergo semiannual evaluations assessing clinical and data-analysis skills that directly impact the quality of student outcomes. As a continuing process, the organization’s management team (i.e., classroom supervisors, assistant directors, and executive director) refine measures to increase their sensitivity to specified staff behaviors and permanent products. The longitudinal data presented reflect the effectiveness of this process in improving the quality of staff training over two years as measured via staff’s clinical performance and data notebook assessments. The first part of this presentation will describe the clinical performance evaluation, report related outcome data, and describe organizational strategies for increasing the sensitivity of these evaluation measures. The second part of this presentation will then describe the data notebook evaluation measures and their development, present relevant data, and discuss the relationship between these and third-party reviewers’ findings. In both presentations, the relationship between the time cost and value of these assessments will be discussed in detail.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavioral systems, performance evaluation, staff training
Target Audience:

Directors or assistant directors of private organizations serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder; BCBA Supervisors; individuals coaching staff or parents to deliver autism intervention using applied behavior analysis; organizational behavior management professionals and researchers, especially those in the fields of human services or education.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to name and describe at least four staff performance evaluation measures that contribute to optimal outcomes for learners with autism spectrum disorder. 2. Attendees will be able to provide rationales for the number and specificity of clinical skills evaluated for individuals delivering applied behavior analytic intervention to learners with autism spectrum disorder. 3. Attendees will be able to describe features of data analysis that contribute to an improved rate of skill generalization for learners with autism spectrum disorder.
 
Increasing Sensitivity of Staff Performance Evaluation Measures in Autism Service Delivery
(Service Delivery)
PAUL SHREIBER (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Abstract: This presentation will describe and summarize organizational procedures and outcomes of semiannual clinical skills evaluations. All staff working directly with learners with autism undergo semiannual evaluation of clinical skills from an evaluator who does not directly supervise them. Measures consist of two to five direct observations of three student behaviors, nine staff behaviors, and seven staff behavioral repertoires scored using rating scales. We will discuss efforts to increase the behavioral nature of all measures by transitioning from rating scales to direct observation. Specifically, we will review data from the four most recently-operationalized measures of staff performance (i.e., contingent token delivery, proportion of teaching interactions conducted using errorless teaching procedures, responding to student errors, and prompt fading and/or shaping) alongside student on-task data for the past three years. We will also describe the organization’s decision-making process to add and increase specificity of measures. We will further describe how outcome data describing staff performance are integrated into a comprehensive systems-based approach to organizational behavior management via feedback to staff supervisors and adjustments to training of staff supervisors.
 
Advances in Behavioral Systems to Improve Data Analysis and Generalization of Behavior Change
(Applied Research)
KEVIN J. BROTHERS (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Paul Shreiber (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Abstract: This presentation will describe and summarize organizational procedures and outcomes of annual evaluations of student performance data. In addition to semiannual clinical skills evaluations, permanent products of staff members’ instructional programming and data analysis activities are evaluated annually for all staff working directly with learners with autism. Efficacious programming ideally produces outcomes of rapid, stable behavior change in the desired direction, that maintains over time, serves as a foundation for more sophisticated skills, and generalizes to desired conditions. We will then discuss our operationalization, assessment, and analysis of this via six key permanent product (i.e., the outcomes of staff members’ graphing and record-keeping activities) indicators, with special emphasis on the improvement of generalization outcomes. In addition, we will describe our approach to efficacy assessment as an iterative process. We will further describe the relationship between these outcome measures and those assessed by an outside reviewer not affiliated with the organization. Finally, we will describe our iterative approach to our data-analysis assessment procedures and how this relates to the broader context of organizational management of staff behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #517
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Autism Knows No Borders: The Why and How of World-Wide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom A
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maricarmen Hazoury (Global Autism Project)
Discussant: Noor Younus Syed (Lehigh University Autism Services; Global Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Maricarmen Hazoury, M.S.
Abstract:

There are seventy million people in the world with autism. Eighty five percent of those individuals live in developing countries where awareness, acceptance, and access to resources is minimal. Applied behavior analysis is the scientific approach shown to be most effective in improving the lives of those with these diagnoses. There is a pervasive need to increase the number of people with a clear understanding of ABA and proficiency in using this science to work with individuals with ASD around the world. The need for a sustainable way to increase and improve ABA-based education for individuals will be discussed. The model used by the Global Autism Project will be introduced with data about current partner participation and progress of teachers and students. The concerns and challenges of generalizing the code of ethics and conduct of the BACB to training and supervising individuals in other cultures and countries will be considered.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Dissemination, international ethics, supervision, sustainability
Target Audience:

BCBAs and BCBA-Ds who are training and supervising teachers, RBTs and future BCBAs both within the US and aborad

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will gain an awareness of the awareness, acceptance and services available to those with ASD utilizing ABA around the world. 2.Participants will be able to discuss at least two ethical challenges to disseminating ABA worldwide. 3.Participants will be able to discuss at least 2 fundamental components to supporting the training of ABA providers abroad.
 

The Need for Sustainable Worldwide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis

(Service Delivery)
AMREEN PANJWANI (Autism Spectrum Therapies; The Global Autism Project)
Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses appear across all ages, genders, and races. Unfortunately, there are minimal services for individuals with ASD as a result of insufficient resources, awareness, and understanding in many countries in the world. Often individuals with ASD will be considered a safety concern or ineducable which restricts their access to social environments and without an opportunity to learn social significant behaviors that would improve their lives. In other situations, centers and schools are being created in some places with little to no expertise in working with the autistic population or the principles of applied behavior analysis. As Board Certified Behavior Analysts and other experts reach out to help, many challenges and concerns have been discovered. There is an essential need for ongoing assessment towards this goal to ensure independence and sustainability with ABA teaching practices. Further, statistics about the need in various parts of the world, some of the challenges that have been faced by communities that lack expertise on teaching individuals with autism, as well as ideas on how to spread awareness, support, and training to the people in these communities will be explored.

 

The Ethical Challenges of Worldwide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis

(Service Delivery)
ASHLEY HOGAN (Autism Behavior Consulting Group)
Abstract:

Give a person a fish, they eat for the day; teach them to fish and they are fed for a lifetime. In 1987, the UN Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The same is true for international service provision. Doing for others does not help them in the long run. Whether it is attempting to support a struggling country, working with a child with autism, or training an educator to use ABA principles, the goal should always be independence. The Global Autism Project’s mission is to promote acceptance and integration worldwide by training communities in culturally relevant, sustainable practices. This is accomplished by empowering and engaging local people for lasting change in the acceptance of those with autism until there are local credentialed behaviour analysts with the skills necessary to be able to provide clinically sound services. As effective administrators they can then effectively disseminate ABA to their local community and larger geographic region. The challenges of adhering to the BACB Professional and Ethics Compliance Code across countries and cultures will be reviewed.

 

A Model for Sustainable Applied Behavior Analysis Training Where it is Needed Most

(Service Delivery)
CHERYL LYNN GENIESSE (Autism Spectrum Therapies; The Global Autism Project)
Abstract:

There are many training models for international dissemination. The Global Autism Project employs a model rooted in sustainability where the not-for-profit organization will invest in a partnership with an international service provider committed to using the principles of applied behavior analysis. As a partner, the Global Autism Project will provide 3 two-week training trips a year as well as a weekly telehealth call, with a BCBA, to provide ongoing individualized recommendations based on the needs of the partner site. Our sites progress is captured on an internally developed assessment measuring centre-wide level of achievement and data is also collected on weekly telehealth supervision engagement (e.g., completion of assignments, attendance, and “spotchecks”). A report is given after every two-week trip which outlines goals to be accomplished, mastery criteria, and sustainable method for maintenance. In addition, The Global Autism Project works to establish more BCBAs world-wide through creation of alternate pathways in established universities and having our partners establish practicum sites in partnership with the universities promoting sustainable ABA services in the country. Data from some current partner sites will be discussed.

 
A Movement for Change at Home and Abroad: The SkillCorps® Experience
(Service Delivery)
MEGAN HECHLER (Impacting Autism, LLC; Global Autism Project)
Abstract: Hands-on training and support is a key component to any successful training model, including training professionals and parents in the use of applied behavior analysis. Part of the sustainability model of the Global Autism Project ensured this face to face interaction through teams of SkillCorps® volunteers. SkillCorps® team members have expertise working with individuals with autism as Board Certified Behavior Analysts®, Registered Behavior Technicians®, teachers, speech and language pathologists, and other related service providers. These teams collaborate with the on-going clinical supervisor for each partner site to determine necessary goals to focus on as the partners move towards independence. This is not only an opportunity for growth for teachers at the partner site but for team members themselves. The techniques for ensuring independence and maintenance of skills are imperative for teachers as well as their students. The SkillCorps® experience allows volunteers to collaborate with other professionals from different backgrounds and cultures to disseminate best practices for ABA around the world and continue to learn, grow and contribute to the field even after they return home. One SkillCorps® member’s experience will be discussed, as well as feedback from other members and participants at partner sites.
 
 
Symposium #518
CE Offered: BACB
Comprehensive Implementation of Matrix Training in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention: Results of Complex Generative Language Matrix Program at the Lovaas Institute Midwest
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Jane S. Howard (Therapeutic Pathways/The Kendall Centers)
CE Instructor: Jane S. Howard, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In comprehensive treatment of autism, generative language matrix performance is being developed in a coherent conceptual framework, enabling the organizational management of productive treatment planning, trouble-shooting, and program evaluation. A four-dimensional matrix of social language skills is used to design an overall generative process of language development. The matrix of skills is addressed across generalization modalities, syntax forms, conditional discriminations, and functional communicative relationships. After generative receptive and expressive skills are developed in single-term modes, recombinative generalization is developed through matrix training; folloed by recombinative generalization in comprehension and creative language production matrix training. The organization of the language curriculum is used to control the pacing of both language and related social skills in a systematic manner, in order to result in optimal acceleration. Three studies will present data obtained from children in EIBI over the entire scope and sequence of the language matrix system.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): dynamic programming, generative programming, matrix training, recombinative generalization
Target Audience:

Practitioners of EIBI; Academic Faculty

 

A Comparison of Generative Language Matrix Training Sequences in Young Children With Autism

(Service Delivery)
THOMAS D. R. CURRIER (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Amy Sippl (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

In intensive early intervention, a basic programming question often is: “how many exemplars should be taught in each program?” In the overall course of comprehensive treatment for autism, behavior therapy is initiated by establishing expressive and receptive single-term labels/tacts. Treatment is continued until the various terms of a sentence become generative response classes. Then matrix training of the individual terms is continued until recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations are established. Recombinative matrix generalization is a special form of generative response classes. Finally, more complex and abstract comprehension modes are established and training continued until the comprehension forms become recombinative and generalized. Thus the answer to the initial question is that all programs are taught until the exemplars become generative. It is suggested that behavior therapy may more readily progress through higher levels of complexity when thee lower levels are taught until they meet generative criteria. In this investigation, clinical data on two young children’s performances with language matrix programming are presented. A multiple baseline within-subject design including systematic language matrix teaching and probes for generalization was used to document the development of generative response classes and recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations. The progress of each child was individualized according to their baseline levels, and rates of acquisition. The systematic matrix training resulted in development of generative single-term response classes, recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations. Generalization was programmed across different stimulus and response modes (e.g., receptive, expressive, written, comprehension) and taught across different sentence terms (e.g. subjects, actions, adjectives, prepositions). Individual programs were taught until generalization occurred to the first presentation of a novel recombination of exemplars embedded with novel distractors.

 

Generative Language Matrix Training With a Young Child With Autism

(Service Delivery)
GAIL H. QUINN (The Lovaas Institute Midwest), Charryse Fouquette Luckey (Lovaas Institute Midwest; St. Cloud State University), Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

In the overall course of comprehensive treatment for autism, behavior therapy is initiated by establishing expressive and receptive single-term labels/tacts. Treatment is continued until the various terms of a sentence become generative response classes. Then matrix training of the individual terms is continued until recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations are established. Recombinative matrix generalization is a special form of generative response classes. Finally, more complex and abstract comprehension modes are established and training continued until the comprehension forms become recombinative and generalized. It is suggested that behavior therapy may more readily progress through higher levels of complexity when thee lower levels are taught until they meet generative criteria. In this investigation, clinical data on a young child’s performances with language matrix programming are presented. A multiple baseline within-subject design including systematic language matrix teaching and probes for generalization was used to document the development of generative response classes and recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations. The systematic matrix training resulted in development of generative single-term response classes, recombinative multiple-term conditional discriminations. Generalization was programmed across different stimulus and response modes (e.g., receptive, expressive, written, comprehension) and taught across different sentence terms (e.g. subjects, actions, adjectives, prepositions). Individual programs were taught until generalization occurred to the first presentation of a novel recombination of exemplars embedded with novel distractors.

 

Programming for Advanced Social Comprehension Skills Within the Language Matrix Curriculum

(Service Delivery)
ANGELA BROWN (The Lovaas Institute), Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Keene & Larsson (2013) presented a study of training of social comprehension that utilized multiple exemplars to develop generative social comprehension in children with autism. This extension of that study provides further data to show how the generative social comprehension followed prerequisite recombinative generalization through matrix training, and then itself consisted of recombinative generalization. A multiple probe design across five common childhood social concepts (e.g., sharing) was employed for each of the three children who participated in this study. Probes were conducted on the first presentation of novel children’s books as stimuli and the proportion of correct responses to the questions was measured. Training on each social concept continued until a generative mastery criterion was met in which the child responded correctly to at least 14 out of 16 questions on three consecutive novel books. The results showed that all of the children were able to answer an increasing proportion of the questions correctly to novel children’s books as stimuli. Generalization probes across untrained in-vivo social scenarios were also assessed. The children responded to a high percentage of novel questions regarding the social scenarios. In this present extension, data will be presented which shows the sequence of matrix training that preceded the implementation of social comprehension programming, and conclusions will be offered on the appropriate scope and sequence of matrix training curriculums.

 

Managing the Implementation of Generative Language Matrix Programs Within a Comprehensive Treatment System for Autism

(Service Delivery)
CHARRYSE FOUQUETTE LUCKEY (Lovaas Institute Midwest; St. Cloud State University), Lisa Barsness (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Bethani J. Burggraff (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Erin Dietz (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest)
Abstract:

Luckey, Pelletier, Miller, & Larsson (2013) presented the methods and outcomes of the implementation of systematic dynamic programming in a EIBI setting. The present study will present a replication and extension of that study, by demonstrating the use of dynamic programming to manage the implementation of matrix training in a comprehensive treatment program for autism. The use of organizational behavior management is critical to ensuring that all children are receiving the most effective matrix programming, and that treatment is optimally accelerated. Overall program evaluation data will be presented on 54 children undergoing generative language matrix programming in EIBI for autism. In addition, specific within-subject controlled studies of the treatment team performance with two children will show the effects of a system for management of clinical outcomes. During baseline, common non-dynamic management systems were in place to manage the children's language matrix programs. The clinical management system, known as Dynamic Programming was introduced via a multiple baseline design across children. Dynamic Programming is an intervention package that includes: (a) therapist self-monitoring while teaching new program exemplars, (b) therapist public posting of child mastery, (c) probes of child behavior to confirm generative mastery of matrix training, (d) dynamic adjustment of daily treatment targets based upon performance, and (e) dynamic adjustment of monthly objectives criteria based upon performance data. Results suggest that the children's rate of acquisition of generative language was accelerated through the implementation of Dynamic Programming.

 
 
Symposium #520
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
The Right to Effective Treatment in the Crosshairs: Massachusetts Versus Judge Rotenberg Center
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 1/2
Area: CBM/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: W. Joseph Wyatt (Marshall University)
Discussant: W. Joseph Wyatt (Marshall University)
CE Instructor: W. Joseph Wyatt, Please Select...
Abstract:

Within a treatment/educational program that is highly positive, is there a place for use of aversives if that mode of treatment advances a client toward his or her full potential and optimizes the client’s quality of life? Is there a small population of clients for whom aversive stimulation falls within the individual’s right to effective treatment? This symposium will examine these issues as they played out in a recent legal case in Massachusetts. The presentations include a review of the research, how aversives (including relevant safeguards) fit into an otherwise highly positive program at the Judge Rotenberg Center and the role of media on public perceptions of JRC. Testimony of experts and legal tactics in the case will reviewed as well. The symposium will show how, following a 44 day trial that included dozens of witnesses and hundreds of pages of exhibits, a judge concluded that there is a place for ethical use of aversives. A parent will describe the impact of aversive programming on the dangerous behaviors, and on the life prospects, of his adult child.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: The target audience includes graduate students and their professors, professionals who work with clients who exhibit dangerous behaviors or who plan to do so.
Learning Objectives: 1. Acquisition of knowledge of the pros and cons of the use of aversives. 2. Understanding of the ethical issues involved. 3. Working knowledge of the Judge Rotenberg Center's model review process for use of aversives.
 

The Science Informing the Standard of Care for Treating Severe Behavior Disorders

(Service Delivery)
NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

In 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) filed a motion to vacate a settlement agreement that allowed the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) to use a skin shock device (the Graduated Electronic Decelerator (GED)), approved by the Massachusetts Probate Court on a case-by-case basis, to treat individuals with severe problem behaviors. To support the motion, DDS initially claimed that positive behavior supports rendered punishment procedures unnecessary. Later, DDS provided expert testimony that psychotropic medications combined with positive behavior supports were sufficiently effective to treat severe problem behaviors. On the other hand, JRC argued that despite the advances in psychopharmacology and behavior analysis, some individuals continued to require treatment that included the GED. Over the course of 44 trial days, hundreds of scientific articles were offered to the court and critically examined by lawyers and experts on both sides. Here, the process of presenting and critiquing the literature pertaining to severe problem behaviors is discussed using transcripts from the trial.

 

“Bad Faith”: The State of Massachusetts Versus the Judge Rotenberg Center

(Service Delivery)
W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract:

In a recent court case, a Massachusetts judge undertook a thorough review of the use of an aversive stimulation method (skin shock) at the Judge Rotenberg Center, the only treatment center in the U.S. to use the controversial method. This presentation will review the judge’s findings after a thorough review of the evidence, pro and con. The judge also described included numerous acts of “bad faith” by individuals within the State Department of Developmental Services in its efforts to undermine and prevent effective treatment at JRC. The presentation will address ethical issues including the likelihood of a future of institutionalization, lived out on high doses of medications that include deleterious side effects, is preferable to the thoughtful and ethical use of aversive stimulation when that treatment modality is carefully and minimally used within a treatment program that is overwhelmingly positive. Is a two-second shock, although painful, an ethical treatment if it opens the door to a life of education, community outings, employment and a quality of life that previously could not have been imagined? Ethics of the use of skin shock will be discussed and audience participation is encouraged.

 

The Effects of Negative Media on a Residential Treatment Center for Students With Severe Behaviors

(Service Delivery)
GLENDA CROOKES (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

Since the mid-1980's, the Judge Rotenberg Center has been embroiled in controversy that more often than not has been misrepresented by the media. For decades, we have been fighting for the right to effective treatment as well as parents’ rights to recommend what they feel is the most effective, least restrictive treatment for their children. Often the media have responded to outcries from well-intentioned but misguided individuals who have never worked with clients who exhibit high rates of behaviors that are dangerous to themselves and/or to others. Moreover, those who have most harshly criticized the use of aversives at JRC have refused to visit the Center even when invited to do so. Despite the progress made and the dramatic improvement in many clients’ quality of life, the media has portrayed what happens at the center in a negative light. This presentation will discuss the ramifications of the negative media, including protests, serious threats, and proposed regulatory changes.

 

My Child’s Experience at the Judge Rotenberg Center: His History, Behaviors, and How Aversives Changed Everything

(Service Delivery)
Glenda Crookes (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), NICK LOWTHER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

This parental presentation will trace the history of a child whose high rates of extremely dangerous behaviors had resulted in his placement in, and eventual expulsion from, a number of well-respected residential placements wherein the best efforts of professionals had failed to eliminate or significantly reduce those behaviors. Several of the behaviors were life-threatening and had resulted in extreme, though necessary, restrictions on quality of life. The earlier placements had involved long-term physical restraints as well as heavy doses of psychotropic medications that produced unhealthy side-effects. After several months at the Judge Rotenberg Center during which only positive techniques were employed, there had been little improvement in the dangerous behaviors. Ultimately, I was approached about the use of aversive stimulation, skin shock, with my child. This presentation will review the behaviors, earlier failed efforts to address them, the decision-making process regarding aversives, the treatment and the outcome relative to the dangerous behaviors along with resultant changes in my child’s quality of life and potential

 
 
Symposium #532
Developments of Highest Behavioral Developmental Stages in the Model of Hierarchical Complexity
Monday, May 27, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Montreux 1-3
Area: DEV/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Simran Trisal Malhotra (Dare Association)
Abstract:

This symposium presents developments in the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC) and what underlies the order of tasks corresponding to stages of development. The MHC is a neo-Piagetian, non-mentalistic model of developmental stages based on the hierarchical complexity of a behavioral task. A task at a higher order of complexity: 1) is defined in terms of two or more tasks at the next lower order of Hierarchical Complexity; 2) the higher order task organizes the less complex actions from the adjacent lower order actions; and 3) the lower order tasks have to be carried out non-arbitrarily. An individual is said to “be” at a developmental stage when they successfully solve the task of that order. The first paper discusses the Paradigmatic Stage 14, defined in terms of two metasystems forming a new paradigm and the Cross-Paradigmatic Stage 15, defined with actions that fit paradigms together to form new fields to reflect a coherent set of assumptions. The second paper identifies the Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Stage 16 as the mapping and coordination of two cross-paradigms. The third paper introduces the existence of stage 17 with discussions on the continuation of stage sequence and the future of advanced stage development.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): behavioral-developmental stages, MHC, quantitative BA, stage development
 
The Paradigmatic and the Cross-Paradigmatic Orders and Stages of the Model of Hierarchical Complexity
(Theory)
Cory Barker (Antioch University), PATRICE MARIE MILLER (Salem State University)
Abstract: At the Paradigmatic Stage 14, one understands the impossibility of making metasystems (stage 13) work because there are too many considerations that make the metasystems either inconsistent or incomplete. Paradigmatic actions fit metasystems together to form new paradigms. Such actions work with the relationship between very large and often disparate bodies of knowledge in order to reflect on, compare, contrast, transform, and synthesize multiple principles and metasystems. In a domain, the transition into the paradigmatic stage may happen if the highest stage task is showing that metasystems are incomplete and adding to them creates inconsistencies. No further stages in that domain on that sequence are then possible (Sonnert & Commons, 1994). Similarly, a cross-paradigm is a systematized set of relations among paradigms that reflects a coherent set of assumptions. Cross-paradigmatic actions of order 15 fit paradigms together to form new fields. They form new fields by crossing paradigms or integrating paradigms into a new field or profoundly transforming an old paradigm. This coordination of Stage 14 paradigms may also be done in order to show it is impossible to coordinate such paradigms, hence the development of the cross-paradigmatic stage 15. The paper presents definitions, descriptions, and applications for the two orders and corresponding stages.
 

The Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Order and Stage 16

(Theory)
Olivia Kjorlien (Harvard University), WILLIAM JOSEPH HARRIGAN (Harvard Extension School), Michael Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract:

The Model of Hierarchical Complexity has identified orders and their corresponding stages through Order 16. There are examples, descriptions, and definitions of the Orders of Hierarchical Complexity through Order 15. Any order of complexity, n, operates on tasks performed at the n-1 order of complexity by coordinating them. By this logic, if cross-paradigms from Order 15 are coordinated, Order 16 is formed. Therefore, Stage 16 must exist and it can be named and defined. To date, the discourse provides empirical evidence for Order 16. For example – no cross paradigmatic solution works, they are either incomplete or inconsistent. Quarks are bound together by particles, as the universe expands, do protons and electrons fall apart? However, Stage 16 has now been named and defined as The Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Order 16. This paper discusses examples for this order and corresponding stage. In particular, examples that map Order 15 paradigms of Physical Science and Order 15 Behavioral Science onto one another.

 
The Ultra Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Order and Stage 17
(Theory)
MICHAEL MARIE COMMONS (Harvard Medical School)
Abstract: Behavior can be analyzed by the difficulty of tasks that an individual successfully addresses and the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC) attempts to score these tasks into behavioral-developmental stages. Following Dawn Ellen Schrader’s Law (1990), in order to score a stage, one has to be one stage higher than the stage one is scoring. Commons and Kjorlien (2017) explain the characteristics of the Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Stage 16, showing the problems with the Cross-Paradigmatic Stage 15. It suggested a solution. In order to come up with the scoring and properties of Stage 16, Commons, hence, has to be operating at Stage 17. This paper is an introduction to explaining the transition from Stage 16 to the Ultra Meta-Cross-Paradigmatic Stage 17. With this, there is hope to have further knowledge about stage 17, as its existence has now shown. The development of a higher stage is imminent because Stage 16 fails as we do not know what questions to ask and what phenomena to observe. This paper also discusses the critical question about if the stage sequence will ever end and the future of advanced MHC stage developments.
 
 
Symposium #535
CE Offered: BACB
Why and How Behavior Analysis Can Use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Disseminate Applied Behavior Analysis.
Monday, May 27, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Swissôtel, Lucerne Ballroom Level, Lucerne 1/2
Area: PCH/DEV; Domain: Translational
Chair: Katherine J. Saint (Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Discussant: Brad Brezinski (Florida Institute of Technology, Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program )
CE Instructor: Katherine J. Saint, M.A.
Abstract:

The dissemination of Behavior Analysis is vital to spreading the impact of behavior analytic strategies. Applied Behavior Analysis is best known for its work with Autism but can be useful in any domain. Dixon (2018) reports that in order to spread Behavior Analysis’ impact the field needs to offer technology that is useful and does not include jargon that is unapproachable to people outside the field. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy meets this criteria and has already been accepted in many fields. For example it’s use for behavioral improvement, medical conditions and staff training has been published in approximately 99 academic journals. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is based in Relational Frame Theory which has been accepted in the behavior analytic research for over 30 years. Other behavior analytic strategies support the processes of Acceptance and Commitment therapy such as motivating operations, contingency awareness training, and strategies to address the impact of delayed discounting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT, RFT
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts and other practitioners

Learning Objectives: 1. Learners will identify the principles of Behavior Analysis used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. 2. Learners will identify application methods of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 3. Learners will identify the history and previous application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as the domains in which it is currently being used.
 
How Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Behavior Analysis are Compatible
(Theory)
KATHERINE J. SAINT (Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract: The mission of Behavior Analysis is to save the world. Dixon (2018) stated that the field has not yet reached this lofty goal created by B.F. Skinner in 1982. Dixon challenges Behavior Analysts to evaluate their own behavior to identify why there hasn’t been a bigger impact. Two examples of obstacles in the dissemination of Behavior Analysis include the amount of work Behavior Analysis has done with Autism and the language that Behavior Analysts use. Because of the amount of attention Behavior Analysis has gotten from the work in Autism treatment many people do not realize Behavior Analysis can be useful in other areas. Additionally people have a hard time implementing Behavior Analytic strategies because they do not understand the field’s jargon. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a potential solution to these obstacles. Lack of education on how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy uses Behavior Analytic principles may be limiting its expansion into mainstream Behavior Analytic practice. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy addresses the jargon barrier of the dissemination of Behavior Analysis and the misconception about Behavior Analysis only addressing Autism services because it uses everyday language and has already been accepted in many fields. Step one of addressing the barrier of using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a dissemination tool is educating Behavior Analysts on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, its uses and its application.
 
Application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
(Service Delivery)
BRAD BREZINSKI (Florida Institute of Technology, Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program )
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be a useful tool for spreading Behavior Analysis. As of October 2018, ACT has been published in 99 journals according Web of Science (2018). These journals include but are not limited to the fields of Behavior Analysis, psychology, OBM, drug and alcohol abuse, sports, forensics, education, and medical fields. PsychInfo lists 1303 peer reviewed articles when searching “acceptance and commitment therapy”. Proquest lists 547 articles, PubMed lists 739 articles and Web of science lists 965 articles. Behavior Analysis is often thought of as only Autism treatment but ACT heavily demonstrates that Behavior Analysis is effective with many populations. Of the peer reviewed articles on ACT, more than 20 mental health diagnoses were addressed, more than 30 medical diagnoses were treated, relationship problems were resolved, attrition was reduced, therapy compliance was increased, extreme drug use was reduced, and behavior problems were eliminated. ACT has been shown to be effective for all ages. Medical doctors are often a referral source and much of the research on ACT includes pain management and other medical diagnoses. Because ACT is accepted by the medical field Behavior Analysts could use it as a referral source by using ACT in behavioral treatment. ACT is also useful to Behavior Analysts for staff training. ACT is accepted in Behavior Analysis because of its roots in Relational Frame Theory and other Behavior Analytic strategies. Because ACT is also accepted by many fields Behavior Analysts educating others on ACT and using act is a useful tool to help spread the use of Behavior Analysis and could potentially open up more funding sources for Behavior Analysis.
 
 
Symposium #537
Consumer Behavior Analysis: Health, Technology and Behavior Science
Monday, May 27, 2019
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Toronto
Area: OBM/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University)
Discussant: Gordon R. Foxall (Cardiff University; University of Reykjavik)
Abstract:

Consumer behavior analysis draws on behavior analysis, behavioral ecology, behavioral economics, and marketing science to further enhance the understanding of all aspects of consumption. New technologies such as in-store analytics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), customer feedback software tools, and targeted, measurable, and interactive digital media are not only changing the face of the retail landscape, but they also provide an untapped opportunity for health promotion. It is therefore safe to conclude that the world is experiencing a new emphasis on objectivity and interventions through technological innovations, analytics, and the proliferation of behavioral data. This “digital revolution” has strengthened the explanations relying on the environment-behavior interactions via technology and experimentation. In this symposium, we will discuss recent theoretical developments and empirical analyses related to how consumers adapt to a highly competitive economic environment; the grocery store. The symposium starts with a paper on connecting consumer laboratory conjoint analysis and in-store experiments for healthy food promotion. The second paper continues within the same theme of consumer/in-store studies by showcasing research combining retail analytics and consumer environmental rating. The third study goes back to the behavioral laboratory and investigates the connection between healthy food labels and consumer food choices using a within-subject experimental design. The symposium concludes with a novel study introducing healthy food innovation and focuses on how Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology influences healthy choice in the grocery setting.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Consumer behavior, Healthy behavior, Healthy interventions, Technology
 

Crowning the Customer: Consumer Laboratory and In-Store Experiments for Healthy Food Promotion

(Applied Research)
VALDIMAR SIGURDSSON (Reykjavik University), Nils Magne Larsen (UiT-The Artic University of Norway), Joseph Gallogly (Reykjavik University), Vishnu Menon (Massey University; Reykjavik University), Asle Fagerstrøm (Kristiania University College )
Abstract:

“When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king,” said John Wanamaker, a merchant and a pioneer in marketing. However compelling that slogan was, in truth the money in retail mostly resides in trade and promotional allowances from brand suppliers. As opposed to this situation, the current paper strives to arrange the environmental conditions serving the needs of the consumer. This is done by formulating the consumer problem with the aid of a few relevant and actionable attributes. Example of these are prices, consumer ratings, brand recommendations and placements, tested both in the consumer laboratory, as well as in the store so that people can make better decisions for their long-term well-being (longer, later rewards). The paper presents the methodology and findings from a few conjoint studies and in-store experiments aimed at health promotion. Of particular interest is the link between these two approaches to behavior science – that is, trying to increase the correlation between findings from hypothetical conjoint studies and in-store experiments. In this regard, we manipulate similar stimuli on both venues with the aim of increasing the predictive validity of conjoint studies.

 

What Gets Measured Gets Managed: Retail Analytics, Environmental Rating, and In-Store Experiments for Healthy Food Promotion

(Applied Research)
Nils Larsen (UiT-The Artic University of Norway), VALDIMAR SIGURDSSON (Reykjavik University), Jørgen Breivik (UiT-The Artic University of Norway)
Abstract:

Some scholars have described current consumer environments as obesogenic in nature and defined it as the sum of influences that the surroundings, opportunities, or condition of life have on promoting unhealthy consumption (Lake and Townshend, 2006). Wansink (2016) also refers to the hospitable environment, and the mindless buying and eating and tries to empower consumers by offering them rating scales for different food environments. The current research applies such environmental operationalization from the standpoint of one of the founders of modern management, Peter Drucker, famous for his quote “what gets measured gets managed.” The current research used rating scales and the recent advancements in in-store tracking technologies and examined 635 shopping trips derived from a major retail chain, based on a systematic sampling approach. The behavior analysis explored the buying behavior in different areas of the store (e.g., the fruit and vegetable section), from the healthiest to the unhealthiest - as judged by a consumer panel using systematic rating scales. From this we generated a health index (where shopping the healthiest area received the highest score etc.) and then we modelled this index as a function of several physical (e.g., time of day, week and month) and social stimuli (e.g., conversations and phone calls in the store) present to the consumer at the point of purchase, as well as we studied the effects of consumer effort (e.g., number of meters walked and time in the store) and rule-governance (presence of a shopping list). The contribution includes shedding a light on previously undetected and measured in-store behavior, and its functional relationship. This is important from the standpoint of further in-store experimentation, as well as it creates the possibility for some new and important stimuli for healthy food promotion and aid for self-control – health index for stores and store areas.

 

Consumer Choice of Healthy Food: Heuristic Effects of Healthy Food Labels

(Applied Research)
ASLE FAGERSTRØM (Kristiania University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Philip Richartz (University of South-Eastern Norway), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University)
Abstract:

A within-subject experiment design aimed to identify whether participants rely on heuristics when making a series of choices of healthy food. Determining whether healthy food labels bias their choice under these conditions was of particular interest. Results (n=30) showed that participants tend to develop a heuristic in a series of healthy food choices. For some participants, healthy food labels do to some extent influenced them into making biased choices. These results reveal that consumers do find comparing healthiness of products tedious and rely on heuristics when making a choice. However, the use of healthy food labels specifically as a heuristic cue is minimal when other objective cues are available. Policymakers should attempt to marketing healthy food labels to increase trust and improve its effectiveness as a health cue, eliminating the consumer’s need for nutrition comparisons between products.

 
The Relative Impact of Internet of Things Mediated Stimuli on Healthy Food Choice
(Applied Research)
VISHNU MENON (Massey University; Reykjavik University), Niklas Eriksson (Arcada University of Applied Sciences), Asle Fagerstrøm (Kristiania University College), Valdimar Sigurdsson (Reykjavik University)
Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) presents an opportunity for retailers to develop an environment that makes physical things such as mobile phone, shopping basket, store shelves, digital display, and even the product itself smart, allowing real-time interaction with customers. This study aims to expand understanding of how IoT can influence healthy choice in the grocery choice situation. To investigate the impact of IoT mediated stimuli, we arranged a conjoint experiment in which participants purchased a healthier frozen pizza in a grocery store using a smartphone app. Findings from the study will be discussed in relation to how IoT mediated stimuli can influence consumers’ healthy food choice. This study contributes both to researchers and managers who want to understand how IoT technology influence consumers’ in the grocery choice situation.
 
 
Panel #538
CE Offered: BACB
Should We Be Selling Out and Commercializing Our Science?: The Stories of PECs, PEAK, and Chartlytics
Monday, May 27, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Matthew Cicoria, M.S.
Chair: Matthew Cicoria (Positive Behavioral Outcomes, LLC)
MARK R. DIXON (Southern Illinois University)
RICHARD M. KUBINA (Penn State)
Abstract:

Research in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis has advanced over the last few decades. Despite our technological advancements, and the increases in certified professionals (BACB, 2018); the dissemination of effective procedures has not been widespread amongst front line workers, schools and service providers. Sharing the effective technologies from our research needs to be at the frontline of our dissemination efforts. The following talk describes the various efforts taken to disseminate effective technologies of the science of behavior through various commercial processes. The use of cutting edge technology and curriculum based programming in disseminating the science of Behavior Analysis will be discussed by this panel.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified individuals, Behavior Analysts in training, teachers, school administrators, and other practitioners.

Learning Objectives: BACB
Keyword(s): Autism, Behavior Analysis, Dissemination, Evidence Based
 
 
Symposium #544
Interventions in Cultural Phenomena: Metacontingencies With Altruistic Punishment, Common-Pool Resources and Endemic Disease
Monday, May 27, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich E-G
Area: EAB/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sigrid S. Glenn (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Maria E. Malott (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Abstract:

This symposium presents three experiments that uses games in order to strengthen cultural practices and the transmission and recurrence of interlocking behavior contingencies and aggregated products. The first study investigated the effect of metacontingencies on altruistic punishment. Children in pairs should agree on punish distributions of tokens made by fictional characters. The results showed effects of individual and cultural consequences on altruistic behavior, and justice judgments. The second study investigated the effects of bonus and penalties on choices related to the use of common-pool resources in Commons Dilemma Game. The results suggest that penalties favor optimal consumption early in the game, while in control and bonuses conditions the participants adopted a competitive strategy. In the third study, the board game “Nossa Turma Contra a Dengue” (Our gangue against Dengue) was developed to strengthen verbal and nonverbal dengue prevention behaviors. The results indicate that the championship was effective in promoting dengue prevention behaviors.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Games, Metacontingency, Positive Reinforce, Punishment
 

Altruistic Punishment and Metacontingency With Children

(Basic Research)
MARESSA PRISCILA NEGRÃO CARDOSO BRAGA (Universidade de Brasília ), Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB))
Abstract:

Altruistic Punishment is a social phenomenon that selects and maintains cooperation between genetically unrelated people in single interactions, therefore without possibility of reciprocity and minimal or absent reputation gains. Metacontingency is a unit of analysis of cultural phenomena, and describes a functional relationship between recurring interlocking behavioral contingencies resulting in an aggregate product and a selecting environment. This study aimed to investigate metacontingencies in the game of altruistic punishment with 20 pairs of children between 9 and 11, who evaluated fictional characters’ behaviors. Experimental design was ABCBAC, and communication was allowed during sessions. Conditions A were baseline. In Conditions B, points were given to the punishment of equal distributions between characters or non-punishment of unequal distributions. Conversely, in Conditions C, to the punishment of unequal distributions and non-punishment of equal ones. Verbal behaviors were recorded in order to identify accurate contingency descriptions and mythology. The main results indicated that accurate rules and communication contributed to the selection of distinct aggregated products in Conditions B and C. Moreover, some children refused to punish equal distributions.

 

Survival and Competition in the Commons Dilemma Game: Effects of Differential Consequences on Resource Allocation

(Basic Research)
JULIO CAMARGO (Federal University of São Carlos), Michael Young (Kansas State University), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

Previous research using a video game preparation for investigating the effects of differential consequences on the use of common-pool resources revealed promising results. The game simulates an ocean fishery in which participants need to catch fish to stay “alive,” while it is necessary to save resources shared with two non-playable characters (NPCs). Participants who received extra points following moderate consumption (Bonuses condition) and participants who lost points following overconsumption (Penalties condition) needed fewer attempts than control participants to acquire optimal consumption strategies and complete the game successfully. For the present study, participants and NPCs could explicitly compete for the same resource, and participants were able to grab and release fish back into the ocean to avoid competitors’ responses. Participants were 78 college students, distributed in the same three conditions than previous research (i.e., Control, Bonuses, and Penalties). Unlike the previous study, results did not reveal a differential effect of the consequences on the number of attempts to complete the game. A detailed analysis showed that participants in Penalties conditions reached an optimal consumption early in the game, while participants in Control and Bonuses conditions readily adopted a competitive strategy, performing an increased rate of release responses.

 
Prevention of Dengue Fever: Effects of Participation in an Educational Game Championship
(Applied Research)
Aline Nascimento (Universidade Estadual de Londrina), Elizeu Batista Borloti (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo - Brazil), VERONICA BENDER HAYDU (Universidade Estadual de Londrina)
Abstract: Dengue virus infection cases are a major concern in Brazil. Behavior analysis studies allow the establishment of strategies to teach behaviors to prevent dengue fever. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the participation of students in a championship with the Nossa Turma Contra a Dengue board game (which teaches dengue prevention rules) on verbal and nonverbal dengue prevention behaviors. Sixteen students participated in the championship. Both before and after the board game, the participants individually carried out a Practical Evaluation Activity (preventive actions to control the proliferation of dengue), answered a questionnaire about the rules on the prevention of dengue fever, and played an adapted version of the Tapa Certo® game. After the championship, 12 of 16 participants increased their score in the Practical Evaluation Activity and 9 out of 16 increased their scores in the evaluation using the Tapa Certo® game. However only one participant increased their questionnaire score in relation to the Pre-Intervention Test, in which overall scores of the 16 participants were high (86%). We suggest that participation in the championship was effective in promoting dengue fever prevention behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #545
Risky Business: An Experimental Analysis of Gambling
Monday, May 27, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich BC
Area: EAB/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ryan C. Speelman (Pittsburg State University)
Abstract: Today gambling is a fairly ubiquitous legalized past time. Though many gamble without taking critical risks, numerous empirical questions remain as to why some develop an addiction while others do not. In addition, non-pathological gambling remains a socially relevant behavior of interest given the number of individuals who engage in this behavior. This symposium aims to identify game mechanisms, learning histories, and contextual influences that contribute to momentary impulsivity or pathological gambling. The first talk examines the influence of accurate rules on superstition and choice. Findings indicate educating recreational gamblers regarding true probabilities following initial play reduced superstitious beliefs and improved performance on choice outcomes. Our second study investigated the role of contextual influences on recreational and at risk gamblers finding that both populations made riskier bets and were less responsive to increased response costs (cover charge, chip price) when exposed to gambling cues. The last study experimentally evoked resurgence using compound schedules for both at risk and recreational populations. Results illustrate the role of resurgence and heightened potential for relapse for at risk populations. Together these studies systematically bring us closer to a comprehensive account of gambling behavior, as well as highlight relevant variables for treatment providers.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): economics, gambling, resurgence, superstition
 
Blackjack Player Choice, Superstition, and Calculated Odds of Winning
(Basic Research)
GRIFFIN D. WILLIAMS (Pittsburg State University), Ryan C. Speelman (Pittsburg State University)
Abstract: Superstitious beliefs often interfere with proper strategy and, at extremes, contribute to problem gambling. The current experiment analyzed choice behavior in the context of blackjack, the associated odds produced by these choices, and the influence of accurate rules (instructions) regarding gameplay and superstition. Results found that novice players deviate significantly from optimal strategy and the adjusted payout rates change as a function of this deviation. We found a typical player’s choice significantly increased predicted losses when compared to the odds and anticipated outcomes commonly advertised by the gaming industry. Following the initial self-reported strategy, participants viewed a video that addressed common misconceptions about gambling e.g., “It is good advice to stay in the same seat when I am winning,” the chance nature of gambling, as well as strategy and choice behavior that does affect odds. Following instruction, self-reported measures of superstition and illusion of control decreased while player choice and overall odds of winning improved. Educating individuals on effective use of strategy and expected outcomes may improve gameplay as well as reduce the role of superstition, inaccurate rules, and contextual variables that contribute to problem or pathological gambling.
 
A Behavioral Economic Analysis Towards Cue-Elicited Exposure on Gambling Cravings
(Basic Research)
VANSHIKA GUPTA (Saint Louis University), Tyler S Glassford (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Current research on resurgence has yet to identify resurgence of gambling behaviors, which are maintained on compound schedules utilizing punishment and reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to determine a method to evoke resurgence of gambling. Two groups of subjects, at-risk for gambling disorder and not at-risk, completed a simulated gambling activity in which they were staked with 1,000 credits. During the activity two response options were available; a gambling response which was associated with a 1 credit response cost, and a 1 in 8 chance of winning 10 or 3 credits, and an alternative response was associated with a 1 in 8 chance of earning 1 credit. Following a pre-training phase, participants were exposed to three phases. During the first phase, participants were reinforced for responding on the gambling response, while during phase two the alternative response was reinforced. The final phase placed both responses on extinction. Results of the study demonstrate that there is a significant difference in the magnitude of resurgence between groups. These findings suggest that the resurgence phenomenon is more pronounced initially for individuals at-risk for gambling disorder and may be more prone to relapse.
 
Exploring Resurgence of Gambling
(Basic Research)
TYLER S GLASSFORD (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Current research on resurgence has yet to identify resurgence of gambling behaviors, which are maintained on compound schedules utilizing punishment and reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to determine a method to evoke resurgence of gambling. Two groups of subjects, at-risk for gambling disorder and not at-risk, completed a simulated gambling activity in which they were staked with 1,000 credits. During the activity two response options were available; a gambling response which was associated with a 1 credit response cost, and a 1 in 8 chance of winning 10 or 3 credits, and an alternative response was associated with a 1 in 8 chance of earning 1 credit. Following a pre-training phase, participants were exposed to three phases. During the first phase, participants were reinforced for responding on the gambling response, while during phase two the alternative response was reinforced. The final phase placed both responses on extinction. Results of the study demonstrate that there is a significant difference in the magnitude of resurgence between groups. These findings suggest that the resurgence phenomenon is more pronounced initially for individuals at-risk for gambling disorder and may be more prone to relapse.
 

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