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.

47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Program by : Saturday, May 29, 2021


 

Symposium #14
CE Offered: BACB
Lessons Learned from Telehealth Direct Therapy and Implications for Practice
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher Miyake (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
CE Instructor: Karen Nohelty, M.Ed.
Abstract: With the implementation of stay at home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the occurrence of telehealth direct therapy sessions dramatically increased. While these services were largely provided to fulfill a specific need during the pandemic, clear benefits to telehealth direct therapy have emerged that indicate this method of service delivery should continue to be explored and provided outside of pandemic-related situations. As direct services continue to be provided via telehealth, it is critical to examine them further, in order to ensure that they are of high quality as limited research has been conducted to date on direct services provided via telehealth. In the first talk, a literature review on strategies for rapport and implications for telehealth direct therapy sessions will be discussed. Next, the results from a study demonstrating the effectiveness of telehealth direct therapy will be shared. Finally, a measure to assess treatment integrity of telehealth direct therapy sessions will be described.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): engagement, rapport, telehealth, treatment integrity
Target Audience: The target audience include a variety of levels of ABA practitioners, including BCBAs and BCaBAs.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to identify at least 3 strategies to build rapport during a telehealth direct therapy session. 2. Participants will be able to summarize the evidence surrounding effectiveness of telehealth direct therapy. 3. Participants will be able to identify 7 critical components for assessing treatment integrity of telehealth direct therapy sessions.
 
Importance of Rapport in Telehealth Direct Therapy
(Theory)
CHRISTOPHER MIYAKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: The delivery of telehealth direct therapy to individuals with autism spectrum disorder provides many benefits but also introduces potential hurdles. Whether delivered in-person or via telehealth direct sessions, patient engagement and assent are critical components of any therapy session. However, telehealth direct sessions have placed an increased role on establishing rapport between clinicians and patients as patients can more easily escape interactions with clinicians by simply closing an application or leaving an area. Thus, a clinician must rely on techniques and procedures that increase social approach and a patient's desire to engage with them during sessions. Research has shown that taking the time to build rapport can increase social approach and decrease challenging behavior during the implementation of in-person therapy sessions. While more research needs to be done on the effects of rapport building on telehealth sessions, this review examines the current research on techniques and procedures and provides suggestions on how they can be utilized in the context of telehealth direct sessions.
 

Effectiveness of Telehealth Direct Therapy for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
LEAH HIRSCHFELD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Casey Brown Bradford (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Christopher Miyake (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract:

In order to maintain ethical obligations, behavior analysts must ensure the treatment they provide to patients is effective. While research has demonstrated that applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy provided over telehealth modalities is effective for clinical supervision and caregiver consultation, there is limited research on the effectiveness of ABA over telehealth directly to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study utilized natural environment teaching and discrete trial training procedures provided over a videoconferencing platform to teach new skills directly to eight individuals, between 4 and 16 years old, with a primary diagnosis of ASD. Skills were taught directly to each individual solely over the videoconferencing platform in a multiple baseline research design. Skills taught were in the language, adaptive, and social domains. All eight individuals acquired mastery for all targets. Additionally, generalization was assessed to caregivers for some targets and findings are discussed. Results suggest that ABA provided over telehealth directly to the patient is a modality that is effective and can be considered for all patients when assessing the appropriate location of treatment.

 

Ensuring Telehealth Direct Therapy is Provided With Integrity

(Service Delivery)
KAREN NOHELTY (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Leah Hirschfeld (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Christopher Miyake (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract:

As telehealth direct therapy is increasingly provided to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, it is critical to ensure that the intervention is provided with integrity. Not only is this central in ensuring services are of a high quality; measuring integrity is also a necessary part of meeting ethical practice requirements. The telehealth therapy treatment integrity measure (TTTIM) includes seven sections that address various aspects of a telehealth direct therapy session: 1) caregiver engagement and support, 2) planning, 3) patient engagement, 4) downtime, 5) behavior intervention plan, 6) skill acquisition, and 7) data collection. Each section includes items that specify critical behaviors the behavior technician (BT) should implement. Items specify behaviors that are telehealth specific as well as behaviors that require generalization of an existing BT skill set to the videoconferencing platform. A description of the TTTIM and strategies for implementation will be discussed. The TTTIM provides an initial definition of behaviors a BT should implement during a telehealth direct therapy session in order to ensure they are providing quality services within their scope of competence.

 
 
Symposium #24
How to Think About Time
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: PCH/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Elizabeth Kyonka (California State University - East Bay)
Abstract: How do behavior analysts think about time and timing, and how does that thinking influence our science and practice? Three presentations will discuss different areas of contemporary interval timing research and explore some possible implications for how behavior analysts should think about time. Many factors can affect the rate at which time seems to pass. For example, sometimes time seems to drag for people engaged in repetitive tasks. Could this subjective slowing account for systematic changes in delay discounting that occur within experimental sessions? Duration discrimination and motivation to respond both involve hippocampal function, and both impact the distribution of responses in time. Can investigating interactions between timing and motivation in behavioral experiments help behavioral neuroscientists to disambiguate the underlying neurobiological processes? Why is there seemingly so much laboratory research on interval timing in behavior analysis, and comparatively little interval timing research in applied settings? This discrepancy may be real, or it might be an artefact of differences in terminology. Regardless, what might be gained by addressing the apparent discrepancy and how might behavior analysts begin to do so?
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): hippocampus, interval timing, temporal bisection, translational research
 
Delay Discounting and Temporal Bisection: When People Are Less Willing to Wait Does Time Subjectively Drag?
(Basic Research)
ANNE C. MACASKILL (Victoria University of Wellington), Kate Witt (Victoria University of Wellington), Maree J. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: People often choose a smaller reward now over a larger reward later, and are even more likely to do this when they have to wait for the larger reward. To study this we ask people to make choices like whether to watch five seconds of a funny video now or wait for 15 seconds and then watch 10 seconds of video. Across several experiments in our lab people have become more impulsive during an hour- long experimental session. On the first trial they might opt to wait for 10 seconds, but on the 30th trial they are no longer willing to wait. We wondered: is that because time starts to drag as the session wears on? To test this, we had participants complete a temporal bisection task three times during the session. In this task, participants learn to classify a two-second stimulus as “short” and a four-second stimulus as “long” and then classify intermediate stimuli (e.g three seconds) without feedback. There was no change across the session in participants’ subjective time perception even while willingness to wait decreased. In a second experiment we removed forced-choice trials that reminded participants of the trained durations; the pattern of results replicated. It remains unclear why participants make more impulsive choices later in the session, and why this order effect is in the opposite direction to that seen in other kinds of delay-amount trade-off tasks.
 

Isolating Temporal Control in Long-Interval Timing Tasks: Implications for Research on Hippocampal Function

(Basic Research)
TANYA GUPTA (Arizona State University), Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
Abstract:

Differential responding to long intervals—i.e., long-interval timing—requires a functional hippocampus (HPC). However, reduced timing capacity in HPC-lesioned animals performing timing tasks is complicated by ostensible motivational effects which arise from the delay-to-reward imposed by interval timing tasks, as well as overlap between timed and non-timed responses. To address these concerns, two adjustments to long-interval timing tasks are proposed. First, subjects should be afforded with reinforced non-timing behaviors concurrent with timing. Second, subjects should initiate the onset of timed stimuli. Under these conditions, interference by extraneous behavior would be detected in the rate of concurrent non-timing behaviors, and changes in motivation would be detected in the rate at which timed stimuli are initiated. In a task with these characteristics, rats initiated a concurrent fixed-interval (FI) random-ratio (RR) schedule of reinforcement. Changes in schedule requirements affected the rate of initiating responses and the timing of changeovers, but reduced reinforcer efficacy, via pre-session feeding, only affected the former. A similar task using concurrent FI FI schedules revealed the effects of chronic variable stress—which reliably impacts hippocampal function—on motivation and interval timing.

 
The Untapped Translational Potential of Interval Timing Research
(Theory)
ELIZABETH KYONKA (California State University - East Bay), Shrinidhi Subramaniam (California State University, Stanislaus)
Abstract: Discovering ways that responses unfold in time has been an objective of the experimental analysis of behavior since its inception. Laboratory experimental analyses of behavior frequently address interval timing. Using temporal bisection tasks, fixed intervals, differential reinforcement of low rate and variations of those schedules, behavior analysts and others have characterized some of the ways that contingencies temporally regulate behavior. Interval timing research has provided an empirical foundation for the development of behavioral theories of timing and served as common ground between behavior analysts and scientists with other perspectives. Curiously, the subject of interval timing has attracted relatively little attention in applied settings. This disparity may have been established by historical limitations in available technology, but those limitations do not persist. This presentation will explore some perceived barriers to conducting research on the temporal characteristics of operant behavior outside of operant conditioning laboratories, outline the value of doing so, and imagine some first steps for tapping the translational potential of interval timing research.
 
 
Symposium #32
CE Offered: BACB
Further Evaluation of Telehealth Services: Parent-Implemented Functional Analysis and Functional Communication Training
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
CE Instructor: Leslie Neely, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavior analytic interventions delivered via telehealth have undergone a number of experimental evaluations with evidence supporting the use of telehealth to reduce problem behavior and increase functional communication. This symposium presents the results of four studies, conducted across three different research labs, evaluating innovations in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior via telehealth with a focus on parent-implemented assessments and interventions. The symposium will begin with a brief literature review focused on the evidence supporting functional assessment and function-based treatment delivered via telehealth (Talk 1). Researchers will then present advances in assessment including results from a brief functional analysis delivered via telehealth (Talk 2) and telehealth-mediated functional communication training conducted internationally with families in Asia (Talk 3). Author(s) also demonstrate the generalizability of functional communication training beyond training contexts (Talk 4). Finally, as a leader in this area of behavior analysis, Dr. Jennifer McComas, will discuss the studies, findings, and implications for research and practice.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): challenging behavior, functional assessment, functional-communication training, telehealth
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) state at least 1 consideration when implementing a brief functional analysis via telehealth; (2) state the evidence supporting the relative effects of an FA versus brief observations when conducting FCT via telehealth; (3) state the evidence regarding the acceptability of the telehealth modality when extended to families in Asia; (3) state 2 practices for promoting generalization of skill via telehealth modality; (4) state 2 considerations for including telehealth as part of the continuum of ABA services; (5) state 2 considerations for future telehealth research.
 

Functional Assessment and Function-Based Treatment Delivered via Telehealth: A Brief Summary

(Service Delivery)
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 health crisis, behavior analysts are considering how best to support families while maintaining services and ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved. Telehealth is one service delivery option that provides families with access to care in their own communities and homes. This presentation will review the findings of Schieltz and Wacker (2020) by providing a brief review of the behavior analytic telehealth literature in applied behavior analysis that provided coaching and training to families for individuals who displayed challenging behavior. These studies targeted functional assessment and function-based treatment for challenging behavior. Specifically, we will briefly summarize what is known relative to the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior via telehealth, place these results within a descriptive context of the decisions made by our research team, and discuss what we, as behavior analysts, should consider next to advance our understanding and practice of telehealth.

 
Conducting Brief Functional Analysis via Telehealth Technology
(Applied Research)
STEPHANIE GEROW (Baylor University), Supriya Radhakrishnan (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Jacqueline Zambrano (Baylor University), Suzannah Avery (Baylor University), David Sottile (Baylor University)
Abstract: Many children have do not have access to ABA services due to geographic distance from a provider. Telehealth technology can increase children’s access to effective interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of parent-implemented brief functional analysis and additional assessments as needed, with coaching delivered via telehealth. Seven children with autism, age 3 to 11 years old, and their parents participated in the study. Parents conducted a brief functional analysis, followed by additional assessments as needed, with coaching provided by a researcher via telehealth. Following the functional analysis, the parent implemented a function-based intervention. The efficacy of the function-based intervention was evaluated using a reversal design for four participants. Implications for practice and directions for future research will be discussed.
 

Coaching Parents in Asian Countries to Implement Functional Analysis and Functional Communication Training

(Applied Research)
DIEU TRUONG (University of Houston), Loukia Tsami (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Ning Chen (University of Houston Clear Lake )
Abstract:

Interventions combining functional analysis (FA) and functional communication training (FCT) are effective in mitigating socially maintained problem behaviors. Recent studies evaluating the effectiveness of using telehealth to train caregivers across large geographical distances in the United States (Wacker et al., 2016) and internationally (Tsami & Lerman, 2019) indicate that this modality can increase families’ accessibility to evidence-based interventions for problem behavior, such as FCT. Additionally, the telehealth model reduces service costs while maintaining caregiver procedural integrity (Ferguson et al., 2018). Providing these services to international families might decrease barriers to effective treatment and promote parental well- being (e.g., reduce stress and depression; Frantz et al., 2018). In this study, practitioners and interpreters in the United States remotely coached six caregivers of children with autism residing in two countries in Asia (i.e., Pakistan and Vietnam) to implement FA and FCT. All children reached the 90% reduction of problem behavior criterion and acquired the communicative response. Additionally, all caregivers indicated that the procedures were acceptable. The impact of training on levels of parenting stress, psychological distress, and self- efficacy also will be discussed. Overall, our findings suggest telehealth is a feasible modality for service delivery in Asia.

 

The Generalized Effects of Functional Communication Training for Young Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
MATTHEW O'BRIEN (The University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Nicole Hendrix (Emory University), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Loukia Tsami (University of Houston Clear Lake), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-established treatment for problem behavior in young children with autism (National Autism Center, 2015; Wong et al., 2014). Parent-mediated FCT delivered in the home, but facilitated by therapists through telehealth is an effective approach that extends the treatment model into a natural context (Lindgren et al., 2016). Despite an extensive literature base supporting FCT, little is known about the generalized effects of FCT outside of the training context. In this study, generalization of treatment effects were evaluated as part of a large multi-site study on parent-delivered FCT for children with autism using telehealth. To meet this purpose, data were collected from pre- and post-treatment parent ratings of targeted and non-targeted problem behavior in settings and contexts outside of the training conditions. Results suggest that the effects of FCT may extend beyond the behaviors and contexts targeted for treatment. Possible reasons for successful generalization, implications for practice, and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #35
CE Offered: BACB
Using Interteaching Online: Research and Practice
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Catherine M. Gayman (Troy University)
Discussant: James L. Soldner (University of Massachusetts Boston)
CE Instructor: Catherine M. Gayman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Studies on interteaching have shown that it leads to higher exam scores, more positive course evaluations, and increased levels of student participation in class. Most interteaching research has been conducted in traditional face-to-face classes, thus there is a need to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach in online learning environments. The first presenter will acquaint the audience with interteaching and discuss results of a literature review summarizing the published research that has evaluated interteaching in an online environment. The second presenter will describe results of a study which evaluated the effect of adding cumulative exams to the interteaching method in an online asynchronous class. The third presenter will highlight the findings of a study on the effect of instructor presence on student engagement during online synchronous interteaching discussions. The final presenter will review the interteaching literature related to the effect of different components of interteaching on student outcome, and include a tutorial on how to implement components of interteaching in an online classroom. Together, these four presentations illustrate current online interteaching research and practice in higher education.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): higher education, interteaching, online, pedagogy
Target Audience:

Academics, supervisors, and teachers.

Learning Objectives: After attending this symposium, participants should be able to: 1) Identify and describe the basic components of interteaching; 2) Describe the few studies that have evaluated interteaching in an online format; 3) Summarize the main findings of a study investigating adding frequent cumulative exams to interteaching; 4) Summarize the main findings of a study evaluating instructor interaction during interteaching discussions; 4) Explain how to implement components of interteaching in an online classroom
 
Interteaching on the ‘Net: A Review of Research on the Viability and Effectiveness of Interteach in Online University Instruction
(Basic Research)
JENNIFER LYNN HILTON (Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Jessika Tucker (University of Kansas)
Abstract: With the world pivoting to remote/online instruction, effective teaching is more important than ever. A behavioral analysis of teaching and learning has revealed principles and strategies that are causally related to effective instruction. One behavioral instructional package is Interteach, a set of procedures employed to promote student interaction, exposure to the material, and cooperative learning. This strategy has been used at the undergraduate and graduate level, and across content area. Robust research literature exists showing Interteach causally related to improved learning outcomes. The purpose of this presentation is to review the literature published using Interteach in college-level remote online classes to evaluate the extent to which the application of Interteach met the components of the Interteach method originally described by Boyce and Hineline (2002). A literature search was conducted to identify studies in peer reviewed journals. Only experimental studies were reviewed and rated against the list of components of the original Interteach method. Results showed that the original Interteach methodology has rarely been used by researchers evaluating the Interteach approach. Results will be discussed in terms of the validity of the Interteach method, the potential flexibility of this approach, and recommendations for researching Interteach in the future.
 
Improving Interteaching by Adding Frequent Cumulative Exams
(Applied Research)
CATHERINE M. GAYMAN (Troy University), Stephanie Jimenez (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown), Stephany Hammock (Troy University), Sherwhonda Taylor (Troy University)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the effect of using cumulative versus noncumulative exams in two nine-week online asynchronous classes. Participants were undergraduate students enrolled in one of two sections of a psychology of learning course (N = 77). The study used a group design, in which one section of the course used cumulative weekly exams, whereas the second section of the course used weekly chapter exams. Results showed that cumulative final exam scores were significantly higher after students had been taking cumulative exams all term, which suggests that combining cumulative exams with interteaching improves long-term retention of information. Students in the noncumulative section of the course reported higher ratings when asked if they crammed for the final exam and they rated the overall quality of interteaching components lower. Overall, the present findings suggest that cumulative weekly exams can increase the effectiveness of interteaching.
 

Does Instructor Presence Facilitate or Hinder Discussion During Online Synchronous Interteaching Sessions?

(Applied Research)
CHRISTINE HOFFNER BARTHOLD (George Mason University), Julie Shank (George Mason University), Wejdan Al-Samawi (George Mason University), Engie Martin (George Mason University), Katrina Woods (George Mason University)
Abstract:

The present study is an extension of the previous study presented at ABAI International in 2019. The investigators looked at the effects of instructor presence on student engagement in an online graduate behavior analysis class. Student engagement and instructor presence were evaluated in an interteaching environment. Interteaching is an approach which incorporates engagement between at least two students and/or student with faculty to improve learning and increase fluency of definitions and class material (Boyce & Hineline, 2002). In this study, participants were assigned to groups based on availability and given weekly preparation guides, composed by the instructor, to answer collaboratively and subsequently submit for further clarification. Student engagement and instructor presence were recorded using partial-interval recording and a modified alternating treatments design.

 

“Now What?!” Adaptations of Interteaching to Online Settings: A Tutorial and Ideas for Research

(Basic Research)
CAMILO HURTADO PARRADO (Troy University & Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria), Lucia Medina (Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz, Colombia.), Julian Cifuentes (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. ), Nicole Pfaller-Sadovsky (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

Interteaching is a behavioral instruction method that departs from the traditional lecture format in College settings (Boyce & Hineline, 2002). Though previous research has consistently supported its effectiveness (Querol et al., 2015; Saville et al., 2011; Sturmey et al., 2015), a recent meta-analysis (Hurtado-Parrado et al., under review) found that less than 5% of published studies reported implementation of interteaching in online settings (synchronous or asynchronous). The dramatic increase in remote teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic has required instructors to adjust their methods accordingly, including those implementing in-person interteaching. The experience of adapting interteaching to synchronous and asynchronous online instruction will be described. While doing so, data related to different components of interteaching and their relation to students’ performance will be discussed, with an emphasis on the relationship between Preparatory Guides (10-15 questions of varying complexity based on the course readings) and Discussions (students peer review the Preparatory Guides of other students). Preliminary data show that scores on Preparatory Guides and Discussions significantly predict 44% of the variance in Quiz scores. A related mediation analysis (Hayes, 2013 - Model 4) indicates that the relationship between Preparatory Guides and Quiz scores is significantly mediated by Discussions (95% CI [.1038, 1.3795]).

 
 
Symposium #45
CE Offered: BACB
Project ECHO: Implementing Family Support Using a State-of-the-Art Teleheath Service Delivery Model
Saturday, May 29, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Katherine Bateman (University of Washington)
CE Instructor: Katherine Bateman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The ECHO- Education: Autism model utilizes videoconferencing technology to simultaneously connect parents, caregivers, and family members (known as the ‘spokes’) to an inter-disciplinary panel of university-based specialists (known as the ‘hub’) in regularly scheduled sessions. These professional learning opportunities are grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and family support, seeking to provide families with the support necessary to decrease child engagement in challenging behavior, while increasing access to systems of care. This model seeks to increase collaboration and support among caregivers across the country, especially in areas that may have limited access to these resources. Measures of efficacy of the implementation of the ECHO model include positive child and caregiver outcomes, as well as development of a community of support for caregivers navigating similar experiences. This symposium will discuss three different ECHO networks focused on providing caregiver coaching and support for families of children with autism and other related disabilities. Further, implementation of this model at the University of Washington, the University of Virginia, and University of Wyoming will be presented and discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Challenging Behavior, Family Support, Parent Coaching, Teleheath
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts providing parent coaching and caregiver/family support to families of children diagnosed with disabilities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe the Project ECHO service delivery model, understand the importance of family and caregiver support for challenging behavior, and clearly identify variables that affect sustainable family support in delivery of Applied Behavior Analysis.
 
University of Washington ECHO for Families
(Service Delivery)
KATHERINE BATEMAN (University of Washington), Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington)
Abstract: Challenging behaviors are identified as one of the primary concerns for home, early intervention, school, and community settings for children with disabilities. Children who demonstrate challenging behavior in preschool and early elementary years are more likely to later develop social and academic issues and have limited access to education in the Least Restrictive Environment. To address challenging behavior in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, effective and sustainable interventions are needed. One approach to increasing access to intervention is teaching parents and caregivers to serve as implementers of interventions developed to decrease challenging behaviors at home. Parents are key stakeholders of intervention, as they are a consistent presence in their child’s life. This presentation shares a coordinated parent education and support program to aide in implementation of strategies rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis to address children’s challenging behavior. Results demonstrated a reduction in challenging behavior and increase in prosocial behavior. Additionally, data indicated positive associated outcomes related to reductions of parent stress levels, as well as improved family quality of life, and development of a strong community of support.
 
University of Virginia ECHO for Caregivers
(Applied Research)
ROSE NEVILL (University of Virginia), Gail Lovette (University of Virginia), Katherine Bateman (University of Washington), Genevieve Bohac (University of Virginia), Karen Orlando (University of Virginia), Keith Page (University of Virginia)
Abstract: Children with developmental delays (DD) are particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes associated with social distancing (Eshraghi et al., 2020) and isolation required in order to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) (CDC, 2020). The caregivers, educators, and behavioral therapists of children with DD are also vulnerable to compounded negative effects associated with supporting their children during school closures while also navigating new, untested methods of receiving virtual services and support. The purpose of this project is to implement and evaluate an innovative, virtual, and no-cost collaboration and learning model, ECHO in Education, to improve the ability of caregivers and school-based personnel to support students with DD who are currently experiencing difficulty accessing and providing educational and intervention supports during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are primary caregivers and educators of children with developmental delays from across the United States. Caregivers and educators were delivered a combination of case-based problem solving and workshops through separate networks. Data collection was comprised of pre- and post test measures of participants’ behavioral knowledge, self-efficacy, beliefs about behavior, empowerment, and emotional reactions to challenging behavior, on average. Post-test social validity measures will also be shared. Below are average pre-test scores for our first cohort.
 
University of Wyoming ECHO for Families
(Service Delivery)
ERIC MOODY (University of Wyoming), Wendy Warren (University of Wyoming), Canyon Hardesty (University of Wyoming), Rachel Freedman (University of Wyoming)
Abstract: Wyoming is a large western state with pervasive healthcare shortages, including a lack of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). As of October 2020, there are only 22 BCBAs in Wyoming, and many families reside in frontier communities where in-person Applied Behavior Analysis services are not available. Given these barriers to accessing services, it is imperative to develop innovative solutions to support children with autism. The University of Wyoming ECHO for Families network was developed in 2018. This network teaches parents to navigate systems of education and healthcare while maximizing their child’s progress. Each session includes a brief didactic training and a case presentation delivered via teleconferencing technology. Initial data suggest that participation in the ECHO for Families increases parents’ implementation of evidence-based practices, which promotes the development of adaptive skills. Further, due to the delivery model, ECHO is able to reach even the most remote communities. Data on the first two years of implementation will be discussed, noting the large geographic reach, increase in participant knowledge, and satisfaction with the model. Therefore, ECHO for Families is a highly effective tool to improve access to best practices for increasing adaptive skills and effective behavior management for families in remote areas.
 
 
Symposium #60
CE Offered: BACB
Preference and Reinforcer Assessments in Domestic and Captive Animals
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mindy Waite (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee)
Discussant: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom and University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Andrew Bulla, Ph.D.
Abstract: Domesticated or captive wild animals often require behavioral interventions to address problem behaviors or acquire skills to thrive in their human-derived environments. These behavioral interventions typically include reinforcement procedures in order to meet ethical guidelines and also maximize procedure efficacy. Use of reinforcement procedures requires identifying appropriate and efficacious reinforcers, yet the efficacy of specific consequences may be unique across species and even across individuals within a species. Therefore, preference and reinforcer assessments should be performed across different species, settings, and individuals. However, these assessments have been tested across relatively few species and contexts. The studies in this symposium sought to develop and test preference and reinforcer assessments across various species. The first two studies tested whether preference assessments can inform environmental enrichment programs for loggerhead sea turtles and Bengal tigers. The third study tested a simple, owner-implemented food preference assessment for companion canines. The fourth study tested whether the efficacy of reinforcers for dogs in the form of petting is a function of reinforcer duration. The applications for animal welfare will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): animals, choice, individual preferences, preference assessment
Target Audience: The audience should already have a basic understanding of behavior principles and behavior analytic applications. This will assist them in understanding the importance of preference and reinforcer assessments, as well as the methodology itself.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the importance of preference and reinforcer assessments for animal behavior modification practice; (2) identify how preference assessments can be applied to various species and different putative reinforcers; (3) identify how reinforcer assessments can be applied to dogs and petting as a putative reinforcer.
 

Exploring the Effects of Preference Assessment Outcomes on Environmental Enrichment Devices With Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta)

(Applied Research)
ANDREW BULLA (Georgia Southern University - Armstrong ), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Erin Frick (Eckard College)
Abstract:

Being confined with inadequacy to explore may cause animals housed in managed-care facilities to engage in stereotypic behaviors. Stereotypic behaviors often include pacing, random motor behaviors, or any repetitive behavior without any apparent goal. Enrichment devices prove to be one solution that may help increase the quality of life for animals in managed care. Environmental enrichment provides non-human organisms opportunities to engage in adaptive behaviors and may improve their well-being, however the exposure and enrichment animals receive in the wild can be difficult to replicate. In the current study, we used the results of food and color preference assessments to create individualized enrichment devices. Researchers used highly preferred food in enrichment devices based on the most and least preferred colors of the loggerhead seat turtle. An alternating treatment design was used to assess the effects of each device on stereotypic and adaptive behaviors. Results and implications for practice will be discussed.

 
Making a Tiger’s Day: Free-Operant Assessment and Environmental Enrichment to Improve the Daily Lives of Captive Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris)
(Applied Research)
Trista Shrock (Missouri State University), MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Missouri State University)
Abstract: There are more captive tigers in the United States than there are wild tigers in the entire world. Many animals under human care engage in problem behaviors such as excessive grooming and aggression, although the origin of these behaviors is typically unknown. Environmental enrichment may mitigate these issues in captive animals of all kinds. In order to individualize enrichment experiences, the current study used a free-operant assessment procedure to establish a menu of most preferred play items and scents among seven Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) housed at a sanctuary in southwest Missouri. Each tiger was tested three times with scents (cinnamon and Calvin Klein Obsession perfume) and play items (boxes, balls, leaves, and pumpkins). The importance of rigorous assessment of presumed reinforcers among captive wild animals, as well as the difficulty of effectively assessing tigers while ensuring the safety of both the participants and researchers, is discussed.
 
Simple Food Preference Assessments for Companion Dogs
(Applied Research)
MINDY WAITE (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: Preference assessments determine relative rankings among a variety of putative reinforcers. As a result, preference assessments are often used with humans to identify highly preferred items to include in behavioral interventions. Although many owners of companion dogs program food as a reinforcer during training, few determine their selection of putative reinforcers from formal preference assessments, potentially because existing preference assessments for dogs may be too complex or problematic for the typical owner. The purpose of this study was to test the validity, duration, and owner integrity of a simple, owner-implemented paired-stimulus preference assessment for companion dogs. Results suggest the paired-stimulus preference assessment protocol was able to establish relative rankings across various foods for individual dogs. The relative reinforcing efficacy of items identified from the paired-stimulus preference assessment was supported by secondary comparisons of the high- and low-ranked foods using a progressive ratio schedule. Further, owners were able to implement the protocol after a brief virtual demonstration, suggesting the protocol may be simple enough to be widely applied by dog owners and professionals.
 
A Parametric Analysis of the Duration of Petting as a Reinforcer for Shelter Dog Behavior
(Applied Research)
ARIELLE BRIANNA HEGR (California State University - Fresno), Steven W. Payne (California State University, Fresno), Dolly Mizner Stiles (California State University, Fresno )
Abstract: Previous research has indicated that petting dogs in the absence of food reinforcers can be effective for teaching new skills. However, the most effective duration of petting is not clear. It is important for animal shelter staff to be aware of the most efficient duration of petting to increase desirable behavior in dogs because 1) petting dogs is more cost effective than using edible reinforcers and 2) dogs may be more likely to be adopted if they exhibit desirable behaviors. Using a reversal design, eight dogs of varying breeds and ages at a local animal shelter served as subjects in which the efficacy of different durations of petting as reinforcers for a simple operant response were compared. Following baseline, the conditions included petting for durations of 5 s, 20 s, and 1 min for each response. Overall, results indicate that there may be individual preferences for dogs when receiving different lengths of attention. However, all dogs responded more frequently during all attention conditions relative to baseline, suggesting that even low durations of petting may serve as reinforcers for low-effort behaviors. Implications of these results will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #62
CE Offered: BACB
Emergent Responding: Recent Advances and Future Directions
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maria Clara Cordeiro (Marquette University)
Discussant: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Caio F. Miguel, Ph.D.
Abstract: The current symposium provides a discussion of research studies aimed at producing generative responding, including evaluations of multiple exemplar training, instructive feedback, and matrix training. The first paper will present a study that compared the efficacy and efficiency of serial multiple exemplar training, concurrent multiple exemplar training, and instructive feedback for producing the generalization of tacts of various stimuli types with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The second paper will present a study that assessed recombinative generalization with novel combinations of abstract stimuli by programming specific training histories for undergraduate students during matrix training. The third paper will present a study that taught who, what, and where intraverbal-tacts using matrix training and evaluated the efficacy of matrix training, and evaluated the efficacy of matrix training across two matrices. The fourth paper will present a study that evaluated the efficacy and efficiency of incorporating instructive feedback within matrix training to teach children with autism spectrum disorder to label objects and adjectives.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Generative Responding, Instructive Feedback, Matrix Training, Multiple Exemplars
Target Audience: The target audience is professionals and researchers in behavior analysis
Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe a variety of methods for producing generative responding. Attendees will be able to: (1) describe how to use matrix training to produce emergent responding; (2) describe how to use multiple exemplar training to produce emergent responding; (3) describe how to use instructive feedback to produce emergent responding.
 

Comparing the Efficacy and Efficiency of Tact Training Procedures for Generalization With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
GABRIELLA RACHAL VAN DEN ELZEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract:

Programming for generalization is a critical component of applied behavior analysis. Previous research has evaluated several procedures for achieving stimulus generalization in the context of tact training with children with autism spectrum disorder, including serial multiple exemplar training (S-MET), concurrent multiple exemplar training (C-MET), and instructive feedback (IF). Although previous research has compared some or all of these procedures, results have been mixed. In the present study, we used an adapted alternating treatments design to directly compare the efficacy and efficiency of S-MET, C-MET, and IF for producing generalization of tacts of various types of stimuli (e.g., color photographs, black and white outlines, colored drawings) with four males with autism spectrum disorder. For most participants, C-MET led to generalization in the fewest training sessions, followed by IF. These results suggest that S-MET is unlikely to lead to generalization more efficiently than other conditions, but that the ideal training arrangement may be idiosyncratic.

 
The Effects of Varying Matrix Training Arrangements on Recombinative Generalization
(Basic Research)
Rebecca Durham (University of North Texas), Samantha Bergmann (University of North Texas ), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas), MARCUS DANIEL STRUM (University of North Texas), Chelsea Christina Elwood (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Recombinative generalization is a stimulus control process that involves responding to novel stimulus combinations, and it can be facilitated through an instructional approach, matrix training. A learner’s history with constituent stimuli and the arrangement of combination stimuli within the instructional matrix may affect the likelihood of recombinative generalization. To investigate this further, the current project assessed recombinative generalization with novel combinations of abstract stimuli by programming specific training histories for undergraduate student participants. The matrix training conditions were: (a) overlap with known (i.e., previously acquired) constituents, (b) overlap with unknown (i.e., not previously acquired) constituents, (c) nonoverlap with known constituents, and (d) nonoverlap with unknown constituents. We evaluated whether and the extent to which recombinative generalization occurred in each matrix training condition in comparison to a condition that included teaching the constituents and providing a word-order rule. Finally, we compared the total training trials to a condition in which we directly trained all constituents and combinations. The results suggested both overlap conditions and the nonoverlap with known constituents condition produced recombinative generalization, and the nonoverlap with known constituents condition was the most efficient. These results could inform the training order and stimulus arrangements practitioners employ to program for recombinative generalization.
 
Teaching Who, What, and Where Using Matrix Training
(Applied Research)
MARIA CLARA CORDEIRO (Marquette University), Mary Halbur (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), Gabriella Rachal Van Den Elzen (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Jessi Reidy (Marquette University)
Abstract: Teaching alternating Wh- questions consists of training conditional discriminations under multiple sources of control which may lead to response errors (Sundberg & Sundberg, 2011). The purpose of the current study was to teach who, what, and where intraverbal-tacts in the presence of 2D stimuli. Additionally, we wanted to determine the efficacy of matrix training across two 5x5x5 matrices. Matrix training consists of teaching two or more responses in the presence of a single stimulus comprised of multiple stimulus components (Pauwels, Ahearn, & Cohen, 2015). Two children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) first learned to tact individual components (e.g., “towel” in the presence of a towel on a white background). We then implemented non-overlap training of diagonal 1 from Matrix 1. After training, participant one demonstrated stimulus generalization in Matrix 1 and stimulus generalization to novel stimuli in Matrix 2. The second participant is still in data collection. Results suggest that training who, what, and where in the presence of compound stimuli from one diagonal in one matrix (i.e., 15 intraverbal-tacts) may to lead to intraverbal-tacts across novel stimuli combinations (i.e., recombinative generalization) and in the presence of entirely novel stimuli (i.e., response generalization).
 

Matrix Training With and Without Instructive Feedback

(Applied Research)
ALEXANDRA MARIE CAMPANARO (Caldwell University ), Bryan Rickoski (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract:

The current study examined the efficacy and efficiency of incorporating the use of instructive feedback within matrix training to teach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to label common objects and adjectives. The study was conducted in a private school providing educational services to students with ASD based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. We taught one set of responses using a non-overlapping matrix, a second set of responses using an overlapping matrix, and a third set of responses using a non-overlapping matrix along with secondary targets to three individuals with ASD. The results demonstrated that all teaching methods were effective and all trained and untrained responses were acquired. Additionally, results will be discussed across different measures of efficiency, including training sessions and training time to mastery. Our findings will be discussed in light of the extant matrix training and instructive feedback literatures. Additionally, we will provide directions for future research.

 
 
Symposium #64
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Culture, Race, and Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: Shahla Susan Ala'i (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Shahla Susan Ala'i, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will address three questions through four presentations related to race, culture, and behavior analysis. The first presentation will address the question of how preferences for behavior-analytic treatment strategies align across caregivers and providers of different races, and then address the implications misalignments across racial groups might have for best practice. The second and third presentations will conceptually address the question of how behavior analysts can assess for and build multicultural and antiracist education, practice, and research. Examples of an assessment tool for research and recommendations for graduate training programs in behavior analysis will be provided. The final presentation will conceptually address the question of how behavior analysis can be applied to larger cultural and race-based issues by reviewing police use-of-force reform. A discussion of these presentations will follow and focus on how behavior analysts can contribute to improvements in cultural humility and competence.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Culture, Education, Policing, Race
Target Audience:

The target audience for this workshop includes college students, early-career researchers, BACB certificants in-training (e.g., RBTs), behavior analysts (BCaBAs, BCBAs, BCBA-Ds), and behavioral health aides or direct care workers with a working knowledge of the principles of behavior and basic behavior analytic procedures (e.g., antecedent strategies, differential reinforcement, etc.).

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) identify at least one implication misalignments across racial groups might have for best practice; (2) describe one possible tool for assessing cultural sensitivity in behavior analytic research; (3) identify at least one recommendation to promote antiracist and multicultural graduate training programs in behavior analysis; and (4) identify at least one way behavior analysts might improve the assessment and efficacy of police use-of-force reform.
 
Diversity submission Assessing Correspondence Between Caregiver and Provider Treatment Preference in Alaska
(Applied Research)
KRISTIN RIALL (University of Alaska Anchorage), Katelynn Marie Mobley (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: Research shows that social validity is a key component of effective behavior analytic treatment and that treatment fidelity is crucial to success. This study expands upon Kawari et al.’s 2017 research on caregiver preferences by conducting a between-groups analysis to determine preferences for behavioral treatments, and how these preferences aligned between BCBAs and Alaska Native and non-indigenous caregivers in Alaska. Participants completed a web-based questionnaire including four scenarios describing problem behavior and selected how they would prefer to respond. Responses were compared across groups to identify potential differences. Results showed discrepancies in treatment preference across groups. These differences could have implications for treatment fidelity in the absence of additional strategies by providers working with Alaska Native caregivers. This research lays the groundwork for community-based research and improved theory centering on the needs of indigenous caregivers in Alaska who support an individual with Autism.
 
Diversity submission 

A Look at Using Culturally Responsive Research Practices in the Field of Behavior Analysis

(Theory)
SHERI KINGSDORF (Masaryk University ), Karel Pancocha (Masaryk University)
Abstract:

Culturally competent practices are materializing in the clinical work of behavior analysts. This growth may be the result of added components to coursework, continuing education training, and client-focused curricular materials. However, applied behavior analysis (ABA) research has been slower to see these changes. With ABA research guiding the work of new and seasoned practitioners, it is imperative that it strongly reinforces components of cultural responsiveness. Researchers outside the field of ABA, Dr. Bal and Dr. Trainor, have recognized the importance of research demonstrating cultural competence. Resultantly, they developed the Culturally Responsive Research Rubric for evaluating studies. The 15-item rubric is built upon existing tools for assessing research quality, but is not aimed at commonly accepted indicators (e.g., experimental design). Rather, the focus is on a set of culturally responsive criteria (e.g., how culture guided design). To bridge gaps in ABA research and cultural competence, two behavior analysts aim to introduce the rubric, discuss its applicability to the field of ABA, give examples of rubric components that align with the work of behavior analysts, and present a review of the behavioral research on pyramidal parent training through the lens of the rubric.

 
Diversity submission 

Towards the Development of Antiracist and Multicultural Graduate Training Programs in Behavior Analysis

(Theory)
Adel Najdowski (Pepperdine University), LUSINEH GHARAPETIAN (Pepperdine University), Victorya Jewett (Pepperdine University)
Abstract:

Racist policies and inequity are prevalent in society; this includes higher education institutions. Many behavior analytic training programs have been complicit in omitting cultural humility and antiracist ideas in their curricula and institutional practices. As societal demands for allyship and transformational change increase, programs must rise to the challenge and act as agents of change in our clinical, professional, and personal communities. The current paper offers a multitude of strategies for institutions to develop an antiracist and multicultural approach. These recommendations encompass policies that may be promoted on the following levels: (a) organizational infrastructure and leadership, (b) curriculum and pedagogy, (c) research, and (d) with faculty, students, and staff.

 
Diversity submission 

A Behavioral Analysis of Two Strategies to Eliminate Racial Bias in Police Use-of-Force

(Theory)
ASHLEY MARIE LUGO (Florida Institute of Technology), Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract:

Structural racism is rooted in American social systems that were supposedly designed to promote our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Social systems like policing, for example, are built on a foundation of discriminatory practices designed to disenfranchise Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). One of the most recent visible examples of racially-biased policing is the excessive use-of-force by officers toward BIPOC. In response, advocates, policy makers, and researchers have sought solutions. Police use-of-force reforms such as Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) and Implicit Bias Training (IBT) have become popular and are currently being applied in many police departments across the country. However, evidence supporting the effectiveness of these reform strategies to reduce use-of-force is mixed, and further evaluations are needed to understand why these strategies are purported to be an effective solution. The purpose of the current review is to ignite future empirical evaluations of use-of-force reform. Following a summary of the research conducted to date on BWCs and IBT, we will conclude with a brief discussion of how behavior analysts might improve and foster strategies that are efficacious.

 
 
Symposium #65
CE Offered: BACB
Automatic or Undifferentiated Functional Analysis Results for Individuals With Challenging Behavior: Expanding Our Understanding and Effectiveness
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: David R Donnelly (In Private Practice; Webster University)
Discussant: David R Donnelly (In Private Practice)
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 medical issues on understanding the individual’s idiosyncratic function(s) of behavior; Looking at neuro-biological variables as potential motivating operations in further clarification of the function(s) of behavior; and working toward awareness of 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
Keyword(s): ASD/DD, Biological MOs, Undifferentiated/Automatic FA
Target Audience:

This symposium is intended for intermediate behavior analysts engaged in research and application of applied behavior analysis in treatment of challenging behaviors.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this symposium, participants will be able to: 1) Identify potential biological influences/motivating operations in the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior 2) identify biological measurement associated with anxiety, and evidence of habituation; 3) Demonstrate awareness of the application of Matching Law in the treatment of automatically reinforced behavior
 
Toward a Biological Analysis of Automatic Functions of Challenging Behavior
(Theory)
ELIZABETH ANDRESEN (Autism Learning Partners), David R Donnelly (In Private Practice; Webster University)
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 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.
 

Automatic Reinforcement and Anxiety: Measuring Physiological Responses

(Applied Research)
SHAWN E. HAPPE (Harmony Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Nearly 40% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have at least one comorbid anxiety disorder (van Steensel, 2011). Behaviors associated with anxiety have shown greater differences in heart rate range (Chock & Koesler, 2013). Additionally, some individuals with ASD manifest hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition [DSM-V], 2013). Due to this, physiological measures that require contact with the skin may present problems for individuals with atypical responses to tactile stimulation. In order to address this concern, a habituation protocol was used to assess participants’ tolerance to wearing a vest for the collection of physiological measures. Specifically, a repeated presentation procedure was conducted to decrease possible sensitivity to a vest (Thompson & Spencer, 1966). The results indicated that all six participants in this study successfully completed the habituation protocol and none required a lengthy fade in protocol for wearing the vest. Based on these results, apparatus using these types of physiological measures are feasible for conducting research. These findings should encourage other researchers interested in assessing physiological responses in individuals with possible sensory sensitivities.

 

Physiological Measures and Matching Treatment: Examining the Relationship Between Physiological Responses and Challenging Behaviors

(Applied Research)
NANCY I. SALINAS (Harmony Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

The diagnostic severity of ASD is partly based on restrictive and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (APA, 2013). Automatic reinforcement function accounts for 16.9% of restrictive and repetitive behaviors and 25% of self-injurious behaviors (SIB) based on functional analyses (Beavers, Iwata, and Lerman, 2013; Hagopian, 2015). The types of behaviors within this category include 1) stereotyped or restrictive motor movements or vocalizations, 2) insistence in sameness, inflexibilities with routines, ritualized vocal or non-vocal behavior, 3) highly restricted/fixated interests, and 4) hyper-/hypo- reactivity to sensory factors (APA, 2013; CDC, 2013). Due to the nature of automatically reinforced behaviors, it is recommended that physiological assessments be used to determine relationships between physiological events and behavior (Romanczyk and Gillis, 2006). Tools that are sensitive to biological activity may help to discern sources of automatic reinforcement. The current investigation is a continuation of the utilization of functional analysis, treatment analysis, and physiological measures to investigate the role that positive and negative automatic reinforcement play in the treatment of problem behaviors. The results show an association between non-socially mediated behaviors and physiological events and adds to the empirical basis for differentiating operant psychology principles for operant and respondent conditioning.

 
Rethinking Automatic Reinforcement: Matching Law Contribution to Developing Effective Treatment
(Theory)
ZHICHUN ZHOU (Webster University )
Abstract: The lack of immediate external socially-mediated consequences has led people to use cognitive structures or other mental processes in explaining complex behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, pica, rumination) observed in clinics, schools and/or homes. But how can behavior analysts not be compelled to accept hypothetical constructs as explanations? B.F. Skinner’s extensive use of automatic reinforcement and the perplexing undifferentiated result derived from functional analysis (FA) have provided good enough justifications for us to take a closer look at the concept of automatic reinforcement. Indeed, the concept of automatic reinforcement can provide us a parsimonious explanation to complex behavior. The current presentation discusses the parsimony featured in automatic reinforcement from an angle that has not yet been explored in the field of applied behavior analysis. That is, the matching law. More specifically, the presentation provides a nuanced understanding of the concept of matching law and explores how it can be integrated to the development of interventions for behavior that is maintained by automatic reinforcement. The presentation further examines how to program the schedule of socially-mediated reinforcement to compete and wane the effects of the schedule of automatic reinforcement produced by certain behavior.
 
 
Symposium #67
CE Offered: BACB
Adaptations of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction to Online and Other Alternative Learning Environments
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Wertalik, Ph.D.
Abstract: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Morningside Academy and colleagues who implement the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction have been forced to adapt their practices to unique learning environments, including fully online, remote instruction and live instruction in student living quarters at a residential special education school. First, Morningside teacher Nicole Erickson will describe the process of assessment, selection, and subsequent instruction of learning, organization, and technology skills necessary for students to learn reading, writing, and math in an online environment. Second, Morningside teacher Hannah Jenkins will describe how mathetics-based instruction facilitates meaningful active student responding during online learning. Then, Judge Rotenberg Center Special Education Director Justin Halton will describe how MMGI was adapted to deliver instruction in the living and dining rooms of on campus student residences. Finally, Georgia Southern University - Armstrong professor Dr. Andrew Bulla will present best practices in instructional design strategies for teaching behavior analysis to college students preparing for the BCaBA exam.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment, Basic Skills, Instruction, Online-learning
Target Audience: The audience should be aware of basic principles of behavioral education, and be familiar with terms such as fluency, Precision Teaching, and direct instruction.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define three behaviors categorized as learning skills. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to discriminate instances of meaningful active student responding from instances of active student responding that are not meaningful. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe how one effective instructional strategy can be modified to online learning platforms.
 

Assessing and Teaching Learning Skills in Online Environments With the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction

(Service Delivery)
NICOLE ERICKSON (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

A central component of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction is teaching students specific repertoires, called “learning skills”, that allow them to more effective and more confident learners in the classroom. Online learning created many challenges for teachers and students, particularly in the area of learning skills instruction. Morningside teachers had to assess, then teach, not only the specific skills needed to effectively learn in the remote setting, but also those that would be necessary for in-person setting. This presentation will focus on that assessment, instruction, and measurement process. With the students working at home, amidst several distractions, online learning created a unique opportunity to teach the students to advocate for themselves and to take control of their own learning. To develop these independent learning repertoires, students were taught to identify when they were confused, what part of the instruction confused them, and how to ask specific questions to get the information necessary to be successful. Students were then coached to track these behaviors using Morningside’s Daily Support Card and the Standard Celeration Chart, to set goals to decrease the amount of time between activities and the number of prompts given in each instructional period.

 

Creating Meaningful Student Responding, Errorless Learning, and Immediate Feedback With Generative Instruction in Online Environments

(Service Delivery)
HANNAH JENKINS (Morningside Academy), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

As the world of remote learning unfolds, old habits and patterns must be adjusted for technological advances. Markle describes good instructional design as having meaningful active responding, errorless learning, and immediate feedback. Donald Cook observed, “...the principles of active response and low error rate were widely cited, but they were often misunderstood and misapplied.” Often overlooked is the word meaningful; being active is not enough. Responding that is a function of prompting, copying, or echoing, are all active, yet all should be avoided when teaching cognitive tasks. When Morningside Academy moved to online learning, faculty had to stay true to the model. The author will provide examples of response requests that require active responding, how a mathetics approach limits errors and facilitates an error analysis, and new ways to to provide immediate feedback.

 

High Rate Responding and Academic Performance With Morningside’s Generative Instruction Model During a Pandemic

(Service Delivery)
JUSTIN HALTON (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract:

Learning at the Judge Rotenberg Center shifted from the school buildings to individual residences. Dining rooms and living areas became classrooms and teachers were tasked with instructing a new group of students organized by residential assignment to accommodate the school health and safety plan. High rate responding activities during ELA instruction occurred at the school daily before moving to in-person instruction from the residences. From March-June, students continued to engage in high rate responding activities during ELA instruction, from their residence opposed to the structure of the classroom. This presentation aims to share data from one classroom/residential group of students diagnosed with severe disabilities and between the ages of 15-19, before, during, and after initial pandemic response adaptations to learning environments within the Judge Rotenberg Center. This Presentation will also detail steps taken to deliver in-person instruction from the residential environment. Data presented was collected using the IReady Assessment tool for both Reading and Math for each student.

 

Applying Instructional Design Principles and Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies to the Online Classroom

(Service Delivery)
JENNIFER WERTALIK (Georgia Southern University), Andrew Bulla (Georgia Southern University - Armstrong )
Abstract:

Behavior analysis offers a variety of instructional technologies to teach all types of students a variety of skills. Many college-level instructors have incorporated behavior analytic techniques to the college classroom successfully to improve learning outcomes across subject areas. While there are a plethora of data available on the effectiveness of these techniques in face-to-face classroom, several issues arise regarding the practicality of these techniques in an online classroom. The current presentation highlights the literature on instructional design and evidence-based instructional strategies as it applies to virtual learning. Additionally, the presenters offer practical recommendations with associated examples on how to extend additional strategies to meet the demand of virtual learning.

 
 
Symposium #69
CE Offered: BACB
Caregiver Training: An Integral Component of Behavior-Analytic Service Delivery
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: William Sullivan (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
CE Instructor: William Sullivan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In order for behavior-analytic treatments to be maximally effective, caregiver training (e.g., parents, teachers) is necessary. This symposium will describe four studies examining methods for assessing variables related to poor caregiver performance and strategies for training caregivers to implement behavioral interventions. The first study describes an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services, designed to assess the environmental determinants of poor staff performance. The second study will present data examining the utility of a self-instructional manual for training special-education teachers and graduate students in behavior analysis to select appropriate prompting strategies. The third presentation describes a study evaluating methods for training staff to implement task analyses with high levels of fidelity. Finally, the fourth presentation will describe a randomized controlled trial assessing the effects of a manualized parent-training program targeting high-frequency challenging behaviors displayed by children with autism spectrum disorder. Training caregivers to become effective treatment agents is an integral part of behavior-analytic service delivery and each presentation will provide thoughtful insights on the topic. To end, the discussant will review the collective findings and provide directions for future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, parent training, staff training, treatment integrity
Target Audience:

The target audience for this symposium will be students, researchers, and practitioners that are interested in caregiver training.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the clinical and social significance of caregiver training; (2) describe environmental variables related poor staff performance; (3) summarize at least one research-based strategy for training caregivers.
 
Further Evaluation of the Reliability and Validity of a Staff Performance Assessment Tool
(Applied Research)
Daniel J Cymbal (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Rachel Thomas (Florida Institute of Technology), HALLIE MARIE ERTEL (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have recently developed informant-based tools to assess the variables responsible for poor staff performance. One such tool, the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS), has been shown to be useful. However, empirical evaluation of the tool’s reliability and validity has been limited. Wilder, Lipschultz, Gehrman, Ertel, & Hodges (2019) found that the PDC-HS was largely valid and reliable when participants scored assessment-based videos depicting a staff performance problem. However, one limitation of this study was the degree to which the staff performance problem depicted in the video accurately represented the complexity of real-world staff problems. The present study extends Wilder et al., utilizing the same experimental framework but with performance problem scripts drawn from actual answers given by supervisors in the field. We collected data from 21 staff participants at varying levels of education and experience working at behavior-analytic therapy sites. Each participant scored three different videos with varying performance problems twice, and these responses provided the basis for calculations of validity, interrater reliability and test-retest reliability. Results suggest that the tool was generally valid and reliable, but differences between the results of Wilder et al. and the current study are apparent. Recommendations for future research are provided.
 
Development and Evaluation of a Decision-Making Tool for Evaluating and Selecting Prompting Strategies
(Applied Research)
LANDON COWAN (Marquette University), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), KALLY M LUCK (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Amber Prell (University of Houston- Clear Lake), Ning Chen (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: An extensive literature has demonstrated the successful application of various response prompts and prompt-fading procedures for teaching students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. However, few practical resources exist to guide special-education teachers and clinicians in the evaluation and selection of a prompting strategy for a given student and a targeted skill. Across three experiments, we used a multiple baseline across participants design to develop and evaluate the efficacy of a self-instructional manual to train 11 special-education teachers and 8 graduate students to evaluate and select appropriate prompting strategies to use with students across a variety of skills. The graduate students also implemented their selected prompting strategy in brief teaching sessions. Results indicated that the self-instructional manual was effective for improving their evaluation, selection, and implementation of appropriate prompting strategies. Social validity data collected from all participants suggested that they found the manual helpful. Results contribute to the literature on the development of decision-making tools to guide teachers and clinicians in the selection of interventions to use with their students.
 
Increasing and Maintaining Procedural Integrity Using a Brief Video Model
(Applied Research)
BRANDI TODARO (Western New England University), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Treatment integrity is an important variable in delivering effective ABA services. Common components of caregiver training include didactic instruction, video modeling, and role play. Mueller et al. (2003) conducted a study in which different training packages were used to train parents to implement feeding protocols. They suggest that little research has been conducted with people who are naïve to the field. The current study sought to examine ways of effectively training new staff to implement a task analysis with a high degree of treatment integrity. Participants were recruited among new hires to the New England Center for Children. A multiple baseline design across a dyad of teachers was used to examine the effects of implementing two types of training procedures, didactic instruction and video modeling. One training procedure was implemented for six training sessions and then the other for an additional six training sessions. Data have been collected for a total of four dyads. Both methods improved integrity and exposure to a second training method further improved integrity. Interobserver agreement data were collected on treatment integrity in a minimum of 33% of each condition and total agreement averaged above 85%.
 

Developing a Behavioral Parent-Training Program Specific to High-Frequency Maladaptive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders

(Applied Research)
EMILY L. BAXTER (SUNY Upstate Medical University), William Sullivan (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Avery Albert (Syracuse University), Nicole M. DeRosa (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Kevin Antshel (Syracuse University), Henry S. Roane (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Abstract:

Manualized parent-training protocols (e.g., the Incredible Years) are available to parents whose children engage in problematic behaviors. These protocols typically utilize an eclectic range of therapeutic strategies. To date, however, there has not been a manualized parent-training protocol that exclusively utilizes behavior analytic-based techniques to address problematic behaviors common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We examined the efficacy of a 6-week, focused parent training intervention across 38 parents of children with ASD. Parents were randomized into either a behavioral parent training or an active control intervention. A variety of outcome measures were used to examine the effects of the intervention at baseline, the conclusion of treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure was the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) scale administered by an Independent Evaluator (IE) who was unaware of treatment assignment. The CGI-I scale score reflected the IE’s assessment of overall improvement from baseline to endpoint. Differences in improvement were found between groups. In the control group, 22.2% of families improved significantly, compared to the treatment group, of which 62% of families improved significantly. Results will be discussed in relation to other manualized parent-training protocols, and directions for future research will be presented.

 
 
Symposium #75
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP — 
Supervision
Recent Developments in Applying Behavioral Skills Training in Contemporary Services
Saturday, May 29, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sarah Davis (Brock University)
CE Instructor: Lindsay Maffei-Almodovar, Ph.D.
Abstract: Today, training staff and family members takes place in many different service contexts outside of the university-based laboratory or demonstration project. Although Behavioral Skills Training is a well established evidence-based practice for caregivers in autism and developmental disabilities services, we still need more demonstrations from the field of applications and related issues. This symposium will illustrate those issues with three empirical papers. The first illustrates the application of telehealth. The second addresses organizational issues in ABA organizations. The second addresses large-scale application of behavioral skills training over several years.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Caregiver training, Staff turnover, Telehealth
Target Audience: Audience members should have basic graduate level skills and knowledge in behavior analysis, such as knowledge of staff training methods, evidence-based practices, basic teaching strategies and behavior analytic concepts.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the use of telehealth methods to train parents to teach adaptive behavior skills to older children and adolescents with autism; (2) Describe factors, including independent variables that could be manipulated to influence staff turn over; and (3) Describe the strategies used to implement large scale application of behavioral skills training over extended periods of time.
 

Parent-Implemented Behavior Interventions via Telehealth for Older Children and Adolescents

(Applied Research)
CHRISTINE DREW (Auburn University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

This study used independent ABAB withdrawal designs to determine whether BPT increased parent fidelity of implementation of function-based intervention which then resulted in decreasing rates of child challenging behavior while increasing rates of appropriate replacement behavior. Four participants aged 8-17 were included in the study with their parents serving as interventionists. The routines of concern were mealtime, toothbrushing, and room cleaning with various topographies of challenging behavior impacting the quality of these family routines. Each parent achieved high treatment fidelity with one session of BPT and bug-in-ear coaching. Three participants had an immediate decrease in challenging behavior upon the introduction of the intervention. Three participants showed reliable reversals to their challenging behavior with the withdrawal of the intervention and corresponding decreases in challenging behavior when the intervention was reintroduced. All parents reported high acceptability, ease of use, and contextual fit pre- and post-intervention. Results and implications for practice and future research were discussed.

 

An Examination of Variables That Predict Turnover, Staff and Caregiver Satisfaction in Behavior-Analytic Organizations

(Applied Research)
DANIEL J CYMBAL (Florida Tech), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Gary Burns (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Staff turnover can pose a significant problem for human service organizations. For Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service providers, turnover may be particularly problematic due to the resources required for training. Accreditation organizations such as the Behavioral Health Center for Excellence® (BHCOE®) collect large amounts of organizational data that can point to trends in ABA organizations and provide a basis for problem identification and intervention. In this study, we evaluated BHCOE® data to examine potential predictors of staff turnover as well as staff and caregiver satisfaction in ABA organizations. Results of multiple regression analyses suggest that high rates of turnover among job classes (i.e., technicians and supervisors) correlate with each other’s turnover. Behavior Technicians are also more likely to turnover when wages are lower and caregiver satisfaction wanes. Staff satisfaction was not a significant turnover predictor but was generally predicted by caregiver satisfaction. These findings suggest that turnover and satisfaction are multi-faceted processes worthy of examination; we provide broad recommendations for improvement and avenues for further study.

 
Pyramidal Behavioral Skills Training, Productivity Monitoring, Goal Setting, Feedback and Teacher Incentives Across Three Schools: Six Years of Data
(Service Delivery)
LINDSAY MAFFEI-ALMODOVAR (Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC)), Cynthia E. Martinez (Quality Services for the Autism Community), Lillian Rothmaler (QSAC), Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Adequate training productivity is an important goal for schools serving students with autism due to frequent staff turnover and a need for newly hired staff to implement behavior analytic protocols correctly soon after being hired. The presenting author monitored the weekly and cumulative number of behavior analytic skills trained to staff by clinical coordinators and classroom teachers across three schools over six years. Weekly permanent product counts before and after the implementation of pyramidal behavioral skills training, public posting, goal setting and feedback, and teacher incentives indicated that these practices may have contributed to an increased proportion of weekly training completed by teachers over time and increased overall training productivity from year to year. Variables including staff and trainer turnover, staffing additions and shortages, differing numbers of students and behavioral support needs in classrooms, and new or different job responsibilities assigned to clinical coordinators or teachers made training productivity an important aspect of service delivery to monitor, but also interfered with isolating responsible factors when increased productivity occurred.
 
 
Panel #78
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Behavioral Barriers to Climate Sustainability: A Challenge to Our Field
Saturday, May 29, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Susan M. Schneider, Ph.D.
Chair: Susan M. Schneider (Root Solutions)
KATHERINE MARTINI (Bell’s Brewery)
CRISS WILHITE (California State University Fresno)
BRIAN JADRO (New England Behavior Analysts for Sustainability)
Abstract:

The climate crisis challenges all of us to step up our sustainability efforts as soon as possible: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by nearly 50% by 2030. How can we help accomplish the necessary changes using behavior-analytic principles? A high-profile study by the American Psychological Association found that two of the major behavioral barriers to more individual climate action are a sense of futility, and the difficulty of transitioning to new green habits (see the 2009 report from the APA Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change). Both of these - motivation and habits - are areas where behavior analysis offers major contributions. How can we build on what we have already accomplished in climate action? How can we transfer what has worked in our related areas of strength? Each of the panelists is experienced in behavioral sustainability, and will offer a few suggestions. Opening the floor to the audience, we will attempt to put together a plan of action.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

All behavior analysts concerned about climate change and environmental sustainability

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe examples of behavior analytic research on sustainability 2. Attendees will be able to describe how behavior analysis methods can be employed to help motivate sustainable behaviors. 3. Attendees will be able to describe how behavior analysis methods can facilitate the transition from carbon-heavy to green habits.
Keyword(s): barriers, Climate change,, habits, sustainability
 
 
Invited Symposium #98
CE Offered: BACB
Values and Choice: Contemporary Experimental Research on Bias
Saturday, May 29, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Domain: Translational
Chair: Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Michele R. Traub, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Experimental behavior analysis has produced a robust literature on the role of bias in matching and choice. Despite its beginnings in the laboratory, this work has extended far beyond simple choice models and operant responses to address how bias impacts social responding. This symposium will present contemporary research on the assessment of implicit bias, translational models of choice, and the ways in which bias can impact the choices researchers make within the laboratory.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe in broad terms how the IRAP has been used to study implicit bias; (2) explain how recent experimental analyses of the IRAP have refined the RFT view of implicit bias; (3) discuss the relationship between delay disounting and bias; (4) describe how bias has impacted women in research; (5) describe how bias has impacted the inclusion of female laboratory animals in research; (6) describe potential harm from the exclusion of women and female laboratory animals in research.
 

The Study of Implicit Bias in Behavior Analysis: A Cautionary Tale

(Service Delivery)
DERMOT BARNES-HOLMES (Ulster University)
Abstract:

The study of implicit bias in behavior analysis has been dominated by one particular method, the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP). The IRAP could be considered quite unusual as a method for studying implicit bias because it targets verbal relations as defined within relational frame theory (RFT). In contrast, implicit bias in the non-behavior-analytic “mainstream” literature is often interpreted as reflecting the strength of associative links in a mental realm (e.g., a memory store). Despite this conceptual difference, research on implicit bias using the IRAP could be seen as relatively successful, at least in terms of number of published studies and the results of a meta-analysis of IRAP studies. On balance, until relatively recently IRAP research tended to focus on the method as a measure of implicit bias without conducting experimental analyses of the multiple variables, from an RFT perspective, that are brought into play when participants complete an IRAP. Conducting these more recent experimental analyses has served to produce an increasingly sophisticated and complex understanding of exactly what so called “implicit bias” involves from an RFT and a behavior-analytic perspective. The current paper will provide an overview of this research story.

Dr. Dermot Barnes-Holmes graduated from the University of Ulster in 1985 with a B.Sc. in Psychology and in 1990 with a D.Phil. in behavior analysis. His first tenured position was in the Department of Applied Psychology at University College Cork, where he founded and led the Behavior Analysis and Cognitive Science unit. In 1999 he accepted the foundation professorship in psychology and head-of-department position at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. In 2015 he accepted a life-time senior professorship at Ghent University in Belgium. In 2020 he returned to his alma mater on a fractional contract as a full professor at Ulster University. Dr. Barnes-Holmes is known internationally for the analysis of human language and cognition through the development of Relational Frame Theory with Steven C. Hayes, and its application in various psychological settings. He was the world's most prolific author in the experimental analysis of human behavior between the years 1980 and 1999. He was awarded the Don Hake Translational Research Award in 2012 by the American Psychological Association, is a past president and fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, is a recipient of the Quad-L Lecture Award from the University of New Mexico and became an Odysseus laureate in 2015 when he received an Odysseus Type 1 award from the Flemish Science Foundation in Belgium.
 

The Role of Delay Discounting in Explicit and Implicit Racial Bias

(Service Delivery)
D. PEREZ (University of Utah), Melanie Domenech-Rodriguez (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Delay discounting measures a facet of impulsivity and is related to various socially significant behaviors. Researchers suggest that altruism and impulsivity arise from the same underlying mechanism; thus, individuals are less altruistic towards people that are different from themselves (e.g., a different race or ethnicity). However, researchers have yet to analyze the relation between delay discounting and implicit and explicit racial bias. In the present study, participants will complete a delay discounting procedure and several Likert scale surveys: the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP), the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS), and the Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy (SEE). The delay discounting task will assess discounting for two delayed magnitudes (i.e., $100 & $1000) using an adjusting amount procedure. The IRAP measures implicit racial bias by having participants categorize stimuli based on either pro-Latino stereotypes or pro-White stereotypes; the difference in the length of time required to categorize stimuli that are consistent or inconsistent with the stereotypes measures bias. To examine explicit racial bias, we will use the total scores on the CoBRAS and the SEE. We expect participants who steeply discount delayed rewards will be more implicitly and explicitly racially biased toward members of a different race or ethnicity.

D. Perez is a doctoral student in the Experimental Behavior Analysis Program at Utah State University. D completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at California State University Northridge. Her research interests are racial bias, social discounting, delay discounting, impulsivity, and incorporating multicultural psychology into behavior analysis. In her free time, she enjoys photography, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her dog, Luna.
 

Mouse-ogyny: Bias Against Female Laboratory Animals

(Service Delivery)
AMY ODUM (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Historically, women have experienced bias in science. This bias has affected women as participants in research, as well as women as conductors of research. Although little recognized, another form of bias extends to female laboratory animals. Female laboratory animals, particularly rodents, have long been regarded as more variable in their behavior and other dependent measures and therefore were excluded from experiments. I will describe the inclusion of female laboratory animals in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. I will describe trends over time in the inclusion of female laboratory animals for different types of animals (e.g., pigeons and rats). For studies involving both sexes and in which animals are identified by sex, I will examine the level of variability in the behavior of male and female animals. Finally, I will review published data describing the variability in a wide variety of dependent measures for both male and female laboratory animals. These data show that female laboratory animals have been excluded from research based on bias rather than fact. The exclusion of female laboratory animals precludes learning about genuine sex differences with important health implications and is no longer allowed in NIH-funded research.

Amy Odum is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. Her research interests are in basic behavioral phenomena, such as response persistence, sensitivity to delayed outcomes, conditional discriminations, and environmental influences on drug effects. She is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in behavior analysis. Her work has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont’s Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory after earning her Ph.D. and M.A. in Psychology, specializing in Behavior Analysis, from West Virginia University. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida. Dr. Odum has served as President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She is a Fellow of ABAI and was Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
 
 
Panel #103
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Freedom or Exploitation: The Integration of Behavior Analysis in a Capitalistic System
Saturday, May 29, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Joshua Garner, Ph.D.
Chair: Adam Peal (The Behavioral Education Research Initiative )
DON TOGADE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Brown College, Toronto, Canada)
JENNIFER KLAPATCH TOTSCH (Envision Unlimited)
JOSHUA GARNER (Behavioral Education Research Initiative)
Abstract:

The concept of freedom is analyzed in reference to the negative consequences of a capitalist system. Specifically, the contingencies that interfere with clinical and educational quality will be addressed. These contingencies include the exploitation of the labor force by private equity firms and universities, as well as the restrictions of for-profit health insurance. Each contingency highlighted may seem like a system in which we are free to behave as clinicians or educators. However, we hope to point out the restrictive and arguably unethical contingencies that capitalism produces, as these contingencies interfere with our ability to provide high-quality services. Furthermore, we provide solutions to these issues as well as the challenges we will likely encounter in pursuit of changing the system.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This content is intermediate to advanced. The prerequisite skills should include knowing the BCBA codes of ethics as well as an understanding of meta-contingencies.

Learning Objectives: Objective 1: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define capitalism and exploitation. Objective 2: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to apply various forms of exploitation to the labor of professors, BCBAs, and RBTs. Objective 3: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to define freedom based on Skinner, Goldiamond, Baum, and Marx. Objective 4: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to engage in philosophical doubt regarding the nature of capitalism and their own work place, particularly the contingencies that interfere with their ability to provide high quality services. Objective 5: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to define solutions to these issues.
Keyword(s): ABA, Capitalism, Freedom, Theory
 
 
Symposium #112
CE Offered: BACB
Advances on the Sequence of Discrimination Training and Variables That Affect Acquisition
Saturday, May 29, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mary Halbur (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Mary Halbur, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The purpose of the present symposium is to provide an overview of research advances on variables that impact the efficiency of language acquisition interventions. Two presentations will discuss the role of stimulus disparity within conditional discrimination training and two presentations will evaluate the efficiency of instructional sequences on acquisition of targets. In the first study, Halbur and colleagues compared the acquisition of high-disparate sounds, low-disparate sounds, and words as sample stimuli during conditional discrimination training for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the second study, Wu and colleagues manipulated stimulus disparity of color saturation and conducted analyses to identify error patterns during conditional discrimination training. In the third study, Martin, Lechago, and Romo investigated acquisition of listener skills when the instructional sequences (i.e., English-Spanish, Spanish-English, mixed language) were varied for bilingual children with ASD. In the fourth study, Devine, Cox, and Petursdottir conducted multiple experiments that evaluated the impact of tact instruction on the establishment of bidirectional intraverbals and other relations. Following the four presentations, our discussant will summarize, provide clinical recommendations for efficient teaching procedures, and suggest areas for future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): conditional discriminations, emergence, instructional sequencing, stimulus disparity
Target Audience:

behavior analysts, graduate students, researchers

Learning Objectives: Following the symposium attendees will be able to: 1. Describe recent research that evaluates the efficiency of behavioral interventions 2. Consider procedures to analyze error patterns during conditional discrimination training 3. Identify areas for future research on instructional sequences and stimulus disparity during discrimination training.
 
Comparison of Sounds and Words as Sample Stimuli for Discrimination Training
(Applied Research)
MARY HALBUR (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), Xi'an Maya Williams (Marquette University), Jessi Reidy (Marquette University), Chris Halbur (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have difficulty acquiring conditional discriminations. However, previous researchers have suggested that the discrimination of nonverbal auditory stimuli may be acquired more efficiently (Eikeseth & Hayward, 2009; Uwer, Albrecht, Suchodoletz, 2002). For example, a child may learn to touch a picture of a piano after hearing the musical instrument more quickly than the word, ‘piano’. The purpose of the present study was to extend previous research by assessing acquisition of automated spoken words to environmental sounds. We compared sets of stimuli comprised of words, high-disparity sounds, and low-disparity sounds for children with ASD in a multiple baseline design. Results suggested that sounds were acquired rather than words or more efficiently than words. However, the similarity and overlap between sounds should be considered. Clinical applications and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 

Quantitative Analysis of Parametric Changes in Sample Disparity With Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Basic Research)
WEIZHI WU (INGCare), Tiara Putri (Florida Institute of Technology), Carolyn Ritchey (Auburn University), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Louisiana State University), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University)
Abstract:

Conditional discrimination skills are foundational in teaching many functional skills in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Antecedent- and consequence-based intervention are commonly used without the understanding of patterns comprising these errors. A framework based in behavioral-choice and signal-detection theory can quantify error patterns due to (1) biases for certain stimuli or locations and (2) discriminability of stimuli within the conditional discrimination. Three children diagnosed with ASD responded in delayed matching-to-sample procedure. We manipulated sample disparity through changes in relative color saturation between samples on a touchscreen across four experimental conditions. Sample-disparity differences were high, low, zero, and a return to high disparity. Decreases in sample disparity primarily produced corresponding decreases in discriminability without systematic changes in stimulus or location biases. These findings demonstrate the use of these analyses to identify error patterns during conditional-discrimination performance in a clinically relevant population under laboratory conditions. Further development of this framework could result in the development of technologies for categorizing errors during clinically relevant conditional-discrimination performance with the goal of individualizing interventions to match learner-specific error patterns.

 
Effects of English-Spanish Instructional Sequences and Language Preference on the Acquisition of Conditional Discriminations
(Applied Research)
ARABELLE MARTIN (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Sarah A. Lechago (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Christine Romo (Texana)
Abstract: There is limited research evaluating how teaching multiple languages and identifying preferred language of instruction affect acquisition of verbal behavior for bilingual children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Speaking both the familial native language and the language predominantly spoken in the community is socially, educationally, and culturally relevant. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of instructional sequences and language preference on the rate of acquisition of a receptive identincation task targeting English and Spanish nouns with two Spanish-English bilingual children with ASD. An adapted alternating treatments design was employed to compare three instructional sequences: 1) English-Spanish, 2) Spanish-English, and 3) mixed language (both English and Spanish at same time). Results for one participant showed the mixed language training sequence to be the most efficient training sequence and the Spanish-English training sequence to be the most efficient for the other participant. Results suggest that language preference may not impact the rate of acquisition of receptive identification targets in both languages. The results of this study provide empirical support for teaching both the familial and the dominant culture to bilingual children with ASD. Data will be collected for a third participant.
 

Tact Instruction as a First Step Toward Establishing Intraverbals

(Applied Research)
Bailey Devine (Behavior Experts of Texas), ANNA PETURSDOTTIR (Texas Christian University)
Abstract:

Two experiments were conducted with typically developing children (5-9 years) as participants to evaluate the effects of tact instruction on the establishment of intraverbal relations between the names of U.S. states and their respective state birds and jowers. In Experiment 1 (4 participants) we compared the eMciency of two instructional sequences; tact-before-intraverbal and listenerbefore- intraverbal, using an adapted alternating-treatments design combined with a multiple-baseline design across participants. After tact instruction, all participants performed at mastery in probes for bidirectional intraverbals and other derived relations, so intraverbal instruction was not necessary. By contrast, only one participant demonstrated intraverbals at mastery after listener instruction. The remaining three went on to receive intraverbal instruction, but the listener-before-intraverbal sequence resulted in a greater number of trials before intraverbals were established than did tact instruction alone. In Experiment 2 (3 participants), tact-only instruction was compared with intraverbal-only instruction without a preliminary step. Tact instruction established bidirectional intraverbals for all participants, whereas unidirectional intraverbal instruction did so for 2 of 3 participants. Tact instruction took fewer trials than intraverbal instruction for 2 participants, whereas intraverbal instruction took fewer trials for 1 participant. The process of building intraverbal repertoires may be achieved most efficiently through tact instruction.

 
 
Symposium #114
CE Offered: BACB
Accountability Through Data Collection: Narrowing the Bridge Between Science and Practice
Saturday, May 29, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment/ Florida Institute of Technology )
CE Instructor: Matthew L. Edelstein, Psy.D.
Abstract:

Distinguishing it from other service-delivery fields, behavior analysis places strong emphasis on accountability through ongoing data collection and objective progress monitoring. As part of this model, behavior analysts are expected to use data to guide their clinical decision-making. However, these decisions are only meaningful when the data they are based on are reliable and valid. In this symposium, we address issues related to data collection in the practice of behavior analysis. In the first presentation, Dr. Morris will review data collection practices reported by Board Certified Behavior Analysts and their relation to data integrity. In the second, Ms. Snyder will discuss barriers to reliable and accurate data collection by group home staff. In the third, Dr. Becraft will present data on the validity of parent report of severe problem behavior. In the fourth, Dr. Edelstein will discuss the validity of parent report via telehealth. Collectively, these studies further our understanding of factors impacting data collection in behavior analytic practice, which is critical to evaluating and improving outcomes for recipients of behavioral services.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Data Collection, Parent Report
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, clinicians

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to discuss methods to ensure data collection is reliable and valid 2. Participants will be able to identify best practices in data collection 3. Participants will be able to describe environmental variables that may impact valid data collection
 
Toward an Understanding of Data Collection Integrity
(Service Delivery)
CODY MORRIS (Salve Regina University )
Abstract: Data collection is essential to the effective practice of behavior analysis. Behavior analysts are even obligated to collect and use data to inform treatment decisions according to the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2014). However, it is unclear how trustworthy data collected in applied settings are when behavior analysts are not themselves recording the data. In fact, numerous research studies have reported issues with data collection integrity when supervisors did not directly intervene to ensure compliance with data collection requirements. The first purpose of this talk is to review survey data focused on data collection practices for monitoring problem behavior in applied settings. The reports from the survey will be shared and include information related to reporting requirements, training and monitoring practices, profile of data collectors, modality of collection, etc. The second purpose of this talk is to discuss the relation of commonly reported practices and data collection integrity.
 
A Descriptive Analysis of Baseline Conditions Affecting Data Collection in a Group Home
(Service Delivery)
DAPHNE SNYDER (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Although the importance of data collection is widely accepted in the field of behavior analysis, there has been limited to no research to date on the naturalistic variables affecting data collection in applied settings. Madsen and colleagues (2016) speculated on barriers present in the group home setting that may affect data collection, but no descriptive research has been conducted on the correspondence between the present barriers and the quality of data collected. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to: (a) evaluate the accuracy and reliability of data collected by group home staff under conditions and over a period of time that are more naturalistic than has been evaluated in past research, and (b) record the presence or absence of environmental variables hypothesized by Madsen and colleagues (2016) to be related to issues in staff data collection. A tool was developed to identify the presence of these variables and accuracy of staff data collection was measured. Data from a case study indicate that many of the speculated variables are present in the group home setting and may affect the accuracy of data collected by staff.
 
The Validity of Parent Report for Evaluating Clinical Endpoints for Severe Problem Behavior
(Applied Research)
JESSICA L BECRAFT (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Usai Bah (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michael F. Cataldo (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: In practice, behavior analysts or a similarly trained professional typically determine the effectiveness of treatment for child problem behavior. However, parents’ evaluation of treatment effects is critical because parents initiate treatment services, are expected to implement treatment protocols, are responsible for paying for services, determine when treatment is no longer required, and serve as advocates and marketers for services. We compared parent to data collected by trained observers on severe problem behavior in two studies. In the first study, parents reported data on their child’s behavior in baseline and treatment sessions. In the second study, parents scored the level of problem behavior in pre- and post-treatment videos of other children. Results indicate correspondence with trained observers on both a molecular (session-by-session) and molar (overall treatment efficacy) level. These studies suggest parents can accurately detect meaningful clinical endpoints, which can be used to evaluate maintenance and generalization of treatment and justify services to third party payers.
 
Examining the Utility of Parent Report in the Age of Telehealth
(Applied Research)
MATTHEW L. EDELSTEIN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jessica L Becraft (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lesley A. Shawler (Kennedy Krieger Institute Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Alicia Sullivan (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sherika Harley (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The ability to use gold-standard behavior data collection by trained observers is limited in large outpatient settings. Establishing parent observation as a reliable and valid alternative is imperative to the continued application of best practice behavioral intervention in these settings, particularly following the move to telehealth service provision as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study assessed the validity of parent data on child problem behavior during virtual sessions at an outpatient clinic. Specifically, parent report was compared to trained observers’ frequency data. Results suggest that parents can accurately report clinically significant changes in target behavior. Specifically, a strong correspondence was noted between parent observation and trained observers when parents are asked to report rates more generally. These reports appear sensitive enough to determine the magnitude of change between high and low rates of problem behavior. Implications for the continued use of parent report in virtual service provision are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #127
CE Offered: BACB/NASP
Diversity submission Can Behavioral and Developmental Science Live Happily Ever After? An Overview of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention
Saturday, May 29, 2021
4:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Melanie Pellecchia (University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Sophia R D'Agostino (Hope College)
CE Instructor: Melanie Pellecchia, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder is historically rooted within two distinct theoretical foundations: behavioral and developmental sciences. Proponents of each discipline have traditionally held opposing views toward treatment, with little collaboration. A recent shift in autism intervention has led to the emergence of a group of interventions that incorporate elements from both developmental and behavioral science. These naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBI) have been used effectively in a variety of settings. This symposium includes a series of presentations describing the application of NDBI across a range of settings, with a focus on describing the integration of developmental and behavioral science. The first presentation will provide a broad overview of NDBI, including a description of its core components. The second will describe the implementation of NDBI in a hospital-based clinic setting, including data related to the characteristics of children enrolled in the program. The third will describe outcomes from a group-based delivery of NDBI for preschool-aged children. The final presentation will shed light on the actual use of NDBI strategies by describing the self-reported utilization of developmental and behavioral strategies from a large sample of applied behavior analysis providers.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): early intervention, NDBI
Target Audience:

basic

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe the differences between developmental and behavioral approaches to autism intervention. 2) Describe core strategies used within naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions. 3) Discuss how naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions are used in a variety of practice settings.
 
Diversity submission 

Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention: The Next Frontier for Early Autism Treatment

(Service Delivery)
MELANIE PELLECCHIA (University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract:

A recent trend in early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder is the development of interventions that bridge both developmental and behavioral sciences. This new breed of interventions, Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI), merge best practices in these two previously opposing approaches to intervention. NDBI integrate behavioral learning theory and developmentally-focused strategies within natural environments. Several efficacious NDBI treatment models have been successfully implemented across a variety of settings with improved child and family outcomes. Yet, this approach has yet to be disseminated widely among behavior analysts. This presentation will provide an in-depth overview of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions, with an emphasis on how this approach can be incorporated into existing applied behavior analysis programs for young children with autism spectrum disorders. The presentation will include: a description of the theoretical background underlying the approach, the core components of NDBI, and examples illustrating its application. A summary of the evidence supporting the effectiveness of NDBI and recommendations for incorporating NDBI strategies into existing programs will be provided.

 
Diversity submission 

The Application of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions in a Hospital-Based Autism Center

(Service Delivery)
Ashley Dubin (Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children), EMILY BERNABE (Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children), Meena Khowaja (Nemours/ Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children ), Erin Machemer (Nemours/ Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children )
Abstract:

This presentation describes the clinical implementation of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs; Schreibman et al., 2015) in a hospital-based autism center. Parents of young children recently diagnosed with autism are coached on strategies to promote social communication. Different service delivery models (e.g., telehealth) and the strategies comprising the parent-mediated NDBIs will be discussed. Data will be presented about characteristics of the parents and children referred for, enrolled in, and who have completed one of the center’s NDBI programs. As enrollment in NDBIs is ongoing, we anticipate including additional data related to child social communication and other behaviors over time, and other factors potentially related to enrollment and completion of NDBI programs. Important considerations for implementation of parent-mediated NDBIs in a hospital-based clinic setting will be discussed, including advantages, possible barriers, need for modifications, and future directions for research and practice.

 
Diversity submission 

Follow the Children: A Group-Based Application of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention for Preschool Children With Autism

(Service Delivery)
MEGHAN KANE (University of Pennsylvania), Julia Waldman (University of Pennsylvania), David Mandell (University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract:

Group-learning models for young children with autism provide environments rich with opportunities for teaching social communication and interaction skills. Comprehensive preschool programs that incorporate naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) strategies have produced improvements in children’s social communication skills, social engagement, and core ASD symptoms (Stahmer & Ingersoll, 2004; Strain & Bovey, 2011). This presentation will provide an overview of an NDBI treatment model delivered within a group program for preschool-aged children with autism. A description of the treatment model and subsequent changes in children’s social communication skills for 20 preschool-aged children enrolled in the program will be discussed. Staff fidelity was measured using a direct observation fidelity tool designed to measure the core components of a group-based NDBI model. Fidelity was high and averaged over 87% accuracy across all NDBI components. Changes in children’s social communication were measured at baseline and following six months of intervention using the Social Communication Checklist, a curriculum-based measure of social communication. Improvements were observed across all domains, with significant improvements in the group’s overall social communication score (p < .05), social engagement (p <.01), and play skills (p <.05). Implications for research and practice incorporating NDBI into group-based treatment programs will be discussed.

 
Diversity submission 

Self-Reported Utilization of Developmental and Behavioral Intervention Techniques by Applied Behavior Analysis Providers

(Service Delivery)
KYLE M FROST (Michigan State University), Brooke Ingersoll (Michigan State University )
Abstract:

Naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs; Schreibman et al., 2015) are a class of early interventions for autism spectrum disorder with growing empirical support, however, their similarity to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as delivered in the community is unknown. This online survey-based study characterized the self-reported utilization of developmental and behavioral intervention techniques in a large sample of ABA providers (n=368) and explored what aspects of provider background predict utilization. Respondents rated the extent to which they used each of a number of intervention techniques in a recent session with a specific child. ABA providers self-reported less use of developmental techniques than behavioral techniques, t(356)=-26.35, p<0.001. Providers with greater self-reported competency in NDBIs reported more frequent use of developmental techniques (Table 1); NDBI competency was not related to use of behavioral techniques, which were reported at high levels across providers. Point-biserial correlations indicated some trending relationships with training background such that providers with a background in psychology reported greater use of developmental techniques and those with backgrounds in ABA and special education reported less use (Table 1). Results suggest that further research on the similarities and differences between NDBIs and ABA delivered in the community is warranted.

 
 
Symposium #131
CE Offered: BACB
Procedural Implications of the Concept of Joint Control: Research Review, Applied Research and a Tutorial
Saturday, May 29, 2021
4:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Discussant: Vincent Joseph Carbone (Carbone Clinic)
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.
Abstract: In order to provide a set of considerations useful for guiding further research and practical applications for the concept of joint control, this symposium will review intervention protocols for applied research relevant to the concept of joint control. Session content will include a research review of publications related to protocols used to establish responding guided by joint control, a study demonstrating a school-based application of methodologies guided by the concept of joint control, and a two-part tutorial focused on a range of subject component skills and features of protocol development. The concept of joint control as described by Lowenkron (1991) provides an operant account of processes that may mediate certain multiply controlled verbal and non-verbal responses. The coming together of several verbal responses to control some other response may be one process in which Bi-directional naming (Miguel, 2016) is established; therefore, there will likely be an increased interest and need for development of strategies to study the process of joint control in applied settings.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience: Ability to identify components of multiple controlled verbal responses Basic concepts relevant to Bidirectional Naming
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define processes involved in joint control responding (2) list various research supporting applications of joint control in applied settings (3) state protocols utilizing the concept of joint control applicable to applied research and service delivery
 

A Systematic Review of the Analysis of Joint Control Relevant to Children With Autism and/or Other Developmental Disabilities

(Applied Research)
MIGUEL AMPUERO (Berry College), Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Abstract:

Skinner (1957) differentiated the roles of the speaker and the listener in a verbal encounter. Although not extensively emphasized, Skinner suggested an individual often behaves verbally even when responding as a listener. Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other language impairments often display the absence of important, and basic verbal repertoires that limit their ability to engage in a variety of social skills or problem- solving skills. Joint control suggests that multiply controlled verbal responding involves functional control of two 2 or more stimuli or verbal operants. This systematic literature review an introduction to the conceptual basis of the analysis of joint control, as well as provide a summary of publications specifying the relation and implications of the analysis of joint control and joint control training in the acquisition of multiply controlled, non-speaker behaviors (e.g., selection-based behavior; , se- quencing behavior). The synthesis suggests that joint control training presents as a promising analytic tool in guiding interventions to teach complex, multiply controlled verbal and non-verbal repertoires to children diagnosed with autism ASD and/or other developmental disabilities. Recommendations for future research in joint control, as well as the implementation of joint control training, are provided.

 

Using Joint Control to Teach Activities of Daily Living and Vocational Tasks to Students With Autism

(Applied Research)
WILLOW HOZELLA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic replication and extension of Causin et al. (2013) to assess the efficacy of a self-rehearsal procedure to teach five individuals with autism to follow multiple-step selection of stimuli. Within a multiple probe design across participants, participants were taught to echo and self-echo and then select multiple pictorial stimuli, in the order in which they were requested, from an array of directly-trained and untrained sets of stimuli. The self-rehearsal and accurate selection did not generalize to direction-following related to activities of daily living in the natural environment, so we taught it directly. Probes of novel multiple-step tasks were conducted. Implications for the role of joint control in developing skills sequences to teach generative responding, conceptual analyses of covert verbal behavior, and designing instructional goals related to transition from formal education settings are discussed.

 

Toward Further Applied Empirical Research: A Tutorial on Joint Control Procedures, Part 1

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

In this first part of a two-part tutorial, basic component skills involved in establishing jointly controlled responding will be specified including echoic responding for vocal responders, imitative responding for sign-language responders, and critical tact repertoires. Included will be a discussion of strategies to specify sources of control for component responses and methods to establish response strength for rehearsal strategies. Joint control is one example of responding that is multiply controlled. One source of multiple control is the responders own verbal behavior. Implied in this analysis is the emission of previously acquired verbal responses that come to strength in certain stimulus conditions external to the responder, such as an antecedent mand for a selection response. Such previously acquired verbal responses may be covert and as such present ongoing challenges related to response documentation and in certain arrangements, response blocking. The tutorial will include demonstrations of teaching procedures to establish skill sets involved in paradigms to study joint control in applied settings.

 

Toward Further Applied Empirical Research: A Tutorial on Joint Control Procedures, Part 2

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

In this second part of a two-part tutorial, various protocols relevant to sequences of skills that may involve jointly controlled responding will be described. Examples of forms documenting skill tracking within a hierarchy of listener responding sequences will be provided. Protocols and demonstrations of multiple item listener responding (manded-stimulus selection) will be iterated. The tutorial will also include considerations for establishing jointly controlled listener responding for practical life skills, academic performance, and employment skills. Considerations relevant to the necessary concepts involved in practical applications of jointly controlled responding including prepositional relations and tacts of actions will be presented. Joint control procedures may have a role in establishing yes-no responses relevant to antecedent conditions involving mands to discriminate motivation or the accuracy of an emitted tact as an antecedent stimulus. This session will review a protocol (Carbone, 2014, conference presentation) that identifies a procedure to teach tacting the presence of joint control by saying yes or no.

 
 
Panel #138
CE Offered: BACB
Development of a Framework to Promote Research Opportunities and Collaboration With Internal and External Stakeholders in an Applied Behavioral Analytical Organization
Saturday, May 29, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Paula Kenyon, Ph.D.
Chair: Shannon Luoma (California State University, Sacramento; Kadiant)
FRANCINE HOLGUIN (Kadiant)
ALLISON J. WOMACK (Kadiant)
PAULA KENYON (Kadiant)
Abstract:

Within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), it is widely accepted that evidence-based practice (EBP), or the integration of the best available evidence with clinical expertise, client values, and context (Slocum et al., 2014) should be guiding principle in clinical decision making. However, there continues to be a research-to-practice gap in which practitioners are not readily implementing the most up to date evidence-based practices. In order to promote evidence-based practices within clinical settings, clinicians should have readily available access to literature and should be exposed and encouraged to participate in research opportunities. The current panel aims to discuss the conceptualization and implementation of a research framework developed within an organization, with the aim of working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to move the field of ABA forward by reviewing, conducting, and publishing innovated research. The panel will review the evolution of a steering and sub-committees (i.e., manuscript, conference, literature, proposal, and research review), and the development of a research manual, workflows, and related forms.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Introductory understanding on the systematic application of ABA principles to conduct research. Introductory understanding on processes (e.g., literature reviews, proposals, Internal Review Boards) related to conducting ABA-based research and treatment evaluations.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define evidence-based practice, (2) discuss the research to practice gaps, and (3) describe a potential research framework to encourage and promote research within an applied setting.
Keyword(s): Evidence-based practice, Research
 
 
Symposium #140
CE Offered: BACB/NASP
Diversity submission Building a Coalition to Amplify the Impact of Behavioral Science
Saturday, May 29, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tiffany Dubuc (Public Heath Agency of Canada; Blossom Behavioural Services)
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Converging evidence pinpoints the basic conditions that people need to thrive—minimal amounts of coercion or threat, high levels of positive reinforcement for prosocial behavior, psychological flexibility, and environments that have minimal influences or opportunities for problem behavior. There is, however, a substantial gap between what we know about human thriving and the quality of social environments for millions of people. This symposium describes the creation of the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations, which ABAI helped to create. It is designed to foster the translation of behavioral science knowledge into widespread implementation of programs and policies that. By working in cooperation with other behavioral science organizations we can increase our influence on public policies advance the use of our knowledge. This symposium will describe the rationale and development for the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations and will then describe the progress that the coalition is made in promoting a long-term effort to improve individual and family well-being in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Climate Change,, Coalitions, Concentrated Disadvantage, Dissemination,
Target Audience:

The attendees should have training in any area of behavior science, including not just behavior analysis, but also behavioral medicine, education, and prevention.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe the history, organization and aims of the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations (2) Describe the nature of neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage and the factors that contribute to continuing disadvantage. (3) Describe programs and policies that have the potential to reduce disadvantage.
 
Diversity submission Rationale and History of the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations
(Service Delivery)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: The Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations is made up of six organizations: Association for Behavior Analysis International, Association for Contextual Behavior Science, Association for Positive Behavior Support, the Evolution Institute, the National Prevention Science Coalition, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. It was created to pursue the common interest of these organizations in promoting the use of behavioral science knowledge and methods. It is believed that by combining our expertise both with respect to the science of human behavior and with respect to the ways in which public policies that promote the use of our knowledge can be achieved, we can have a significant impact on the implementation of evidence-based programs and policies and ultimately on the prevalence of well-being in the population.
 
Diversity submission Rebuilding Opportunity in America
(Service Delivery)
ANDREW C BONNER (University of Florida )
Abstract: Over the past fifty years, the health and well-being of a significant portion of Americans have declined, and the prospect of systematically oppressed children escaping from poverty has nearly disappeared. No progress has been made in reducing structural racism -- a major cause of concentrated disadvantage. Concentrated disadvantage refers to neighborhoods with high percentages of residents of low socioeconomic status. These neighborhoods are the focus of our long-term nation-wide effort because they are where the well-being of families, including child development, is most compromised. We cannot reduce the impact or prevalence of neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage without both community-driven and policy-level approaches. We propose to develop community partnerships to identify neighborhood-level needs and collaboratively set action plans to organize and advocate for local and national policies. This paper will describe a policy agenda for reducing structural racism and the progress the CBSO Families and Wellbeing Task Force has made in garnering endorsements of this agenda, drafting the policies that are needed and creating inroads to get these policies in the hands of policy makers, and collaborating with organizations working in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. Future aspirations of the Rebuilding Opportunity in America initiative will also be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #147
Designing a Progress Monitoring System to Improve Decision Making With Morningside’s Generative Instruction Model
Saturday, May 29, 2021
5:00 PM–6:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Carl V. Binder (The Performance Thinking Network, LLC)
Discussant: Carl V. Binder (The Performance Thinking Network, LLC)
Abstract:

Many schools, learning centers, and agencies find themselves awash in learner data, much of which is never analyzed or used to make immediate decisions about a learner’s program. The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction encourages efficient data collection, by emphasizing that the primary role of data should be to encourage timely and effective decision making. This symposium will describe how MMGI designers carefully select data to be collected, and how those data are organized to optimize decision making by learners, teachers, and school administrators. First, Austin Seabert, a consultant at The Performance Thinking Network, will describe the design and implementation of a revised progress monitoring system to facilitate quicker and more effective decisions by classroom teachers. Second, Morningside Academy’s School Psychologist and Vice-Principal, Julian Gire, will describe how MMGI’s placement testing and new progress monitoring assessment system were subsequently modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, Morningside Academy’s Associate Director, Andrew Kieta, will detail the development of a teacher coaching system informed by the data collected and analyzed via the new, modified progress monitoring system described in the first two talks. Lastly, Morningside Academy faculty member Bailee Scheuffele will describe the development of a new Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA) within the new progress monitoring system to assess emerging sentence-writing repertoires in order to make more-informed curriculum decisions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment, Data-based, Decision-Making, Precision Teaching
 

Designing a Progress Monitoring System to Improve Teacher Decision Making With Morningside’s Generative Instruction Model

(Service Delivery)
AUSTIN SEABERT (The Performance Thinking Network), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

Morningside Model of Generative Instruction features a multi-tiered assessment system. At the Micro level, Morningside teachers use Precision Teaching to collect daily measurements on several academic pinpoints. The Meta level consists of placement tests and progress monitoring tests to validate data at the Micro level, diagnose potential obstacles to desired growth, and predict performance on end of the year tests. Those end-of-the-year assessments make up the Macro level, where standardized, norm-referenced tests are used to evaluate student growth across an entire school year. Implementing this system requires timely assessment administration, clear communication of results to all relevant individuals, and most importantly, effective instructional decision making based on assessment data. This has proven particularly challenging at the Meta level, prompting a one year revision project. This presentation will describe a process improvement methodology involved with the creation of a new system, including: Defining the assessment problem, outlining features and capabilities of an ideal assessment system, identifying resource limitations, system design, testing and rollout, and feedback. Data will be presented that show how and why redesign decisions were made as well as their effect in improving MMGI’s assessment system.

 

Assessment Systems and COVID-19: Rapidly Adapting Morningside’s Measurement Tools to Ensure Effective Decision Making

(Service Delivery)
JULIAN GIRE (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to figure out how to adequately serve their students in the on-line environment. While the disruption caused to instruction has been well documented, the challenges of remote assessment have received less attention. As the pandemic continues, schools must not only work to maintain student’s academic achievement but also to further it. However, how can student progress be assessed in the online learning environment? The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction details a multi-tiered system of assessment, which is made up of dozens of assessments across different subject matters, and which guide the placement of students and ongoing progress monitoring efforts. The most pressing problem is that all of these assessments and their associated protocols were designed to be administered in person, not online. This talk will outline the process of designing, implementing, and revising Morningside’s placement testing process and recently redesigned progress monitoring system to ensure the collection of the best data possible. The speaker will present lessons learned, as well as future use of the online assessments once we are back to in person school.

 
The Classroom as the Unit of Analysis: Using Morningside’s Progress Monitoring to Inform Coaching Decisions
(Service Delivery)
ANDREW ROBERT KIETA (Morningside Academy), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Active coaching of classroom teachers by instructional experts is a fundamental component of The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. Implementing a robust coaching model in a school setting can be challenging, as coaches rarely have enough time to dedicate to all teachers. Best practices indicate that coaching priorities should be controlled by both student and teacher performance data. Morningside coaches have long been responsive to teacher performance data, which is collected and analyzed via a series of scorecards that collect a mix of direct behavioral measures and indirect rubric measures. However, coaches have typically been too responsive to certain types of student data, specifically micro-level data, or daily measurements of specific pinpoints collected on Standard Celeration Charts. Analyzing behavior at the level of the individual student results in more frequent 1:1 interventions, which can decrease teacher efficiency and shift the unit of analysis from the classroom to the individual student. This presentation will describe how Morningside coaches examine data produced by the recently redesigned progress monitoring system to make better coaching decisions, allocate time more effectively, and keep the classroom entrenched as the unit of analysis.
 
Morningside Model of Generative Instruction’s Multi-Tiered Assessment: Adding and Expanding Progress Monitoring of Written Expression
(Service Delivery)
BAILEE SCHEUFFELE (Morningside Academy), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: As part of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction, Morningside Academy utilizes a multi-level model of assessment - Macro, Placement, Meta, and Micro. The meta level assessment offers an important opportunity for teachers to evaluate student achievement, both over time and against the curricula. In the area of written expression, progress is assessed at the meta level through a Curriculum Based Assessment (CBA) in which the learner is given a set time to plan and then write a genre-specific paragraph from a visual prompt. But what about entry level students who are still learning at the sentence writing level? This presentation will examine the utility of a refined measurement modality that is more sensitive to the instruction of the targeted component skills. Current data shows that while data from the paragraph writing CBA is highly variable throughout the assessment period, rubric scores measuring proficiency in correct sentence structure increase over that same period, and variance between total words written (TWW) and correct writing sequence (CWS) shrinks.
 
 
Symposium #148
CE Offered: BACB
Evidence-Based Practices in Schools: Supporting Students at the Classwide Level, Individual Level, and via Telehealth
Saturday, May 29, 2021
5:00 PM–6:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Diana Ginns (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will bring together four studies that focus on improving outcomes for students both at the class-wide and individual level. The first study will describe a federally funded grant to develop a class-wide modular approach for assisting teachers in self-contained classrooms with students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD). The second presentation will provide the audience with an overview of coaching fidelity data from a tri-state implementation of the MAAPS model and a conceptualization on virtual (telehealth) coaching. The third presentation will move to describing individual outcomes for students with disruptive behavior and describe the use of the collaborative Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model to develop an effective interventions for students. The last presentation will describe another study at the individual student level in which two interventions were compared (choice vs. DRO without extinction) to determine which intervention resulted in the best outcomes and was more preferred by students with EBD. These studies describe how behavior analysts can work at the systems, class-wide, and individual level to best support educational personnel and students.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): EBP, PTR, School Consultation, Telehealth
Target Audience:

Participants should have basic behavioral knowledge and education in behavior analysis (at least one course in behavior modification/behavior analysis) and/or at least one year practicing behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentations, participants will be able to: 1. Describe strategies for implementing interventions class-wide and at the individual level for students in school academic settings. 2. Discuss how best to support students and teachers in virtually or telehealth context. 3. Describe and understand multiple strategies including DRO, Choice, and Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for individual students in classroom settings.
 

Development of Modular-Based Consultation Using Evidence-Based Practices for Teachers of Students With Emotional Disturbance

(Theory)
KIMBERLY CROSLAND (University of South Florida), Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida/Florida Mental Health), Diana Ginns (University of South Florida), Jennifer Wolgemuth (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

As the number of school-aged students receiving IEP services for Emotional Disabilities (ED) increase, the need for well-trained teachers of students with ED also increases. Teachers of students with ED have higher rates of burnout, stay in the profession fewer years, and experience higher rates of stress compared to teachers of students with other special education disabilities. Furthermore, individuals with ED encounter poorer post-secondary outcomes than those with other disabilities including higher rates of drop-out, substance abuse, and incarceration as well as lower rates of graduation and employment. Successfully ameliorating the challenging behaviors of students with ED while enrolled in schools is essential for reversing the negative outcomes. However, research reports that teachers of students with ED do not consistently use evidence-based strategies, or if used, need support in implementation. This presentation will present outcomes from the first year of a three year federally funded grant to develop a modular based intervention process for implementing evidence based behavioral strategies class-wide for students with ED. A theoretical description of the MOTIVATED framework will be presented along with a description of class-wide modules. Outcomes from themes that emerged from initial focus groups with key stakeholders (teachers, administrators, and students) will be presented that will address barriers and enhancers to implementing behavioral interventions class-wide for students with ED.

 

A Modular Approach for Autism Programming in Schools: Coaching Fidelity and Expanding to Telehealth

(Applied Research)
ROCKY HAYNES (University of South Florida - Tampa), Ryan J. Martin (May Institute)
Abstract:

Although there are established evidence-based interventions for students with autism, they are often not implemented as intended in school settings. Multiple factors impact school implementation including lack of resources, inadequate training, and transfer of research-based interventions to classrooms. Modular Approach to Autism Programming in Schools (MAAPS) is a collaborative, team-based framework that guides school teams to select and implement evidence-based interventions, utilizing a modular approach that customizes specific interventions to best address individual student needs. This presentation will provide an overview of the social validity and coaching fidelity data from implementation of MAAPS within schools across three states. There will be a particular focus on coaching fidelity data with discussion about how to adjust school consultation to a telehealth model based on the transition in this study from in-person to virtual coaching. Future consideration will be discussed about how to reach rural schools using a telehealth virtual model to assist them with implementing a modular approach to support students with autism.

 

Using the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce Model to Improve Classroom Behavior

(Service Delivery)
JENNIFER M. HODNETT (University of South Florida), Andrea Nicole Zuniga (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

The Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) model has been utilized to both decrease student problem behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors (Dunlap, Iovannone, Wilson, Kincaid, & Strain, 2010). The PTR model is a 5-step teaming approach to identify critical components that enhance the success of Tier 3 individualized behavior supports. PTR is a standardized, function-based model that incorporates the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The current study utilized the systematic approach of the PTR model to conduct a functional behavior assessment (FBA) of the disruptive behaviors of a first-grade student. Then, following the PTR model, the researchers collaborated with stakeholders on the development of an individualized behavioral support plan and teacher training. The intervention resulted in a reduction in disruptive behavior, increase in academic engagement, and teacher implementation fidelity was high throughout the intervention. A discussion of how both school psychologists and behavior analysts worked together to support the student will also be described.

 

Choice vs. Reinforcement for Decreasing Disruptive Behavior for Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

(Applied Research)
Sara Hordges (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), JESSE DEPAOLO (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

As the number of students with developmental disabilities increases in schools (U.S. Department of Education, 2017a), so does the need for effective interventions within school settings. Both antecedent and consequence interventions have been conducted within schools in attempts to decrease maladaptive behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors in relation to academics. Providing choices and reinforcement have demonstrated empirical evidence that both interventions were successful in creating positive behavior change in students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). This study compared the use of an antecedent-based intervention (i.e., activity choice) versus a consequence-based intervention (e.g., differential reinforcement without extinction) to determine which of the behavior management strategies produced a more effective behavior change for three students with or at risk of EBD. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants with an alternating treatments design was used. The feasibility for teachers to implement the interventions in their classrooms was also evaluated. Results indicated that both interventions were effective in increasing on-task behavior for all participants, although activity choice demonstrated a slightly higher effect for two of the three participants. Both interventions resulted in high levels of treatment fidelity by the teachers.

 

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