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 : Sunday, May 30, 2021


 

Symposium #189
Recent Studies on Punishment
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Punishment is an important behavioral-regulation mechanism relevant for learning to stop engaging in maladaptive behavior and plays an important role in both natural and programmed contingencies. Punishment procedures are effective in reducing the behavior of several species, in both basic and applied settings. However, there is a relative paucity of research on punishment. The present symposium will present recent studies on punishment. The presentations will discuss the effects of punishment on both human and non-human subjects. The first presentation will consist of a review of studies using hot air blast as a punisher with rats and will discuss its effectiveness as an aversive stimulus to be used with non-human animals. The second presentation will focus on the effects of punishment on choice when only one of two available responses is punished with escalating shock intensities and will discuss the implication of the results for quantitative models of punishment. Lastly, the third presentation will review the literature regarding the quantitative assessment of differences in loss aversion between healthy controls and individuals with psychiatric disorder and will discuss how a more accurate evaluation of loss aversion in these clinical populations can improve diagnostic clarity and assessment of treatment efficacy.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Aversive Control, Choice, Loss Aversion, Punishment
 

Extending the Punishment Principles: The Hot Air Blast as a Novel Aversive Stimulus

(Basic Research)
PAULO MORALES MAYER (CEUMA), Marcus Bentes De Carvalho Neto (Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA))
Abstract:

Understanding the basic principles of punishment is essential for a complete analysis of behavior. Most of the behavioral principles of punishment are based on studies with electric shock. To what extent are these principles valid to other aversive stimuli? Since 2005 the Hot Air Blast (HAB) has been used as a novel aversive stimulus in punishment experiments. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the HAB equipment and review the relevant results obtained so far. The experiments took place in an adapted conditioning chamber, with white rats as subjects, using 5s of HAB produced by a blow dryer as punishment. HAB has been effective in suppressing behavior even after 10 sessions of punishment demonstrating low habituation; its effectiveness depends on the stimulus compound (heat + air blast + sound); suppression is greater when the HAB is contingent on a response than when applied independently; it accelerates the discrimination learning when applied to the delta stimulus condition in comparison to the traditional reinforcement + extinction contingencies for the discriminative and delta stimulus respectively. Based on these experiments, we argue the HAB is an effective aversive stimulus to test the generality of the punishment principles, previously established with electric shock.

 

Punishment Intensity and Behavior Allocation

(Basic Research)
RAFAELA FONTES (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract:

The present study investigated the effects of escalating punishment intensity and repeated exposure to punishment on choice between punished and unpunished responses in five Long Evans rats. Equal reinforcement rates were programmed for both punished and unpunished responses on a concurrent schedule during both baseline and punishment phases. During punishment, escalating shock intensities were superimposed on the schedule of reinforcement for the punished response, and the punished response produced 50-ms foot shock with p = .50. Baseline and punishment phases were replicated three more times. Greater behavior suppression and a larger shift in allocation toward the unpunished response resulted from increases in shock intensity. Additionally, repeated exposure to punishment generated greater suppression of the punished response without additional increases in the unpunished response. These results suggest that changes in behavior allocation during punishment are a function of punishment severity and that repeated exposure to punishment can enhance such effects. A better understanding of the effects of punishment severity on the relative values of the options in a concurrent schedule could have important implications for quantitative models of punishment.

 
Quantifying Loss Aversion in Clinical Populations: A Review and Discussion
(Theory)
BRYAN KLAPES (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Georgia)
Abstract: Researchers have hypothesized that aberrant decision making is present in a wide array of psychopathology. Prospect Theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) allows for a formal and quantitative analysis of these decision-making processes. A core tenet of Prospect Theory is loss aversion (Kahneman & Tversky, 1991), which states that individuals will place more weight on losses than gains when making their choices. Loss aversion can be quantified via a discrete-trial task called a “mixed gambles” procedure, wherein participants are asked to make choices between two alternatives with different associated probabilities of gains and losses. In this talk, I will review the literature regarding the quantitative assessment of differences in loss aversion between healthy controls and individuals with psychiatric disorders [e.g., Major Depressive Disorder (MDD); Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)]. Additionally, I will present promising continuous-choice analogs to measuring loss aversion (e.g., matching-law-based hedonic scaling; matching-law-based punishment models) that may rectify some of the limitations associated with the mixed gambles procedure. This methodological change may result in more accurate evaluations of loss aversion in these clinical populations, leading to increased diagnostic clarity and improved assessment of treatment efficacy.
 
 
Panel #191
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Changing Workplace Culture: Making the Workplace Inclusive for All (A Scientific Framework for Compassion and Social Justice: Contributor Series)
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: OBM/CSS; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Kate Elizabeth Harrison, M.Ed.
Chair: Kate Elizabeth Harrison (Brett DiNovi & Associates, BCBA)
NATALI WACHTMAN PERILO (Behavior Momentum Group)
JANANI VAIDYA (Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
STEPHANIE D BOLDEN (Student / RBT)
Abstract:

Our Ethics Code guides us to promote an ethical culture in work environments (7.01) and to not engage in discriminatory practices (1.05d). As behavior analysts we have the capacity to promote better work environments for marginalized groups that face discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender discrimination, or skin colour. Factors that are known to be impacted include: recruitment and retention, participation numbers and representation of women and black, indigenous people of colour (BIPOC) in management positions, compensation for equal work and equal pay, microaggressions, and organizational policies and hiring practices that tend to favor biases towards white cis-gendered men (Cirincione-Ulezi, 2020; Iwata & Lent, 1984; Johns, 2013; Li et al., 2019; and Odum, 2000). Behaviour analytic interventions centred around processes highlighting equality, aligning organizational values amongst employees, as well as diversity appreciation will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Supervisors and business owners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Ability to implement interventions centred around processes highlighting equality, aligning organizational values amongst employees, as well as diversity appreciation; (2) Identify discriminatory practices and behaviors in the work environment and develop interventions to reduce microagressions and gender discrimination; (3) Discuss organizational practices that can lead to a more inclusive, value-oriented work environment
Keyword(s): discrimination, ethics, microaggressions, organizational culture
 
 
Panel #209
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
Diversity submission The Future of ABA: The Direction of the Field and How We Will Advance the Utility of the Science (A Scientific Framework for Compassion and Social Justice: Contributor Series)
Sunday, May 30, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Michelle L Zube, M.Ed.
Chair: Barbara Gross (Missouri Behavior Consulting; Special School District of St Louis County)
BOBBY NEWMAN (Proud Moments)
SARAH ELIZABETH TRAUTMAN (CalABA)
MICHELLE L ZUBE (CB Consultants LLC.)
Abstract:

The field of behaviour analysis has seen recent exponential growth however we are surrounded by punishment, inequality, injustice, and anti-science rhetoric. For our science to realize its far-reaching impact, we must conceptualize a society, like Walden 2, as our terminal goal and shape societal responses to that achievement. This panel discussion will discuss current systemic problems within culture and how we, as behaviour analysts, can establish systems that are rooted in data and behavioural science. Topics that will be discussed include utopian behaviour society, perspective taking, and compassion.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Advance ~ BCBAs and BCBA-Ds. Complex concepts that go beyond introductory literature or the course sequence.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Extending Walden II and concept of utopia using behaviour analysis; (2) Discuss barriers to utopian existence with current cultural contingencies; (3) Using behaviour analytic principles to prospective taking, compassion, and overcoming societal norms that limit marginalized populations
Keyword(s): compassion, culture, perspective taking, society
 
 
Symposium #210
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP — 
Supervision
Key Behavior-Analytic Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Experimental Analysis of Online Academic Performance, Mask Wearing, and Face Touching
Sunday, May 30, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Javier Virues Ortega (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) & The University of Auckland (New Zealand))
CE Instructor: Javier Virues Ortega, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The current COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of over 1.5 million people across the world and have changed the lifestyle of humanity, possibly, for years to come. In this context, specific behaviors that had received minimal or no attention in the past have been moved up the social validity scale overnight. In this symposium we will evaluate various interventions addressing some key COVID-related behaviors. Online teaching and internet use has exploded during the pandemic. The first study looks at the potential role of social media in facilitating academic performance during online university-level courses. There are essentially no experimental analyses in the literature evaluating whether social media engagement (in the context of closed Facebook learning groups) could be an important channel for multi-component behavioral interventions. The second study presents a telehealth mask-wearing training program for children with autism presenting mask-induced problem behavior. The study evaluates a caregiver-delivered intervention among an international sample of participants from Belgium, India, Mexico, and Costa Rica. In the final study we turn to face touching. Face touching is thought to account for tens or hundreds of thousands of Sars-CoV-2 infections across the world due to physical contact with contaminated surfaces. It has been suggested that face touching, a high frequency behavior, may limit the protective role of hand washing, which occurs inevitably at lower rates. In this third presentation we evaluate the suppressive effect of contingent vibrotactile stimulation on face touching in a group of typical adults as they go about their daily lives. In addition to the treatment evaluation side of the study, it also provided an opportunity to conduct a thorough quantitative and descriptive analysis of face touching in ecologically relevant settings. Overall, these studies give a perspective of the diversity of behavioral applications that can be brought to bear in order to mitigate the effects of the current pandemic.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): COVID, Face touching, Mask wearing, Social media
Target Audience:

Students, practitioners and applied researchers.

Learning Objectives: 1. Learn the mechanisms by which social media closed groups can be used to deliver reinforcement-based interventions and understand their likely effect on academic engagement and performance. 2. Understand the proposed treatment model for mask wearing acquisition among clients with developmental disability in cross-cultural settings. 3. Understand the behavioral processes underlying face toaching and its importance as a health risk behavior.
 
An Experimental Evaluation of a Facebook Group’s Contribution to Academic Engagement and Performance among Postgraduate Students
(Applied Research)
AIDA TARIFA RODRIGUEZ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid & ABA España), Javier Virues Ortega (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) & The University of Auckland (New Zealand))
Abstract: This study examines the effectiveness of a multi-component package designed to increase engagement between faculty and professional specialization students in an online course. We hypothesized that enhancing online interaction can be an active element of teaching effectiveness and can have a measurable impact on performance. The intervention was delivered through a closed Facebook group. The multi-component package was comprised of peer reinforcement and cooperative learning, student self-monitoring, self-evaluation, goal setting, and teacher antecedent- and consequent-based strategies. A total of 46 students participated in a concurrent multiple baseline design across groups. The intervention was staggered across the groups over a period of eight weeks. The results indicated that the intervention was effective in increasing social media engagement in the learning group and academic performance. A post hoc multi-level analysis suggested that social media interaction responses (observing and intraverbal responses) mediated the effect of the intervention on academic performance. We will discuss the implications of our findings in the context of the widespread use of online teaching during the current pandemic.
 

Telehealth Mask-Wearing Training for Children With Autism and Mask-Induced Problem Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Service Delivery)
Maithri Sivaraman (Ghent University, Belgium), AGUSTIN PEREZ-BUSTAMANTE PEREIRA (Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain), Javier Virues Ortega (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid & The University of Auckland), Herbert Roeyers (Ghent University, Belgium)
Abstract:

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus causing COVID-19 and is spread through close person-to-person contact. The use of face masks has been described as an important strategy in the combat to contain and slow down its transmission while a vaccine is not made widely available. We evaluated the effects of telehealth training for caregivers to teach mask wearing to children with ASD. Six participants with a history of challenging behavior associated with mask wearing were recruited from different parts of the world, and trained using a combination of graduated exposure, shaping and contingent reinforcement. By the end of the intervention all participants wore a face mask for a target period of 10 min without exhibiting challenging behavior, and generalized the skill to a novel mask and a community setting. The findings support previous tolerance training treatment evaluations in children with developmental disability exhibiting resistance to healthcare routines. Clinical recommendations and areas for future research are discussed.

 

Suppressive Effect of Contingent Vibrotactile Stimulation on Face Touching During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Experimental Treatment Evaluation

(Applied Research)
JAVIER VIRUES ORTEGA (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid & The University of Auckland), Maithri Sivaraman (Ghent University), Agustin Perez-Bustamante Pereira (Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain), Aida Tarifa Rodriguez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid & ABA España), Carolina Trujilo-Sánchez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain), Rebeca Pardo-Cebrian (ABA España, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Peter A. Krause (University of California Santa Cruz), Neil Timothy Martin (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Abstract:

Facial contact behavior is a high frequency, high duration behavior that contributes to the transmission of communicable diseases by interaction with contaminated surfaces. Studies indicate that the Sars-CoV-2 virus remains viable for hours on surfaces such as paper, plastic, or metals. Hand-face contact has a long history among mammals and primates and is likely maintained by sensory consequences. It is estimated that thousands of infections may be mediated by hand contact with contaminated surfaces with pathogens being subsequently transferred to mucous membranes by hand contact with the mouth, nose, or eyes. We used contingent vibrotactile stimulation as an intervention to reduce hand-face contacts in ecological settings. Ten consecutively recruited adults wore one or two bracelets that delivered vibrotactile stimuli following face touching. Stimuli were delivered through Bluetooth-connected devices that were calibrated for each participant. We also evaluated the social validity of the intervention and how various environmental events were related to the level of face touching. In addition, the study provides an opportunity to discuss the quantitative characteristics of face touching. The results indicated that the face touching can be reduced considerably with this simple intervention.

 
 
Symposium #216
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Renewal and Resurgence: Bridging the Gap Between Basic and Applied Research
Sunday, May 30, 2021
10:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Michael P. Kranak (Oakland University)
Discussant: Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Christopher A. Podlesnik, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The reemergence of extinguished behavior is broadly referred to as relapse. Relapse can be especially concerning in the treatment of problem behavior, as relapse can lead to eventual treatment failure. Two forms of relapse particularly relevant in the treatment of problem behavior are renewal and resurgence. Renewal is the reemergence of an extinguished response following a context change. Resurgence is the reemergence of an extinguished response following a worsening of reinforcement conditions for an alternative response. Mitigating relapse requires both advancing our understanding of the phenomena (often achieved through basic research) and further identification of treatment variables and their potential interactions (often achieved through applied research). The symposium is comprised of two basic and two applied investigations focused on the advanced understanding of relapse and relevant treatment variables and interactions. Findings from these investigations, areas for future research, and clinical implications will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): punishment, relapse, renewal, resurgence
Target Audience:

Target audience includes practitioners and applied researchers with a BCBA or BCBA-D, as well as basic researchers with at least a graduate degree. It is also appropriate for psychologists who conduct behavioral assessments and treatments.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify clinical variables related relapse; (2) describe the role context plays in renewal as related to basic and applied preparations; (3) describe how worsening of reinforcement conditions can lead to resurgence; and (4) understand the importance of both basic and applied research in studying relapse.
 

Examining Contextual Control in Children With Automatically Reinforced Problem Behavior

(Applied Research)
ALEXIS CONSTANTIN PAVLOV (Marcus Autism Center, Emory School of Medicine), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center, Emory School of Medicine), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center, Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract:

The reemergence of problem behavior after extinction during context changes is referred to as renewal. Estimates for the prevalence of renewal for problem behavior maintained by social reinforcement indicate that renewal occurs in approximately 42% of observed context changes (i.e., location or person; Muething et al., 2019). However, when examining the reemergence of automatically reinforced problem behavior during the same context changes, extinction may not be an active component of treatment, and therefore any increase in problem behavior cannot be classified as renewal. Rather, contextual control may better explain this phenomenon. In the absence of extinction, context changes could result in increases in the automatically reinforced problem behavior based on different learning histories in different contexts. For example, returning to a home context where the problem behavior was previously observed may result in an increase. This study examined 38 context changes in a consecutive controlled case-series design (Hagopian, Rooker, Jessel, & DeLeon, 2013) for children with automatically reinforced problem behavior in an intensive outpatient program. Reemergence of problem behavior during those context changes was found in 12 of the examined changes (31%).

 
On the Scope and Characteristics of Treatment Relapse During Clinical Service Delivery
(Applied Research)
BRIAN D. GREER (CSH-RUCARES, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Kayla Rechelle Randall (Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health), Sarah D Haney (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Daniel R. Mitteer (CSH–RUCARES, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Abstract: Prior studies examining prevalence of treatment relapse have been limited in terms of relapse type analyzed (i.e., resurgence or renewal), type of clinical service evaluated (e.g., only treatments for destructive behavior), and responding assessed (i.e., only problem behavior). In the present study, we examined both resurgence and renewal across two clinical programs—a Severe Behavior Program and a Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program. We also analyzed disruption of alternative behavior. Results showed (a) treatment relapse occurred across all functions of problem behavior addressed, (b) problem behavior recurrence predicted alternative response disruption, (c) alternative response disruption predicted problem behavior recurrence, (d) the co-occurrence of these two events always equaled or exceeded the background probabilities of either event occurring in isolation, and (e) general reductions in treatment efficacy occurred across transition types with no apparent decrease in likelihood with later transitions.
 

The Effects of Fading Between Reinforcement and Extinction Contexts on Operant Renewal

(Basic Research)
MICHAEL KOEGEL (SUNY Upstate Medical University), William Sullivan (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Charlene Nicole Agnew (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Kate Elizabeth Derrenbacker (SUNY Upstate Medical University ), Emily L. Baxter (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Henry S. Roane (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Andrew R. Craig (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Abstract:

An increase in the frequency of previously extinguished behavior following a change to the context in which extinction took place is termed “renewal.” In ABA renewal, for example, a response that is reinforced in one context (Context A) during baseline and extinguished in a second context (Context B) during treatment may renew if stimuli associated with Context A are represented. The present experiment assessed whether fading from Context B to Context A during treatment reduces renewal of rats’ lever pressing when Context A is represented. Specific visual, olfactory, and tactile stimuli were associated with Contexts A and B. For one group, the stimuli that signaled Context A were faded systematically into the rats’ chambers across treatment sessions while Context-B stimuli were faded out simultaneously. A second group experienced the same fading procedure but in the opposite order: Context-A stimuli were faded out of the chambers across sessions of treatment while Context-B stimuli were faded in. A third group experienced a standard ABA renewal preparation as described above as a control procedure. Data collection is ongoing. Findings from this research may have implications for treatment strategies aimed at reducing renewal of problematic human behavior during context changes following treatment.

 
Resurgence of Punishment-Suppressed Alcohol Seeking in Rats
(Basic Research)
GABRIELLE MARIE-ANNE SUTTON (Utah State University), Anthony Nathan Nist (Utah State University), Kaitlyn Browning (Utah State University), Rusty Nall (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Resurgence refers to an increase in previously suppressed behavior following a relative worsening of conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative behavior. Resurgence of extinguished alcohol-seeking has been demonstrated in rats, but alcohol seeking of humans is thought to be the result of increasing negative consequences, rather than extinction. Thus, this study examined resurgence of punishment-suppressed alcohol seeking of rats. During Phase 1, target responses produced dippers of 20% alcohol. During Phase 2, alcohol remained available, but all rats received intermittent foot-shocks for target responses. For rats in a differential reinforcement of alternative behavior group (DRA), an alternative response was also reinforced with food. During Phase 3, all responses were placed on extinction such that neither food nor alcohol was available, and punishment was removed. Suppression of alcohol-seeking during Phase 2 was comparable across groups. Resurgence was greater in the punishment plus DRA group compared to the punishment only group. By demonstrating resurgence of alcohol seeking previously suppressed by negative consequences this procedure may provide an animal model of resurgence of alcohol seeking with increased translational utility.
 
 
Symposium #220
CE Offered: BACB
Observational Learning Research: A Review of Trends and Current Examinations of Complex Repertoires
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group)
CE Instructor: Jaime DeQuinzio, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Observational learning is important in a child’s development because it allows behavior to be changed by the natural environment without experiencing consequences directly. This symposium will present a review of observational learning research with children with autism as well as cover two recent studies conducted with children with and without developmental disabilities. Both studies focused on the complex repertoire of responding to social contingencies applied to the behavior of others. In the first study, observed contingencies were applied to incorrect responses first and were shifted to correct responses and in the second study initially non-preferred stimuli were established as conditioned reinforcers via observational learning.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): conditioned reinforcement, observational learning
Target Audience:

Intermediate

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define observational learning from a learning perspective; (2) identify the components responses of observational learning; and (3)identify research designs used in observational learning research.
 

Teaching Observational Learning Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of the Literature

(Theory)
ALEXZANDRIA L. TRAGNO (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Leslie Quiroz (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University), Laura Lyons (East Windsor Regional School District, Hightstown, NJ)
Abstract:

Observational learning is important in a child’s development because it allows behavior to be changed by the natural environment without experiencing consequences directly. Given the deficits in this repertoire often observed in children with autism spectrum disorder, effective procedures for teaching observational learning are needed as part of comprehensive behavioral intervention programs. The purpose of the current review was to provide a systematic, quantitative analysis of studies that evaluated procedures for teaching observational learning to children with autism spectrum disorder. We identified 12 studies meeting our inclusion criteria and coded them across 17 parameters. An analysis of this body of research is provided, along with recommendations for clinicians and directions for future research.

 
Shifting Responding to Match Changes in Observed Responses and Contingencies: A Pilot Study to Evaluate Advanced Observational Learning Repertoires
(Applied Research)
JAIME DEQUINZIO (Alpine Learning Group), Marjorie Ortego-Solano (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Research has shown that children with autism can learn to discriminate the contingencies applied to modeled responses during observational learning. However, modeled responses in the natural environment are not finite as they have been arranged in experimental conditions. Modeled responses change according to the contingencies applied to them in the moment and observers must learn to shift responding accordingly. We first taught a participant with autism to discriminate correct and incorrect response of a model learning social studies and science intraverbals and then shifted modeled responses and consequences (i.e., the model shifted to a correct response after an initial incorrect response that was consequated with negative feedback “That’s not right”). We used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across three stimulus sets to determine the effects of discrimination training with rules on correct responding of one participant. Data showed that for one of the two of the three stimulus sets, the participant shifted responding to match the modeled shift (i.e., from incorrect to correct) without instruction, however rules and differential reinforcement were required to teach shifting in one set. Another noteworthy result was that sessions to criterion in the discrimination training condition decreased across stimulus sets. We discuss implications for teaching this advanced observational learning repertoire to children with autism.
 

The Effects of the Observational Procedure on Conditioned Reinforcement for Books for Preschoolers With and Without Disabilities

(Applied Research)
HUNG CHANG (teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of an observational procedure on the establishment of conditioned reinforcement for observing books using multiple probe design across dyads with 4 preschoolers. All of the participants could textually respond to kindergarten or first-grade level high-frequency words, but observing books did not function as a preferred activity for them. The independent variable was the establishment of conditioned reinforcement for books using an observational procedure. During the intervention, the participants were paired into dyads. They observed a peer confederate reading books while the confederate received consistent social approvals from the experimenter; the participants did not receive social attention and were denied access to books during the intervention. The dependent variables were the rate of acquisition of textual responses, and the duration participants spent observing printed words. Results in the first experiment showed 3 participants had an accelerated rate of acquisition of textual responses after books functioned as conditioned reinforcers. Two participants spent a longer time observing printed words during the post-intervention sessions.

 
 
Symposium #223
CE Offered: BACB
The Application of Behavior Analysis to Sports and Exercise
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mariah Mussetter (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral principles explain all operant behavior, and sports and exercise has been studied within our science. Individual exercise routines, collegiate and professional sports performance, and enhancement of coaching effectiveness has been empirically studied within our science. The proposed symposium will further that research by providing theoretical as well as research-based presentations on this topic. The matching law, as applied to sports and exercise, will be described. A study investigating the effect of an intervention to increase recess play in the public schools will be described as well. Lastly, a component analysis of the TAGTeach form of instruction - as applied to teaching volleyball skills - will be presented.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): exercise, matching law, sports, TAGteach
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the relevance of the matching law to sports behavior;(2) give an example of the matching law explaining a specific sports performance; (3) explain the general procedures of the TAGTeach procedure; (4) explain the application of group contingencies to increasing group exercise.
 

A Brief Review of the Application of Matching Law in Sports

(Theory)
KY CLIFTON KANAMAN (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

The importance of sports in America is reiterated annually on the first Sunday of February when more viewers tune in for the Super Bowl than those who vote in our presidential election (Schlanger, 2015). Sports play an integral role in our society and for the past two decades behavior analysts have utilized the matching law to analyze this cultural phenomenon. The matching law has traditionally been applied as a quantitative analysis tool in the experimental analysis of behavior; however, applications of the generalized matching equation (GME) have been translated to athletic performance. GME has been utilized to predict various operant choices in sports (e.g., shot type or play type) at both the individual and team level. In addition to further demonstrating the relevance of applied behavioral science outside of the classroom or laboratory, this review provides a summary of the application and utility of the matching law in sports, discusses limitations of the current literature, and provides recommendations for future research.

 
Comparing an Interdependent and Dependent Group Contingency to Increase Physical Activity in Students During Recess
(Applied Research)
MADELINE MARIE ASARO (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Abstract: Physical activity is defined as any body movement that requires energy expenditure. It has important physiological, mental health, academic, and cognitive benefits for children and youth. Despite these advantages, a large proportion of this population does not meet the minimum recommended amount of physical activity. Recent studies have shown that the interdependent group contingency (IGC) and dependent group contingency (DGC) improve physical activity; however, no comparison of the effects of these group contingencies on physical activity has been conducted. We used a multielement within a concurrent multiple baseline across classes design to compare the effectiveness of these group contingencies on the physical activity of two classes of Grade 5 students. Both group contingencies increased physical activity in both classes, with the IGC producing slightly higher overall levels of physical activity than the DGC at the class-wide and individual level of analyses. Side effect data suggested that reward delivery influenced the amount of positive and negative statements more so than the group contingency arrangement. Results are discussed within the context of treatment decisions and suggestions for future research.
 
Efficacy of TAGteach® Interventions: Comparing the Effects of Verbal and Audible Feedback
(Applied Research)
MARIAH MUSSETTER (University of Kansas), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University), Robin Arnall (The Sage Colleges, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: TAGteach® (based on principles of teaching with acoustical guidance) is an emerging behavioral coaching strategy that utilizes verbal instructions, visual models, and audible feedback to promote skill acquisition of a variety of skills (e.g., sports, activities of daily living, and occupational skills). Extending the findings of previous research, the current study compared the effects of audible feedback (inherent in TAGteach and verbal feedback on the skill acquisition of two volleyball skills. Five female adolescents participated in the study. Results indicated that, for all participants, implementation of TAGteach procedures (regardless of the topography of feedback), produced increases in task analysis steps performed correctly, and those increases maintained for up to two weeks. Results further indicate that performance inconsistently generalized to the natural setting (i.e., inclusion of a volleyball). Results are discussed in terms of crucial components of TAGteach and the analysis of efficient behavioral instruction.
 
 
Panel #231A
CE Offered: BACB
In Defense of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D.
Chair: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
JULIE FITZPATRICK (Parent)
COLE FITZPATRICK (Received ABA Services)
AMY GRAVINO (A.S.C.O.T Consulting)
PETER GERHARDT (The EPIC School)
RONALD LEAF (Autism Partnership)
JUDITH URSITTI (Autism Speaks)
TAYLOR ROBB (PENDING)
Abstract:

The philosophy and associated methodologies of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been applied across several contexts and populations including, but not limited to, addiction (e.g., Silverman et al., 2008), autism (e.g., Leaf et al., 2017), education (e.g., Keller, 1968), gerontology (e.g., Dwyer-Moore & Dixon, 2007), healthcare (e.g., Friman et al., 1986), human safety (e.g., Geller, 2005), intellectual disabilities (e.g., Passage et al., 2012), juvenile delinquency (e.g., Serna et al., 1986), space (e.g., Brady, 2007), sports (e.g., Luiselli & Reed, 2011), and sustainability (e.g., Bekker et al., 2010). In each of the contexts and populations with which ABA philosophy and methodologies have been applied, improvements have been observed. This is perhaps best exemplified with respect to ABA-based interventions designed for autistics/individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is not to say that the application of methodologies based upon ABA has been without its faults. However, despite its faults, there have been countless success. The faults and the success should be discussed within the profession. The purpose of this panel is to highlight the many successes of ABA as it relates to interventions designed for autistics/individuals diagnosed with ASD while still acknowledging its faults and the need for improvement.

Instruction Level: Basic
 
 
Symposium #232
CE Offered: BACB/QABA/NASP
Diversity submission Passport Pedagogy: Excellence in Applied Behavior Analysis from China and Italy
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lin Du (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jeremy H. Greenberg (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
CE Instructor: Jeremy H. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This collection of applied and descriptive research studies push our science in China and Italy. The first paper titled All For One And One For All used behavioral observation techniques to determine socially valid performance criterion for attending behaviors in typically developing students during group instruction. The second paper used functional behavior assessment and a conditioning procedure to replace stereotype with toy with a student having autism in an international primary school. The third paper outlines current dimensions of applied behavior analysis research in China. The fourth paper tested the effects of a different intensity CABAS®-based intervention packages using an alternating (ABACA) treatment design for 9 children diagnosed with Autism, aged 2 to 6 years old in Italy.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): aba, autism, china, school
Target Audience:

Designed for Supervisors, Directors, and Administrators

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will understand conditioning reinforcement to replace stereotypy as an effective tactic for students with autism. 2. Participants will be able to name some reference in our field from China. 3. Participants will have an understanding of a CABAS systems approach to a school in Italy.
 
Diversity submission All For One And One For All: Establishing Social Validity Measures for Inclusion
(Applied Research)
HIU CHING CHEUNG (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
Abstract: Inclusion of students with special education needs (SEN) and especially autism spectrum disorder (ASD) into general education curricula is a challenging practice. In recent years, the practice of inclusion has been expanding within the international school community. Outside of the United States, the process of inclusion is developing rapidly due to an ever increasing demand mostly. The demand is fuelled by families and is compounded by the scarcity of international schools with developed programs and inclusive classrooms. Applied Behavior Analysis provides strategies and tactics that support educators and those responsible for inclusion of students SEN and ASD. The purpose of the present study was to use behavioral observation techniques to determine socially valid performance criterion for attending behaviors in typically developing students during group instruction. Direct observations occurred in situ using partial interval recording procedures across typical students across primary grades one through eight, inclusive. Data were collected under two types of conditions, lecture style instruction, and independent desk work for boys and girls across all grades. Results add to our evidence-based criterion that are used to determine the level of services needed, if any, to support our students in the general education setting.
 
Diversity submission 

Using Functional Behavior Assessment and Conditioning Procedures to Replace Stereotypy in an International School Student With Autism

(Applied Research)
JAMIE SO (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
Abstract:

The present study used functional behavior assessment and a treatment package including conditioning of toy play with a student with autism in an international primary school. The functional behavior assessment confirmed that the behaviors were being maintained through automatic reinforcement. The procedure was a partial replication from research conducted with adults and preschool students. Our student was 11 years old and had a long history of stereotypy behaviors and a limited community of reinforcers. This study tested for the external validity of the treatment package.

 
Diversity submission 

Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis in China: A Critical Review of Research

(Basic Research)
WEIHE HUANG (Creating Behavioral + Educational Momentum)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) was introduced into Mainland China at the beginning of the 21st century as a direct result of the rise of autism spectrum disorder. The following decades can roughly be divided into two phases in terms of the development of ABA in China. Phase one was the time period with a focus on dissemination of ABA practice in China and it lasted from 2000 to 2009. In phase two, which lasted from 2010 to the current date, initial research on ABA emerged in China while dissemination of ABA practice continued and accelerated. The objective of this presentation is to critically evaluate ABA studies conducted by Chinese researchers. For this purpose, the author conducted a systematic search for literature on ABA published by Chinese scholars. In this presentation, the author will use seven ABA dimensions (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968) to measure the quality of the ABA literature and present results from quantitative analysis and qualitative evaluation of empirical studies published by Chinese ABA researchers. The author will also attempt to explain the unique feature of ABA research published by Chinese scholars by analyzing relevant cultural contingencies. Based on these descriptions and analyses, the author will make recommendations for the future development of ABA research in China.

 
Diversity submission 

Comparing the Effects of Different ABA Interventions for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder During a Pandemic

(Service Delivery)
FABIOLA CASARINI (Scuola delle Stelle)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of a different intensity CABAS®-based intervention packages using an alternating (ABACA) treatment design for 9 children diagnosed with Autism, aged 2 to 6 years old. The study was conducted in a learning and research centre in Italy prior and during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and is still ongoing. The obligation to stop the CABAS® intervention created an opportunity to change the treatment frequency while keeping the treatment integrity for all participants, and provide the experimenters with an opportunity to collect data and compare them on the optimal treatment intensity. Condition A constituted high educational intensity where each participant received 1:1 intervention for 12 hours a week, while Condition B constituted 1:1 intervention for 3 hours a week (during the first lockdown), and during Condition C, intervention was delivered for 6 hours a week (during the second lockdown).The dependent variables in the study were the changes in participant’s ADOS-2 and CARS-2 scores prior and after each treatment change, and participants number of Learn Units to Criterion rate. The early results showed a significant difference between before and after the low-frequency package was implemented, for the total scores and each sub-test of both instruments. So far, results suggest that normative tests, together with individual graphs’analysis, can help differentiate between treatment effectiveness and efficiency for each child. Further research is needed in order to make more generalized conclusions into the optimal intensity of intervention, especially in countries, such as Italy, where children with Autism can’t attend special schools or have insurance-covered intensive treatments.

 
 
Symposium #238
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
Innovations and Outcomes: Exploring Real-World Application and Evaluation of ABA Services via Telehealth
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kristine Rodriguez (Autism Learning Partners)
CE Instructor: Kristine Rodriguez, M.A.
Abstract:

The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 and the ensuing emergency guidelines had potential to limit the delivery of essential ABA-based Autism services. While literature outside of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has demonstrated efficacy of remote, video-conference modality for medical care, (i.e. telehealth or telepractice), replicable models of ABA-based telehealth were limited in ABA literature prior to 2020. In response to the public health crisis, a protocol modification assessment (PMA) and treatment selection matrix for modifying ABA programs for direct telehealth was developed and published in an emergency issue of Behavior Analysis in Practice (Rodriguez, 2020). The first panelist will present a model for training and implementation of the PMA in a multi-site provider organization, including confidence self-assessment results from the participating behavior analysts; the second panelist will present client outcomes in the form of pre- and post-implementation assessment change scores. A third panelist will share an innovative applied research approach to modification of a well-known curriculum (PEAK), in which the materials were transformed into an interactive video game that allowed for remote, highly engaging implementation. The panelists will offer guidance for future implementation and evaluation.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): applied research, client outcomes, PEAK, telehealth
Target Audience:

Participants should be familiar with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB(R) 2014, including considerations for competence to practice and efficacy of services); a review of literature related to telehealth service delivery (e.g. Ferguson et al., 2019); and PEAK Curriculum (Dixon, 2008) and its applications (Belisle, 2018) will offer participants context for engagement.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: 1. Identify skills that improve a client's readiness for various modalities of telehealth ABA 2. Evaluate clinical outcomes of their clients using available assessment data 3. Modify programs and teaching resources to improve engagement and outcomes
 
A Model for Training Behavior Analysts in Program Modification for Telehealth
(Service Delivery)
JO ANNA MAZZACANE (Autism Learning Partners)
Abstract: Regional restrictions and emergency mandates related to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a necessary shift in delivery of essential ABA services, requiring a methodology for evaluating appropriateness of a rapid shift to telehealth for existing programs. Using the Program Modification Assessment (PMA) and treatment selection matrix for telehealth services (Rodriguez, 2020), a multi-site provider organization provided training, coaching, and resources for behavior analysts (BAs). BAs first evaluated the abilities and needs of the client, coupled with those of the caregiver, to determine the magnitude of modifications necessary to ethically transition to telehealth. Clients were designated as candidates for direct (1:1) telehealth, telehealth supervision, or a traditional (in-person) model. This presenter will review the training topics offered, the coaching model used (including live, remote Behavioral Skills Training and in-office case review), and the interactive resources provided to aid BAs in the transition. The presenter will additionally share survey data indicating a rapid and dramatic improvement in self-assessment of BA competence in delivering telehealth services.
 

Evaluating Client Outcomes Across Treatment Modalities: Telehealth vs. Traditional In-home Models of ABA

(Service Delivery)
ALLYSON MARIE KRONEBERGER (Children's Learning Connection; Autism Learning Partners)
Abstract:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly 1400 clients were transitioned to telehealth ABA services across 50+ regions of a multi-site provider organization. Many clients’ services were shifted within 1-2 weeks of the emergency orders; some were transitioned within days. While the modality of treatment offered clear benefits (i.e. continuity of care; provisioning of essential services without the risk of viral transmission), telehealth ABA has not been evaluated widely. Questions of efficacy are central to ethical compliance and provision of evidence-based, medically necessary treatment; therefore, clinical outcomes are urgently needed in order to determine whether funders will continue to adopt telehealth once the pandemic ends. This presenter will show an initial view of aggregated outcomes data, using pre- and post-assessment assessment change scores. The Vineland 3 is the primary measure of clinical outcomes in this presentation; the author will make recommendations for complementary measures to be used in future analysis.

 
Automating and Gamifying PEAK Programming and Delivery Through Telehealth
(Applied Research)
LINDSEY AUDREY MARIE DENNIS (Missouri State University), Leah Clarke (Pender Public School), raymond burke (Apex Regional Program), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Abstract: School closures due to COVID-19 presented enormous challenges to staff and students as well as opportunities to innovate and automate behavior analytic technologies. As part of a large-scale collaboration, we developed and transported technologies used to automate discrete trial training with children with autism for remote delivery. First, we discuss the development and initial testing of an automated learning game similar to Whack-a-Mole that we used to augment existing PEAK programming. Results suggest that this strategy was successful in teaching new language and cognitive skills. Second, we will discuss how this technology was transferred to an online format leveraging interlocking social contingencies between the direct therapist and the learner. Successful results retained in this new format. Finally, we adapted the telehealth strategy to chain life skills using the PEAK Life curriculum and these strategies were combined within a Premack strategy with two learners with autism. Both showed mastery of the target vocational skills in this remote delivery format.
 
 
Symposium #239
CE Offered: BACB
Reassessing ABA Practice and Acceptance During COVID-19: Where Does Your Organization Stand?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Noor Syed (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Sara Gershfeld Litvak, M.S.
Abstract:

The sudden emergence and ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 led many behavioral health organizations to reassess how they deliver applied behavior analysis (ABA) services as well as the skills that employees need to effectively execute their job functions. This reassessment for how services would be delivered resulted in ABA sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic that looked significantly different than ABA sessions delivered pre-COVID-19. In this symposium, we will share the results of three studies that measured the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of ABA services. The first presenter will discuss the importance of compassion and empathy as a soft skill for behavior analysts, and how those skills can be taught using Behavior Skills Training. The second talk discusses parental acceptance of Telehealth to replace in-person ABA therapy. The final talk discusses the impact of COVID-19 on ABA practitioner job satisfaction and their perception of care quality. All presenters will discuss the implications of their findings and future steps.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): behavior-skills-training, COVID-19, employee satisfaction, telehealth
Target Audience:

Practicing behavior analysts or patient's/caregivers of those who receive ABA services.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how COVID-19 has changed the delivery of ABA services; (2) the impact of changing service delivery on parents of patients who receive ABA services; and (3) the impact of changing service delivery on the staff who deliver ABA services.
 
Adding Soft Skills to the Repertoires of Behavior Analysts: Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Compassion and Empathy
(Applied Research)
KAREN ROSE (Northborough/Southborough Public Schools), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: In recent years, the concept of soft skills, including those that demonstrate compassion and empathy had a place in the field of behavior analysis. Behavior analysis takes pride in their adherence to the science, data and practice of evidence-based treatment. The commitment to clients includes making socially significant changes in behavior to improve the quality of life for clients and families. With the surge in the number of practicing behavior analysts, criticism has ranged from being too rigid when collaborating with families and other treatment providers as well as not listening or taking into consideration the wants and needs of the families (Taylor, LeBlanc & Nosik, 2018). Further studies of those practicing in the field of behavior analysis indicate that while their training programs may excel at teaching the technical skills there lack of training and focus on training of soft skills such as active listening, Making empathic statements, asking clarifying questions. The purpose of this study is to use the evidence-based Behavior Skills Training Model to teach pre-credentialed behavior analysts soft skills to augment their technical skills. Seven pre-credentialed Masters students participated in three one-hour Behavior Skills trainings in the area of three soft skills; Active Listening, Making Empathic Statements and Asking Clarifying questions. With the use of behavior skills training, 6 graduate students of behavior analysis demonstrated and maintained skill acquisition of three soft skills including: active listening, Making empathic statements and asking clarifying questions.
 

Parental Acceptance of Telehealth to Replace In-Person ABA Therapy at the Onset of COVID

(Applied Research)
JENNA ARANKI ( Easterseals), Amin Duff Lotfizadeh (Easterseals Southern California), Patricia I. Wright (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence )
Abstract:

Addressing issues of disparity in access to treatment for children with autism has gained increased attention. COVID-19 has been documented to disproportionally affect disenfranchised populations in both its direct health effects and have a greater impact on the upstream social determinants of health such as financial well-being, access to education, etc. The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess known factors that affect autism treatment (e.g. severity of symptomology, behavioral excesses) and care-providers acceptance or rejection of ABA telehealth services at the onset of COVID-19. Rejection of telehealth resulted in the absence of any behavior analytic services to patients. This study reports on an initial convenience sample (∼100 patients) of a larger sample size (∼1500 patients) from a service provider in Southern California. A t-test for the convenience sample found significance for one variable but not others. Additional measures are being conducted and a randomized sample of the patient population is being analyzed. If particular variables are found to be significant in the randomized sample, interventions may be tailored to decrease the disparity and ensure more children do not experience a disruption in service should telehealth be required as a treatment modality.

 

Impact of COVID-19 on ABA Practitioner Job Satisfaction and Perceived Care Quality

(Applied Research)
SARA GERSHFELD LITVAK (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Melissa Cottengim (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Abstract:

The sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to economies, businesses, and workers nationwide – including behavior analysis workers. During the pandemic, we administered a survey to all BACB certificants to identify the variables that best predicted perceived COVID-19-related change in service quality and the impact of COVID-19 on job status. Using regression analyses, we found that perceived negative change in ABA service quality was influenced most by low confidence using Telehealth technologies, changes in the setting of service delivery, and a higher number of cancelled sessions. Our findings also indicate that COVID had a greater impact on job status for respondents who were younger, had lower certification status (i.e., RBT, BCaBA), had lower positions in the company (e.g., frontline staff), and for those who worked in home and clinical settings. In short, this presentation highlights who was impacted most by COVID-19 and in what ways. Understanding this information opens the door to field-wide collaboration to develop and disseminate effective strategies to mitigate the negative impact of future events that have far-reaching economic impact.

 
 
Symposium #247
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual Behavior Science in the Context of Scientific Work
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: PCH/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Timothy C. Fuller (Fit Learning)
CE Instructor: Timothy C. Fuller, Ph.D.
Abstract: Scientific work is diverse in setting, phenomena of interest, and methods and assumptions employed to orient to these phenomena. The degree to which scientific workers remain oriented to the operative assumptions contributing to their orientation is equally diverse. The conceptual subdomain of behavior sciences seeks to organize, refine, and bring clarity to the assumptions we have about our subject matter. This symposium presents three papers that comment on the benefits afforded to experimental and applied behavior scientists when conceptual behavior science is thoroughly incorporated in their work. The first paper outlines the fundamental role that theory plays when non-human experimental work is used to model phenomena related to human affairs. The second paper provides a framework for applied behavior scientists interested in integrating theory into their efforts and the communication benefits that can result. Finally, the third paper focuses on the experimental analysis of behavior and how theory plays an inseparable role in empirical efforts.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Professionals, Academics, Graduate Students
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) articulate the importance of theory in the context of translational research, (2) outline the role conceptual and experimental behavior science can play in practice settings, and (3) describe the benefits of an aligned theoretical orientation in the context of experimental work.
 

Lost in Translation: The Importance of Theory in Translational Research With Nonhuman Organisms

(Theory)
MATTHEW LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

The source of motivation for the time, energy, and resources poured into basic research is the assumption that what is observed in the contrived circumstances of the laboratory will be relevant and applicable to problems of importance in the “real world.” In psychology, the problems deemed to be of sufficient importance for the allocation of resources to basic research are primarily related to human behavior. However, much basic research in psychology is conducted with nonhuman animals. Modeling human phenomena with nonhumans is fraught with threats to validity that are frequently overlooked or ignored in the work of researchers in the fields of behavioral genetics, neuroscience, and even the experimental analysis of behavior. The thesis of this presentation is that the most significant act of “translation” from basic nonhuman research to human affairs occurs at the level of theory when modeling phenomena for study. The importance of theory in this regard will be considered in the context of several current nonhuman models of human psychological phenomena.

 

Balancing Applied Behavior Science With Conceptual and Experimental Work

(Theory)
TIMOTHY C. FULLER (Fit Learning)
Abstract:

Behavior Science’s three interrelated domains of conceptual, experimental, and applied work represents an earnest effort by adherents of this science to participate in and work toward, a comprehensive science of behavior. Though the lion’s share of conceptual and experimental work occurs in the context of universities there are efforts in the applied domain to remain oriented to, and participate in, the refinement of both experimental and conceptual work. This paper provides examples of these efforts as well as outlines a framework for interested applied behavior scientists to adopt a balance of the three pillars of behavior science. The benefits of adopting such a framework are exemplified with particular attention paid to advantages when communicating with non-technical audiences.

 
Closing the Gap Between Philosophy and Basic Research
(Theory)
CHRISTINA M. PETERS (Brock University)
Abstract: Within behavior science, there has been a renewed emphasis on closing the gap between basic research and application. As a result of these efforts, both domains have benefited. Clinicians, and the clients they serve, have benefited from increased access to evidence-based approaches to intervention. Likewise, basic scientists have enjoyed renewed interest in their work, enhanced opportunities for support and new outlets for publication. However, while the relationship between the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and application appears to be strengthening, the relationship between theory and EAB appears to be floundering. Some have even posited that at present EAB is insufficient when it comes to theory (Killeen, 2018). This paper will explore the potential benefits of closing the gap between theory and philosophy and EAB. Specific emphasis will be placed on the importance of theory with respect to methodological and interpretive aspects of research endeavors as applicable both to the production and consumption of basic operant research.
 
 
Symposium #265
A Contingency Analytic Account of Emotions and Emotional Behavior: Teaching Discrimination in Tacting Emotion Words
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Paul Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: At ABAI 2020, we described why the reliance on facial expressions for teaching learners to tact emotions is not empirically validated. We reviewed evidence that refuted claims of a neural “fingerprint” that is consistently associated with the expression of emotions (Feldman-Barrett, 2017). Many programs for teaching children with autism to tact emotions train learners to recognize facial features (Baron-Cohen et. al, 2009). These programs sometimes result in learners successfully labeling a picture of a face with a common expression, such as a smile as happy. This represents simple paired associate learning and is not an indication that learners understand the contingencies related to emotions. The challenge is to bring learners into contact with the consequential contingencies responsible for what is felt and described by emotion words (e.g. anger) (Layng, 2017). We will provide an update on current efforts to demonstrate the efficacy of procedures derived from the Goldiamond-Layng theory.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
 
The Goldiamond-Layng Theory - A Purely Contingency Analytic Approach to Emotions
(Theory)
NOLAN WILLIAMS (Emeritus Institute of Management)
Abstract: In this talk, we reintroduce a purely contingency analytic account of emotions and emotional behavior. This account, the Goldiamond-Layng Theory, rejects the notion that emotions are either causes of or caused by behavior. Rather, emotions are conceptualized as tacts that describe consequential contingency arrangements (Layng, 2017). This account is also consistent with recent neuroscience findings that suggest the absence of a neurological fingerprint for what is felt (Feldman-Barrett, 2017). Finally, implications of the Goldiamond-Layng Theory are described, including a new role for emotions in the self-management of human behavior.
 
Teaching Emotions: An Instruction Design Component Analysis Approach
(Theory)
ANNA LINNEHAN (Endicott College)
Abstract: Given the complexity in identification of a succinct definition of the various emotion terms and their related contingencies, an instructional design component analysis was utilized to identify attributes and rational sets of teaching examples and non-examples (Layng, 2019; Markle & Tiemann, 1969) of the contingencies described by certain emotions. Using a concept analysis, emotion words and the contexts they describe were analyzed to identify critical and variable attributes of the emotion concept. Critical attributes are features that if absent would produce a non-example, and variable attributes are features that vary across the range of examples of the concept. A contingency analysis was used to reveal the critical features that occasion the use of a particular emotion word and the emotions reported to be felt. For example, contingencies in which creating distance from a harmful stimulus is the reinforcer are tacted as “fear”. Methods for teaching contingency tacting will be reviewed.
 
Conceptualization of an Emotional Curriculum
(Theory)
ANNE CAROLINE COSTA CARNEIRO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: The Goldiamond-Layng Theory conceptualizes emotions as a type of tact that describes different arrangements of consequential contingencies. The differences in emotions felt reflect differences in contingencies. Irritation describes a different contingency than annoyance. Future efforts will focus on what might be called emotional nuances and will be concept analyzed accordingly. Through developmental testing, programs will be developed that will provide an emotional curriculum for use by teachers and therapists. This presentation will describe how this control-analysis research (after Goldiamond and Thompson, 1967/2002; Layng, Stikeleather, and Twyman, 2006; Markle, 1967) is to be conducted and how the data will be used to refine procedures as they are developed.
 
 
Panel #266
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Behavioral Pharmacology, Autism, and Comorbidities: The Role of the Applied Behavior Analysis Practitioner
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: BPN/AUT; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Carlos Zuluaga, M.S.
Chair: Carlos Zuluaga (ABA Technologies, Inc. and Florida Institute of Technology)
AMANDA BUENO DOS SANTOS (CEDIN, Florida Institute of Technology)
THOMAS R. FREEMAN (ABA Technologies Inc. - Florida Tech)
MICHAEL CRIPE (Agency for Persons With Disabilities-State of Florida)
Abstract:

When behavioral services are utilized to reduce problem behavior, psychotropic medication is also often prescribed by attending physicians. When a comorbidity is present, coordinating services between disciplines can present special challenges. This presentation will describe the need to reduce confounds between different treatment modalities, and present some techniques to reduce those confounds while evaluating and promoting ongoing treatment effectiveness. We will review several of the medications that are most commonly used to address problem behavior, describe some of the most common side effects as well as secondary behavioral effects that can impact treatment planning and documentation. We will discuss some common symptoms of various comorbidities, list steps for data collection, and suggest techniques on how to most effectively report and utilize data in coordination with both medical and non-medical professionals. Finally we will discuss the ethical requirement to closely coordinate ABA and medical services, and explore some of the related issues that are likely to arise in clinical practice.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

The target audience should have as prerequisite skills knowledge autism spectrum disorder, behavioral service delivery, and behavior intervention plan.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) recognize some common symptoms of various autism spectrum disorder comorbidities, list steps for data collection, and suggest techniques on how to effectively report and utilize data in coordination with both medical and non-medical professionals; (2)know medications that are most commonly used to address problem behavior, describe some of the most common side effects as well as secondary behavioral effects that can impact treatment planning and documentation; (3) how to address ethical requirements to closely coordinate ABA and medical services, and explore some of the related issues that are likely to arise in clinical practice.
 
 
Symposium #268
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
Acceptance and Commitment Training Across Applied Clinical Settings
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tammy Lee (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis )
CE Instructor: David Legaspi, M.S.
Abstract:

Acceptance and commitment training (ACT) is an approach to language and cognition that is growing in traction across several practitioners inside and outside of the field of behavior analysis. ACT has been seen to be effective in interacting with levels of stress, burnout, and psychological flexibility. Given this, there has been limited research demonstrating ACT in a variety of clinical settings. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and clients alike may experience distress and burnout. The following three talks will discuss three different implementations of ACT-based interventions across three different clinical applications. The first talk will discuss the potential value in an online-based ACT intervention targeted for behavior technicians and their levels of burnout and overt levels of values-based actions. The second talk will discuss an application of a two-day ACT-based workshop designed to interact with three BCBAs and their indirect levels of psychological flexibility and burnout, weekly reported values-based actions, and performance on a values based check in system. The third talk will discuss the application of an ACT-based approach to rigid habit following in an individual with a dual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT, Burnout, Psychological Flexibility
Target Audience:

Intermediate

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to:1. Define psychological flexibility as it pertains to Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) 2describe how psychological flexibility influences levels of burnout and stress 3. Define how to define and collect data on objective measures of values-based committed actions
 

The Effects of an Online Acceptance and Commitment Training on Employee Burnout and Values-Based Behavior

(Service Delivery)
MIGUEL FLORES (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

Within the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), behavior technicians can be described as a highly valuable employee within their organization due to their direct one to one work with clients. Over time, a behavior technician’s level of burnout may increase due to the prolonged emotional exhaustion that accompanies the work. One possible intervention to incorporate into the workplace is acceptance and commitment training (ACT). ACT is an evidence-based intervention that focuses on enhancing six processes (i.e., self-as-context, values, committed action, contacting the present moment, defusion and acceptance) to increase psychological flexibility. While there is research on ACT in various modalities, one emerging method of delivery is through online-based modules. The present study evaluates an online-based ACT intervention targeted to behavior technicians while simultaneously teaching them to engage in overt behavior directly tied to their values. It is hypothesized that the online acceptance and commitment training will be effective in influencing a behavior technician’s perception of burnout, increasing psychological flexibility, and stabilizing and or increasing values-based behaviors.

 

Exploring Effects of a Acceptance and Commitment Training Workshop on Weekly Overt Values-Based Behaviors, Psychological Flexibility, and Check-in Checklist Performance

(Applied Research)
DAVID LEGASPI (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Heidi Eilers (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Elizabeth Ashton Benedickt (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis ), Tammy Lee (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis )
Abstract:

Acceptance and commitment training (ACT) has been growing in acceptability within the scope of behavior analysis (Enoch, & Nicholson, 2020). Since the start of the current COVID-related pandemic, researchers have moved to include programs related to psychological flexibility to mitigate possible effects the current shelter in place may have on our wellbeing and potential feelings of stress (Fieberg, Gould, Ming, Watson, 2020). Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are often described as those who have stressful jobs that could lead to stress and burnout. ACT has been shown to mitigate workplace stress and increase levels of psychological flexibility (Pingo, Dixon, & Paliliunas, 2019). The following study explored the potential effect a two-day ACT workshop may have on the weekly overt values-based behaviors a BCBA reports to have completed, indirect measures associated with psychological flexibility (AAQ, CAQ-8) and stress, and performance on a check-in system designed to help aid BCBAs to check in with the colleagues they supervise. Using a multiple baseline design across three BCBAs, the results suggest the ACT workshop affected overt weekly reported values-based actions. Results also suggest the workshop was successful in improving performance on the check-in checklist. Further implications and suggestions will be discussed.

 

Acceptance and Commitment Training and Self-Monitoring Habit Reversal for the Reduction of Compulsive Behaviors

(Applied Research)
ELIZABETH ASHTON BENEDICKT (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis ), David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Tyler James Arauza (TCSPP), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles; Center for Applied Behavior Analysis )
Abstract:

The majority of current behavior analysts are working within the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population (BACB, 2020). ASD is often comorbid with other diagnoses including obsessive and compulsive disorder (OCD) (Lewin, Wood, Gunderson, Murphy, & Storch, 2011). Behavior analysts may not have experience with individuals who have this comorbid presentation(Broadhead, Quigley, Wilczynski, 2018). Research demonstrating the application of behavior analytic treatment of behaviors associated with comorbid diagnoses are necessary in the development of our field’s overall utility. In this paper, we will demonstrate the efficacy of a treatment package utilizing acceptance and commitment training (ACT), and mindfulness-based training for the reduction of compulsive behaviors in an 11-year-old individual diagnosed with OCD and ASD. Sessions were conducted via telehealth for 2 hours each day, 3 days per week, across 4 consecutive months. A reversal design was utilized to test for treatment efficacy. In baseline, the participant was engaged in a variety of compulsive behavior in the bathroom for up to 9 hours per day. Results indicated that the treatment package was effective in the reduction of the duration of engagement in compulsive behaviors. Overall duration of engagement dropped from 9 hours to 45 minutes. Results, implications, and overall social validity will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #269
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Research and Practice: Where are We Now and How Do We Move Forward?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies)
CE Instructor: Noor Younus Syed, Ph.D.
Abstract: Following the incredibly tragic deaths of Mr. George Floyd and others, it became clear that the world as a whole needed to face and address the prevalence of systemic racism in our institutions. While we have begun to discuss compassion and cultural humility conceptually, a significant need remains to investigate the topography of culturally humble behaviors in both our scholarly and applied work. The heartbreaking murders served as an impetus for the behavior analytic community to address systems change and engage in self-reflection to better understand where we have erred in addressing systemic inequality, so that we may forge a path towards equity, inclusion, and diversity in our research, our body of clinicians, and the clients we serve. In the first talk, we will focus on assessing trends in demographic variables to identify gaps in targeted populations for recently published articles in OBM literature. The second presentation will analyze disparities and potential barriers in the access of therapy as related to demographic variables for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The final talk will review understanding of inclusive terminology, analyze organizational responses addressing systemic racism, and explore stakeholder feedback on methods to increase diversity within the field of behavior analysis.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Demographics, Disparity, Diversity-equity-inclusion, Systemic racism
Target Audience: None
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe trends in the reporting of demographic variables for recently published articles in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and the Journal of Applied Psychology 2) Identify disparities as related to demographic variables in accessing therapeutic services for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder 3) Identify methods to increase diversity and equity within the field of behavior analysis at individual and organizational levels that are based on stakeholder input
 
Diversity submission 

Reporting of Demographic Variables in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and the Journal of Applied Psychology

(Theory)
JESSICA NASTASI (University of Florida), Andrew Smith (University of Florida), Nicole Gravina (University of Florida), Alyssa Lynn Crowe (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Data on participant demographics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status) can be used to evaluate the existence of treatment disparities and other correlations between the impact of an intervention and sociopolitical location, yet these data are seldom reported in behavior-analytic studies. To date, no review has been conducted evaluating the reporting of demographic variables within the subfield of organizational behavior management (OBM). OBM interventions often involve multiple participants across levels of an organization, posing unique considerations for reporting demographic variables and potentially identifiable information in accordance with an organization’s preference for disclosure and human resource policies. Interventions in industrial/organizational psychology may encounter similar barriers to reporting demographic variables. Therefore, we reviewed articles published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM) and the Journal of Applied Psychology from 2015 to 2019 to evaluate recent trends in the reporting of demographic variables. All articles that included participants and presented data (i.e., both applied and laboratory research; N = 79) were included for review and were coded based on the setting, design, and reported demographic variables. The value of reporting demographic variables in OBM and suggestions for future reporting will be discussed.

 
Diversity submission 

Identifying Possible Disparities in Autism Services Via Clinical File Review

(Service Delivery)
JANELLE KIRSTIE BACOTTI (University of Florida), Ann-Marie Orlando (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Tracy Argueta (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Early diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are critical to maximizing early development (Brasher & Stapel-Wax, 2020). Prior evidence suggests that some communities within the ASD population are underserved and experience reduced access and quality of services (Bishop-Fitzpatrick & Kind, 2017). The purpose of the current study was to complete a retrospective clinical file review to identify possible disparities in access to therapeutic services. We scored demographic variables (e.g., age at time of initial contact, sex, race/ethnicity) and reported access to therapy services (e.g., applied behavior analysis, speech language pathology). We conducted visual and statistical analyses to determine correlations between demographic variables and reported access to therapy services. We discuss our findings and possible future directions for evaluating disparities to accessing therapy services in the ASD community.

 
Diversity submission 

The ABA Field Responds to Calls for Increased Diversity and Equity: An Analysis of Our Current Standing and the Path Forward

(Theory)
NOOR YOUNUS SYED (SUNY Empire State College; Endicott College; Global Autism Project), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract:

As recent outcry emerged upon the murder of George Floyd, following Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, it became apparent that the world needed to significantly analyze core values and principles to address issues of systemic racism. The field of behavior analysis is no exception. While some major behavior analytic organizations have previously developed diversity policies, most chose to release statements specifically addressing racism and diversity in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder. Too, while there is a growing body of literature regarding cultural humility and diversity in behavior analysis, these discussions have not yet been informed by a collection of voices from the field. While the statements and literature are undoubtedly well-intentioned, they may lack actionable items and stakeholder input that research suggests are critical in sustainable development of societal and political processes. The purpose of this study therefore was twofold: to analyze responses from major behavior analytic and psychological institutions, and to analyze survey responses of clinicians and researchers on understanding demographic concepts related to diversity. Finally, an analysis of stakeholder feedback on how to increase diversity within the field of behavior analysis was conducted. We urge the field to use these data to better inform action items we can engage in to increase diversity and equity at all levels.

SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College
 
 
Symposium #275
CE Offered: BACB
Supporting College Students With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University)
Discussant: Amanda Karsten (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Amanda Karsten, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The transition from high school to higher education presents a variety of challenges and pitfalls for many students both with and without autism. Being a successful college student often necessitates that an individual be a versatile and fluent communicator able to collaborate with peers and faculty across a wide range of settings and contexts. Failure to develop the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with others while in college can have long-term implications far beyond the classroom which can include social isolation and unemployment. Students across the nation routinely report that they do not feel as though they are well prepared for success in college. To date, there has been a limited focus within the behavior analytic research on developing approaches for effective support for college students with and without ASD. This symposium provides several models of explicit coaching and instructional strategies related to being a successful communicator across settings and contexts within a college setting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Autism, College Students, Communication Skills, Virtual Coaching/Instruction
Target Audience:

Practitioners working with adolescents and adults. Educators/Administrators working in higher education. Prerequisite Skills: Strong foundation of understanding of basic behavior analytic concepts. Familiar with behavior analytic terminology. Familiarity with common behavior analytic research designs and ability to quickly interpret data presented via tables and figures.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify common challenges associated with the transition to higher education settings for students with and without autism and evaluate the utility of a behavior analytic model for intervention in these settings. 2) Describe a variety of behavior analytic strategies for encouraging successful outcomes through the use of virtual coaching and instruction. 3) Describe specific behavior analytic strategies for supporting the development of fluent communication skills for adolescents and adults pursuing higher education across contexts related to successful academic performance, employment, and public speaking.
 

Eco-Behavioral Assessment of Instructional Responding of College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Active Learning Classes

(Applied Research)
Catharine Lory (Purdue University), Sungwoo Kang (Purdue University), Courtney King (Purdue University), HANNAH CROSLEY (Purdue University), Rose A. Mason (Purdue University), Brandon Keehn (Purdue University)
Abstract:

An increasing number of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are pursuing postsecondary education at 4-year institutions. Research has shown that typically developing (TD) college students often experience stress and difficulties in transitioning to higher education, and the extent of these difficulties tend to be exacerbated by core characteristics of ASD among college students diagnosed with ASD. Moreover, many higher institutions are beginning to push for a transformation of instructional methods from the conventional lecture approach to an active learning approach, which often involves group discussions and activities with peers. In this context, weaknesses in social and communication skills may create additional barriers for students with ASD if they are frequently required to initiate and respond to social exchanges and collaborate with peers. To identify the needs of college students with ASD in active learning college classes, we conducted an ecobehavioral assessment study through direct observations of students with ASD and TD students to examine their instructional responding in active learning classes. Preliminary results from age- and IQ-matched ASD (n = 6) and TD (n = 17) samples indicate that there are no statistically significant differences in measures of instructional responding. Implications of study findings will be discussed.

 

An Individualized Approach to Teaching Adults With Autism to Successfully Navigate Job Interviews via Remote Instruction

(Applied Research)
SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University), COURTNEY BUTLER (Rutgers University), Faris Rashad Kronfli (Rutgers University), Christeen Scarpa (Rutgers University), Brianna Boragi (Rutgers University), Joseph Scott (Rutgers University)
Abstract:

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience challenges securing employment, which may partially explain overall underemployment or unemployment in this population. One of the first steps to obtaining employment is participating in a job interview. However, social communication deficits may interfere with an individual with ASD’s ability to participate in a job interview. The current study evaluated the use of behavioral skills training delivered via remote instruction to teach interview skills to four college students diagnosed with ASD. Results showed overall improvement during interviews as well as post-training generalization probes with a career development expert. These data suggest that an individualized approach to training may be an effective strategy to help adults with ASD successfully navigate job interviews.

 

Effects of Telecoaching on Conversation Skills for High School and College Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
EMILY GREGORI (University of Illinois at Chicago), Rose A. Mason (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulty engaging in conversations with same-age peers. Deficits in conversation skills can hinder one’s ability to sustain friendships and may lead to social isolation. Research has shown that technology-based interventions can improve conversation skills and reduce the social stigmatization of individualized interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of telecoaching and online instructional modules on conversation skills for four high school and college students with ASD. A component analysis was conducted to determine the critical components of the intervention package. Results showed that telecoaching was associated with the most significant improvements in conversation behavior for all participants. Future directions and recommendations for clinicians are discussed.

 
Decreasing Nervous Habits During Public Speaking: A Component Analysis of Awareness Training
(Applied Research)
STEPHANIE ORTIZ (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Habit reversal is a well-established treatment package for decreasing a wide range of undesirable motor and vocal responses. Recent research indicates that awareness training, one phase of the habit reversal package, can produce decreases in undesirable vocal responses during public speaking (Montes et al., 2019; Spieler & Miltenberger, 2017). Awareness training can consist of multiple components including response description, video response detection, and in-vivo response detection. To date, no studies have assessed the independent effects of awareness training components. This study sought to evaluate the independent, additive effects of the components of awareness training on undesirable vocal responses during public speaking with college students. The introduction of the three components of awareness training was staggered according to the typical order and in order of least to most response effort (Woods et al., 1996). This study also sought to further investigate the effects of awareness training components on untargeted responses, long-term treatment effects, and generalization of treatment effects. The clinical implications of our findings and avenues for future research will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #280
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating the Effectiveness and Acceptability of Telehealth and Distance Learning for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Solutions)
Discussant: Linda K. Haymes (Touro University California)
CE Instructor: Alissa Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered all aspects of our lives in unprecedented ways. Many ABA agencies and schools across the nation had to rapidly transition from a primarily in-person service delivery model to telehealth or distance learning. And yet the research on telehealth and distance learning with individuals with autism is limited to say the least. All four presentations in this symposium contribute to a much-needed literature base on this topic. The first two studies investigate the use of telehealth for the delivery of direct behavior analytic services. Study one uses an adapted alternating treatment design to compare the effectiveness of telehealth versus in-person services when teaching intraverbals. Study two uses semi-structured interviews to gather social validity information directly from the consumers of ABA delivered via telehealth. The next two studies investigate the use of distance learning for students with severe developmental disabilities. Study three compares the data on students’ IEP goals from before and after the transition to distance learning. Study four uses surveys to gather social validity information from parents and educators on the use of distance learning with this population. Results highlight both the potential applications and barriers of online service delivery models of behavior analytic services.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): distance learning, social validity, telehealth
Target Audience:

Service providers in educational or ABA agency settings.

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe research on telehealth and ABA services. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the effectiveness and acceptability of telehealth services for a subpopulation of recipients receiving ABA services. 2. Describe research on distance learning for individuals with severe developmental disabilities. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the potential utility and barriers of distance learning for individuals with severe developmental disabilities.
 

Parents’ and Educators’ Perceptions of Distance Learning for Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities and High Behavioral Needs

(Service Delivery)
MELAURA ERICKSON TOMAINO (Port View Preparatory), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Solutions), Sarah Kagawa-Purohit (Port View Preparatory), Sagui Doering (Port View Preparatory), Edward Steven Miguel (Port View Preparatory)
Abstract:

Schools across the country and nation closed their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures impacted all students, as schools, educators, and families grappled with the realities of transitioning to distance learning platforms. The research on distance learning is still in its early phases. However, almost no research exists on educating students with severe disabilities and high behavioral needs using this technology. The present study collected survey data from students’ families and their educators on the feasibility and effectiveness of distance learning programs when working with students with severe developmental disabilities and high behavioral needs. Survey responses were collected from 40 parents, 11 teachers, and 59 paraprofessionals from a nonpublic school located in Southern California. Results indicated that parents and educators had generally neutral attitudes towards distance learning, although educators agreed that their students were obtaining educational benefits during distance learning. These findings contribute to a much needed literature base on distance learning and individuals with significant developmental delays and severe behavioral needs.

 

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Distance Learning for Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities and High Behavioral Needs

(Service Delivery)
SARAH KAGAWA-PUROHIT (Port View Preparatory), Melaura Erickson Tomaino (Port View Preparatory), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Services), Sagui Doering (Port View Preparatory), Edward Steven Miguel (Port View Preparatory)
Abstract:

With the international COVID-19 pandemic, our nation's educational system was significantly impacted. Students in all educational settings were thrown into distance learning and taken out of their brick and mortar classrooms. While some research has been done on distance learning models, little has been done on distance learning with individuals with significant developmental delays and severe behavioral needs. Therefore, this population was left in uncharted waters as educators worked to develop curriculum to meet this population’s needs. The present study examined the effects of this transition on a significantly impacted special education population. Data was gathered by looking at students’ IEP goal progress prior to and after the transition to distance learning. A total of 419 goals across 84 students were categorized as “No Change”, “Regression”, or “Progress”. Analyses revealed that students maintained about half of the skills addressed in their IEPs and made progress on an additional quarter of their IEP goals. Students demonstrated decreased performance on the remaining quarter of their IEP goals. Findings contribute to a much needed literature base on the impact that distance learning has on students with special needs. Future work is needed to determine best practices for distance learning with this population.

 

Comparison of Direct Behavior Analytic Services Delivered In-Person and via Telehealth

(Applied Research)
ZEENAT KAUSAR (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Alyssa Dunlop (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Jessica Herrlin (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

Telehealth services within Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have broadly increased in use. The current literature on telehealth shows the effectiveness of parent and staff training conducted through telehealth, yet there is no research evaluating direct services provided to children with Autism via telehealth. Given telehealth’s recent expansion, it is important to evaluate whether services provided via telehealth are as effective as the typically used in-person model. In this study, an adapted alternating treatment design is used to compare the effectiveness of direct behavior analytic services delivered through telehealth to direct behavior analytic services delivered in-person when teaching responding to intraverbal questions. Participants with a diagnosis of Autism that currently receive in-home ABA services and met criteria to receive direct instruction via telehealth were recruited for this study. Preliminary results show that telehealth is equally effective as in-person services. This is significant as it supports the ongoing use of telehealth for behavior analytic services, which expands access to those individuals living in more rural communities with limited access to services.

 

A Social Validity Interview for Telehealth ABA Services With Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

(Service Delivery)
TYLER GODSY (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services), Elisabeth Evans (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services)
Abstract:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services has shifted dramatically. Telehealth services are being provided at a much higher rate than at any point in the past. While there is an extensive body of social validity research for direct ABA services, there is currently a paucity of research with regard to the social validity of telehealth services, particularly with respect to social validity data collected directly from the recipients of telehealth ABA services. This study collected social validity data in the form of a semi-structured interview directly from individuals receiving ABA services via telehealth. Participants are expected to include approximately 20 children, aged 8-18 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Preliminary results indicate that a subset of clients prefer telehealth to in-person services, telehealth is easy to access, the switch to telehealth has generally not affected progress on goals, and that there may be a preference for a combination of telehealth and in-person services if that should become available in the future. The data from this study inform the delivery of ABA services via telehealth and shed light on the acceptability of this service delivery model for a subset of ABA recipients.

 
 
Symposium #284
CE Offered: BACB
An Overview of Acceptance and Commitment Training: From Learning to Compassionate Service Delivery
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: TBA/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi )
CE Instructor: Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) is expanding within behavior analysis. As such, behavior analysts are discovering how to grow their scope of competence to include ACT as well as how to effectively train others in its use. Moreover, behavior analysts are incorporating ACT into traditional behavior analytic methods to provide compassionate service delivery in areas such as parent training. The first presentation provides a qualitative review on the perspectives and recommendations from ACT experts regarding behavior analysts’ scope of competence within ACT. The second presentation presents data on the use of behavioral skills training (BST), along with self-practice, to teach behavior analysts ACT skills using the ACT Matrix. The third presentation examines the integration of ACT into behavior parent training (BPT) on parental implementation of behavior strategies. The fourth presentation explores how the use of ACT within the field of behavior analysis can bring humanity and compassion to research and service delivery.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT competency, ACT training, compassion
Target Audience:

The target audience is those who have an interest in acceptance and commitment therapy/training (ACT) and ways to incorporate it in behavior analytic work with competency and compassion. Audience members should have a basic understand of private events, rule-governed behavior, and derived relational responding.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Determine how behavior analysts can increase their scope of competence to include acceptance and commitment therapy/training (ACT). 2. Identify strategies to teach ACT to staff members. 3. Define benefits of ACT self-practice for practitioners. 4. Recognize the effects of integrating ACT and behavior parent training (BPT) on parents’ implementation of behavioral strategies. 5. Determine the subsequent effects on children’s challenging behaviors when parents participate in ACT+BPT. 6. Identify a values procedure to support compassion in daily ABA practice. 7. Recognize a perspective taking procedure to support compassion in ABA practice. 8. Determine how to use the ACT to support compassion in daily ABA practice
 

Scope of Competence for Behavior Analysts Using Acceptance and Commitment Training: Some Recommendations from Experts

(Applied Research)
YUKIE KURUMIYA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Gregory Scott Smith (University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine), Meredith L. Andrews (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

In response to the increasing interest in Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), the scope of practice in ACT for applied behavior analysis (ABA) practitioners has been discussed, and some guidelines have been suggested. The next step is to discuss the scope of competence for board certified behavior analysts® (BCBAs®) to incorporate ACT in their practices as part of their behavior analytic interventions in a careful, appropriate, and scientific manner. The current study compiled and analyzed 13 ACT experts’ opinions and recommendations on this topic through a qualitative data analysis of semi-structured interviews. Three major themes emerged: (1) understanding what ACT is, (2) required knowledge, skills, and training, and (3) establishing standards, guidelines, and measurements of competency. During the presentation, these topics will be discussed to suggest a future framework for developing standards, guidelines, measurements of competency criteria, and required training in ACT for behavior analysts. Some suggestions for behavior analysts to start gaining ACT competency and for the field to develop such future framework as a collaborative effort will be made.

 

ACT-ing to Support Compassion-Focused Applied Behavior Analysis

(Theory)
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Kristine Rodriguez (Autism Learning Partners)
Abstract:

The world is changing rapidly, global culture is in flux, and yet centuries-old inequities persist. The field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is situated squarely within the purpose of serving humanity. This is evident to us, as the vast majority of researchers and practitioners in ABA have dedicated our careers to helping empower families living with autism and other developmental disabilities. While this dedication to serving humanity seems obvious to us in the field of ABA, it seems it has not been entirely obvious to others that we lead with our hearts. What’s more, there is a growing yearning inside the field of ABA to connect with other humans in more complete and fundamental ways. This presentation will make the case for embracing compassion in the field of ABA and discuss ways to use Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) to empower us to live compassion in our daily research and practice.

 
Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Training Plus Behavior Parent Training on Parental Implementation of Autism Treatment
(Applied Research)
MEREDITH L. ANDREWS (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Evelyn Rachael Gould (New England Center for OCD and Anxiety)
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) plus behavior parent training (BPT), when delivered via telehealth, on parental implementation of behavioral strategies, experiential avoidance (EA), and stress. The study also examined the subsequent effects on the children’s behaviors. A multiple baseline design across four parent-child dyads participated in the online training. The findings showed that ACT+BPT resulted in parents reaching and maintaining high levels of implementation. The training also decreased EA and stress in three parents. Moreover, the parents’ ratings of their children’s challenging behaviors decreased. However, such a trend was not as clearly depicted by the direct measures of the children’s behaviors. A social validity interview revealed parents found ACT beneficial in assisting them learn and use the BPT strategies. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
 

Teaching Acceptance and Commitment Skills to Behavior Analysts Using the ACT Matrix

(Applied Research)
ANASTASIA KELLER-COLLINS (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Therapeutic Consulting Services), Yors A. Garcia (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Akihiko Masuda (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysts are often responsible to work with individuals with autism and their caregivers to provide effective and empirically supported interventions and supervise the staff that provide the direct services. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an intervention behavior analysts can access as an effective treatment tool to teach skills aimed at increasing psychological flexibility for clients, caregivers, and staff. Additionally, self-practice has the potential to decrease stress and potential burnout for behavior analysts. Using a delayed multiple baseline design, the current research examined the efficacy of individual behavioral skills training (BST) for teaching behavior analysts ACT skills and intervention using the ACT Matrix through teleconferencing. The use of self-practice was an added component to the learning. Results indicated that all participants (a) acquired new ACT skills, (b) learned to use the ACT Matrix as a form of case conceptualization, and (c) found self-practice positively added to the learning experience.

 
 
Symposium #290
CE Offered: BACB
A Review of Behavioral Cusps and Their Extensions
Sunday, May 30, 2021
4:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: DEV/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The concept of the behavioral cusp was introduced in the late 1990’s. Since then, the concept has been widely accepted as fundamental to an understanding of behavioral development. Despite widespread use of the term within behavioral parlance, exploration of the concept and its extensions within the literature or experimental validation of the concept and its extensions have been somewhat circumscribed. There remains considerable potential to build more momentum in the development of the concept as well as expanding its versatility and overall utilization. The first presentation in this symposium will review the behavioral cusp literature. The second presentation will provide an overview of social cusps, an extension of behavioral cusps. A discussion reflecting on the concept will follow by an originator of behavioral cusp concept. This symposium is meant to lead into a separately scheduled panel discussion following the symposium, with panelists further discussing the past, present, and future of behavioral cusps.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Prerequisites include familiarity with behavior analytic terminology and concepts as well as single-case research design methodology.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) summarize use of the behavioral cusp concept in the literature; (2) describe methods for experimentally validating the establishment of behavioral cusps; and (3) specify various extensions of the behavioral cusp concept.
 

The Behavioral Cusp: Where We Came From and Where We Are Going

(Theory)
APRIL M. BECKER (University of North Texas and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center), Sarah E. Pinkelman (Utah State University), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Rosales-Ruiz and Baer (1996) introduced the concept of the “behavioral cusp,” or a “an interaction, or complex of interactions, that enables access to new reinforcers, new contingencies, and new communities of reinforcement and contingencies - and thus to new behaviors” (p. 165), extending the reach of behavior analysis into the developmental domain. Since the pioneering chapter and subsequent article were published (Rosales-Ruiz & Baer, 1997), several formative works have explored the behavioral cusp concept, expanding its application to novel domains as well as extending the concept itself. To date, no systematic reviews have been conducted examining the use of the cusp in the literature. Thus, the purpose of this presentation is to (a) broadly examine the ways in which the term has been used in the literature via systematic review, (b) identify and offer interpretations of trends in term use, and (c) discuss possible future uses that could benefit the field.

 
An Overview of Social Learning Cusps
(Applied Research)
JESSICA SINGER-DUDEK (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Verbal Behavior Development Theorists posit that the cusps necessary for language and social development are in fact conditioned reinforcers that create the necessary stimulus control necessary for further development to occur. The emergence or deliberate establishment of a developmental cusp will make subsequent learning possible; without the cusp, the individual will demonstrate slow rates of learning, or no learning at all. Social cusps are conditioned reinforcers that are necessary for an individual to learn through indirect contact with environmental contingencies (e.g., through observation). This symposium will provide an overview of social learning cusps and the research behind the identification of each as well as procedures for establishing those cusps when they are missing.
 
 
Panel #301
CE Offered: BACB
Meaningful Curriculum and Respectful Intervention With Individuals Autism Spectrum Disorder: Beyond a Technology of Behavior Analysis Alone
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.
Chair: Peter F. Gerhardt (The EPIC School)
NATALIE DRISCOLL (Endicott College)
JESSICA J. CAUCHI (Endicott College)
SHANNA BAHRY (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Social validity, as a component of the curricular decision-making process, provides a framework for behavior analysts to ensure that the skills targeted for acquisition are as important as the extent to which our instructional interventions are evidence-based and technically precise. Unfortunately, given the continued poor outcomes for adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), (e.g., Roux, et al, 2015) it would seem as though social validity may rarely be a part of that decision-making process. Among the reasons for this may be more readily available professional reinforcement for technical precision than for the selection of socially valid targets for intervention; a greater response effort required to target more socially valid targets in less controlled community environments, and; quite simply, the fact that many behavior analysts are tasked with, primarily, the reduction of challenging behavior and not the acquisition of socially valid targets. This panel will provide an overview of the relevant practice challenges associated with a focus on social validity across both the age and disability spectrum.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Intermediate - This presentation is intended for behavior analysts and related professionals with experience and/or interest in programming and intervention in support of improved outcomes for adults with ASD and ID.

Learning Objectives: 1) Discuss the continued, central importance of social validity when identifying target behaviors to either increase or decrease. 2) Discuss a minimum of 5 behavior analytic concepts with direct relevance to improving outcomes for adults with ASD and other Intellectual Disabilities. 3) Discuss the development of positive stimulus control over aversive or coercive stimulus control and, further, the development of shared stimulus control with your students, and, 4) Interpret typically non-behavior analytic concepts (e.g. self-esteem) into reasonable approximations of behavior analytic concepts.
Keyword(s): Effective Intervention, Goal Selection, Instructional Targets, Social Validity
 
 
Symposium #302
CE Offered: BACB
Interbehaviorism: Then and Now, All the Way, and In the Room
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CBM/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: MaKensey Sanders (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
CE Instructor: Mitch Fryling, Ph.D.
Abstract: The present symposium consists of three papers, each of which draw attention to the relationship between interbehavioral thinking and clinical practice. The first presentation provides a historical overview of interbehaviorism and attempts to contextualize present day discussions and interest in the interbehavioral perspective. The second presentation considers research in behavior science, and points to the conditions in which research most commonly occurs. This is contrasted with the complex conditions in which clinicians work more closely and for more prolonged periods of time with the subject-matter. As such, clinicians may find themselves aware of the limitations of traditional research and interested in the interbehavioral field perspective more readily than researchers. Finally, the third presentation considers the use of middle-level terms in clinical behavior analysis, and proposes that the interbehavioral field construct may serve as a more suitable foundation for work in clinical behavior analysis. In proposing this the presentation also considers the value of conceptualizing thoughts and feelings as observable events and history as part of the present clinical context.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Intermediate - audience should have basic understanding of behavioral principles, conditions of behavioral research, and complexities involved in practice settings.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe two aspects of the history of interbehavioral thinking in behavior analysis 2) Distinguish between the conditions of research and practice 3) Explain one implication of the interbehavioral field for Clinical Behavior Analysis
 

Something New, Something Old: Interbehaviorism in Behavior Science

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

Interbehaviorism has a long history in behavior analysis. The developer of interbehaviorism, J.R. Kantor, advocated for a thoroughly naturalistic approach to both the philosophy of science and the science of psychology. In 1937 Kantor founded The Psychological Record, with B. F. Skinner serving as the founding editor of the journal’s experimental department. Kantor did not conduct experimental research, but rather focused on developing the theoretical and philosophical foundation for a comprehensive natural science of psychology more broadly. While interbehavioral thinking has persisted and influenced research and scholarship around the world, Kantor’s work has at the same time remained less well-known in a discipline that values empirical research over theoretical coherence. Some researchers have even dismissed the interbehavioral perspective specifically, due to its alleged lack of utility in working towards successful action in applied/clinical areas. Interest in interbehavioral thinking continues, however, and interestingly perhaps especially among those close to applied research and practice. This presentation provides a brief overview of this history, and in particular draws attention to the current interest in interbehaviorism and its potential future.

 
Going All The Way
(Theory)
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Understanding the behavior of human beings in ordinary life circumstances is complicated by the plethora of substitute stimulation and responding fostered by their verbal repertoires. One approach to this understanding has been to investigate partial happenings amenable to quantitative metrics the aim being to enable subsequent operations of prediction and control. This approach to the problem is not without value. However, reference to a multitude of unrelated dependency relations is not capable of capturing the complexity of human behavior in ordinary life circumstances, and it would not be surprising if clinicians were among the first to come to this conclusion. It is argued that an integrated field foundation, as exemplified by interbehaviorism, is better suited to the work of clinicians than the more prevalent contingency approach. Complexity is a relative term. Investigations of partial happenings are also complex. The aim of this presentation to consider the benefits of going all the way.
 
Implications of an Interbehavioral Perspective for Clinical Behavior Analysis
(Theory)
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract: Interbehaviorism and interbehavioral psychology have often been mischaracterized and dismissed by clinical behavior analysts as lacking practical utility. Instead, dominant clinical behavioral analytic approaches (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy) have appealed to middle level terms to describe models of psychological difficulties and processes of change in therapy. This has likely increased dissemination of these approaches, but may also account for the gradual drift toward mentalism. Thus, it seems worth reconsidering the dismissal of interbehavioral psychology as a theoretical foundation for clinical behavior analysis. This paper proposes three aspects of interbehavioral psychology with clinical implications for moment to moment analysis of therapeutic process: (1) approaching the interbehavioral field as the primary unit of analysis, (2) including thoughts and feelings as observable interbehavior, and (3) including history as an aspect of the present.
 
 
Symposium #305
CE Offered: BACB
Identifying and Closing Skill Gaps: Assessment, Goal Setting, and Performance Feedback Strategies to Promote Learner Outcomes
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization)
CE Instructor: Janice Frederick, Ph.D.
Abstract: The behavior analytic literature that establishes assessment and instructional strategies to promote learner acquisition is expansive and far-reaching. Empirical investigation in the context of ongoing clinical work continues to evolve our methodologies. We continue to ask questions about how we can we help learners ‘learn’ and meet their goals. These questions multiply under changing and novel conditions such as those associated with the corona virus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, how can we identify deficits that may impact learner performance and apply well-documented strategies such as goal setting and performance feedback to support learners under these conditions? The current symposium examines the utilization of assessment, goal setting, and performance feedback across varied populations, target behaviors, and settings. The first paper describes outcomes related to an assessment tool and instructional program utilized with special education students to address deficits in prerequisite skills required for distance learning. The second paper involves an examination of the effectiveness of setting daily session-improvement goals across individual programs for learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The final paper reviews outcomes obtained for nonpublic school students exposed to a treatment package involving goal setting and daily feedback designed to improve academic task completion.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Visual inspection of data, familiarity with standard celeration charts, and understanding of behavioral skills training
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe a tool and methodology for assessing and treating deficits in technology-based prerequisite skills for students enrolled in distance learning instruction, (2) describe the differential effects of general and specific goal setting on learner performance, and (3) describe components of a behavioral intervention package designed to improve students’ academic performance.
 

Assessment and Acquisition of Technology-Based Prerequisite Skills to Support Access to Distance Learning Instruction for Special Education Students

(Applied Research)
JESSICA KAREN PIZZICA (Santa Cruz City School District ), Matthew Christopher Peterson (The ABRITE Organization), Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract:

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, schools across the world have been closed intermittently over the course of several months as an emergency measure to prevent spreading of the infection. During school closures, many students received instruction remotely either in entirety or under a hybrid model involving a mixture of on-campus and distance learning models. For some students, skill deficits may serve as a barrier to accessing instruction under these conditions. In the current study, special education teachers were surveyed to learn more about their methods for assessing and establishing preparedness for distance learning instruction with their students. A tool for assessment of technology-based prerequisite skills for distance learning was developed and administrated to special education students ranging from 1-12 grades. These data were utilized to create acquisition programs for specific skills hypothesized to impact student independence and engagement during distance learning sessions. These acquisition programs were then introduced with secondary level special education students. Results related to student assessment, acquisition of prerequisite skills, as well as social validity measures for teachers and students will be shared.

 

Gooooooaaaaaal!!! How Session-Improvement Goals Affect Learner Outcomes

(Applied Research)
MEGAN D. SZETO (The Learning Consultants (tLC)), Jeffrey Gesick (The Learning Consultants), Megan Han (The Learning Consultants ), Ariel Bray (The Learning Consultants )
Abstract:

Goal setting is a well-established strategy for improving educational performance. Further, it is well documented that specific goals produce higher performance than goals that encourage a learner to “do your best.” This study examined the effectiveness of setting daily session-improvement goals across individual programs for learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). During the initial intervention phase, participants were provided a loose set of criteria to set goals for the learners they work with in order to compare the number of goals met to the number of programs run. Each of the participants collected daily data indicating each of these frequencies. Data were evaluated during staff meetings, where feedback was delivered and more specific criteria established for setting goals that resulted in an optimal percentage of goals met. Finally, these data were compared to the frequency of data-based decisions made that resulted in forward progress for learners in our clinic in order to evaluate optimal frequencies of data-based decisions for our staff.

 
The Present, Positive, Participant (P3) Project: A Component Analysis of a Behavior Analytic Intervention Package for Nonpublic School Students
(Applied Research)
MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER PETERSON (The ABRITE Organization), Janice Frederick (The ABRITE Organization)
Abstract: This study examined the effectiveness of goal setting, behavioral contracting, performance feedback, and a reinforcement contingency on goal mastery for secondary level students attending a nonpublic school. Specifically, students committed to a mutually agreed upon goal of meeting individualized academic expectations every school day. Baseline data from each of 5 participants suggested failure to meet their academic expectations on the majority of school days. Three participants in the initial intervention phase worked with a ‘coach’ to set a goal related to meeting work completion criteria for each school day. Participants received daily feedback related to their goal via a text message to their caregiver and each attended a brief weekly meeting with a ‘coach’ during which they received feedback via a graph of their performance relate to their goals. Goal specific measures included the percentage of class periods where individualized academic criteria were met. A component analysis was initiated for 2 additional participants to examine the effects of each component of the intervention package. Overall results indicate that this relatively low-cost and minimally invasive intervention was effective in increasing student performance on goal related tasks.
 
 
Symposium #307
CE Offered: BACB
Theoretical and Methodological Considerations Concerning the Participation of Verbal Behavior Within Metacontingency Experiments
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: PCH/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Fabio Henrique Baia (Universidade de Rio Verde)
Discussant: Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Traci M. Cihon, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Culturo-behavioral science is rapidly evolving into a scientific enterprise aimed, in part, at understanding relations between behavior and cultural selection processes. In this enterprise, cultural selection processes are largely seen as occurring through metacontingencies in which selecting events increase the likelihood that culturants (i.e., interlocking behavioral contingencies, or IBCs, and the aggregate products they produce) reoccur. As such, metacontingencies do not only increase the likelihood of observing particular responses of multiple individuals but functional relations between such responses. While verbal behavior has been shown to be important for facilitating metacontingent control of culturants, how verbal behavior or activity participates in establishing functional relations within IBCs remains elusive. The purpose of this symposium is to outline two different approaches towards analyzing the contribution of verbal behavior in metacontingency interactions: (1) by conducting descriptive analyses of referential interactions that occur between participants and (2) by limiting communicative interactions between participants and making selecting events contingent on one individual responding to stimuli that only other individuals contact. Although these approaches are distinct, they both can inform how relevant verbal processes are to establish functional relations within IBCs. Experiments utilizing each approach--and their implications for conceptualizing cultural selection—will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): cultural selection, metacontingency, reference, verbal behavior
 

Interindividual Performance in Metacontingencies: An Experimental Analysis of Interlocked Behaviors in the Unit of Interlocking Behavioral Contingencies

(Basic Research)
JOSE ARDILA (University of Nevada), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Will Fleming (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

The main unit of analysis in metacontingencies are interlocking-behavioral contingencies (IBCs) measured by their aggregate product (AP) (Glenn et al. 2016). The experimental literature has demonstrated selection APs by factors external to the group (also known as “cultural consequences”). By contrast, social interactions occurring inside IBCs have received little examination, although they constitute a key element to understand different types of social dynamics. In this study interindividual performance and verbal interactions of individuals inside IBCs were examined. Communication between participants in dyads was experimentally manipulated such that some dyads wore noise-cancelling headphones while working together and other group of dyads used headsets to talk to each other during the experimental session. Verbal interactions were measured using video/audio digital recordings. Three type of instructions were presented to dyads to assess their effects on dyads performance under ambiguous circumstances throughout the task. Instructions varied in their degree of ambiguity in each condition: high (A), medium (B), and low-explicit rules (C). The order of rule presentation was alternated between groups. Our finding demonstrated significant differences in interpersonal performance between groups (verbal dyads vs nonverbal dyads). Overall, dyads spent more time engaging in cooperative verbal interactions than in any other type of verbal interaction, and similar acquisition patterns of these interactions were observed across dyads. The implications of these findings for futures studies related to the analysis of metacontingency will be discussed.

 

Investigating Cultural Behavior Using a Turn-Based Matching-to-Sample Procedure

(Basic Research)
WILL FLEMING (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Experimental analyses of metacontingencies assess how interlocking behavioral contingencies (IBCs) that produce aggregate products are selected and replicated as a single, functional unit. Turn-based matching-to-sample procedures (TBMTS) can be used to examine metacontingent selection. In TBTMS, pairs of participants take turns selecting comparison stimuli in the presence of particular sample stimuli. Dependency relations are arranged so that, on each trial, one participant responds in the presence of a stimulus selected by another. Rewards ae delivered based on correspondence (i.e., when one participant responds to a stimulus only shown to the another) and noncorrespondence (i.e., when on participant responds to a stimulus other than that only shown to another). When correspondence produces more points, participants typically select the same comparison stimuli as their partner across all sample stimuli and demonstrate symmetrical responding. While this task produces data that are interpretable from a metacontingency perspective, it also can be interpreted in terms of verbal processes. This presentation will elaborate on data collected utilizing TBMTS from a metacontingencies and molar operant contingencies and discuss the implications of each for future experimental analyses of culture, the importance of verbal behavior, and creating sustainable cultural change.

 

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