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 : Monday, May 31, 2021


 

Symposium #361
CE Offered: BACB
Empirically Evaluating the Organism in Behavior Analysis: Applications to Preference Assessments
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robert W. Isenhower (Rider University )
Discussant: Kenneth W. Jacobs (Ronin Institute)
CE Instructor: Robert W. Isenhower, Ph.D.
Abstract: Killeen and Jacobs (2017) suggest determinants of behavior other than what is currently specified in the three-term contingency. Among those determinants are the anatomical and biomechanical properties of the organism (O). The concept of affordance, first proposed by Gibson (1979), may be useful for understanding the relevance of O’s anatomical and biomechanical properties to behavior. When studied empirically, affordances have been quantified in terms of action-scaled ratios. For example, Warren (1984) used this concept to correctly predict whether or not participants would perceive staircases as climbable using the ratio of the riser height of the stairs (environmental property) to the leg length of the participant (organismic property). In order to empirically explore Killeen and Jacobs’ notion of O, we use two variations of multiple stimulus with replacement preference assessments that parametrically manipulate the distance to target stimuli. Both studies find that individuals reach for preferred stimuli at increasingly further distances. The ratio of stimulus distance to O’s arm length appears to interact with O’s preferences. We interpret these results both in terms of action-scaled ratios and traditional behavioral economic principles. We also discuss the potential functional relations between response effort, reachability, and the value of stimuli to reinforce behavior.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): preference assessments, reinforcer assessments, response effort
Target Audience: Participants should have a basic understanding of preference assessments and reinforcer assessments.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the main types of preference assessments as well as variations on preference assessments 2. Understand how behavioral economics and action-scaled ratios can enhance our understanding of the relationship between preference and reinforcement 3. Understand the importance of incorporating biomechanical and anatomical characteristics of the participants into an experimental analysis of behavior
 
Evaluating Stimulus Preference Using a Progressive Response Effort Assessment
(Applied Research)
FRANCES A. PERRIN (Rider University), Robert W. Isenhower (Rider University ), Cynthia Bott-Tomarchio (Eden Autism Services), Rachel Tait (Eden Autism Services)
Abstract: Stimulus preference assessments are widely used to determine which stimuli are likely to function as reinforcers. In the current study, a procedural variation of the multiple stimulus with replacement (Windsor, Piché, & Locke, 1994) preference assessment was conducted, where the distance to the most preferred item was parametrically manipulated to assess the relationship between preference and response effort. Four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated. Five stimuli were presented on a line 4 inches in front of the learner. During the first minute all stimuli remained on the line, and each stimulus was immediately replaced when selected. The stimulus selected most often became the target. Target distances were 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, and 25 inches. In the ascending sequence, the target was moved to the next line further from the learner each subsequent minute. In the descending sequence, the target was moved to the furthest line after the initial minute and was then moved closer each subsequent minute. Data were collected on the number of selections to each stimulus at each distance. Participants selected target stimuli at that required more effort. Results are discussed in terms of behavior economic principles.
 

Examining the Relationship Between Reachability and Preference Using a Progressive Response Effort Assessment

(Applied Research)
ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Rider University ), Frances A. Perrin (Rider University), Cynthia Bott-Tomarchio (Eden Autism Services), Rachel Tait (Eden Autism Services)
Abstract:

Formal stimulus preference assessments are widely used to determine which stimuli are likely to function as reinforcers during intervention. However, the relationship between preference and reinforcement needs further examination. This study used a procedural variation of the multiple stimulus with replacement (Windsor, Piché, & Locke, 1994) preference assessment where the distance to each preferred item was parametrically manipulated. Five stimuli identified as preferred using a paired choice assessment (Fisher et al., 1992) were presented on a line about 4 inches in front of the learner. Stimuli were immediately replaced when selected. During the distance manipulation phase, each time a stimulus was selected it was replaced at a line three inches further from the participant until stimuli were almost out of reach. Four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated. Data were collected on the cumulative number of selections of each stimulus as well as the distance from the learner when selected. Results suggest that the effort of the response—measured in terms of stimulus distance from the learner—affected how participants allocated responding to the stimuli. Results are discussed with reference to affordances (Gibson, 1979) and the benefit of incorporating the organism (Killeen & Jacobs, 2017) into behavior analysis.

 
 
Symposium #363
CE Offered: BACB
Tolerating Tough Stuff: How to Teach Getting Through Important but Aversive Situations
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Cook, M.S.
Abstract: Individuals with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders often have difficulty tolerating stimulus events that are important to their medical well-being (e.g., dental exams, blood draws), general health (e.g., wearing eye glasses, hearing aids, and winter mittens), safety (e.g., wearing seatbelts, bike helmets), and daily social routines (e.g., getting a haircut, managing a fear of escalators). These issues have been addressed across various research studies, but the aggregate results of these studies are not well known. The first presentation of this symposium will review the literature in this area, followed by two presentations discussing recent research on teaching children with ASD to tolerate wearing aversive apparatus. One study will describe a DRO procedure to teach two children to tolerate wearing their heart rate monitors, and the other study will demonstrate the use of a DRO plus DNRO procedure to teach four children to tolerate wearing face masks for sustained durations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Taken together, these three presentations will highlight an area of research that is commonly overlooked as an evidenced-base compilation of studies for teaching toleration.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): exposure, face masks, medical devices, tolerating
Target Audience: Behavior analysts who directly work with or supervise others who work with children with ASD or related disorders, or behavior analysts who support their clients in the school, home, or community setting(s).
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define passive cooperation (2) Describe some stimulus situations to which passive cooperation procedures have been applied in the literature (3) Describe intervention options that may be used to teach toleration of aversive situations (4) Describe how fading procedures have be used to teach children with ASD to wear a heart rate monitor or a face mask.
 
Passive Cooperation: A Review of the Literature on Tolerating Aversive Events
(Theory)
Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), RASHA BARUNI (University of South Florida ), Anna Kate Edgemon (Auburn University), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Active and passive cooperation are concepts delineated by the form of behavior, which is conditional on an aversive stimulus change. Active cooperation describes dynamic behavior in response to an instruction. Passive cooperation involves the omission of problem behavior in response to specific stimulus conditions. The antecedent stimulus conditions for either active or passive cooperation are considered aversive because they have a history of evoking uncooperative escape behaviors (Rapp, 2012, 2013; Cook et al., 2015). Despite the importance of passive cooperation interventions for teaching individuals to tolerate stimuli required for medical, health, safety, or daily activities, there are no existing literature reviews on this topic. The purpose of this review is to (a) systematically review the behavior analytic literature on passive cooperation for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disabilities, and (b) categorize these studies to guide researchers and practitioners to identify efficacious assessments and interventions. We found that passive cooperation research has been applied to four broad categories of stimulus situations involving (a) medical and dental procedures, (b) hygiene routines, (c) prolonged tactile contact (e.g., clothing, devices), and (d) feared stimuli.
 

Increasing Compliance With Wearing a Medical Device in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
MARIE-MICHÈLE DUFOUR (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Abstract:

Health professionals often recommend the use of medical devices to assess the health, monitor the well-being, or improve the quality of life of their patients. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may present challenges in these situations as their sensory peculiarities may increase refusals to wear such devices. To address this issue, the current study systematically replicated prior research that implemented interventions to increase compliance with wearing different medical devices (Cook et al., 2015; Richling et al., 2011). More specifically, we examined the effects of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) to increase compliance with wearing a heart rate monitor in 2 children with autism. The intervention increased compliance to 100% for both participants when an edible reinforcer was delivered every 90 s. The results indicate that DRO does not require the implementation of extinction to increase compliance with wearing a medical device. More research is needed to examine whether the reinforcement schedule can be further thinned.

 

Wearing Face Masks: Removing Barriers to Accessing School and the Community for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida), VANESSA MARIE LARSON (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and teachers have faced the unique challenge of quickly teaching children with ASD to tolerate face masks, so they may continue therapy, attend school, or otherwise participate in community spaces, such as retail stores. We used a DRO procedure within a changing criterion design consisting of no-mask breaks and tangible reinforcers to teach four children with ASD of varying abilities to cooperate with wearing face masks for up to one hour. Additionally, one participant was taught over telehealth, with the aid of a Spanish-language interpreter. We included video models that were also narrated in Spanish within a behavior skills training procedure for the parent. During baseline, none of the children were able to meet the one-hour criterion. Results demonstrate that systematic fading of latency criteria across trials was successful in teaching all children to cooperate with keeping their masks on for at least one hour. Further, all participants were able to wear masks across consecutive one-hour periods (with brief no-mask breaks), and two participants that attended an inclusive classroom were able to keep their masks on for the full duration of the school day without any programmed no-mask breaks.

 
 
Symposium #367
CE Offered: BACB
Have the What Works Clearinghouse Standards for Single Case Designs Influenced Behavior Analysis Research?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Discussant: Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Kristin Griffith, M.A.
Abstract:

The evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in human services has increased interest in the quality research and synthesis of literature bases. In the early days of the EBP movement, there were no standards for evaluating the quality of research using single case designs (SCDs). As a consequence, evidence based on these designs were excluded from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on effective interventions. In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) finalized standards for SCDs. In this symposium, we examined the impact of these standards on research involving single case design in Applied Behavior Analysis. We reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to determine if there was a change in the research practices in the five years after the standards relative to the five years prior to their publication. The first paper in this session reports the method and results of this review. The second paper discusses limitations of SCD research in JABA and limitations of the standards. We will also outline suggestions for future research so that it is included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses and can contribute to the knowledge base.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): dissemination, literature syntheses, methodology, single-case design
Target Audience:

basic

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe... 1) the two components of the What Works Clearinghouse Standards (WWC) for Single Case Designs. 2) the implications for behavior analysis research for failing to adhere to the WWC standards for single case designs. 3) the limitations of the WWC single case design standards.
 
Applying the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards to Applied Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
SCOTT PAGE (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Kristin Griffith (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: The single case design (SCD) standards developed by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) have provided a framework to evaluate the quality of SCD research. The standards allow for appraisal and synthesis of the literature that is most often conducted in the field of behavior analysis, creating a bridge to other disciplines that could benefit from our findings. The extent to which these standards have been adopted by the larger behavior analytic community has not been assessed. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to review the impact these standards have had on the design and reporting of behavior analytic research using SCDs. To investigate this, we reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis from five years before and five years after the WWC SCD standards were published. Only studies using withdrawal or multiple baseline designs were included. The findings from our review indicate that there have not been substantial change in the number of behavior analytic articles that met WWC SCD standards since the standards were first published in 2013. Limitations of the review and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 
How the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards Influence Dissemination of Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Scott Page (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) formalized and published design and evidence standards to proficiently judge the quality of evidence provided by studies using single case design (SCD) methodology. Reviewing ten years of SCD research a flagship journal in behavior analysis revealed that there has not been a substantial change in the number of articles meeting design and evidence standards following their publication. This paper will briefly discuss how findings from this review may limit the ability of behavior analysts to successfully disseminate their work to other relevant disciplines. We will discuss issues encountered in applying the standards, the applicability of the standards to SCD design variations, and other barriers that may prevent behavior analytic research from being included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We conclude by discussing directions to explore to improve the reporting of SCD research, possible refinements for the WWC standards, and ways to promote the dissemination of behavior analytic research.
 
 
Symposium #369
CE Offered: BACB
Title: Monetary Incentives and Goals: Recent Research and Application
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Barbara R. Bucklin (The Bucklin Group, Inc.)
Discussant: Barbara R. Bucklin (The Bucklin Group, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Dan B. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Monetary incentives and goals, alone and in combination, have been shown to improve performance in a variety of settings. Well controlled research on incentives is difficult to do in applied settings because the systematic manipulation of pay systems affects employee income. Additionally, it is often not feasible or appropriate to implement different pay systems or stagger the implementation for employees within the same organization. The first presentation will describe a laboratory study that examined the relative effects of tiered goals and monetary incentives. Unless goals are set too high, monetary incentives enhance the effectiveness of goals. However, it is difficult to set goals that are appropriate for all employees: Goals may be too high for some, just right for some, and too low for others. Tiered goals, setting multiple goals or sub-goals for performance, may offer a solution to this problem and promote the enhancing effects of the incentives. While laboratory research can inform organizational decisions about incentive systems, it cannot address issues that arise when implementing them. The second presentation will describe case studies that examined the effects of various monetary incentive systems in an applied setting, along with the trials and tribulations (and successes) that accompanied their implementation
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Business Practice, Monetary Incentives, OBM, Performance Pay
Target Audience: Those responsible for managing the performance of others in the workplace. In particular those in senior leadership or business owner positions. Also, those generally interested in performance management and Organizational Behavior Management
Learning Objectives: Understand basic research associated with monetary incentives and it's impact on performance in the workplace Understand the interaction between goal and monetary incentives Describe potential applications of monetary incentive systems in the workplace
 

Pay Systems and Goals-Setting: 'Til Research Do Them Part

(Basic Research)
ALEJANDRO RAMOS (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Goals are often touted as a relatively inexpensive and easy way to increase performance. For organizations, goals and incentives often go hand-in-hand and thus it is difficult to know the true impact of the goals on employee performance. This talk will begin by summarizing the different types of goal-setting strategies before delving into the concept of tiered goals and the reasoning behind their potential efficacy. It will then discuss the methodology of a laboratory study that focused on the effects of tiered goals and piece-rate pay, both alone and in combination. The results will then be discussed, the findings from which could change the way that organizations use goals and piece rate pay as a means to improve the performance of their employees. At a minimum, tiered goals could add another tool to the performance improvement toolkit within an organization – one that is an advancement over the common goal-setting methods.

 

Using Money Effectively: A Case Study in Monetary Incentives

(Applied Research)
DAN B. SUNDBERG (Kendrick Realty, Inc.)
Abstract:

Monetary incentive systems are an extremely popular area for research and discussion in both the business and academic world. For good reason, these systems receive an intense amount of interest including the attention of Nobel Prize winning researchers. Salary and wage expenses typically account for 25% - 50% or more of a businesses expenses. Understanding how best to deploy such resources in a business represent tremendous opportunity for cost savings and performance improvement. The present case study will examine the application of various monetary incentive systems in an applied setting, including commission pay, wage pay, and bonus systems. Comparisons will be drawn between experimental studies and the results of these applied studies. Audience members will gain a deeper understanding of monetary incentives through real-world examples, including successes and failures. Applying laboratory research to the real world can be a messy affair, and sharing these attempts with others helps the field advance.

 
 
Symposium #371
CE Offered: BACB
Everyone Cares About Quality: How Do We Show It?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Discussant: Richard Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Richard Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.
Abstract:

What patients, their parents/guardians, insurance providers, and the community at large have in common with direct care staff, clinical supervisors, and ABA service organizations is that each stakeholder cares about quality services. To assureall stakeholders that quality services are being provided, a neutral entity must set standards to define what is considered quality. Such standards are typically based on the scientific literature, and where research may fall short, subject matter experts provide guidance based on best practice. Then, to determine if services meet these standards, an objective entity conducts thorough evaluations using reliable assessment methods. In this symposium, we will share how Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) has developed a quality assurance system with a focus on our accumulated data collected over the past five years. The first presenter will discuss the value of quality assurance and best practice recommendations for conducting quality assurance. The second presenter will discuss outcomes assessments and why they are important for determining the value of behavioral interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The third and fourth presenters will share the results of evaluations with patients and staff. All presenters will discuss the implications of their findings and future steps.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): assessment, patient outcomes, quality assurance, supervision
Target Audience:

Audience members should have a general understanding of assessments such as the VB-MAPP and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales as well as concepts such as social validity, treatment fidelity, and organizational systems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define quality assurance and identify common strategies for measuring, assessing, and reporting on quality assurance; (2) describe the difference between individual and organizational outcomes; and (3) describe how patient and staff surveys can be employed measures of quality assurance.
 
A Multimodal Approach to Measuring Quality Assurance
(Applied Research)
NIKKI WILLIAMS (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Abstract: Quality assurance in human care services refers to a systematic process that organizational employees conduct to determine if the services that employees provide meet quality standards. Important components of the quality assurance process are the collecting and reporting on data. One way to evaluate quality is through the use of multimodal measures that examine key performance indicators. This presentation describes multimodal assessment strategies for quality assurance in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) organizations. To do this, we discuss the importance and use of different key performance indicators collected from 220 ABA organizations for approximately 14,500 patients throughout the United States. For example, 65% of organizations assess their supervisors for competence. But, when analyzed by the number of patients served, 57% of patients work with supervisors whose competence has been assessed. Assessing supervisor competence is one example of how the type of measurement taken and the analysis of obtained data can influence statements about quality assurance. Throughout our presentation, we will discuss additional examples to highlight the many ways quality assurance can be measured, assessed, and reported.
 
Organizational Outcome Data: Don't I Already Do That?
(Applied Research)
SCOTT PAGE (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Behavior analysts commonly use skill-based and adaptive assessments to analyze individual patient outcomes and to customize treatment programs. However, as a whole, such assessments provide limited demonstration of organizational effectiveness and the data that might speak to organizational outcomes do not appear to be widely collected. The growth of applied behavior analysis as an effective treatment option for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder is causing funding sources to be increasingly interested in the accurate measurement, assessment, and reporting of organizational outcomes. In this presentation, we describe the distribution of organizational outcome data submitted during accreditation processes spanning five years and involving 218 organizations and 15 norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments. We then discuss examples of the procedures being used to track organizational outcomes. Finally, we review some of the many benefits that result from tracking organizational outcomes. These include: communicating internally with staff and patients about current quality of care; communicating organizational effectiveness to potential clients and funding sources; identification of opportunities for targeted staff training; and the ability to use data to make decisions that drive company progress toward organizational mission and values.
 
Patient Satisfaction as a Quality Assurance Metric: What it Does and Doesn’t Tell Us
(Applied Research)
P. MICAH FRIDDLE (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Quality assurance measurements are an important, but under-utilized and under-researched, component of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services. Measuring patient satisfaction is one type of quality assurance measure that ensures the social validity of services offered by ABA providers. In this study, we sought to determine which characteristics of clinical quality and organizational processes have the greatest impact on the overall satisfaction of patients or their caregivers. As part of a comprehensive quality review of ABA service providers, we administered patient satisfaction surveys to the patient or their primary caregivers. Each survey asked questions about the caregivers’ level of agreement with statements about their service provider spanning six domains of clinical quality and organizational processes. These domains were: caregiver involvement, patient progress, navigating funding, scheduling, staff training and abilities, and treatment programs. Regression analyses suggest patient progress was the most important predictor of overall caregiver satisfaction. Additionally, the organizational processes of scheduling, staff training and abilities, and caregiver involvement were predictive of overall patient satisfaction. In total, the data and methods presented here highlight how measuring patient satisfaction may help ABA providers identify barriers to patient satisfaction and to develop targeted, function-based interventions to overcome these barriers.
 
Staff Satisfaction Surveys: A Multi-Organization Analysis of Quality Assurance Data
(Applied Research)
MELISSA COTTENGIM (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Quality assurance (QA) systems are widely adopted practices in healthcare, pharmacy, and laboratory settings. In the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), quality assurance is equally important but is not a current standard practice. In this study, staff satisfaction surveys were administered to 27,472 employees at 360 ABA organizations through the BHCOE accreditation process. Survey response completion rate was at 65% with 17,855 employee respondents. The survey comprised 67 total questions, measured through a five-point Likert scale, across seven sections including work engagement, career development, compensation, benefits, relationship management, scheduling, and work environment. We examined the relationship between employee satisfaction and overall quality markers reviewing data that had been collected over the past four years. We used a predictive model fit through linear regression to pinpoint the most meaningful sections of our staff satisfaction survey that predict an organization’s overall accreditation score. The results suggest the most important predictor of staff satisfaction was work engagement and the least important predictor was scheduling and work environment. We will discuss considerations for organizations in developing a QA system, the development and utility of staff satisfaction survey, and directions for future research.
 
 
Symposium #374
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Diversity in Behavior Analysis: Cultural Competence, Neurodiversity, Ableism, and Practicing What We Should Be Preaching
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Diana J. Walker (Visions, LLC; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Diana J. Walker, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will address diversity issues within the field of behavior analysis, with emphasis on humility, cultural humility, pragmatism, and inclusion. The first talk will present data on the diversity of behavior analysts practicing in Ontario, as well as their self-reports of how culturally competent they believe they are, in comparison with the level of diversity education and training they report. A second presentation will describe the neurodiversity movement, autistic culture, and how traditional Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) contributes to the trauma autistic people experience from others trying to change who they are. A third presentation will describe the cultural bias of research in ABA, specifically, the historical roots of ableism in ABA and examples of ableism in current research. A final presentation will describe the differential treatment and segregation of applied practitioners vs. basic researchers/academicians, and the negative effects on the science and practice of behavior analysis. Presenters will offer suggestions for combating the concerns they highlight, and Dr. Christine Hughes, a distinguished basic and translational researcher and radical behaviorist, will serve as discussant.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ableism, applied pragmatism, cultural humility, neurodiversity
Target Audience:

Audience members should have a basic understanding of ABA treatment, such as for people with autism. They should have heard the term "radical behaviorism" and have a basic understanding of the relations among EAB, ABA, and radical behaviorism.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. define cultural competence and state why it is important in ABA practice. 2. define neurodiversity and state one advantage of that perspective when working with autistic people. 3. define ableism and describe a current or past example of ableism in ABA research or practice. 4. define cultural humility and state one way it is different from cultural competence. 5. explain why collaboration among basic and applied behavior analysts and scientists/practitioners from other fields is pragmatic.
 
Diversity submission Are Behaviour Analysts Culturally Competent? They Think So!
(Service Delivery)
Paige O'Neill (Brock University), Albert Malkin (Western University; Southern Illinois University), KARL GUNNARSSON (West Park Healthcare Centre; University of Iceland), Nazurah Khokhar (Brock University), Carly Magnacca (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University)
Abstract: Cultural competence has important implications for the delivery of effective and acceptable treatments. Ontario is a culturally diverse province necessitating cultural sensitivity on the part of service providers such as behaviour analysts. Although no data currently exist on the profiles of behaviour analysts in Ontario, previous studies that survey Board Certified Behaviour Analysts® worldwide indicate that behaviour analysts lack diversity, with over 80% identifying as white. Studies report that most behaviour analysts feel comfortable providing services to diverse clients, and that they feel skilled in their ability to do so. Despite this positive perception, most behaviour analysts report little or no education or training in diversity. We surveyed ABA service providers in Ontario about their demographic information, their education and training in working with diverse clients, and their comfort and perceived skill in providing services for diverse clients. Results mirrored those of previous studies and indicated that behaviour analytic service providers in Ontario are mostly white (78%), English speaking (89%), and non-immigrants (86%). Additionally, respondents reported high confidence in their ability to provide services to diverse clients, despite typically having little or no training in doing so. Implications and recommendations regarding education and training in cultural competence will be discussed.
 
Diversity submission 

CANCELED: Celebrating Neurodiversity: How Radical Behaviorism Must Include Radical Acceptance of Neurodiversity and Autistic Culture

(Service Delivery)
ALEXANDRA VASSAR (ABA Reform; Achieve Together Behavior Services)
Abstract:

Neurodiversity has long been discussed in the Autistic community but is just recently gaining traction in conversations of how the concept applies to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). A concept that comes out of the neurodiversity movement is understanding autism through the lens of culture. ABA throughout its history has promoted prioritizing normalization goals for autistic clients (Lovaas, 1981). Normalization goals force autistic people to mask their traits and deny their basic human needs. Autistic people subjected to this requirement to mask and deny their needs have an increased suicide rate in adulthood (Cassidy, 2018). By becoming culturally competent in understanding autistics and autism, and connecting autistic clients to their own culture, behavior analysts will go a long way in bridging the culture gap and minimizing their role in the trauma their clients experience just by existing. This talk will a) explore what autistic culture is and how autistic culture relates to the ethical obligation of behavior analysts to be culturally competent (BACB 1.05c), b) discuss the trauma associated with not having access to one’s culture, and c) challenge behavior analysts to generalize their skills with recognizing and calling out other acts of bigotry to the autistic population.

 
Diversity submission 

ABA is a Science: So What?

(Service Delivery)
JAMINE DETTMERING (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; National Lewis University)
Abstract:

Autistic advocates have criticized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for harmful practices grounded in ableism (Dawson, 2004; Lynch, 2019). A common response to ABA being characterized as abusive or harmful is to make a distinction between the science and practice of ABA. Although there is a topographical distinction between the scientific approach to discovering variables that influence behavior and the technology of behavior change that utilizes those research discoveries, the science of ABA is no exception to concerns voiced by the autistic community. Research goals, procedures, and outcomes are often based on the agenda of the researcher and neurotypical community, rather than the values of autistic participants and the autistic community. This presentation will (a) explore the historical roots of the science of ABA in ableism, (b) discuss contemporary examples of ableism in ABA research, (c) explore the efficacy of the ethics code and research practices as they relate to keeping autistic research participants safe, and (d) offer strategies to ensure the inclusion of autistic voices and the safety of research participants.

 
Diversity submission The Pragmatism of Cultural Humility in Experimental, Conceptual, and Applied Behavior Analysis
(Theory)
DIANA J. WALKER (Visions, LLC; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Categorizing phenomena helps us to respond to our world in effective ways; however, it can also create false dichotomies that limit our experience and hurt people and society. The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has recently intensified efforts to promote inclusion and discourage social inequality in behavior analysis and in society in general. Within behavior analysis, though, there are false dichotomies that result in segregation of people and differential treatment, some of which is harmful to individual members, to the field of behavior analysis, and to society as a whole. Potentially harmful dichotomies include basic vs. applied, academician vs. practitioner, behavior analysis vs. other psychological/social sciences, etc. This presentation will describe harmful effects of segregating basic from applied behavior analysts, academicians from practitioners, behavior analysis from other disciplines, etc. and provide suggestions for decreasing such harmful practices. Instead of behaving in accordance with false dichotomies, behavior analysts should embrace cultural humility, a lifelong process of learning about cultural identity through openness, interpersonal relationships, and self-reflection/critique. By embracing cultural humility, experimental, conceptual, and applied behavior analysts will promote dialog and collaboration amongst each other and with other professionals, with pragmatic results.
 
 
Symposium #375
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Why Are We Not Acting to Save The World? Contextual Behavior Science Applied to Mainstream Cultural Problems
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Brian Katz (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago)
Discussant: Shannon Ormandy (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Shannon Ormandy, M.A.
Abstract:

In a world in which tumultuous events such as political upheaval, police brutality, climate change, and untrustworthy media, occur at accelerating rates, we have a moral obligation to use our science towards nurturing ends. The following presentations present behavior analytic interpretations of propaganda, sustainable behavior, police brutality, and false information in social media environments. The authors in this symposium wish to inspire audience members to use behavior science to shift mainstream cultural problems.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): climate change, police brutality, propoganda, social media
Target Audience:

Audience members should have a growing skill-set in contextual behavior science including relational frame theory.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define propaganda in behavioral terms; (2) identify ways in which the STEPS assessment can be used to assess climate change-related behaviors; (3) identify the potential functions of behaviors associated with reading, believing, and sharing fake news on social media; (4) recite the history of police conduct toward Black Americans and place this history in the contexts of Skinnerian and relational frame theory analyses of human behavior.
 
Diversity submission “In” or “Out”? An Analysis of the Use of Augmentals in U.S. Presidential Speeches on The Paris Climate Agreement
(Theory)
STEPHANIE CHAN (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago), Brian Katz (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago)
Abstract: Augmentals, as a type of rule which alter the value of the consequences, have reinforcer establishing effects or punisher establishing effects (Hayes et al., 2002). Augmentals can be used in establishing cultural values that are beneficial for the populace (Leigland, 2005), or in publicizing political points of view to exert control on public opinion through propaganda (Rakos, 1993). Studies have shown the effect of augmentals in altering rates of of behavior in several different contexts including consumer purchasing behavior, smoking behavior among youth, and patients’ behavior in health care settings. The current study conducted a functional content analysis on two presidential speeches debating whether the United States should enter or exit the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. The purpose of the study was 1) to analyze the use of augmentals and frames in each speech, and 2) to examine their effects on public behavior. Each speech was coded. The number of reinforcer establishing augmentals and punisher establishing augmentals, as well as the number of different frames within augmenals were calculated. The results showed different patterns in the use of augmentals in President Trump’s speech, who attempted to persuade the populace to support exiting the Paris Climate Accord, compared to President Obama’s speech, who attempted to persuade the populace to support entering the agreement. Several implications of the study were discussed.
 
Diversity submission The Future is Bright: Saving the Earth One Step at a Time
(Applied Research)
MEREDITH MATTHEWS (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University), Sydney Jensen (Utah Valley University), Taylor Marie Lauer (Missouri State University)
Abstract: We are rapidly approaching a climate point of no return (PNR) where recoverability of earth’s climate will concede expenses above current rates of production both domestic and abroad. Although a multi-level approach to solving the climate crisis is undoubtedly needed, some success may be achieved by increasing pro-environmental behaviors at the level of single subjects. We selected target pro-environmental behaviors using the STEPS assessment (Belisle, Stanley, et al., under review), an itemized list the identifies behavior targets ranging from relatively simple behavior change targets (e.g., recycling) to more complex targets (e.g., lobbying to state officials). Across 3 participants, we targeted multiple behaviors within a multiple experimental probe design. The behavior differed across the participants depending on their scores on the assessment. The intervention represented a synthesis of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Matrix (ACT Matrix) and a performance diagnostic assessment to identify barriers to completing the steps. Because each target builds on the last, this approach is also consistent with shaping successively more challenging topographies of pro-environmental behavior. Following the study, post-test climate emission scores were compared to pre-test scores.
 
Diversity submission Fake News and Social Media
(Theory)
KATHRYN M. ROOSE (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The 2016 U.S. presidential election will hold a place in history not only for the outcome, but for the events leading up to the election including the use of fake news in traditional media, but more specifically in social media. With over three billion people using social media worldwide, the online world has become a supportive environment for the quick, easy, and vast spread of any type of information, true or false. Thus, social media is filled with the distribution of false information spread either on purpose (e.g., knowingly spreading misinformation), or perhaps simply due to the inability to discriminate between the truth and lies, or the lack of effort in determining the veracity of the information. This presentation will examine the behaviors associated with reading, believing, and sharing fake news on social media, including verbal behavior, rule-governed behavior, and a behavioral perspective on cognitive biases.
 
Diversity submission A Behavioral Analysis of Police Brutality and Recommendations for Social Action
(Theory)
VANESSA BETHEA-MILLER (Bethea-Miller Behavioral Consulting, Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Cortenee Boulard (Florida Institute of Technology), Tom G. Szabo (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Police brutality against people of color in America has persisted despite remarkable gains resulting from the civil rights movement. B. F. Skinner’s account of human phylogeny, ontogeny, and culture is as profoundly relevant toward understanding this problem as it was during his lifetime. Recent scholarship on derived relational responding adds to the analysis of human practices that persist long after their acceptability has passed. In the current paper, we review the history of police conduct toward Black Americans and place this history in the contexts of Skinnerian and relational frame theory analyses of human behavior. We review the strengths and weaknesses of numerous redresses currently in use or commonly advocated and propose new strategies derived from the experimental analysis of human behavior.
 
 
Symposium #376
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Positive Punishment: Efficacy, Efficiency, and Side Effects of Electrical Stimulation Devices
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Elizabeth A. Fitter (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Discussant: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth A. Fitter, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Positive punishment procedures are controversial, misunderstood, and misrepresented inside and outside behavior analysis. We provide a contemporary review of the efficiency, efficacy, and side effects of contingent skin shock to treat the severe problem behaviors of individuals with various diagnoses. Contrary to popular belief, contingent skin shock by way of an electrical stimulation device often results in an increased quality of life by allowing the individual to contact new contingencies of reinforcement.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): electrical stimulation, positive punishment, problem behavior, skin shock
Target Audience:

Any BCBA interested in positive punishment and/or electrical stimulation devices.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the behavioral dimensions associated with electrical stimulation device treatment; (2) identify the efficiency and efficacy of electrical stimulation device treatment; (3) identify negative side-effects associated with electrical stimulation device treatment; and (4) identify positive side-effects associated with electrical stimulation device treatment.
 

Sample Characteristics and Topographies Treated With Electrical Stimulation Devices

(Applied Research)
ELIZABETH A. FITTER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

Electrical stimulation devices have been used to treat severe and treatment refractory problem behavior across a variety of topographies and diagnoses. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration banned electrical stimulation devices used to treat aggressive and self-injurious behaviors. Treatment has been successfully used for individuals with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, conduct disorders, intellectual disability, and mood disorders who exhibit aggressive and self-injurious behaviors of sufficient intensity to cause serious damage to themselves and others. These behaviors include, but are not limited to blows to the head, rectal digging, rumination, eye gouging, body hits to the environment, and violent acts towards others. In addition, in the literature, the treatment of other idiosyncratic topographies that cause harm has been described. It is important to note that these behaviors are repeated overtime and produce bleeding and permanent tissue damage. Findings support the use of contingent skin shock in conjunction with other behavior analytic procedures for severe treatment refractory behaviors. Typically, the treatment is extremely effective in reducing the frequency of targeted behaviors. Types of electrical stimulation devices, client characteristics, and treated topographies will be discussed.

 
Efficiency and Efficacy of Electrical Stimulation Devices
(Applied Research)
JOHN O'NEILL (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: In 1965, Lovaas described the first clinical application of an electrical stimulation device for severe problem behaviors. Since then, the effect has been replicated hundreds of times using various single-subject designs by numerous researchers. Here, we review and summarize the efficacy of electrical stimulation devices described in the literature. Across 117 behaviors or groups of behaviors, eighty-three of 117 were reduced by 100%; 110 of 117 by at least 90%; 112 of 117 by 50% or more; and 5 of 117 continued at the same rate or increase. This data is supplemented by recent analyses of contingent skin-shock (i.e., positive punishment) in the treatment of severe problem behaviors in 173 individual cases between 2001 and 2019. Overall, a 97% reduction in the frequency of severe aggressive and health dangerous (e.g., self-injurious) behaviors was observed in the first full month of treatment across participants. Findings provide support for the supplemental use of contingent skin-shock in conjunction with differential reinforcement and other behavioral procedures for severe treatment refractory behaviors. We present findings from the largest clinical sample in the skin-shock literature (describing approximately 350 treatment years), planned versus unplanned fading of treatment, reversal of treatment effects, and follow-up data spanning 15 years. The evidence provides support for the assertion that contingent skin-shock is the least intrusive, most effective, and efficient treatment available for the severe problem behaviors of some individuals.
 

Negative Side Effects of Electrical Stimulation Devices

(Applied Research)
JESSICA LINDSAY (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

The use of electrical stimulation devices to treat severe, dangerous, and potentially life threatening problem behaviors is a controversial topic in the field of behavior analysis. The potential of negative effects such as learned helplessness, aggression, anxiety, among other side effects are often cited as sequelae associated with the use of electrical stimulation devices. However, many of these effects are derived from basic research with animals that do not necessarily comport with the clinical application of electrical stimulation devices. In many cases, specific experimental preparations are required to produce certain effects that are inconsistent with clinical applications. Here, the negative side effects described in the applied and experimental literature are reviewed. Literature regarding the use of electrical stimulation devices in a clinical setting to treat severe problem behaviors reflect relatively infrequent and less prevalent negative side effects than those noted in laboratory studies. This discussion will examine the negative side effects of both non-contingent and contingent skin shock, while clarifying common misconceptions associated with the treatment.

 

Positive Side Effects of Electrical Stimulation Devices

(Applied Research)
LYNDE KAYSER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract:

Clinically significant decelerations are observed across a variety of topographies of severe, treatment refractory problem behaviors after contingent skin shock treatment. As these once refractory problem behaviors decrease, multiple positive side effects emerge. Some such side effects include reductions in the use of chemical, mechanical, and physical restraint, health related supports, and level of supervision required to maintain safety. Substantial increases in pivotal behaviors are commonly observed as maladaptive behaviors decelerate and availability of reinforcement increases. For example, the elimination of mechanical restraint sets the occasion for increased ambulation, which may act as a pivotal behavior that enables social initiation and access to leisure activities. An increased repertoire of pivotal behaviors often results in the development of behavioral cusps, or behavior change that exposes the individual to novel environments, reinforcers, and contingencies. Individuals who receive the treatment demonstrate improvements in quality of life as measured by increased access to the community, home visits, and employment, social behaviors, academic progress, and independence. This discussion will review positive side effects associated with contingent skin shock, to include both reduced use of restrictive interventions and increased adaptive behavioral repertoires.

 
 
Symposium #377
CE Offered: BACB
Establishment and Emergence of Conditional Discriminations: Basic and Applied Research
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption College)
CE Instructor: Anna I. Petursdottir, Ph.D.
Abstract: Match-to-sample (MTS) procedures are often used to establish baseline conditional relations for equivalence class formation, both in the context of teaching educationally relevant skills and in the context of answering basic research questions. Equivalence classes are sets of physically dissimilar stimuli in which each member occasions selection of all other members. Only a subset of the relations among the stimuli must be taught directly; other emerge without instruction. We report the results of four studies, spanning the range from basic to applied, on the process and outcomes of establishing conditional discriminations via MTS instruction. Briana Ostrosky presents on the use of group contingencies and individual contingencies in equivalence-based instruction (EBI). Juliana Oliveira presents on the flexibility of equivalence classes established via one-to-many instruction and classes established via direct instruction of all possible relations among the stimuli. Reagan Cox presents on the emergence of new conditional relations as a function of stimulus uniformity and the sequence of baseline instruction. Finally, Alex Brune presents on the effects of different types of selection responses on acquisition in MTS training with children of typical development learning conditional relations among abstract stimuli. Karen Lionello-DeNolf discusses the research and its implications.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): conditional discrimination, equivalence-based instruction, stimulus control, stimulus equivalence
Target Audience: BCBAs, graduate students, researchers
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe how match-to-sample procedures are used to establish conditional discriminations 2. Describe scenarios in which new conditional discriminations emerge after others are taught 3. Describe the defining features of equivalence-based instruction
 
Comparing Group-Based and Individualized Equivalence-Based Instruction to a PowerPoint Lecture to Establish Equivalence Classes
(Applied Research)
BRIANA OSTROSKY (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Jessica Day-Watkins (Drexel University)
Abstract: Equivalence-based instruction (EBI) refers to the teaching of socially relevant material (e.g., academic material) with equivalence class formation procedures (Fienup, Covey, & Critchfield, 2010). In the research literature, equivalence training and testing has been almost exclusively conducted on an individual basis, apart from Varelas and Fields (2017) who applied a group contingency using EBI. To extend the literature, the present study compared the effects of using EBI with an interdependent group contingency, individualized computer-based EBI, and a lecture on class formation with college students. The classes consisted of information related to reinforcement and punishment procedures (i.e., name, definition, contingency table, vignettes). For both EBI groups, a cloud-based student response system (SRS) application was used. To compare the effects on responding, three tests were administered before and after each intervention: (a) written open-ended, (b) written multiple-choice, and (c) card sorting. Results showed improvements in class-consistent responding across all groups following training. However, responding was significantly higher in the two EBI training groups for the written multiple-choice tests, and the group-contingency-based EBI was significantly more effective in promoting topography-based responding than was lecture. These results suggest that EBI can be effectively implemented in more naturalistic settings (e.g., classroom) using a group contingency with portable and affordable technology.
 
Class Reorganization Following One-to-Many and Complete Instruction
(Basic Research)
JULIANA SEQUEIRA CESAR DE OLIVEIRA (Texas Christian University), Gregory Tomlinson (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: Previous research has evaluated the extent to which equivalence-based instruction (EBI) is more efficient or produces stimulus classes with different properties than complete instruction (CI) in which all relations between stimuli in a class are taught directly. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the flexibility of the formed stimulus classes in EBI and CI procedures with a contingency reorganization. Forty undergraduate students received training to establish 3 stimulus classes with 4 members in each class. The students were randomly assigned to two groups: EBI according to a One-to-Many (OTM) training structure and CI. After undergoing training and equivalence test (Phase 1), participants received contingency reorganization training (Phase 2). In the reorganization phase, the relations A1B2, A2B3, A3B1 were established as correct. Class flexibility was evaluated in an immediate class reorganization post-test. Preliminary data suggest the EBI group required fewer training trials to complete ABCD training, and performed similarly to CI in the equivalence test. Additionally, the EBI group required fewer training trials in reorganization training, and performed better in the reorganization test compared to the CI group.
 
Effects of Stimulus Uniformity and Training Sequence on Emergent Conditional Discriminations
(Basic Research)
REAGAN ELAINE COX (Texas Christian University), Cullen Westerfield (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: This study explored the interaction between stimulus uniformity and training sequence on emergent stimulus relations. Sixty college students were randomly assigned to six groups. Three groups received match-to-sample (MTS) training to relate abstract visual stimuli to text stimuli before training to relate pairs of text stimuli (standard condition). The other three groups of participants received the opposite training sequence (reverse condition). One group in each condition was assigned each of three sets of abstract stimuli (6 patterns, 6 irregular shapes, or a combination of 3 patterns and 3 shapes). Emergent relations between pairs of abstract stimuli were assessed in an MTS test. Our previous findings suggest the standard condition produces greater accuracy and/or speed at test compared to the reverse condition. Based on the hypothesis that performance in the standard condition may be influenced by operant seeing of the abstract stimuli during training with text stimuli, we expected to see the largest difference between standard and reverse in the shape/pattern group, due to enhanced visualizability. Preliminary data from a partial sample suggest an advantage of standard over reverse training only in the shape/pattern group; reaction time data have not been analyzed. Results will inform stimulus selection for future research.
 

Comparing Two Selection Response Topographies on Acquisition of Simultaneous Matching-to-Sample Skills in Young Children of Typical Development

(Basic Research)
ALEX BRUNE (Caldwell University; Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Adrienne Jennings (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Abstract:

Matching-to-sample (MTS) is often used to teach the prerequisite skills needed for establishing important complex behaviors. Therefore, using the most effective and efficient procedures when teaching matching-to-sample skills is paramount. One important MTS procedural variable concerns the selection response topographies used during acquisition. Although Green (2001) recommends teaching students to point to the correct comparison stimulus instead of placing the sample on top of the correct comparison, no previous research has directly compared these two topographies. The current study used an alternating treatments design to assess the effects of a pointing selection response and a “placing on top” selection response on the effectiveness and efficiency of acquisition of a visual-visual simultaneous arbitrary matching-to-sample task with three typically developing 4- to 5-year-old children. A trial-and-error with an error correction procedure was used to measure the relative differences in percentage of correct responses and sessions to criterion across the two selection response topographies. The results showed no systematic advantage of placing the sample stimulus on top of the correct comparison stimulus relative to a pointing selection response. Therefore, the results of the current study contrast with the recommendations made by Green (2001) for teaching children to point to the correct comparison stimulus rather than place the sample stimulus on top of the correct comparison stimulus.

 
 
Symposium #389
CE Offered: BACB
Clinical Applications of Functional Analyses of Verbal Behavior for Children With Autism
Monday, May 31, 2021
10:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Janet Sanchez Enriquez (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
CE Instructor: Lee L Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Verbal operant analyses identify the environmental variables that influence verbal behavior. In addition to their utility in demonstrating which environmental relations compose the speaker’s verbal repertoire, these functional analyses are also able to identify how much control is exerted across different verbal operants. Assessing the relative strength of verbal behavior is critical when evaluating the speaking repertoires of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, who are more likely than typically developing speakers to display stimulus overselectivity (i.e., disproportionate levels of control). Specifically, verbal operant analyses demonstrate how stimulus overselectivity influences verbal behavior by comparing language domains that are related; that is, structurally similar yet functionally independent. Here we present different clinical applications to demonstrate how verbal operant analyses can be used to both document client progress over time and make data-based instructional decisions. In this symposium, we extend the use of functional analysis technology to examine a variety of related language domains that demonstrate how stimulus overselectivity affects the verbal behavior of children with autism, along with implications for intervention focusing on transfer of stimulus control.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): functional analysis, stimulus control, stimulus overselectivity, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Applied behavior analysts who are familiar with incidental teaching procedures. Experience with the VB-MAPP is helpful, but not required.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the conditions in a verbal operant analysis; (2) identify the conditions in a relational operant analysis; (3) explain how pretreatment functional analyses can be used to develop treatment objectives.
 

Assessing Derivational Stimulus Control Over the Intraverbal Behavior of Speakers With Autism

(Applied Research)
KIMBERLY JAMES-KELLY (Child Study Center at Cook Children's)
Abstract:

Assessing stimulus control over intraverbals, the operant class of social behavior, is a primary function of the verbal community. In clinical settings, however, addressing intraverbal deficits poses a challenge to both researchers and practitioners due to the lack of precise measures and the sparse literature on establishing discriminations between similar verbal stimuli. Applying a stimulus equivalence framework to intraverbal interactions, here we describe a series of experiments in which we extend functional analysis technology to assess derivational stimulus control. Our first experiment describes a relational operant analysis consisting of brief affordance narratives to evaluate the relative control of reflexive, symmetrical, and transitive stimuli over the intraverbal repertoire of speakers with autism. We compared responding across intraverbal fill-ins and Wh- questions, but results were difficult to interpret due to confounding variables. In the second experiment, we address the limitations of the first experiment by assessing Who, What, and Where questions across levels of reflexivity, symmetry, and transitivity. Results of the second experiment show no meaningful differences across Wh- questions, while statistically significant differences were found across levels of derivational stimulus control. These findings suggest that relational operant analyses can enhance the assessment of intraverbal responding through experimental manipulation. Implications for teaching Wh- questions are discussed.

 

Assessment to Intervention Using a Pretreatment Functional Analysis of Verbal Behavior

(Service Delivery)
MARIA JOSE OTERO (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Here we present a clinical case study to describe the assessment to intervention process centered around a pre-treatment functional analysis of verbal behavior. The use of pretreatment functional analyses to identify the variable(s) maintaining behavioral excesses has been shown to increase both treatment precision and efficacy. Functional analysis technology has been used to identify nuanced environmental determinants undetectable through mere descriptive assessment. More recently, research has suggested that pretreatment verbal operant analyses may be beneficial for guiding the selection of treatment goals and instructional procedures. Here we demonstrate the use of pretreatment functional analyses to examine the verbal behavior of a 5-year-old girl diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay who communicated with a speech-generating device. After 18 months of early intensive behavioral intervention, this child continued to display severely limited tact and echoic control, along with an impaired mand repertoire. In this session we describe how we modified the verbal operant analysis for use with her speech-generating device, and explain how we used the results to create tailored interventions centered around converging control across the verbal operants. Pre-post data on VB-MAPP and SCoRE assessments were used to evaluate the outcome of this methodology.

 

Cochran’s Q Tests of Disproportionate Stimulus Control Over Verbal Behavior

(Basic Research)
LEE L MASON (Cook Children's Health Care System; Texas Christian University), Alonzo Alfredo Andrews (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract:

Cochran’s Q test is a statistical analysis frequently used to measure the proportionality of different populations. Here we demonstrate the use of Cochran’s Q to evaluate disproportionate levels of stimulus control over the verbal behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder. In contrast to balanced neurotypical stimulus control, disproportionate stimulus control is characteristic of speakers with autism. We reviewed the records of 181 participants whose language profiles met the assumptions for analysis with Cochran’s Q. Specifically, the relative strength of mand, tact, echoic, and sequelic relations were measured for each participant. Our results showed that 86% of participants demonstrated statistically significant disproportionality across these four verbal operants. Additionally, a large correlation was found between Cochran’s Q and the Stimulus Control Ratio Equation. Implications for the use of Cochran’s Q test as a measure of disproportionate stimulus control, and the extent to which statistical significance can be used to determine medical necessity for behavior-analytic language intervention are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #390
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in Telehealth Treatments of Aberrant Behavior and Virtual Supervision During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Monday, May 31, 2021
10:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Christina Simmons (Rowan University)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Amanda Zangrillo, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transition to virtual service delivery for many practitioners. In this symposium, we present three innovative virtual assessment and treatment evaluations for aberrant behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder and an evaluation of virtual supervision. Somervell and colleagues discuss a virtual single-stimulus preference assessment, measuring engagement with on-screen stimuli. Researchers validated relative preference hierarchies by measuring compliance and subsequent aberrant behavior. Moretti and colleagues present a telehealth treatment evaluation for protests maintained by social control. Researchers implemented functional communication training and compared multiple and mixed schedules for reinforcement schedule thinning on aberrant behavior, schedule thinning efficiency, and participant/therapist preference. Bean and colleagues present a demonstration of the transition from clinic-based treatment to parent-implemented intervention via telehealth. Researchers compared differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) with synthesized and isolated contingencies on compliance, targeted avoidant movements, and nontargeted dangerous acts. When transferred to the home setting, DRA with synthesized contingencies continued to produce decreases in both target and nontarget aberrant behaviors. Ford and colleagues present results of a national survey on satisfaction and feasibility of virtual behavior analytic supervision. Dr. Amanda Zangrillo will discuss implications, challenges, and recommendations for delivering evidence-based virtual assessment, treatment, and supervision.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): aberrant behavior, telehealth, virtual
Target Audience:

The target audience includes behavior analytic practitioners, particularly those providing telehealth services for aberrant behavior and supervisors. Necessary prerequisite skills include a general understanding of preference assessment methodology, functional communication training and schedule thinning procedures, and differential reinforcement procedures. Presentations will describe these methodologies as well as present advancements in each domain.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe recent research-based extensions to telehealth assessment and treatment of aberrant behavior; (2) describe how to adapt evidence-based assessment and treatment of aberrant behavior to virtual platforms; and (3) describe the acceptability and feasibility of virtual behavior analytic supervision.
 

Virtual Single-Stimulus Preference Assessment on Engagement During Telehealth Sessions and Reinforcer Efficacy Validation

(Applied Research)
SHERAH SOMERVELL (Rowan University), Kimberly Ford (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Courtney Russell (Rowan University)
Abstract:

Practitioners routinely conduct preference assessments to identify reinforcers, with multiple procedural variations. A single-stimulus preference assessment (Pace et al., 1985) is an approach-based procedure, recommended when individuals have difficulty selecting between stimuli or if activities are difficult to present in a selection-based format (Hagopian et al., 2001). In the current study, we conducted a virtual single-stimulus preference assessment (VSSPA) for two participants with autism spectrum disorder during telehealth sessions for challenging behavior. Therapists presented one randomized item or activity, of eight nominated by caregivers, on the screen for 2 min, with three series conducted. Total duration of engagement per stimulus was recorded for each 2-min session, with mean duration of engagement across the three series used to create a relative preference hierarchy. We validated the VSSPA by evaluating compliance with mastered tasks when a high-, moderate-, and low-preferred stimulus was delivered as compared to vocal praise. Results indicated that the VSSPA created a relative preference hierarchy for both participants, stimuli yielded greater on-screen engagement than baseline, and highest ranked stimuli served as reinforcers relative to the lowest ranked stimuli and praise. Participants engaged in the lowest rates of aberrant behavior when higher ranked stimuli were delivered for compliance.

 

Telehealth Comparison of Multiple and Mixed Schedules During Functional Communication Training Schedule Thinning

(Applied Research)
ABIGAIL MORETTI (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Giovanna Salvatore (Rowan University)
Abstract:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, behavior analysts have increasingly delivered interventions for challenging behavior via telehealth. The efficacy of implementing functional communication training (FCT) via telehealth has been previously established (e.g., Suess et al., 2014; Wacker et al., 2013), with less research investigating remote schedule thinning. The current study compares virtual FCT reinforcement schedule thinning using a multiple and mixed schedule with a 7-year-old participant with autism spectrum disorder. Virtual functional analysis results indicated that protests were maintained by social control. Therapists taught a functional communication response to access to the functional reinforcer (engaging in child-directed high-preferred virtual activities) and evaluated the efficacy of FCT in an A-B-A-B withdrawal design. Multiple (signaled alteration of reinforcement and extinction contingencies via color-correlated stimuli) and mixed (unsignaled contingencies) schedules were alternated during schedule thinning. Therapists conducted terminal-schedule probes (75-s SD/300-s S?) throughout schedule thinning. After reaching the terminal goal in one condition, participant and therapist preference for the mixed/multiple schedule was assessed. Results suggest that telehealth FCT and schedule thinning were effective at decreasing protests, increasing functional communication, and thinning the reinforcement schedule, with the multiple schedule facilitating more rapid schedule thinning. We discuss the practical application of FCT and schedule thinning via telehealth.

 
An Evaluation of Treatment Utilizing Synthesized Contingencies: Transfer to Parent Implementation via Telehealth
(Applied Research)
YVETTE BEAN (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Andrea Zawoyski (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Rose Morlino (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Courtney Mauzy (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Karla Zabala (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research)
Abstract: The current case study demonstrated that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) with a synthesized contingency increased compliance with demands and decreased targeted avoidant movements, as well as nontargeted dangerous acts exhibited by one participant. In comparison, DRA with an isolated contingency had the same effects on targeted behavior, but did not result in reduction of the nontargeted behavior. Schedule thinning with the synthesized DRA began in the clinic setting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment shifted to a telehealth format. Therapists conducted behavioral skills training via telehealth to train the participant’s mother to implement the synthesized DRA with schedule thinning. With continued telehealth coaching, the parent implemented the intervention with high levels of procedural fidelity. Therapeutic effects of the synthesized DRA persisted in the home, and schedule thinning continued. The current case study recommends extensions for synthesized contingency research into examining nontargeted behavior and has implications for future telepractice.
 

Acceptability and Feasibility of Virtual Behavior Analysis Supervision

(Service Delivery)
Kimberly Ford (Rowan University ), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), GIOVANNA SALVATORE (Rowan University), Abigail Moretti (Rowan University)
Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transition to virtual service delivery and supervision. This study examined the acceptability and feasibility of virtual supervision for 94 BCBA/BCaBA supervisees during COVID-19, including variables that impacted perceived satisfaction, effectiveness, and supervision preference. Results indicate a decrease in accrual of direct client hours during the pandemic, with a third of participants reporting a decrease in individual supervision. Participants were largely satisfied with virtual individual and group supervision as indicated by high satisfaction domain scores and individual item means, with minimal overall change in satisfaction. Participants indicated preference for in-person or hybrid supervision and considered in-person most effective. Participants reported that supervisors used best-practice strategies and that virtual supervision was largely feasible. We discuss variables that impacted satisfaction (length of supervisory relationship), preference (age, services provided), and perceived effectiveness (time supervisor was a BCBA). We provide practical implications and recommendations for virtual behavior analytic supervision.

 
 
Panel #401
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Kantor Today: Modern Applications of Interbehavioral Psychology in Educational, ABA, and Clinical Contexts
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: PCH/CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Evelyn Rachael Gould, Ph.D.
Chair: Abbey Warren (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
EVELYN RACHAEL GOULD (New England Center for OCD and Anxiety)
KAREN KATE KELLUM (University of Mississippi)
TROY DUFRENE (California School of Professional Psychology: San Francisco)
Abstract: J.R. Kantor’s work diverges from traditional Skinnerian behaviorism both at philosophical (i.e., Interbehaviorism) and theoretical (i.e., Interbehavioral Psychology) levels. Further, these divergences have implications for the applications of behavior analysis across settings, particularly when complex human behavior (or interbehavior) is the focus. In some cases, it may be that interbehavioral psychology is well-positioned to answer questions or solve problems of great social significance where Skinnerian accounts fall short. This panel is comprised of professionals who use interbehaviorism and interbehavioral psychology in their daily work as behavior analysts in ABA, clinical, and higher education settings. Panelists will highlight how they conceptualize their work from an interbehavioral perspective, expand on the applications of interbehavioral psychology in their mentoring, teaching, training, supervision, and clinical work, and demonstrate the core differences between language-based interventions from an interbehavioral perspective and more dominant approaches in behavior analysis.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Some applied experience with clinical or applied behavior analysis
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) conceptualize the interbehavioral approach to current literature (2) expand on the use and implications of interbehaviorism in clinical practice, and (3) demonstrate the core differences between interbehaviorism and other traditional approaches to the larger field of behavioral psychology.
Keyword(s): Interbehavioral Psychology, Interbehaviorism, Kantorian
 
 
Symposium #405
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Data Science: Novel Questions and Applications for Behavior Analysts
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EAB/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Discussant: Albert Malkin (Southern Illinois University / Western University)
CE Instructor: David J. Cox, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Behavioral data science is an emerging interdisciplinary field at the interface of behavioral science and data science. Behavioral science aims to understand why people emit specific behaviors in specific contexts. Data science aims to generate insight from large data sets using mathematical and computational analyses. Behavioral data science aims to gain behaviorally-grounded insights from large-scale data sets to answer questions of basic or applied interest. This symposium provides the attendee with a broad understanding of what behavioral data science is by describing the skills and methods behavioral data scientists use and the types of questions they ask. This is accomplished via example wherein researchers across four presentations demonstrate how: (1) time-series and geographical analyses forecast BACB certificant demand; (2) network analyses identify trends and gaps in published behavior analytic science; (3) computational techniques efficiently compare multiple behavioral models of choice in natural contexts; and (4) machine learning allows us to predict the next response made in dynamic contexts. Behavior analysts who learn the skills of data science can likely ask questions novel to the science of behavior analysis and develop novel applied behavior analytic interventions.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): big data, computational analysis, data science, scaling ABA
Target Audience:

The audience should have a general understanding of operant contingencies and issues of relevance to the field. However, every presentation is aimed at explaining what behavioral data science is and how it can be used. The goal is to be an introduction to this topic so interested audience members can follow-up afterward to learn more.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define behavioral data science; (2) describe the common methods and techniques used by behavioral data scientists; and (3) describe the types of questions that are appropriate for behavioral data science tools.
 

Identifying the Optimal Temporal Window to Analyze Behavior Measured in Non-Laboratory Contexts

(Applied Research)
MA KRISHNA ROSALES (Florida Institute of Technology), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract:

The generalized matching equation (GME) predicts behavior allocation based on the relative amount of reinforcement contacted by each behavior. Dynamic state variable (DSV) models predict behavior allocation based on variables that change dynamically over time. To use these models in nonlaboratory settings, researchers must identify the temporal window over which to aggregate response and reinforcer rates. This study demonstrates how computational techniques can identify the optimal temporal bin for fitting the GME and DSV models to data collected in the nonlaboratory context of basketball games. For both models, the dependent variable was the logged ratio of three-point and two-point shots taken. For the GME, the independent variable was the logged ratio of three-point and two-point shots made. For DSV models, the independent variable was the difference in points scored between opponents during the previous temporal bin. For each model we: calculated prediction accuracy over temporal bins ranging from 30 s intervals to 2880 s (entire game); identified the optimal temporal window; and determined the conditions under which each model generated the highest predictive accuracy. Overall, the methods used here demonstrate how computational analyses can be used to efficiently describe and predict nonlaboratory human behavior.

 

An Application of Time Series Forecasting Methods in Behavior Analysis: Predicting Certificant Demand in Texas

(Applied Research)
ZACHARY HARRISON MORFORD (Texas Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract:

Forecasting methods for time series data have been used for quite some time in various applications of behavior analysis, and yet are rarely used in our literature. For example, a popular single-subject experimental design textbook (Barlow, Nock, & Hersen, 2009) has a chapter on statistical methods—including forecasting methods—for behavioral data. In this presentation I will review an application of forecasting to BACB certificants in the state of Texas and show how those data are changing both in the aggregate and geographically by region. The field of behavior analysis, as measured by certificant numbers, has been growing exponentially. While these are not behavioral data, the methods discussed are relevant to behavioral interventions. Understanding certificant trends can help behavior analytic organizations plan for the provision of behavior analytic services. In the context of this application, both the advantages and disadvantages of forecasting methods will be discussed. Further resources for learning about these methods will be provided.

 

Natural Language Processing to Identify Trends and Gaps in the Published Science of Behavior Analysis

(Applied Research)
JACOB SOSINE (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract:

Communities survive if the behavioral repertoires of individual members within the population vary enough to withstand selective pressures. For scientists, one way to measure the total population repertoire and the evolutionary dynamics of ideas might be through analysis of peer-reviewed publications. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is one set of tools that allow researchers to analyze textual data at scale. Here, we used NLP to describe the evolution of behavior analysis by identifying the key characteristics of publications over time. To do this, we gathered 1500+ peer-reviewed publications from the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior. For each article, we collected data on publication year, title, authors, abstract, keywords, manuscript, and references. Once obtained, we analyzed the differences and similarities in research topics between the two journals and used network analyses to identify citation patterns within the research literature. Future research aimed at understanding the variation, selection, and evolution of topics studied by behavior analysts might be important for three reasons. First, it gives data to conversations about how the field allocates resources to promote understudied topics, variation in studied topics, or high impact topics and that are low-hanging fruits. Second, it may help junior researchers identify gaps and niches upon which to build a career. Lastly, it could highlight gaps in the research literature that, if filled, would benefit applied practitioners. The methods of behavioral data science make these benefits easier to obtain and more robust in their methodology and findings.

 

Using Machine Learning to Predict the next Response: One Approach to a Dynamic Unified Model of Behavior

(Basic Research)
DAVID J. COX (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Bryan Klapes (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine - Georgia), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Molecular analyses predict and control behavior through discrete responses strengthened by contiguous reinforcers. Molar analyses predict and control behavior through response-reinforcer relationships aggregated across a temporal window. Unified analyses aim to leverage molecular and molar analyses to describe, predict, and control behavior. Here, we sought to take a unified analytic approach wherein quantitative analyses of behavior and machine learning combined to predict the next response a human made. To do this, we obtained data on every pitch thrown by a pitcher during the 2016-2019 Major League Baseball seasons. The dataset contained information about the game context, the pitch type and characteristics, and the consequences that followed every pitch. Molecular information was included through a weighted decay function placing greater weight on more recent reinforcers and by making response-by-response predictions. Molar information was included through dynamically updating covariance relations between game context, pitch type, and pitch consequence via the generalized matching equation. Machine learning combined raw data, molecular information, and molar information to predict the next pitch. The dynamic unified model of behavior led to higher response-by-response prediction accuracy than the molecular and molar approaches alone. This experiment demonstrates how behavioral data science can describe and predict dynamic human behavior.

 
 
Symposium #406
Behavior Perspectives to Learning and Organization in Educational Settings and Policies
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kalliu Carvalho Couto (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Jonathan Krispin (Valdosta State University)
Abstract:

This symposium offers a behavior-analytic perspective to learning and organization in educational settings. The four presentations highlight the complex system character of educational settings and the importance of school-wide interventions focusing on interactions rather than purely individual approaches. The consolidation of educational conditions that help pupils to thrive can be the aggregate product of coordinated nurturing practices, favored and selected by engineered cultural consequences. The presentations will discuss possible interfaces between a complex system perspective and selection processes at the level of culturants and operants. Concerning the latter, the use of nudging in educational institutions is explored to enhance the support of positive developmental paths, adaptive to contextual changes. We suggest multidisciplinary behavioral insights as conceptual tools to explain behavior from individual to multiple policy-level responses in order to identify innovative and cost-effective interventions. Moreover, the need for adaptation in response to changes in contingencies of reinforcement brought by the Covid-19 provides the opportunity to discuss resilience at the system level.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): complex systems, cultural selection, education, interlocking behavior
 

A Cultural Level Approach Embedded in the Good Behavior Game for Institutional Change

(Theory)
FLORA MOURA LORENZO (University of Brasília), Laércia Abreu Vasconcelos (Universidade de Brasília (UnB)), Ingunn Sandaker (Oslo Metropolitan University/ OsloMet)
Abstract:

The Good Behavior Game is a school-based intervention with evidence of promoting positive change in pupils’ interactions through nurturing group contingencies. Whilst the rate of prosocial and on-task behavior increases, aggressive and disruptive episodes become less frequent. In the long-term, the program is linked with preventing individual and societal losses, as high incidences of substance abuse. Although extensively replicated, pathways for the intervention’s sustainability remain to be elucidated. Advancements into the study of the third level of behavior selection allow for putting a framework to integrate the Good Behavior Game into a scalable public policy design. From a system perspective, the target audience should be extended from pupils to school staff. Instead of individual mentoring, arrangements that require coordination between practitioners and decision-makers are more promising in terms of promoting institutional change. Shifts in favor of nurturing patterns at the school level would be achieved as an aggregate product of interlocking behavioral contingencies, which in turn, can be selected by designed cultural consequences. By embedding metacontingencies to the Good Behavior Game, parallel operant and culturant selection processes can pave the way to lasting institutional change. For dissemination, the webs of interaction under selection should integrate cross-sector policymakers.

 

The Cooperative Classroom: Nudging and Reinforcing Good Behavior to Enhance Learning and Social Skills

(Theory)
MARCO TAGLIABUE (OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University), Borge Stromgren (OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University)
Abstract:

The present conceptual work puts forward a model drawn from both traditions for enhancing classroom learning and interactions. It aims to achieve and sustaining enhanced learning and teaching practices from individual to school system level of analysis. First, school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) are described and contextualized at the level of at the primary level of intervention, which concerns all pupils’ behavior with one another rand their teachers. Specifically, the focus is on posting values, character traits, expected behavior. Second, nudging principles are presented for improving the implementation and use of SWPBIS in concert with programming the availability of timely reinforcement. The nudging approach can be effective at assisting the creation of cooperative classrooms and even reach out beyond the classroom: to the system level. Taken together, this work argues for arranging cooperative educational environments. The expected outcomes of this enhanced model include enhancing learning and teaching within classroom settings and enhancing social skills beyond the classroom. It is argued that attaining the latter is possible only by addressing and nurturing the larger cultural milieu of which pupils, teachers and schools are part of.

 

Resilience in Higher Education: A Complex Perspective to Adaptive Changes in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Applied Research)
FABIO BENTO (Oslo Metropolitan University), Andréa Bottino (Faculdade Professor Miguel Ângelo da Silva Santos), Felipe Cerchiareto (Faculdade Professor Miguel Ângelo da Silva Santos), Janimayri Forastieri (Faculdade Professor Miguel Ângelo da Silva Santos), Fabiana Rodrigues (Faculdade Professor Miguel Ângelo da Silva Santos)
Abstract:

The coronavirus pandemic has brought changes in contingencies of reinforcement affecting the acquisition, change and extinction of behavioral patterns. From the complex systems perspective, it is important to look at the emergence of different practices and behaviors at the community and organizational level. The present article discusses the dynamics of system resilience by empirically investigating the case of lecturers in a university college in Brazil. Our analytical framework applies the concept of resilience in socio-ecological systems to discuss emergent behavioral changes. Resilience in socio-ecological systems highlights adaptation processes characterized by an interplay of previous experience and emerging new patterns of behavior. We integrate elements of a descriptive analysis and an exploratory basic qualitative study to understand how the university college may have self-organized in this period. We observe variation in behavioral repertoire, changes in interactions among lecturers and students, and the emergence of innovative practices in the context of rapid and unexpected environmental changes brought the pandemic. However, we raise questions related to the integration and endurance of such new behaviors in a post-pandemic future.

 
Multidisciplinary Behavioral Insights
(Theory)
INGUNN SANDAKER (Oslo Metropolitan University/ OsloMet)
Abstract: On all levels, from agent interaction to policy makers, the multidisciplinary behavioral insight offers tools that more effectively and more efficiently meet intended goals and address the real needs of citizens and end-users. Government interventions are often based on deductive method, which applies what is assumed to be rational behavior to policy problems to arrive at solutions that are implemented at full scale. By using the growing body of behavioral insights, one might debias this process by moving away from sometimes unrealistic assumptions of rationality to discover the actual behavior of individuals through problem identification, behavior analysis, experimentation and trialing that tests multiple policy responses at a smaller scale to determine the best course of action in a cost-effective manner. Contingencies of reinforcement must be different on the level of individual analysis from that of the systems level. As cultural phenomenon is part of the cultural environment the unit of analysis are not individual behavior. Interlocking behavior contingencies, aggregate products or the systems interacting with the environment calls for new methods of investigations. One might be systems analysis.
 
 
Symposium #408
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Cultural Diversity and Professional Skills in Higher Education and Supervision
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Andresa De Souza, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applications of behavior analysis to solve socially-significant issues have been implemented worldwide with people from various geographic areas and cultural backgrounds. With such a reach, it is important for future behavior analysts to receive instruction and direct training in skills related to cultural competency and ethical decision making. This symposium will focus on topics related to cultural diversity and professional skills in higher education and supervision. First, Lisa Tereshko will present a literature review of strategies to promote engagement of students from culturally-diverse backgrounds in online higher-education. Next, Mary Jane Weiss will discuss methods to measure, evaluate, and teach important interpersonal and professional skills relevant to future behavior analysts. After, Colleen Suzio will review the importance of training students on cultural competence and cultural humility from the lens of the Ethical Compliance Code. Finally, Marie-Hélène Konrad will conclude with an overview of potential difficulties encountered when serving clients from different backgrounds and relevant skills to focus on during supervision to prepare future behavior analysts for a culturally-diverse environment. Darlene Crone-Todd will serve as the discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Cultural diversity, Ethical Code, Higher Education, Supervision
Target Audience: The audience should be familiar with BCBA ethical code, behavior assessments, and behavioral skills training technology.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify strategies to engage culturally-diverse students in online instruction; 2. Describe procedure to assess, design, and implement training procedure related to interpersonal and professional skills; 3. Discuss strategies to teach students how to interpret ethical code items with an emphasis on cultural humility; 4. Implement steps to prepare futures behavior analyst to work with culturally population while complying with the BCBA Compliance Code.
 
Diversity submission A Systematic Literature Review of Increasing Engagement of Culturally Diverse Students in Online Higher Education
(Applied Research)
LISA TERESHKO (Beacon ABA Services), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: The use of online instruction in higher education has increased. This increase in acceptability and in implementation has increased the diversity of students that are being taught in a class. Online classes are more likely to include students from varying geographic regions and countries, as well as students of various races, cultures, and ethnicities. To ensure the success of culturally diverse students, student engagement is critical. Conceptual and empirical peer-reviewed articles were reviewed to review existing strategies and to identify evidence-based strategies to increase the engagement of culturally diverse students in higher education. Variables recommended for implementation are reviewed.
 
Diversity submission 

Tackling the Tough Skills in Graduate Coursework: Refining and Measuring Complex Interpersonal and Professionalism Skills

(Service Delivery)
Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), VIDESHA MARYA (PENDING)
Abstract:

In recent years, a number of skills that have not historically been emphasized in training have been identified as essential to professional practice in behavior analysis. These include interprofessional collaboration, compassionate care, ethical decision making, and cultural humility. These skills are often addressed in other disciplines, and resources exist within these disciplines that assist in defining the skills. However, the skills are inherently complex and are difficult to operationally define and measure. In this talk, we will review how these skills can be introduced inn graduate coursework in behavior analysis in ways that are conceptually systematic with the science of ABA. Specifically, methods for building specific skills in these areas will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on how to define and measure these skills, and how to socialize students into the need for skill development in these areas. Elements of Behavior Skills Training, including the provision of a rationale, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback will be discussed. Options for data collection, determining mastery, assessing generalization, and obtaining social validity data will also be presented.

 
Diversity submission 

Considerations and Interpretations in Regardto the Ethical Compliance Code

(Service Delivery)
COLLEEN SUZIO (Center for Children with Special Needs (CCSN)), Jessica Piazza (Endicott College), Roxanne Gayle (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Noor Syed (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Behavior analysis is a growing field within human service and beyond. Client demographics for behavior analysts are diverse and continue to grow as well. It is imperative that practices behavior analysts implement are culturally humble and that services are conducted in a culturally competent manner. Education and training of behavior analysts should incorporate a strong emphasis on cultural competence and cultural humility at both the organizational and individual level for practicing behavior analysts. In addition, behavior analysts can be trained to utilize broader general guidelines adopted from other, similar human service providers (e.g., psychologists, counselors, medicine, etc.) in order to assist with interpreting code items with an emphasis on cultural humility. The recommendations outlined in this paper are fluid and subject to change as new examples are provided in regard to culturally humble practice.

 
Diversity submission 

Ethical Considerations in Cross-Cultural Supervision

(Service Delivery)
MARIE-HELENE KONRAD (Autismuszentrum Sonnenschein), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract:

The presence of cross-cultural communities around the world is ever-growing resulting in many clinicians practicing in a culturally-diverse context with families that have different values, traditions, habits, and spoken language. Despite a growing interest in evidence-based practices for individuals with developmental disabilities, there is still a large discrepancy in the number of training professionals across the globe. In other words, the number of certified behavior analysts is uneven in countries around the world, and professionals wishing to obtain training in applied behavior analysis face the challenge of securing supervision from behavior analysts living in other countries. The geographical distance poses a difficulty in itself, however some other barriers involve the difference in cultural background among the supervisor, supervisee, and clients. To circumvent these barriers, it is important that supervisors are aware of cultural differences while delivering supervision and plan to incorporate cultural competency training into their agenda. During this talk, we will place particular emphasis on ethical considerations relevant to supervision and the importance of preparing future behavior analysts for working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

 
 
Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Implementation of Behavioral Strategies in Diverse Contexts Through Contextual Fit
Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Natalie Badgett (Supporting Transformative Autism Research Initiative; University of Virginia)
Discussant: Katherine Bateman (University of Washington)
CE Instructor: Natalie Badgett, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Despite longstanding research supporting the effectiveness of applied behavior analysis, the field continues to struggle with dissemination of related evidence-based strategies to diverse applied settings. One barrier to widespread implementation of applied behavior analysis in non-clinical settings is the issue of contextual fit. Simply put, sustainable implementation of behavioral strategies is more likely to occur when the interventions are contextually relevant. In this symposium the issue of contextual relevance, or contextual fit, is presented as an essential feature of promoting implementation and dissemination of assessment and intervention strategies based in applied behavior analysis. First, we will present a research-based case for the use of mixed methods behavioral research as a strategy to promote implementation. Then, we will present an analysis of family systems and behavioral systems analysis for supporting the incorporation of client values and context in implementation. Implications for future research and practice will be discussed and connected to existing and ongoing research occurring within applied behavior analysis and related fields.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Contextual Fit, Implementation
Target Audience:

The target audience will have a basic understanding of behavior analysis and experience using single case research designs in research or practice.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how qualitative methods can be used to enhance single case research findings in research and practice; (2) identify factors for sustainable implementation of behavioral strategies related to contextual fit; (3) describe how tools and approaches from family systems, behavioral systems analysis, and applied behavior analysis can be combined to support practitioners in the identification and incorporation of client values and context for intervention.
 
Using Mixed Methods Research to Promote the Implementation of Behavioral Intervention
(Service Delivery)
NATALIE BADGETT (Supporting Transformative Autism Research Initiative; University of Virginia), Rachelle Huntington (University of Hawaii)
Abstract: Assessment and intervention strategies based in applied behavior analysis have substantial research supporting their effectiveness with diverse populations in applied and clinical contexts. Behavioral strategies are well-represented among established evidence-based practices in related fields such as psychology and education. Additionally, research by behavior analysts and related experts has demonstrated that non-behavioral practitioners can implement many behavioral strategies with fidelity when trained sufficiently. However, despite the wealth of existing literature establishing the utility and effectiveness of these strategies, there remains a critical research to practice gap that is evident in the ongoing dissemination crisis facing behavior analysts. Engaging in mixed methods research, in which single case research findings are enhanced by qualitative methods, presents a possible avenue for promoting the implementation of evidence-based behavior analytic interventions in diverse contexts. This presentation will include a rationale for the inclusion of qualitative methods in behavioral research and practice, case examples of mixed methods behavioral research, and implications of findings of mixed methods research for implementation of behavioral strategies in diverse applied settings.
 
Developing Evidence-Based Practice: Ways and Means for Raising Client Values and Context
(Service Delivery)
BRIAN JAMES FEENEY (University of Nevada, Reno), Bethany P. Contreras Young (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Evidence-based practice (EBP) of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the combination of (a) the best available evidence with (b) professional judgement and clinical expertise and (c) client values and context (Slocum et al., 2014). EBP of ABA is a flexible decision-making framework that allows practicing behavior analysts to solve virtually any clinical problem. Of the three components of EBP, best available evidence benefits from having a large literature base to guide practitioners, whereas the other two components, professional judgement/clinical expertise and client values and context, are much less understood and warrant further exploration and refinement. This presentation will explore the client values and context component of EBP of ABA. By looking at resources both within the field of ABA and from other helping-professions, we will present a model for assessing and addressing client values and context. Specifically, we will evaluate and combine tools and approaches from Family Systems, Behavioral Systems Analysis and ABA in an effort to better support practitioners in their identification and incorporation of client values and context within the broader framework of EBP.
 
 
Panel #418
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Opportunities and Issues in Practitioner Publication
Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Donald A. Hantula, Ph.D.
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
DONALD A. HANTULA (Temple University)
SUSAN WILCZYNSKI (Ball State University)
PETER R. KILLEEN (Arizona State University)
Abstract:

Many ABA practitioners are interested in participating in the publication process but are not sure how to do so. This panel is both a brief review of the ABAI publication process and a listening session with the ABAI publication and practice board to identify practitioner opportunities and needs in publication.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

ABA practitioners who are interested in becoming involved in the publication process as an author, reviewer, or both. Minimally this would be someone at the MA / BCBA level but we also anticipate many in the audience will hold a doctoral degree.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the ethical issues involved with publishing as a practitioner and the ethical issues involved in the peer review process. (2) Identify the most appropriate publication outlet for their practice-based manuscripts. (3) Describe the academic publication process in ABAI journals and in other outlets.
Keyword(s): authorship, journals, peer review, publication,
 
 
Symposium #423
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Graphing: A Discussion of the Past and Present With Suggestions for the Future
Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kelsey Dachman (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Kelsey Dachman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Graphing and visual analysis are essential to research and practice within applied behavioral science. Research investigating behavioral approaches to teaching graphing were first initiated in the late 1990s, however more recently there has been increased interest in and publication of such work. The presentations comprising this symposium will (a) provide a systematic review of the behavioral literature examining methods of, as well as tutorials for, teaching graphing across various platforms, (b) put forth data documenting the effectiveness and efficiency of enhanced written instructions for teaching graphing, and (c) show further data supporting the use of enhanced written instructions for teaching graphing, as well as advocating for the integration of choice methodology within research on and tutorials for teaching graphing. Suggested future directions for advancing research and practice related to teaching graphing will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

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

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) summarize the literature on teaching graphing of single-case research designs; (2) describe methods for using enhanced written instructions to teach graphing; and (3) discuss future directions for research on teaching graphing.
 
A Systematic Review of the Literature on Teaching Graphing: Trends and Their Implications
(Theory)
MARCELLA HANGEN (Drake University), REBECCA WOOLBERT (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Since the start of behavior analysis, graphing has been a core feature of the field. While data ultimately guide research and treatment interventions, a subsequent graphical display allows for easy interpretation of data. Analysis of graphical display is imperative for determining functional relations and understanding behavioral processes. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify literature within the field of behavior analysis pertaining to teaching graphing, including both training materials and experimental research. The review documented important trends across publications and years, such as (a) the recent increasing trend in the publication of studies on teaching graphing, (b) the observation that graphing is successfully taught using a variety of procedures across various graphing platforms, and (c) to date, emphasis has been placed on teaching publication-quality graphs to individuals within academia. A summary and synthesis of published teaching materials and experimental studies on teaching individuals to graph will be presented in graphical form and discussed in the context of future directions for research and practice.
 
Real-Time Data to Evaluate Enhanced Written Instructions for Creating Publication-Quality Single-Case Design Graphs in Excel
(Applied Research)
KELSEY DACHMAN (University of Kansas), ALEC M BERNSTEIN (Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine), Ashley Romero (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Graphically depicting single-subject data is foundational in the science of behavior. Although there are several tutorials for graphing, especially in the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel, few have been empirically validated. Studies providing data supporting the effects of graphing tutorials often measure graphing accuracy as a permanent product. With several ways to create graphs in Excel, permanent product recording is limited in that one cannot identify if the participant followed the tutorial steps as written, and, thus, the true validity of the tutorial is still in question. Furthermore, few studies have reported assessment of maintenance and generalization. We first sought to consolidate the existing literature on graphing in Excel by creating enhanced written instructions (EWI). We then compared graphing accuracy as a permanent product and in real-time for seven participants within a multiple baseline design to validate the EWI directly. Additionally, due to COVID-19, we were able to assess the effects of the EWI presented in-vivo and virtually. Overall, EWI resulted in immediate, robust effects, which maintained and generalized across presentation formats. We discuss results relative to measurement procedures for validating staff trainings and the effectiveness of EWI for training graphing in-vivo and virtually.
 

Teaching Graphing Using Enhanced Written Instructions: Does Chunk Size Matter?

(Applied Research)
ASHLEY ROMERO (University of Kansas), REBECCA WOOLBERT (University of Kansas), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Graphing is an important feature of the field of applied behavior analysis, not only as a job responsibility of behavioral professionals, but as a visual analysis tool as well. While graphing can be taught using various methods, perhaps self-training methods could prove both effective and efficient due to the self-guided nature of the methods. One effective self-training method for graphing is enhanced written instruction (EWI). While the literature has demonstrated EWI’s effectiveness when training graphing, specific presentations of EWI have not been evaluated. To address this gap in the literature, we compared accuracy of and duration to graph completion of chunked presentations of EWI, and evaluated preference for the two different chunked presentations, using concurrent chains schedules embedded within a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across five students with various degrees of graphing history. Both chunked presentations were found to be effective, with most participants clearly preferring one presentation over the other. These results will be discussed in the context of next steps for research and practice related to teaching graphing.

 
 
Symposium #440
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Language and Culture Matter: Considerations for Service Delivery and Treatment Planning for the Spanish-Speaking Community
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mariela Hostetler (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Marlesha Bell (University of the Pacific)
CE Instructor: Mariela Hostetler, M.S.
Abstract:

First, Karla Zabala will present on research related to assessing language preference among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other developmental disorders who have been exposed to more than one language. The research study consisted of two parts: Study 1 evaluated language preference during play contexts and Study 2 evaluated language preference within instructional contexts. Next, Mariela Hostetler will provide a description of challenges faced by Latinx communities in need of behavioral health services. In particular, two general types of barriers faced by Latinx consumers of behavioral health services are discussed: those related to language and those related to cultural issues. Then, Marlesha Bell will provide a discussion on future research in areas to consider when providing services and treatment to Spanish speaking communities.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Diversity, Language Preference, Service Delivery, Spanish
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts

Learning Objectives: 1: Ability to identify language preferences using concurrent operant and concurrent chains assessments 2: Consider strategies for promoting diversity in an organizational setting 3: Ability to identify the ethical responsibilities behavior analysts have to provide services to Latinx consumers
 
Diversity submission 

The Importance of Diversity and Cultural Competency of Behavior Analysts in Service Delivery to the Latinx Population

(Service Delivery)
MARIELA HOSTETLER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ashley Eden Greenwald (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Latinxs constitute the largest minority group in the United States, currently making up approximately 18% of the total US population (US Census Bureau, 2018). While there is a critical need for the behavioral healthcare system, including behavior analysts, to be prepared and organized to support the Latinx community, research indicates that the quality of and access to behavioral and mental health services are often lacking for Latinxs and other minorities (Cabassa, Molina, & Baron, 2012; Dahne et al., 2019). This presentation provides a description of challenges faced by Latinx communities in need of behavioral health services. In particular, two general types of barriers faced by Latinx consumers of behavioral health services are examined: those related to language and those related to cultural issues. They also represent substantial challenges to behavior analytic providers who have a responsibility to make behavior analytic services accessible to all. Specific recommendations such as behavioral organizations and universities contributing to increase diversity among behavior analysts are discussed. Future research and the development of culturally sensitive treatments are further discussed.

 
Diversity submission 

The Effects of Language Preference Among Bilingual Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Developmental Disorders

(Applied Research)
KARLA ZABALA (University of Georgia), Kara L. Wunderlich (Rollins College), Lauren Best (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

Previous research has demonstrated that individuals with ASD who have been exposed to more than one language do not experience any additional language delays compared to their monolingual peers (Hambly and Fombonne, 2011). In addition, research has not noted any indication of negative outcomes associated with language abilities among bilingual/multilingual children with ASD (Drysdale et al., 2015). The majority of the research surrounding bilingual or multilingual individuals diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities has focused on conducting communication assessments to assess participants’ psychometric performance. Research related to language preferences exhibited by these individuals is scarce. The purpose of the current study was to assess language preference among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other developmental disorders who have been exposed to more than one language. The research study consisted of two parts: Study 1 evaluated language preference during play contexts and Study 2 evaluated language preference within instructional contexts.

 
 
Symposium #441
CE Offered: BACB
Building Rapport From a Behavior Analytic Perspective
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sarah Conklin (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Lusineh Gharapetian (Pepperdine University)
CE Instructor: Sarah Conklin, M.S.
Abstract:

Building rapport both with clients and caregivers is cogent to effective service delivery in applied behavior analysis. Although most would identify that building rapport is important, what rapport is and how it is established has not received a lot of focus in behavior analytic training. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a conceptual analysis of specific active listening skills that when applied help build rapport with both clients and caregivers. More specifically, a model based upon Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior that demonstrates the use of active listening skills in building rapport will be provided. For some clients, there are pre-requisites that must be systematically addressed prior to being able to build rapport. One such study will be presented where in escape extinction and desensitization was utilized prior to building rapport with a client. Finally, our discussant will provide insightful comments related to building rapport from a behavior analytic perspective and comment on the two aforementioned papers.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): building rapport, desensitization, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Intermediate

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Discuss Skinner's verbal operants as they pertain to building rapport utilizing active listening skills 2) Discuss the importance of rapport building from a behavior analytic perspective 3) Discuss how to utilize escape extinction and desensitization prior to developing rapport with clients
 
Implications of Counseling Skills in the Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis
(Theory)
SARAH CONKLIN (California State University, Los Angeles), Lusineh Gharapetian (Pepperdine University), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Building and maintaining rapport throughout service delivery is vital to the client and consultant relationship. However, most behavior analysts are not trained in specific skills geared towards doing this. An active listening model utilizing both verbal and non-verbal behavior is outlined; comprising of encouragers, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Specifically, a model is presented on how to incorporate these active listening skills in the practice of service delivery. Moreover, special emphasis on using the model in a telehealth service delivery modality is discussed. In addition, a conceptual analysis of the active listening skills based upon Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior is provided. Finally, cultural implications are discussed, as well as, avenues for future research.
 

Becoming the Piano: Escape Extinction and Desensitization Before Building Rapport

(Applied Research)
DAVID LEGASPI (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Jesslyn N. Farros (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis (CABA)), Patricia Fonseca (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Rachel Taylor (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis ), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles and Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with autism may engage in severe target behavior to gain access to a form of escape (Harper, Iwata, & Camp 2013). Often, building rapport with these individuals may include an initial phase of desensitization to the clinical team before building in other programming (Szalwinski, Thomason-Sassi, Moore, & McConnell, 2019). The following experiment included four phases that ultimately resulted in increased exposure to a clinical team for an adult diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This method included 4 steps, increasing the time at which a clinical team member observed the individual, decreasing break time in between observation periods, increasing observation interval from 5 to 40 minutes, and closing the proximity between a clinical member and individual. Data collected was collected across observation periods and followed a changing criterion design per each phase. Data suggests that as exposure increased, target behavior decelerated across method parameters thus far. The following paper’s purpose was to test a four-phase method of introducing escaped extinction and desensitization before building rapport. The results and potential impact will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #450
CE Offered: BACB
The Nitty Gritty of ABA Research: Special Topics in Single Subject Design
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
CE Instructor: Judah B. Axe, Ph.D.
Abstract: Although textbooks on applied behavior analysis and single subject design contain clear guidelines for graphing data and designing studies, there are nuances of these enterprises that deserve further exploration. The first paper addresses a question that researchers, practitioners, and instructors face when graphing: Which graphing conventions are most important? The authors report and discuss survey data on behavior analysts’ ratings of the importance of different graphing conventions and correlations with demographic variables. The parallel treatments design is uncommon, not found in many textbooks, and not on the task list of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Therefore, the second paper is a review of studies that used this design, along with recommendations for future use. Finally, researchers often combine single subject designs, yet there are few guidelines for combining designs in the literature. Therefore, the third paper is a review of studies that combined experimental designs, along with analyses and recommendations. The purpose of these papers is to help guide behavior analysts in graphing data and designing studies.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): combining designs, experimental designs, graphing, parallel treatments
Target Audience: behavior analysis students, researchers, practitioners
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe single subject design graphing conventions, which were rated most important, and what demographic variables correlated with those ratings. 2. Define the parallel treatments design, explain the extent to which researchers adhered to its defining features, and describe recommendations for future directions. 3. Describe how and why researchers combine single subject designs.
 

Graphing Conventions for Behavior Analysts: Demographic Variables Associated With Ratings of Importance

(Applied Research)
KENDRA GUINNESS (Simmons University), Kylan S. Turner (Simmons University), Philip N. Chase (Simmons University), Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts should graph according to behavior analytic conventions, but the extent to which there is agreement on conventions is unclear. Graphing conventions include aesthetic features of individual graph elements as well as the positioning of graph elements in relation to one another. The current study examined which graphing conventions behavior analysts report are most important, and if there were demographic variables associated with ratings of importance. A web-based survey was completed by 631 Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Five graphing conventions were rated as very important by 80% or more of participants. Ratings of importance varied considerably for the remaining 32 conventions. Further analyses revealed that differences in ratings were associated with several demographic variables including credential, primary work setting, and education level. These results suggest that graphing conventions are used inconsistently across the field of behavior analysis, and implications for future research and training new behavior analysts are discussed.

 
A Systematic Review of Adherence to the Defining Features of the Parallel Treatments Design: Is it Still a Thing?
(Theory)
SARAH FRAMPTON (Simmons University; May Institute, Inc. ), Kendra Guinness (Simmons University), Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
Abstract: The identification of interventions that are both effective and efficient is an ongoing need in the practice of applied behavior analysis. The parallel treatments design (PTD) has been described as a powerful and useful tool for comparing interventions in applied settings. The PTD includes elements of the multiple probe design (MPD) and the adapted alternating treatments design (AATD). Execution of a PTD requires adherence to experimental tactics related to both designs, as well as adherence to particular features outlined by the originating authors (Gast & Wolery, 1988). The purpose of this systematic literature review was to evaluate (1) publication trends with the PTD; (2) applications of the PTD across behaviors and interventions; and (3) the extent to which researchers using the PTD adhered to its defining features. Outcomes are discussed with respect to the utility of the PTD and relative contributions to single-subject design research.
 
A Review of Combining Single–Case Experimental Designs in Applied Behavior Analysis
(Theory)
OLGA MELESHKEVICH (Simmons University), Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
Abstract: Many researchers using single single–case experimental designs (SCED) combine two or more experimental designs when examining a research question, such as embedding a multielement design within a reversal design. Combining SCEDs allows researchers to study complex behavioral processes; demonstrate strong experimental control; and allow a demonstrative analysis when within-experiment comparative, parametric, and component analyses produce limited results. As a means of commenting on the use of combined SCEDs, and because we found no prior review papers on combining SCEDs, we examined the extent to which researchers combined SCEDs in Volume 52 (2019) of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Results suggest that 18 out of 71 (25%) articles contained combined SCEDs. The most prevalent combination was a multielement design within a multiple baseline design across subjects, and the most frequent type of research question was comparative. We provide recommendations on combining SCEDs in terms of controlling extraneous variables, assessing stimulus generalization, and providing both demonstrative and comparative analyses.
 
 
Symposium #451
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Further Evaluation of Critical Aspects of Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: VRB/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rachel Cagliani (University of Georgia)
CE Instructor: Rachel Cagliani, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium is comprised of three data-based presentations evaluating the implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with individuals with various developmental disabilities (i.e. Rett syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, and Down syndrome) and verbal operants in the context of home and school. The three applied studies sought to evaluate critical aspects of high- and low-tech AAC including accurate and independent responding, navigation, comprehension, and vocal development. First, Shawn Girtler will present findings from a study evaluating the effects of behavior chaining, prompt delay, and prompt fading on AAC navigation with individuals with Rett syndrome. Next, Emily Unholz-Bowden will present on the effect of device type (low-tech vs. high-tech) on accurate and independent responding with similar participants. Following, Kavya Kandarpa will present findings from a study evaluating the effects of magnitude on AAC and vocalizations. Finally, Rachel Cagliani will discuss the presentations in terms of implications for practice and future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): AAC, developmental disabilities, Rett syndrome
Target Audience:

Audience participants should have a basic understanding of augmentative and alternative communication, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and principles of reinforcement.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. apply prompt fading and behavior chaining strategies to AAC instruction. 2. describe the effects of device type on accurate and independent responding. 3. describe the effects of reinforcement parameters on response allocation of mand modality.
 
Diversity submission 

Evaluating the Impact of Reinforcer Magnitude on Response Allocation Across Two Communication Modalities Under a Concurrent Schedule Arrangement

(Applied Research)
KAVYA KANDARPA (University of Cincinnati), Rachel Cagliani (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of reinforcer magnitude on response allocation across two different communication modalities (vocalizations and picture exchange). A single-subject reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of altering the magnitude of requested items with one male participant in a classroom setting who engaged in limited and inconsistent vocalizations. This study took place in a classroom that served students with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder for kindergarten to second grade students, as well as in a teachers’ workroom. In the first intervention, the participant received the larger magnitude reinforcement for vocalizations and small magnitude reinforcement for picture exchange. In the second intervention, the participant received small magnitude reinforcement for vocalizations and the large magnitude reinforcement for picture exchange. The results showed that the participant allocated responding to the communication modality that received the larger magnitude of the requested item.

 
Diversity submission 

A Comparison of Procedures to Promote Page-Linking With Alternative and Augmentative Communication Devices for Three Girls With Rett Syndrome

(Applied Research)
SHAWN NICOLE GIRTLER (University of Minnesota), Emily Katrina Unholz-Bowden (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Rebecca Kolb (University of Minnesota ), Alefyah Shipchandler (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

There is emerging evidence that individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT) can learn to use alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the use of behavior chaining with a prompt delay and prompt fading on acquisition of software navigation, specifically page-linking, skills with three individuals with RTT using both low-tech and high-tech AAC devices. For one participant, page-linking was taught utilizing a high-tech AAC device. For the other two participants, page-linking was taught utilizing both a high-tech and low-tech AAC devices. We used both multi-element and multiple probe designs across contexts to evaluate independent and accurate responding. All sessions were conducted in the participant’s home by their parents with remote coaching from a research assistant via telecommunication. Results indicated that for two participants, prompt delay was an effective procedure to teach page-linking using both a high-tech and a low-tech AAC device. For the other participant, behavior chaining with a prompt delay was an effective procedure to teach page-linking using a high-tech AAC device. Future research should utilize experimental methods to expand on navigation to include page-linking for multiple word phrases.

 
Diversity submission 

Analysis of Communication Using Low- and High-Tech Devices With Individuals With Rett Syndrome

(Applied Research)
EMILY KATRINA UNHOLZ-BOWDEN (University of Minnesota), Shawn Nicole Girtler (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Rebecca Kolb (University of Minnesota ), Alefyah Shipchandler (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

The vast majority of individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT) do not have vocal, expressive language and therefore require alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of instruction on the independent and accurate use of communication modalities emitted by two individuals with RTT using a low-tech and high-tech communication device. We used a multiple probe design across categories with the one participant and a multielement design with the other participant in teaching use of both high-tech and low-tech AAC devices. Parents conducted all sessions with remote coaching from a research assistant via telecommunication. For one participant, following exposure to either contingent reinforcement or behavior chaining on her high-tech device, fewer sessions were required to meet performance criteria for requesting on her low-tech device and subsequently following reintroduction of the high-tech device with new requesting criteria. For the second participant, some differences in acquisition were observed between the high-tech and low-tech communication devices. Future research should use experimental methods to measure relative preference for communication modalities.

 
 
Symposium #456
CE Offered: BACB
Multiple Applications of Relational Responding: Under Which Conditions Take Place Humor, Memory Distortions, Rumination, and Time Perception?
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Carmen Luciano (University Almería, Spain)
Discussant: Francisco Ruiz (Fundación Universitaria Konrad-Lorenz)
CE Instructor: Francisco Ruiz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Relational frame theory (RFT) is a behavioral approach to human language and cognition that accounts for a variety of complex human behavior, such as humor, memory distortions, rumination or time perception. This symposium highlights recent empirical innovations in these four human behaviors. The first paper aims to isolate the impact of different contextual variables for altering or producing the humor behavior. The second paper analyses the conditions under which derived aversive false memories emerge and acquire control over subsequent avoidance intentions. The third paper analyzed the impact of promoting rumination and their alteration through two defusion protocols on a memory task. Finally, the fourth paper analyzes higher-order appetitive motivation, such as personal meaning, over appetitive and aversive functions, to transform time perception. The four papers will be discussed according to derived relational responding as the context for altering contingencies. As well, limitations, future research, and applied dimensions will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): false memories, Humor behavior, Rumination, time perception
Target Audience:

Basic knowledge of relational behavior

Learning Objectives: (1) At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand how memory distortions emerge; (2) the impact of values for transforming the time perception; (3) under what conditions rumination emerge and could be altered; (4) how relational behavior could account such a fenomena.
 
Altering the Emergence of Humor Functions: A Relational Frame Analysis
(Basic Research)
MATHEUS BEBBER (University of Almería), Carmen Luciano (University Almería, Spain), L. Jorge Ruiz-Sanchez (University of Almería)
Abstract: Relational frame theory (RFT) is a modern behavioral approach to human language and cognition that accounts for complex human behavior, such as humor, in terms of derived relational responding. Usually, jokes are a common way of producing humor. According to RFT, jokes are a kind of storytelling in which the functions of a complete, coherent relational network becomes suddenly and unexpectedly transformed. Despite numerous studies showing that humor responses have substantial benefits for mood and health, little is known about the processes that might be involved in the emergence of humor behavior. This study aims to isolate part of the processes that might hinder the emergence of humor. Three contexts were promoted and manipulated: (1) the reality of the event, (2) the identification of the participants with the joke characters, and (3) aversive functions to the content of the joke. Until now, six participants were exposed to four different jokes, three where each of the above-mentioned elements was manipulated, and one as a context of control. Results suggest that the three contexts manipulated in the present study seem to alter the emergence of humor functions. These results are discussed in terms of each element's impact in the emergence of humor.
 

The Emergence of Aversive False Memories and Their Impact on Avoidance

(Basic Research)
L. JORGE RUIZ-SANCHEZ (University of Almería), Carmen Luciano (University Almería, Spain)
Abstract:

The emergence of false memories with aversive and avoidance functions is very common after a traumatic experience. This study aimed to advance in previous experimental analogues of false memories based on derived relational responding (Dougher & Guinther, 2010; Ruiz-Sánchez, Luciano & Guinther, 2019). To this aim, we have produced derived memories with aversive and avoidance functions. Two equivalence classes were trained, each one consisting of one shape and seven words (i.e., Class 1 and Class 2), followed by a test for the trained relations. Then, participants underwent differential conditioning using four elements of each class: four words from Class 1 were paired with aversive images, whereas four words from Class 2 were paired with appetitive images. Thereafter, a recognition and avoidance test was conducted with all the words. False recognitions were more frequent for non-directly conditioned aversive words (Class 1) than for non-directly conditioned appetitive words (Class 2), and avoidance intentions occurred with higher frequency for those words falsely recognized relative to those not recognized.

 
Promoting Rumination and Analyzing the Differential Effect of Defusion Protocols on a Memory Task
(Basic Research)
BARBARA GIL-LUCIANO (Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology & University of Almería), Tatiana Calderón (Fundación Universitaria Konrad-Lorenz), Daniel Tovar (Fundación Universitaria Konrad-Lorenz), Beatriz Sebastian (Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology), Francisco Ruiz (Fundación Universitaria Konrad-Lorenz)
Abstract: Worry and rumination (RNT) are strategies that seem to be common denominators in many psychological disorders. Cutting-edge research from a RFT approach suggests that both strategies are triggered by framing thoughts in hierarchical relations. This study had two parts. Firstly, we explored such a hierarchical organization of thoughts with two ruminative induction procedures, analyzing their impact on a memory task. Secondly, we examined the differential effect of two defusion protocols to alter the discriminative avoidant functions of triggers for RNT and a control condition. Results suggests that inducting RNT with stronger triggers (thoughts at the top of the hierarchy, that contain weaker triggers) showed a more negative effect in the task performance than inducting RNT with less stronger triggers. Results also indicate that participants that were intervened with the defusion protocol that contained hierarchical cues showed a better performance at post-test, in comparison with participants that received a defusion protocol that only contained deictic cues, and with a control condition. Besides, when promoting a hierarchical relation between the individual and his or her stronger trigger for RNT, the level of concentration was higher at post-test than when targeting an individual’s less stronger trigger – all triggers being related.
 

The Role of Motivational Functions in Time Perception: An Experimental Analysis

(Basic Research)
BEATRIZ HARANA (Universidad de Almería), Carmen Luciano (University Almería, Spain), L. Jorge Ruiz-Sanchez (University of Almería)
Abstract:

It is common to hear "time flew by," or "days went by too heavy". Listening to these phrases seems to give clues about the level of discomfort and joy of our life. Time perception has been mostly investigated from a cognitive standpoint but has not been rendered in the behavioral processes responsible for such perceptions. This study aims to isolate the impact of aversive, appetitive, as well as higher-order or overarching functions that might be involved in time perception. For that, time perception was measured in 12 intervals with different and same intervals in two conditions (seven participants each). Condition 1, participants went through the time interval task with the manipulation of immediate neutral, appetitive, or aversive functions. Condition 2 was the same except that higher-order motivational functions (e.g., something significant for the participant) were connected hierarchically to the immediate function indicated in condition 1. The results show differential impact in time estimation according to the type of functions, and the most impacting results were that "time flies" when behavior is under the control of appetitive functions and higher-order motivational functions.

 
 
Symposium #465
CE Offered: BACB
From Dog Bites to Dental Caries: Applied Behavior Analysis Techniques Focusing on Prevention
Monday, May 31, 2021
4:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jessica Foster Juanico (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Kelley L. Harrison (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Kelley L. Harrison, Ph.D.
Abstract:

As applied behavioral science continues to extend beyond description to reliable prediction and control, as behavioral technology advances, and as intersection between implementation science and behavior analysis increases, focus in some areas of behavioral research and practice may shift from intervention to prevention (Alai-Rosales et al., 2015). Such refocus is already evident in some diverse applications of behavioral science (Biglan, 2003), including problem behavior (e.g., Fahmie et al., 2016), organizational safety (e.g., Hyten et al., 2017), and community-participatory research (e.g., Watson-Thompson et al., 2017), to name a few. The presentations comprising this symposium will address preventative and response strategies within the area of behavioral health and safety, including reviews pertaining to dental health and emergencies, and data-based presentations about safe dog interactions and pedestrian safety. The presentations will be discussed in relation to prevention efforts within the field of applied behavioral science, and suggested directions for future research will be provided.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

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

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) summarize the literature describing behavioral approaches to compliance with dental routines among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; (2) summarize the literature describing behavioral approaches to emergency preparedness and responding among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilties; (3) describe one behavioral method for teaching dog safety skills to children; and (4) describe one behavioral method aimed to increase pedestrian safety.
 
Pediatric Behavioral Dentistry: A Scoping Review
(Theory)
BRITTNEY MATHURA SURESHKUMAR (Brock University), Nicole Bajcar (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University), Kelley L. Harrison (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, is a leading cause of decreased quality of life among children in both the United States and Canada (Jackson et al., 2011). Globally, dental caries are responsible for approximately 60% to 90% of cavities among children, and up to 100% of cavities in adulthood (Canadian Dental Association, 2017). Given this widespread prevalence across the lifespan, the American Dental Association (2013) recommends regular dental visits to increase or maintain oral health. However, noncompliance during dental routines is a commonly reported problem, especially for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD; Kupzyk & Allen, 2019). This is particularly concerning because children with IDD are also at a greater risk of developing dental disease and having unmet dental needs relative their typically developing counterparts (Abraham et al., 2018). The purpose of this presentation is to present the results of a scoping review of behavior management strategies to treat the dental anxiety and noncompliance of children with IDD during dental routines. Results will be discussed within the context of practical implications and suggestions for future research.
 

Systematic Review of Emergency Training for First Responders and Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Theory)
KIANNA CSOLLE (University of Kansas), Scott McEathron (University of Kansas), Jorey Hart (University of Kansas), William Bauer (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Emergencies, or situations involving individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requiring immediate assistance from first responders, may be managed most efficiently or prevented entirely when all parties involved have prior training. A literature review was conducted to identify interventions for teaching individuals with ASD emergency prevention and response skills as well as to identify trainings for teaching first responders how to interact with the ASD population during emergencies. Results of the literature review identified an abundance of safety skill interventions yet a relative dearth of research explicitly targeting emergency prevention and response skills for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Although many ASD-specific resources were identified for first responders, there were few empirical studies supporting behavioral training techniques. Even fewer works identified included training for both the ASD population and first responders together. The implications of these results are discussed within the broader context of emergency response and prevention for the ASD population, and suggestions for future research are provided.

 
The Effect of Pedestrian Gestures on Driver Yielding
(Applied Research)
CASSIDY MYERS (University of Kansas), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Although there are many attempted safeguards (e.g., crosswalks, signs, lights) to keep pedestrians safe, in 2018 there were 6,283 pedestrian fatalities accounting for nearly 20% of all traffic deaths (National Safety Council, 2019). Although there is a plethora of research confirming the effectiveness of environmental variables (e.g., markings on pavement and verbal warnings from police) to increase motorist yielding, rarely has research studied how pedestrian behavior can increase driver yielding. The researcher in this study focused on the effects of different pedestrian gestures (i.e., extended arm and raised hand) as seen in Crowley-Koch et al. (2011) on motorist’s yielding behavior. Research assistants serving as pedestrians would approach the crosswalk as a vehicle approached and stepped into the crosswalk, giving the car ample time to yield, while implementing a gesture. When implemented by a research assistant serving as a pedestrian, both the extended arm and raised hand prompts resulted in higher levels of vehicles yielding when compared to baseline (i.e., no gesture). Future research could study the effectiveness of signs at crosswalks prompting pedestrians to implement gestures to cross the street.
 
Teaching Dog Safety Skills to Children via Remote Technology
(Applied Research)
KAITLIN ROSE SCANLON (University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have been effective in teaching various safety skills (e.g., Dancho et al., 2008; Himle et al., 2004; Miltenberger et al., 2009); however, few studies have evaluated dog safety skills. Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half are children (American Humane, 2019). Additionally, children often engage in behaviors that may increase the likelihood of dog bites and injuries (Patronek et al., 2013). Therefore, it is important to develop effective dog safety skills trainings. In Study 1, we conducted a survey to identify the prevalence of dog bites, common behavior of children around known and unknown dogs, and the importance of teaching dog safety skills to children as reported by their caregivers. Results of the survey suggest that children are more likely to sustain bites and injuries from known dogs, engage in behaviors that increase the likelihood of bites and injuries, and caregivers find dog safety skills important. In Study 2, we evaluated the effects of remote behavioral skills training in teaching three children to engage in safe behavior in the presence of unknown, off-leash dog videos. Remote behavioral skills training was effective for all three participants, and generalization occurred for two of the three participants to novel videos of unknown, off-leash dog videos.
 
 
Symposium #469
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Ethics
Service Delivery in ABA: Are We Following Our Values and Our Heart?
Monday, May 31, 2021
4:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice)
Discussant: Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental)
CE Instructor: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The purpose of this symposium is to discuss issues in behavior analysts training and practice. In the first presentation, authors discuss how empirically supported interventions are sometimes viewed as more important than client context and values. Authors discuss that contingencies must be analyzed, including those that generated the systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and a solid behavior analytic training should be the focus, instead of replicating different packaged interventions. In the second presentation, authors will discuss possible problems that the indiscriminate and non-analytical use of manualized interventions might bring to our field, such as the decreased probability of new problem-solving responses when it comes to clinical practice. In the third presentation, authors will discuss if the problem posed by Michael in 1980, the shift in?emphasis, away from the general concepts and methods of the science of behavior, is still a current problem in behavior analytic training and practice. In the fourth presentation the authors will discuss the selection and definition of behavioral goals as part of a process that should value family culture and what they consider important for themselves and their child/adolescent/adult with developmental disabilities. Questions raised by all presentations bring forward the need for reflections about practices that would allow us to provide culturally competent and socially valid services, within a radical behaviorist perspective.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavior analysis, radical behaviorism, service delivery, social validity
Target Audience:

Audience should have at least basic knowledge of Skinner`s articles and books on Radical behaviorism. They should also be updated on evidence-based practices for autism spectrum disorder. They should be service providers for developmental disabilities and be in a graduate program in Behavior Analysis, Psychology or Education.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the differences between empirically supported interventions and evidence-based practices (2) discuss how a superficial education, not focused on analytical skills, might increase the probability of using evidence-based and manualized interventions in a harmful or unethical way (3) describe why the indiscriminate use of manualized interventions can lead to the decrease in response variability in the practitioners repertoire (4) discuss how complicated procedures and explanations can harm our field of behavior analysis (5) describe how cultural competencies and social validity can be part of an ethical practice
 

Highly Complicated Explanations and Procedures: Where is Parsimony?

(Service Delivery)
CINTIA GUILHARDI (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental)
Abstract:

Parsimony is a concept that must guide the behavior of all scientists, not only behavior analysts. This concept means that we should select the simplest and most logical explanation for the phenomenon under study, instead of competing views or interpretations. It does not mean that we investigate simple things or explain it simple, but that we should use the simplest account of the phenomena before moving on to more complex interpretations. In 1980, Jack Michael made a “state of union” message, alerting our community about clinicians or eclectic professionals adding behavior analysis to their techniques. These new professionals learned and practiced Behavior Analysis without knowledge of basic research methodology and without commitment to behaviorism as a world view. In Michael’s opinion, this fact resulted “… in ‘packaged’ independent variables of such complexity that they simply can’t be analyzed into behavior components, especially when they involve highly verbal subjects.” (p.9). In this presentation the authors aim to discuss if the problem posed by Michael in 1980 (the shift in emphasis, away from the general concepts and methods of the science of behavior), is still a problem in ABA research and practices for autism.

 

On Evidence, Standards, Authority, andFaith

(Service Delivery)
CÁSSIA LEAL DA HORA (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental)
Abstract:

Professional providers and consumers of services for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often warned about the need to base decisions regarding the choice of intervention on evidence-based practices (EBPs). These interventions can be labeled “evidence-based”, “best practices”, etc., when they meet criteria specified by certain individuals. This type of intervention has a authority impact on people’s behavior. Thereby, implementing EBPs in addition to trying to fulfill the seven dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), seems to be acquiring more importance in the decision-making process than context and values of the client, especially when these practices and dimensions are implemented superficially. There should not be a set of rules that, dogmatically guides the decision-making process of a practitioner (or scientist), mainly because there is not one single set of rules that is impartial. Trustable guidelines that favor good professional practices should not function as “objects of faith”. Education and training in behavior analysis that favors solid analytical skills and that take into consideration both clients context peculiarities and the available evidence, could increase the probability of professional providing socially valid services that are compatible with the behavior analytic philosophy.

 

Manualization of Procedures: Where Did the Analysis Go?

(Service Delivery)
HELENA FURAN DURAN MELETTI (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo), Thais Martins Sales (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental)
Abstract:

Behavior analytic services have seen an increase in demand, especially in the last two to three decades. Most of this increase is due to service delivery for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the issues with this increase has been training and education for new professionals. In an attempt to regulate the profession, ensure the quality of intervention and avoid harmful mistakes, different certifications, standards, training packages and manualization of procedures have been set forth. This manualization can be advantageous to some degree, as it increases the probability that the behavior analyst will perform all the necessary steps when implementing a procedure. However, this standardization may also lead to narrow education and training of professionals in our field. In this presentation we will discuss these issues that might result from standardization and manualization, such as a lower probability of practitioners' response variability and of new responses when problem solving is needed. Additionally, we will discuss how standardization and manualization may result in less focus on the analytical skills.

 
Applied Behavior Analysis Service Delivery Models for Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Parents and Caregivers
(Service Delivery)
THAIS MARTINS SALES (ABA Braços Saúde Comportamental), Glauce Carolina Vieira dos Santos (ABA fora da mesinha Clínica de Psicologia Comportamental), Cássia Leal Da Hora (Paradigma - Behavioral Science and Technology Center), Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Private practice), Ariene Coelho Souza (Universidade de São Paulo - Brasil), Cintia Guilhardi (Cintia Guilhardi Serviços de Psicologia Comportamental), Helena Furan Duran Meletti (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
Abstract: One of the important dimensions of an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Service for children/adolescents/adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is parent or caregiver participation. Parents/caregivers are often trained on problem behavior management procedures, self-help skills teaching procedures, procedures to promote positive relationships between the client and other family members, such as siblings, and on procedures that favors generalization of skills to out of session contexts (CASP, 2020). However, the participation of parents/caregivers in selecting intervention goals and procedures may vary. Brookman-Frazee (2004) distinguishes between two models of relationship that might be established in service provision: the expert model, in which the professional defines goals and solutions to the demands of the family, and the partnership model, in which goals and procedures are defined collaboratively between family and professionals. In this presentation, the authors will discuss these two models of caregiver participation. The discussion about caregiver participation in the selection of goals and procedures seems important if we aim to provide culturally competent and socially valid services.
 
 
Symposium #477
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Contextualizing, Checking, and Challenging Privilege: Exploring Traditional and Behavioral Conceptualizations of Privilege
Monday, May 31, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Thomas B. Sease (Texas Christian University, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
Discussant: Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
CE Instructor: Emily Kennison Sandoz, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The concept of privilege has become increasingly controversial recently as police brutality against the Black community has received more attention. However, despite its long history, the concept of privilege has not been subjected to a behavioral analysis focusing on the contextual conditions involved therein. In this symposium, we will discuss such an analysis, focusing on privilege as a manipulable aspect of context and its relationship to behavioral repertoires of both the privileged and the underprivileged. This analysis will focus on how divergent proportions of appetitive to aversive stimulation in the learning environment impact the sensitivity of the repertoire to appetitive and aversive learning opportunities. In the first paper, traditional conceptualizations of privilege will be discussed, along with what a behavioral conceptualization adds, and why it is pertinent today. In the second paper, the implications of a behavioral conceptualization and specific recommendations for self-evaluation for those committed to equity are discussed. These papers are intended to contribute to a discussion of larger societal issues from a behavior analytic framework, with the ultimate goal of the innovative intervention strategies supporting larger-scale behavior change.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): appetitive control, aversive control, equity, privilege
Target Audience:

Service providers, behavior analysts, clinicians, higher education instructors, school professionals, teachers, graduate students, undergraduates

Learning Objectives: (1) Discuss historical conceptualizations of privilege as well as current uses of the term; (2) Operationalize privilege from a behavior analytic perspective; (3) Identify implications this conceptualization has for the field at large; (4) Describe recommendations to address and self-evaluate context and experienced privileges; (5) Describe ways in which behavior analysts can go beyond “checking” privilege in our attempts to have socially significant influence.
 
Diversity submission Why Now?: Traditional Conceptualizations of Privilege and Why a Behavior Analytic Approach is Pertinent
(Theory)
MAKENSEY SANDERS (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), Morgan E Maples (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
Abstract: Historically, the term “privilege” has been used to refer to and describe basic rights withheld from people of color and the lack of equity between groups. While privilege is not a new concept, inequities in privilege have received increased attention due to the alarming rates of police brutality directed towards the Black community. “Checking” privilege has become a mainstream activity in an effort to call attention to the inequities in privilege, presumably to motivate actions toward equity. Operationally defined, privilege from a behavioral perspective consists of the conditions under which the term is employed. The historical conditions under which the term, privilege, emerged will be discussed as well as current uses of the term. Privilege will be discussed, from a behavioral perspective, as the contextually-bound resources to which a person has access due to their specific characteristics which afford membership to a particular social group. A lack of privilege, then, is denial or decreased access to resources which could serve as appetitives, thus resulting in inequity between groups of privileged and underprivileged.
 
Diversity submission Implications of a Behavioral Conceptualization of Privilege and Self-Evaluative Recommendations
(Theory)
MORGAN E MAPLES (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), MaKensey Sanders (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group)
Abstract: Inequities of the privileged and the underprivileged may be addressed by approaching privilege as an aspect of context. This has implications for behavioral analyses and interventions that might address behavioral excesses and deficits related to both responses to and maintenance of inequities in privilege. Specifically, it is proposed that the degree of privilege involves the ratio of appetitive to aversive control apparent in the learning history and the repertoire. This analysis will be explored in terms of (1) its implications for explaining and intervening on behavioral excesses of the privileged that maintain inequity, (2) its implications for explaining and intervening on behavioral deficits of the privileged that maintain inequity, and (3) its implications for creating increased opportunities for appetitive learning for the underprivileged. The implications of this conceptualization for self-evaluation will be described for the audience, along with examples for how this practice might bring behavior analysts beyond “checking” privilege in our attempts to have socially significant influence.
 
 
Symposium #480
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Instructional Strategies for Discrete Trial Teaching via Telehealth
Monday, May 31, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rebekah Lee (Endicott College)
Discussant: Christine Milne (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Wafa A. Aljohani, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Amidst a global pandemic, service-delivery and education models must adapt to incorporate various instructional modalities and strategies. One increasingly common format of instruction is telehealth. This symposium features two different studies that were conducted via telehealth to teach learners with and without disabilities. The first presentation compared two different types of discriminative stimuli (i.e., single vs. varied) used within discrete trial teaching for individuals with autism. The second presentation compared a prompting and error-correction strategy (i.e., progressive time delay vs. response repetition) within discrete trial teaching for typically developing children. The symposium will conclude with a discussion on the strengths, limitations, and areas of future research for each study.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Those who provide supervision to staff implementing ABA-based interventions will benefit from this symposium, as well as staff who provide direct intervention. Information from this symposium will also be relevant to anyone involved in telehealth sessions for individuals with and without disabilities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to 1) recognize some of the strengths and limitations of providing instruction via telehealth; 2) identify some of the conditions under which each instructional strategy may be appropriate; 3) describe how to carry out each instructional procedure.
 

A Comparison of Progressive Time Delay to Response Repetition to Teach Textual Relations via Telehealth

(Service Delivery)
ASIM JAVED (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Many different instructional strategies have been used to teach sight words to students with and without disabilities. These instructional approaches often involve some form or prompting and/or error-correction procedure (Spector, 2011).Two particular strategies that have not been directly compared within the literature include progressive time delay (PTD) and response repetition (RR). This study compared progressive time delay to response repetition using an adapted alternating treatment design, replicated across sets for each participant. As part of the study, social validity was obtained from caregivers as well as child participants. Results will be reviewed with regards to participant responding, sessions to mastery, and efficiency of each instructional approach. Furthermore, limitations of the study as well as areas for future research will be discussed.

 
Comparison of Single Instruction and Varied Instructions to Teach Tact Relations via Telehealth
(Service Delivery)
Wafa A. Aljohani (Endicott College), VICTORIA BOONE (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Various recommendations have been outlined for teaching individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder within a discrete trial format (Green, 2001; Grow & LeBlanc, 2013). One recommendation relates to how instructions are delivered at the beginning of a trial. This study aimed to closely examine some of these recommendations by comparing the use of a single instruction versus varied instructions when teaching three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tact relations. The present investigation utilized an adapted alternating treatment design nested into a multiple probe design, to teach participants to label pictures of cartoon characters using either a single instruction or varied instructions. The goal of this study was to evaluate the acquisition, effectiveness, and efficiency of the two different procedures for each participant. Results of the study will be discussed as it relates to participant responding, sessions to mastery, and efficiency measures (e.g., number of teaching trials and duration of teaching). Future directions related to this topic will also be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #483
CE Offered: BACB
Three Examples of Referent-Based Verbal Behavior Instruction for Early Speakers With Autism
Monday, May 31, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM EDT
Online
Area: VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
CE Instructor: Lee L Mason, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Language deficits are characteristic of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder according to both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. In particular, the language of individuals with autism shows “stimulus overselectivity”, or disproportionate levels of strength across the environmental relations that control their verbal behavior. For educational and clinical service providers, the provision of services is contingent upon demonstrating an educational or medical necessity for intervention. Incidental teaching has been shown to be effective for expanding the language skills of children with autism spectrum disorder. Referent-based instruction is a particular type of natural environment training that aims to balance the strength of the verbal repertoire across mand, echoic, tact, and sequelic control. Referent-based instruction emphasizes transfer of stimulus control through continuous, systematic prompting (i.e., convergent multiple control) and fading (i.e., divergent multiple control) across operants. Elements of precision teaching may be embedded to monitor language development and enable data-based instructional decisions. Here we present three implementations of referent-based instruction across different settings: clinic, school, and home.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): incidental teaching, precision teaching, telehealth, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

Practicing applied behavior analysts who work with children and adolescents with autism and other language orders.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify examples of stimulus overselectivity in the language of speakers with autism; (2) explain the importance of developing proportionate levels of stimulus control over verbal behavior; (3) explain how referent-based instruction differs from other forms of incidental teaching.
 
Clinical Implementations of Referent-Based Instruction
(Service Delivery)
Alonzo Andrews (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System), JANET SANCHEZ ENRIQUEZ (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: The current study evaluates the use of precision teaching to address the verbal behavior deficits of children with autism and other language disorders through a free, university-based ABA clinic. Across six years, Forty-nine participants received 13 weeks of intervention for 90 min a day, four days a week. Referent-based instruction is a treatment package that combines both natural environment training and frequency building to strengthen verbal behavior. Referent-based instruction emphasizes transferring of stimulus control across the verbal operants within the context of shaping novel responses. The overarching goal of referent-based instruction is that for every item of interest, the child should be able to request it, label it, name it, and identify it by its primary feature(s). Results of pretest and posttest comparisons show that a large effect size was found within the verbal behavior gains of participants who received precision teaching. Implications for implementing referent-based instruction as well as future areas of research will be discussed.
 
Classroom Implementations of Referent-Based Instruction
JANET ENRIQUEZ (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: Across two academic years, nine San Antonio area school districts were funded by the Texas Education Agency to provide verbal behavior training to preschool and kindergarten students with autism. At the start of the year we assessed participants using the verbal behavior SCoRE to determine the extent to which mands, echoics, tacts, and sequelics exerted disproportionate levels of control over each participant’s verbal behavior. The results of the SCoRE were then used to develop individualized verbal behavior treatment plans for each student to be carried out in his/her home classroom. We subsequently trained more than 100 teachers and paraprofessionals to implement referent-based verbal behavior instruction, with a goal of balancing out the relative strength of these four primary verbal operants. In addition to providing direct classroom-based services for students with autism, the project included ongoing parent training conducted by district behavior analysts throughout the academic year. At the end of the year, students were reassessed with the verbal behavior SCoRE to analyze language gains. Here we present an overview of the project, implications for its application in public school settings, and the results of our grant activities.
 
Telehealth Home-Based Implementations of Referent-Based Instruction
(Service Delivery)
MARIANA DE LOS SANTOS (Bloom Children's Center), Tania Catalina Catalina Pasillas Salazar (Bloom Children's Center)
Abstract: This session presents a case study in which a young girl with autism spectrum disorder in Monterrey, Mexico received referent-based verbal behavior instruction via synchronous distance delivery. Over the course of six months, the child received 30-60 minutes per week of language instruction that combined natural environment training with discrete trial training. Each session was video recorded. For this presentation, we aim to describe the intervention used in replicable detail, and show the child's development overtime through a series of video clips across the six months of intervention. Here we describe the modifications that were necessary to make referent-based instruction effective for telehealth delivery, along with the outcomes of the child who participated in this case study. Participants of this session will be able to identify elements of successful web-based verbal behavior instruction, participant characteristics, prerequisite skills, and what we learned from this pilot study. Our discussion will focus on implementation in rural settings.
 

BACK TO THE TOP

 

Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh
DONATE