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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #331
CE Offered: BACB
New Approaches to the Experimental Assessment and Treatment of Noncompliance for Children with Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 25, 2015
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
214C (CC)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Blair Lloyd (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Blair Lloyd, Ph.D.
Abstract: Noncompliance is prevalent among young children with developmental disabilities and presents a critical barrier to effective instruction. However, relative to other topographies of problem behavior, there is considerably less research on methods of assessing and treating noncompliance. One potential explanation is that noncompliance presents a set of unique challenges that require modifications to standard assessment and treatment procedures. In this symposium, we present four data-based studies on new approaches to the experimental assessment and treatment of noncompliance for children with developmental disabilities. The first presenter shares results of structural analyses of noncompliance embedded in reading instruction for a student with Down syndrome in a public elementary school setting. The second presenter shares an assessment model designed to distinguish effects of faulty stimulus control versus absent motivating operations for 5 children between the ages of 3 and 11. The third presenter shares data on correspondence between trial-based and traditional functional analyses of noncompliance for two young children with ASD in an outpatient behavior clinic. The fourth study presents a comparison of effects and preference for three function-based interventions for noncompliance for one child with ASD. All four presentations inform new approaches to experimental analysis of noncompliance for children with developmental disabilities.
Keyword(s): antecedent analysis, function-based intervention, functional analysis, noncompliance
Embedding Brief Structural Analyses of Noncompliance into Reading Instruction in a Public Elementary School
EMILY WEAVER (Vanderbilt University), Blair Lloyd (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Noncompliance is frequently reported in school settings and is associated with poor school and post-school outcomes. Due to unique challenges associated with conducting functional analyses of noncompliance, an alternative approach to assessment is a structural analysis, in which antecedent variables are systematically manipulated while consequences of compliance and noncompliance are held constant. In the present study, we used a hypothesis-testing model to design a brief-format structural analysis of noncompliance. All experimental procedures were implemented by a special education teacher in a public elementary school and embedded in a program of reading instruction for an 8-year-old girl with Down syndrome. The alternation of brief trial segments was used to assess the effects of antecedent variables on levels of compliance. Results of the initial structural analysis were used to inform subsequent evaluations of antecedent-based intervention components until increased levels of compliance were identified. Results suggest that a brief-format structural analysis embedded in naturally occurring instruction may be a promising method worthy of future investigation.
An Evaluation of a Model to Assess and Treat Noncompliance
JESSE ALLGOOD (Florida Institute of Technology), Lina Majdalany (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Latasha Sturkie (Florida Institute of Technology), Lindsay Smeltz (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: We developed and evaluated a model for assessing and treating compliance problems among young children. The model is designed to distinguish between noncompliance due to faulty stimulus control and noncompliance due to weak or absent motivating operations. Five children between the ages of 3 and 11 participated in the study. Three children were diagnosed with an intellectual disability and two children were typically developing. After the assessment, a treatment evaluation was conducted. Results show that two participants’ noncompliance was a function of poor stimulus control and three participants’ noncompliance was a function of weak or absent motivating operations. Treatments, which were designed based on the source of noncompliance, were effective in increasing compliance for each participant. Treatments for noncompliance due to a weak or absent motivating operation included a guided compliance procedure and differential reinforcement. Treatments for noncompliance due to poor stimulus control included multiple exemplar training, prompting, and reinforcement. The importance of identifying the source of compliance problems before intervening is discussed.

Correspondence Between Trial-based and Traditional FAs of Noncompliance: With Treatment Evaluation

Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), ANNE DOYLE (Peabody College of Vanderbilt University), S. Blair Barrows (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Behavior Analysis Consulting Services)

The trial-based functional analysis (FA) is a practical variation of traditional FA methodology in which brief experimental trials are embedded into an individuals regularly scheduled daily activities. Although relatively understudied, existing research suggests that trial-based FAs can be valid and accurate assessments of commonly studied topographies of problem behavior such as aggression, property destruction, and stereotypy. However, no research to date has outlined variations of trial-based FA methodology appropriate for the assessment of behavior problems that pose unique challenges to valid analysis (i.e., noncompliance). In Study 1, we propose one such variation and evaluate correspondence between trial-based and traditional (multi-element) FAs of the noncompliance of two children referred to an outpatient behavior clinic. In Study 2, we evaluated the validity of Study 1 results by incorporating trial-based FA outcomes into effective function-based interventions. Interventions included a combination of functional communication training (FCT) and mand extinction in two-component compound (i.e., multiple or chained) schedules of reinforcement. Results of both studies provide preliminary evidence indicating that the proposed modifications to trial-based FA methodology may be useful when identifying the function(s) of noncompliance.

Evaluating the Relative Effect of, and Client Preference for, Three Function-Based Interventions for Noncompliance
Anne Doyle (Peabody College of Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), MARIA MELLO (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Behavior Analysis Consulting Services), Corinne Jones (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Noncompliance is a socially significant problem in applied settings. However, noncompliance is not behavior; rather, it is the absence of behavior given a specific stimulus condition (i.e., caregiver demand). Given this fact, it is unclear whether traditional function-based interventions can effectively address it. In Study 1 we compared functional communication training (FCT) to a token system; with contingencies placed on mands in the former and on compliance in the latter. In Study 2, we modified the FCT intervention. Specifically, we implemented a two-component chained schedule in which mands were placed on extinction in the first component but were reinforced in the second. Access to the second component was contingent upon compliance in the first and compliance requirements were yoked to those established for the token system. Results of both studies showed that the token system maintained compliance. Conversely, traditional FCT did not. However, when FCT procedures were modified, the results of Study 2 showed that a variation of FCT could also maintain compliance. Following each evaluation we conducted a concurrent-chains preference assessment. Our participant preferred FCT during Study 1. However, when compliance requirements were yoked in Study 2, preference shifted to the token system.



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