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 #364
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in the Application of Motivating Operations with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monday, May 25, 2015
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Grand Ballroom C2 (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
CE Instructor: Tonya Nichole Davis, Ph.D.

The manipulation of motivating operations can be an effective intervention component. In this symposium we present research regarding the application of motivating operations in assessment and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The first paper evaluates the effects of systematically-identified durations of reinforcer access on task completion. Individualized durations of reinforcer access were identified based on the mean latency of satiation. Results indicate that this method can be utilized to identify a precise duration of reinforcer access to influence an evocative effect. The second paper evaluates the effects of a motivating operation-based treatment on escape-maintained problem behavior. After a trial based EO analysis confirmed that problem behavior was motivated by tasks with a low probability of correct responses, a high probably response sequence was successfully implemented to decrease problem behavior and increase skill acquisition. The third paper conducted a parametric evaluation of two variations of the implementation of the behavioral indicator of satiation method. Results identify not only a wide variation in latency to the first and subsequent displays of the behavioral indicator, but also that the selected method influences the abative effect on subsequent challenging behavior. Collectively, studies present innovative uses of the manipulation of motivating operations.

Keyword(s): abolishing operation, establishing operation, motivating operations
Examination of Pre-session Systematic Durations of Reinforcer Access
ALLEN MOM (Baylor Univeristy), Rachel Scalzo (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Dana Leeper (Baylor Univeristy), Alicia Kobylecky (Baylor University), Jayden Conte (Baylor Univeristy)
Abstract: The current study examines an approach to systematically select a precise duration of reinforcer access that maximizes an evocative effect on task completion. Participants were given access to reinforcers to determine a mean latency to satiation. Systematic durations of reinforcer access were determined based on individual mean latency to satiation; specifically durations of time that equaled 3% and 75% of mean latency to satiation were utilized as pre-session reinforcer access. Participants were exposed to pre-session durations of reinforcer access that equaled 3% and 75% of the mean latency to satiation; immediately following the presession reinforcer access, work tasks were presented and access to the same tangible stimulus was provided as reinforcement on a fixed ration schedule. Results indicate that individualized durations of reinforcer access can be systematically identified and utilized to increase task completion. Clinical implications of the results will be discussed.
A Trial-Based Approach to Isolating Establishing Operations for Negatively Reinforced Challenging Behavior
JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Stephanie Gerow (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: In this study we assessed a potential EO for escape-maintained challenging behavior with three boys with autism spectrum disorder. A pairwise functional analyses indicated participants’ challenging behaviors were at least in part maintained by negative reinforcement, in the form of escape from task demands. It was hypothesized that each participant engaged in more challenging behaviors when presented with difficult tasks in which there was a low probability of a correct response as compared to tasks with a high probability of a correct response. To evaluate this hypothesis, we implemented a trial-based EO analysis. Task demands were chosen and divided among two groups (high-probability and low-probability) for each participant based on prior performance observations and embedded within discrete-trial instructional sessions. Data were collected on ranges of criteria for correctness with corresponding percentages of challenging behavior. The EO analysis confirmed challenging behaviors were motivated by tasks that participants had relatively little history of performing correctly. An MO intervention based on these results showed high-probability request sequences were effective to reduce challenging behaviors in one participant and increase skill acquisition for two participants. Trial-based EO analyses may be a practical and efficient way to analyze the influence of EOs during instruction.

Analysis of Behavioral Indicators as a Measure of Satiation

RACHEL SCALZO (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Kelsey Henry (Baylor University), Allen Mom (Baylor University)

Challenging behavior often occurs when access to a preferred item is restricted. For children with developmental disabilities these challenging behaviors can impede learning opportunities and decrease possibilities for social interaction, which are already severely diminished (Lang et al., 2010). One way to proactively address challenging behaviors is through the manipulation of motivating operations. This study examined behavioral indicators of satiation using the item rejection procedure developed by O’Reilly and colleagues (2009) with differing levels of criteria. All participants were diagnosed with a developmental disability and engaged in tangibly maintained challenging behavior. Specifically, this multi-element single subject research design compared the duration of a tangible session following pre-session access to tangibles. Pre-session access was ended after a participant engaged in one instance of rejection behavior, which was compared to sessions ending after three rejection behaviors were used. Results suggest differences between using one and three rejection behaviors as indicators of satiation. Implications for clinical applications will be discussed.




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