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 #317
CE Offered: BACB
The State of Functional Behavioral Assessment
Monday, May 25, 2015
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
214A (CC)
Area: PRA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
CE Instructor: Michele D. Wallace, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium looks at the current trends regarding Functional Behavioral Assessment. The first paper addresses the validity of an online indirect assessment, the mini-FBA, compared to a functional analysis. The second paper looks at the application of the transition functional analysis in two naturalistic settings (home and a after school program). The third address demonstrates the use of pyramidal training to train two different staff levels how to conduct trial-based functional analyses. The final paper, looks at using video-recorded lectures and videoconferencing as a service-delivery model to train teachers in Saudi Arabia on how to conduct trial-based functional analyses. Thus, this symposium will present current research in Functional Behavior Assessment ranging from indirect assessments, to implementation of functional analyses in natural settings, to two different training methodologies to train individuals how to conduct such assessments.
Keyword(s): FBA, Indirect assessment, pyramidal training, transition FA

Agreement Between the Insights to Behavior FBA Tool and Comprehensive Functional Behavioral Assessments Conducted by Clinicians

CATHERINE ANNE MILTENBERGER (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Linda A. LeBlanc (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Kerry A. Conde (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Tyra Sellers (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Hal Houseworth (BCBA), Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Intercare Therapy, Inc.)

Functional behavior assessment is essential to the effective treatment of problem behavior and includes indirect informant assessment, descriptive assessment, and functional analysis. Functional analysis is the only experimental method of identifying the function(s) of problem behavior but may require extensive time and resource. An indirect informant assessment that accurately identifies the function of problem behavior would facilitate more immediate, effective treatment of problem behavior. To date, findings on the validity of existing tools have been mixed with most studies indicating only a small to moderate correlation between the results of experimental analyses and informant assessments. One reason why these informant assessments may not correlate well with functional analyses is because all items on the tool are typically weighted equally even if certain items might be more predictive than others. A technology-based assessment might address this problem by allowing researchers to a) examine the specific questions that correlate most strongly with functional analyses results and b) create scoring algorithms that incorporate empirically derived weightings of individual items. The mini-Functional Behavior Assessment (mini-FBA) is an online informant assessment tool composed of 16 questions designed to identify the extent to which a problem behavior is maintained by attention, access to tangibles, escape, or sensory stimulation. Presented findings will assess the validity of this tool by evaluating the degree of correspondence between the results of the mini-FBA and a subsequently conducted functional analysis. Individual item analyses will be calculated to determine optimal item weightings to produce a maximally predictive tool. Data collection is ongoing with eight completed participants and one additional participant in progress at the time of submission. Findings will be discussed in relation to implications for efficient clinical practice in assessment and treatment of problem behavior.


Conducting Transitions Functional Analyses in the Real World

SARA GONZALEZ (SEEK Education, Inc.), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)

The current study extends previous literature by applying the functional analysis methodology to problem behaviors associated with transitions for children with developmental disabilities across both home and classroom settings. Four participants were exposed to variations of transitions including activity initiations and terminations, non-preferred activity initiations, and terminations, each with and without a location change, and finally a location change with no presented activities. Results indicated that location change was a major contribution to problem behaviors during transitioning from activity to activity for three out of four children. Given that transitions between tasks my be difficult for yound children with developmental disabilities, the ability to transition smoothly can assist learning time and create a stress-free environment in any setting. Therefore, conducting a functional analysis to identify the maintaining variables during transition times should be done in the applied setting. Further extension of the functional analyses is suggested to create intervention plans based on the findings to reduce problematic behaviors. Intervention results will also be presented and discussed.

Application of a pyramidal training model on the implementation of trial-based functional analysis
Faisal Alnemary (University of California, Los Angeles ), LUSINEH GHARAPETIAN (Special Education for Exceptional Kids), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Jordan Yassine (LSU), Fahad Alnemary (University of California, Los Angeles)
Abstract: We employed a pyramidal training model (PTM) to teach the correct implementation and data collection of trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) for self-injurious behaviors. In the first phase, a non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of group-format training for four behavioral consultants (BCs). In the second phase, each BC trained one behavior technician (BT) by applying the same training content in an individualized setting. Treatment integrity data were collected for their implementation of the training procedures (i.e., didactic training, video modeling, role play). The results demonstrate that the PTM was successful in teaching all BCs and BTs to implement the TBFA correctly. In addition, a generalization probe with a different topography of problem behavior (i.e., aggression) was conducted for one BC and four BTs and all performed with 100% accuracy. These findings corroborate the utility of PTM in clinical settings, when access to experts such as BCBA might be limited.
Reaching the Unreachable: Providing Intentional Staff Training on Trial-Based Functional Analysis
FAISAL ALNEMARY (University of California, Los Angeles ), Jennifer B.G. Symon (California State University), Fahad Alnemary Alnemary (CSULA/UCLA ), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: This study aim to extend to literature of tele-consultation by examining the effectiveness of utilizing video-recorded lectures and videoconferencing as a service-delivery model to train teachers in Saudi Arabia (i.e,who do not have access to experts in a regular basis) on how to assess problem behavior that are exhibited by their students with ASD. A multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effect of video-recorded training on the procedural integrity of trial-based functional analysis across four teachers. Although teachers’ performances were high following reading enhanced-written instruction during baseline, their performances improved following watching the video-recording training to reach 100 fidelity for at least two conditions. However, all teachers needed additional specific feedback for at least one condition. These findings suggest that video-recorded training can be a promising service-delivery model when access to expert on a regular basis is not feasible.



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