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 #15
CE Offered: BACB
Examination of Behavioral Assessments and Interventions for School-Related Behaviors
Saturday, May 23, 2015
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
212AB (CC)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri)
CE Instructor: SungWoo Kahng, Ph.D.
Abstract: School-age children exhibit many behaviors that can interfere with learning and school success. Historically, behavioral interventions have been used to improve school-related behavior. This symposium focuses on several innovative approaches to addressing two common problems, homework completion and disruptive behaviors. Two studies examined factors that may affect homework completion. The first paper focuses on research on how competing variables can adversely impact homework completion. Additionally, this project examined how technology can be used to increase homework completion. The second paper focuses on a identifying more effective reinforcers through a functional analysis. It is through this functional analysis that a function-based intervention can be developed to increase homework completion. The final paper focuses on reducing disruptive behavior during classroom transitions using a randomized dependent group contingency. This study showed that the contingency decreased the disruptive behaviors of teacher identified students. All three papers demonstrate the utility of behavioral assessments and interventions to improve common problems exhibited by school-age children.
Keyword(s): classroom, disruption, functional analysis, homework
The Effect of Mode of Presentation on Homework Completion in Elementary-Aged Students
KERRI P. PETERS (University of Florida), Michele R. Traub (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the correlation between homework completion and improved academic performance (e.g., Olympia et al., 1994) and the role that behavioral intervention can play in improving homework completion and accuracy (Olympia et al., 1994; Madaus et al., 2003). One growing impediment to homework completion is the availability and reinforcing nature of competing items such as cell phones and televisions. In the current study we compared the rate of math problem completion with and without distractors present, and when the math problems were presented on paper and on a computer screen. In over half of the participants the distractors competed with the homework when math was presented on paper, but these same participants completed the math problems in the presence of distractors when the math was presented on the computer. These preliminary results may indicate a relatively simple intervention to increase homework completion and decrease distraction in the natural environment.
Increasing Compliance with Homework: A Functional Analysis of Schoolwork Completion
EMMA GRAUERHOLZ-FISHER (University of Florida), Michele R. Traub (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Early research from our lab has indicated that students are unlikely to complete homework when distracting items are present (magazines, puzzles, etc.) For some students, changing the mode of presentation from paper to computer increases the likelihood of work completion (see another presentation in this symposium for these data). In a continuation of this line of research, we are using adapted multielement functional analysis methods to identify potential reinforcers for homework completion in a subset of individuals who had previously completed little or no work under distraction conditions, both when work was presented on paper and on computer. These students are presented with math problems on a simple computer program under several reinforcement conditions: contingent praise, contingent feedback, contingent edibles, contingent breaks, and a control condition with no social interaction. We will then reevaluate homework completion on both computer and paper to assess the efficacy of the identified reinforcer under more naturalistic conditions.
Mystery Walker: A Preliminary Investigation of a Randomized Dependent Group Contingency
MEGHAN DESHAIS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alyssa Fisher (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri)
Abstract: We conducted a preliminary evaluation of the mystery walker game, a randomized dependent group contingency to decrease disruptive behavior during hallway transitions. Two first-graders, who were identified by their classroom teacher, participated in this study. A multiple baseline across transitions was used to evaluate the effects of the mystery walker game on participants’ disruptive behavior during hallway transitions. Results indicated that both participants engaged in lower levels of disruptive behavior during the mystery walker game compared to baseline. In addition, generalization of treatment effects was observed for one participant.



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