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 #10
CE Offered: BACB
On the Utility of Within-session Data Analysis for Functional Analysis Clarification
Saturday, May 23, 2015
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
214C (CC)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University )
CE Instructor: Tracy L. Kettering, Ph.D.
Abstract: Within session data can be used to clarify the results of unclear or undifferentiated functional analyses. For example, graphing minute by minute data on behavior during a longer experimental session may reveal extinction or reinforcer effects (Vollmer et al. 1993). Similarly, evaluating responses that occur in the presence and absence of the establishing operation separately may reveal a more clear functional relation between variables or rule out a reinforcement contingency (Roane et al. 1999). In the first data-based presentation, the utility of analyzing within-session data during standard functional analysis conditions will be explored by comparing graphs of problem behavior in the presence and absence of the establishing operations. Results indicated that evaluating response-reinforcer relationships during functional analysis test conditions reveal patterns that may confirm or dispute that a consequence is a functional reinforcer for the target response. In the second data-based presentation, the utility of analyzing within-session patterns of behavior during extended no interaction conditions were analyzed to differentiate between the maintaining variables of similar topographies of behavior. Data revealed that the assessment could be used to separate response classes when some, but not all, topographies of behavior were maintained by automatic reinforcement. Implications for assessment purposes will be discussed.
Keyword(s): functional analysis
Analysis of Within-Session Responding in the Presence and Absence of Establishing Operations for Functional Analysis Clarification
JONATHON METZ (Bancroft), Sean Smith (Bancroft), Susan Field (Georgian Court University), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Abstract: Analysis of within-session responding may prove to be a useful tool when differentiating unclear results in formal functional analyses (Fahmie & Hanley, 2008). In a typical functional analysis, establishing operations are systematically altered to evoke behavior in reliable patterns. Thus, comparing patterns of responding in both the presence and absence of establishing operations during a single functional analysis may help identify the the functions of problem behaviors (Roane et al., 1999). The present study is an extension of the methods developed by Roane et al. (1999) and assesses the efficacy of utilizing within-session data by comparing the rates of problem behavior in the presence and absence of establishing operations. All participants were diagnosed with autism and resided in a residential facility for the treatment of severe problem behavior. A traditional functional analysis was conducted for each participant and graphs were created such that the rate of problem behavior in the presence and absence of establishing operations were graphed separately for each topography of problem behavior. The results suggest that analyzing the rate of problem behavior separately in the presence and absence of establishing operations can help clarify the results of traditional functional analyses.
Within-Session Data to Differentiate Social and Automatic Sources of Reinforcment for Multiple Topographies of Behavior
JOSHUA LAFORTE (Bancroft), Patrick Thulen (Bancroft), Sean Smith (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Abstract: Extended no-interaction conditions following an undifferentiated standard functional analysis may help differentiate between socially and automatically maintained behavior (Vollmer et al., 1995). Multiple topographies of behavior that would typically be classified in a single response class may be maintained by different reinforcers and possibly cause undifferentiated functional analysis results (Thompson et al., 1998). Querim et al. (2013) demonstrated the utility of an extended alone assessment as a screening tool for automatic reinforcement and confirmed the findings in a functional analysis. In the current study, within session data for separate response topographies of problem behavior were recorded within an extended alone assessment for individuals with autism. Two response classes of self-injury (one socially mediated and one automatically reinforced) were identified for two participants and two response classes of disruptive behavior (one socially mediated and one automatically reinforced) were identified for one participant. Implications for the functional analysis of problem behavior for individuals with multiple topographies of problem behavior will be discussed.



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