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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Paper Session #476
Issues in Clinical Practice: Mastery Criteria and Behavior Technicians
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
217C (CC)
Area: AUT
Keyword(s): Clinical
Chair: Kortnie Cotter (Mercyhurst University)
Determining Mastery Criteria: An Empirical Review
Domain: Applied Research
KORTNIE COTTER (Mercyhurst University), Jonathan W. Ivy (Mercyhurst University), Thomas P. Kitchen (Mercyhurst University)
Abstract: A hallmark of behavioral skills training is the objective and on-going assessment of socially important target behaviors. A component of this assessment process is the creation of quantifiable treatment goals that include criteria for mastery or goal completion. Mastery criteria are intended to reflect the level of skill necessary before expanding the current programming or shifting focus to more advanced skills. However, in establishing mastery criteria, practitioners often rely on non-empirical conventions or standards of practice. In this respect, mastery criteria are often derived on an arbitrary basis (e.g. professional judgment). Basic research (e.g. Ebbinghaus, 1885) makes apparent the direct relationship between opportunities to engage in behavior beyond acquisition (i.e. overlearning) and skill maintenance over time. Despite the importance of mastery criteria in the maintenance and generalization of target behaviors, there is little empirical research to guide the processes. This presentation will examine trends, guidelines, and standard practices for determining mastery criteria. Recommendations for future research and practice will also be provided.

Recognizing the Behavior Technician as a Profession: A Job Analysis

Domain: Service Delivery
Thomas McCool (National Association for Private School for Except), Michael Weinberg (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC ), MICHAEL REID (Innovative Learning LLC), Vicki Moeller (Innovative Learning LLC)

No one is surprised that although pharmacy technicians, EKG technician, clinical medical assistance, patient care technician, and a host of others in the workforce must adhere to basic qualifications and be licensed or certified as a demonstration that at least minimum level skills are in place. No such standardized system of accountability applies to the behavioral health paraprofessional, also known as a behavior technician. Unofficial survey results estimated that more than 80% of direct behavioral services were being provided by unlicensed, uncertified personnel. The fact that the services were being overseen by licensed or certified professionals appeared to be an acceptable level of oversight for these services. Now as the need for ABA services has grown exponentially the sector is once again forced to reassess this particular workforce and examine whether the behavior technician should be included in the growing list of allied healthcare professionals. Although there have been several job analyses on the behavioral health paraprofessional workforce including the direct support professional workforce supporting those individuals with a wide-range of intellectual and developmental disabilities, Innovative Learning LLC's task team is finalizing a comprehensive job analysis specifically looking at the paraprofessional role in providing applied behavior analysis treatment and support to individuals diagnosed with autism.In conducting the study, the IL Task Team chose methods that adhered to established standards in conducting a job analysis study. These principles and procedures are clearly outlined in the US federal regulation (Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures) and those of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The job analysis consisted of the following steps: 1.Initial Development and Validation 2.Validation Study 3. Development of Competency Areas 4. Validation of Competency Areas This presentation will review the process, results, and potential outcomes of this job analysis.

Keyword(s): Clinical



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