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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Poster Session #361
DDA Monday Noon
Monday, May 25, 2015
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
87. A Competition Assessment to Identify Relative Preference between Positive and Negative Reinforcement for Multiply-Controlled Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLIN PARKER (Bancroft), Katie Donohoe (Bancroft), Susan Field (Georgian Court University), Nicole Sullivan (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft), Sean Smith (Bancroft), Patrick Thulen (Bancroft)
Abstract: Access to contingent or noncontingent positive reinforcement has been shown to compete with problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement (Fisher et al.,1997; Hagopian et al., 1994), escape (Lomas et al., 2010, Piazza, 1997), or attention (Fisher et al., 1997). Lalli et al. (1999) used a competition assessment to predict the effectiveness of positive reinforcement-based interventions for escape-maintained problem behavior. Similar assessments may help to identify critical components of intervention for multiply-controlled problem behavior, particularly when consumption of one reinforcement (e.g., a break) limits the availability of the alternative reinforcer (e.g., tangible item for appropriate behavior). The current study extends the research of Lalli et al. to multiply-controlled problem behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities. Relative preference for positive (tangible) and negative (escape) reinforcement were assessed using a concurrent schedule of reinforcement. Results indicated that the assessment may predict situations when a thin schedule of positive reinforcement may be effective for reducing multiply-controlled problem behavior.
88. Increasing Duration on Vocational Tasks using Visual Prompt and Self-Monitoring by an Adult with Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ICHA K. ARIEF (St. Cloud State University), Kim Frost (TSE, Inc.), Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: This intervention compared continuous independent work during two different vocational tasks through the use of visual prompts and a self-monitoring schedule, by an adult with multiple developmental disabilities across group and individual activities. The accuracy of behavioral product was measured before and during program implementation. Visual prompts included pictures of objects and performance steps in 3 x 5 in. pictures compiled in a binder. The self-monitoring materials included a reinforcement schedule board and timer. Results indicated high levels of continuous independent work during the use of visual prompts and self-monitoring, and high levels of accuracy for behavioral product.
90. Using Problem Behaviour as an Indicator of Preference in Individuals With Profound Multiple Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BRENNA HENRIKSON (University of Manitoba), Brenna Henrikson (University of Manitoba), Alison Cox (University of Manitoba), Jade Wightman (University of Manitoba), CT Yu (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Individuals with profound multiple disabilities (PMD) have a limited set of skills, including choice making. Often individuals with PMD engage in challenging behaviours (e.g., self-injury, stereotypy), and it is possible that they do this to indicate preference. Identifying items that are preferred by individuals with PMD may improve behaviour program outcomes. However, existing studies that have examined preference among individuals with PMD do not often incorporate reinforcer assessments to confirm preference assessment outcomes. The current study examines whether problem behaviour can be used as an indicator of preference in individuals with PMD. Four phases were conducted. In phase 1 caregivers completed the Reinforcer Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities (RAISD) to provide information about preferences. Phase 2 involved conducting a standard functional analysis to determine the environmental variables maintaining challenging behaviour. Next, a single stimulus preference assessment was conducted to evaluate participants preference for items that were indicated as highly favored by the caregiver. Finally, a direct reinforcer assessment will be conducted to validate the results of the preference assessment. Frequency of engagement in problem behavior, engagement with preferred items, and touching items served as the dependent variables for preference assessments.
91. Conditional Discrimination Abilities and Differentiation of Functional Analysis Data
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JANIE FUNK (University of Nevada, Reno ), Billy Rom (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Despite established utility, functional analyses have long been noted for disadvantages including inconclusive data as evident by the numerous modifications of the standard methodology since its development. As such, researchers continue to evaluate the predictive use of descriptive assessments, though they have been poor predictors of FA outcomes (Camp, Iwata, Hammond, & Bloom, 2009, and Pence, Roscoe, Bourret, & Ahearn, 2009). Undifferentiated data is often attributed to a deficit of discrimination skills of the individual. Greenwald, Senuik, & Williams (2012) evaluated the extent to which conditional discrimination abilities affected a participant’s differential responding during a multi-element FA. Additionally, discrimination affects with inclusion of programmed SDs during the FAs were evaluated. Conditional discrimination abilities were assessed by the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) developed by Kerr, Meyerson, and Flora in 1977. They concluded that individuals who were unable to make conditional discriminations were less likely to show differentiated results in an FA and the inclusion of programmed SDs may not aid in discrimination between conditions. The current poster discusses theoretical implications of Greenwald et al., 2012 with respect to utilizing the ABLA-R prior to a formal functional analysis (DeWiele, Martin, Martin, Yu, & Thomson, 2010).
92. Using Redistribution to Decrease Packing and Meal Duration in a Child with Feeding Problems
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE MILLER (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Abstract: Packing is a problematic behavior in children with feeding problems where children hold food or liquids in the mouth for extended periods of time. This may cause meals to last for long durations and impede an increase in caloric intake and cause insufficient weight gain. Multiple treatments have been used to reduce packing behaviors including food redistribution, texture manipulation, simultaneous presentation of preferred and non-preferred foods, flipped spoon presentation, and liquid and solid chasers. However the majority of these studies focused on pureed food as the target texture. In addition, meal duration has not been used as a major dependent variable. The purpose of this study was to decrease packing behaviors of regular textured food using redistribution with a Nuk® brush in order to decrease the duration of meals for a child with severe feeding problems. A reversal design was used to evaluate the treatment protocol. Data showed that even though packing behaviors only reduced moderately, the duration of packing behaviors substantially reduced which then reduced the overall duration of meals. This allowed for an increase in the volume of meals which led to higher caloric intake.
93. Implementing Bolus Fading and Escape Extinction to Decrease Gagging and Expulsion in a Child who is Liquid Dependent
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE MILLER (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Abstract: Children with severe feeding problems have restricted diets and only consume certain types or textures of food and in some cases may only consume liquids at inappropriate ages. When presented non-preferred food and/or liquids they display a wide variety of inappropriate behaviors to avoid them. When problematic eaters refuse to consume age-appropriate textures, they are not exposed to opportunities of learning the oral motor skills needed to eat successfully. Underdeveloped skills make it more difficult to control food efficiently which may lead to more problematic behaviors such as gagging and expulsion when presented more difficult textures. Treatments used to reduce expulsion include escape extinction via re-presentation with a spoon, escape extinction via re-presentation with a Nuk brush, presentation via flipped spoon, texture manipulation, chasers, and presentation via flipped spoon combined with chin prompting. The purpose of this study was to use bolus fading and escape extinction to decrease gagging and expulsion with solids in a child who is liquid dependent. A reversal design was used to evaluate the treatment package. Data showed that in baseline gagging and expulsions were high when the child was presented a level spoon of crumbles (crushed meltable solids) and regular textured meltable solids. As the bolus of crumbles was faded in small increments, both gagging and expulsion decreased. During this time skill training was being implemented using non-food tools (e.g., Nuk® brush, chew stick). Once the target bolus was obtained, regular textured meltable solids were presented following escape extinction (re-presentation). Data showed that both gagging and expulsions reduced when presented regular textured meltable solids.
94. Tantalizing or Tedious Tokens: The effect of pictures of preferred versus neutral stimuli as tokens on behavior and task completion
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JOSEPH BAIRD (Indiana University South Bend), John Haggard (Indiana University South Bend), Sorah Stein (Partnership for Behavior Change)
Abstract: Using effective reinforcers is crucial to progress in the therapy setting. Numerous studies (i.e., Matson & Boisjoli, 2009) demonstrate the effectiveness of tokens as secondary reinforcers in ABA programming. In particular, using pictures of objects of obsession as tokens was demonstrated to decrease a variety of inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate, on-task behaviors in three children diagnosed with Autism (Charlop-Christy, 1998). The current study replicates this, with an older child, who has a lower tested IQ than the children in the Charlop-Christy study. We compared using neutral tokens (stars on a plain, white background) with pictures of preferred items (characters and a scene from the movie Frozen®) as tokens to reinforce task completion and attending behaviors associated with the child’s therapy. We also measured inappropriate behaviors related to task refusal for the child during therapy. Implications for the use of pictures of preferred items versus neutral pictures as tokens will be discussed.

A Comparison of Prompting Tactics to Teach Intraverbals to an Adolescent With Down Syndrome

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ABIGAIL WALLACE (University of West Florida), D. Reed Bechtel (University of West Florida), Sue Heatter (University of West Florida), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)

Ingvarsson and Hollobaugh (2011) found that tact-to-intraverbal-transfer-of-stimulus-control (i.e. a picture prompt) was more effective than echoic-to-intraverbal-transfer-of-stimulus-control (i.e. an echoic prompt) in teaching correct responses to intraverbal questions in three preschool-aged boys with autism. The current study was a systematic replication of Ingvarsson and Hollobaugh with a 14-year-old girl with Down Syndrome as a participant. A multi-element design with baseline and best condition was used to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of picture prompts presented on an iPad, in vivo picture prompts, echoic prompts presented on an iPad, and in vivo echoic prompts in teaching correct responding to targeted WH questions when utilizing tact-to-intraverbal or echoic-to-intraverbal transfer of stimulus control procedures. Reliability data were collected in 50% of sessions and averaged 96%; treatment fidelity data were collected in 53% of sessions and averaged 99%. Although all prompt conditions eventually were effective (Figure 1), results showed that echoic prompts presented on an iPad were most efficient in terms of trials to acquisition (i.e. 3 consecutive sessions of at least 80% correct responding) in teaching correct responding to the targeted WH questions followed by picture prompts presented on an iPad (Figure 2). A best condition phase with new Wh questions reflected a consistent pattern of acquisition for iPad echoic prompts. Generalization probes for both iPad conditions reflect criterion level performance. Prompting method preference of the participant was assessed via a paired choice procedure; results indicated a preference for the iPad Echoic condition Conclusions and recommendations for future research are presented.

96. Prerequisites to Video Modeling in Adults with Intellectual Disability
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAREN BECKER (University of West Florida), D. Reed Bechtel (University of West Florida), Sue Heatter (University of West Florida), Leasha Barry (University of West Florida)
Abstract: This study examined prerequisite skills for subjective (point of view (POV)) video modeling in adults with intellectual disabilities. Experiment 1 was a replication and extension of Robinson’s (2009) work and evaluated the relation between these skills and responding to in-vivo versus embedded voice over prompting in twelve adults, ages 25 to 69 with disabilities ranging from mild to severe. Experiment 2 used a multiple baseline across subjects matched by intellectual level with an alternating treatment design, to compare the effects of in-vivo prompting and embedded voice over prompting on responding to instruction presented via subjective (POV) video modeling. Occurrences and non-occurrences of correct imitation were recorded. Interrater reliability data were collected during 31% of all sessions and averaged 97% for occurrences and 82% for non-occurrences. Treatment fidelity probes included stimulus prompts, materials utilized, time allowed and reinforcement delivered. Probes were taken utilizing a procedural checklist for each task during 30% of the sessions and averaged 97%. Experiment 1 revealed that adults with Intellectual Disabilities may respond to one step in-vivo or voice over video modeling without possession of the prerequisite skills thought to be required of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Further examination into the variables responsible for successful use of video modeling with adults is warranted. Preliminary data from Experiment 2 indicated that some individuals may display higher accuracy with voice over prompting in subjective (POV) video modeling instruction. Two participants displayed no benefit from the procedure. Potential variables for further investigation are suggested.
97. Improving Medication Administration: Applied Behavior Analysis Training for Medical Professionals
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MEGHAN BRENNAN (Bancroft), Rebeca Torres (Bancroft), Lauren F. Troy (Bancroft)
Abstract: Medication compliance in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other intellectual disabilities is a widespread problem. Failure to take medications as prescribed can lead to health complications and unclear treatment effects. In addition, challenging behaviors that interfere with medication compliance may restrict individuals from less restrictive settings and disrupt access to educational time. Previous research has utilized behavioral techniques such as high probability request sequencing (Riviere et al. 2011), stimulus fading, and positive reinforcement (Schiff et al. 2011) to increase compliance with medication consumption with this population. While behavioral techniques have been shown to be effective, people who assist individuals with medication administration often have little to no training in applied behavior analysis. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of providing basic applied behavior analysis training to nurses at a campus-based residential treatment facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavior disorders. An A-B design was used to evaluate the effects of the general training on nurses’ adherence to a behaviorally-based medication administration task analysis. Didactic training is not typically effective in changing behavior (Sarkoff & Sturmey, 2004), so additional hands-on training and feedback was provided and evaluated using a multiple baseline across participants design. Concomitant changes in medication compliance, measured by duration of medication administration, was also measured and will be discussed.
98. Token Reinforcement and Treatment Durability in the Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA GARCIA (The Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mariana I. Castillo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Daniel Clark (Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Maryland Baltimore County)
Abstract: Interventions for treating problem behavior (PB) in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities typically involve promoting alternative behaviors that produce the reinforcers hypothesized to maintain PB. Our prior research demonstrated that if PB continues to be reinforced, reinforcing alternative behavior with arbitrary, edible reinforcers not implicated in the maintenance of PB often results in more “durable” treatment effects (i.e. less re-emergence of PB) during schedule thinning. The current study evaluated whether interventions that reinforce appropriate behavior with tokens later exchangeable for arbitrary reinforcers would be as durable. Three interventions were evaluated with two individuals who engaged in problem behavior to escape demands: (a) tokens earned contingent upon meeting the schedule requirement that were then exchanged for an activity (both participants) or food (1 participant) after session, (b) food delivered immediately upon meeting the schedule requirement (both), and (c) access to a 30 s break contingent upon meeting the schedule requirement (1 participant). PB always resulted in a 30 s break on an FR 1 schedule. Results indicated that interventions incorporating tokens were as durable as those that incorporated immediate access to food (both) and were more effective than those that included the functional reinforcer (1 participant).
99. On the relation between Adaptive Functioning and Behavior Disorders
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PHILLIP ORCHOWITZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Adaptive functioning varies for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Due to deficits in functioning, these individuals may be more likely to engage in problem behavior to have their needs met. Some prerequisite adaptive skills such as communication or social skills may make particular treatments more effective than others. The Vineland-II assesses adaptive behavior in domains of communication, daily living skills, socialization, and motor skills. Thus, the outcome of the Vineland II may predict the maintaining variables of problem behavior and enhance treatment selection. The purpose of this study was to: 1) evaluate the correlation between the Vineland-II Parent/Caregiver Survey results and functional analysis outcomes for 64 individuals who were hospitalized for the treatment of severe problem behavior, and 2) assess the intensity of treatment (based on treatment components) as related to Vineland-II scores. Many Vineland-II scores were in a similar range for this population, however, results suggest that individuals with behavior maintained by escape from demands generally had the lowest Vineland scores across domains. Additionally, Vineland-II scores were not predictive of the effectiveness of components selected for treatment of problem behavior; potential reasons for this finding due to the homogeneity of the sample will be discussed.
100. Checking the Retention of Skills Taught in a One to One Setting
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Michelle Harrington (Judge Rotenberg Center), JILL HUNT (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: Over the past seven years, our developmentally delayed clients have received extensive one to one instruction in the Activities of Daily Living. These skills include Washing Hands, Brushing Teeth, Buttoning, Unbuttoning, Zipping, Unzipping and Toileting. These skills were taught in a variety of settings (classroom, one to one room, residence), by several different staff. Multiple rewards were used. Teaching methodologies included forward and backwards chains. Data was collected daily on number of prompts needed, type of prompt needed and time needed to complete the skill. As a skill was mastered, the client did not receive daily one to one instruction in them. It was expected that these skills would be performed daily, as part of the clients daily life. We will be revisiting these skills to see what skills were retained over the past seven years. We will be looking at prompting required to complete the skill and time needed to complete the skill.



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