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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #59
Saturday, May 27, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
Chair: Angela Sanguinetti (University of California, Davis)
63. An Analysis of a Collaborative Community Truancy Prevention and Diversion Program
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
KELSEY DACHMAN (University of Kansas ), Austin O'Neal (University of Kansas), Kate Holman (Douglas County Youth Services ), Pam Weigand (Douglas County Youth Services ), James A. Sherman (University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: Truancy has been linked to school failure, school dropout, substance use, delinquency, and later problems (e.g., occupational problems, adult criminality, incarceration). Past research suggests the importance of a collaborative effort in combating truancy. Effective intervention components include attendance monitoring, mentoring relationships, and meaningful consequences. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a multimodal truancy prevention and diversion program in reducing truancy displayed by students. The community program is a collaborative effort with a midwestern university, youth services personnel, the District Attorney’s (DA) office, and the school district and has been in operation for over 35 years. The program utilizes undergraduate students as mentors for truant students. Their responsibilities include developing positive relationships, monitoring attendance, and providing incentives through a behavioral contract. The program includes a review team lead by an assistant DA. The primary investigator analyzed group data (i.e., unexcused absences) collected over the past 17 years and a representative sample of individual participants’ pre-and post-intervention data collected over the past 8 years using single-subject methodology. Additionally, descriptive and correlational statistical analyses on several variables will be conducted. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of the truancy diversion program in reducing truancy across participants and across years.
64. The Application of ABA Principles to A Juvenile Drug Court System Using A Four Prong Approach
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
ALEXIS BRIANA PENDARVIS (University of Central Oklahoma), Erika Stevens Olinger (University of Central Oklahoma), Mary Ann Hubbard (University of Central Oklahoma)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: The study describes the application of applied behavior analysis to a juvenile drug court system. The authors developed a four-prong approach to incentivize desired pro-social behaviors, sanction negative behaviors, deliver group incentives, and facilitate mentorship to juvenile participants. Development of the prongs was based upon the completion of a strengths and needs assessment that evaluated the current resources, available resources, and deficits in the existing system. Additionally, a preference and punisher assessment was administered to current juvenile participants to develop leveled incentives and sanctions. Following assessment, the team developed both individualized and group goal setting and performance feedback. Individualized goal setting was delivered through an objective point based system with individualized goals to incentivize desired behaviors including negative urine analysis (UA) screenings and replacement behaviors in the form of pro-social activities. Sanctions were based upon the failure to achieve goal attainment and/or positive UA screenings. Group incentives were delivered through indiscriminate group contingencies based upon the collective performance of the group on the aforementioned goal behaviors. Additionally, the team was provided a framework to utilize data based decision making, visual analysis of progress, goal setting, and performance feedback when communicating behavior change to the participants during drug court proceedings.

Behavior Analysis and Tactical Urbanism in a not-so Urban Area: Analysis of a Pop-Up Complete Street

Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
JACK BITTERMAN (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Yash Bhambhani (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)

Tactical Urbanism involves low-cost, often temporary, modifications to the built environment that attempt to improve common spaces. These strategies have received growing media attention in recent years; however, data are rarely systematically collected to help examine the effects of the modifications. A group of cyclists, pedestrians and people interested in sustainability in small college town sought to improve the walkability and bikeability of a quarter mile segment of a primary road between the town center and the university. After seeking approval of the town council and the university administration, the group undertook data collection, fund raising, and construction of a temporary lane reduction project. The project turned a 4-lane road into two travel lanes, a turn lane, and 2 bike lanes. Additionally, a mid-block crosswalk was constructed in a location that students often crossed without protection. The project was evaluated with an ABA design examining vehicle speed and percent of users engaging in active transportation. While the temporary construction was in place, there was a decrease in the 85th percentile speeds and an increase in the percent of active transportation users. Following the demonstration project, the town installed two raised crosswalks to increase the safety of pedestrians.

66. Developmentand Evaluation of Litter Reduction Data Collection System
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTEN BLACK (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Emmie Hebert (University of Mississippi), Jasmine Myers (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: Reducing litter improves the aesthetics of our campus and can produce labor costs savings. This project involved the development and testing of data collection procedures that may allow universities and municipalities to identify environmental factors that contribute to littering. By identifying such factors, administrators may be able to make simple, inexpensive changes to reduce littering. The project involved development of a data collection system, evaluation of that system, and interviews with potential users of the system. Data was collected on the permanent products (i.e., litter) of human behavior. The investigators interviewed community and university staff at two points during the development (first and last weeks). The investigators analyzed interobserver agreement for the data collection procedures and used descriptive analyses for the content of the interviews. The researchers modified the data collection procedures based on the results. These modified procedures were used to collect litter data that were presented to university officials to use while planning for changes to campus grounds.
67. Using Prompts to Change Driver Behavior in a University Parking Lot
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Heather Becker (Missouri State University), Jenna J. Rakestraw (Missouri State University), ashlee Ellingsworth (Missouri State University), Britnea Monaco (Missouri State University), MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: The use of prompts has a long history in applied behavior analysis. Prompts have been used to encourage energy conservation, safer driving, and pro-environmental behavior, among many other things. Using Geller's philosophy of Actively Caring as a guide, we wanted to help students avoid parking fines by encouraging them to park in the areas of the lot designated for students and not in the area designated for faculty/staff. The parking lot had very unclear and confusing signage that made mistakes very common. The problem was deemed important enough that the university began to assign a half-dozen staff to the lot each semester to turn students away from the wrong areas. In an effort to reduce these extra costs and help students avoid fines, we used textual prompts to let students know they had made a mistake and how to avoid a fine. A multiple baseline across days design was used to assess the problem and apply treatment to illustrate clear experimental control. The findings are discussed by comparing a relatively punitive approach (fines) and the more caring approach of educating drivers and gently warning them to change their behavior to avoid possible fines in the future.

Evaluating Increased Effort for Item Disposal to Improve Recycling at a University

Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Lisa Rettig (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Danielle Dupuis (University of Houston--Clear Lake), WAI-LING WU (University of Houston-Clear Lake; Trumpet Behavioral Health), Ashley Neal (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Renée Lastrapes (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)

An evaluation of increased response effort to dispose of items was conducted to improve recycling at a university. Signs prompting individuals to recycle and notifying them of the location of trash and recycling receptacles were posted in each phase. During the intervention, trashcans were removed from the classrooms, and one large trashcan was available in the hallway next to the recycling receptacles. Results showed that correct recycling increased, and trash left in classrooms increased initially during the second intervention phase before returning to baseline levels.


Social Consequences of Verbal Safety Rules for Children: Looking Beyond the Immediate Situation

Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
BERNARD GUERIN (University of South Australia), Marcela de Oliveira Ortolan (Universidade Estadual de Londrina), Linda Nikora (University of Waikato)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)

Safety is important for protecting children from harm of many sorts. Parents frequently give verbal safety rules for children' behaviour rather than intervene directly with consequences. In this research we collected many empirical examples of such safety rules and categorized these into functional groups, presented in Tables. The paper explores different social consequences of these rules beyond just treating the children as the targets. Some rules for children, for example, are functional for other parents, law makers, or other family members, rather than the children to whom they are told. In theirs ways they can function as part of a parental narrative or story used in various functional social situations. The broader functional roles of rules in terms of societal structures are also discussed, and how giving rules to children via computer based media would engage different social consequences which could be useful for the children to recognize safety contexts and respond more appropriately.

70. The BFSR Matrix Project: Activating Behavior Analysis Education and Students for Social Action
Area: CSS; Domain: Theory
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-University of Illinois at Chicago; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Molli Luke (Behavior Analyst Certification Board; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Holly Seniuk (University of Nevada, Reno; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Angela Sanguinetti (University of California, Davis; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility), Jomella Watson-Thompson (University of Kansas; Behaviorists for Social Responsibiity), Kathryn M. Roose (University of Nevada, Reno), Molly Benson (Massachusetts Association for Behavior Analysis; Behaviorists for Social Responsibility)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)
Abstract: Behavioral systems science has potential for significant social impact, even at times when political realities are challenging. For the past two years, Behaviorists for Social Responsibility has begun a comprehensive analysis of possible approaches to prepare and move behavior analysts and our science for contributing to social justice, human rights, and sustainability efforts in collaboration with other disciplines. Two key sectors (of 26 we are studying) for catalyzing progressive social action are behavior analysis education programs, and student groups. These sectors are deeply embedded in a broader matrix of societal arrangements, including governmental, non-governmental, and commercial sectors. Networks of interlocking contingencies, macrocontingencies, metacontingencies, and interlocking metacontingencies structure, shape, and sustain the functioning of behavior analysis education and of the individual and collective actions of behavior analysis students. Identifying the most relevant variables and tracing their processes and interlocks is complex. In this poster session, the authors will present the analytic approach we have developed (including an animated sample behavioral systems analysis), contingencies identified to encourage actions within education and student sectors, and resources that are being collected and disseminated in these efforts. In addition to the listed authors, other core contributors to this project include Richard Rakos and Tara Grant.

Evaluating the Effects of High-Probability/Low-Probability Sequences on a Measure of Interrogative Suggestibility

Area: CSS; Domain: Basic Research
GRECIA MENDOZA (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Associates for Behaviour Change)

Interrogative suggestibility is characterized by factors present during interrogations that make people more likely to accept inaccurate information and change their responses accordingly. Research on interrogative suggestibility has been vital in changing the way interrogations are conducted in court trials and police interrogations, yet many different factors involved in interrogative suggestibility, that are present during interrogations, have not been investigated. Recent research has emphasized the importance of verbal feedback and the interviewers behavior, yet no research has analyzed the possible effects if any, of building such momentum during interrogations by manipulating the order of questions (suggestible vs. non-suggestible). High-probability and low-probability sequences are one way to increase the likelihood of previously low-probability responses. This procedure is commonly used to increase appropriate behaviors and reduce problem behavior during instructional tasks, by presenting tasks that are more likely to be completed first, then presenting tasks that are less likely to be completed. The purpose of the current study was to examine the application of high-probability/low-probability sequences on a measure of interrogative suggestibility, and the effects, if any, on suggestibility scores. Understanding the effects of high-probability and low-probability sequences during interrogations may highlight the need for procedures to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of suggestibility, and potentially increase the accuracy of responses.




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