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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #104
CE Offered: BACB
Examining Components of Parent and Staff Training: Assessment, Instruction, and Preferences
Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall A
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Odessa Luna (Auburn University)
Discussant: Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Odessa Luna, M.S.

To ensure child skill acquisition and problem behavior reduction, behavior analysts may conduct trainings with change agents (e.g., parents and special education staff). Utilizing behavioral techniques in school and home allows change agents to become active participants in their child's intervention. One empirically supported instructional strategy is the use of behavioral skills training (BST). BST is a multi-component teaching package that consists of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Past research demonstrates how BST can be employed to teach change agents to accurately implement behavioral interventions like discrete-trial instruction (e.g., Sarokoff & Sturmey 2004) or differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (e.g., DiGennaro, Martens, & Kleinmann, 2007). Though BST can increase the accuracy in which an individual conducts a behavior-analytic procedure, other factors could influence stakeholder implementation and endorsement of evidence-based practices. Given that BST is resource intensive, procedural modifications (using real-time feedback) or alternatives (self-instructional packages) should also be investigated to identify efficient and effective training modalities that could minimize practitioner time. Presentations in this symposium will describe strategies in assessing preferences and identifying barriers when conducting parent training. In addition, methodological BST refinements will also be presented. Dr. Nathan Call will discuss these studies at the conclusion of the presentations.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): caregiver training, parent training, staff training
Target Audience:

The target audience for this symposium are board certified behavior analysts and graduate students in applied behavior analysis who conduct training in home and school settings.


Assessment and Improvement of Parent Training

JAMIE VILLACORTA (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Ansley Catherine Hodges (Florida Institute of Technology), Nga Luong (Florida Institute of Technology), James Bevacqua (Nemours Children's Hospital), Hallie Marie Ertel (Florida Institute of Technology)

Despite training, some parents continue to implement behavioral interventions with poor integrity. In the current study, we assessed the barriers to proper parental implementation of a skill acquisition procedure to teach verbal operants to three children with autism. Prior to baseline, parents were taught to implement the skill acquisition procedure. During baseline, we assessed parental implementation of the procedure. Next, we adapted the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) to assess the reasons parents implemented the procedure poorly during the baseline phase. Based on PDC results, we designed a training to increase the percentage of steps on which parents correctly implemented the skill acquisition procedure with their children. Results are discussed in terms of the utility of the assessment to identify barriers to proper parental implementation of behavioral interventions.


An Evaluation of Parent Preference for Visual Inspection

MIRANDA MAY OLSEN (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Mary Halbur (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), William Davies (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Mike Harman (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)

In behavior analysis, visual inspection is the primary method of evaluation of the effects of treatment outcomes (Kahng, Chung, Gutshall, Pitts, Koad, & Girolami, 2010). Previous research shows that graphical analysis has multiple benefits including allowing immediate treatment decisions to be made and communicating with interested parties (e.g., parents; Vanselow & Bourret, 2010). Although previous research evaluated teacher's preference for different graphical forms, limited research has been conducted to evaluate parent preference for graphical displays. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate parents' preferences for and understanding (i.e., clarity) of single-subject design graphs. 276 parents completed a survey that asked questions regarding their preference for several graphical forms. Results showed that bar graphs and pie charts were most preferred for evaluating problem behavior. For skill acquisition data, parents preferred condensed data displays rather than data displayed in a multiple baseline across stimulus sets. The role of using different graphical displays with parents, clinical implications, and future research suggestions are discussed.


Evaluation of Real-Time Feedback to Train Caregivers to Conduct Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions

AMANDA L. GIBSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center), William J. Higgins (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Elizabeth J. Preas (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Mounting empirical support for early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) has increased demand for these types of treatments for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many caregivers are now learning EIBI techniques and becoming active agents in their child's ASD treatment. Behavioral skills training (BST) has been frequently used to teach individuals to perform a variety of skills correctly, including discrete-trial instruction (DTI) (Lafasakis & Sturmey, 2007). In this study, caregivers were trained to conduct a DTI procedure. A single-component BST method (i.e., real-time feedback) was examined. A concurrent, multiple baseline across caregivers design was used to demonstrate experimental control. Results showed that a single-component BST was associated with short training time and few sessions to mastery. In addition, caregivers expressed high satisfaction with the real-time feedback training method.

Using a Self-Instructional Package to Train Special Education Staff Members to Implement Reinforcement Strategies
ODESSA LUNA (Auburn University), Nadratu Nuhu (Auburn University), Jessica Palmier (Auburn University), Elizabeth Brestan-Knight (Auburn University ), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract: We trained five special education staff members to conduct differential reinforcement of other and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior using PowerPoint presentations that incorporated embedded text, video modeling, and voiceover instruction. After training, we evaluated each staff member’s implementation of the reinforcement strategies with a confederate who engaged in simulated problem behavior. After multiple video exposures in a group training format, one participant mastered both procedures, three participants mastered one procedure, and one participant did not master either strategy. We discuss the clinical implications of the findings and utility of this training strategy in a school-consulting role.



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