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 #461
CE Offered: BACB
On the Longevity of Behavioral Intervention
Monday, May 28, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom B
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Louis Paul Alexander Busch (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
Discussant: Gina Green (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Gina Green, Ph.D.

Behavior analytic treatments have demonstrated effectiveness across populations, age groups, settings, and the many social issues they target. One potential weakness of applied research, however, is the frequent absence of long-term follow-up data and technical descriptions of the procedures used to program for generalization and maintenance. Generality may be the most neglected of our applied framework, even though it is a critical component of social validity. The presenters will explore this challenge through an examination of the literature and through studies with unique generalization approaches and a focus on maintenance of treatment outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): generalization, maintenance, social validity
Target Audience:

Behaviour analytic researchers, educators, and practitionners

Programming the Maintenance of Parent-Behavior Interventions
(Applied Research)
ERIC V. LARSSON (Lovaas Institute Midwest), Louis Paul Alexander Busch (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Sara Snow (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: This paper is a study of the generality of parent-behavior interventions utilizing explicit use of criteria for assessing competence. Five forms of suitable criteria: mastery, stability, consumer validation, social validation and generalization are identified. It is suggested that, when generalization of behavior occurs at the criterion levels, then maintenance can be anticipated. The maintenance of the behavior would be a key measure of generality. The paper includes a demonstration of the training of a discrete parenting response, parent in-home tutoring. The study was designed to demonstrate the use of competency criteria by evaluating the generalization and subsequent maintenance of effective parent-tutoring behavior. Unobtrusive measurement procedures and a variety of generalization programming techniques were employed. Three families were involved in the study; all were Native American, had a poverty-level income and were residents of a rural community. The first intervention phase, Tutoring-tests-visits, was implemented in multiple baseline fashion across subject matter for each family. In this phase, each of the three families was trained to criterion levels of generalized, effective parent-tutoring behavior through the use of home visits by a trainer. The Tutoring-tests phase began with the discontinuation of home visits. In this phase, all trainer involvement was through the students' contact with the school and by phone. This phase also continued until the family met competency criteria. The final phase, Tutoring, began with the discontinuation of the specialized weekly testing. The parent tutoring was judged socially valid in that it maintained an improved level of student basic-skill performance. The stable, socially valid, generalized parent tutoring was followed by stable maintenance of parent tutoring. A parent behavior of particular importance, use of reinforcement, was shown to generalize and then maintain. A technology of maintenance designs was suggested for future research. A conclusion of the paper was that interventions that are refined so as to promote the generalization of effects are likely to result in the maintenance of their effects.

Trends in Maintenance and the Functional Stability of Functional Analysis Based Treatments

(Applied Research)
SARA SNOW (St. Cloud State University), Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)

Functional analysis (FA) has become one of the most relied upon assessments within our field and is typically used to make treatment decisions. However, relatively little is known about the stability of function over time or how changes in behavioral function impact treatment success or maintenance. This study examines the long-term effects of FA-informed treatments, specifically the duration of treatment, reported follow-up data, and data regarding the stability of the function during and following treatment. Studies included in this review are those that used the results of an FA to identify and implement an appropriate treatment. This study contributes to the literature in two important ways: first, it details the current trends in long-term follow up and the collection of longitudinal data on treatment outcomes, and second, it provides directions for future research on the stability of function over time and the implications of functional stability on treatment maintenance.

Life-Threatening Pica at 5-Years Post Intervention
(Applied Research)
LOUIS PAUL ALEXANDER BUSCH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Valdeep Saini (Upstate Medical University), Carobeth Zorzos (Dalton Associates), Olanrewaju Duyile (Florida Institute of Technology )
Abstract: Pica is a dangerous behaviour that frequently results in exposure to restrictive behaviour management practices. We implemented a multi-component treatment analysis including noncontingent access to edible items, response effort manipulations, response blocking, and differential reinforcement with a 19-year-old man diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and severe intellectual disability who engaged in life-threatening pica. Following intervention, fading and generalization procedures were implemented with follow-up in the community setting. Pica was reduced to zero occurrences during treatment and generalizations sessions, and remained at near zero levels during follow-up over a 5-year period. Social validity measures indicated that the intervention was highly appropriate and received well by caregivers. These results suggest that life-threatening behaviours such as pica can be effectively reduced with nonrestrictive interventions, and treatment results can be maintained in the absence of restrictive behaviour management practices in typical settings.

Promoting Generalization and Maintenance of Mediator Skills

(Applied Research)
MAURICE FELDMAN (Brock University)

Mediator training has a long history in ABA. While the need and strategies for programming generalization and maintenance were acknowledged by Stokes and Baer over 40 years ago, programming for generalization and maintenance of mediator skills still is not commonplace. The presenter will describe several of his studies that programmed generalization and long-term maintenance of direct-care staff and parent ABA behavior change skills. He will highlight the applicability of general case training for mediator skill generalization and the systematic thinning of home visits and reinforcement for maintenance of parenting skills.




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