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 #316
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of Behavioral Technologies Across Different Populations and Targets
Sunday, May 27, 2018
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom C
Area: PRA/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Gretchen A. Dittrich, Ph.D.

The utility of behavior analysis is vast. Behavior analytic technologies may be used to improve a myriad of behavioral excess and deficits, and have been demonstrated to be effective across a wide variety of populations, including individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. While much of the research within the field of behavior analysis targets interventions for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder, it is important to also recognize the efficacy of behavior analytic interventions with other populations, including individuals with comorbidities and individuals without intellectual disability. The purpose of the current symposium is to provide a sampling of research conducted across different populations to address various skill deficits. All research presented in the current symposium was conducted in applied settings, to address the unique needs of individuals in these settings. Research reviewed will include utilizing behavior analytic methodology to increase exercise behavior in middle-aged women who are overweight, the application of equivalence-based instruction to teach a child with hearing impairment and cochlear implants to communicate, and improving accuracy of preschool-aged children during delayed multi-step listener tasks via teaching a rehearsal response.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavioral health, behavioral medicine, hearing impairment, verbal behavior
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, BCaBAs, licensed behavior analysts, other related professionals (masters and doctoral level)

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify methods to increase physical activity in middle-aged women 2. Identify how equivalence-based instruction may be utilized to increase communication skills in a child with hearing impairment 3. Identify how teaching a rehearsal response may improve accuracy of responding in preschool-aged children on a multi-step listener task following an imposed delay
Effects of Technology and Behavioral Coaching on Daily Activity
(Applied Research)
JESSICA R. MIAS (Simmons College), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College)
Abstract: Optimal health outcomes are positively correlated with regular exercise, yet nearly one quarter of the adults in the United States reportedly do not participate in physical activity during their free time. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of self-monitoring, feedback, and goal setting, while wearing a Fitbit One device with or without behavioral coaching. Participants included eight overweight but otherwise healthy, adult women. During the condition in which the participants only wore the Fitbit, the Fitbit program generated generic goals and feedback. During behavioral coaching, feedback and goals were individualized for each participant, and step count goals were determined using percentile schedules. For two participants, mean daily step counts were higher during the behavioral coaching condition; for all other participants, mean daily step counts were higher in the condition with just the Fitbit. Caloric expenditure and distance traveled increased for all participants during the intervention conditions.

The Inclusion of Listener and Speaker Behaviors in Equivalence Classes in a Child Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hearing Loss

(Applied Research)
SIMONE VILAS BOAS PALMER (Simmons College; Crossroads School)

The acquisition of language allowed individuals to access further complex skills, different environments, and become more independent. The stimulus equivalence research has demonstrated effective results in teaching skills, especially language. The present study evaluated the establishment of listener behavior in one child with autism and hearing loss, and tested the relationship between the speaker and listener behavior as becoming part of an equivalence class. Three communication modes (i.e., symbolic pictures, American Sign Language, ASL, and the participant's voice output device) were evaluated in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of those modalities in skill acquisition. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of using visual stimulation in establishing listener behavior, as well as the class formation between listener and speaker behaviors. However, ASL was not an effective mode of communication and transfer of stimulus control did not occur in this study. Limitations, confounding variables, and contributions were discussed in the discussion section.


The Effects of Teaching a Rehearsal Response on Delayed Multi-Step Selection-Based Responding

(Applied Research)
KELLY HURLEY (Simmons College), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)

Children with autism often exhibit deficits in verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Researchers within the field of autism and other developmental disabilities often study language, and how language is acquired. Understanding how one acquires language can lead to more effective interventions when teaching this population of individuals. The current study looked at the effects of teaching a rehearsal response on participants' ability to emit a multi-step listener response when a delay interval was imposed. Six students with autism served as participants in the study, four males (ages 4-5) and two females (age 4). Students were first taught to tact or select novel pictures. Following mastery of the tact or listener response, probes were conducted to see if participants could emit the corresponding listener behavior, consisting of a multi-step selection response following a delay. Participants who were unable to accurately emit the listener behavior were then taught to rehearse the directive across the imposed delay. Preliminary results for one participant suggest that accuracy for multi-step listener responses may be improved when the directive is rehearsed over the delay interval. The efficiency of this procedure when teaching individuals with limited language repertoires and suggestions for future research are discussed.




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