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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #39
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of Behavior Analytic Training Methods
Saturday, May 25, 2019
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Rouge
Area: TBA/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Alyssa Miller (Melmark)
Discussant: Stephanie Gerow (Baylor University)
CE Instructor: Stephanie Gerow, M.S.

Applied behavior analysis is concerned with improving or solving socially relevant problems (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968; Fisher, Groff, & Roane, 2011). A socially relevant problem for service organizations and training institutions is ensuring employees and trainees acquire minimum competency to meet job expectations and to be eligible for employment. The purpose of this symposium is to provide examples of behavior analytic training applications in applied and university settings. The first paper provides an example of how behavior analytic training strategies were incorporated into a state mandated medication administration training. The number of organizational medication errors, number of opportunities to pass a written exam, and number of opportunities to pass a competency exam were examined to determine training outcomes. The second paper provides an example of an organizational training to improve outcomes of a functional behavior assessment. The third paper provides an example of university supported training for special educators to conduct trial-based functional analyses and develop function-based supports. The fourth paper provides an example of training for university students learning to conduct functional analyses.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Organizational Decision-Making, Teaching, Training
Target Audience:

Practitioners, educators, and administrators who design and implement employee and university training programs specific to behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this event participants will describe behavior analytic training strategies, describe the application of behavior analytic training strategies to meet multiple training needs, and describe how the discussed training strategies might support training they are involved with.

Effects of Behavior Analytic Training Strategies on a State Mandated Medication Administration Training

(Applied Research)
MEAGHAN CHIRINOS (Melmark, PA), Jennifer Ruane (Melmark, PA), Alyssa Miller (Melmark), Shawn P. Quigley (Melmark, PA), Julianne Brechbeil (Melmark, PA), Nikolaos Tsolakidis (Melmark, PA), Hillary Viola (Melmark, PA)

Melmark is a multi-state human service provider with premier private special education schools, professional development, training, and research centers. Training at Melmark is designed to increase the professional skills of employees, which in turn increases life outcomes for the individuals we support. Melmark trains based upon the principles of competency based instruction, performance-based instruction (Brethower & Smalley, 1998) and behavioral skills training (BST; Reid, Rollyson & Parsons, 2012). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of added material (i.e., 8-hours of video-based instruction), increased opportunities to respond during the training (i.e., fluency-timings, guided notes), and behavior skills training. Additionally, employees observing competency of the medication administration process were retrained using principles of fluency-based methods, active student responding, and behavior skills training. The outcomes of the trainings are discussed in light of medication errors, testing, as well as initial and maintenance observations. Impact on the organization will also be discussed.

Antecedent and Consequence Information and Accurate Identification of Function by Direct Service Staff
(Service Delivery)
SUSAN A. RAPOZA-HOULE (Beacon ABA Services), Paulo Guilhardi (Beacon ABA Services, Inc.), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: The goal of the present study is to identify whether irrelevant stimuli affect the accurate identification of function by observers with limited experience in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Eighteen participants were presented with video segments representing antecedent, behavior, and one of two consequences (either hand-over-hand prompting or removal of materials). While the actions shown in the videos did not vary, additional information irrelevant to the determination of function varied based on subtitles added to each segment. Participants were asked to hypothesize function at the conclusion of each of the 16 videos presented (4 in each condition). Participants’ hypotheses were used to determine whether and how surrounding information affects perception of function for staff with less than one year of experience in ABA. Results indicate when antecedent and consequence combinations depicted in the video segments are consistent, accuracy in identifying function is high. When the combinations are inconsistent, accuracy rates decrease, suggesting that the decrement may be based upon irrelevant surrounding information rather than relevant consequent stimulus changes.
Supporting Preschool Teachers to Conduct Trial-Based Functional Analysis and Function-Based Interventions
(Applied Research)
Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), MARIE DAVID (Purdue University), Emily Gregori (Purdue University)
Abstract: Young children with disabilities often require intensive, individualized support for challenging behaviors. Yet early childhood teachers are often undertrained or under supported in addressing challenging behaviors. As a result, classroom teachers may not be familiar with evidence-based practices for assessing and treating challenging behavior. In this two part study we evaluated a professional development curriculum based on behavioral skills training and practice-based coaching on early childhood special education teachers’ implementation of trial-based functional analysis and function-based intervention. We utilized a multiple-baseline design across teacher-student dyads to assess the effects of the model on teacher assessment and intervention fidelity and on child challenging behavior. Results showed improvement in teachers’ fidelity and concurrent decreases in child challenging behavior. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Training Students to Conduct Trial-Based Latency Functional Analyses Using Behavior Skills Training and TAGTeach

(Applied Research)
Maggie Pavone (Lindenwood University), KELLY HANTAK (Lindenwood University)

This study explored methods for training behavior analysis students to conduct functional analyses. Students (n=5) in a behavior analysis graduate program were first taught to conduct one condition of a trial-based latency functional analysis using three 30-minute sessions including instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Performance following training was significantly better than baseline measures, however the criterion for competency was not met for all participants. Students (n=3) that did not demonstrate competency with the behavioral skills training alone were then provided 3 additional 10 minute training sessions using TAGTeach methodology. This additional training was sufficient for all students to attain competency. The same treatment integrity checklist used during training was then used to check for generalization in the students’ applied settings. All students (n=5) performed at mastery criterion under applied settings. Results indicate that behavioral skills training combined with TAGTeach training may be an effective way of training graduate students to conduct complex behavior analytic analyses.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh