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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #54
CE Offered: BACB
Approaches to Training Behavior Analytic Assessments and Interventions Across Professionals
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ciobha Anne McKeown (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Ciobha Anne McKeown, Ph.D.

This symposium features three studies on training undergraduate students and service providers to implement behavior analytic assessments and interventions. First, Karie John will present on the use of video modeling to teach undergraduate students to conduct trial-based functional analyses, and the results suggest the use of video models produced high treatment fidelity and social validity ratings. Second, James Maraventano will present on a pyramidal training model to teach job skills to staff supporting adults with autism in a community setting, and the results suggest improved performance observed during behavioral skills training generalized to in situ probes with clients. Finally, Kerri Peters will present on teaching behavior analysts and occupational therapists to conduct a structured mealtime assessment using behavioral skills training, and the results suggest improved protocol integrity posttraining across all participants. All three studies improve our understanding of efficient and efficacious training procedures that maximize impact.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): feeding, functional analysis, pyramidal training, training
Target Audience:

Basic understanding of behavior analytic principles and components of behavioral skills training

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: 1) Describe the utility of video models during functional analysis training 2) Understand the structure and benefits of a pyramidal training approach 3) Explain the components of a structured mealtime assessment
Training Undergraduate Students to Conduct Trial-Based Functional Analysis Through Video Modeling
KARIE JOHN (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Breana Pauline (University of South Florida), Anna Garcia (University of South Florida), Marlesha Bell (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: The trial-based functional analysis (trial-based FA) was adapted from traditional functional analysis (FA) to make FA methodology more feasible to conduct in less controlled environments. Additionally, teachers and paraprofessionals have been trained to conduct trial-based FAs with high fidelity (Kunnavatana et al., 2013). Video modeling may be used to train behavior analysts to conduct trial-based FAs remotely, which could lead to greater dissemination of this approach to behavioral assessment of problem behavior. Thus, the purpose of this study is to use video modeling to train nine individuals to conduct the trial-based FA with high treatment fidelity. Results showed that video modeling increased procedural fidelity. No participants needed video feedback in order to reach 100% procedural fidelity. Social validity results showed that participants enjoyed the use of video models and felt more confident in their skills after the intervention.

Pyramidal Behavioral Skills Training for Staff Providing ABA Services to Adults With Autism

JAMES MARAVENTANO (Rutgers University), Whitney Pubylski-Yanofchick (Rutgers University), Ian Philip Bober (Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)

The training of human services staff in behavior change methods is often a labor-intensive function of the supervising behavior analyst. The pyramidal application of behavioral skills training (BST) has been demonstrated an effective means for promoting the acquisition of skills related to behavior analytic treatment, while increasing the efficiency of the individual behavior analyst’s training efforts. As BST has potential for broad application, we extended a pyramidal BST approach toward job skills training for service recipients enrolled in a program providing support for adults with autism in the community setting. During pre-training assessments, 10 staff members were instructed to role-play BST using given task analyses. Following BST-based instruction in the application of BST (a pyramidal paradigm), participants demonstrated improved performance of BST component skills in the role-play setting, relative to baseline levels. High performance levels were also observed during subsequent on-the-job assessments of staff conducting BST with service recipients in the generalization setting.


Teaching Professionals to Conduct a Structured Mealtime Assessment

Vivian F Ibanez (Children's Specialized Hospital, Rutgers University ), KERRI P. PETERS (University of Florida), Janelle Kirstie Bacotti (University of Florida), Lindsay Lloveras (University of Florida ), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display feeding problems such as consumption of a limited variety of foods (Schreck, Williams, & Smith, 2004). It is also common for these children to be enrolled in early and intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services for comprehensive treatment (Roane, Fisher, & Carr, 2016). Combined, these factors make it possible that behavior analysts will have a role in a child’s clinical care related to feeding. In addition, children with ASD are often attending regular appointments for occupational therapy (OT) and on occasion those providers are targeting feeding problems. However, given that the etiology of pediatric feeding disorders is complex and multifactorial (Peterson & Ibanez, 2018), OT providers and BCBAs should ensure they have sufficient training and a setting that is appropriate for assessment and treatment. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of a training package, including instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback, for training BCBAs in an EIBI setting and OT providers to conduct a structured mealtime assessment. Training resulted in increases in their integrity of protocol implementation, and we observed replication of these effects for all participants




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