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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Poster Session #257
OBM Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 30, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
57. Comparing Behavioral Systems Analysis and the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services in a School
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTEN RUSSELL (Endicott College), Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: Functional assessments are commonly used in Applied Behavior Analysis to drive intervention; to ensure that interventions are function-based. In Organizational Behavior Management, the use of functional assessment to drive intervention is minimal. Most research has focused on the Performance Diagnostic Checklists. In this study, we looked at comparing Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA) to the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS) at an out of district, kindergarten through eighth grade school. Three participants (i.e., Principal/Owner, Assistant Principal, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction) were asked to rate their prior awareness of findings from both assessments, rank the order of value or importance to the mission of each finding, and their assessment preference, regardless of the time commitment. Participants were asked to select which set of findings (the BSA or PDC-HS) they would prefer as the sole source of information and had the greater impact on customer satisfaction, resources, revenue, product/services offering, workflow efficiency and employee satisfaction.
58. Factors That May Impact Burnout in Providers Delivering ABA Services
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
AMANDA KAZEE (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Emily Gottlieb (Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Summer Bottini (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: Burnout, a psychological condition resulting from prolonged job related stress, is comprised of three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased personal accomplishment (Plantiveau et al., 2017; Maslach et al., 1997). Although burnout is seen in a variety of professions, risk of burnout amongst providers working with autistic individuals is highly likely (Plantiveau et al., 2017). Because burnout symptoms in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) providers directly affect the services provided to their clients, it is crucial for organizations to consider what factors impact burnout and how to lessen them in their employees to increase the quality of life of both clients and providers. Our survey data, completed with 39 behavior technicians, takes an exploratory look at possible variables (e.g., client population, length in field, gender, frequency of supervision, etc.) that may impact burnout in behavior technicians providing services to autistic individuals. If an organization is able to determine which factors impact burnout, the negative effects of burnout including absenteeism, intent to leave, and turnover may be lessened or recognized at an earlier stage (i.e., organization can intervene before an employee is experiencing many symptoms rather than waiting until the employee puts in their two week notice).
59. Treatment Integrity Reporting in Behavior Analysis in Practice and Behavior Modification (2010-2019)
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
MAKENNA MASON (California State University, Sacramento), Silvia Dechant-Serrano (California State University, Sacramento), Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento), Galan Falakfarsa (California State University, Sacramento), Erik Swanson Godinez (California State University, Sacramento), Deborah Christine Richardson (California State University, Sacramento), Lea Jones (California State University, Sacramento), Colin Wills (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: Treatment integrity is the extent to which procedures are implemented in a manner consistent with their prescribed protocols and is necessary for properly evaluating functional relationships between dependent and independent variables. Previous research (Peterson et al., 1982 & Gresham et al., 1993) has indicated that treatment integrity data are scarcely reported in behavior analytic journals. We reviewed articles published between 2010-2019 in Behavior Analysis in Practice and Behavior Modification. A total of 194 articles were included for Behavior Analysis in Practice and 150 articles were included for Behavior Modification. Of the articles reviewed from Behavior Analysis in Practice, 88 studies (47.10%) reported treatment integrity while 176 studies (94.12%) reported interobserver agreement. In Behavior Modification similar results were found; 67 studies (39.64%) reported treatment integrity while interobserver agreement was found in 109 studies (64.50%). Our results supported findings from previous reviews that treatment integrity is infrequently reported. The exact reason why treatment integrity data are not reported more frequently is unknown and requires further investigation.

OBM and the BCBA: Engineering the Behavior of Clinical Staff Through a Performance Management System

Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMES MACON (ABA Learning Lab)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)

Government mandated access to ABA healthcare has resulted in the proliferation of ABA service providers. While these service providers readily use the principles of behavior analysis to engineer clinical outcomes, less emphasis is given when designing contingencies for their employees. This presentation discusses the use of an organization-wide performance management system engineered to increase the productivity of Behavioral Analysts at an ABA healthcare. Critical components of the Behavior Analysts’ job were identified and broken down into measurable units. The organization’s historical performance served as a baseline measure. Graphic feedback and recognition for top performers were provided on a weekly basis, resulting in a 170% increase over baseline.

61. An Evaluation of Virtual Behavior Skills Training and Form Adjustment on the Note Completion and Quality of Direct Care Staff in a Residential Setting
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ZAC EINHORN (Typical Life Corporation), Zackary Huff (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: Direct care staff are often required to document the daily services they provide. Completing this required documentation (e.g., shift notes) is not only an essential job duty set forth by organizational and statewide policies, but if written descriptively and objectively, can also be used to inform various clinical decisions. As such, we applied an intervention of virtual Behavior Skills Training (BST) and task alteration to increase shift note completion and shift note quality. Nine total direct care staff across two community-based group homes were trained to write objective shift notes describing client behavior throughout their shift. Trainings were delivered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ceiling effects and other contributing factors in the baseline condition limited the impact of the intervention on shift note completion. Results displayed an increase in shift note quality following the intervention condition for both sets of participants (e.g., House1 & House 2). These findings suggest initial utility in an intervention package containing virtual training and task alteration.

Sex, Firearms, Professional Skills: A Review of Behavioral Skills Training in Non-Service Delivery Settings

Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
SARAH LEATHE (Western New England University), Amy J. Henley (Western New England University)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)

Behavioral skills training (BST) is an effective method for training a number of socially significant behaviors within the field of behavior analysis. BST is often used to train staff working with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but has been used to train a wide variety of behaviors (skills related to sexual health, parenting, sports and musical performances, problem solving, and career advancement). We conducted a systematic review of BST literature outside of service delivery settings using the methods suggested by Moher et al. (2010) for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We collected data on the characteristics of the participants as well as the types of skills targeted for training, the training components used, and the methods by which the training components were implemented, including relevant technology. We made quantitative and qualitative summaries of the articles reviewed, and provided commentary on the role and efficacy of BST when training skills with increased complexity.

63. Behavioral Contrast in a Simulated Workplace Task
Area: OBM; Domain: Basic Research
BRANDON RING (Iona College), Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: Despite Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) being a discipline that is based on experimental analysis of behavior research, OBM studies rarely investigate the application of basic behavioral phenomenon to the workplace. Furthermore, when OBM researchers have applied basic research results, the procedures used have been considerably different than basic paradigms or have mislabeled and misused behavioral terminology. The purpose of the study was to bridge the gap between OBM research and OBM’s basic foundation, by attempting to demonstrate behavioral contrast with verbal adults using a simulated workplace task. The current study consisted of two experiments which adhered to basic research paradigms, used correctly label behavioral terms, and attempted to account for participant verbal behavior. Results were mixed, in that one participant demonstrated the behavioral contrast phenomenon, however, the procedure either failed to consistently occasion either extinction behavior or increased levels of responding above baseline levels in an unchanged condition for the remaining participants. The current study suggests that while it is possible to exhibit the behavioral contrast phenomenon with verbal adults using a simulated workplace task, the specific procedures necessary to consistently engender this phenomenon with this population have not yet been determined.
64. An Evaluation of Caregiver Preference for Graphic Depiction of Data
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MELANIE ELAINE PARKS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brittney Workman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Jessica L Becraft (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lesley A. Shawler (Kennedy Krieger Institute Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: During the provision of behavior analytic services clinicians provide caregivers with feedback on their child’s progress. Feedback likely entails verbal and written summaries; it may also involve graphic displays of data. Currently, there are no established standards for sharing child progress (i.e., data) with caregivers. However, the field of OBM may help inform this practice (i.e., characteristics for effective feedback, Daniels and Daniels (2006)). The purpose of the current study was to assess caregiver preference and comprehension for how data were displayed on graphs. Participants included 17 caregivers whose children received either inpatient or outpatient behavioral services within the same organization. The procedures replicated Hardesty et al. (2019) whereby caregivers were shown data represented as a line or bar graph, time series versus an average over time graph, and a color versus monochromatic graph. Preliminary results indicate all caregivers (regardless of service level) reported a preference for line over bar graphs regardless of graph complexity. Additionally, caregivers reported a preference for colored graphs. These results will be discussed in context with parent demographic information (i.e., history with behavior analytic services or graphic displays). Potential implications in which behavior analysts share graphic data with their clients’ caregivers will also be discussed.
65. How to Win Contracts and Influence Systems
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
NEAL FALLETTA-COWDEN (University of Nevada, Reno), Ashlyn Renee Frits (University of Nevada, Reno), Helen Tecle Kidane (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (The Faison Center)
Abstract: The contributions of Applied Behavior Analysis in the American education system can be traced back to one of the earliest Applied Behavior Analytic studies conducted by Ayllon and Michael (1959). These authors demonstrated how intervening “indirectly” by modifying the behavior of change agents (in their case, psychiatric nurses) was effective in bringing about behavior change in clients in a psychiatric hospital. In essence, this was one of the first applications of modern behavioral consulting, which in the most general sense describes situations in which the behavior of change agents (consultees) is targeted for intervention with the ultimate aim of bringing about behavior change on the part of a third party client (Feldman & Kratochwill, 2003). Behavioral consultation has evolved tremendously since these early explorations of this model, but one thing has remained true. In order to successfully intervene on systems which are often resistant to change, a consultant must be able to win hearts, bring about behavior change, and earn contracts. This poster draws upon personal consultation experiences by the presenters as well as peer-reviewed research in this area to suggest strategies for how behavioral consultants can experience success in complex systems.



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