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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Poster Session #529
DDA Monday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Monday, May 30, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)
90. Treatment of Pica though Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MAGGIE RUCKLE (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Molly K Bednar (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily Ann Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brianna Laureano (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Pica is a life-threatening form of severe problem behavior in which an individual persistently consumes inedible substances (e.g., rocks, feces). Pica is often maintained by automatic reinforcement and is typically treated using a combination of response blocking and noncontingent reinforcement (NCR; Hagopian et al., 2011). In addition to response blocking and NCR, reinforcing alternative behaviors that are incompatible with pica (e.g., discarding inedible objects in lieu of consuming them) may also decrease pica and enhance the social acceptability and long-term maintenance of behavioral treatment (Schmidt et al. 2017). The current study used similar procedures described by Schmidt et al. by using differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) with response blocking to decrease pica and increase an appropriate, alternative response with a young boy diagnosed with an intellectual disability. The DRA procedure successfully decreased rates of pica and increased appropriate behavior across a number of treatment contexts. Recommendations for practitioners will be discussed.

The Acceptability of Consultative Behavior Analytic Service Provided via Telehealth (Update)

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
LEANNE LATOCHA (Western Michigan University), Jessica Detrick (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey E. Stapleton (Western Michigan University), Daphne Snyder (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)

The rise of COVID-19 made behavior analysts worldwide reconsider best practice for providing behavior analytic services to individuals in need during a global pandemic. Telehealth has become more a widely utilized mode of behavior analytic service delivery since the onset of the pandemic, as telehealth has been shown to be an efficacious alternative to in-person services (Wacker et al., 2013; Suess et al., 2016; Tsami et al., 2019). With many behavior analytic services opting for a telehealth-based mode of service delivery, it is important for behavior analysts to assess the preferences and acceptability of the telehealth services from clients and caregivers (PECC, 2014). The purpose of this project was to analyze the acceptability of consultative behavior analytic services delivered using a telehealth model quarterly across the timespan of a year and three months to assess and treat challenging behavior. Results indicate that the consultative telehealth services have remained generally accepted by caregivers over time and have become gradually more accepted by clients over time.

94. Identifying Neutral Tasks Using a Latency-Based Demand Assessment and a Single-Stimulus Preference Assessment
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE WILSON (Salve Regina University, Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Jesse Perrin (Pathways), Andrea Giacobbe (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Discussant: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) is a reactive strategy that involves prompting an appropriate alternative behavior following the occurrence of problem behavior. Past studies using RIRD have selected tasks arbitrarily or based on incompatibility with the problem behavior. Presenting an arbitrary stimulus following the occurrence of problem behavior could be problematic. If the stimulus is aversive to the client, it could lead to punishment-induced side-effects such as emotional responding, aggression, or an increase in escape and avoidance behaviors. If the stimulus is reinforcing for the client, it could increase the future frequency of the behavior being targeted for redirection. To date, no studies have outlined a method for identifying neutral tasks. The purpose of this study was to assess the utility of a latency-based demand assessment and a single-stimulus preference assessment in identifying a neutral task for redirection. The study participant was a 12-year-old girl with a diagnosis of ASD. IOA data was collected throughout the study with an agreement score of 100%. This method was effective in identifying four of the seven tasks as neutral; these findings highlight the importance of identifying neutral tasks prior to implementing RIRD to avoid inadvertently reinforcing or punishing problem behavior.

Restriction Removal Process

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
GRACE E SYLVESTER (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey E. Stapleton (Western Michigan University), Jessica Detrick (Western Michigan University ), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University), Ali Schroeder (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)

Individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental health conditions may engage in behaviors that put themselves and others at risk. As a result, treatment strategies are implemented to keep these individuals safe. If needed, restrictions of the individual’s rights may be implemented which prevent the occurrence of the target behavior (e.g., freedom of movement, restriction of personal items, search of personal property, etc.). Previous research has demonstrated a fading process to systematically remove restrictions when no longer necessary. This study provides further demonstration on the use of a restriction removal process for a client with a freedom of movement restriction.

98. Evaluating the Effects of a General Video Model on Treatment Integrity
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
IVAN DEVEAUX (University of Miami), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami)
Discussant: Jennifer Posey (Endicott College)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of a general video model on the accurate implementation of a token economy implemented during a) Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI) and b) Natural Environment Teaching (NET). The clinical purpose of the token economy was to manage disruptive behavior during teaching sessions. Prior to the study, implementers had been trained to competency on procedures related to teaching (e.g., prompting, prompt fading, differential reinforcement of independent correct responses) but had not received specific training on implementation of differential reinforcement for behavior reduction. After assessing implementation of the token economy within the context of DRA or DRO interventions, implementers were shown a general video model displaying implementation of each procedure. The general video model included correct and incorrect implementation of each differential reinforcement procedures given both a) an occurrence and b) a non-occurrence of the target behavior. We used a multiple baseline across participants design to assess the effects of the general video model on accurate implementation of the procedures. We monitored treatment integrity covertly via a video surveillance system. Results showed that the use of a general video model improved treatment integrity for both differential reinforcement procedures (across therapists). Additionally, results maintained at a one-month follow-up probe.

An Experimental Analysis of Task Refusal: Examining the Effects of Transitions Between Academic Tasks

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ERNA DOGG PALSDOTTIR (Arnarskóli; Reykjavík University), Atli F. Magnusson (Arnarskoli), Berglind Sveinbjornsdottir (Reykjavik University)
Discussant: Mary Llinas

The purpose of the study was to do an experimental analysis of task refusal around academic demands for one girl with developmental disability. Task refusal was analyzed in two different experimental analyses, the first a demand analysis, testing if the behavior was maintained by an escape from demands and the second a transition analysis, testing if the behavior was the result of the transition context. Task refusal did not occur in the demand analysis, indicating that the behaviour was not maintained by an escape from demands. Contrary, task refusal occurred solely in the second experimental analysis when transitioning from a rich to a lean academic activity. In this case the context of terminating a preferred academic activity and transitioning to a less preferred academic activity was aversive, but not the demand itself. In addition, an embedded break was implemented as an intervention to decrease the task refusal during the rich to lean transition. In a multielement design, an embedded break condition was compared to a no break condition. During the embedded break condition, task refusal was reduced.

102. Interventions to Address Inappropriate Sexual Behaviours For Children and Young Adults in Special Day Schools
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: Inappropriate sexual behaviour (ISB), prevalent in children and young adults with a diagnosis of autism or other intellectual disability (ID), is an ongoing issue, with limited available research on interventions to address the behaviours for those whom it challenges and has impact on. These are behaviours that may subject an individual to being at risk of harm, ridiculed, unaccepted in their community, and in danger of receiving legal penalties. School staff, parents, and other professionals often need to intervene when these behaviours take place, with few published experimental designs appropriate for decreasing ISB. Antecedent-based interventions are particularly difficult to find to provide support to those individuals managing these behaviours before they occur in the classroom or in public areas in the school. Over the years, punishment-based interventions have become less acceptable due to ethical considerations, regulations being more rigorous and individual’s rights are also considered. A systematic review focused on single-subject research methodology studies published over the last 45 years to address ISB, more specifically inappropriate masturbation, inappropriate touch of self and others, and public undressing identified and evaluated 9 studies. Results suggest insufficient research exists for addressing the behaviours in a day school setting.
104. A Retrospective Analysis of Therapists’ Coaching Behavior When Directing Parents to Conduct Behavioral Assessments and Treatments via Telehealth
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALESIA LARSEN (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa), Amanda Barrett (University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: Research on the delivery of behavioral assessment and treatment via telehealth has focused largely on child outcomes and parent procedural fidelity. By contrast, the behavior of the therapists coaching parents to conduct assessment and treatment has garnered little research consideration. In this study, we conducted a retrospective analysis of behavior therapists’ coaching behaviors when directing parents to conduct functional analysis (FA) and functional communication training (FCT) with their young children with autism via telehealth. Coaching behaviors for five experienced behavior therapists across seven parent-child dyads were scored using a combination of standardized and novel behavior codes. Therapists displayed more social engagement behaviors than any other type of behavior throughout the study, and rates of antecedent and consequence behaviors shifted across the FA and FCT phases. Results are discussed in relation to therapists’ goals during behavioral assessment and treatment and the implications for training behavioral therapists to coach parents via telehealth.
106. Behavioral Intervention Using Sufficient Response-Exemplar Training for Improving Articulation in a 4 Yr Old Child with Socio-Pragmatic Language Disorder
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SONAM RAMESHCHADRA KOTHARI (Co-Founder- Bombay Autism, Consultant Pediatric Neurologist, B.J. Wadia Hospital for Children ), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India), Debnayana Chakroborty (Bombay Autism)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: Children with socio-pragmatic language disorders many times co-occur with articulation problems and require intervention for the same. Past studies demonstrated significant improvement in phonological problems using behavior analytic interventions in neurotypical kids (Eikeseth & Nesset, 2003) as well as children on autism spectrum disorder (Aravamudhan & Awasthi,2020). The current study is a replication, on a 4 year old boy diagnosed with socio-pragmatic language disorder with articulation problems of omissions and blends. Three sets of seven blend words (Br, Bl, Sc) were selected for teaching. We used vocal imitation training with within-stimulus prompting, chaining and shaping with 30 teaching trials per session intermixed with known words and serial multiple-exemplar training (S-MET). A multiple-baseline design across-behaviours demonstrated improvement in the articulation of trained words (Br-330 trials, Bl-330 trials, Sc-450 trials) and generalization of correct articulation to untrained words (Br-6 words, Bl-5 words and Sc-4 words) across all three sets. Inter-observer agreement was 100%. We conclude the role behavior principles in articulation training in children with socio-pragmatic language disorder need further study.
108. Social Economy Status Specific Risk on IQ of 5-Year-Old Children with Attention Problems and Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
SHEOW YUN SIE (Queens College, City University of New York), Priyanka Alluri (Queens College), Emily Nelson (Queens College, the City University of New York), Donato DeIngeniis (Queens College, the City University of New York), Yoko Nomura (Queens College, the City University of New York)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: This study investigated the effect socioeconomic status (SES) has on cognitive function of 5-year-old children who have developmental disabilities (DD) alone or DD with concurrent attention problems. Few studies have explored effects of attention problems and DD on children's cognitive development, particularly within low SES populations. A sample of 154 mother and their children, ages 5 (M age = 5, SD = 3.22) was recruited from a cohort of 350 mothers. Mothers reported children’s DD during a structural psychiatric interview and current attention problems with the Behavior Assessment System for Children; children’s IQ was assessed with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Fourth Edition. Two-by-two Factorial ANOVA was conducted to compare the main and interaction effects of having attention problems and developmental disabilities on full-scale IQ; data were then stratified by SES. Only after stratifying by SES did those with low SES reveal a significant interaction between attention problems and developmental disabilities, F (1, 52) = 4.70, p = .04. Children with DD and attention problems had lower IQ for high and average SES while the opposite was true for low SES. Findings reflect the importance of considering attentional difficulties and SES when implementing interventions for DD populations.



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