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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #44
CE Offered: BACB
Using Behavioral Science Towards Injury Prevention
Saturday, May 25, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 9-10
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lauren K. Schnell-Peskin (Hunter College)
Discussant: John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
CE Instructor: John C. Borrero, Ph.D.

Teaching and training procedures rooted in behavioral science have produced robust outcomes in the safety skills research literature. Performance based training, such as behavioral skills training (BST), has been implemented with individuals through the lifespan to teach skills related to firearm safety, abduction prevention, hazardous material avoidance, food allergen avoidance, and the implementation of safe infant sleep arrangements, to name just a few. This symposium will include four talks and a discussant related to using behavioral science in preventing injury of infants and children. More specifically presenters will share their research related to, training caregivers to perform infant CPR, training caregivers to identify potential choking food hazards, training caregivers to implement the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for tummy time with infants, and training caregivers to implement correct infant car seat installation. Audience members will learn how to implement performance-based training programs with individuals to teach a variety of safety skills for parents and stakeholders.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, Safety Skills
Target Audience:

Audience members should be familiar with behavior skills training and performance based training.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) implement behavior skills training to teach safety skills to parents and stake holders; (2) identify goals and objectives related to infant and child safety skills; (3) design a training protocol for parents and stakeholders in infant and child safety skills.

A Potential Life-Saving Skill: Teaching Caregivers to Perform Infant Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

JENNYLEE ACIU (Helping Hands Family), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Jessica Day-Watkins (Drexel University), Lauren K. Schnell-Peskin (Hunter College)

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating causing blood flow to vital organs to cease. Cardiac arrest occurs more commonly in infants and children due to respiratory emergencies such as drowning, choking, sudden infant death syndrome, or heart abnormalities. With approximately 5,000 infants and children experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually, the aim of this study was to equip caregivers with the skill of performing infant CPR. Researchers extended Aciu et al. (2021) by incorporating the use of feedback technology during behavioral skills training. During training, form and performance of CPR were taught separately. That is, instructions, modeling, rehearsal, feedback, and no feedback were implemented when teaching the topography of CPR and when teaching the performance of CPR. Once participants demonstrated the criteria for both form and performance, feedback was removed to assess CPR. Results demonstrated that once BST was implemented, all participants met the mastery criteria for both form and compressions. All participants maintained responding during the post-test. During the extension phase, most participants demonstrated elevated levels of performance across longer durations of CPR. Social validity data were collected from each participant; limitations and extensions of this research will be discussed.


Parents of 0- to 24-Month-Old Children Make High Rates of Dangerous Errors in Choking Hazard Detection Both Before and After Education

ALISON RUBY (Louisiana State University), Matthew Capriotti (San Jose State University), Erica Lozy (Bridges Behavioral Wellness), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)

Choking is a leading cause of death in children under the age of 4. We evaluated the impact of two educational interventions on choking hazard detection in a naturalistic food preparation safety task (FPST) in parents of 0-to-24-month-olds. 66 parents completed an FPST, in which they were presented with photos of meals and asked to identify whether foods (a) were safe to feed their child as pictured, (b) could be made safe with modification, or (c) could not be made safe. Participants were randomly assigned to read a choking prevention pamphlet (n=32) or read the pamphlet and watch a brief video of parents modeling choking-safe food preparation (n=34). Afterward, parents repeated the FPST and answered questions. At baseline, parents made dangerous errors on an average of 32.2% of trials (0-33); 97.0% of parents made at least one dangerous error. Post-education, dangerous errors decreased to an average of 21.4% trials (0-29); 95.5% of parents made at least one dangerous error. More improvement was observed for the pamphlet + video group. Educational components involving video modeling appear more effective than text-only approaches, though there is a need for more effective educational approaches.

Assessing the Use of a Shaping Procedure to Implement Tummy Time
JESSICA DAY-WATKINS (Drexel University), Jadene Eusebio-Ronco (Hunter College), Lauren K. Schnell-Peskin (Hunter College), Amber E. Mendres-Smith (University of Maryland, School of Medicine), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends placing infants on their tummy during waking periods, known as tummy time. Tummy time is intended to mitigate the increased incidence of positional plagiocephaly, a flattening of the back or side of the infant’s head, and torticollis, which have increased in prevalence since the dissemination of the AAP’s recommendation to place infants on the back for all sleep periods. Many infants may not tolerate tummy time. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a stimulus-shaping procedure to teach infants to tolerate a modified tummy time position. We extended upon a previous demonstration of the chest-to-chest position by evaluating a stimulus shaping procedure to systematically transition from the inclined chest-to-chest position to a fully prone position. We used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across three infant-caregiver dyads to evaluate the effectiveness of a caregiver-led stimulus shaping procedure on infant behavior during tummy time.

On the Effectiveness of Video Prompting With Embedded Safety Checks to Teach Correct Child Passenger Safety Restraint Installation and Harnessing

NIRUBA RASURATNAM (Brock University ), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)

In North America, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintended injury-related deaths among children under the age of 14. The primary cause of these deaths is the improper use of child passenger safety restraints (CPSR). Correctly installed CPSRs can decrease the risk of fatal injury by 45% to 95%. To date, no studies have used video prompting with embedded safety check to teach correct CPSR installation and harnessing in the absence of researcher implementation. We used a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effectiveness of a video-prompting procedure with embedded safety checks to teach four prospective parents and caregivers CPSR installation and harnessing skills. All participants learned to perform these skills and these effects maintained for 4 weeks. Further, this training produced an improvement on all participants’ performance of an untrained installation position, vehicle, and harnessing skill, and these effects largely maintained for 4 weeks.




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