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 #305
CE Offered: BACB
Prevent-Teach-Reinforce: A Function-Based Approach to Addressing Challenging Behavior in the Classroom Setting
Sunday, May 26, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon F
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Madeline Rose Risse (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida/College of Behavioral and Community Sciences)
CE Instructor: Madeline Rose Risse, M.S.
Abstract: Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) is a unique standardized process for function-based assessment and intervention that focuses on the selection of evidence-based strategies that are most feasible for the interventionist to prevent the likelihood of problem behavior, teach an alternative replacement behavior, and reinforce the replacement behavior. The PTR model utilizes a collaborative multi-step process to teaming, goal setting, assessment, intervention development, and progress monitoring. This symposium consists of two presentations that evaluated the effectiveness of the PTR model when implemented with four students in the school setting. The first presentation will focus on using the PTR model to decrease the inappropriate vocalizations of a 4th-grade student with autism. The second presentation investigated the effects of the PTR model for a student with autism when used to decrease elopement from a 2nd-grade classroom. In both cases, PTR was an effective approach to decreasing challenging behavior and increasing a collaboratively identified appropriate behavior using contextually fit, stakeholder-selected intervention procedures in the classroom setting.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): functional assessment, school, school-based intervention, teachers
Target Audience: School-based professionals; board-certified behavior analysts in educational settings
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the steps of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model to decrease challenging behavior and increase appropriate behavior, (2) identify collaborative components of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce process that enhance the contextual fit of procedures and maximize intervention outcomes, and (3) describe the differences between the manualized Prevent-teach-Reinforce approach and the typical FBA/BIP approach used within school settings.

Implementation of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce Model to Decrease Inappropriate Vocalizations Exhibited by a Student With Autism

Christine Colon (University of South Florida), PARIS N THIE (University of South Florida)

It has been shown that students with disabilities who can effectively and efficiently communicate their wants and needs in their natural classroom environment are more likely to access reinforcement in the natural environment, thereby increasing the likelihood of continued maintenance of a corresponding replacement behavior. However, students who have difficulty communicating their wants and needs often engage in problem behaviors maintained by peer or adult attention and/or escape from academic tasks that are inadvertently reinforced by stakeholders in complex settings, such as the school setting. Because problem behavior often serves the purpose of communication based on response effort and learning history, teaching equivalent communicative replacement behaviors may be the most advantageous approach. The Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model is an evidence-based intervention that has demonstrated efficacy in training appropriate alternative behaviors while decreasing problem behaviors (Dunlap et al., 2019). This study used an AB design to evaluate the effect of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model on inappropriate vocalizations of a 4th grade student with autism spectrum disorder. The results showed that the implementation of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce intervention led to a decrease in the student’s inappropriate vocalizations.


Using the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce Model to Decrease Elopement From the Classroom

Zachary Grossman (University of South Florida), GRACE NOEL MAXWELL (University of South Florida )

Research indicates that roughly half (49%) of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder frequently engage in elopement from adult supervision, a dangerous behavior that can lead to injury or death if left unchecked (Anderson et al., 2012; Mouridsen et al., 2008). Elopement from the classroom poses particular challenges in complex learning environments due to safety concerns and loss of instructional time. This is especially troubling as previous research shows that increased instructional time in the classroom results in better learning outcomes (Andersen et al., 2016). This case study evaluated the use of the multi-component Prevent-Teach-Reinforce intervention to decrease elopement from the classroom in a 2nd-grade student. The teacher-implemented Prevent-Teach-Reinforce intervention included modifications to the student’s curriculum, differential reinforcement of other behavior, reinforcement of the replacement behavior, and extinction. Teachers were successful in implementing the intervention and reported positive outcomes overall. The results indicated that the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce was successful in reducing the student’s level of elopement from the classroom.




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