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 #402
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on School-Based Behavioral Interventions
Monday, May 27, 2024
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon E
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Paige Talhelm (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Emily Baton (May Institute )
CE Instructor: Emily Baton, Ph.D.

Many school-aged children with or without disabilities engage in disruptive behavior that can hinder their academic progress but also negatively impact their teachers and peers (Horner et al., 2002). Additionally, findings from previous research indicate that school-aged children who do not receive adequate support are more likely to drop out of school, engage in criminal behavior, or be unemployed (Janz & Banbury, 2009; Mallet, 2016). This symposium includes four studies completed in school settings that investigated the impact of behavioral interventions on appropriate skills or disruptive behavior. A first study evaluates the effectiveness of music-based instruction in improving attending behavior among elementary-aged students compared to non-music instruction. The second study examines the innovative use of virtual reality and behavioral skills training to enhance interview skills for high school students with disabilities. The third study investigates the impact of contingency mapping on reducing off-task behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder during classroom activities. A fourth study evaluates the effects of a peer-mediated self-monitoring intervention on disruptive behavior and task completion for students with autism spectrum disorder. Finally, the discussant will provide valuable insights into the implications of these research projects.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): attending behavior, contingency mapping, interview skills, schools
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe the effects of music-based instruction on attending behavior for elementary students. 2. Describe the effects of virtual reality and behavioral skills training on interview skills for high school students with disabilities. 3. Describe the effects contingency mapping on off-task behavior in children with ASD. 4. Describe the effects of a peer-mediated self-monitoring intervention for students with ASD.

Increase Attending Behavior of Elementary Students Using Music During Instruction

ZACHARY GROSSMAN (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Marissa Del Vecchio (University of South Florida ), Arturo Garcia (University of South Florida)

Audio and audiovisual cues, when used as teaching tools, result in desirable learning outcomes for young learners when compared to visual cues alone (Havy et al., 2017; Kirkham et al., 2019; Sloutsky & Napolitano, 2003). Previous research has demonstrated that music can be an effective delivery method for teaching math in the elementary classrooms (An & Tillman, 2015; An et al., 2014; Azaryahu et al., 2020). However, the effectiveness of music at increasing attending behavior specifically has not been assessed in these studies. This study evaluated the effectiveness of music-based instruction on students’ attending behaviors compared to non-music based instruction. A reversal design was implemented with four students in the same 1st grade classroom. Although there was some variability across phases, results for all four students showed higher overall levels of attending in the music-based instruction condition. These results indicate that teachers might consider adding music to classroom lessons as a beneficial way in improving attending behavior during group instruction for elementary aged students.


Improving Interview Skills Through Virtual Reality With Behavior Skills Training for Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

GARRIT DUBOIS (University of South Florida), Danielle Ann Russo (University of South Florida ), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)

Individuals with disabilities experience lower employment rates compared to the general population, highlighting the need for interventions to enhance their employability. Interview skills are the most crucial skills to develop. Researchers have used behavioral skills training (BST) to improve vocal and non-vocal aspects of interviewee behavior. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) has been used to simulate the interview process and promote generalization of skills across various environments. However, limited research has investigated the use of VR for vocational skills training in students with disabilities, particularly those still enrolled in high school. This study aimed to examine the use of VR combined with BST to improve interview skills for high school students with disabilities. Three students with disabilities in grades 9-10, receiving special education services under the category of emotional disturbance, autism spectrum disorder, or other health impairment at a public high school, participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across students was used to evaluate the impact of the intervention on their interview skills. The results showed that the VR with BST led to increased interview skills for all three students. The students’ improved skills maintained throughout subsequent VR sessions without BST and generalized to interviews with school staff.


Teaching Behavioral Contingencies to Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Using Contingency Mapping

MARQUELINE CENATUS (University of South Florida), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida), Madeline Rose Risse (University of South Florida)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit problem behavior in schools, which negatively impacts their educational outcomes. Unfortunately, teachers continue to have difficulty addressing problem behavior in the classroom. Contingency mapping is a visual representation of the contingencies for engaging in a desired and undesired behaviors, which has been found to improve student behavior in the classroom setting. The current study examined the use of the contingency mapping intervention for young children with ASD. Specifically, the study examined the extent to which the contingency mapping intervention result in a decrease of off-task behavior during natural classroom activities. Three young children with ASD ages 6-8 years old served in a self-contained classroom and their corresponding three classroom teachers participated in the study. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the intervention outcomes. The results show that the contingency mapping intervention produced immediate reductions in off-task behavior for all participating students.


Evaluating the Effects of Self-Monitoring With a Peer Component on Disruptive Behavior and Task Completion

ARIADNA MARTINEZ (University of South Florida), Isbella Gural (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)

Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may face several challenges in the classroom. They often engage in challenging behavior that can be disruptive to others in the environment including their peers and teachers (Horner et al., 2002). This can also impede their acquisition of skills and their academic progress (Martinez et al., 2016; Rosenbloom et al., 2019). Many interventions have been used to increase academic engagement and decrease disruptive behaviors in the classroom for students with ASD, including self-monitoring strategies and peer-mediated interventions. However, it appears that few studies have evaluated peer-mediated self-monitoring interventions for students with ASD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a peer-mediated self-monitoring intervention on disruptive behavior and task completion for students with ASD. Results indicate that self-monitoring with the inclusion of a peer mediator was effective at decreasing disruptive behavior and increasing task completion for three students with ASD.




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