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 #64
CE Offered: BACB
Training Parents, Educators, and Staff to Implement Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment: Advancements in Hybrid and Distance-Learning Approaches
Saturday, May 25, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 112 AB
Area: DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Taryn Traylor (Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center)
CE Instructor: Taryn Goodwin Traylor, Ph.D.

A rapidly growing literature supports training models with remote components, given their potential cost-effectiveness, convenience, and accessibility; however, most studies target relatively simple procedures (Gerencser et al., 2020). This symposium includes three presentations focused on remote or hybrid training, each featuring distinct methods and aims, for a more complex repertoire: implementing practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment (PFA/SBT; Hanley et al., 2014). The first presentation reports the findings of a randomized controlled component analysis of an asynchronous computer-based instruction program on the skill-based treatment integrity of behavioral service providers serving in diverse roles and contexts (n = 78), informing conclusions about efficacy at the group level, or for the “average” trainee. The second presentation features a large-scale hybrid training model for school staff implementing PFA/SBT and includes social validity and student outcomes as reported by school staff, facilitating examination of training effectiveness at the group level. The final presentation examines effectiveness at the individual level, featuring parent treatment integrity and child outcomes in a series of three applications of teleconsultation to support in-home, parent implemented PFA/SBT. Collectively, presentations demonstrate the potential of remote technology for preparing and supporting individuals responsible for implementing complex behavior intervention packages such as PFA/SBT.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): computer-based instruction, function-based intervention, Hybrid training, telehealth
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe the critical features of multiple exemplar training and treatment integrity evaluation as programmed in computer-based instruction for skill-based treatment implementation. 2. Attendees will be able to describe coaching and behavioral skills training tactics that can be implemented via telehealth to support parent implementation of PFA/SBT. 3. Attendees will be able to describe the Customized Behavior Training Application Model for training school staff to use positive behavior technologies, including PFA/SBT.

Interactive Activities Programmed Within Computer-Based Instruction: Impact on Skill-Based Treatment Integrity

(Applied Research)
JOHANNA STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University), Marney Squires Pollack (UConn Health), Kristen Granger (Vanderbilt University)

Using computer-based instruction to train intervention implementers may require substituting alternative interactive activities for direct skill rehearsal, although little is known about what activities are most efficacious (Gerencser et al., 2020). In this study, an underpowered randomized controlled trial was used to evaluate the relative impacts of two alternative activities on behavioral service providers’ integrity to and mastery of skill-based treatment procedures (Hanley et al., 2014). Implementation was assessed at two time points for a total of 78 total participants randomly assigned to a no-training control, complete computer-based instruction, or one of two partial computer-based instruction groups each characterized by a missing interactive activity (i.e., multiple exemplar training or treatment integrity evaluation) to facilitate component analysis. Mann-Whitney U and Chi-Square tests revealed significant effects on treatment integrity and mastery, respectively, for all training groups relative to the control group. Differences among training groups were not statistically significant, however descriptive data indicated greater changes in treatment integrity for the treatment integrity evaluation, complete, and multiple exemplar training groups, respectively. Findings suggest a variety of interactive activities may support treatment, warranting further research. Future directions include further examination of the contributions of interactive activities, training efficiency, and potential moderators of response.

Teaching Parents to Implement Practical Functional Assessments and Skill-Based Treatments via Telehealth
(Service Delivery)
RACHEL METRAS (VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment), Gregory P. Hanley (FTF Behavioral Consulting), Matthew Carbone (Western New England University)
Abstract: Telehealth-based service provision may be the most resource-effective way for some families to access functional analytic services. If families do not live near service providers, caregivers can implement interventions themselves instead traveling long distances to a clinic. However, telehealth-based functional analyses and treatments may also increase risk to families, as caregivers have no in-person support if treatment sessions become unsafe. Extensive implementation supports, such as real-time coaching and behavioral skills training, are necessary to maintain safety and ensure accurate implementation of treatment procedures from a distance. One such example of this treatment model is Metras et al. (2023). The authors used teleconferencing technologies to coach three parents of children with autism spectrum disorder through implementing interview-informed synthesized contingency analyses (Hanley et al., 2014) and resulting skill-based treatment processes. All parents achieved differentiated functional analyses, taught their children functional replacement skills, and reduced challenging behavior relative to baseline. Treatment integrity remained at 75% or higher across all sessions despite behavioral skills training and real-time implementation support occurring entirely at a distance. The purposes of this presentation are to describe the telehealth-based training and real-time coaching parents received during Metras et al. (2023) and present descriptive treatment integrity data.
A Preliminary Investigation of a Model for Training Public School Practitioners in Positive Behavior Technologies
(Service Delivery)
SUSAN M PALKO (Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Education), Taryn Traylor (Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center)
Abstract: Public school practitioners are often untrained in using intensive, evidence-based behavioral assessments and interventions to remedy students' challenging behavior (Jury et al., 2021). The Customized Behavior Application Training model, a university and public school collaboration, is currently being implemented across 40 school divisions with positive receptivity as a useful training in increasing school staff confidence and independence in addressing problem behavior of students with disabilities in comprehensive classroom settings. This presentation will describe the preliminary investigation of the coaching and consultation model for increasing staff’s ability to reduce problem behavior effectively using student-centered, positive behavior technologies, including practical functional assessment and skill-based treatment (Hanley et al., 2012). There remains a need to examine how the model enables school practitioners to train other staff within their division without direct support from university behavior analysts. Further development and refinement of the coaching and consultation model are necessary to understand implementation fidelity for more comprehensive training packages in rural school divisions



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