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.

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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details


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Symposium #275
CE Offered: BACB
Staff Behavior Related to Quality-of-Life Indices for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 26, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 112 AB
Area: DDA/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
CE Instructor: Cammarie Johnson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium addresses the behavior of staff working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities related to quality-of-life indices including engagement in activities, privacy, and receiving requested items and activities. In the first paper, an assessment showed low levels of support staff behavior encouraging student engagement in specials led by a specialized teacher (art or music teacher). An intervention based on the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services was implemented that resulted in increased staff behavior encouraging student engagement and an increase in student engagement. In the second paper, an assessment found that staff were not always ensuring the privacy of adolescents when they were engaging in private activities in a group home (e.g., dressing, showering, toileting). An intervention based on the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services led to staff providing private environments that matched the adolescents’ supervision needs. In the third paper, an assessment showed a low probability of staff responding to, or reinforcing, the mands of individuals they serve. Future directions and considerations regarding staff behavior related to these quality-of-life issues will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment-based Intervention, PDC-HS, Quality-of-Life, Staff behavior
Target Audience:

Audience members should have knowledge of single-subject research methods and the basic verbal operants.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how the PDC-HS can identify obstacles to and recommend intervention for staff performance in a school setting; (2) describe how the PDC-HS can identify obstacles to and recommend intervention for staff performance related to privacy in group homes; (3) Describe the difference between specific and disguised mands and describe several measures of staff responses to mands.
 
Evaluating the Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services to Improve Support Teacher Behavior in Specialized Classes
JOHANNA HARDY (The New England Center for Children), Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract: The Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services (PDC-HS; Carr et al., 2013) identifies variables that lead to unsatisfactory staff performance in human service settings. The purpose of this study was to use the PDC-HS to identify variables that led to unsatisfactory support teacher behavior in specialized classes and to use the recommended intervention to improve support teacher behavior to maximize student participation. Three teachers from two teams participated in a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design. PDC-HS interviews were completed with the support teachers and the lead specials teachers for the target response of encouraging engagement. For all support teachers, Performance Consequences, Effort, and Competition was identified as the domain of concern with the recommended intervention of graphed feedback. Results indicated graphed feedback was effective in improving teacher performance and increased student engagement as well. Reliability measures on the dependent and independent variables were above 90%. A post-treatment social validity survey given to both lead and support teachers indicated that the procedures and outcomes provided important improvement.
 
Evaluating the Performance Diagnostic Checklist - Human Services to Increase Staff Adherence to Residential Student Privacy Guidelines
MALLORY PRACELLA (Open Sky Community Services), Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract: The Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS) (Carr et al., 2013) is an assessment tool used to identify variables maintaining employee performance deficits and provide recommendations for functionally related interventions within human service settings. Modified from the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) (Austin, 2000), the PDC-HS has demonstrated its utility within the workplace, including therapy treatment centers and hospitals. Future research recommends evaluating its comparative effectiveness with non-indicated interventions and examining its applicability across diverse human service contexts. This study sought to extend the current body of literature by evaluating the utility of the PDC-HS in increasing staff adherence to student privacy guidelines within a residential autism treatment center. Interview results identified training as the domain of concern, and a behavioral skills training (BST) intervention was recommended. The intervention was implemented in a multiple-baseline-across participants design, and both participants’ performance met criterion (providing private environments in at least 90% of intervals with private activities) when the intervention was introduced. Reliability measures were assessed and above 95%. Results of this study demonstrate the validity of the PDC-HS and its application to identifying variables related to the performance deficit and providing recommendations for an effective intervention.
 
A Comparative Evaluation of Specific and Disguised Mands on Staff’s Reinforcer Delivery in a Residential Setting
CAROLINE RICHEY (University of North Texas), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Residential facilities for adults with developmental disabilities offer essential accommodations and support services, with fostering communication for residents as an important aspect of care. Despite the importance of communication, previous research has identified concerns about staff performance (SP) in facilitating positive social interactions, such as responding to or reinforcing residents’ mands. Previous research has primarily focused on improving SP through skills-based training. Yet, Skinner's theory of verbal behavior emphasizes the social and reciprocal nature of mands. Skinner suggests that the listener’s behavior, engaging in consequence-mediating behavior, must be conditioned by the verbal community. However, empirical investigations into the reinforcing practices of staff in residential facilities, such as the shaping and sustaining of different types of resident mands, are limited. The current investigation sought to address this gap in research by evaluating if distinct mand topographies, disguised or specific mands, influenced the likelihood of staff engaging in consequence-mediated behavior across three staff-resident dyads. Results suggest a low probability of staff responding to, or reinforcing, mands, thus limiting conclusions on the effects of mand topographies on staff performance. Future directions and considerations regarding resident-staff interactions are discussed.
 

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