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

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Poster Session #484H
CBM Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 27, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Natalie Mandel (Bancroft)
73. Teaching Applied Behavior Analysis to Caregivers of Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN PATRICIA HOUGH (Brock University), Thurka Thillainathan (Brock University), Alison Cox (Brock University), Rosemary A. Condillac (Brock University), Christina M. Peters (Brock University; Northwest Behavioral Associates)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

Acquired brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Challenging behaviors, such as resistance, refusal, and aggression can prevent successful community reintegration following an acquired brain injury. Differential reinforcement has been demonstrated to reduce challenging behaviors; however, applied behavior analysis remains under-utilized in brain injury rehabilitation. This project used a modified nonconcurrent multiple probe across groups design to evaluate an online training program for frontline workers on differential reinforcement. Participants were exposed to a didactic lecture followed by simulated client interactions, in which they were required to apply differential reinforcement. Preliminary pilot results indicate that participants’ scores on the post-test were higher than those on the pre-test. Further, participants reported the program increased their understanding of differential reinforcement and was easy to understand. This study supports that online learning is a viable training method for frontline workers and offers an accessible means for staff to access training in applied behaviour analysis that can be applied to their daily work with clients.

 
74. Functional Assessment of Idiosyncratic Evocative Contexts in a Learner With Primary Complex Motor Stereotypy
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SYDNEY PIPPIN LENFESTEY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract:

Primary complex motor stereotypies (pCMS) are repetitive, involuntary, rhythmic motor movements in individuals with a typical developmental history. pCMS has been differentiated from tics and other habitual behaviors both at the neurophysiological level and at the clinical level as pCMS is associated with an earlier onset (< 3 years of age), having fixed or consistent topography, occurring under highly stimulating evocative conditions, and lack of premonitory urge. We conducted a functional analysis of motor stereotypy, including both matched and unmatched stimuli, to identify the evocative contexts in which those behaviors were most likely to occur. Results suggested idiosyncratic responding across conditions; however, rates of stereotypy were differentiated across matched and unmatched conditions. Specifically, rates of stereotypy were observed to be highest within the matched stimulation conditions. Treatment involved a differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) paradigm within the context of these highly evocative contexts to decrease rates of stereotypy. Additional data on the participant’s subjective distress were collected in order to validate the acceptability and generality of the procedure.

 
75. Further Examining the Relationship Between Delay Discounting and Body Mass Index
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
HAYLEE DOWNEY (Virginia Tech (FBRI)), Jeffrey S. Stein (Virginia Tech (FBRI))
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract: Delay discounting is the tendency for delayed outcomes to be devalued. Higher degree of delay discounting--reflecting greater preference for smaller, immediate over larger, delayed rewards-- is associated with health behaviors like cigarette smoking. Some evidence indicates that high delay discounting is also associated with higher body mass index (BMI), particularly in case-control studies, but effect sizes vary. To better understand varying effect sizes across studies, we examined if the relationship between BMI and delay discounting depends on socioeconomic status (income and education). We also examined if BMI is associated with delay discounting within people with higher BMI. This analysis leverages data from 14 studies conducted by 3 collaborating laboratory groups between 2013-2023. The dataset includes 999 participants with body mass index ≥ 25 who completed assessment of delay discounting under control or baseline conditions. In preliminary analyses we found 1) no evidence of a relationship between delay discounting and BMI for people with BMI ≥ 25, and 2) no evidence that the relationship between BMI and delay discounting depends on socioeconomic status. We will present results of mixed effects models; discuss limitations including self-reported height and weight, secondary data analysis, and study-level variability; and discuss implications.
 
76. Contingency Management to Increase Non-Substance-Use Health-Related Behaviors: A Systematic Review
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
Regina Mancillas (University of the Pacific), Morgan Valois (University of the Pacific), ZAIRA YESSENIA HERNANDEZ LOZA (University of the Pacific), Kaitlyn Imada (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract: In the decades since its development for use to promote illicit drug abstinence, Contingency Management has also been used to promote various types of socially significant behavior, such as physical activity, medication adherence, treatment attendance, and most recently, social media use. Despite its rising frequency of implementation in areas outside of substance use, a stark disparity remains between the number of Contingency Management studies published in behavior analytic journals compared to other psychology and health-related research domains in the last 15 years. Of the 52 studies in this review, only 11 were published in behavior analytic journals. Additionally, Contingency Management is an intervention that could be highly impacted by participant characteristics such as socioeconomic status, as Contingency Management typically involves financial incentives; however, these characteristics are reported in less than 50 percent of studies. This review highlights the need for increased use of Contingency Management by behavior analysts to create lasting health-related behavior change.
 
Diversity submission 77. Decision-Making Patterns in Hypersexuality: An Examination Using Delay Discounting and Iowa Gambling Tasks
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
DIANA MEJÍA CRUZ (Instituto Tecnologico de Sonora ), Laurent Avila-Chauvet (Technological Institute of Sonora), Javier Araiza (Sonora Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract: Hypersexuality, characterized by a marked impairment in controlling sexual behavior, coupled with pronounced impulsivity and disinhibition, parallels the diagnostic criteria of substance abuse disorders. This study delves into decision-making processes in hypersexual individuals, utilizing the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT), both of which are prevalent in substance abuse research. The study involved 56 college students, with hypersexuality being gauged via the Sexual Addiction Screening Test-Revised (SAST-R) scale. Participants were classified into a potential hypersexuality group for those scoring above 6, and a healthy control group for those with scores of 0. The study contrasted performances in the IGT, specifically examining the proportion of advantageous choices, and assessed the Area Under the Curve (AUC) in the DDT. The results revealed that healthy controls surpassed the hypersexuality group in the first four blocks of the IGT, though performances aligned in the fifth block. In the DDT, the hypersexuality group showed a higher AUC. These outcomes imply a more substantial link between hypersexuality and risk-taking as opposed to impulsivity. The study underscores the imperative for future research to investigate varied patterns of decision-making in clinical populations, with the potential to refine treatment and prevention approaches for hypersexuality.
 
78. An Experimental Tool for Studying Beverage Purchasing Behavior: Initial Development and Validation
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
HAYLEE DOWNEY (Virginia Tech (FBRI)), Jeffrey S. Stein (Virginia Tech (FBRI))
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract: High sugar sweetened-beverage (SSB) consumption contributes to poor diet quality and diet-related chronic diseases. Taxing SSB is an effective public health strategy that reduces SSB purchasing. Novel experimental approaches to studying SSB purchasing behavior can complement existing economic methods to improve understanding of SSB taxes. The aims of this study were to develop and validate an experimental marketplace that presents participants with beverages typically available at grocery stores. Participants who drink SSB (n = 73) hypothetically shopped for one week’s worth of beverages for their household with a large SSB tax and with no tax (order counterbalanced). Mixed effects models indicate that SSB purchasing (measured by fluid ounces and calories of SSB) was lower in the tax condition relative to the control condition (ps < 0.01). In addition, we found that participants who self-reported spending more on beverages also spent more on beverages in the task (Spearman’s ρ = 0.62, p < 0.001). A majority of participants noticed the tax and indicated that their purchases were similar to their normal purchases. This novel experimental marketplace is a promising approach for experimentally studying features of SSB tax design and SSB purchasing at the individual-level. We will discuss limitations and future directions.
 
79. Exploring the Relationship Between Psychological Flexibility and Trauma Symptom Severity
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
KAM BARKER (Missouri State University), Samantha Campbell (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract: Trauma may profoundly impact an individual's life (APA, 2022; Van der Kolk, 2014). One critical factor influencing the severity of maladaptive symptoms post-trauma is psychological flexibility, a core principle in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). Previous research has connected psychological flexibility and trauma symptom severity (e.g., Wittingham & Mitchell, 2023; Meyer et al., 2019a; Meyer et al., 2019b). However, this research often relies on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) to measure psychological flexibility, which may be invalid due to growing evidence that flexibility and inflexibility are not opposite ends of the same spectrum (Rolffs, Rogge, & Wilson, 2018; Cherry et al., 2021). In contrast, the Multidimensional Psychological Flexibility Inventory (MPFI) measures both psychological flexibility and inflexibility. This study assesses the relationship between psychological flexibility and trauma symptom severity by asking adult participants to complete the AAQ-II, the MPFI, and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 with Life Events Checklist (PCL-5 with LEC; Weathers et al., 2013). Results will explore the relationship between flexibility and inflexibility, examine whether they mediate the association between the type of trauma and symptom severity, and assess the convergent validity of the AAQ-II.
 
81. Assessing the Effects of Methylphenidate With an Adolescent Male With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder During a Psychiatric Hospitalization
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
GERALDINE MARIE BRADY (Cambridge Health Alliance), Michael P. Mullane (Cambridge Health Alliance; Harvard Medical School), Kevin Coughlin (Cambridge Health Alliance; Harvard Medical School), Zoe A. D. Newman (Regis College Autism Center)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at higher risk of requiring psychiatric hospitalization. Stimulant medication is one effective intervention to address ADHD symptoms and psychopharmacological intervention is a common treatment component during psychiatric hospitalization. Monitoring the effects of stimulant medication is frequently done via indirect measures (e.g., rating scale) which may be challenging to implement during a child’s hospitalization. There are demonstrations in the behavior-analytic literature of utilizing objective, time series data along with single-case experimental methodology to assess medication effects. Such methodologies may have utility for child and adolescent psychiatry units. In the current case report, a reversal design was utilized to assess the effects of methylphenidate on the disruptive behavior, on-task behavior, and tic behavior of an adolescent male with multiple psychiatric diagnoses including ADHD during a psychiatric hospitalization. Observations occurred across six days when the patient was and was not on methylphenidate during an on-unit academic group activity. Results indicated that methylphenidate resulted in increased on-task behavior, decreased disruptive behavior, and did not increase tic behavior corresponding to previous research on this medication. Results also provide a demonstration of how behavior-analytic providers can be integrated into treatment on child and adolescent psychiatry units.

 
82. Adapting the LIFE Curriculum Scoring System for Skill Building in Clinical Group Therapy
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
MAGGIE ADLER (Missouri State University), Kayette Glass (The Arc of the Ozarks), Sara R. Ibbetson (The Arc of the Ozarks), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract: The LIFE Curriculum (Dixon, 2021) was designed for one-on-one instruction and is typically used in special education or ABA service settings. We developed a novel way to adapt curricular programming for monitoring multiple skills within daily living for participants receiving therapeutic services in a group setting. The data collection was modified to include a matrix that listed (1) all participants in the group and (2) core competencies that were targeted in the clinical setting. In a pilot analysis of this technology, a group undergoing equestrian therapy was evaluated during the session and scores using the LIFE scoring system were collected based on core competencies selected from the ABAS. Results showed that this scoring system was able to differentiate between participants’ mastery of the core competencies, allow for comparison of the competencies within the group, and show improvements in those core competencies over the course of the therapy. Overall, this approach provides a method for integrating ABA analysis and programming within non-ABA clinical and recreational spaces to maximize learning opportunities for clients with disabilities.
 
Diversity submission 83. Stronger Together - The Benefits of Inclusion for Treating Children With Externalizing Behavior Problems
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Carolina Essoudry Gruenberg (University of Massachusetts Boston), ANDRE V. MAHARAJ (University of Massachusetts Boston), Milja Mankinen (University of Massachusetts Boston), Gary Siperstein (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

Children with externalizing behavior problems (EBPs) are at risk for chronic negative health, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes. For other children such as those with and without intellectual disabilities and typically developing peers, services provided in an inclusive recreational summer camp setting have been shown to enhance social skills and competence which lead to positive peer relationships). We conducted a novel approach of combining two evidence-based programs to address the needs of rising second graders with EBPs by adapting them into a multimodal summer intervention program with children with and without externalizing behavioral disorders in an inclusive recreation setting. We discuss outcomes of the intervention, including the successful implementation and outcomes for participants, as well as issues surrounding implementation and pathways toward further development. Specifically, we address intervention outcomes on reducing problem behavior for children with EBPs, the impact on typically developing peers, and the and overall camp experience for all participants.

 
84. Multi-Element Behavior Support and Severe Problem Behavior: A Case Study
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE MIHM (Melmark Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract:

Ethical behavior analysts seek the least restrictive, most effective treatment for problem behavior (BACB, n.d.), however, in some cases, children with severe challenging behavior require aversive procedures including restraint and residential services apart from the general public. (Department of Health, 2007). In pursuance to curtail prohibitive contingencies and re-establish a quality of life, crisis management necessitates a multi-element behavior support plan (e.g. environmental considerations, explicit prevention, participant driven, minimize reactive strategies, and promote functional equivalent skills) in order to effectively reduce problem behavior (LaVigna, et al. 2022). In addition, long-term residential treatment due to refactory behavior results in prolonged stressors leading to ongoing challenging behavior (Griffith, et al. 2013). The purpose of this case study was to expand various positive intervention components i.e. non-contingent reinforcement during setting events, interdisciplinary approach and communication acquisition in order to reduce severe, treatment resistant challenging behavior. The results of this study showed a significant decrease in maladaptive behavior and increase with appropriate acquisition skills. This study demonstrated behavior support plans demand a higher ratio of proactive than reactive strategies to significantly increase treatment efficacy of high-risk behavior.

 
85. Individualized Levels Systems: A Systematic Review and Quality Appraisal
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY ANN CHESBROUGH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Valeria Beatriz Macuare (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Hunter King (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

A levels system is a behavioral intervention with two or more levels that correspond to different standards of behavior and access to privileges. Universal levels systems are commonly implemented in a variety of settings, in which target behaviors and behavioral criteria for promotion and demotion are uniformly applied to all participants. Due to the legal ramifications and education inequities that arise when levels systems are universally applied across participants, an emerging literature base has evaluated the efficacy of individualized levels systems using highly controlled single-case design methodology; however, the status of this literature is currently unknown. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and quality appraisal of the literature on individualized levels system, which included a total of eight studies. Several variables were extracted from each study to assess the myriad of ways in which levels systems have been individualized. These variables included experimental design, assessment procedures, treatment components, promotion and demotion criteria, and target behaviors. Findings are discussed in terms of the overall evidence-base for individualized levels systems, and practical issues are considered for future research on individualized levels systems.

 
86. Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Non-Behavior Analytic Professionals to Conduct a Paired Stimulus Preference Assessment
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
HAILEI MARKEE (Bancroft), Natalie Mandel (Bancroft)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract:

An essential element of treatments targeting increasing appropriate behavior is the identification of stimuli that are potentially reinforcing; therefore, non-behavior analytic professionals who interact and provide intervention with various clients may need to identify preferred items. Previous research has taught non-behavior analytic professionals how to conduct multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments using behavioral skills training (O’Handley et al., 2021). However, the literature suggests that paired stimulus preference assessments are among the most commonly implemented (Graff and Karsten, 2012) and lead to the most stable results across repeated administrations (MacNaul et al., 2021). This investigation assessed the effects of using behavioral skills training to teach the implementation of paired stimulus preference assessments for three social workers who worked at a residential facility for individuals who engage in severe challenging behavior. Results to date suggest that behavioral skills training can effectively increase the number of correct steps during paired stimulus preference assessment implementation. Maintenance follow-ups followed by social validity is in the process of being conducted.

 
87. Applied Behavior Analytic Intervention to Prepare Children With Feeding Disorders for a Swallow Study
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
GRACE MARIE DETOMMASO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sarah D. Haney McDevitt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

Feeding disorders are prevalent in 25% to 45% of children (Silverman, 2010) and dysphagia (i.e., swallowing difficulties) is reported in 0.9% of children (CDC, 2012). To assess for dysphagia, a Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS) may be conducted during which an x-ray video is taken of the child eating. Children with feeding disorders often engage in inappropriate mealtime behavior (e.g., head turns, pushing away the spoon/cup), packing (i.e., holding bite/drink in the mouth), expelling (i.e., spitting out bite/drink), and negative vocalizations (e.g., crying) that may lead to unclear results during a MBSS. Applied behavior analytic interventions are the most efficacious treatments to reduce inappropriate mealtime behavior and increase consumption. However, research is limited in the application of behavior-analytic feeding interventions for preparing children for a swallow study. We review case studies utilizing behavior analytic interventions to prepare children with feeding disorders for a swallow study by increasing oral consumption and increasing the similarity between the treatment room and swallow-study setting. Across all cases, oral consumption increased resulting in participation in the swallow study such that clear MBSS results were obtained. These results will be discussed in terms of considerations for interdisciplinary collaboration for children with feeding disorders.

 
88. Comparing the Effectiveness of Video Modeling and Pictorial Task Analysis on Biofeedback Technology Acquisition: A Reimagined Approach to Physical Therapy
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHARLOTTE ASHTON JONES (West Virginia University), Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University )
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana Lafayette)
Abstract: The intersection of medicine and behavior is key to improvements in health and quality of life. Recovery following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is no exception. Unfortunately, less than half of patients achieve a full recovery. The barriers and solutions to recovery lie at the intersection of medicine and behavior. Behaviorally informed biofeedback techniques when combined with physical therapy have been shown to improve recovery. While this technique has proven effective, broad adoption requires the development of a rapid, accessible, and effective training procedure. To this aim, study one entailed the development and comparison of the effectiveness of two remote trainings. The first used a Pictorial Task Analysis presented through PowerPoint. The second used video modeling.Overall, participants in the Video Modeling group demonstrated marginally better performance than participants in the PowerPoint group (97.11% vs 94.23% accuracy). Study two aimed to address the leading barrier of study 1, orientation by utilizing a multiple-exemplar training procedure. The addition of multiple-exemplar training improved performance for participants in the PowerPoint group and had little effect on performance for the VideoModeling participants (97.04% vs. 97.04%). These findings provide preliminary evidence in support of developing a teletherapy approach to biofeedback.
 
89. Capturing Relevant Establishing Operations During a Functional Analysis of Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
MAYRA A ALEY (Children's Specialized Hospital), Jaime Crowley-Zalaket (Children's Specialized Hospital), Kathryn M. Peterson (Rutgers University and Children's Specialized Hospital), Emma Auten (Children’s Specialized Hospital—Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (CSH—RUCARES)), Casey Toutoungi (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (West Virgina University)
Abstract:

Functional analyses involve the systematic manipulation of antecedents and/or consequences (Iwata et al. 1994) and have long been considered the gold-standard for evaluating the functions of challenging behaviors. Piazza et al. (2003) adapted the standard functional analysis procedures to identify the function of inappropriate mealtime behavior among children with feeding difficulties. However, when replicated in a clinical setting, some limitations were identified. The purpose of this study was to modify functional analysis procedures to capture relevant establishing operations in a feeding context. Seven children who were recommended for intensive feeding therapy participated. All demonstrated high levels of inappropriate mealtime behavior during baseline assessments. A presentation assessment (Anderson et al., 2022) and a functional analysis were conducted for solids, liquids, or both across participants. Data for all participants showed elevated rates of inappropriate mealtime behavior in at least one test-condition compared to control indicating a socially-mediated function. These results were used to develop function-based treatments for participants. Future research should consider including additional components to assess motivating operations in functional analyses to further refine function-based treatments for feeding difficulties.

 
 

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