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 #96H
OBM Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 25, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Tyler Re (The Chicago School)
67. Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Behavior Skills Training to Enhance Therapeutic Relationship Skills
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Rocco G Catrone (The Chicago School Professional Psychology), SAMANTHA DENEGRI (The Chicago School - Chicago Campus )
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract:

Pairing, sometimes called rapport building, is a recommended procedure in behavior analytic practice to build therapeutic relationships and help establish instructional control with clients. Pairing has been described as mutual consumption of the reinforcing activity (e.g., enthusiastically narrating the activity; Sundberg and Partington, 1998). However, until recently, pairing skills have not been explicitly described or empirically trained. Lugo et al. (2017) operationally defined therapist behaviors to promote rapport building and examined a procedure to increase therapist use of those skills. Other studies (e.g., Gormley et al., 2020) replicated this procedure to assess its impact on different client skill outcomes. One area that has not been examined is optimizing this procedure for the implementing staff. Given that ABA service environments are often regarded as inherently stressful in ways that may impede performance, Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) has been used to bolster training and other performance management interventions (e.g., Little et al., 2020). Training in rapport building could be enhanced similarly and result in beneficial outcomes for staff performance. Also, the benefits of ACT have been rarely examined outside of an intervention package. Thus, the present study examined the enhancing effects of ACT on therapeutic relationship building skills and, if needed, behavioral skills training (BST). A multiple probe design across participants was used to evaluate the impact on three of the rapport building skills across two clients per therapist. Results suggest that ACT alone may result in temporary performance boosts, but most participants required additional support through formal BST. Limitations and future suggestions are also described.

 
Diversity submission 68. Effects of Presentation of Multi-Examples and Feedback on Multifaceted Inference of Subordinate Intentions by Supervisors
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MEGUMI CHIKANO (Fujitsu Limited), Masahiro Shiraishi (Fujitsu Limited), Kenta Ide (Fujitsu Limited), Takeshi Konno (Fujitsu Limited), Soichiro Matsuda (University of Tsukuba), Satoru Shimamune (Hosei University)
Discussant: Kissel Joseph Goldman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: In the enterprise, it is required for superiors to grasp and improve problems and real needs of subordinates in order to reduce the turnover rate of subordinates and improve their performance. However, the problem is that the superiors’ communication skills are not good enough. The purpose of this research is to develop a program to train supervisors to infer the background and intention of their subordinates' questions and statements in a multifaceted manner. Multi-examples presentation and feedback, which have been suggested to promote multi-faceted speculation, were introduced with the passage of time to verify the effect. As a result, the intervention improved the number and categories of inferred responses. The result that the behavior which is difficult to be formed in the teaching can be formed by the multi-examples presentation and feedback was obtained. In the future, the aim is to realize a support system for supervisors communicate skills by utilizing these methods.
 
69. Increasing Employee Wellness Program Participation for a Remote Organization
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Kristyn Peterson (Zendicoded ), SARAH JEAN BRANDT (Zendicoded, The Chicago School )
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: The goal of this study was to determine whether a treatment package would produce differential impacts on three types of participation in a corporate wellness program. The study was comprised of 13 participants employed by a remote company. The dependent variables for this study were behavior-based wellness submissions, comments, and reactions into Zen Garden. The independent variable was the inclusion of a treatment package which included goal setting, differential reinforcement, and incentives. Results show the treatment package was effective at increasing all dependent variables at the organizational level. Patterns of response indicated that response effort may have moderated occurrence of the dependent variables, with the lowest response effort variable being engaged in at the highest rates. Commensurately, the highest response effort dependent variable (submissions) occurred at the lowest rate, though still increased when the treatment package was introduced. Limitations of the current study include the lack of component analysis to determine the relative contribution of each intervention in the treatment package. Future studies should aim to study parametric analysis of incentive schedules to maximize budgetary resources, and component analyses to create the most parsimonious treatment package needed to meet the organization’s goals.
 
Diversity submission 70. MEBS for Managers: Multi-Element Behavior Support for Problem Behaviors in the Workplace
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
LORI ANN DOTSON (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis; IABA Research and Education Foundation)
Discussant: Kissel Joseph Goldman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Through its utilization of ecological, teaching, reinforcement and reactive strategies, the multi-element behavior support (MEBS) paradigm has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of problem behavior for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The aim of this poster is to provide a framework for the utilization of the MEBS paradigm in human service employment settings where employees’ challenging behavior serves as a barrier to their competence, confidence and credibility. Utilizing environmental, educational and compensation strategies, solutions to common performance problems for direct support workers will be discussed. Further, using a culturally attuned approach, recommendations will be made for functional, effective and non-aversive reactive strategies for safe rapid control over workplace problems, aimed at decreasing the episodic severity and increasing the dignity of workers and management when such episodes arise. Employee wellbeing will also be discussed within the context of quality of life as both an outcome variable and support strategy for direct staff and management.

 
71. Do Pajama Days and Potlucks Matter? Evaluation of Morale-Boosting Activities on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Clinic Employee's Reported Burn Out
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
COLIN WEHR (UNMC), Cynthia P. Livingston (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Briana Jean Lucke (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Catalina Rey (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract:

Burnout is reported to be an issue in many fields, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) is no exception (Jimenez-Gomez et al., 2021). Some ABA clinics have reported attempts to decrease burnout and increase morale and productivity by having fun work events such as pajama days, amongst other things (Tagg, 2022). However, it is unclear whether these attempts to decrease burnout and increase morale are effective. Said another way, “are morale-boosting activities effective?” The purpose of our study was to assess the effects of pajama days, potlucks, and other “morale-boosting” activities on reported burn-out (Kristensen, Borritz, Villadsen, & Christensen, 2005) of employees in a Severe Behavior and an Early Intervention clinic using a multiple-baseline across clinics design. During baseline, we conducted “business as usual,” with no planned “morale boosting” activities. During the intervention, 2-5 “morale boosting” activities were conducted throughout the week, ranging from pajama days to spirit week. Implications of the results and future research directions are discussed.

 
72. Do Employee of the Month Awards Make Registered Behavior Technicians Quit?
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY TRUONG (Simmons University, Holding Hands Inc.)
Discussant: Kissel Joseph Goldman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Employee of the month awards are often believed to decrease employee turnover and increase employee job satisfaction. However, several managers at Holding Hands Inc. in Los Angeles County, California have hypothesized the opposite: that their employee of the month award is making staff quit after they win. They have cited anecdotal evidence that some behavior technicians were quitting shortly after winning the award. We argue that this must be an evidence-based practice. The author did an observational study, using existing data on employee tenure for award winners and non-winners, and dates of awards to evaluate this hypothesis. Overall, statistical analysis of the data did not show evidence for a causal relation between winning the employee of the month award and resigning from the company. However, there was also no evidence shown that the award decreases staff turnover or improves staff retention. Future studies within and outside of Holding Hands Inc. can further evaluate aspects of the award that affect staff retention.

 
73. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology-Supported Training to Improve the Accuracy of Descriptive Assessment Data Collection by School-Based Staff
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN PAPACCIOLI (Hunter College, CUNY), Salvador Ruiz (Hunter College, CUNY)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract: When functional behavior assessments (FBAs) are conducted in school-based settings, teachers and paraprofessionals working with the student are often responsible for collecting descriptive assessment (DA) data. This indicates a need for FBA training procedures that are efficient and require limited personnel, specifically in educational environments where these resources are often limited. The present study evaluated the use of technology-supported behavioral skills training (BST) to train school-based staff to accurately collect DA data, specifically identifying single and simultaneously occurring antecedent and consequent events related to target behavior(s). The present study extends previous research by Scott et al. (2018) by providing more opportunities to program for and assess generalization, providing more detailed feedback during practice sessions, modifying the response measure to determine a more accurate measure of overall correct responding for participants, and disseminating training materials more aligned with an asynchronous model. Results of the study demonstrated that the intervention resulted in an increase in accurate responding and that the learned skills generalized to natural environment conditions.
 
74. A Preliminary Preference Assessment to Identify Potential Reinforcers for Employees
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
GIANLUCA ALDO GHEZZI (BEHAVIOR FACTORY), Luca Giani (BEHAVIOR FACTORY), Davide Mazzola (BEHAVIOR FACTORY), Dayna Beddick (University of West Florida)
Discussant: Kissel Joseph Goldman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: According to latest research (Simonian et al., 2020), the use of preference assessment methodology in workplace settings has been scarce, with only a dozen significant studies (i.e. met minimum criteria selected by the review authors) in the last 25 years. We know that studies were conducted only by a small number of researchers, that an average of 18 participants was involved in each study, and that demographic information were reported to be quite inconsistent. Considering how important is to know more about potential reinforcers for workers, to design effective incentive system in OBM interventions, we decided to replicate for the first time a similar study in Europe. Aware that employees’ preference changes over time (Wine & Axelrod, 2014; Wine et al., 2012), we will gather data from employees of big-sized Italian companies so to expand current knowledge about how to better motivate behavior change in organizations, thanks to a single-time survey that will be launched between 1st December 2023 and 15th January 2024.
 
Sustainability submission 75. Global Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Using the Competent Learner Model System™
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Cathy Scutta (CLM Center of Excellence), VICCI TUCCI (Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc.), Cristin Leahy (Penn West University), Kristina Zaccaria (CLM Center of Excellence, division of Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc.)
Discussant: Mary Llinas
Abstract:

The Competent Learner Model (CLM) System of Team-Based Professional Development Tools addresses four complex, interrelated realities faced by most educators in most schools anywhere in the world. 1) Increasing numbers of students with autism and other significantly complex learning and behavioral challenges related to neurodiversity are included in general education settings. 2) Complex student needs require school-based multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) to work together to design and deliver evidence-based behavioral interventions and instruction with consistency. 3) Insufficient training and support to use empirically validated interventions with fidelity. 4) Lack of tools and training to implement programs to achieve and sustain intended effects. As we know, an evidence-based program is never enough to ensure effective use, implementation, and sustainability in practice. Along with the interest to adopt behavioral interventions in various systems across the world, there has been increased interest in utilizing a behavioral package of instructional tools. To meet that need, the Competent Learner Model System™ is built on the principles of Organizational Behavior and Change Management as the foundation of a dissemination infrastructure that includes university certificate programs, licensing, standardized instructor, coach and coordinator training processes, ongoing continuing education requirements and a quality assurance integrity check system to go along with the Competent Learner Model™ instructional tools for learners.

 
 

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