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 #484G
OBM Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 27, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Christina Barosky (Bierman Autism Centers)
64. Increasing Staff Data Collection
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY PETERSON (Rivermont Schools)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England, Endicott College)
Abstract: Johnston and Pennypacker (1993) describe measurement as the process of attaching numbers to events to distinguish them from other events. The numbers derived from measurement are data, which are the primary material behavior analysts use to evaluate their work (Cooper et al.,2007). In fact, LeBlanc et al.(2016) argued that the practice of applied behavior analysis is invalid in the absence of meaningful data. Critical staff behavior necessary for quality ABA-based educational programming involves using student educational data to guide instructional programming (Daly, Witt, Martens, & Dool,1997; Martens, Eckert, Bradley, & Ardoin,1999). As such, classroom staff participating in data collection consistently throughout the day leads to more effective treatment. In a private day school setting that utilizes ABA in the classroom, data is consistently evaluated and utilized to make both academic and behavioral decisions for treatment. This study will explore the effectiveness of three combined interventions with the goal of increasing individual staff data collection. These interventions include the Organizational Behavior Management techniques of training, reinforcement and public display of data. In the first phase of intervention staff will undergo behavior skills training which involves presentation of information, rehearsal of the skill, and feedback. The second phase will include staff being provided with a tangible reward; each week the staff with the highest amount of data collected on discrete trials will receive a lunch of their choice. Lastly, the BCBA will tally and graph the number of trial counts for each staff member and post in a common area for the final phase of the intervention.
 
65. The Impact of Externalizing Behavior, Physical Management and Crisis Training on Staff Burnout
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA LEE HINES (Marcus Autism Center; University of Georgia), Jessica Herrod (Marcus Autism Center), Lyla Masoud (Marcus Autism Center; Georgia State University), Alexandra Hardee (Marcus Autism Center), Summer Bottini (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Christina Barosky (Bierman Autism Centers)
Abstract:

Burnout is highly prevalent among behavioral providers and negatively impacts their well-being and service delivery. Past research has examined the prevalence of externalizing behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injury, elopement) among individuals with developmental disabilities. High frequency or intensity behaviors can lead to crisis situations, which may impact provider perceived competency and safety, and therefore, stress. This survey study examined provider experiences with client externalizing behavior, management training, and perceived stress. 634 direct care providers (115 man; 494 women; 25 other) completed our online survey. Respondents primarily worked with autistic individuals. Although a majority of providers indicated they work with individuals with externalizing behavior, only 67% indicated any formal training in physical management and restraint (Table 2). There was variability in the number of providers indicating that physical management and safety concerns related to externalizing behavior caused stress. We will conduct and present additional analyses regarding how aspects of training related to physical management and caseload characteristics impact stress and burnout. These findings will inform possible training practices that may decrease provider stress.

 
66. Teaching University Students How to Receive Feedback
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Ryo Aiba (University of Tsukuba), SOICHIRO MATSUDA (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England, Endicott College)
Abstract: Numerous studies have explored strategies for delivering feedback, however, limited attention has been given to the art of receiving feedback effectively, such as asking questions to obtain more detailed information. In Study 1, conducted as a systematic replication of prior research (Ehrlich et al., 2020), our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of behavioral skills training in enabling university students to receive feedback appropriately. The findings showed that, subsequent to undergoing behavioral skills training, four out of five participants exhibited enhanced accuracy in receiving feedback. In Study 2, our focus shifted to the impact of visually presenting the evaluation items for feedback targets. The findings indicated that this visual approach influenced feedback reception in only one participant, with no observable changes in the task performance of feedback targets. This study underscores the enduring effects of behavioral skills training on feedback reception, even when contextual variables and feedback target tasks differ from those in previous studies. Future research should delve deeper into the generalization and functional aspects of feedback reception behavior.
 
67. Reducing Technician Turnover With the Power of Positive Feedback
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL ZECHERIAH RUX (Total Spectrum ), Kerri Wood (Total Spectrum )
Discussant: Christina Barosky (Bierman Autism Centers)
Abstract:

In the applied behavior analysis service delivery industry, behavior technician annual turnover has been reported to be 30%-75% (Molko, 2018). Such a high turnover rate presents several issues, including a detrimental impact on essential service provision and the accrual of substantial organizational training costs (Molko, 2018). A lack of supervisor support and feedback have been identified as factors that contribute to turnover rate (Arrington, 2021; Austin, 2022; Villanueva Jasa, 2022). Given these considerations, the current study investigated the effect of an incentive program that used technology to help supervisors provide more immediate positive feedback on turnover rate. This was done via a pre and post intervention design with a comparison of the test region group and non-test region groups (organization wide). Behavior Technicians received positive feedback for engaging in desired behaviors related to their work performance standards (e.g. filling out session notes on time, pairing well with clients, and high treatment fidelity). This feedback was recorded by supervisors through a QR code system that was then tracked with Microsoft Forms and Excel. Behavior technicians then received cards for each instance of positive feedback that was recorded. These cards were then used to enter a weekly raffle for gift cards. In addition, the total number of cards gained by a Behavior Technician accumulated for use towards company-sponsored outings. Once they turned in enough cards, the outing was announced and paid for. Monthly technician turnover rates were pulled from the company’s internal employment data system. Results showed a reduction in average monthly turnover post-implementation (14.6% vs. 11.5%). In addition, the intervention region average monthly turnover outperformed non-test regions (11.5% vs. 12.83% respectively)). The practical considerations regarding incorporating this type of program and future directions will also be discussed.

 
68. ACTing in Group Context for Staff Effectiveness and Well-Being
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE CROCHET (Mount St. Mary's University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Mount Saint Mary's University)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England, Endicott College)
Abstract:

The current study sought to extend Issen et al. (2021) by evaluating the effects of brief group-based Acceptance Commitment Training (ACT) activities on Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) job performance in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) center. ACT activities were taken from the Accept Identify Move (AIM) curriculum and presented in four workshops across four weeks. The workshops included 19 RBTs, 4 BCBAs, 1 BCaBA, and an administrative staff. A multiple probe across three participants (RBTs) design was used to evaluate changes in implementing Discrete Trial Training (DTT) steps and Instructional Control (IC) steps following the ACT workshop. The Cognitive Flexibility Inventory (CFI) survey was also conducted to evaluate the effects of the ACT workshop on participants’ psychological flexibility. Finally, an ACT knowledge questionnaire was conducted before and after the workshops to assess participants' understanding of ACT-related concepts. Results showed an increase in correct implementation of DTT and IC steps for participants one and two compared to baseline. Participant Three received an additional, individualized ACT session, which increased DTT and IC steps for this participant. These results provide implications for supporting staff effectiveness in center-based ABA.

 
69. A Behavioral Systems Analysis Approach to Improving the Exit Interview Process of an Inpatient Hospital Unit
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTNEY NICOLE WORKMAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Amigo Care ABA), Shelby Lynne Quigley (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Amigo Care ABA, Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Christina Barosky (Bierman Autism Centers)
Abstract:

Exit interviews are a tool commonly used by organizations to gather important information from separating employees (Flint et al., 2013). However, the usefulness of this information is influenced by the processes and procedures involved (Pace & Kisamore, 2017). In the field of organizational behavior management (OBM), behavioral systems analysis (BSA) allows for the examination of organizational systems with the external environment (Kast & Rosenzweig, 1972); this methodology is appropriate for large scale initiatives such as exit interviews, which often involve multiple procedures and numerous staff to execute. In the current study, we used BSA to evaluate and improve the exit interview process of an inpatient hospital unit. Process mapping revealed that the format of exit interviewing during baseline was a barrier to process efficiency, and it was hypothesized to negatively impact completion rates. To target this shortcoming, the exit interview was converted from a paper-based format to an online electronic version, thereby automating the process. Changes improved efficiency by reducing: (1) the number of process steps by 45.5% and (2) the number of resources by 33.3%. Overall, these changes produced a 48.0% increase in the percentage of exit interviews completed by direct-care staff. Implications and future directions will be discussed.

 
70. Extension of Reducing Employee Absenteeism With Performance Feedback, and Establishing Excusal Criteria
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRISTOPHER M DILLON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Shelby Lynne Quigley (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Amigo Care ABA, Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis), Brittney Nicole Workman (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Amigo Care ABA), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England, Endicott College)
Abstract:

Unplanned and excessive staff absences can greatly impact ABA service delivery and the fidelity of behavioral interventions. Several studies have successfully utilized performance management strategies to reduce unplanned absences (Luiselli et al., 2009). In a previous study within an inpatient unit, we utilized performance feedback and contingent restriction to overtime (OT) opportunities at a direct-care staff level to reduce excessive absenteeism. This was initially effective, but eventually, call-outs increased. Additionally, despite increased unplanned absenteeism, supervisory data showed that few staff met the OT restriction contingency. Upon further investigation, it was determined that supervisors were inconsistently implementing the attendance policy. A supervisor-level intervention was introduced, which included establishing excusal criteria, training supervising staff to identify excused and non-excused absences, and delivering performance feedback on supervisor decision-making every month. This modification resulted in substantial decreases in direct care staff absenteeism, which were maintained over a six-month period. The implications and future directions of multi-level intervention programs will be discussed.

 
71. A Comparison of Performance Diagnostic Tools: Assessment of Manager Presence on Client Outcomes
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
SHELBY LYNNE QUIGLEY (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Amigo Care ABA, Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Christina Barosky (Bierman Autism Centers)
Abstract:

Within the field of OBM, Performance Management offers practitioners different tools to assess employee performance (Gravina et al., 2022). The goal of these tools is to identify environmental variables contributing to a performance deficit, which ultimately leads to indicated solution(s). While research supports the efficacy of these methodologies, what is less clear is how combining assessment strategies might further illuminate performance deficits. The purpose of this study was to assess variables preventing managers from directly observing employee behaviors using three different assessment measures. To accomplish this, managers’ time allocation on the floor was assessed via: (1) descriptive data collected on potential barriers, (2) a PIC/NIC Analysis was completed, and (3) the PDC-HS (Carr et al., 2013) was completed with 3 managers. Assessment data were then compared to identify similarities and differences, as well as to help inform intervention planning. In general, we found that each assessment offered a unique perspective, and recognized a solution based on solely one methodology (e.g., PDC-HS) would have been incomplete. Specifically, we found that information obtained by the PIC/NIC and descriptive data helped lead us to more refined intervention. Future considerations for practitioners and implications of utilizing multiple performance diagnostic tools will be discussed.

 
72. Utilizing Publicly Posted Data to Increase Lesson Implementation by Behavior Therapists
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGAN PYLES (Pyles & Associates), Ines Eduardo Osorio Soto (Pyles and Associates), Marina Jane Wesner (Pyles & Associates)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England, Endicott College)
Abstract: Rates of learning opportunities are positively correlated with rates of skill acquisition in children with autism, therefore interventions should be developed to enhance rates of learning opportunities presented by behavior therapists. Previous studies have demonstrated that public posting of data and feedback increased safety-related behaviors by employees. The present study sought to extend research on publicly posted data on employee performance. Specifically, this study extended the results of Ludwig et al. (2010) to increase the average number of lessons implemented by an ABA therapist in a clinic setting. Prior to intervention, verbal feedback was provided on an irregular basis. During intervention, the rate of lesson completion across employees was publicly posted in a large playroom that was utilized for ABA treatment sessions. Verbal feedback methods were not manipulated across baseline and intervention. This study used a reversal design to demonstrate differential responding across baseline and public posting conditions. Data were posted on the average lessons per hour completed by a behavior technician per day, with a verbal rule provided that six-lessons were hour were the expectation. Results demonstrate that when data are publicly posted on rates of lesson implementation, the average lessons conducted increased.
 
 

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