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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #379
CE Offered: BACB
Treatment Integrity in Educational Contexts
Monday, May 28, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
618/619 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Claire C St. Peter, Ph.D.

Treatment integrity refers to the degree to which a procedure is conducted as planned. Treatment integrity may influence treatment outcome. Recent research on treatment integrity has examined effects of reduced integrity on treatment outcome, evaluations of naturalistic treatment integrity, and methods to improve treatment integrity. This symposium highlights recent developments in all3 areas, but specifically focuses on the evaluation of variables associated with treatment integrity in educational or academic contexts. Integrity is an important concept for education because reduced integrity decreases desired performance (skill acquisition; Pence & St. Peter). The choice of intervention (e.g., noncontingent reinforcement or differential reinforcement) can influence integrity, with interventions that require active monitoring of behavior having lower levels of integrity than those that do not (Leon-Enriquez, Gregory, Watts, & Ribiero). When integrity is low, it can be improved through performance feedback and directed rehearsal, which in turn improves intervention outcomes (Pugliese, Kearney, Houvouras, & Harvey).

Keyword(s): differential reinforcement, discrete-trial training, manding, treatment integrity

Evaluation of Treatment Integrity Errors on Mand Acquisition

SACHA T. PENCE (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)

Mand (request) acquisition is a vital component for successful language development during childhood. Mands allow children to request access to items, activities, and information. Within the natural environment, errors in the training procedure can interfere with mand acquisition. Such errors may include a delay between the mand and the delivery of the item, the delivery of the item independent of the mand occurring, and delivering an incorrect item (e.g., the child asks for milk and the listener gives them juice). These kinds of errors impede the acquisition of academic-related skills (e.g., Noell, Gresham, & Gansle, 2002; Worsdell et al., 2005). This study examined the occurrence of errors on rates of mand acquisition using nonsense names for highly preferred toys with3 children. Four levels of program integrity were evaluated (errors occurred on 0%, 30%, 60%, or 100% of opportunities) with each participant. More frequent errors were detrimental to mand acquisition. Implications for mand-acquisition programming are discussed.

Consistency of NCR and DRO Schedules Implemented by Direct Care Staff During Discrete Trial Instruction
YANERYS LEON (Florida Institute of Technology), Meagan Gregory (Florida Institute of Technology), Amanda Watts (Florida Institute of Technology), Aurelia Ribeiro (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) are commonly used treatments to reduce problem behavior, and research has shown that the procedures are about equally effective. One factor that may influence treatment choice is consistency of implementation. Gregory, Iwata, and Beavers (2010) compared implementation of NCR, interval DRO, and momentary DRO by direct care staff in an analogue context during which graduate students played the role of clients. Results indicated that DRO produced the largest number of errors, whereas NCR produced the fewest. This study extended the comparison to a clinical setting with individuals exhibiting actual problem behaviors. Treatment was conducted during discrete-trial training sessions.
Effects of Performance Feedback and Directed Rehearsal on Teacher Implementation of Consequent Components of Behavior Support Plans
SHANTEL PUGLIESE (Florida Institute of Technology), Allyson Ross Kearney (Florida Institute of Technology), Andrew John Houvouras (Applying Behavior Concepts), Mark T. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: This study investigated the integrity of teachers’ implementation of consequent components of behavior support plans, the effects of immediate performance feedback and directed rehearsal on teachers’ treatment integrity, and the collateral effects of treatment integrity on students’ behavior. During the intervention phase, investigators delivered performance feedback and directed rehearsal to teachers immediately following observation sessions. The results of this study suggest that immediate performance feedback and directed rehearsal may be an effective treatment package for increasing the integrity of teachers’ implementation of behavior support plans. Additionally, a component analysis of individual consequent components revealed that the treatment package was effective for increasing teachers’ integrity to 90% or above for all consequent components. The results also suggest that given the behavior support plan was appropriately monitored and revised, a close correlation existed between the teachers’ integrity and the students’ target behavior.



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