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 #311
CE Offered: BACB
Extensions of Analogue Functional Analysis Methodology: Novel Topographies and Longitudinal Measurement
Monday, May 28, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202 (TCC)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David M. Richman (Texas Tech University)
Discussant: Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: David M. Richman, Ph.D.

Analogue functional analysis methodology is an eloquent direct observation assessment that allows for relatively rapid assessment of broad classes of antecedents and consequences that evoke and maintain topographies of aberrant behavior. Functional analysis outcomes are then used to (a) rule-out broad classes of treatment options that will likely have counter therapeutic effects, and (b) prescribe broad classes of treatments that are matched to the function of aberrant behavior and likely to reduce it while increasing adaptive behavior. The focus of the current symposium is to add to our understanding of methodological modifications to analogue functional analysis methodology. Two of the talks will present single-subject experimental analyses documenting the clinical utility of using functional analysis to assess idiosyncratic sources of reinforcement and to a novel topography (i.e., crying). The final talk will detail methodological modifications of functional analysis to longitudinal analysis of changes in topography and functions of aberrant behavior exhibited by very young children at risk for chronic aberrant behavior. Finally, Jennifer Zarcone will serve as a discussant to integrate findings across the3 talks in relation to historical and contemporary applications of functional analysis methodology to assessment and treatment of aberrant behavior.

Keyword(s): analogue settings, behavior analysis, functional analysis

Functional Analysis and Treatment for Rule Breaking Behaviors

ELIZABETH SPEARES (Hillside Children's Center), Ken Peers (Hillside Children's Center), Megan Norris (Nationwide Children’s Hospital), Holly Brown (University of Rochester School of Nursing), Deborah A. Napolitano (University of Rochester School of Medicine)

The utility of functional analysis (FA) to assess behaviors displayed by persons with emotional disturbances (e.g., bullying) has been understudied; however, other studies have attempted to address this population with supplemental methods to a functional analysis (e.g., Neef, Mace & Shade, 1993). Although functional analysis is the gold standard for assessment of the function of challenging behavior the typical conditions do not always lend themselves to behavior that is difficult to define. Therefore, behavior analysts must try to identify the specific variables to be assessed and the conditions necessary to test the hypotheses. An individual with a diagnosed emotional disturbance participated. Initial assessment of invading personal space, under traditional FA conditions, led to the hypothesis that invading space was one behavior within a response class of behaviors, rule breaking. Therefore, the FA was modified to assess rule breaking behavior. Additionally, 2 attention conditions were assessed (positive and negative attention) in addition to the typical conditions. Results of the functional analysis indicated that attention was maintaining the rule breaking behavior, with a bias toward negative attention. A program, based on LeBlanc, Hapopianand Maglieri (2000) was developed to teach appropriate boundaries. Results of the analysis and boundaries program will be presented.


A Functional Analysis of Crying

Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SAMANTHA L. HARDESTY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amber Mendres Smith (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Crying has yet to be systematically examined in isolation from other problematic behaviors such as aggression or tantrums; therefore, the utility of applying functional analysis methodology to crying remains unclear (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003). Identifying variables that may maintain crying is especially important for populations who are often susceptible to psychiatric interventions (i.e., individuals who have intellectual disabilities and communication deficits). The current study extended functional analysis methodology to crying with an adolescent male diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Based on results of descriptive data, a 3-min emotionally charged (e.g., children crying) video was created and played across all sessions. Six experimental conditions were evaluated in a multielement design and data were collected on the duration of crying per session. Results suggested that crying was maintained by caregiver attention delivered in a sympathetic manner. Reliability data were collected for at least one-third of observations and averaged above 80%.


Longitudinal Analogue Functional Analysis Outcomes of 17 Young Children With Developmental Delays in Lima, Peru

LAYLA ABBY (Texas Tech University), Stephen R. Schroeder (University of Kansas), David M. Richman (Texas Tech University), Rosa Oyama-Ganiko (Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru), Liliana Mayo (Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru), Judith M. LeBlanc (University of Kansas), Andrea B. Courtemanche (University of Kansas), Janet Marquis (University of Kansas)

The National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Research Grant No. HD 060500 funds a current study analyzing risk and protective factors for the development of chronic aberrant behavior (CAB) exhibited by children 4- 48 months old at high risk for developing CAB due to specific neurodevelopmental disorders. One component of HD 060500 includes longitudinal home-based and parent-implemented analogue functional analyses of (1) aggression, (2) self-injury, (3) property destruction, (4) stereotypy, and (5) tantrums. Seventeen children with the mean age of 32 months (range of 17 - 41 months old) in Lima, Peru participated in brief analogue functional analysis observations (i.e., Control, Attention, Escape, and Alone conditions) repeated every 6 months for up to two years. Preliminary functional analysis results (see Figure 1) suggests all participants exhibited multiple topographies of CAB (17 children with 76 topographies) and that the most common function was automatic (17), followed by negative reinforcement (14), positive reinforcement in the form of attention (6), and undifferentiated (39). Data is still being collected and will be discussed in terms of other relevant risk and protective factors for CAB.




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