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 #237
Addressing Problem Behavior and Engagement in School Settings Using Classroom-based Interventions
Sunday, May 27, 2012
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
618/619 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)

Four data-based presentations will include presenters from three different universities (Vanderbilt, Kansas, Missouri State). These presentations will cover a range of classroom-based interventions for problem behavior and engagement. Wehby will present an intervention targeting first graders utilizing a withdrawal design. Kamps and Wills will present studies on a the Class-wide Function-related Intervention Team program (CW-FIT). The overall design for these presentations was a randomized control group design yet single-case designs were also included and results of each will be presented. Finally, Garrison-Kane will examine the effectiveness and fidelity of teacher-led functional behavioral assessments and will share results of a range of single-case studies. Each presentation will be rooted in the application of behavioral principles in school-settings and will emphasize how the science of behavior is being applied to improve student outcomes.

Keyword(s): Function, group-contingency, Intervention, School

The Effects of a Leadership Role on the Class Engagement

JOSEPH H. WEHBY (Vanderbilt University), Elizabeth Fidler (Vanderbilt University), Ellen Hodell (Vanderbilt University)

The study examined the effectiveness of a student leadership role on the academic engagement of first-grade students at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders who exhibited low engagement. Two at-risk students identified as displaying low engagement during Center Time were granted a Center Leader position. In this role, the participant observed all the students in his class during Centers and filled out a checklist on whether each student was engaged in the assigned task. Engagement data were collected during the 10-min intervention and 10 min following intervention in teacher-directed, small reading groups. Results indicated a clear functional relation between engagement and the implementation of the Center Leader position. Further, all parties rated the intervention favorably. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams "CW-FIT": Class Level Effects From a Four-Year Efficacy Trial

DEBRA M. KAMPS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)

Seventeen schools, the majority in urban and culturally diverse communities, and 159 teachers participated in CW-FIT. A randomized experimental control group design was the primary design for the study (randomized by classes within schools each year). A reversal single subject design was used to demonstrate experimental control in 39 of the experimental classrooms. CW-FIT intervention consisted of a behavioral intervention designed to teach appropriate skills (e.g., how to gain the teachers attention, following directions, ignoring inappropriate behaviors), and reinforce students use of the skills by using a game format (group contingency with class teams). Results indicated that on task data was higher during CW FIT conditions across all 4 years. CW-FIT classes averaged 52.1% on task during baseline, with an increase to an average of 82.7% during intervention sessions. The comparison classes averaged 50.0% on task during baseline, with a slight increase to 55.7% during the second baseline probes. Teacher praise and points increased during CW-FIT sessions. Praise remained low across both baseline phases for the comparison classes. Reprimands decreased in the CW-FIT classes, and remained constant for the comparison classes. ANOVA statistics indicated significant differences favoring the CW-FIT classes for all three variables (p < .001).


Class-wide Function-Related Intervention Team Program (CW-FIT) Direct Observation of Student Outcomes

HOWARD P. WILLS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)

The current study examined the effects of the class-wide function-based intervention team (CW-FIT) program. The program was established to broadly target common functions maintaining problem behaviors in elementary classrooms (teacher attention, peer attention, escape). Within CW-FIT, students not responding to the primary intervention receive targeted strategies including help cards or self-management. Functional assessment and analysis is then utilized for students not responding to targeted strategies. A randomized experimental-control group design was used to examine the effects of the intervention in 76 classrooms across 16 urban elementary schools and including 162 students with challenging behavior (compared to 69 classrooms and 122 students with challenging behavior). The effects of functional assessments and analyses were documented with single-subject methodology such as multi-element designs. Measures included multiple probes of student engagement and problem behavior, as well as teacher praise and reprimands. Results indicate an increase in student engagement and teacher praise with subsequent decreases in problem behaviors for students in intervention classrooms as compared to those in control classrooms and as compared to baseline rates. Results will be presented for the students with the most challenging behavior.


The Efficacy and Fidelity of Functional Based Methodology in Public School Settings

LINDA GARRISON-KANE (Missouri State University), Candace Lane (Arizona State University), Amy Bauer (Missouri State University), Michael Goeringer (Republic School District), Alexandra Beckman (Missouri State University), Erin Wilson (Missouri State University)

This study assesses the effectiveness and fidelity of teacher directed functional behavioral assessments within our public schools. Six public school special education teachers employed a series of 30 single-subject design methodologies to assess the hypothesis development and function-based treatment interventions for students educationally diagnosed with emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and autism. Fidelity of treatment measures was developed for each function-based intervention to strengthen treatment effects for each participant. Comprehensive functional behavioral assessments included repeated measurements (10-second momentary time-sampling) of direct observations of the target behaviors (on and off-task behaviors) in the classrooms, indirect functional assessments (e.g., Problem Behavior Questionnaire, Motivation Assessment Scale) and functional analysis within the classroom consisting of five (10-minute) conditions of High Demand Activities, Low Demand Activities, High Attention Activities, Low Attention Activities and Alone/Toy play condition. All direct and indirect measurements collected on the students, as well as the functional analysis data were conducted by the special education classroom teachers. Function-based interventions, Self-Monitoring and Functional Communication Training were employed to teach to the functions of escape and attention-motivated behaviors. Preliminary results indicated successful implementation of functional behavioral methodology by classroom teachers with increased on-task behaviors (85%-95%) for participants within each school site.




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