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 #325
CE Offered: BACB
Taking Behavior Analysis to NYC: Using Classroom-Based Functional Analysis and Adjunctive Assessments for Challenging Behaviors
Monday, May 28, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: J. Helen Yoo (Institute for Basic Research)
Discussant: Maria G. Valdovinos (Drake University)
CE Instructor: J. Helen Yoo, Ph.D.

All public schools are required to provide students with disabilities with a free and appropriate public education. The use of behavior-analytic assessment and intervention for students presenting with chronic and severe problem behaviors in public schools however, have been limited due to a multitude of factors. This symposium will present data showing that empirically-based, short-term, intensive, and effective behavioral intervention can be implemented in the public school setting and can have profound effects on student progress similar to controlled, clinic settings. The first presentation will be a case study using both DRO and DRA with competing items for a student who engaged in high intensity, high frequency SIB. The second presentation will be a comparison of DRO and DRA in treating SIB maintained by automatic reinforcement and access to tangibles. The third presentation will compare direct observation data with the scores obtained from the Aberrant Behavior ChecklistCommunity (ABC-C) during baseline and intervention phases to determine the inter-method reliability and to assess the impact of the intervention. Recommendations for future research and discussions related to school-based practice will also be presented.

Keyword(s): Differential Reinforcement, Public School, Rating Scales, Self-injurious behavior

Using DRA and DRO With Competing Items to Decrease Sensory-Maintained Self-Injury in an Adolescent With Autism

NIALL JAMES TONER (Institute for Basic Research), Jenny E. Tuzikow (Institute for Basic Research)

A combination of positive reductive procedures based on differential reinforcements is often used to produce a more potent outcome in reducing problem behaviors such as self-injurious behavior (SIB) (i.e., Beare, Severson, & Brandt, 2004). Differential reinforcement involves reinforcing one response class while withholding reinforcement for another response class, often for the absence of problem behavior (i.e., differential reinforcement of other behavior, DRO) or the occurrence of another, more desirable behavior (e.g., differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, DRA). In the present case study, DRO and DRA were implemented in an attempt to decrease chronic, high-intensity and high frequency SIB using an A-B design. The DRA consisted of delivering a secondary reinforcer (a token) for appropriate on-task behavior. The DRO consisted of delivering highly preferred items on a fixed interval contingent on the absence of SIB. The competing item consisted of the student carrying a task-related item during activity transitions. Treatment began in isolation and later generalized across various people and settings. Teaching staff and parent trainings were also conducted in the classroom to promote consistency and generalization, increasing ecological validity. The results indicate that a combination of DRA and DRO with competing items suppressed SIB significantly during 3 months of intervention.


A Comparison of Differential Reinforcement Procedures Used to Reduce Self-Injurious Behavior

JENNY E. TUZIKOW (Institute for Basic Research), Niall James Toner (Institute for Basic Research)

Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) are 2 commonly used procedures for reducing self-injurious behavior (SIB) in individuals with developmental disabilities (Cowdery, Iwata, & Pace, 1990). The implementation of DRO and DRA involve establishing reversal contingency for the occurrence of SIB. Previous research has evaluated these procedures for SIB maintained by only 1 function, typically conducted in controlled settings. It remains unclear whether 1 treatment would be more effective or efficient in addressing SIB maintained by multiple functions in more natural settings. In the present case study, functional analysis (Iwata et al., 1982/1994) conducted in the classroom revealed that a students SIB was maintained by automatic reinforcement and access to tangibles. DRO, then DRA, were implemented successively to alter the reinforcement contingency maintaining the SIB. Results indicate that DRO did not lead to reductions in SIB. The DRA, however, was more effective in reducing SIB. Similar findings were reported previously (i.e., Tarpley & Schroeder, 1979). Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.


A Comparison Between the Aberrant Behavior ChecklistCommunity (ABC-C) and Objective Data on Evaluating Problem Behaviors in Students With Autism

DEANNA M. GIANNINI (Institute for Basic Research), Jenny E. Tuzikow (Institute for Basic Research), Niall James Toner (Institute for Basic Research), J. Helen Yoo (Institute for Basic Research)

An important component in measuring behaviors in students with autism and developmental disabilities is the method of data collection. Objective data provide the most sensitive and accurate analysis of the target behavior. However, the sample may represent only a fraction of the students day while requiring teachers effort and time. Ratings scales offer an alternative method of gathering global information on the teachers perceived severity of the students behavior and the impact of the intervention. Yet heavy emphasis is placed on direct observation and both methods are seldom combined to evaluate the effects of an intervention (Valdovinos et al., 2002). The current study was conducted in various public schools. Direct observations and the ABC-C (Aman & Singh, 1986) were conducted during baseline and intervention phases to determine the inter-method reliability and to assess the impact of the intervention. The results indicate that while the objective data more accurately measured the changes in the target behavior, these changes were not always reflected in the rating scales completed by the staff. Ratings scales such as the ABC-C may be a useful adjunctive tool in assessing the global perceived impact of the behavior intervention.




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