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 #128
CE Offered: BACB
Meeting Challenges for Applied Behavior Analysts: Interventions With Childhood Behavioraland Emotional Difficulties
Sunday, May 27, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
4C-4 (Convention Center)
Area: CBM/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeannie Golden (East Carolina University)
CE Instructor: Jeannie Golden, Ph.D.

Behavior analysts are often faced with challenging situations that require them to step out of their comfort zone to work in school and community settings where they may have to deal with individuals (such as staff, teachers, and parents) who do not buy into a behavioral approach. Each of the presentations in this symposium address a setting (school, residential facility, home) where part of the challenge is to change the behavior of the individuals who provide treatment and/or instruction. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that the children involved have behavioral and emotional problems that may not traditionally be dealt with by behavior analysts (such as anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues) or may be particularly challenging (such as ADD, explosive behavior disorder, and aggression). These challenges are met with technology, multi-faceted treatments, and/or novel approaches that change the behavior of the children involved as well as the significant others who play a central role in these childrens lives.

Keyword(s): behavioral/emotional disorders
Meeting the Challenge: Using Embedded Video-Based Instruction on an iPod Touch to Increase Academic Engagement
JESSE W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University), Erika Blood (Northern Illinois University), Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) repeatedly display off-task and disruptive behaviors in classroom settings (Gresham, Lane, MacMilan, & Bocian, 1999; Wehby, Symons, & Shores, 1995). These behaviors often result in the student with EBD experiencing negative outcomes such as removal from the instructional environment, decreased exposure to academic materials and decreased opportunities to learn (Carr, Taylor, & Robinson, 1991; Wehby, Symons, Canale, & Go, 1998). Two studies were conducted to assess the effectiveness of using embedded video-based instruction, delivered on an iPod Touch, to increase the on-task behavior and self-management skills of students with EBD. In the first study, a ten year-old boy exhibiting frequent off-task and disruptive behavior was taught to use an iPod Touch for video modeling and self-monitoring purposes. The intervention resulted in a dramatic increase in on-task behaviors and consistently low levels of disruptive behavior. In a second study, four high school students with emotional disorders were taught to use an iPod Touch to plan and their organize work, as well as self-monitor on-task behavior. The effectiveness of the intervention package was assessed in the context of a multiple baseline across subjects design. All four students showed substantial and sustained increases in on-task behavior.
Meeting the Challenge: Using Embedded Video-based Instruction on an iPod Touch to Teach Coping Skills
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (Northern Illinois University), Erika Blood (Northern Illinois University), Jesse W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Internalizing disorders (depression and anxiety-related concerns) in adolescence are often associated with serious difficulties related to academic performance, social competence, and family functioning (Adams 2011). The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of combining coping skills instruction with embedded video-based instruction delivered on an iPod Touch. A high school student with internalizing disorder was taught to use progressive relaxation in the presence of stressful situations at school. Initially, he was prompted to use the iPod to practice the procedure in a low stress environment on days when stressful events had not occurred. He was then prompted to use the iPod to practice the relaxation strategy in situations that were progressively more stressful. Results indicated that an increase in his independent use of the coping strategy on the iPod was associated with decreases in verbal outbursts and in-school suspensions along with a decrease in absences from school.

The Challenge of Multiple Functions: Treating an Adolescent With Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Comorbid Conditions

JENNIFER SHERIDAN (Behaviour Support and Therapy Centre)

This study outlines a behavior program designed to reduce aggressive and tantrum behavior in a 16-year-old girl with multiple diagnoses including Autism, IED and ADD. Functional assessment showed that the behaviour was maintained by escape and attention. A multi-element behavior support plan was implemented comprised of DRO, Functional Communication Training and a Token Economy system was successfully implemented. This resulted in a significant reduction in the target behavior to low levels as measured by average weekly duration. Discussion centers on the difficulties implementing behavior plans both with clients who have multiple diagnoses and in unsupportive settings, which were both features in this study. Where multiple diagnoses are present, particularly those of a more medical nature, the author has found that function-based behavior plans can be more difficult to implement, as cognitive based explanations of behavior seem to be more acceptable to parents and staff. Difficulties also arise when staff are not from a behavioral background and take a more intuitive approach to dealing with challenging behavior rather than maintaining a prescribed program.


Meeting the Challenge: Interventions With Teachers, Students, and Families in an Impoverished Rural Community

JEANNIE GOLDEN (East Carolina University)

Students in impoverished rural communities are at risk for gang membership, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, continuing the cycle of poverty, relationship violence, academic failure and dropping out of school. Greene County has a high rate of poverty with 21.7% of residents living below poverty level in 2008 (compared with 14.6% in NC). The median household income in Greene Co. was $38,530 in 2008 (compared to $46,574 for NC). About 73% of the students in Greene County Schools receive free or reduced-price lunch, indicating the degree of economic need within the district. Doctoral students in pediatric school psychology from East Carolina University are providing school-based behavioral services in Greene County middle school and high school under the supervision of a licensed psychologist and BCBA. These services to faculty, students and their families include behavioral consultation, behavioral counseling, tutoring, and family educational events. These services have impacted grades, discipline referrals, student classroom behavior, teacher behavior, and parent behavior. The presenter will discuss ways of overcoming challenges in providing school-based behavioral services and making an impact in a rural community.




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