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 #131
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Aberrant Behaviors in School and Clinical Settings Using Functional Behavior Assessment Technologies
Sunday, May 27, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL04 (TCC)
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Donald M. Stenhoff (The BISTA Center)
CE Instructor: Donald M. Stenhoff, Ph.D.
Abstract: In this symposium, the presenters will describe functional behavior assessment techniques from descriptive assessment to functional analyses. They will describe studies that were conducted in classroom and clinical settings and the necessity to use each of the settings. Behavior topographies will include rumination, shirt ripping, aggression, and property destruction. In each study, the functional analysis and treatment analysis will be described.

Effects of Satiation and Noncontingent Access to Food on Rumination Behavior


Severe rumination is a rare but serious problem for some individuals with developmental disabilities. Previous research, though limited, has shown success with various behavior analytic approaches including positive punishment and antecedent manipulations. This study measured the effects of satiation during mealtime and non-contingent food delivery on the rate of automatically maintained rumination exhibited by an eight-year-old boy with autism and moderate mental retardation. The study was conducted during school hours in a private special needs day school. Results indicated that a fixed time interval delivery of food in combination with additional servings at mealtime reduced the rate of rumination. Further treatment also included a systematic fade of these interventions. Rumination rates remained low following the completion of the fade and in subsequent probes throughout the school year.


Effects of Behavioral Medications on Functional Analysis Results

Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (ACCEL), BRYAN J. DAVEY (ACCEL), Christina Barosky (The BISTA Center)

The current study addresses results obtained from a classroom-based functional analysis of aggression at a private day school before and after medication changes. The initial functional analysis was conducted prior to medication changes. Results were undifferentiated across the four conditions tested (ignore, escape, attention, and free-play). Due to significant medication changes, a second traditional functional analysis was conducted post medication change, with clear differentiations between functions. Discussion points will focus on functional analyses in the natural setting, undifferentiated functional analyses, variations on traditional functional analysis conditions, and effects of behavioral medications on functional analysis results.


Using Atypical Experimental Analysis Conditions for Assessment and Treatment of a Child With Autism

Donald M. Stenhoff (The BISTA Center), Christina Barosky (The BISTA Center), MATHEW CHRISTOPHER LUEHRING (The BISTA Center)

Researchers are continuing to diversify the methods used in functional analyses. Sometimes it is necessary to modify traditional functional analysis conditions to address the contexts in which behavior change is required. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the results of an experimental analysis that included functional and structural analyses. The participant was a 9-year-old male with autism who was engaging in property destruction behaviors at home and the community. The target behavior for the study was property destruction. Traditional experimental conditions were conducted; however, nontraditional conditions were required to identify the function within the participants idiosyncratic behaviors. The analyses extended functional analysis methods using procedures that matched the clients response class. The presenters will describe the results of the functional analysis and treatment analysis. Results will be discussed in terms of the need for dynamic functional analysis conditions and the intricacies of conducting functional analyses to lead to effective treatment of aberrant behavior.


Assessment and Treatment of Property Destruction Maintained by Sensory Stimulation

Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (ACCEL), Bryan J. Davey (ACCEL), Megan Shatzberg (ACCEL), CHRISTINA BAROSKY (The BISTA Center), Donald M. Stenhoff (The BISTA Center)

The current study is a replication of Fisher, Lindauer, Alterson, and Thompson (1998) in which the function of destructive behavior was assessed and treated through a multi-part experiment, which targeted responses within a chain of behavior. In the current study, researchers examined property destruction (ripping/attempting to rip clothing or other materials) followed by stereotypy (playing with the destroyed material). Indirect assessment showed destructive behavior to be maintained automatically. Experiment 1 involved 2 conditions: the client wearing un-ripped clothing and free access to already destroyed items of clothing. Experiment 2 compared the presence of un-ripped clothing on the clients body to a matched condition in which the room was baited with stimuli similar to that of ripped clothing. In experiment 3, researchers compared the presence of un-ripped clothing on the clients body to a condition in which the destructive response was blocked and client was redirected to play with matched stimuli. Results indicate a chained response in which the consequence of destruction became an antecedent for stereotypy, which was automatically reinforced. Treatment analysis examined the process of teaching non-destructive responses to generate similar sensory consequences. Discussion points include satiation/deprivation issues when running multiple sessions daily on automatically maintained behaviors.




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