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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Poster Session #182
CBM Poster Session 1
Sunday, May 27, 2012
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)

The Effectiveness of the Behavioral Parent training (BPT) in Korea and Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of BPT

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University), YU-JEONG MIN (Yonsei University)

Not many studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of a parent training program for mothers of children with severe problem behaviors in Korea. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a behavioral parent training (BPT) in Korea. Participants were 77 mothers of children with severe problem behaviors whose mean age was 39.23. Their children aged from 2 to 18 (M=8.43; 58 boys and 19 girls). The BPT was conducted in a small group format (e.g., 5-7) for 12 weeks. Mothers were taught basic behavior principles along with specific knowledge dealing with their child’s problem behaviors. 6 self-report scales were administered to mothers before and after the training. The results showed that there were significant differences in the pre-post scores of 3 out of 6 scales; after training, mothers’ efficacy and knowledge for behavior principles were improved and parenting stress was reduced. Data was also divided into two groups to find out factors influencing the effectiveness. It was found that preschooler’s mothers showed significant changes in scores of pre and post Behavior Vignettes Test. Also, mothers with either high level of depression or parenting stress demonstrated increased mother’s efficacy. Implications and limitations were discussed.


The Effects of a Behavioral-Based Social Skills Parent Training Program

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA KATE DOGAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Vicki Vinton (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kara Antoniak (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Therese L. Mathews (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Blake M. Lancaster (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Research in the field of social skills training indicates the importance of teaching new skills through the use ofapplied behavior analysisand facilitating skill generalization by providing opportunities to practice skills outside of the treatment setting. However, researchers have not yet investigated the impact of an additional behavioral-focused education component. This study examined the effectiveness of a behavioral parent training program for 23 parents of 8-to 12-year-old children with developmental disabilities and disruptive behaviors. The curriculum developed for the Learning Effective Approaches to Developing Social Skills program consists of8 weekly 1.5 hour classes that focus on a specific behavioral principle (e.g., reinforcement, social skills generalization) and are followed by parent-child role-playing opportunities. Findings indicated that participation in the program was associated with a statistically significant increase of knowledge of behavioral principles and improvement on parent ratings of social skills. Differences were not identified on parent levels of stress or improvements in problem behaviors. Parents also reported very high satisfaction with the program. Further research investigating this additional education component may lead to improved social skills training and technique identification, which continue to be identified as gaps in the current research.


Improving Outcomes for Families of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders through Data-Drive Decision-Making

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHY L. GOULD (Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project), Kelly L. Hyde (Accountability Solutions, LLC)

This poster session will provide information and data to support the efficacy of the Focus Family Support for Autism Spectrum Disorders (FFSASD) model of the Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (IATTAP). This process employs an applied evaluation method that emphasizes user-friendly, data-driven decision making to improve outcomes for families with children with ASD. IATTAP is a technical assistance project of the Illinois State Board of Education that focuses on educating and supporting children with ASD and their families. Over the past 7 years, IATTAP provided support and services to over 180 families throughout the state of Illinois through its FFSASD process, a combination of positive behavior supports and family-centered planning. The families are enrolled in the Systematic Information Management of Education Outcomes (SIMEO) online evaluation system for extensive tracking of demographic, educational, social, behavioral, and quality of life outcomes. The poster session will present the continued findings from the repeated measures applied evaluation process and how these data are used by the Focus Family Facilitators to drive decision making and change in team meetings with families of children with ASD. Fiscal Year 2011 IATTAP evaluation findings include: (a) decrease in loss of placement risk across home, school and community environments; (b) increase in daily living and other adaptive skills; (c) increase in school classroom functioning; (d) decrease in individual family stressors; and (e) increase in family quality of life.


Parental Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Following a Child's Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Prevalence and Practical Implications

Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
LAURA BAYLOT CASEY (University of Memphis), James Nicholson Meindl (University of Memphis), Clinton Smith (University of Memphis)

Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) are well documented in parents of children diagnosed with chronic disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. The occurrence of PTSS in parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has not been directly linked, only mentioned without data supporting the claim. This research examined PTSS in parents of children with ASD. The findings validate PTSS in a subpopulation (20%) of parents. These findings document a need for behavior analysts to recognize the degree of psychological impact/ distress in parents resulting from their childs diagnosis of ASD. Awareness of parental PTSS, will help ensure the behavior analysts take necessary steps to see that the parents/ childs caretakers are healthy and that the childs access to treatment is not compromised due to parental stress.


Teaching Firearm Avoidance Skills to Preschool Children: Comparing Teacher and Researcher Implemented Training

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA ANN HANRATTY (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Samantha Rose Florentino (University of South Florida)

There are a number of different safety threats that children face in their lives. One infrequent, but highly dangerous situation a child can face is finding a loaded firearm. Hundreds of children are injured or killed each year when they find and play with firearms. Fortunately, behavioral skills training (BST) and in situ training (IST) have been shown to be effective approaches for teaching a number of different skills, including safety skills. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a teaching package for preschool teachers to learn to conduct BST to teach safety skills to prevent gun play. A multiple baseline across subjects design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of this teaching package implemented by the teacher with7 preschoolers. In situ training was implemented by the researchers when BST implemented by the teacher was ineffective. Five children demonstrated the skills following in situ training and additional reinforcement or time-out. Two children did not complete the study.


Errorless Compliance Training With Children With Special Needs in New Zealand

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Jana Norrland (University of Waikato), Mary Foster (University of Waikato), ERIC M. MESSICK (University of Waikato)

Errorless Compliance Training (ECT) (Ducharme, 1996) was developed as a nonaversive alternative approach to traditional compliance training and is rarely seen in New Zealand (NZ). ECT was used with 5 children with special needs and implemented by the researcher and teacher aids in NZ homes and schools using a reversal design with generalisation probes. The procedure was effective with 3 of the 5 children and both inter-observer reliability and implementation integrity was good. There were struggles with teacher aides implementing the procedure correctly for the other 2 children. The results suggest that the procedure may be effective in a NZ context so long as those implementing it are trained appropriately and have adequate time and resources.


Treating Self-Stimulatory Behavior Involving Genitals With Whole Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior

Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
NICOLE H. LUSTIG (University of Iowa), Joel Ringdahl (Southern Illinois University), Greg Breznican (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa), Michael Scheib (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)

The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the use of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) for decreasing stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement in a 9 year-old girl diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder and an intellectual disability. The target behavior was closing her legs to hypothetically stimulate the genital area, which severely limited her adaptive development because it occurred even while walking. During Phase 1, a functional analysis was conducted within a multielement design and the undifferentiated results suggested that behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcement. In Phase 2, a whole interval DRO procedure was implemented within a reversal design. We provided access to a preferred item contingent on the absence of target behavior for a prespecified amount of time. Results demonstrated the DRO procedure to be effective in reducing problem behavior to zero. Interobserver agreement for the target behavior was collected on 14% of the functional analysis sessions and averaged 99%. During the DRO, interobserver agreement for the target behavior was collected on 51% of trails and averaged 99%.


Using Unit Price to Evaluate Preferences for Difficulty of Academic Demands in a Clinic Based Setting

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL SCHEIB (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa), Jennifer Kuhle (University of Iowa)

This study investigated the use of unit price (UP) to evaluate a participant's preference for completing easy or difficult academic demands. The participant was referred to a behavioral outpatient clinic to address noncompliance when given easy academic demands. Interobserver agreement was calculated across 86% of all sessions and averaged 100%. This study was carried out in 2 phases. In Phase 1, a functional analysis of problem behavior was conducted to assess the antecedents likely to evoke problem behavior and the consequences that maintain problem behavior. There was no problem behavior recorded during the functional analysis. During Phase 2, in a concurrent operants design, the participant was presented with easy and hard academic demands at varying UPs. After establishing a preference for easy demands, the UP to complete these demands was systematically increased to a UP of 2. When the UP to complete the easy academic demands was increased, the participant chose to complete the hard academic demand. Results suggested that the participant's preference for completing a lower quantity of work was more important than completing more difficult academic demands. These findings suggest that a similar evaluation could be effective in identifying student's preferences for academic demands in a classroom setting.


Use of Video Eyewear to Manage Distress in Children During Restorative Dental Treatment

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Mikala Hoge (Munroe-Meyer Institute), MONICA HOWARD (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Dustin P. Wallace (Children's Mercy Hospital), Keith D. Allen (Munroe-Meyer Institute)

Wrap-around video eyewear has shown promise as a distraction device for reducing distress during some medical procedures. This study evaluated video eyewear with children undergoing restorative dental treatment. Participants ranging in age from 5–16 were recruited from a continuous sample of patients seen in an urban dental clinic. Direct observations of distress, self-report measures of pain, and patient satisfaction were obtained in a randomized clinical trial comparing wrap-around video eyewear and sunglasses. ANCOVA, using treatment condition (control vs. experimental) as the primary independent variable and controlling for the effects of age, found that children wearing the video eyewear glasses demonstrated significantly less disruptive behavior than those in the control group (p < .01) and that they liked their eyewear significantly better than those wearing the regular sunglasses (p < .01). Results suggest that wrap-around video eyewear can be a relatively cost-effective approach to managing distress in children undergoing restorative dental treatment.


Measures of Child Activity: Assessing Reliability and Validity

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
DIANE BERTH (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)

Relatively few studies have evaluated behavioral interventions aimed at increasing activity levels of sedentary or obese children. Crucial to this line of research is the development of reliable and valid measures of activity. In this study, children ages 4-14 engaged in various structured and unstructured activities for up to 30 minutes and their activity levels were simultaneously recorded via several methods. Number of steps taken was assessed using two devices: Fitbit Trackers� and low cost pedometers. In addition, data on the types of activities and relative effort were collected via direct observation. The reliability of multiple Fitbits� and pedometers was assessed, as was correspondence between all measures of activity. The results indicated high levels of reliability across Fitbits�, and good correspondence between Fitbits� and direct observation. Reliability across pedometers was low, and correspondence between pedometers and the other measures of activity was low. These results suggest that Fitbits� or direct observation may be preferred to assess activity levels in children; however, both are costly with regard to time and money. While lower cost pedometers were found to be unreliable in this evaluation, additional research is needed to determine if pedometers may suffice to provide feedback and motivation.


Using a Descriptive Prompt/Praise to Increase Chewing and Mastication

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA D. BROKSLE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Poor chewing skills are commonly displayed by children diagnosed with feeding disorders. Deficits in chewing may prevent a child from consuming table-textured foods, significantly increase meal-length, or result in packing and an increased risk of choking. Few studies have evaluated behavioral interventions to increase chewing in children with feeding disorders and these studies lacked convincing demonstrations of experimental control (Eckman et al., 2008; Butterfield & Parson, 1973; Shore, LeBlanc, & Simmons, 1999). In addition, no studies to our knowledge have included a measure to determine if chewing resulted in masticated food. We examined the effectiveness of a descriptive prompt and descriptive praise on increasing chewing in a 14-year-old male diagnosed with a feeding disorder and we included a measure of mastication. The chewing intervention was effective in increasing chews per bite and mastication for this participant. This is the first investigation to evaluate a childs chewing skills after treatment by determining whether increases in observable chewing resulted in masticated food or more functional chewing skills.


Liquid to Solid Blending to Increase Consumption of Pureed Food

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER M. KOZISEK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jason R. Zeleny (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Rebecca A. Groff (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Packing, pocketing or holding accepted food in the mouth, is one problematic behavior exhibited by children with feeding disorders. Investigators have used blending to decrease packing and increase consumption of solid food (Mueller, Piazza, Patel, Kelley & Pruett, 2004). For example, the blending procedure described by Mueller et al. (2004) consisted of mixing (blending) preferred and nonpreferred foods and then gradually increasing the ratio of nonpreferred to preferred food. Levels of packing were low throughout the blending procedure and postblending when the feeder presented the nonpreferred food in the absence of the preferred food. Mueller et al. (2004) identified at least one preferred food that each child would swallow consistently (e.g., applesauce) and blended that/those food(s) with nonpreferred foods that each child would pack consistently (e.g., peas). In the current investigation, we identified a child who swallowed liquids, but not solids. Therefore, we replicated and extended the procedure described by Mueller et al. (2004) by blending liquids and solids. Liquids-to-solid fading, in conjunction with a function-based treatment of escape extinction, attention extinction, and noncontingent reinforcement, and a chin prompt to reduce expulsions was effective in decreasing packing and increasing consumption.


Evaluating the use of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Staff Components of Behavior Intervention

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Ashley Hogan (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Knez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), MEGHAN DESHAIS (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Variations of behavior skills training (BST) packages have been used to teach behaviorally oriented skills such as DDT with parents (Lafaskis & Sturmey, 2007), guided compliance (Miles & Wilder, 2009), the implementation of the picture exchange system (Rosales et al. 2009) and assisting students to walk with physical disabilities (Nabeyama & Sturmey, 2010). One area that has not received much attention is evaluating staff’s correct implementation of a behavior intervention plan (BIP). In the current investigation,we evaluated the use of BST to teach instructional staff in a special education setting how to correctly implement components of 2 student’s BIPs. A multiple baseline across 4 staff-student dyads was used. Training consisted of 2 different phases; verbal instructions and modeling and rehearsal of the procedures. Data was collected on staff’s correct implementation of 3 main components of the student’s BIPs. Components for student A were non-contingent reinforcement (NCR), differential reinforcement for alternative behavior (DRA), and planned ignoring. Components for student B were signaled availability and unavailability, DRA and planned ignoring. Results indicated that BST was effective at teaching staff components of BIPs and that all staff’s correct implementation improved as a function of the training that was provided.


Using Syringe-to-Spoon and Syringe-to-Cup Fading as a Treatment for Food Refusal

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA A. GROFF (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Candice M. Jostad (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Fading is a common intervention used in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders (e.g., distance fading, Rivas, Piazza, Patel & Bachmeyer, 2010; liquid quality, Patel, Piazza, Ochsner, & Santana, 2001; and texture, Shore et al., 1998). To date, the only form of utensil fading implemented in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders is spoon-to-cup fading (Babbitt et al., 2001; Groff, Piazza, Zeleny, & Dempsey, In Press.) The current investigation expands the area of utensil fading by assessing the effectiveness of syringe-to-cup and syringe-to-spoon fading in increasing acceptance and mouth cleans in a 4-year-old boy diagnosed with food refusal and gastrostomy (G-) tube dependence. Following a functional analysis of inappropriate mealtime behavior, fading was implemented in conjunction with the function based treatment of escape extinction. The treatment package of fading and extinction was effective in increasing acceptance and mouth cleans of liquids and solids. The current investigation contributes to the fading literature by providing a novel example of utensil fading in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders.




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