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 #89
EDC Poster Session 1
Saturday, May 26, 2012
5:00 PM–7:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)

The Effects of Reading Mastery With Flashcard Practice on the Development of Word Recognition With a Middle School Student

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
WENDY M. WINGEARD (Gonzaga Univeristy), Melaina M. Cole (Gonzaga Univeristy), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)

This case study was conducted to increase word recognition of the participant, "Peter," an adolescent with mental retardation using a model-spell-test procedure along with Reading Mastery curriculum and flashcard practice. Throughout the study the researchers utilized the data to make decisions regarding treatment strategies as seem by the temporary returned to baseline in Set 1 after the completion the Reading Mastery lessons. This return to baseline indicated that Peter had not reached mastery of Set 1 words; therefore, another teaching strategy (flashcard practice) was implemented across all sets. After an increasing and/or stable trend was established intervention began on the next set of words. The results showed the implementation of Reading Mastery to be effective at increasing word identification. Once lessons were complete a flashcard practice procedure was used to assist with maintenance of word recognition. The success of the study was demonstrated through Peter's post–test scores, increasing from an average of7 words correct out of 40 on the pretest to an average of 39 out of 40 words correct on the post–test.


The Effects of a Model Lead Test Format to Teach a 13-Year-Old Boy with Moderate Disabilities Sounds and Words

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN M. WORCESTER (Gonzaga Univeristy), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)

This study was designed to evaluate the model lead test procedure for effectiveness in teaching sounds and words to a 13-year-old boy with moderate disabilities in his middle school self-contained classroom. The participant had no reading skills prior to this study and since reading is a necessary skill in everyday life this topic was targeted by the researcher for change. In this procedure, the researcher modeled, prompted the participant to say it in unison with the researcher, and then asked the participant to say it independently. In addition a repeated sound out procedure, in which the participant was asked to sound out the word multiple times increasing in speed from one trial to the next, was used in order to teach words. The results showed an immediate increase in the number of correct sounds in set one upon implementation of the model lead test procedure, while in the second set there was a gradual increase in the number of sounds correct. The model lead test procedure with repeated sound out was also effective at teaching words as evident in the progressive increase of correct words in set one and rapid increase in set two words. Overall, the study showed that for individuals with little or no reading skills, the model lead test procedure in addition to a repeated sound out procedure was an effective method.


Employing a Structural Analysis to Choose and Implement an Academic Intervention for a High School Student With ADHD

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KEVIN D. PIERCE (Gonzaga Univeristy), Olivia K. Owen (Gonzaga Univeristy), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)

This case study utilized a structural analysis to determine possible causes for the participants aberrant behaviors. The assessment utilizing a functional behavior assessment manipulated easy and hard math tasks as determined by the classroom teacher. The results of the structural analysis indicated "inappropriate" behaviors were due to difficulty of assignments. Next, the researchers assessed mathematical skill level in order to provide appropriate classwork. The researchers determined that the participant's general classroom assignments we well above her instructional level and then adjusted her work to match the identified instructional level. The researchers found that when the participant was given work at her instructional level aberrant behaviors decreased and therefore focused on instructional strategies and increased instructional performance. The researchers then implemented a strategy-model-test (SMT) procedure to teach her skills pertaining to addition/subtraction, multiplication, and division of positive and negative integers. Results from the SMT procedure illustrated an increase in math skills. An additional benefit of the study was that it enabled the participant to generalize the strategies that were introduced in this study, over all three sets. The generalization effect was noted when reviewing the data on Figure 2. It was noted that the scores in Set 3 begin to increase once the SMT method began in Set 2.


The Effect of the Math Racetrack and Model/Lead/Test Procedures on Counting Skills of Two Preschool Students With Disabilities

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
STEFONI OLMSTEAD (Gonzaga University), Mika Aoyama (Gonzaga Unviersity), Randy Lee Williams (Gonzaga University)

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the Math Racetrack and Model/Lead/Test procedures on the accuracy of rational counting from 1-10 by two preschool special education students. A multiple baseline design across three sets of target numbers to be counted was used to evaluate the combination of the Math Racetrack and Model/Lead/Test procedures. The sets included counting 1-4, counting 5-7, and counting 8-10. There was a clear functional relationship between the Math Racetrack and Model/Lead/Test procedures and increases in the accuracy of counting by both children. The procedures used were inexpensive and required little time or effort to implement.


Effects of Direct Instruction Flashcard System on the Mastery of Sight Words and Letters by Two Elementary Special Education Students

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Jessica Mangundayao (Gonzaga University), Christine Clenin (Gonzaga University), RANDY LEE WILLIAMS (Gonzaga University)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if the effects of the Direct Instruction Flashcard procedure on (1) the accuracy of identifying lowercase letters by a 3-year-old male with developmental delays and (2) on the accuracy of reading sight words by a 9-year-old male with developmental delays in a special education classroom setting. A single-subject multiple baseline design across three sets of words and three sets of lowercase letters were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. A clear functional relationship was shown between the Direct Instruction Flashcard procedure and improvements in identifying letters by the 3-year-old boy and in oral reading of sight words by the 9-year-old boy. The procedure was cost effective and required little training to implement.


Effects of Direct Instruction Flashcards and Math Racetrack on the Basic Subtraction Skills of an 11-Year-Old Girl and an 8-Year-Old Boy

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Samantha Spalding (Gonzaga University), Elisa Gibian (Gonzaga University), Jessica Griffith (Gonzaga University), RANDY LEE WILLIAMS (Gonzaga University)

The purpose of this study was to determine if a ten-year-old girl with a learning disability and an at-risk 8-year-old boy could master math facts using the Direct Instruction Flashcard and Math Racetrack procedures. During each session, both students were presented with 15 subtraction facts on flashcards and were given 2 seconds to say the correct statement and answer. After this process was completed, the students were then presented with the Math Racetrack, a track consisting of 28 different subtraction facts. The child had to verbalize each fact along with the correct answer as quickly as possible. A clear functional relationship was shown between the Direct Instruction and Math Racetrack procedures and an increase in the number of subtraction facts answered correctly. At the end of the study, both students had increased their accuracy in answering the subtraction facts to 70. The procedure was cost effective and required little training to supplement.


Reliability of the Questions About Behavioral Function Rating Scale Between Teachers and Paraprofessionals in a School Setting

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL E. MAY (Southern Illinois University), Morgan Chitiyo (Southern Illinois University)

There has been considerable emphasis on indirect functional behavior assessments in school settings. Although the most likely candidates for conducting these assessments are teachers and paraprofessionals, little research has evaluated the reliability of indirect assessment methods in school settings by personnel with diverse educational backgrounds. Various assessment scales have been published, such as the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). The QABF has not been studied in a school setting even though psychometric evidence suggests it is a viable indirect assessment of the functions of a variety of problem behaviors across settings and disabilities. The purpose of this study was to further examine the reliability of the QABF in a school setting conducted by teachers and paraprofessionals. Overall, results of this study suggest that the QABF has low to moderate inter-rater reliability and internal consistency for identifying functions of problem behavior in school settings. Factors that may have contributed to this outcome are discussed, including suggestions for future research using rating scales in school settings.

8. Evaluating Combined-Antecedent Influences on Noncompliance in a Preschooler with Intellectual Disabilities
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAEL E. MAY (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Noncompliance is often maintained by escape from instructional activities. However, attention is typically inseparable from the consequences imposed by teachers. Testing consequent conditions in a functional analysis in these instances could lead to inconclusive results. Therefore, antecedents could be manipulated to parse out attention versus escape functions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate noncontingent attention combined with contingent escape and contingent attention conditions for noncompliance in a 4-year-old preschool girl. Results showed that noncompliance in the free play condition was lower than the demand + noncontingent attention + contingent attention and the demand + noncontingent attention + contingent escape conditions. Although noncompliance was maintained by both attention and escape, noncontingent attention reduced the rate of noncompliance in the contingent attention condition. Treatment packages including antecedent attention as an abolishing operation may be beneficial for reducing noncompliant behavior during academic tasks.

Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plans: The Perspective of Students With Problem Behavior, Their Parents, Teachers and School Administrators

Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
SESSELJA ARNADOTTIR (University of Iceland)

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and behavior intervention plans (BIPs) are mandated through federal law and there is considerable evidence that these practices can improve the behavior and academic functioning of students with problem behavior. In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with students to determine their views on their school functioning, teacher practices, and general well-being at school, before and after function-based BIPs were implemented. These students were four boys with ADHD, 7 to 14 years old, with long-term behavior problems that were in some cases alleviated through the use of function-based BIPs. In addition, their parents as well as teachers and administrators in their schools were interviewed to determine their perspectives on FBA and BIPs practices. Findings revealed a generally positive view on function-based BIPs. Students and parents felt that the function-based BIPs had helped the students to improve their social and acdemic functioning at school. Teachers expressed that FBAs and BIPs were effective practices, but found them somewhat time-consuming and at times difficult to implement in inclusive settings. School administrators emphasized that the key to success was the teachers positive attitude and consistent implementation of the function-based BIPs. Limitations and implications of these findings are discussed.


Students' Perspective on Aggression Replacement Training and Attending a Special School for Students With Severe Behavioral and Emotional Difficulties

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Iceland), Gudrun Vala Jonsdottir (University of Iceland)

This study explored students perspective on attending a special school for students with severe behavioral difficulties and examined the effects of Aggression Replacement Training (ART) on their anger management, social skills and moral reasoning. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Participants were ten students of a special school for students with behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Most participants had diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and/or had symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Teachers were asked to rate social skills of students with Goldstein & McGinnis (1997) rating scale. Students were asked what they would do in anger-provoking situations, and to describe steps in performing particular social skills. After four months in the special school, including ten weeks of ART, the evaluation was repeated. Findings indicate that teachers found their students to be more organized, but no other significant differences emerged on the rating scales. However, students had more knowledge of social skills (d = 0.75) and knew more ways of dealing with anger (d = 0.71). The majority of students expressed that ART had helped them, and spoke of increased anger control. Most students indicated that they were unhappy at the special school, but the majority said that they had experienced ART positively.


Decreasing Long-term Behavior Problems of Students With Function-based Behavior Support Plans: The Effects of a University Course

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Iceland)

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and Behavior Support Plans (BSP) are evidence-based practices for dealing with behavior difficulties of children with behavior problems, recommended by professional associations and part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from 1997 and 2004. Lectures and supervised training in conducting FBA and implementing BSPs have been part of an elective course on Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties (EBD) at the School of Education, University of Iceland since 2009. Over hundred graduate students have taken the course, most of them pursuing a master degree in special education. Enrolled students have received 18 class hours on applied behavior analysis, 16 class hours on EBD in addition to specific instructions and feedback on conducting FBAs, designing and implementing BSPs with students with behavioral difficulties. Results are presented on repeated behavior measures on students in elementary or secondary school with a long history of behavior problems. After FBAs and BSPs were implemented a significant decrease in disruptive and aggressive behaviors was observed along with considerable increase in active class participation of the students. Implications and future research are discussed.


Decreasing Long-term Behavior Problems of Students Through Function-based Behavior Intervention Plans

Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) can facilitate the development of effective behavior intervention plans (BIPs). This study assessed the effects of increasingly demanding versions of function -based BIPs on students disruptive and on-task behaviors. Four male students with ADHD and long-term behavior problems participated in a team-based assessment and intervention process. The students were in 2nd to 3rd grade in two elementary schools and their teachers took part in constructing and implementing the function-based BIPs along with special education teachers and a behavioral consultant. For each student, four to seven versions of BIPs were created over the course of 6 to 13 weeks with gradually increasing demands to foster endurance and independent skills. Single subject ABAB multiple baseline designs over participants were used to demonstrate a functional relationship between BIPs and students disruptive and on-task behaviors in general education settings. Results showed that on-task behavior increased from an average of 56% during baseline (A) to 85% during intervention phases (B) and that the frequency of disruptive behavior decreased from on average of 24 per 20 min sessions during baseline to an average of 7 per 20 min sessions during intervention phases. Large effect sizes were observed. Limitations and implications are discussed.


Academic Gains Through the Use of Precision Teaching

Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
JILL HUNT (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Michelle Harrington (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)

School age students at the Judge Rotenberg Center complete bi-annual testing to determine if progress is being made in the areas of reading decoding, spelling, math computation and reading comprehension. We will be showing our data for each subject area over the past three years. Discussion of the teaching methodology (precision teaching) for each subject area will be included, as will how this methodology affected academic gains over time.


Paraphrase and Verbal Ability in University Students:A Pilot Study.

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA LUISA CEPEDA ISLAS (FES Iztacala UNAM), Maria del Refugio Lopez Gamiño (FES Iztacala UNAM), Carlos Santoyo Velasco (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)

Some recent research has raised the paraphrase as a promoting factor of reading comprehension. The paraphrase implies where the original idea is integrated expanding or restructuring the background, leaning on a vocabulary and grammatical organizers learned from past experiences, including references. The importance of this study is to show the interaction between participants' verbal ability (vocabulary, reading, antonyms, and the paraphrase). A random selection of group of psychology students of the first courses was conducted. The materials were a test standardized on verbal ability and the summary of a theoretical article made by the participants. The test of verbal ability was described in relation to the established instructions and the summary was analyzed with base to the types of paraphrase (synonymic, syntactical, synonymic-syntactical, and total reconstruction). The results were analyzed descriptively using as a primary measure achievements both in test standardized on verbal ability and the summary. The results show that students more often emit low levels of verbal ability and low levels of paraphrase when they identify textually the information in the paper. The main finding of this study identifies an interaction between verbal ability and paraphrase. This means that the students require of training in the paraphrase.

15. Teachers Engaging Parents as Tutors to Improve Oral Reading Fluency
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SARA S. KUPZYK (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Edward J. Daly III (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Abstract: One way to provide students with additional opportunities to practice reading is to teach parents how to tutor their children. Despite the promising effects of parent tutoring research, there is a lack of research in natural settings with educators as opposed to researchers and clinicians serving as parent trainers. The purpose of this study was to extend the research to use teachers as parent trainers and to systematically measure multiple dimensions of treatment integrity. Six teachers (second through fourth grade) were trained in a three-hour workshop to develop individualized tutoring programs with parents. Following training, teachers sequentially trained seven parents and students to use individualized tutoring programs. A multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effect of training on the parents’ use of evidence-based reading strategies and the effect of tutoring on students’ oral reading fluency. Results show that teachers’ integrity of parent training was high. Six parents showed improvement in their use of evidence-base strategies, but levels of adherence and dosage varied across parents. In addition, four out of seven of the students showed improvements in reading fluency. Discussion will focus on the need for additional research in natural settings to enhance implementation and student outcomes.

Using Social Scripts to Decrease Bullying Among Regular Education First Graders

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JILL SWIRSKY (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University)

The purpose of the current study was to determine the efficacy of a social script on decreasing bullying behaviors implemented in a regular education first grade classroom. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and the effects can be detrimental (Craig, Pepler, & Atlas, 2000). Thus, research in early intervention measures is warranted. Social scripts, based on social stories, are intended to provide scripts to individuals who may lack the strategies to handle specific social situations. Based on researchthat has found social stories to effectively address social deficits, it is likely that similar strategies may be successful as an intervention for more typical and widespread behavior, such as bullying. This study examines three uses for a social scriptthat have not yet been established in the literature: (1) the use of a script as an intervention for typically developing children, (2) a script as an intervention for bullying, and (3) the use of a group-wide script intervention as opposed to the traditional individualized version. The implementation of a social script about being a good friend was accompanied by a decrease in bullying behavior, indicating a strategythat may be effective in preventing future bullying from occurring.

17. Reviewing the Evidence for the Effectiveness of the Behavior Education Program
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
LEANNE S. HAWKEN (University of Utah), Breda O'Keeffe (University of Utah), Kaitlin Bundock (University of Utah)
Abstract: The Behavior Education Program (BEP) is one of the most widely implemented Tier 2 interventions in schools for students who are at risk for significant problem behavior. The BEP involves checking in and out with a preferred adult before and after school along with frequent, contingent feedback on student behavior by teachers throughout the school day. This literature review summarizes findings across studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of the BEP. Studies report high rates of fidelity of implementation by school staff (average > 80%). Overall, the majority of the studies indicate the BEP is effective in reducing problem behavior with more than 65% of students who receive the intervention. These findings have been documented across both elementary and middle school settings. In addition, the majority of studies report high social validity ratings for intervention implementation. Recent studies are beginning to identify specific factors influencing the effectiveness of the BEP (e.g., operant functions of problem behavior). Specific recommendations are made regarding future research and practice in this area.
18. Nonverbal Mirroring: An Effective Teaching Tool in Typical Classroom
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
JIANGYUAN ZHOU (Binghamton University, State University of New York)
Abstract: Nonverbal mirroring relays a significant amount of information in social interactions. Each of 20 college students was taught six GRE vocabularies during one-on-one teacher-student interaction. Analysis of students’ self-rating survey of rapport and learning and students’ quiz scores of six vocabularies were used to determine (a) if nonverbal mirroring influenced students’ feeling of rapport and learning, and (b) if nonverbal mirroring improved students’ quiz scores. The results showed that when teacher mirrored students’ behaviors, students reported significantly higher feeling of rapport and satisfaction and confidence towards their learning, and they had higher quiz scores. This study suggests important implications for teachers in using nonverbal mirroring as an effective teaching tool to build teacher-student rapport and enhance student’s learning.
19. Using Stimulus Discrimination and Generalization Training Procedurs to Teach Recognition of ASL Signs Across Five Interpreters
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
PAUL D. LUYBEN (State University of New York College at Cortland)
Abstract: This purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a training program designed to produce acquisition, fluency, and generalization in recognizing words signed in American Sign Language across five interpreters. Five female undergraduate students volunteered to participate in the experiment.Thirty video clips of words signed in ASL were obtained from five interpreters and randomly assigned to one of two sets with 15 signs per set. These sets were presented in four teaching modes using Relate software, a program designed to produce acquisition and fluency. The four teaching modes were: Browse Answers, Say Answer, Select Answer, and Type Answer. Participants were tested and trained in sign recognition across Sets A and B in Sessions 1 3 across two interpreters. Remedial training was implemented if participants did not reach critera for accuracy(90% correct) and fluency (15 correct responses per minute). During Sessions 4, 5 and 6 we tested for generalization using Set C across three novel interpreters, with additional training provided during Sessions 4 & 5 as needed. We used a multiple-baseline design across Sets A and B during Sessions 1 and 2.These were embedded within a overall pre-post design. During Sessions 4 6 we tested for generalization using Set C across three additional novel interpreters. Our training procedures produced significant increases in acquisition, fluency, and generalization of sign recognition across sets of signs and novel interpreters. We suggest that this program could be used effectively to build a recognition vocabulary and supplement courses in sign language.



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