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 #267
TBA Poster Session
Sunday, May 27, 2012
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. Evaluating the Effects of Motivating Operations on Student Performance
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE WACK (University of South Florida), Victoria A. Fogel (University of South Florida)
Abstract: In order to evaluate the effects of motivating operations on student performance, three conditions are being examined: grade, extra credit, and feedback only. In all conditions, participants will be informed of the condition before the lecture begins and will take a quiz covering only the material presented in class immediately following the lecture. The participants will consist of 13 students between the ages of 18 and 25 in two undergraduate behavior analysis courses and data will be collected on quiz performance and on task behavior during lecture for every class except for exam classes. Sessions will take place on a weekly basis for approximately two hours and 50 minutes for each class. An Alternating Treatments Design will be used to assess the various conditions (i.e. feedback, grade, and extra credit) on lecture scores and on task behavior and an analysis of quiz performance and on task behavior will be conducted.

Effects of Contingent Points for Submission and Quality of Writing Assignments

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN S. RYAN (Institute for Children with Autism and Related Disorders)

Writing across the curriculum has long been viewed as a method to teach the complexities of writing at the university level. The primary goal of the current study was to use the Ryan and Hemmes (2004) procedure to further study the effectiveness of points on academic performance in a Psychology course on behavior modification. Students earned points contributing to the final course grade for written assignments for each of3 research reports associated with APA-style papers (Self, Rat, and Grant). Contingent points were provided according to random assignment for submission and quality of written assignments. For each student, quality points were available for2 of4 sections of each paper, according to an alternating-treatments design. For each complete report, a listing of assignments was distributed for students to be completed and reviewed for each class. Completion of assignments based on each of the projects was submitted according to the assigned deadline. Performance improved when feedback and points were consequences of assignment completion. The current results provide support for quality points for submitted assignments compared to points only in order to improve submission rates and overall grades on final written reports.


Outcomes of Training Challenging Behavior Teams Across Iowa in Behavior Analytic Assessments

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University Of Iowa), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Sean D. Casey (Iowa Department of Education), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics), John F. Lee (University of Iowa), Tory J. Christensen (University of Iowa)

In this project, we trained regional school personnel to conduct functional analyses in school settings. The initial group of trainees is summarized in Table 1. Of the 33 trainees, most of their disciplines were either social work or school psychology. Trainees were trained in both their school and our outpatient clinic with local students who engaged in problem behaviors. A task analysis (TA; Table 2) was developed for conducting functional analyses. The TA included skills in preparation, decision making, and procedures. Thirty-one skills were represented in the functional analysis TA, and on each skill the trainee needed to show "expert status," meaning they were independent. Figure 1 summarizes the data for 6 trainees whose data were complete. As shown in Figure 1, the results showed that on average trainees almost doubled the number of skills gained in training. Specifically, during baseline, trainees showed expert status on an average of 6.2 functional analysis skills. At the end of Year 1 and Year 2, the average number of skills achieved at expert status was 12.7 and 22, respectively. In the poster, we will present summary data for all trainees spanning 2009–2012.


Globalization of ABA: Organizational Initiatives and Responses in West AFrican Sub-region

Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery

Africa continues to exist as an underexplored and or unexplored continent as far as information on the prevalence and impact of disabilities on its inhabitants are concerned. According to Autism Speaks about 1% of the Worlds population or 67 million people are affected with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also according to the World Health Organization; Tens of millions in Africa are affected by autism which has been seen as a Developmental Disability Pandemic. Africa is about 15% of the worlds population. Using the projected figure above roughly 10 million Africans are affected by an ASD. Nigeria is about 15.5% of African population; when extrapolated, about 1.5 million of Nigerians may be affected by ASD. Ghana is about 2.4% of African population; when extrapolated, approx. one-quarter million of Ghana people may be affected by ASD. As at August 31st 2011, the BACB Certificant Registry indicates that just one BCBA Certificant [among others unknown officially] exist in African Continent; to address the developmental issues of about 10 millions children with ASD in Africa! This call to duty report has spurred some organizations to undertake a number of initiatives to promote ACCESS and facilitate INCLUSION of people with autism and other developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.


Teaching Behavior Modification Competences in Psychology Students With a Blended Learning Strategy

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
ANTONIA RENTERIA (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)

In traditional academic behavior modification programs, a face-to-face strategy among teacher-students is held in applied settings. In recent years the information and communication technologies are part of everyday life. In educational fields and higher education the learning management systems (LMS) are widely spread. In the psychology school of UNAM campus Iztacala, CUVED is a kind of Moodle Learning Management System with more of 5000 users. This LMS allowed this research. By means of a blended learning the main aim of this work was to teach theoretical behavior modification and several related competences in psychology students. A 2 stages b-learning strategy: theoretical and practical contents was tackled in the CUVED LMS and through attending classroom tasks. In conclusion, with the Learning Management System and attending classroom sessions the behavior modification competences were fullfilled among psychology students.


An Assessment of Group Size During Interteaching Sessions

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW GENE SWERDAN (Youngstown State University), Rocio Rosales (Youngstown State University), James L. Soldner (Utah State University)

A key component of interteaching, as described by Boyce & Hineline (2002) is the opportunity for students to participate in "dyadic" or pair discussions. Although most interteaching studies have involved this pair discussion, this classroom arrangement may present concerns for an instructor. Specifically, facilitating discussion equally among all the students in the classroom may pose a challenge. Although the rationale for pair discussions is evident, no studies to date have evaluated the relative effectiveness of student performance when group size is manipulated. For this reason, the present investigation was designed to evaluate the effect of group size during pair discussions on student exam scores. An alternating treatments design was implemented, in which students in an undergraduate introductory psychology course were assigned to work in a group of 4–5 students, or groups of 2–3 students to discuss each preparation guide. All of the major components of interteaching were in effect during both conditions (i.e., availability of prep guides, clarifying lectures, and frequent exams.) Preliminary results indicate no significant differences between average exam scores across the two conditions. These results will be discussed with respect to suggestions for variations of the interteaching session and the potential for future component analyses.


Evaluating the Efficacy of Guided Notes in Undergraduate Student Performance

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
VIVIANA GONZALEZ (University of South Florida), Ashlee M. Henrichs (University of South Florida), Errity Jones (University of South Florida), Victoria A. Fogel (University of South Florida)

Inconsistencies in the effects of guided notes on student performance are noted in the literature (Austin et al., 2002; Neef et al., 2006; Williams et al., 2010). In order to evaluate the efficacy of guided notes in undergraduate student performance, three different note-taking conditions were examined: providing no notes to students, providing guided notes to students, and providing full notes to students. An alternating treatments design was conducted to evaluate the effects of the note-taking conditions on quiz scores in two undergraduate behavior analysis courses. An analysis of quiz performance was conducted on 11 weeks out of the semester for class one and 12 weeks out of the semester for class two. Results indicated slight differences in the note talking methods on the performance of each class as a whole, but no difference between note-taking conditions for individual performance.


Increasing Participation in Parent Training

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNE LAU (Autism Behavior Consulting Group, Inc.), Kelly Deacon (ABC Consultants, LLC)

There is substantial research supporting the impact of parent training on the effectiveness of treatment of children with developmental disabilities. Despite this knowledge many parents do not participate. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact that task clarification and delivery of praise or child care can have on parent participation. This study utilizes 8 parents of children with developmental disabilities, whom are currently receiving Applied Behavior Analytic treatment. All parents were given access to online training. Task clarification was provided for all participants and praise or child care was delivered contingent on the number of training modules completed. The number of modules complete was measured daily. The results of this multiple baseline study will assist in determining if these strategies can be used to increase parent participation with training methods in order to contribute to a more successful treatment program.


The Use of a Checklist by Staff to Perform Errorless Discrete Trial Programming

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE HERZ (Manhattan Childrens Center), Virginia S. Wong (Manhattan Childrens Center), Sandy Shumar Pih (Manhattan Childrens Center), Samantha M. Solow (Manhattan Childrens Center), Amy J. Davies Lackey (Manhattan Childrens Center)

Accurate implementation of programming is essential in Applied Behavior Analysis to ensure that change is controlled by the intervention. One of the most popular interventions in applied behavior analysis is discrete trial training, which facilitates student learning through systematic repetition and reinforcement. To increase accurate implementation by direct care staff, researchers have utilized a variety of staff training tools. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a checklist on staff implementation of discrete trial programming with students in a school for children with Autism. A multiple baseline experimental design was utilized across 6 participants. The treatment package consisted of a pre-developed checklist given to all instructors in a classroom to be implemented before each discrete trial program was run. Accuracy was measured using an observational procedure named teacher rate performance and accuracy (TPRA; Ingham & Greer, 1992), at least three times per week. The treatment package was removed from the classroom when the participant scored 80%, on a minimum of ten errorless TPRAs. Results showed an increase in accurate implementation of discrete trial programs across all participants. Inham, P., & Greer, R.D. (1992). Changes in student and teacher responses in observed and generalized settings as a function of supervisor observations. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 153-164.

10. Academic Genealogy of Behavior Analysts
Area: TBA; Domain: Theory
MELINE POGOSJANA (California State University, Northridge), Marnie Nicole Shapiro (California State University, Northridge), Amanda Valencia (California State University, Northridge), Ellie Kazemi (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: As one of the most prominent historians in behavior analysis wrote, "Just as the behavior of an organism is the function of its history [sic], so too, is the activity of a scientific discipline, that is, the history of the behavior of its scientists" (Morris, 1990; see Hull, 1990). Understanding the mentor/mentee relationship serves both a pedagogical and practical value for emerging behavior analysts. To minimize the disconnect between the generations of behavior analysts previous authors outlined the history of a research lab, university, organization, or an individual through visual depictions or written histories (see Baum, 2002; Dinsmoor, 1990; Todd & Morris, 1986). To add to past efforts, we aimed to visually depict the academic lineage of prominent figures and contributors of the field. We operationally defined prominent figures as current Fellows of ABAI (N = 74). We conducted an archival search using a combination of peer-reviewed articles, books, and web pages as well as a brief IRB approved survey. Interestingly, we found many of the Fellows can be directly linked to the pioneers of behavior analysis and to each other. We believe the information obtained from this study will benefit the field by contributing to the knowledge of emerging behavior analysts. We hope the academic genealogy evokes further reading and interest in the history of the field and its scientists.

Training High School Students to Provide Behavioral Instruction to Children With Autism

Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA BELZ (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center), Krista M. Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center), Bethany Gorka (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

Studies have shown that children with autism who receive intensive behavioral therapy can make significant progress in the acquisition of language, social, motor, and academic skills. However, children who make the most progress often receive intensive programs that are large in scope, requiring 20-40 hours of therapy weekly over the course of many years. Many families have difficulty finding the financial resources to meet this number of hours, as well as finding personnel with adequate training to administer the intensive therapy. In this study, the experimenters trained high school students to provide intensive therapy to autistic children. Our hypothesis was two-fold: first, the use of high school students would reduce the financial burden of therapy on the parents of children with autism; second, the techniques used to train high school students would enable them to perform ABA teaching methods to criteria previously established by research. By the end of the study, most of the high school students performed discrete trials independently with 90% minimum accuracy. The intertrial interval had the greatest impact on the percentage of accuracy. Parent and student satisfaction was reported to be high, based on social validation surveys completed at the end of the study.




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