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 #348
CBM Monday Afternoon Session
Monday, May 28, 2012
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. Methodology in Clinical Research: Measures and Designs
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SONIA BEATRIZ MEYER (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: Process studies are especially valuable for identifying mechanisms of change and single case experimental designs are useful for establishing causal relationships in the context of an individual. 21 process studies were developed by my students at the University of So Paulo since 2001. 13 were descriptive single case studies; they tested various systems of repeated measures, prerequisite for single-case experimental designs. Categorization systems were created in seven studies for therapists behaviors and in 14 for clients behaviors. It was possible to use existing categorization systems for therapists behaviors in13 studies and for clients in 11, indicating that viable measurement systems were obtained mostly for therapist behaviors. The possibility of conducting experimental research, introducing and removing variables was only viable after obtaining satisfactory measures. On three occasions a single case experimental design was used and it produced clear results, indicating the potentiality of the measures and design for psychotherapy research with a behavior analytic approach. Samples of results of the studies will be presented to illustrate the kind of systems and designs created.
2. An Evaluation of Reactivity to Observer Presence While Self-Monitoring to Improve Swimming Performance
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
SARA SCHONWETTER (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Jeffrey Oliver (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Studies on the effects of reactivity have been conducted in the work setting, but no sport studies have investigated participants’ reactivity to the observer’s presence. The current study evaluates the effects of reactivity to observer presence in such a sport setting. Seven public high school swim team members used program boards to self-monitor in order to increase the number of assigned laps completed at practice. Reactivity to observer presence was assessed by having a confederate record the swimmers’ completed number of laps during observer absent conditions. An ABAB reversal design was used. The percentage of assigned laps completed increased during the self-monitoring phases. The enhanced self-monitoring phase, also with feedback, showed an additional increase in the percentage of assigned laps completed. The effects from reactivity were mixed; the percentage of assigned laps completed was lower on days that the observer was absent compared to the days the observer is present for only some of the participants. More research is needed to examine reactivity in sport settings.
3. Facilitation of Exposure Therapy with D-Cycloserine for Social Anxiety: Individual Participant and Process Measures
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA SHEERIN (Western Michigan University), C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Exposure-based therapy for anxiety disorders is an efficacious treatment, but there remains room for improvement. In order to reach this goal, more focus has been applied to better understanding the mechanism of new learning through extinction, the process assumed to be at work in exposure therapies. The use of NMDA partial agonists has been investigated as a potential way to facilitate this process. Promising results of animal studies have shown that administration of D-Cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist at the NMDA receptor site, improves extinction learning has led to preliminary research using DCS to facilitate exposure therapies in clinical populations, many showing that DCS does lead to faster rates of improvement. The current study utilized a double-blind placebo-controlled design with the purpose of extending earlier findings, using a population with social anxiety disorder and a five session, manualized exposure-based protocol for public speaking anxiety. Results of the study showed greater improvements on multiple measures early on in therapy for the DCS group. This poster will present session-by-session data with the goal of providing a better understanding of the effect(s) DCS has on exposure therapy by utilizing repeated measures with group and single-subject comparisons of behavioral and self-report anxiety measures.
4. Enhanced Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
FLINT ESPIL (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Christopher C. Bauer (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Douglas W. Woods (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Although tic disorders have historically been treated with medication, behavioral interventions have recently gained empirical support (Piacentini et al., 2010; Woods, Piacentini, & Walkup, 2007). In a large, randomized control trial of behavioral therapy for Chronic Tic Disorders (CTD), results indicated behavior therapy yields therapeutic gains similar to those found in published medication trials (Piacentini et al., 2010). The behavior therapy, also known as a Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), consisted largely of function-based interventions, habit reversal, and behavioral reward components. The present study examined whether a program of intensive immediate reinforcement for successful tic suppression would enhance the treatment response for children with CTDs. Twelve youth ages 8-17 underwent eight sessions of either traditional CBIT or CBIT enhanced by a specific reinforcement contingency (ECBIT). Results indicated both groups showed significant improvement as measured by parent report, F(9, 110) = 2.48, p < .05, and those in the ECBIT condition showed improvement on weekly therapist and independent evaluator ratings, F(7, 40) = 15.68, p < .01, an overall decrease in tic severity, F(7, 40) = 6.69, p < .01, and reported being more aware of their tics. There was no significant difference (t = .62, p < .05) between response rates of CBIT and ECBIT groups. Although certain limitations (e.g., small sample size, low statistical power) to the study exist, results suggest no additional benefit of an immediate reinforcement contingency on treatment response.
5. Predictors of Treatment Outcome in a Contingency Management of Stimulant Abstinence in Sevrely Mentally Ill Outpatients
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
FRANK ANGELO (University of Washington)
Abstract: Background: Factors found to influence outcome in behavioral treatments for addiction include gender, drug use severity, and age. Mental illness is often exclusionary criteria for these studies. Therefore, little is known about predictors of behavioral addiction treatment response in adults with mental illness. The current study investigates the impact of client variables on in-treatment performance in a contingency management (CM) intervention. Methods: This research was part of a larger randomized controlled trial of CM for stimulant abuse in mentally ill adults. All clients met DSM-IV criteria for mental illness. Demographic and service utilization information, the Addiction severity Index-lite, the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale, and the Brief Symptom Scale were collected at intake. Participants (n=96) received 12-weeks of CM. In-treatment performance was defined as duration of stimulant-negative urinalyses. Linear regression was used to identify independent predictors of treatment success. Results: Stimulant-positive urinalysis at intake (=-8.19, p<.05) and higher psychiatric severity (=-5.25, p<.05) predicted worse in-treatment performance. Greater service utilization (=2.23, p<.05) was associated with longer duration of abstinence. Conclusions: Results indicate CM treatment performance is influenced by psychiatric severity, service utilization, and drug use in persons with mental illness. These data can inform future CM interventions tailored for this population.
6. When Parental Punishment Backfires: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Parenting Style and Student Alcohol Consumption
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN C. SMITH (Virginia Tech), Rebekah Francis Duke (Virginia Tech), Alex Melkonian (Virginia Tech), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: Each year our nations colleges and universities are devastated by the consequences of alcohol use and abuse. College drinking amounts to 1,700 student deaths, 600,000 injuries, 700,000 assaults, and 90,000 sexual assaults (Hingson, 2005). This problematic drinking is often carried over from high school where parents play a critical role (Weschler, 2002). This study sought to better understand how parental punishment patterns in high school are related to differential college drinking outcomes. A total of 367 students at a large university in southwestern Virginia completed an electronic survey on their high school drinking, parents behaviors, and college drinking. Results show a significant positive relationship between high school drinking and college drinking (r = .421, p < .01). Additionally, even when controlling for high school drinking as a covariate, students who were punished for drinking in high school consumed significantly more alcohol in college, F(1, 348) = 35.00, p < .01. The impact of punishment was even greater if parents drank with their children at home or if parents kept alcohol in the house, termed a hypocrisy effect. Results indicate an emphasis should be given to reinforcing good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. Further implications for parental strategies will be discussed.
7. Psychological Flexibility and Resiliency Among College Students Who Have Experienced the Death of a Parent
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
RAWYA AL-JABARI (University of North Texas), Ryeshia Jackson (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Previous research on the effects that parental death has on children and young adults reveal inconsistent findings. Some studies report individuals are able to revert back to previous levels of functioning between 6 and 12 months after a parental death (Raveis, Siegel, & Karus, 1999), while other research indicates that participants have an increased rate of psychological problems for up to two years after losing a parent (Cerel, Fristad, Verducci, Weller, & Weller, 2006). This difference in responding to parental death may be related to an individuals level of resilience. Waugh et al. (2011) defined resilient people as those who face challenges and adversity that come up in their lives, while maintaining good mental health outcomes. They are able to adapt and flexibly adjust to the fluctuating difficulties in their environment. Kashdan and Rottenberg (2010) report that good mental health and resilience are characteristics related to psychological flexibility. Therefore, the current study investigated the relationship between self-reported resilience as measured by the Connor-Davidson Resiliency Scale (CD-RISC; Connor & Davidson, 2003) and psychological flexibility as measured by the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (Greco, Murrell, & Coyne, 2005). This study was conducted with a sample of 63 adults who had experienced the death of a parent or primary guardian prior to age of 18. The data analysis, a one-tailed Pearsons r correlation, was significant; r = -.326, p = .009. This indicates that higher scores on the AFQ-Y (meaning less psychological flexibility) were correlated with lower scores on the CD-RISC (meaning less resiliency), suggesting psychological flexibility and resilience are positively related.
8. Participants With Dementia in the Applied Behavior Analytic Literature
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JORN ARVE VOLD (Norwegian Assosiation for Behavior Analysis), Jon A. Lokke (Ostfold University College), Gunn Lokke (Ostfold University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Approximately 1 in 10 adults over the age 65 years exhibit behavior, which may be diagnosed as dementia. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) published a special section on behavioral gerontology in 1986. In 2011, Trahan, Kahng, and Hausman reviewed the research published before and after the behavioral special section, and found that the rate of published articles on gerontology is less than one per year. Vold and Lokke (2011) reviewed the same literature segment with a similar result (under 20 articles found). Since then, eight new studies on applied behavior analysis and dementia have been published in Norwegian Journal of Behavior Analysis. The present study presents an overview of studies carried out with persons diagnosed with dementia and replicate the findings in Trahan et al. (2011. In addition, more details and studies are included: number of participants, description of participants, targeted behaviors, treatment of choice, and data from eight recent Norwegian studies. Such reviews are important starting points for pinpointing future research projects including experimental behaviour analysis, applied behaviour analysis, and general service delivery.
9. Problem Behaviors in Patients with Dementia
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JON A. LOKKE (Ostfold University College), Jorn Arve Vold (NAFO ( Norwegian assosiation for behavior analysis)), Gunn Lokke (Ostfold University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Occurrence of problem behaviors in nursing homes for people with dementia is assumed to be high. However, only a limited number of studies have examined the amount of problem behaviors in Norwegian nursing homes. Descriptive data on the frequencies of problem behaviors are important for the dissemination applied behavior analysis to gerontology. In the current study, bachelor students have been trained in assessment of problem behaviors using Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory Long Form (CMAI). CMAI consists of a seven point rating scale, ranging from an estimated frequency of Less than once a week to Several times an hour. CMAI includes 29 descriptors or items. The instrument is possible to complete in 10 15 minutes. The Bachelor students informed and instructed nurses and nursing assistants to complete the CMAI. We present data on the frequencies of different problem behaviors from several nursing homes in the south part of Norway. The results can be used to select target behaviors, and as rationale for the use of applied behavior analysis in the field of gerontology.



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