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

Previous Page


Poster Session #431
PRA Monday evening poster session
Monday, May 28, 2012
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. Pyramidal Training in Feeding: A Replication and Extension
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Emily K. Rubio (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute), WHITNEY LUFFMAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jessica Cox (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Abstract The current study replicated and extended the use of the pyramidal training model (e.g., Kuhn, Lerman, Vorndran, 2003). The pyramidal training model was implemented with four family members (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather) of a child diagnosed with a feeding disorder. Traditional caregiver training (i.e., therapist training each caregiver independently using a protocol review and role-play), used previously with this family, was reportedly ineffective at teaching caregivers to implement the treatment protocol accurately. A designated primary caregiver (the child’s mother) was trained to implement an individualized treatment protocol and was then taught to train 3 additional caregivers to implement the treatment with high procedural integrity (i.e., correct implementation of the mealtime protocol). Results demonstrated that pyramidal training was not only effective in increasing treatment integrity across all caregivers but was also successful at maximizing efficiency when time available to train additional caregivers was limited. Additionally, acceptability of this training approach was assessed via a social validity questionnaire.
2. The Effects of an Interactive Game on the Acceptance of Novel Foods
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JANNET LIANG (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: An interactive game was used to increase acceptance of novel foods in a 7-year-old boy admitted to an intensive pediatric feeding program. The game consisted of: a moving piece, a game board with blank spaces (representing preferred foods), moveable starred spaces (representing novel foods), red tokens (exchangeable for attention from the feeder), yellow tokens (exchangeable for escape from a novel food), blue tokens (exchangeable for a choice of food for the subsequent meal), and post-meal reward tokens. Tokens were earned with the acceptance of novel foods and were available for trade-in for the remainder of the game. Post-meal rewards were earned upon completion of the game. The number of starred spaces (bites of novel food) was increased as acceptance increased across sessions. The effectiveness of the game in increasing novel food acceptance was evaluated in a reversal design. As new foods were introduced, acceptance decreased. Thus, escape extinction (i.e., nonremoval of the spoon) was added. Escape extinction along with the original game components were effective in increasing the variety of foods consumed. Results of a component analysis demonstrated that the treatment components without the game were also effective in maintaining high levels of novel food acceptance. An assessment of the child’s and caregivers’ preferences indicated a preference for the treatment package without the game components.
3. A Component Analysis of a Multi-Component Treatment Package for a Child With Food Refusal
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA COX (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: An intensive multi-component treatment package was implemented with a two year-old female with a history of chronic food refusal, who had never consumed food by mouth. After demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment package using a reversal design, a component analysis was conducted to identify necessary treatment components. The treatment package included the following components: representation of the food with the use of a finger prompt, non-contingent access to a DVD, redistribution of the bolus every 15 seconds using a Nuk brush, and a chin support. Using a reversal design, each treatment component was removed from the package separately, and the effects on food refusal , acceptance, and mouth cleans were evaluated. Results demonstrated that not all components of the treatment package were necessary to facilitate mouth cleans and acceptance, and the most effective treatment package was comprised of a Nuk presentation for food, finger prompt, and redistribution of the bolus in the mouth. A chin support prompt and non-contingent reinforcement were not necessary components of the final treatment package. Results suggest that conducting a component analysis may be beneficial for simplifying treatment packages on a case-by-case basis.
4. Approximating Care-Giver Schedules of Reinforcement
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MARGARET ALTER (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Jennie Landis (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that during caregiver fed meals with children diagnosed with pediatric food refusal, caregivers often allow their children to avoid taking bites of food following refusal. In addition, caregivers often provide excess attention to children, both of which potentially reinforce the behavior of food refusal. Identifying the specific ways in which caregivers respond following food refusal can be helpful for designing treatment packages and parent training. The purpose of this study is to identify a method for approximating naturally occurring schedules of reinforcement for food refusal during parent-child interactions. Initially functional analyses will be conducted with each child to identify reinforcers for food refusal. After reinforcers are identified, the data from caregiver fed meals will be analyzed to identify how parents provide the known reinforcers during the meal. Conditional probability and lag sequential analyses will be used to identify parent responses to child behavior (conditional probabilities) and specifically when the parent responses occur following child behavior (lag sequential). Identifying these schedules of reinforcement can not only provide important information specific to parent responses to food refusal, but may also provide a methodology for thorough assessment of caregiver fed meals.
5. Reinforcer Assessment in Food Refusal: Evaluating the Potency and Preference for Functional Reinforcers Under Increasing Schedule Requirements
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
VIVIAN IBANEZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julie Worley (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Maggie Alter (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tessa Taylor Rivet (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Reinforcer assessments have been employed as a direct test of the potency of a reinforcer under conditions where schedule requirements are increased. Identifying reinforcers is crucial to developing an effective treatment for food refusal. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the potency and preference for reinforcement as demand requirements increased in the form of bolus size and introduction of novel foods during mealtime for a 6-year-old male admitted to an intensive day treatment feeding program. Results of a functional analysis demonstrated that food refusal was multiply maintained by negative and positive reinforcement. During the reinforcer assessment, escape prevention procedures were implemented when the demand requirement included food consumption. Results of the reinforcer assessment indicated an initial preference for negative reinforcement in the form of escape immediately following an increase in the demand requirement, and then a stable preference for positive reinforcement in the form of access to a preferred tangible in subsequent sessions when the demand requirement was held constant. A comparison among treatment packages incorporating differential reinforcement of all identified sources of reinforcement, escape only, or tangible only demonstrated high and stable levels of food acceptance across conditions.
6. Stimulus Avoidance Assessment With Food Selectivity: Establishing a Hierarchy of Nonpreferred Foods
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE S. KAMMER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tessa Taylor Rivet (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Vivian Ibanez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brian T. Dudley (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Laura Melton Grubb (Texas Tech University)
Abstract: Methods for identifying preferred and nonpreferred stimuli commonly involve indirect assessments and descriptive analyses. A systematic and empirically driven approach for identifying preference is the use of the paired stimulus/forced choice design. In this model, the participant must make a choice between two stimuli presented. A hierarchy of preference is determined based on stimulus approach, consumption, and avoidance. However, if there is no response to the stimuli presented, a hierarchy of preference is lost. The current study identified a hierarchy of preference for patients admitted to an intensive feeding program for the treatment of food selectivity. An initial forced choice stimulus preference assessment did not yield a hierarchy as the patient selected only one or two foods during the assessment. A forced choice stimulus avoidance assessment was then conducted to obtain data of relative preference. During this assessment, all foods were presented to the childs upper lip for a brief interval. Consumption, level of refusal, and duration of negative vocalization were recorded during each food presentation which yielded a hierarchy of preference across the foods presented. Identifying a hierarchy of food preference may play a useful role in developing individualized treatments for children with food selectivity.
7. Mand Training to Increase Appropriate Requests for Toys and Interaction
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JEROD DOUGLAS DUNCAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Maggie Alter (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Karin Stern (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Bourret, Vollmer, and Trapp (2004), stress the importance of an individualized treatment plan for children with mand deficits, claiming that a single treatment applied to all children will either be unsuccessful and or include a number of unnecessary components. The current case focused on increasing mands in the form of independent vocal requests for toys and preferred interaction in an eight-year-old female whose verbal behavior mainly consisted of echoic responses. Following anecdotal observations of verbal behavior in the context of a playroom, the effects of functional communication training to increase novel mands were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across mands for toys and preferred activities. Sessions were conducted in a developmental playroom on a 1:1 basis during the course of an inpatient admission. During baseline an initial vocal prompt was delivered at the start of the session, no other prompts were provided. During a brief training phase (1-2 sessions), prompting was provided until the target response was emitted or the end of the trial. Finally, sessions without prompting were conducted to determine if additional training was required. Levels of prompted and independent communication were recorded during each phase. Results demonstrated that the patient independently requested toys and interaction following brief training. Use of the above procedures in the context of functional communication training may have decreased the likelihood of prompt dependency and decreased the overall training time. Anecdotal reports of playroom staff indicated that once a target mand was trained, the use of the mand generalized to contexts outside of the training session. These data demonstrate that relatively brief functional communication training may be an effective manner to increase the mand repertoire of some patients with limited vocal mands.
8. A Comparison of Outcomes Between the Functional Analysis Screening Tool and Functional Analysis
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
ALBERT MALKIN (Erionakkids), Jessie Noel Gartshore (Erinoakkids)
Abstract: The present study compared the outcomes of the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) and Functional Analysis for 4 participants. Preliminary results indicate that in only 1 of 4 cases, problem behavior was maintained by the consequences identified by the FAST. This indicates that the FAST may have limited practical utility for identifying the maintaining reinforcement contingency for problem behavior. Limitations of the current study will be discussed.
9. Visual Means of Communicating Memory for Traumatic Events With Victims Too Traumatized to Communicate Verbally
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
JANE-MARY CASTELFRANC-ALLEN (Applied Psychology International)
Abstract: Some victims of trauma are initially unable to articulate their memory for traumatic events. Possible reasons for this are that the client finds it too stressful to communicate the events to anyone and/or they are pre-occupied with remembering and thinking about the event and/or because they have sustained head injuries that impact on their memory for events.Their state not only poses problems for the client but also for any evidential or therapeuticinterviewer who wishes toavoid influencing the client's account, especially if criminal charges are being considered an option. This poster outlines the problems one head-injured client had with communicating her recollections of multiple physical and sexual assaults (which subsequently were found to have occurred over a single night); examines how she and the interviewer communicated through visual means by systematically graphing an anxiety index over the assault period; and discusses how this methodology also facilitated systematic desensitization so that the client could eventually communicate her recollections verbally. The major advantages of this methodology are that it minimizes memory contamination, maximises witness reporting for Criminal Court proceedings, and provides the client with initial therapeutic benefits. Graphed data for this client/complainant are presented to illustrate the process by which this may be replicated in other cases.
10. Let's Work Together: Effect of Behavioral Tutoring on a Middle School Student
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ALBEE ONGSUCO (East Carolina University), Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Abstract: Middle school years are often the time to intervene before more severe mental health and academic-related problems develop. In fact, adolescent girls and boys were more likely to report mental health problems that affect academic functioning during early puberty (Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2003). The impact of poor grades and challenges with complex material is seen in core subjects, and especially in the areas of science and mathematics. Behavioral analysts can play a role in the development of programs that create positive academic school support through tutoring. As such, behavioral analysts can train tutors, who can work individually or in small groups with middle school students, to focus on the strengths of the students and improve academic skills. The purpose of this poster presentation is to discuss how applied behavioral analysis (ABA) was used within a behavioral tutoring program. Theoretical underpinnings of the program included the principles of differential reinforcement and positive reinforcement within a classroom setting (McGee et al., 1977). An adolescent who was failing science and math was given parental permission to participate in tutoring. His tutor was a college-age volunteer who was required to complete a behavioral tutor training program. Results and implications will be discussed.
11. Utilizing Equine Therapy as a Vehicle to Increase Academic and Behavioral Outcomes for Individuals With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CYNTHIA G. SIMPSON (Sam Houston State University), Chad Rose (Sam Houston State University), Mary Jo Garcia-Biggs (Texas State University), Betsy Wisner (Texas State University)
Abstract: Addressing the social and emotional needs of children and adolescents who have been exposed to traumatic experiences is critical to their long-term development. While a wide range of services may be available for these groups, the interventions may not ameliorate the negative outcomes of trauma. In these situations, service providers must consider other methods of therapy that are individualized to the clients critical need areas. Recently, service providers have turned to equine therapy as a means for fostering personal growth and emotional stability of children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events. The overarching benefits of equine therapy are broad, and include both intra- and interpersonal skill development. Most importantly, however, equine therapy promotes the animal-human bond and can be used as a vehicle to build the skills necessary for successful daily functioning. Therefore, this poster session addresses the post therapy benefits of equine therapy for 10 adolescents identified with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and connects these findings to the developing evidence-based practices and specific benefits of this therapeutic approach.
12. Behavior Analysis Goes to the Ballpark
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
HOLLY SENIUK (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan once referred to sport as a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status" (United Nations, 2005, p. 1). Millions of people world-wide are either directly or indirectly affected by the sports industry. This impact is measured by data analyzing the number of people that participate in sports, purchase sporting equipment, attend sporting events, participate in fantasy leagues, and bet on sports. Given the massive impact that the sports industry and sports behavior has on our society an examination of the role of behavior analysis in this area is warranted. An analysis of all sport-related articles published in nine behavior analytic journals and one sport behavior journal from 1968-2011 revealed that the contribution of behavior analysis to this area is minimal. Only fifty-two articles met the inclusion criteria, and of those there are apparent biases in the sports examined, the types of interventions used, and the population targeted. These data suggest that there is vast area of unexplored territory that pertains to behavior analysis and sports. In order to provide a thorough behavior analytic interpretation of sports behavior an empirical testing of a wider range of sports and interventions needs to be conducted.
13. A Survey of Current Uses of Punishment Procedures in the United States.
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
EMILY WHITE (Endicott College), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College), Ennio C. Cipani (National University)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysts and other service providers employ punishment-based methodologies to reduce undesired and dangerous behavior. A brief survey was distributed to Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Licensed Psychologists, Special Education teachers, and ancillary service providers to gain information about the current use of and recent trends in implementing punishment-based procedures. Participants also rated specific procedures for restrictiveness. The data show that participants are currently using less punishment-based procedures than 5 years ago, and that procedures involving aversive control are widely considered too restrictive. Related laws and regulations are also discussed.
14. Memory as Behavior: Evoking Responses Regarding Past Events
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
David Roth (The Aurora School), KENDRA MCDONALD (The Aurora School)
Abstract: Answering questions about past events, or "remembering" is often difficult for children with autism. To improve memory recall it may be helpful to develop behavioral strategies to strengthen this skill. A behavioral interpretation of remembering includes recall of past events being under the control of stimuli present in the current environment. This study focuses on analyzing the effects of stimulus prompts to improve responses to questions about a past event by teaching three vocally verbal students with autism to recall information from an event using thematic visual stimulus prompts. The subjects will tact a specific feature of an event using thematic visual stimulus prompts (i.e color and doing). Following a pre-determined time delay current environmental stimuli (thematic visual prompts) will be used to evoke trained tacts about the past event.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh