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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #276
Analyses of Children's Problem Behavior, Manding, and Task Completion during Communication-Based Interventions
Sunday, May 25, 2008
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
Stevens 3
Area: DDA/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jay W. Harding (University of Iowa)
Discussant: Joe Reichle (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Interventions that include manding as a treatment component, such as functional communication training (FCT), have been used to reduce the occurrence of problem behavior by providing the individual with an alternative response to gain reinforcement. This approach may also produce positive effects on task completion. Three studies will be presented in which the participants were provided with opportunities to control schedules of reinforcement via manding during work tasks. In the first study, results showed that different mands differentially affected young children’s problem behavior and task completion. In the second study, investigators evaluated whether compliance and mands could compete effectively with elementary-aged students’ problem behavior, even if extinction was not implemented for problem behavior. The final study evaluated the effects of choice during demand fading across two tasks. Results showed that choice had no effect on problem behavior, and the child’s response allocation appeared to be controlled by the schedule of reinforcement associated with concurrent choice options. The results of these studies will be discussed with respect to the practical implications of communication components within intervention programs.
Mand Selection in Functional Communication Training.
DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (The University of Iowa), John F. Lee (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: As part of a long-term NIH-supported project, we conducted functional analyses and functional communication training (FCT) in home settings. The participants were children, 6 years of age or younger, who had diagnosed developmental and behavioral disorders. In this presentation, we briefly describe our project and provide two case examples showing that the mand selected for intervention can impact the results achieved with FCT. All functional analyses were conducted within multielement designs, and FCT was conducted within reversal designs. In this study, reversal designs were constructed to show the effects of two mands on destructive, manding, and work completion behavior. Data were obtained via video recording of sessions, and IOA was conducted on approximately 20% of the sessions. The results for both participants showed that different mands differentially affected at least one of the dependent variables. These results support previous research in showing that the mands selected for intervention warrant careful consideration.
The Effects of Varying Qualities of Reinforcement on Work, Break, and Problem Behavior Choices.
STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Idaho State University), Jessica E. Frieder (Idaho State University), Shilo L. Smith Ruiz (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Researchers have suggested that intervention for problem behavior can be viewed as a competition between concurrently available response alternatives, such as compliance, mands, and/or inappropriate behavior (Mace & Roberts, 1993). Several applied researchers (e.g., Harding et al., 1999; Horner & Day, 1991, Peck et al., 1996; Piazza et al., 1997; Richman et al., 2001) have used a concurrent-schedules paradigm to evaluate the effects of concurrent schedules of reinforcement on the choice-making behavior of individuals who display challenging behavior. To date, most research on concurrent schedules of reinforcement with humans has been conducted with only two concurrently available response options. This presentation will consist of data for participants in an Institute of Education Sciences grant designed to evaluate the effects of concurrent schedules of reinforcement on three concurrently available response options: compliance, mands, and problem behavior. Specifically, we evaluated whether compliance and mands could effectively complete with problem behavior, even if extinction was not implemented for problem behavior (i.e., it continued to receive reinforcement). Results will be discussed in terms of the practical importance of developing interventions that do not require the use of extinction and avoid the occurrence of extinction bursts.
The Effect of Choice during Demand Fading.
ANJALI BARRETTO (Gonzaga University), Kaisa L. Weathers (Gonzaga University), K. Mark Derby (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of choice during demand fading across two tasks. We also compared the effects of choice between an impulsive option (i.e., less reinforcement provided more frequently) and the self-control option (i.e., more reinforcement provided less frequently). The goal was to increase task-completion across both tasks from an FR 2 to an FR 30 schedule of reinforcement. During the first task, we gradually increased the demand from an FR 2 to FR 30 schedule across 8 phases. During the second task, we provided a choice between an FR 2 and a gradually increasing FR schedule to FR 30. Two independent observers achieved 90% agreement on over 33% of the sessions. The results of this study showed that choice had no effect on aberrant behavior. However during the choice condition the participant chose the self-control option until this option was at FR 10 or higher, after which he switched to the impulsive (FR 2) option. Results will be discussed in terms of classroom and clinical applications for increasing demand requirements for individuals whose behaviors are maintained by negative reinforcement.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh