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

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Symposium #506
CE Offered: BACB
Use of Behavioral Interventions to Promote High Levels of Staff Performance
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Stacey Buchanan Williams (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D.

Previous research suggests that there is a relation between accurate treatment implementation and student performance. As a result, the identification of behavioral techniques that promote accurate treatment implementation in clinical settings is of critical importance. The purpose of the present symposium is to share findings from three studies that examined ways to improve staff performance and teaching skills through the application of behavioral interventions used with staff.

Intervention Package for Increasing Implementation of Student Programming.
Abstract: The effect of an intervention package that included public posting and a group contingency on the percentage of academic programs implemented in an early childhood classroom within a private school setting was evaluated. The classroom contained 6 students diagnosed with autism and 3 to 4 teachers. An ABAB design was used for this study. During baseline, teachers generally showed variable implementation of students’ programs (M = 56%). During intervention, lists of each student’s academic programs were posted in the classroom and teachers were required to mark those programs that were completed on a daily basis. If all academic programs were completed, teachers were able to take students outside to the playground. If all academic programs for all students were not completed, the classroom schedule remained intact. During intervention the percentage of programs that were implemented increased to a mean of 92%. Results indicate that teachers implemented a higher percentage of student academic programs per day with the intervention package.
Use of Behavioral Principles to Increase Employee Initiation of Problem Solving Strategies.
MAGGIE ROSS (Melmark New England), Jamie Fanelli (Melmark New England), Amy Badalucca (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The effects of verbal praise and written performance feedback on the frequency of employee problem-solving in a school for children with severe and challenging behaviors was examined. Problem-solving was operationally defined as the employee’s oral communication to the classroom teacher of a potential resolution to a current difficulty and immediate implementation of the resolution. During baseline, the frequency of problem-solving averaged 0.7 per day across all classroom staff. Upon introduction of verbal praise and written feedback, the mean frequency increased to 3.2 per day. Results indicate that the packaged intervention was effective at increasing the frequency with which employees addressed a problem by identifying a solution and implementing the solution during a difficult situation.
Increasing Staff Performance through Public Posting.
KRISTIN J. COLBERT (Melmark New England), Brian C. Liu-Constant (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The effects of public posting on the number of student programs run each day were analyzed across three staff in a school setting using a reversal design. Baseline data indicated a range of 8-12 programs run per day for each staff. Line graphs of each staff person’s frequency of programs implemented per day were then posted in the classroom. Results indicate a near doubling of the number of programs each staff ran on a daily basis. Each staff ran an average of 13 programs per day during baseline and increased to a mean of 21 during treatment. Return to baseline led to a decrease in the number of programs run and a near return to baseline levels with a mean of 15 programs run per day. The use of public posting maintained performance above baseline levels. Reliability was taken across 30% of programs run and resulted in 85% interobserver agreement.



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