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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #24
CE Offered: BACB
Further Analysis of Parents as Behavior Change Agents
Saturday, May 26, 2007
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Ford AB
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: William L. Holcomb (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Michele D. Wallace, Ph.D.

Teaching parent to be effective behavior change agents can be a difficult process. This sysmposium will further the current literature on parent training in a number of ways. The first paper successfully demonstrated that they were able to teach 14 parents of preschool children with autism to conduct paired stimulus preference assessments within a 90 min training session. The second paper evaluated the effect of training parents on principles of Applied Behavior Analysis with respect to their treatment integrity as well as their level of acceptablity of the behavior plan. The third paper assessed the efficacy of various parent training components in an addivitve fashion in an effort to identify the most necessary training component. Finally, the papers will be synthesized with respect to their collection implications for training parents as behavior change agents, the merits of each of the research projects, and with respect to future directions.

Teaching Parents of Children with Autism to Conduct Paired-Stimulus Preference.
JENNIFER KERAS (New England Center for Children), Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, a great deal of literature has been published on assessing preferences and identifying reinforcers with individuals with disabilities. It is not clear how well this research has translated to practice, however, and it seems unlikely that parents frequently conduct systematic preference assessments with their own children with disabilities. In this study, 14 parents of preschool children with autism were taught to conduct paired stimulus preference assessments. Prior to training, a pretest was given to assess parents’ knowledge of preference and reinforcement; mean accuracy was 52.6% (range, 21% to 87%). Parents then received 90 min of training on conducting preference assessments that involved lecture, demonstration, and practice. Following the training, mean accuracy on posttests increased to 80.6% (range, 64% to 100%). The following week, parents conducted a paired-stimulus assessment in their home with their child, and a trained observer was present to collect interobserver agreement (IOA) and procedural integrity (PI) data on at least 50% of trials. Interobserver agreement and PI data indicated that parents accurately conducted preference assessment procedures and accurately recorded data on 98% of trials, suggesting that parents can learn some aspects of behavior analytic technology in relatively short periods of time.
An ABA Parent Training Program in an Outpatient Setting: Pilot Data.
ANDREA M. BEGOTKA (Children's Hospital of Wisconsin), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Andrew W. Gardner (Northern Arizona University, Dept. of Psychology), Melanie DuBard (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)
Abstract: For children with developmental disabilities and severe behavior disorders, complex behavioral interventions are often necessary for managing child behavior. Such interventions cannot be successful without properly training caregivers to implement the various treatment components and to generalize their training to the natural environment. However, treatment integrity often diminishes when the consultant is no longer present (Noell et al., 2005). One possible explanation is that caregivers do not understand the rationale behind the treatment components. In an effort to improve treatment integrity, caregivers in the present study received specific training on principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in conjuction with training on individualized treatment components. ABA training sessions were conducted in the home concurrently with assessment and treatment sessions in an outpatient clinic. Training included didactic training, modeling, roleplay, feedback, quizzes and parental demonstration. Data were collected on parent implementation and generalization across settings. Pre and post training data were collected on caregiver’s knowledge of behavioral principles and treatment acceptability. Inter-observer agreement averaged over 80%. Following training there was an increase in caregiver’s knowledge of ABA principles and caregivers rated the behavior plan as highly acceptable. On follow-up, caregivers continue to implement the treatment strategies 6 months post discharge.
An Evaluation of Different Parent Training Methodologies.
EDWIN DYER (University of Nevada, Reno), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Parent training interventions typically consist of a combination of multiple training components such as verbal instructions, written instructions, modeling, feedback, and role playing. This study assessed the efficacy of these components in an additive fashion, such that the relation of these components to parental efficacy as a whole was assessed. In addition, this study tested an intervention that ciircumvented the need for direct trainer/trainee interactions, and took geographic constraints into consideration as well. Results indicated that no one component in particular was responsible for behavior change. Results will be discussed with respect to empowering parents as behavior change agents.



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