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 #348
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Methods of Increasing Compliance
Monday, May 28, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
America's Cup AB
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: David A. Wilder, Ph.D.

Four papers on the assessment and / or treatment of noncompliance will be presented. In the first paper, two case examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of nontraditional treatment strategies for increasing compliance will be presented. In the second paper, an extension of an EO analysis of compliance was done by applying the procedures to a classroom setting serving typically developing children with behavioral disorders. In the third paper, three antecedent and two consequent strategies for improving compliance were examined in young children. In the fourth paper, previous research on child compliance is extended by describing compliance levels of 16 preschool-aged children, and then elucidating the importance of antecedent and consequence-based strategies via parametric analyses.

Individualized Treatment of Task Completion for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
KELLY J. BOUXSEIN (Georgia State University, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Common teaching strategies used to increase children’s task completion may include providing instructions, using 3-step guided compliance, and providing differential reinforcement. Children with autism spectrum disorders however, may present with various idiosyncrasies (e.g., problem behavior, ritualistic behavior) that may impede or alter the success of commonly implemented strategies. Therefore, common interventions may need to be modified to reach desirable outcomes for these children. We present two case examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative treatment strategies for increasing compliance. In Case Study 1, a mother of a child with autism spectrum disorder used a choice paradigm within a 3-step guided compliance procedure to treat noncompliance and tantrums evoked by both the presentation of demands and removal of preferred items. In Case Study 2, we demonstrated that providing instructions specifying a task-completion goal resulted in increased engagement and completion of three tasks, even when no differential-reinforcement contingencies were arranged for a young man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 23 to 42% of all sessions and mean agreement scores for dependent measures were above 90%. Findings from both cases demonstrated effective methodological variations on common treatment procedures for increasing compliance and task completion.
Classroom-Based Analysis of Establishing Operations and Matched Treatment.
BRENDA J. ENGEBRETSON (University of Iowa), Jennifer E. Copeland (Grant Wood Area Education Agency), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Specific establishing events have been shown to occasion noncompliance maintained by escape from tasks. For example, Call and colleagues (2004) demonstrated that level of task difficulty, amount of work, and adult attention functions as motivating operations for children’s noncompliance during outpatient evaluations. We extended this analysis by applying the procedures to a classroom setting serving typically developing children with behavioral disorders. One case example, Linus, will be presented. Linus was a seven-year-old and his problem behaviors consisted of noncompliant and disruptive behaviors (e.g., crying, throwing materials, pretend sleeping). Inter-observer agreement data were collected on 58% of the sessions with agreement for target behaviors ranging from 94% and 98%. An initial assessment of establishing operations for noncompliance was conducted within a multi-element design. Variables assessed were duration of the work task, presence of adult attention during the task, presession attention, and the presence of a visual example for the work task. Functional communication training was implemented and was matched to the results of assessment. Treatment was evaluated within a multi-element design. Improvement in both time on-task and number of tasks completed was observed. Implications of the study and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
Detailed Evaluation of Antecedent and Consequence-Based Interventions to Increase Compliance among Young Children.
KIMBERLEY L. M. ZONNEVELD (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Alonna Marcus (Florida Institute of Technology), Renee Saulnier (Florida Institute of Technology), Gracie Allen Beavers (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Noncompliance by young children is the most common childhood behavior problem listed by parents and teachers and is correlated with other, more serious behavior problems later in life. In the first experiment, following a functional analysis of some of the variables maintaining noncompliance, three antecedent-based interventions (i.e., noncontingent access to a preferred item, a warning condition, and the high-probability instructional sequence) were assessed for three children. In the second experiment, two additional interventions, delivery of high-preference stimuli contingent upon compliance and a guided compliance or three-step prompting procedure, were compared in three children. Results of the first experiment showed that the antecedent-based interventions were ineffective for two participants and that the high-probability instructional sequence was effective for one child. Results of the second experiment showed that the delivery of high-preference stimuli contingent upon compliance was more effective than the guided compliance procedure. Interobserver agreement data were collected on at least 50% of all sessions and agreement averaged above 90%. Overall, these results suggest that antecedent-based interventions may be of limited value and contingent delivery of preferred stimuli may be effective in the treatment of noncompliance.
Preschoolers' Compliance with Simple Instructions: A Description and Experimental Evaluation.
KASEY STEPHENSON (University of Kansas), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The present study extends previous research on child compliance by describing compliance levels of 16 preschool-aged children, and then elucidating the importance of antecedent and consequence-based strategies via parametric analyses. The impact of six antecedent variables (proximity, position, physical contact, eye contact, vocal attention, and play interruption) was assessed on compliance by four children. The effects of three-step (vocal, model, physical) prompting were then assessed alone, in combination with the antecedent variables, and at different integrity levels for two children. Interobserver agreement was collected on 37% of all sessions and averaged 96%. The descriptive study showed that compliance was relatively stable for individual children, variable across children, and increased with age. Results of the experimental analyses showed that compliance gradually increased with the addition of each antecedent variable for two of the four children. Three-step prompting in combination with the six antecedent variables increased compliance to high levels for the remaining two children, and high compliance levels maintained until treatment integrity was deceased to 20%. Our results suggest that moderate levels of integrity with strategies involving both antecedent variables and 3-step prompting results in acceptable levels of compliance in preschoolers. Implications for the design of preschool classroom practices are discussed.



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