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 #413
CE Offered: BACB
Outcome Data from Caregivers and Children Participating in Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program
Monday, May 28, 2007
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Betsy B
Area: CSE/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Stacie Neff (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Hewitt B. Clark (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Stacie Neff, M.S.

Floridas Behavior Analysis Services Program (BASP) is a statewide program for dependent children and their caregivers. Over 60 board certified behavior analysts from the University of South Florida and the University of Florida work with parents and staff to improve their interactions with previously abused and neglected children. Caregivers receive training in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum and learn how to implement individualized behavior plans when necessary. Three presentations within the current symposium discuss outcome results with both caregivers and children. The results of these studies indicated that the training and/or individual assessments were effective in producing positive outcomes (i.e., decreasing teen runaway behavior and increasing the positive interactions of caregivers). The final presentation applied the same curriculum, which is typically only taught to those affiliated with child welfare, to volunteers in the community who were interested in taking a parenting class. This study indicated positive outcomes on child behavior and also showed that additional measures of caregiver stress and depression can improve after training. In summary, the results of the current studies indicate that the BASP program can be effective in making positive changes in both child and caregiver behavior.

A Functional Approach to Reducing Runaways and Stabilizing Placements for Adolescents in Foster Care.
DAVID GELLER (University of South Florida), Hewitt B. Clark (University of South Florida), Bryon Robert Neff (University of South Florida), Michael Cripe (University of South Florida), Terresa A. Kenney (University of South Florida), Stacie Neff (University of South Florida)
Abstract: A significant problem in the field of child protection is that of teenagers running from their foster placements. In this presentation, it is argued that a functional and behavior analytic approach could be effective in reducing the problem of runaways. A functional approach involves conducting assessments regarding the motivations for running, involving the teens themselves in the assessment process, and implementing subsequent interventions designed to make the placements more appealing to the youth, thereby reducing the probability of running. As an early demonstration of this approach, thirteen adolescents with histories of running participated in the functional interventions. Data on placement changes and days on the run showed significant pre-post differences. The total percent of days on the run for the group decreased from 40% of days in baseline to 11% of days post-intervention. Individual data using an AB design will also be presented to illustrate the process of intervention with three severe cases of running. The approach is discussed in terms of the potential benefits of a functional and behavior analytic perspective on foster care and child protection.
Using the Tools for Positive Behavior Change to Improve Staff Interactions in Group Homes for Foster Care Children.
KIMBERLY CROSLAND (University of South Florida), Catherine Wilcox (University of South Florida), Wayne A. Sager (University of South Florida), Alfredo Blanco (University of South Florida), Tamela Giddings (University of South Florida), Glen Dunlap (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Staff training is an often used intervention designed to strengthen caregiver behaviors that may function to decrease inappropriate child behavior and increase appropriate child behaviors. Weise (1992) conducted a critical review of caregiver training research and suggested that more studies need to collect specific direct observation data on caregiver behavior. She reported that approximately 83% of published caregiver training studies only used subjective measures, such as rating scales. The current study collected both baseline and treatment measures, employing a multiple baseline design across three group homes. All caregivers were trained in the Tools for Positive Behavior Change Curriculum. Direct observation measures were conducted in which data were collected on positive interactions, negative interactions (i.e., coercives), and tool use. Incident report data were also obtained. Reliability measures were obtained for approximately 15% of the sessions. Increases in both positive interactions and tool use were observed at all three group homes in the treatment phase while decreases in negative interactions were also found for two of the group homes. For group home #1, positive interactions increased from an average of 32% in baseline to an average of 83% post-training and continued to maintain high levels during follow-up observations.
Evaluating the Outcomes of PBC Training on Child Behavior and Parental Stress and Depression.
AMANDA M. KEATING (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Bryon Robert Neff (University of South Florida), Glen Dunlap (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The majority of parent training studies have evaluated skills acquisition of the parent while few studies have specifically taken direct observation measures of child behavior change. Even fewer evaluate the changes in auxiliary parental factors such as stress, depression, and locus of control. Using an AB design with repeated measures, this study evaluated the effects of the Tools for Positive Behavior Change on both child and parent behavior. Parents from Hillsborough County attending the positive behavior change program were taken from a community sample and in home observation measures were conducted during baseline, training, and post training. Results showed that parent’s pre-test tool role play scores averaged 23% during baseline and increased to 86% post-training. Direct observation measures also showed improvements in specific child behaviors including tantrums, noncompliance, and aggression. Indicators of parental stress and depression both decreased more than one standard deviation. Locus of control measures showed parents in the class reported a greater sense of having control over environmental events after training.



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