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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #218
Minimize Training, Maximize Performance: Research on Low-Cost Ways to Train Staff in Residential Settings
Sunday, May 25, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W192c (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah Prochak (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Limited resources and/or opportunities to train staff may hinder effective implementation of behavior support plans and quality of services provided to adults who reside in community group housing. The two studies presented in this symposium highlight how different low-cost self-monitoring systems may help increase desirable staff performance. The types of participants in both studies were staff who worked with adults with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness within large organizations. Targeted performances were either correct implementation of behavior support plans or initiation of positive interactions with residents. The first study used an alternating treatments design to compare tactile prompts with no performance feedback and tactile prompts with performance feedback to increase positive interactions between staff and residents. Results from this study show that positive interactions did increase, but were undifferentiated between the two treatments. The second study used a multiple baseline across behaviors design to assess the use of checklists in correcting implementing client behavior support plans. Results from this study show that the checklists increased staff adherence to the behavior support plans and that the checklists may provide insight into training areas that possibly warrant further attention from supervisors.

Keyword(s): Adults, Residential Setting, Staff Training

Effects of a Tactile Prompt and Performance Feedback on Increasing Positive Interactions between Clients and Staff in a Residential Setting

SARAH PROCHAK (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jennifer Klapatch (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

The present study examined the effects of a tactile prompt and performance feedback sessions on increasing positive interactions between clients and staff in a residential setting. Four participants first wore a vibrating pager that was not turned on to evaluate how often positive interactions were occurring in the natural environment. Next, two treatment conditions were alternated to evaluate the difference between an antecedent and an antecedent plus consequential strategy to increase and maintain positive interactions. The participants wore the vibrating pager with it turned on during the first half of the treatment conditions and the other half they wore the vibrating pager with it turned on and received feedback on their performance at the end of each observation period. Finally, a reversal to baseline condition was implemented to evaluate rates of responding when the vibrating pager was turned off and feedback sessions were terminated. For one participant, a follow-up condition in which no vibrating pager was worn was implemented to determine if positive interactions would maintain independent of the intervention. The results showed that the vibrating pager was effective in increasing positive interactions with clients, but results between the antecedent and antecedent plus consequential conditions were undifferentiated.


Using Checklists to Increase Treatment Integrity of Behavior Program Implementation

ALLISON DRAKE (Misericordia), Jennifer Klapatch (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

The actions of direct care staff in residential facilities may have a profound effect on the quality of life of their clients. However, treatment integrity of behavior support programs (BSPs) is often low due to the lack of resources available for effective training programs. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of a simple, cost-effective intervention on staff's adherence to individual BSPs within the developmental training setting. Using a multiple-baseline across behaviors design, participants were each given a self-monitoring checklist detailing the steps of proactive behavioral interventions that they were required to implement as part of their job responsibilities. For one participant, results showed that the use of one checklist increased accuracy of implementation on untargeted BSPs, with results maintaining post-intervention after the checklists were removed. The second participant's accuracy implementation for each BSP was only positively affected while the corresponding checklist was in place. Results indicate that self-monitoring interventions may be an easy, cost-effective method to increase treatment integrity that can be easily individualized and also allow for supervisor monitoring of specific areas of deficit which may warrant additional training.




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