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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #177
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in the Evaluation of Resurgence and Reinstatement of Behavior Among Children With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1A/B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
Discussant: Katherine Hoffman (University of Texas)
CE Instructor: Tonya Nichole Davis, Ph.D.

The effective treatment of challenging behavior extends beyond the treatment setting. The ultimate objective to an intervention is that treatment effects on challenging behavior persist in the natural environment, which often presents reinforcement contingencies that differ from that of the treatment setting. Therefore, evaluation of resurgence and reinstatement is critical. Such evaluation may lead to the design of treatments that produce effects that will maintain in natural settings. Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously extinguished behavior with another behavior is placed on extinction. Reinstatement, on the other hand, is the recurrence of a previously extinguished behavior when response-independent reinforcement is delivered. In this symposium, we present research regarding the advances in the evaluation of resurgence and reinstatement. The first presentation evaluated resurgence of challenging behavior after the delivery of FCT in conjunction with schedule thinning. The second presentation analyzed the effects of mand modality preference on resurgence. The third presentation examined the effects of repeated exposure to extinction and response effort on resurgence. The final presentation evaluated reinstatement of challenging behavior during response-independent delivery of non-targeted stimuli. The final discussion will summarize these studies, highlight the applied value of the results, and discuss future research.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): challenging behavior, Reinstatement, resurgence
Functional Communication Training and Schedule Thinning to Treat Resurgence of Challenging Behavior Maintained by Access to Rituals
Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), Stephanie Gerow (Baylor University), Jennifer Ninci (University of Hawaii at Manoa), CATHARINE LORY (Purdue University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of FCT and extinction in conjunction with schedule thinning on the resurgence of challenging behavior associated with access to rituals in young children with autism. Participants included two males and one female diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 5 and 6 years. Each child was referred to the study for challenging behavior associated with a particular ritual. The rituals were: (a) closing all doors, (b) insisting bed remained unmade, and (c) rapidly turning book pages. We utilized a modified reversal design to examine the effects of FCT plus extinction and demand fading on challenging behavior and appropriate communication. The initial treatment package of FCT and extinction reduced challenging behavior for all participants when their ritual was interrupted. However, when participants returned to baseline and reinforcement for appropriate communication was not available, challenging behavior resurged. Following the addition of the demand fading component to the treatment package, challenging behavior did not resurge for any participant when they were again exposed to baseline conditions. Appropriate communication persisted in baseline conditions for two of the three participants.
Resurgence of Challenging Behavior in Application of Preferred and Persisting Functional Communication Modalities
LAUREN UPTEGROVE (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Supriya Radhakrishnan (Baylor University), Andi Fuentes (Baylor University), Abby Hodges (Baylor University), Regan Weston (Baylor University)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a common function-based treatment to reduce problem behavior and increase appropriate communication. However, in most cases, FCT involves the training of only one mand modality to access a specific stimulus reinforcer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of two mand modalities within FCT on the resurgence of challenging behavior in children with autism. A functional analysis concluded problem behavior was maintained by positive reinforcement. Two mand modalities from the same operant class, a speech generating device (SGD) and picture card, were trained within FCT. A preference assessment was conducted to identify a preferred modality. The two mands were then placed on extinction to determine which mand, the high or low preferred persisted, and with what relative response strength. The mand with the weaker response strength was targeted for additional FCT training. The practical implication of teaching multiple mand modalities will be discussed.
Effects of Repeated Exposure and Response Effort on Resurgence
SEAN SAITO (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Repeated exposure to extinction has been found to not affect relative rates of resurgence, decrease rates of resurgence, and increase relative rates of resurgence. Concomitantly, limited research to date has investigated the effects of response effort on rates of resurgence. Therefore, the current study used a multiple treatment reversal design to evaluate the effects of repeated exposure and various response effort with five children with mental health and intellectual disabilities. Two arbitrary responses (easy (A-B button sequence; R1) and hard (A-B-C-D button sequence; R2)) were programmed on a VI 10-s schedule were used to assess resurgence using a laptop computer. Experimental conditions consisted of (a) reinforcement of a target response with the alternative response on extinction, (b) reinforcement of alternative response with the target response on extinction, (c) extinction of both target and alternative responses (resurgence test), and (d) repetition of conditions (a), (b), and (c) to test effects of repeated exposure. All participants demonstrated resurgence across all extinction phases. Implications for this study suggest that repeated exposure to extinction conditions may not decrease the rate of responding during subsequent extinction conditions. However, behaviors requiring additional response effort may resurge less over subsequent conditions compared to behaviors requiring less effort.

Translational Evaluation of Reinstatement of Problem Behavior: Generalization Effects to Non-Target Stimuli

Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), HOLLIE WINGATE (University of Texas at Austin), Katherine Hoffman (University of Texas), Raechal Ferguson (University of Texas at Austin), Fabiola Vargas Londono (The University of Texas at Austin), Andrea Ramirea (The University of Texas at Austin)

Reinstatement is the recovery of previously extinguished responding during response-independent delivery of previously reinforcing stimuli. In this translational study, we examined reinstatement of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with autism during the response independent delivery of non-targeted stimuli. First, problem behavior was reinforced on a fixed-ratio (FR) 1 schedule of reinforcement with one stimulus (item 1). Next, problem behavior was reinforced on a FR 1 schedule of reinforcement with a second stimulus (stimulus 2). Next, extinction was implemented with stimulus 2 and problem behavior extinguished. In the fourth component, a fixed-time 2-min schedule of reinforcement was implemented in which stimulus 1 was provided noncontingently. Reinstatement of problem behavior was observed during the fourth component. These results provide further evidence that (a) reinstatement is a mechanism that may represent a challenge to treatment and play a role in clinical relapse of problem behavior and (b) the response independent delivery of stimuli with which extinction is not applied can also produce reinstatement of problem behavior.




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