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 #203
CE Offered: BACB
Function-Based Assessment with Idiosyncratic Interventions to Address Socially-Maintained Problem Behavior
Sunday, May 28, 2017
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1C/D
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark)
Discussant: Chris M. Schaub (ReMed)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Quigley, M.A.

Functional analyses have been utilized extensively to identify the functions of problem behavior in individuals with varying disabilities. Following the identification of function, function-based treatment analyses are completed to teach functionally equivalent replacement behavior. When problem behavior is maintained by social contingencies, attention, tangible, and escape are the most common functions. This symposium will address instances in which the common replacement behaviors for attention, tangible, and escape are not sufficient in reducing or eliminating problem behavior. One talk will discuss modifications to the functional analysis methodology when working with individuals with traumatic brain injury. Two of the talks will discuss skills relevant to an identified tangible function. When this function is identified, not only does the individual require the skill of requesting, but also toleration when requests are denied. Two methods of accepting denied access will be discussed. Finally, a methodology for evaluating the maintaining variables of problem behavior that is multiply-maintained by social functions will be reviewed. This evaluation will assist practitioners in systematically evaluating the functional communication responses that require further training.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): functional analysis, idiosyncratic intervention, socially-maintained, treatment analyses

Assessment and Treatment of Idiosyncratic Variables in Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury

JENNIFER CRONER (ReMed Recovery Care Centers), Chris M. Schaub (ReMed)

The combination of factors that contribute to neurobehavioral challenges and complexity following a brain injury can be significant, and have a devastating impact on the individual and their family. These complications include aggression, agitation and poor frustration tolerance, poor self-awareness, disinhibition, impulsivity and poor judgment, emotional instability, and issues related to cognition and communication, participation and compliance, and awareness. Often, these complications are individualized to each client, as the specific brain injury will influence how functioning is affected. Therefore, it is often necessary to modify the standard functional analysis procedure and include manipulations of conditions and variables specific to that individual. The present study will present data from an idiosyncratic functional analysis to identify social variables maintaining problem behavior, and a subsequent treatment based on the maintaining variables identified in the functional analysis.


An Evaluation of Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Accept No

AMANDA GILL (Melmark ), Jennifer Quigley (Melmark; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Challenging behavior may be evoked in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities when requests for items or activities are denied or delayed. When a problem behavior is evoked by denied access to items or activities, an individuals inability to accept no could be problematic and lead to high rates of challenging behavior. However, there has been limited empirical research conducted to examine methods of teaching individuals to accept no when access to preferred items or activities is denied. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two methods of accepting no to minimize an individuals challenging behavior when access to preferred items, activities and edibles was denied or delayed. A response class hierarchy (RCH) assessment was initially conducted to determine which challenging behavior to target. Out of the three individuals, only one of the individuals behaviors occurred in a clear, predictable hierarchy. A no with an alternative and a yes with contingency intervention were then implemented with all three individuals and compared to determine which method was most effective in reducing challenging behavior. For one of the participants, both treatments worked a majority of the time. Low levels of challenging behavior were seen during each treatment. For another participant both treatments worked equally and for the last participant, the "yes" with contingency appeared to be the most effective and led to the lowest rates of challenging behavior. These results suggest that by either arranging contingencies or presenting an individual with alternatives, frequency of challenging behavior may be reduced.


Tolerance Training for Multiply Controlled Challenging Behavior: Teaching Aggressive Children to Deal With Disappointment

CASEY CHAUVIN (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt University), Naomi Parikh (Vanderbilt University), Nicole Joe Rogers (Vanderbilt University)

Individuals who consistently engage in aggression are often relegated to restrictive settings that can substantially alter their quality of life, as well as the quality of lives of their care providers. Thus, the repercussions of ineffective intervention are vast. Functional communication training (FCT) is commonly employed to teach children to mand for functional reinforcers. Teaching tolerance of delayed or denied reinforcement can be a critical, complementary treatment component when FCT is used to reduce or eliminate aggressive behavior and maintain treatment effects in natural settings. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of a multi-phase intervention on the aggressive behavior of 9- and 10-year-old males with Autism. Treatment components, including FCT and tolerance training, were implemented across separate contexts and subsequently synthesized in a single condition. Results demonstrate that a) functionally distinct, independent manding came under the control of multiple specific establishing operations during synthesis conditions (as was programmed) and b) both participants consistently emitted tolerance responses (in the absence of aggression) following delayed or denied reinforcement when presented with various combinations and durations of establishing operations.

Assessing Maintaining Variables of Multiply-Maintained Problem Behavior via Response Allocation Following Functional and Treatment Analyses
JENNIFER QUIGLEY (Melmark; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Multiply-maintained challenging behavior may be difficult to treat due to requiring multiple functional communication responses (FCR) as replacement behaviors. Following treatment, if the targeted challenging behavior continues to occur, it is necessary to determine which function(s) is maintaining the behavior. The purpose of this assessment was to identify the maintaining variables of challenging behavior that is multiply-maintained. This assessment identified the allocation of responding across three individuals whose challenging behavior was multiply-maintained by social consequences. First, we evaluated the allocation of responding of the functional communication responses and the targeted problem behaviors across social conditions based on test sessions of a functional analysis. Following identification, conditions in which the participant allocated to problem behavior instead of FCRs were replicated with training sessions of the FCR. Following training, the allocation assessment of the identified functions was replicated to demonstrate a change in allocation from the challenging behavior to the FCR.



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