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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Poster Session #460
Monday, May 29, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
Chair: Tiffany Kristin Mrla (Learning & Behavior Solutions, Inc.)
103. Increasing Social Initiations and Responses in the Context of Procedures to Decrease Motor Stereotypy
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN ELIZABETH BOURDON (Beacon ABA Services), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: Repetitive and stereotypic motor movements or vocal behavior are one of diagnostic characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Motor stereotypy can interfere with the acquisition and demonstration of many adaptive skills. Additionally, the occurrence of repetitive motor behavior in young children with ASD may socially stigmatize individuals and limit the development and maintenance of peer relationships. The study evaluated the effects of a differential reinforcement procedure used to establish control over the occurrence of motor stereotypy during sessions. Once instructional control was achieved, the procedure was systematically implemented across a range of settings and over increasing periods of time. The data indicate that the procedure was effective in decreasing the occurrence of motor stereotypy across all evaluated settings. Moreover, during the course of the intervention social initiations and social responding made by the child increased over baseline levels. Although motor stereotypy was not completely eliminated by the procedure, the reduction was significant as was the increase in social initiations and responding. The findings are discussed in terms of social validity and establishment and transfer of stimulus control.
104. Assessment of Elopement Maintained by Access to Automatically Maintained Shredding
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
JOELLE KRANTZ (Marcus Autism Center; Nova Southeastern University), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: Individuals with autism and related disorders commonly engage in multiple topographies of problem behavior. Previous investigations have illustrated how two topographies may enter into a reinforcement contingency whereby one problem behavior is reinforced by contingent access to another automatically maintained stereotypic behavior (Falcomata et al., 2010). Specifically, the two responses form a chain in which behavior A is positively reinforced by access to behavior B. In the current study, we hypothesized that a child with autism engaged in elopement to gain access to tangible materials, that were then used to engage in the disruptive behavior of shredding, that was automatically maintained. We modified past procedures by testing for elopement maintained by access to tangible items through the use of noncontingent access. That is, we implemented functional analysis contingencies that controlled for automatic reinforcement through a noncontingent access control condition. Results of the current study were similar to those of Falcomata et al. (2010) and Fisher et al. (1998), demonstrating that a problem behavior was maintained by access to a secondary, automatically maintained problem behavior.
105. Use of Signaling Procedure to Increase Participant’s Tolerance of Delayed Attention from Caregiver in the Participant’s Home Environment- A Reflection on Treatment Decisions and Barriers to Treatment
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHRYN CRAIG (Imagine Behavioral Health Services), Anna Young (Imagine Behavioral Health Services), Daniel Welch (Imagine Behavioral Health Services)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: It is challenging to carry out behavioral procedures within community environments such as family homes, group residences, and day programs. The present study illustrates steps in a systematic approach of introduction of a signaling procedure to teach a participant to tolerate delayed access to attention from her parent and ongoing challenges related to training of the caregiver to ensure proper plan implementation. Research studies document use of discriminative stimuli in the multiple schedule arrangement to facilitate schedule thinning (e.g., Hanley et. al. 2001). The present study used stimuli (red and green lanyards) that signaled availability and unavailability of parent’s attention. Series of training sessions were conducted to teach participant to discriminate between conditions of attention availability and unavailability. The Behavior Analyst conducted a generalization training to assist the parent in single-handedly signaling her availability and unavailability as well as in arranging the participant’s independent engagement schedule. Data show that the signaling procedure was successful in decreasing participant’s problem behavior during parent unavailability and that the procedure was user-friendly and resulted in high levels of procedural integrity, although still requiring frequent monitoring by the lead Behavior Analyst.
106. An Evaluation of the Correspondence Between Caregiver and Self Report on the Social Functions Maintaining Severe Problem Behavior
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY NESS (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Southern Mississippi), Molly Butts (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Mississippi State University ), John M. Huete (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Aila K. Dommestrup (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: Functional analyses are regularly conducted to identify potential social reinforcers that maintain problem behaviors (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1994). However, in some circumstances using direct, experimental functional analysis methodology may be difficult or ineffective. For example, evaluating covert self-injurious behaviors (Grace, Thompson, & Fisher, 1996) or when examining elopement behaviors (Piazza et al., 1997). The purposes of the current investigation were to examine the utility and accuracy of conducting a paired choice functional analysis interview with two children for whom experimental functional analysis procedures were deemed inappropriate due to their high levels of functioning and presenting topographies of problem behavior, and to compare the results to parent report on the functional analysis interview and the parent-administered Questions about Behavioral Function (QABF) questionnaire. Results of the comparison between the paired choice functional analysis interview and the QABF revealed similar ratings of the functions maintaining the childs problem behaviors, suggesting that the paired choice functional analysis interview could be appropriate when an experimental functional analysis is not. This information was then used to identify initial goals for behavioral treatment targeting the identified functions requiring intervention. Future directions and limitations on the clinical utility and implementation of using a paired choice functional analysis interview will be discussed.
107. Improving Staff Praise of Toddlers in a Group Setting
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA ANN AMIOT (St. Cloud State University), Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: Increasing staff praise can positively affect toddler behavior in a group setting. Prior research has used both direct and indirect training techniques in order to teach staff appropriate ways to improve praise (Dufrene, Lestremau, & Zoder-Martell, 2014). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a series of teaching strategies for improving staff praise to develop an overall treatment package. The participants were a group of 8-12 toddlers that attended a university based day care center and 12 undergraduate students serving as classroom staff. An additive component analysis was used to determine an effective treatment for improving staff praise during group time. Phases included modeling, environmental alterations, specific instructions, feedback, and movement. Modeling positive praise did not alter staff behavior. An increase in staff praise did not occur until the staff were delivered specific instructions. The increase in staff praise as well as environmental alterations had an effect on toddler compliance during group time. This study provides an effective treatment package for improving staff praise in a daycare setting.
108. Caregiver-Run Structured Evaluation of Elopement
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER ANDERSEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute; University of Iowa), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that functional analysis (FA) procedures within a contrived and experimentally controlled setting can be effective at identifying functional reinforcers to develop treatments for elopement that extend to naturalistic settings (Call et al., 2016; Piazza et al., 1997); however, threats to external validity of FA results may include the use of a novel person (e.g., therapist) during the implementation of assessment procedures. Other researchers have demonstrated that caregivers can be trained to implement FA procedures with high procedural fidelity for severe behaviors (Barretto, Wacker, Harding, Lee, & Berg, 2006) and feeding disorders (Najdowski et al., 2008). The current study analyzed the effects of using caregivers as therapists when evaluating the function of elopement. Two clients with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability were referred to an outpatient behavior management clinic for the assessment and treatment of elopement. Caregiver-run structured evaluations of elopement from a room (Participant 1) and elopement during transitions (Participant 2) were conducted in order to develop function-based treatment programs. Results of caregiver-run and therapist-run FA conditions were compared. Results extend previous applications of caregiver-run FAs to the identification of function(s) of elopement in an outpatient setting that directly inform the development of caregiver-implemented treatment.
109. A Comparison of Procedures for Evaluating Generalization Following Matrix Training
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
WILMARIS FERNANDEZ (Beacon ABA Services), Paulo Guilhardi (Beacon ABA Services), Jennifer Smith (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services), Camille Rivera (Beacon ABA Services), Ashley Douglas (Beacon ABA Services), Victoria Sadler (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)

Matrix training has been used to promote generalized responding in the demonstration of targeted object, action, language routines (Goldstein & Mousetis, 1989; Dauphin, Kinney, & Stromer, 2004) by presenting the learner with stimuli in pairs and then assessing generalization across novel combinations of the same stimuli. Although this procedure is effective in determining emergence of untrained relations given the presentation of pairs, it deviates from a typical play scenario in which all materials are available at once. The present study was conducted to design a method of evaluating to a practical degree, generalization demonstrated in matrix training. Using a 3x3 matrix, two participants were taught to perform motor actions and vocalizations with three pairs of toys with video modeling. Following acquisition of trained targets, participants were exposed to two generalization tests repeatedly. In one test, materials were presented to the participant in pairs as they typically are in matrix training. In the other test, all materials were presented to the participant at one time. Both participants demonstrated more motor actions and vocalizations across learned and unlearned targets when objects were presented in pairs as compared to being presented will all materials at once.

110. Task Sequencing Mathematics Problems for Increasing Behavioral Momentum: Effects and Resources for Practice
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
JARED MORRIS (The Pennsylvania State University)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Teachers' often reduce the quantity or difficulty of tasks required when differentiating independent assignments. Task sequencing research suggests that rather than reducing tasks, assignments with additional brief tasks interspersed produces positive results in multiple content areas. This presentation will synthesize studies that sequenced mathematics problems for students with disabilities. Reducing the difficulty or quantity of difficulty of math problems for students with difficulty in mathematics could be a disservice to them. Research shows that adding (or interspersing) additional brief problems is a more effective way of differentiating assignments for students with disabilities (Belfiore et al., 2002; Calderhead, et al., 2006; Lee et al., 2012; Wildmon et al., 2004). Independent and distributed practice is an important aspect of explicitly teaching students with disabilities, and is essential to their learning (Archer & Hughes, 2011). Teachers often reduce the quantity of problems required when differentiating independent assignments for underperforming students in math (Kern et al., 1994). Research regarding task sequencing (e.g., task interspersal and high-p) suggest it is more effective and is preferred by students to intersperse additional brief tasks (Belfiore et al., 2002; Calderhead, et al., 2006; Lee et al., 2012; Wildmon et al., 2004). This literature review synthesizes high-p studies.
111. Telehealth in the Provision of Service Delivery in Mental and Behavioral Health: A Systematic Review
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
DENICE RIOS (Western Michigan University), Zachary Husak (Western Michigan University), Andrea Miller (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: As the number of individuals in need of services increases, so does the need for trained professionals. Meeting the demand for services is especially challenging in rural areas due to low availability of service providers. Telehealth is a method of providing services using remote technology. In rural areas, where behavior analysts are in short supply, it can be the solution to close the gap in service provision. The purpose of this review is to examine telehealth service delivery, recommend telehealth strategies for behavior analysts, and identify areas that would warrant future research. To do this, we conducted a systematic keyword search on three electronic databases and reviewed a total of 55 articles in terms of participant characteristics, services provided, variables measured, technology used, security of technology, and effectiveness of telehealth interventions. Overall, this poster will describe our findings and their implications on behavior analytic services as a telehealth initiative. Additionally, we will discuss how our results can inform future behavior analytic research in this area.
112. The Heterogeneity of Behavior Analyst Preparation Programs
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
COLLIN SHEPLEY (University of Kentucky), Allan Allday (University of Kentucky), Sally Bereznak Shepley (University of Kentucky)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Numerous universities and colleges offer coursework approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Despite uniform requirements for approval, many differences exist among programs. To provide the field of behavior analysis with information on these differences, we conducted an initial analysis of program variables to identify differences between programs offering coursework approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Examined program variables include: departmental affiliation, course delivery methods, provision of supervision experience, and accreditation from the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
113. An Evaluation of Preference Assessment Procedures and Stability of Preference for Older Adults With Dementia
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN FORD (Jacksonville State University), Makenzie Williams Bayles (Jacksonville State University), Jennifer Lynne Bruzek (Jacksonville State University), Sara Posey (Jacksonville State University)
Discussant: Alissa Anne Conway (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Poor engagement can lead to reduced quality of life for individuals with dementia. Research on determining preference and increasing engagement with this population is limited. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of 4 preference assessment procedures in identifying preferred activities and predicting engagement for 4 females with dementia and to measure stability of preference and engagement over time. We compared the predictability of single stimulus (SS) verbal and multimedia assessments, caregiver rankings (CR), and multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) assessments. Participants responded consistently on SS assessments, but we noted inconsistencies between the CR and MSWO assessments (interobserver agreement [IOA] 100%). SS assessments predicted engagement during engagement analyses (EA), but rank-order assessments did not predict engagement in moderate- and low-ranked activities (IOA 99%). For 2 participants, we evaluated the stability of preferences and engagement at 4 and 8 weeks. Participants responded consistently on SS assessments and inconsistently on MSWO assessments (IOA 100%). SS assessments predicted engagement during EAs for one participant, but MSWO assessments did not predict engagement for either participant (IOA 98%). These results suggest SS assessments may be useful for identifying preferred activities and engagement, and preferences may remain stable for some individuals with dementia.



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