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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #40
CE Offered: BACB
Parents as Agents: Applications and Cultural Background Considerations of Parent Training Procedures for Behavior Change
Sunday, September 29, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 2, C2
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
CE Instructor: Andresa De Souza, Ph.D.

Parents and caregivers play an important role in the success and maintenance of gains achieved with behavioral procedures. Therefore, parents should be actively included and engaged in their child's intervention process. In addition, parents can also be the main agent of change and be trained how to implement behavioral interventions to promote socially relevant changes in their child's behavior. This symposium will explore two clinical applications for behavior change in which parents were the implementers. First, Abigail Kennedy will present a study that evaluated the effects of a parent-implemented deferred time-out procedure (i.e., a hands-free method in which the child learns to independently sit in contingent observation time-out) on the reduction of challenging behavior in four children with typical development. Next, Maegan Pisman will discuss the results of a study that implemented behavioral skills training (BST) with two mother-son dyads to train the parent how to implement behavioral strategies to improve child-parent interaction and to teach mands and tacts to their child who had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Finally, Marie-Hélène Konrad will reflect on the importance of considering families' cultural background while designing and implementing parent training procedures in clinical settings.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Caregiver training, Cultural practices, Deferred time-out, Natural-environment teaching
Target Audience:

Clinicians, practitioners, and master students


An Evaluation of “Deferred Time-Out:”A Passive Enforcement Procedure for Contingent Observation Time-Out

(Service Delivery)
ABIGAIL KENNEDY (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Shelby Wolf (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jordan David Lill (University of Nebraska - Medical Center), William J. Warzak (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Time-out is one of the most widely disseminated and commonly used behavioral interventions for managing problem behavior in early childhood. Although time-out has been shown to be an effective method for reducing children’s problem behavior, time-out resistance is nonetheless prevalent, and has the potential to increase caregivers' use of more intrusive and effortful implementation methods and negatively affect parental adherence. Deferred time-out (DTO) is a hands-free method for training children to sit in contingent observation time-out, and may provide an alternative to put-backs, back-up rooms, and other more restrictive methods that have been used to enforce the time-out location. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of DTO implemented by trained caregivers on time-out resistance. Participants were four children and their caregivers. DTO reduced the latency to comply with the time-out instruction and the duration of time-out trials for three of four participants. Additionally, overall improvements in initial command compliance were observed for all participants, and caregivers generally found DTO to be an acceptable approach for children’s problem behavior. This research contributes to time-out and parent training literature by increasing our understanding regarding DTO as a method for improving compliance with parents' instructions with contingent observation time-out.

Increasing Caregiver Play and Teaching Skills Without Decrements in Child Preference
(Service Delivery)
MAEGAN D. PISMAN (STE Consultants), Kevin C. Luczynski (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit clinically-significant deficits and behavioral excesses that may lead to deficits in areas of play and engaging with others, including their caregivers. Our participants were two dyads consisting of two mothers and their sons, ages three and four, who were diagnosed with an ASD. First, we collected data on baseline performance in the home and conducted an initial concurrent-chains schedule in-clinic to identify each child’s baseline preference for playing alone versus playing with their caregiver. We then gathered baseline data in-clinic, followed by sequentially training caregivers to implement parallel play, child-directed interaction, teaching requests (mands), and teaching labels (tacts) using behavioral skills training. We assessed child preference after the caregiver mastered the play skills, followed by a third assessment after the caregiver mastered the teaching skills. Finally, we evaluated generalization and maintenance of the four skills learned in-clinic to the home environment. Both caregivers successfully learned the four skills and were able to generalize and maintain their performance to their home. The children continued to play with the toys throughout the evaluation and acquired the mands and tacts in the clinic and home environments.
Considering Family Cultural Practices During Parent Training
(Service Delivery)
MARIE-HELENE KONRAD (Ambulatorium Sonnenschein ), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract: Parents and caregivers are often responsible for carry-over procedures designed and implemented in clinical settings; therefore, parent training plays a crucial role in the success of behavioral-intervention outcomes. Many clinicians practice in a cross-cultural context with families that may have different values, traditions, habits, and spoken language. It is important for clinicians to be sensitive to the cultural practices of families in order to develop rapport and gain parent collaboration. Some considerations for behavior-analytic service delivery during parent training in a multi-cultural, diverse society are: (a) the importance of adapting clinical interventions carried-over by parents in a way that it is sensitive to differences in cultural practices; (b) the relevance of parent training procedures that are tailored to the family’s cultural background; (c) the need for translation resources provided by service-delivery agencies during parent training; and (d) the value of diversity and cultural preparedness of all behavioral-service providers. We will discuss some avenues to potentially address issues related to cross-cultural service delivery in clinical settings.



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