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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #250
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advancements in Training Caregivers and Staff
Sunday, May 24, 2020
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Capitol/Congress
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jacqueline Carrow (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Amy Henley (Western New England University)
CE Instructor: Jason C. Vladescu, M.S.

Providing training is a required component of effective treatment for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. In the training literature, caregivers, educators, and staff have successfully been taught a variety of behavioral technologies through various types of training and performance management procedures. However, continued research is needed to address training barriers and enhance the dissemination of our behavioral technologies and understanding of the natural contingencies that may interfere with correct implementation of these technologies. To this end, this symposium includes four papers related to staff and caregiver training. In this symposium, the first paper will review reinforcing contingencies that influence desirable and undesirable caregiver behavior. The second paper will evaluate the influence of active and nonactive response requirements during technology-based approaches to training staff. The third paper will discuss use of an interactive-computerized training to teach natural language paradigm techniques to educators. Finally, the fourth paper will evaluate the influence of a technology-based self-monitoring intervention on staff’s positive interactions with consumers in group homes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): caregiver behavior, interactive-computerized training, staff training, technology-based Interventions
Target Audience:

certified behavior analysts; graduate students

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe the contingencies that influence caregiver behavior and strategies to reduce undesirable caregiver behavior. 2. Attendees will be able to describe how to leverage technology-based interventions to teach educators and staff behavior analytic technologies. 3. Attendees will be able to describe technology-based interventions that incorporate nonactive and active components to teach staff across multiple settings.
Negative Reinforcement of Caregiver Behavior: A Contingency Analysis and Function-Based Solutions
JACQUELINE ROGALSKI (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Problem behavior can function as an aversive event that establishes escape from problem behavior as a reinforcer for caregiver behavior. Often, negatively reinforced caregiver behavior is countertherapeutic in that it reinforces problem behavior. For example, caregivers can quickly escape from attention-maintained aggression by delivering contingent attention. This cycle of reinforcement poses a concerning barrier to the effective treatment of problem behavior. The purpose of this talk is to synthesize existing research on the negative reinforcement of caregiver behavior by offering a contingency analysis of undesirable and desirable caregiver behavior. In addition, the authors will review existing literature on the treatment of escape-maintained behavior and suggest ways in which the literature can be extended to the treatment of negatively reinforced caregiver behavior. Topics will include reinforcement-based treatments (e.g., differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, differential reinforcement of other behavior, stimulus fading), reinforcer parameter manipulations in the context of concurrent-operant schedules, and procedural manipulations that reduce the likelihood of undesirable caregiver behavior.

The Influence of Active and Nonactive Requirements When Training Staff to Implement Behavioral Technologies

KATHLEEN EMILY MARANO (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Samantha Breeman (Caldwell University), Alexandra Marie Campanaro (Caldwell University ), Jacqueline Carrow (Caldwell University)

It is important that human service staff receive optimal training to ensure that behavioral technologies are implemented correctly. Two commonly used staff training techniques include video modeling, which does not require active responding during training, and computer-based instruction, which does require active responding during training. The present study sought to evaluate the influence of active and nonactive requirements when training staff to implement behavioral technologies. College students were randomly assigned to the active responding group, nonactive responding group, or a control group. Participants in the active responding group completed computer-based training modules, which required them to answer questions after viewing clips of an individual implementing a behavioral technology. Participants in the nonactive responding group viewed a video model depicting the same information as the active responding group, but the video showed the correct answers to questions without requiring responding from participants. Data demonstrated that training with and without the active responding requirement resulted in improved staff performance. The results of this study may provide implications for clinical practice and directions for further research.


An Interactive Computerized Training to Teach Educators to Implement Natural Language Paradigm Procedures to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

STEPHANIE MATTSON (Utah State University), Lorraine A Becerra (University of Missouri), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Stephanie Cousin (Utah State University), Adriano Barboza (Afeto Association), Kassidy Reinert (Utah State University)

Although interventions based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) are recommended as treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the scarcity of trained professionals can make access to intervention difficult for families. Interactive computerized training (ICT) can be a valuable dissemination tool for training educators to implement ABA interventions (Pollard, Higbee, Akers, & Brodhead, 2014). ICT is a treatment package that includes a combination of narrated instruction, voice-over video modeling, competency checks, and interactive activities. The natural language paradigm (NLP; Koegel, O’Dell, and Koegel, 1987) is a naturalistic play-based intervention that has been successfully implemented by educators and parents to increase spontaneous and imitative language in children with ASD (Gillett and LeBlanc, 2007). The ICT for NLP was used to increase the percent procedure following in three educator-student dyads. Furthermore, a corresponding increase in contextual student comments was also observed.

Effects of a Technology-Based Self-Monitoring Intervention on Staff–Consumer Interactions in Group Homes
SANDRA ALEX RUBY (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Research shows that the quality and frequency of staff-consumer interactions is related to reductions in consumer problem behavior and increases in other desired outcomes, such as self-help, leisure, communication, and community skills (Parsons, Cash, & Reid, 1989; Sturmey, 1995). Unfortunately, the frequency with which group-home staff positively interact with consumers is low and regularly the target of intervention (Burg, Reid, Lattimore, 1979; Burgio, Whitman, Reid, 1983; Kamana, 2019; Montegar, Reid, Madsen, Ewell, 1977; Mowery, Miltenberger, & Weil, 2010). Using an ABAB withdrawal design, we assessed the effects of a technology-based self-monitoring intervention on staff’s positive interactions with consumers during leisure time. Participant data were collected off-site through video recordings from cameras already present in the group homes. In baseline, the percentage of 5-min intervals in which staff positively interacted with consumers was low. Upon introduction of an intervention containing self-monitoring completed via a tablet device, the percentage of intervals with an interaction for one participant increased and maintained when the intervention was in effect. Data are ongoing, but the preliminary findings demonstrate the utility of technology-based interventions to increase staff’s positive interactions with consumers in group homes.



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