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.


Seventh International Conference; Merida, Mexico; 2013

Event Details

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Paper Session #3
Improving Abilities With Behavior Analysis
Monday, October 7, 2013
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
Yucatan IV (Fiesta Americana)
Area: AUT
Chair: Andree Fleming-Holland (University of Veracruz)

CANCELED: The Operant Conditioning of Letter String Problem Solving

Domain: Experimental Analysis
MARCO PULIDO (Universidad Intercontinental)

The major purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of practice and reinforcement on letter string problem solving. College students were exposed to printed letter string problems. In the first experiment correct answers could be reinforced, punished, ignored, randomly reinforced or presented without a previous example. Data showed punishment significantly decreased the number of correct answers produced by the subjects; additionally practice significantly increased the number of correct answers in one reinforced condition and lowered the number of correct answers in the punishment group. A second experiment assessed behavioral momentum theory in the solution of letter string problems. Subjects were reinforced for producing a determined answer during 12 consecutive problems; subsequently the answer selected for reinforcement changed. Results showed the probability of producing a correct answer significantly decreased when reinforcement contingencies changed. Data from both experiments suggest that approaching letter string problem solving from an operant, rather than cognitive perspective, could allow a better understanding and control of the phenomenon.

Implementation of a Program to Acquire Behavioral and Learning Skills in a Rural Mexican Middle School
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Cesar G. Aguilar-Salazar (Servicios Educativos Integrados al Estado de México), ANDREE FLEMING-HOLLAND (University of Veracruz), Marco Wilfredo Salas-Martinez (University of Veracruz, Mexico), Esperanza Ferrant-Jimenez (University of Veracruz)
Abstract: In the State of Veracruz, according to the results of national standarized achievement tests, middle school students have obtained very low scores in several indices of academic performance, as well as having detected psychological health issues, such as hyperactivity and depression, in conjunction with social problems such as marginalization due to migration and family disintegration. Added to these problem areas, there is a lack of knowledge of strategies to address them by teachers. The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence and relation of ADHD and depression in middle schools students in five communities in Veracruz, according to non-migrant or migrant status of their parents, as well as to evaluate the effect of the implementation of a program based on skills by teachers to decrease hyperactive behaviors of these adolescents and acquire of basic skills for learning. This investigation consisted of two phases: descriptive and experimental. The results of the descriptive phase responded to the objectives of the study, finding a correlation between hyperactivity and depression in children of migrants, and increased presence of both in children of non-migrants, according to the statistical tests. Likewise, for the intervention phase, the effects of the program of skill acquisition allowed the improvement of the problem behaviors associated with hyperactivity as well as improving the basic learning skills in middle school students.

Positive Behavioral Supports in Community Based Settings with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Forensic Backgrounds

Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ELIZABETH HUGHES (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis)

While falling short of banning the use of punitive procedures entirely, ABAI's statement on restraint and seclusion "strongly oppose[d] the inappropriate and/or unnecessary use of seclusion, restraint, or other intrusive interventions". As such, if individual and community safety can be maintained through the exclusive use of positive practices, then the need for punishment should become obsolete and its use considered unethical. Utilizing several single case studies, this paper aims to make explicit the influence and potential that positive behavior supports have in supporting adults with autism and other developmental disabilities in community settings after previously enduring extended institutional placements. While researchers have found that institutional "stayers" tend to exhibit more challenging behavior than those who transition to community placements, research regarding specific forensic challenges have not been widely studied. This paper aims to contribute to that literature. In each case study presented, a decrease in both the frequency and episodic severity of severe and challenging behavior was found following the application of an ABA model driven by the values associated with social role valorization, providing a blueprint for safe community integration for adults with a broad constellation of developmental and psychiatric challenges.




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