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- Immediate and subsequent effects of response blocking on self-injurious behavior.
- Abstract In many institutional settings, blocking, response restriction (e.g., restraint, protective equipment), and re-direction procedures are used extensively as intervention for self-injurious behavior (SIB) and other forms of problem behavior. In the current study, a three component, multiple-schedule analysis was used to examine the immediate and subsequent effects of blocking on SIB that persisted in the absence of social reinforcement contingencies. During the first and third components the participant was in the room, alone, with no social consequences for SIB. During the second component (response restriction) the therapist sat in the room with the participant and blocked occurrences of SIB. Results indicated that, although blocking was effective in decreasing SIB while it was being implemented, subsequent effects were idiosyncratic across participants. Evidence of increased levels of SIB following blocking was observed for some participants.
- Correspondence between verbal behavior about reinforcers and performance under schedules of reinforcement.
- Important advancements have been made in the identification of reinforcers over the past decade. The use of preference assessments has become a systematic way to identify preferred events that may function as reinforcers for an individual's behavior. Typically, preference assessments require participants to select stimuli through verbal surveys or engagement with stimuli as preferred or non-preferred. Not all studies go on to directly test the effects of the preferred stimuli, and even fewer studies directly test for the effects of the non- preferred stimuli. The present study systematically identified preferred and non-preferred stimuli in adult human subjects by verbal report and then proceeded to test the effects of both verbally reported preferred and non preferred events on single and concurrent schedules of reinforcement. The results are discussed in terms of contemporary concerns regarding preference and reinforcer assessments.
- Comparison of client attendance, attrition, and outcomes in 2 class system packages.
- Using the principles of systems analysis as a guide, this study compared two class schedule formats used by Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) in order to address the following research questions: 1) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student attrition and appointment keeping? 2) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student outcomes on a pre and posttest assessment? 3) What effects do 2 different class formats have on staff procedures? BMAPS provides parent education to individuals referred by Child Protective Services. The current research included approximately 200 referred clients with an appointment or class scheduled with BMAPS between January 1, 2006 and September 22, 2007. Data was collected by reviewing client files for class attendance and performance records. Results of this study allow BMAPS to enlist the class format that is correlated with better attrition rates and client outcomes.
- The Effects of Interspersed Trials and Density of Reinforcement on Accuracy, Looking Away, and Self-injurious Behavior of a Child with Autism
- This research examines the effects of task interspersal and density of reinforcement on several behaviors of an autistic 6-year-old boy during the performance of a visual matching task and two auditory matching tasks. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of interspersing high and low accuracy tasks on correct matching responses, positions of matching responses, looking away, and self-injurious behavior (SIB). The effects of interspersed trials were evaluated using an ABAB multiple treatments design. Results indicated that interspersed trials produced slightly more correct responses during the visual matching task; however, correct responses decreased during the other two tasks. The use of interspersed trials also decreased looking away from the stimuli and SIB. Experiment 2 evaluated the effects of reinforcement density apart from task interspersal. Two conditions, reinforce-corrects-only and reinforce-all-responses, were compared in Experiment 2. Correct responses increased slightly for all three tasks during the reinforce-all-responses condition. Looking away and SIB were very infrequent throughout Experiment 2.
- The effects of alternative contingencies on instruction following.
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The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of alternative contingencies on instruction following by an ABA design. Three college students consistently pressed keys 1-5-3 and 4-8-6 in the presence of the written instruction "Press 153" or "Press 486." During condition A, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were the same: CON FR5 FR5 and CON FR20 FR20. During condition B, the contingencies for following and not following the instruction were different: CON FR20 FR5. For one participant, the schedule of reinforcement was then changed to FR30. The results showed that subjects followed instructions when the schedule of reinforcement was the same for instruction following and not following.
- Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.
- This study evaluated the effects of programming a variability contingency on one object and the generalization of variability across other objects and contingencies when the defining features of the variable responses were topographical differences. A dog's interactions with five different objects were measured under both ANY (where any physical contact with the object would be reinforced on a fixed ratio schedule) and the VAR contingencies (where only the novel responses per trial would be reinforced). The ANY contingency produced stereotyped responding of behavior with all objects. When one of the dog-object interactions was changed to the VAR contingency, a marked decrease in stereotypic behavior and an increase in novel responses in the form of topographical combinations were observed across both contingencies.
- Increasing activities and interests in a child dually diagnosed with PDD-NOS and DS.
- Expanding interests may be a behavioral cusp, resulting in widespread changes across skills, and therefore is particularly relevant in intervention programs for children with autism. Little research has addressed directly increasing the diversity of activities and interests for this population. This study describes a program developed to increase activities and interests in a girl dually-diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS) and Downs syndrome (DS). A multiple-baseline design across stimuli was employed to evaluate the program. The results show that the program increased number of total and different toy interactions. No effects were observed for overall duration of toy interactions. Results are discussed in relation to play skill instruction and preference assessment literature, the cusp, and autism intervention programs.
- Choices in Reinforcer Delivery
- The current study consisted of two experiments, both of which were comparisons of choice conditions replicated across four participants. Four typically-developing pre-school children participated in this study. Experiment 1 evaluated participants' preference for choosing consequent stimuli prior to engaging in academic tasks (pre-session choice) versus choosing consequent stimuli each time criterion for reinforcement had been met within the session (within-session choice). In Experiment 2, preference for choice-making was evaluated when outcomes for both choice and no-choice conditions were identical. For two participants, results indicated strong preference for choice-making.
- Developing a function-based treatment for problem behavior using a structured descriptive assessment.
- This study evaluated the utility of structured descriptive assessment (SDA) to generate a hypothesis regarding the operant function of problem behavior when the analogue functional analysis (FA) failed to evoke problem behavior for an adult with developmental disabilities. The effectiveness of interventions based on that hypothesis was evaluated in the natural environment. The SDA succeeded in producing a relatively controlled baseline of problem behavior where the FA and direct observation could not. However, the extent to which treatment procedures affected problem behavior could not be determined due to confounding variables outside the control of the experimenter. The results provide cautionary evidence highlighting both the potential utility of SDA and challenges that may be encountered when conducting SDA and evaluating treatments in natural environments.
- Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.
- Research has shown that parents of children with disabilities, such as autism, experience significantly higher stress levels than parents of typically developing children. It has been suggested that parent education programs, in particular naturalistic communication training, will reduce parental stress. Most of the literature in this area has relied on parental reports and has only focused on decreasing stress and has not directly addressed increasing alternate feelings, such as happiness. In different but related areas of behavior analysis, an emphasis has been placed on the importance of happiness as a quality of life indicator and that the development of multileveled assessment is sorely needed. This study was designed to analyze one set of measures within a data-based intervention program for parents of toddlers with autism. The Family Connections Project (FCP) is a parent training project designed to enhance the quality of relationships for families who have toddlers with autism. Within this project parents are taught to identify and arrange opportunities to interact with their children in ways that will increase motivation and social responsivity. This study looked at the collateral effects of this training program and investigated if FCP affected the relationship between parents and their toddlers; of particular interest was parental happiness. Video taped assessments were used as a direct measure to collect indices of parental affect/happiness (e.g., smiles). Independent judges' ratings were used in comparison with a controlled parent-child dyad. Furthermore, pre and post parental goals, descriptions, and satisfaction surveys were analyzed in the context of the parental happiness indices. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across child skills and are discussed in the context of parent and child's targeted behavior changes and collateral outcome measures.
- A parametric analysis of the immediate and subsequent effects of response restriction on hand mouthing.
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The immediate and subsequent effects of different durations of response restriction were evaluated in a multiple schedule design. Response restriction components of 15, 30, and 60 minutes were conducted between 15 minute alone components. Levels of responding subsequent to the termination of response restriction procedures were compared to free operant levels prior to the implementation of response restriction. Responding during response restriction components reduced to near zero levels. Subsequent levels of responding were similar to or exceeded free operant baseline levels. Results are discussed in terms of potential operant mechanisms responsible for levels of responding subsequent to response restriction.
- The Effect of High-Probability Request Sequences on Latency to Comply with Instructions to Transition in a Child With Severe Mental Retardation
- This study investigated the effect of implementing high-probability request sequences prior to the delivery of instructions to transition in a child with severe mental retardation. Data were collected on latency to comply with a low-probability request to transition and a modified version of the low-probability request. Implementation of high-probability request sequences resulted in shortened latencies to comply with the modified low-probability request instructing the child to engage in a preferred activity located at the endpoint of the transition.
- Effects of click + continuous food vs. click + intermittent food on the maintenance of dog behavior.
- There is disagreement among clicker trainers on whether or not food should be delivered every time the clicker (conditioned reinforcer) is used. However, presenting a conditioned reinforcer without food can weaken the strength of the conditioned reinforcer and also disrupt its discriminative stimulus function. A within subjects reversal design was used with 2 dogs to compare the behavioral effects of continuous pairings (C+F condition) vs. intermittent pairings (C+C+F condition) of the clicker with food. Results show that the C+C+F condition affects the frequency, accuracy, topography, and intensity of the behavior, and increases noncompliance and other unwanted behaviors. This study adds to the literature by evaluating the effects of conditioned reinforcement in an applied setting using discrete trials without undergoing extinction.
- Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders; An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with treatment outcomes.
- The current study was designed to further evaluate the usefulness of anecdotal assessments. The goal of this study was to evaluate the overall agreement between multiple respondents on the primary function of aberrant behavior using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) and, if agreement was obtained, to assess the effectiveness of treatment based on the outcome of the assessments. Results showed that anecdotal assessments were able to identify the general type of contingency maintaining two participants' problem behavior. However, for one participant the assessments did not correctly identify the specific form of reinforcement (attention or tangible items) that maintained the aberrant behavior.
- The effects of rate of responding on retention, endurance, stability, and application of performance on a match-to-sample task.
- Fluent performance has been described as the retention, endurance, stability, and application of the material learned. Fluent performers not only respond quickly during training, they also make many correct responses during training. The current study used a within-subject design to analyze the effects of increased response rates on Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application tests. Number of correct responses and number of unprompted, correct responses in error correction procedures were yoked for individual participants across an Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition and an Accuracy-Only training condition. One participant scored better in tests that followed the Accuracy-Only condition. One participant showed results that slightly favor the Accuracy-plus-Rate training condition. The two participants whose response rates were successfully reduced in the Accuracy-Only condition performed better on all tests that followed the Accuracy-plus-Rate condition.
- A comparison of brief versus extended paired-choice preference assessment outcomes.
- Few studies have systematically evaluated whether preferences can reliably be identified using brief procedures. Typically, studies have used brief procedures to select potential reinforcers for use in intervention procedures. A total of 17 food and leisure paired-choice preference assessments were administered to 10 subjects in order to evaluate the extent to which the results of a brief (i.e., single-session) assessment correspond with those from more extended procedures (i.e., 5 sessions). Eleven out of the 17 brief and extended assessments identified the same stimulus as the most preferred (highest rank). Outcomes suggest that a brief assessment can be useful when a single, potent reinforcing stimulus is desired, and an extended assessment should be conducted when a larger number of preferred stimuli is desired.
- Utilizing staff training methods for developing a mathetics error correction procedure in a university classroom.
- The education community agrees that correcting student errors is important for learning. They do not agree on the components that define successful error correcting. Some theories suggest that detailed feedback facilitates adult learning and some suggest that less detail is needed for these learners. Gilbert (1962) applied the scientifically derived methods of Behavior Analysis when designing instruction. This study attempted to develop an efficient error correction procedure for university teachers. Throughout the semester, error correction design efforts between the teachers and the experimenter became more collaborative. While error correction procedures never showed systematic effects on student grades, later versions were viewed more favorably by both teachers and students and were more likely to be implemented accurately. Decreased teacher practice opportunities, due to low student participation, may have decreased the procedure's effectiveness.
- Measures of reading comprehension: The effects of text type and time limits on students' performance.
- Although the importance of reading comprehension is generally recognized, a better understanding of the factors influencing measurement of reading comprehension may impact the ability to assess strengths and deficits. The current study examined the effects of text type and time limits on the rate of students' performance across four common assessments of reading comprehension. Results showed similarities between performance with narrative and expository texts and across time limit conditions for all of the assessments. In terms of comparing across reading comprehension assessments, the findings are limited by the differences in the response channels and stimulus conditions of each assessment. The results have implications for the development of measurement systems and the assessment of reading comprehension.
- The effects of a remote control tactile feedback system on conversation skills in children with autism.
- A few studies have examined the effects of a remote control tactile device (RCT) as an unobtrusive prompting method used to promote skills such as verbal initiations and play behaviors in children with autism. To date, however, no published studies have investigated the effects of the RCT as a consequence to increase and maintain conversation skills. This study was designed to determine whether the RCT, in conjunction with common training techniques (i.e. roleplays, visual feedback, and sibling coaching), could be used as a discrete and unobtrusive feedback system to promote conversation skills in high functioning children with autism. Results found that the RCT and training packages were effective in initially increasing rates of target responses. The effects however, did not always maintain with a return to baseline. Programming "naturally" maintaining communities of reinforcement was found to be a critical factor in the maintenance of the conversational responses.
- Retention, Endurance, Stability, and Application of Learned Performances as a Function of Training Condition
- A functional definition of fluency describes performance frequency ranges that predict retention, endurance, stability, application, and adduction as outcomes of practice. This experiment assessed these outcomes after different training conditions using a within-subject design. Participants in an experimental group learned new skills in a condition with rate and accuracy criteria, then in a yoked, rate-controlled condition with the same number of prompted responses and correct trials in practice. Control group participants received training in consecutive conditions with rate and accuracy criteria. Performance of individuals in the control group demonstrated practice effects. Data obtained from participants in the experimental group showed similar performance across conditions. Considering efficiency, the condition with rate and accuracy criteria was superior.
- The effects of timed readings on recall and comprehension in a child with Asperger's syndrome.
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The effects of timed readings on recall and comprehension in a child with Asperger's syndrome were examined by employing a multiple-baseline design across two books with reversals. Recall timings consisted of the student's free-say compilation of what she just read. Comprehension tests consisted of the participant's answers to predetermined questions after her recall period. No consequences or feedback was given during any of the conditions. Results indicate that, initially, as the time required to read decreased, the number of unrelated words during the recall period for the two books also decreased. Related words were not as affected. Scores on comprehension tests were high. There was, however, little correspondence between the participant's recall words and the main ideas answered correctly in the comprehension test.
- Evaluating a positive parenting curriculum package: An analysis of the acquisition of key skills.
- With the increase in survival for children with cancer, part of the focus of current research is aimed towards evaluating how these children are adapting psychosocially. Neurocognitive deficits have been well established. However, there are multiple facets encompassing quality of life, including general mental health, lifestyles and health behaviors, and academic and cognitive functioning. The relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning has yet to be thoroughly evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning in survivors of brain tumors and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Data was collected from existing archival database comprised of patients of the at Cook Children's Medical Center in Texas. The sample consisted of 177 patients between the ages of 3 and 12 who were at least two years post-diagnosis. Measures used included the NEPSY and the Behavioral Assessment for Children. Statistical analyses included a several one-way analysis of variances, an independent samples t-test, a univariate analysis of variance, a hierarchical multiple regression, and odds ratio analyses. Results indicated survivors treated with neurosurgery alone appear to be less at risk for developing behavior problems than other treatment modalities. Also, brain tumor survivors demonstrate more problematic behaviors than survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Visuospatial functioning, diagnosis, and type of treatment were found to be predictive variables of behavior problems. Attention, and perhaps language, deficits may predispose children to more problems in their behavior. It is concluded that there are other factors affecting behavior in this population that were not accounted for in this analysis. It is recommended for future studies to research the individual clinical scales of the Behavior Assessment System for Children, obtain information from multiple informants, study this relationship longitudinally, and research additional factors that may be influencing the relationship between neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning. This provides evidence of risk factors that should be monitored as the child returns home and to school.
- Is video modeling enough to teach parent-child interactions? Toward a systematic evaluation of the key components of video modeling.
- Parent-child interactions help set the foundation for a child's development. It is therefore important to investigate the relative efficiency and efficacy of procedures used to train them. One procedure that researchers continue to explore is video modeling. The current study evaluated the effect of a video model that displayed favorable parent-child interactions and a modified model with embedded instructions to determine if the introduction of either of these models would alter parent-child interactions. Both models were presented alone without supplemental guidance. Three families were involved in the study. The results showed no systematic change across families or conditions as a result of video viewing and are discussed within context of the needs of the parent, adequate stimulus control, community to support behavior change, measurement sensitivity, and influence of methodology. This study provided a great baseline for future studies to explore the necessary components to create an effective video model.
- A Measurement System for Monitoring Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism
- A comprehensive measurement system was developed to monitor play in children with autism and typically developing children. The study was conducted in a preschool operated in conjunction with a center-based program for children with autism. The development of the measurement system was based on observations of four children with autism and three typically developing children during social and play activites. Data were collected on material use and several dimensions of play: Simple Manipulation, Functional Manipulation, Symbolic Toy Play, Symbolic Role Play and Play Themes. The results indicated that the measurement system consistently measured a wide range of play behaviors across children and materials. Significance of the information gathered from the measurement system in assessing play and designing interventions is discussed.
- The effects of priming and contingent attention on novel play episodes in a child with autism
- This study evaluated the effects of priming and contingent attention procedures on play variability in a child with autism. During baseline, numbers of novel play episodes, different play episodes, and actions occurred at low rates. Priming procedures did not produce desired change. When contingent attention was implemented, significant increases occurred in novel play episodes, different actions, and different play episodes. These results show that attention contingent on variable play episodes can increase the number of novel responses to play materials. The results are discussed within the context of treatment and future research.
- The effects of reinforcing operant variability on task acquisition.
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Neuringer, Deiss, and Olson (2000) was replicated and extended to determine the effect of variability contingencies on task acquisition for twelve 7-9 year old children. Subjects first learned to press a computer's shift keys with increasing response variation. Each subject was then exposed to one of three experimental conditions during which they received a point for target responses. Variability condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for nontarget responses occurring less than 3% of the time. The any condition subjects received additional points on a variable interval schedule for any nontarget response. Control subjects received points only for target responses. All variability condition and two control subjects learned the target response. All any condition subjects and two control subjects did not.
- An analysis of sample duration in a parent training program.
- Although several guidelines are available for designing observational procedures in both basic and applied settings, few researchers have experimentally examined and compared different direct observation methods. Such methods may have a direct impact on practitioners' ability to effectively assess strengths and challenges, set treatment goals, adjust intervention procedures, and monitor progress. The current study compared 1 and 5 min observations to 10 min observations throughout baseline and intervention phases of a parent training program for toddlers with autism. Results showed similarities with regards to variability, level, and trend in the 5 and 10 min data samples; however, clear differences were seen in the 1 min data sample, which typically showed very low occurrences of responding and displayed steady and flat trends. The findings have implications for the development of time-efficient direct observation procedures utilized in parent training programs for children with autism.
- The effects of combining positive and negative reinforcement during training.
- The purpose of this experiment was to compare the effects of combining negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement during teaching with the effects of using positive reinforcement alone. A behavior was trained under two stimulus conditions and procedures. One method involved presenting the cue ven and reinforcing successive approximations to the target behavior. The other method involved presenting the cue punir, physically prompting the target behavior by pulling the leash, and delivering a reinforcer. Three other behaviors were trained using the two cues contingent on their occurrence. The results suggest that stimuli associated with both a positive reinforcer and an aversive stimulus produce a different dynamic than a situation that uses positive reinforcement or punishment alone.
- Analyzing the Effects of a Performance Pay Plan on Manager Performance in an Accounting Firm
- This study examined the effect of a score card¬-based performance pay plan in a professional services firm. The plan was implemented in response to a decreasing trend in productivity and a desire for a formal incentive compensation plan. Performance of manager and senior manager accountants were analyzed across two departments over a five year period. A definitive account of the effects of the intervention is limited by the case-¬study design, but the data does suggest that the performance pay plans used did not adversely affect performances. Design limitations of the plan and future research are also discussed.
- A comparison of the effects of errorful and errorless teaching methods on the acquisition, generalization, and retention of letter sound discriminations in young children.
- The present study compared the effects of an errorless stimulus shaping procedure to an errorful fluency based procedure for teaching difficult letter sound discriminations using a counterbalanced multielement experimental design. For 2 participants, letters fsteai were taught using the errorless procedure and letters bpdvou were taught using the errorful procedure. For the other 2 participants the conditions were reversed. All participants had considerably fewer errors and fewer trials to criterion with the errorless than with the errorful procedure. Tests of retention and generalization indicate that the errorful procedure generalized and was retained at a higher frequency than the errorless procedure. For 3 participants preference for the errorless procedure over the errorful procedure was demonstrated; whereas, the fourth participant demonstrated preference for the errorful procedure.
- Conditional discrimination and stimulus equivalence: Effects of suppressing derived symmetrical responses on the emergence of transitivity.
- Symmetry suppression was conducted for five subjects who demonstrated a tendency to derive equivalence relations based on conditional discrimination training in a match-to-sample procedure. Symmetry suppression was applied in three consecutive sessions in which symmetrical responses were suppressed for one stimulus class in the first condition, two stimulus classes in the second condition, and all three stimulus classes in the final condition. Symmetry suppression slowed the emergence of transitivity for two subjects and prevented it for the other three. Results indicated that unplanned features of stimulus configurations emerged as discriminative variables that controlled selection responses and altered the function of consequent stimuli. Disruption of cognitive development by conflicting contingencies in natural learning environments is discussed.
- The Effects of Shaping and Instruction-based Procedures on Behavioral Variability during Acquisition and Extinction
- This study examined effects of two response acquisition procedures on topography of responding using the revealed operant technique and compared results to previous experiments on this topic. Subjects emitted 100 repetitions each of 4 response patterns on a continuous schedule of reinforcement. A 30-min extinction condition followed acquisition. One group of subjects learned the first response through a series of shaping steps designed to reduce acquisition variability. Another group of subjects was instructed in the correct response topography and was told there was no penalty for attempting other sequences. The first group of subjects produced high variability during extinction despite reduced variability in acquisition. The second group of subjects responded with moderate to high variability during extinction and little variability during acquisition. Most extinction responses for the first group were variations of the last pattern reinforced. Most extinction responses for the second group were repetitions of the last pattern reinforced.
- Elasticity of money as a reinforcer: Assessing multiple compositions of unit price
- Behavioral economics is the integration of concepts from micro-economics into behavior analysis. Most of the research in behavioral economics has been done with non-human subjects and with drugs as reinforcers. This study represents an extension of previous research to assess money as a reinforcer with humans as subjects. The participants in this study solved math problems to earn money at various unit prices. Results indicate that demand of money adhered to the law of demand in that consumption decreased as unit prices increased. An underlying assumption is that consumption should be equivalent at different compositions of unit price. Replications of either the same or different compositions of unit price indicated that there were some discrepancies in consumption in this study.
- The effects of graduated exposure, modeling, and contingent social attention on tolerance to skin care products with children who have autism.
- The effects of graduated exposure, modeling and contingent social attention on tolerance to skincare products were evaluated with two boys with autism who displayed tactile defensiveness. Upon each presentation step of skincare products the number of positive and negative responses and successful step completion were measured. Procedures included modeling, presenting graduated opportunities, and providing social attention for step completion. Step advancement occurred if a child engaged in a step independently, without excessive refusals. A changing criterion design and a multiple baseline were employed to evaluate effects of this treatment package. Children demonstrated more positive and fewer negative responses as they completed the graduated steps. Effects maintained in follow-up observations.
- The effects of restricting the response space and self-evaluation on letter quality in beginning and experienced handwriters.
- This study analyzed the effects of restricting the response space and selfevaluation on students' handwriting quality in two beginning handwriters and two experienced handwriters. Students executed letters with and without using a transparent overlay, in a multiple-baseline-across-letters design. The use of the transparent overlay included drawing letters in a space restricted by the transparency; overlaying a model letter on top of the written letter and; evaluating if the two letters matched. Letter quality immediately improved when overlays were used, and handwriting quality maintained when the writing response was not restricted by the overlay transparency. Prompting and feedback were delivered contingent on on-task behavior. Analysis was based on three different measurement systems.
- Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude on a Fixed Time Food Delivery Treatment of Pica
- The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of using fixed time schedules with different magnitudes of stimulus delivery as treatment for pica. A functional assessment was conducted, which indicated that pica occurred across experimental conditions and was most frequent in the absence of social stimulation or contingencies. A competing stimulus assessment was then conducted to identify stimuli that could potentially compete with pica during NCR. Subsequently, an evaluation of the effects of reinforcer magnitude on NCR as a treatment of pica was conducted. Treatment results indicated that quantity of reinforcer increased the effectiveness of leaner schedules of reinforcer delivery; however, it was not possible to fade the temporal schedule to one that would have been useful in practice. In addition, limitations and future research are outlined.
- Shaping: From art to science.
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This study evaluated the effectiveness of a procedure for teaching a caregiver to shape vocal language in a young child with autism. A multiple baseline design was employed to assess caregiver use of shaping procedures, child vocal language progress, and the social validity of the procedures. Following baseline and introductory sessions, the coach and caregiver reviewed video from the previous session and the coach gave descriptive feedback to the caregiver about her performance. Following the review of the videotaped segment, procedures to increase skills were selected and practiced. Rates of responsive opportunity arrangement, model presentation, responsive model delivery, and responsive event delivery, as well as the child's rate of requests, vocalizations, diversity of vocalizations, and social validity were measured. Data suggested that the procedures effectively taught the skill of shaping to a caregiver, which in turn seemed to produce increases in the child's vocal responding.
- The effects of two types of consequence delivery on task acquisition.
- The effects of two consequence delivery methods on task acquisition were evaluated within a multi-element design. A typical 3 year-old child and a 4 year-old child with autism participated in this study. The task for both children was to select a picture after the experimenter said its name. The consequence in one condition consisted of the experimenter handing the edible item to the children. The consequence in the other condition consisted of the children retrieving the edible item directly from the apparatus, located in a crevice underneath each picture. Results show slightly quicker acquisition in the condition where children retrieved the edible consequence. However, it is possible that other variables had greater influence on the task acquisition.
- The Effects of Monitoring and Incompatible Contingencies on Say/Do Correspondence.
- This study investigated effects of monitoring on correspondence between nonverbal responding and verbal descriptions of those contingencies, when verbal descriptions and contingencies were compatible and when incompatible. In the Nonverbal Component, the contingency for key pressing was either on a 0.8 s IRT or a 3.4 s IRT. In the Verbal Component, subjects made responses to a statement about the contingency for reinforcement in the Nonverbal Component. Shaping was used to establish targets of 0.8 s and 3.4 s in this component. Results indicated that across 7/8 opportunities subjects exhibited nonverbal and verbal behavior that was sensitive to their respective contingencies regardless of compatibility. This sensitivity to contingencies was not affected by the presence of a monitor.
- Teaching Two Children with Autism to Follow a Computer-Mediated Activity Schedule Utilizing Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation Software
- Children with autism typically exhibit deficits in behavior and also in visual processing. Development and implementation of visually-cued instructional procedures, combined with electronic technology, have been used successfully to teach children with autism complex behavior chains. This study used photographic activity schedules on computer slideshow software to teach two children with autism to follow computer-mediated cues and engage in four play activities, and to transition between each activity in their homes without the presence of a trained behavior therapist. Results of this study demonstrated that these technologies can be utilized in children's homes to promote computer-mediated play behavior while eliminating the necessary cost of a home behavior therapist to prompt and supervise such activities.
- Clarifying Variables associated with Problem Behaviors Using Structured Descriptive Assessment
- This study evaluated the utility of a structured descriptive assessment (SDA) as an alternative method of functional assessment. Initially, an analogue functional analysis, conducted to assess the problem behavior of two adults with developmental disabilities, produced inconclusive results. Subsequently, SDAs was conducted in the individuals' natural environment with the direct-contact caregivers acting as therapists. This assessment manipulated antecedent variables similarly to the analogue functional analysis but allowed for consequences to occur naturally. The results from SDAs suggested that problem behaviors, for both participants, were occasioned by removal of personal items and maintained by their return. Treatments based on the results of SDAs were implemented in a reversal design and resulted in a notable reduction in the occurrences of problem behavior for both participants. These outcomes suggest that SDA procedures may be useful when results from the analogue functional analysis are inconclusive.
- Effects of concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules of reinforcement on human responding.
- The present study contributes an apparatus and research paradigm useful in generating human performances sensitive to concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Five participants produced performances observed to be under temporal and ratio control of concurrent fixed interval-fixed ratio schedules. Two aspects of interaction between FI and FR schedules were distinguishable in the data. First, interaction between two schedules was observed in that changes in the value of one schedule affected behavior reinforced on another schedule. Second, switching from one pattern to the other functioned as an operant unit, showing stability during schedule maintenance conditions and sensitivity to extinction. These effects are discussed in the context of current views on behavior under concurrent schedules of reinforcement, and some implications for the conceptualization, measurement, analysis, and treatment of complex behavior are presented.
- Evaluation of a Training Package for Teaching Social Skills in an Inclusionary Preschool Environment
- Effective training procedures are necessary when teaching behavior analytic techniques because the techniques are so complex and precise; and there is a correlation between the changed skills in the trainees to be beneficial to the client. Instructors who may previously exhibit effective teaching techniques in a one-to-one setting may not exhibit those techniques in an inclusive setting. This study examines the effects of a training package and an instruction on the performance of experienced instructors, and desired responding from both preschool-aged children with autism and typically developing peers. The training took place with 3 triads of one instructor, one child with autism, and one peer in a center-based inclusionary preschool. Instructor skills targeted were prompt and consequence delivery for the target social skills, getting attention and responding to peers. Corroborative data on children's responding were obtained.
- Assessing optimal sibling training conditions: An empirical approach.
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of play materials on the interactions between a child with autism and her sibling. Three conditions were assessed: open choice, materials chosen by the child with autism, and materials chosen by the typically developing sibling. Within each activity, measures of social interactions were assessed. Results of the assessment showed that more interactions occurred with a material chosen by the child with autism. After sibling training (targeting specific teaching skills), social interactions remained highest in the condition with materials chosen by the child with autism. The results are discussed in terms of a material assessment to optimize sibling training conditions and the importance of sibling relationships.
- The Effects of Biofeedback and Verbal Feedback on the Training and Maintenance of Diaphragmatic Breathing
- The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a computer program on the training and maintenance of diaphragmatic breathing. The biofeedback portion was visual computer training and the results were displayed concurrently with participants' breathing responses to monitor display. The verbal feedback portion was praise that was given and recorded when participants responded with predominantly diaphragmatic breathing at the scheduled moment and response instruction that was given when participants responded with predominantly thoracic breathing. The results of this study indicate the computer program's effectiveness needs to be increased by supplementation with verbal feedback.
- Effects of Fluency and Accuracy-Only Training on Acquisition and Retention of Letter Naming by Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
- This study examines the effects of accuracy-only training and fluency training on retention of material learned. Two adolescent participants with traumatic brain injuries were taught to name 2 sets of lowercase Greek letters. Each of the 2 sets consisted of 7 letters. Practice and rate of reinforcement were controlled for in this study. Fluency trained letters showed higher retention (percent correct during retention checks) than the accuracy-only trained letters.
- An experimental analysis of opportunity and communication response form in a child with autism and hearing impairments.
- An alternating treatment design was used to systematically evaluate the communication response forms, picture exchange communication system (PECS) or sign language, selection for a child with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified, profound hearing loss, and cochlear implants. The child had a limited pool of high preference items and very few functional skills. Key factors for this child included a structured environment that created a verbal community and contingent access to high preference items. No preference in communication response form was observed. The child successfully used four response forms to communicate: gestures, PECS, sign language, and vocalization. The results are discussed in terms of decision making factors in the selection of response forms.
- A constructional canine aggression treatment: Using a negative reinforcement shaping procedure with dogs in home and community settings.
- Aggression in dogs is a significant public health concern with 7.2 mortality cases per 100 million inhabitants and approximately 4.7 million dog bites annually. Canine aggression is typically viewed as a genetic trait and treated as pathology through the use of medical or respondent behavioral procedures. In this study the effects of the differential negative reinforcement of safe, alternative behaviors to aggression using distancing as the reinforcer were evaluated. The results demonstrated that even when the aggression was in evidence throughout most of the dog's lifetime, it responded quickly to changes in reinforcement contingencies.
- Toward a functional approach to goal setting
- A variable that may be associated with performance improvements is goal setting (within and across days). Easy-to-achieve goals will likely produce gradual trends in improvement and difficult-to-achieve goals steeper trends. The purpose of the current experiments was to study the effects of setting easy-to-achieve and difficult-to-achieve goals on the level, trend, and variability of correct, incorrect, and skip responses for math tasks when reinforcement contingencies and numbers of practices were held constant. Five undergraduate students answered math problems on flash cards in 30s timings. Single case design elements were used to evaluate the effects of different types of goals on the speed and accuracy of performance. The results revealed that goal setting primarily increased the frequency of incorrect responses and both the level and trend of skip responses. The implications of these findings and other important variables that influence the effectiveness of goal setting are discussed. In addition, the authors suggest guidelines to follow when implementing goals to improve performance.
- A head start on reading for children in a Head Start preschool program.
- Literacy is a fundamental to all areas of learning. Early reading experiences prior to elementary school and kindergarten years are critical factors for later reading success. This study evaluated the effect Direct Instruction® reading procedures vs. Scholastic Early Childhood Program® reading procedures on the production of letter names, letter sounds, CV and CVC blends by preschool-aged students in a Head Start program. Results showed the intervention group improved in all areas, while the control group improved only in letter naming and letter sounds. This study discusses reading as a behavioral cusp as well as limitations, and recommendations for future research.