UNT Theses and Dissertations - 285 Matching Results

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Fearful to Friendly (F2F): a Constructional Fear Treatment for Domestic Cats Using a Negative Reinforcement Shaping Procedure in a Home Setting

Description: Feral and fearful cats and kittens in animal shelters are not likely to be adopted as companion animals because they emit fearful or aggressive behaviors in the presence of humans. The purpose of the fearful to friendly (F2F) research was to investigate a shaping procedure to increase friendly behaviors of feral and fearful domestic cats and kittens with the goal of achieving animal shelters’ adoptability criteria. The results showed the F2F procedure was a safe and very effective procedure to quickly tame feral kittens deemed unadoptable. The day after implementing F2F, three out of four kittens approached me and accepted petting and holding without any additional training.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Rentfro, Angela Drake
Partner: UNT Libraries

Functional analysis and elimination of SIB in an olive baboon (Papio hamadryas anubis).

Description: Self injurious behavior (SIB), such as self-biting and head-banging, has been reported to occur in approximately 10% of captive, individually housed primates (Novak, Kinsely, Jorgensen, and Hazen, 1998). Accounts of the causes of SIB range from environmental to physiological. However, to date, no researchers have investigated the possible influence of social consequences, delivered by handlers and keepers, in the maintenance of SIB. There is only one research report showing that self-injury can be shaped in primates by the manipulation of food as a reinforcing consequence for the animal's behavior. The current study investigated the effects of social contact as potentially reinforcing consequences for the SIB displayed by an olive baboon (Papio hamadryas anubis). Results indicated that the behavior was maintained by attention from humans. As treatment, reinforcement was arranged for an appropriate alternative attention-getting behavior, resulting in increases in the appropriate alternative behavior and decreases in SIB.
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Date: August 2004
Creator: Dorey, Nicole R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Further Evaluation of Blocked Trials to Teach Intraverbal Conditional Discriminations: Effects of Criterion-level Probes

Description: Individuals with autism often have deficient intraverbal repertoires. Previous research has found success in using a blocked trials procedure to facilitate discrimination training. A previous study (unpublished) from our laboratory extended this procedure to intraverbal training. The current study continued this line of research by exploring the outcomes of probing the criterion performance more frequently. Three children with autism, ages 7-13, participated. Eight question pairs were taught. One question was presented repeatedly until a specified number of consecutive correct responses occurred, then the other question was presented. Contingent on specific mastery criteria, the trial blocks were faded into smaller blocks until the questions were presented in quasi-random order. Between each step, a criterion probe was conducted to determine if further steps were necessary. The procedure has been successful for two of the three participants. Criterion probe performance showed that not all teaching steps were needed every time. The procedure may have facilitated acquisition over time, because the number of trials to mastery generally decreased over successive targets.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Haggar, Jennifer Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Generalized identity matching in the pigeon: Effects of extended observing- and choice-response requirements.

Description: Four experimentally naïve white Carneau pigeons learned to match three colors to each other in a variant of an Identity matching-to-sample procedure with an FR20 on samples and a response-initiated FI8-s on comparisons. In Experiment 1, the extent to which subjects were matching on the basis of identity was assessed by presenting, in extinction, test trials comprising novel stimuli serving as the sample (and matching comparison) or as the nonmatching comparison. The results from Experiment 1 suggested intermediate or little to no transfer on the basis of identity. Experiment 2 reassessed transfer on the basis of identity with differential reinforcement on the test trials. Under these conditions, two of the four birds demonstrated substantially better than chance levels of performance. These data imply that while the extended response requirements may be necessary, other procedural aspects may be responsible for generalized identity matching in the pigeon.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Hayashi, Yusuke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Green To-Go: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Intervention Package on Restaurateurs' use of Styrofoam Take-Out Containers

Description: Restauranteurs' use of Styrofoam take-out containers was evaluated using an intervention package containing informational components, a written commitment, and an incentive system. A decrease in the use of Styrofoam take-out materials was observed with 4 of 6 restaurants. Across all participants, we observed a 15.7% increase in alternative containers and a 15.7% decrease in Styrofoam containers. Overall, a decreased use of Styrofoam take-out containers was observed with restaurateurs who were able to identify suitable alternative products.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ho, Kelly
Partner: UNT Libraries

A head start on reading for children in a Head Start preschool program.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Osley, Kristin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identification of environmental determinants of behavior disorders through functional analysis of precursor behaviors

Description: Methods for the determining the functional properties of problem behaviors are necessary for the design of successful treatments. Many of the currently utilized methodologies are chosen based on their speed, ease of application or for the perceived risk-reduction they afford. However, when thoroughly analyzed many of these methods fall short of their intended purpose. The current study attempted to assess dangerous problem behavior through a functional assessment of functionally related precursor behaviors during analog sessions. Results indicate that for three participants, placing the reinforcing contingencies on these related precursor behaviors produced differentiated outcomes during the assessment. These outcomes matched the outcomes of assessments of the more dangerous problem behaviors.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Churchill, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying learn units in a naturalistic training program for children with autism and their families.

Description: Behavior analysts have proposed a primary measure, the "learn unit," to evaluate educational effectiveness. Past research has indicated this is a useful approach. The benefits of "learn units" may also apply to family interventions in autism. The current analysis evaluated the rates of learn units in a naturalistic parent-training program to determine if (1) definitions of learn units previously described in the literature can be reliably applied to family interventions and (2) an increased number of learn units correlate with increased child responding and attainment of child and family goals. Results from the current analysis demonstrated that the rate of learn units increased from baseline to training for all parent-child dyads and the percent of correct child responses increased for all children. Teaching parents the components of effective education may increase the quantity and quality of interventions for children diagnosed with autism.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Besner, Amanda Charlotte
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and generalized effects of one component (Stay Close Tool) of a behavioral parenting curriculum.

Description: The Essential Tools for Positive Behavior Change is a behavioral parenting curriculum that is currently being disseminated throughout the state and Florida and is now being utilized in Texas to teach parents who are at risk or are founded of abuse and neglect. Research on the curriculum thus far has focused on large scale outcomes, skill acquisition of caregivers during analog role-play assessments, and scores on a written quiz. Little research has focused on generalization of classroom performance to the home. The measurement systems that have been used to evaluate positive outcomes also were in need of improvement. The current study was designed to determine whether teaching a component (Stay Close) to typical parents resulted in immediate improvements in written exam scores and on a role-play assessment and if those skills could be seen in a home setting. The results indicated that small improvements were seen across quiz scores in all but one family and some improvements across behavior was seen in both the role-play and home observations. Additionally, a reliable measurement system was created that captured both home observations and role-play assessment data.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Greenspan, Michelle S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Fixed-Time Delivery of Therapist Attention on Problem Behavior Maintained by Attention

Description: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the immediate and subsequent effects of fixed-time attention on problem behavior maintained by therapist attention utilizing a three-component multiple-schedule design. The treatment analysis indicated that fixed-time attention produced a significant immediate decrease in the frequency of physically disruptive behavior (PDB), represented by low frequencies of PDB in Component 2, as well as a continued subsequent effect, represented by lower frequencies of problem behavior in Component 3 when compared to Component 1. The possible behavioral mechanisms responsible for the observed suppression in Component 2 of the treatment analysis are discussed. Evidence of behavioral contrast was observed in Components 1 and 3 of the treatment analysis in conditions in which Component 2 contained a fixed-time schedule of stimulus delivery. In addition, limitations and future research are outlined.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Walker, Stephen Frank
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and subsequent effects of fixed-time food presentations on automatically maintained mouthing.

Description: Several studies have demonstrated that fixed-time (FT) schedules of stimulus delivery can function to reduce a variety of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the immediate and subsequent effects of FT food deliveries on mouthing. In Phase 1, a preference assessment showed that caramel popcorn, chocolate cookies and pretzels were highly preferred food items. Thus, providing the basis for use of food items during treatment. In Phase 2, a functional analysis showed that mouthing was a nonsocially maintained problem behavior. Phase 3 demonstrated the use of FT schedules of food deliveries as treatment for nonsocially maintained mouthing. Results indicated that FT schedules of food significantly reduced mouthing. In addition, levels of mouthing observed during post-FT observations were reliably lower than pre-FT observations. Treatment effects, operative mechanisms responsible for the treatment effects and the experimental arrangement used to investigate varying FT schedules are discussed.
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Date: December 2001
Creator: Simmons, Jason N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and subsequent effects of response blocking on self-injurious behavior.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Atcheson, Katy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immediate and subsequent effects of response-independent food delivery on problem behavior maintained by food.

Description: The immediate and subsequent effects of response-independent food delivery on problem behavior maintained by food were investigated. A functional analysis indicated that the participant's problem behavior was maintained by tangible (food) reinforcement. In a subsequent analysis, each occurrence of problem behavior produced a bite of wafer in the first and third components of mixed and multiple schedules, while either response-independent food or extinction was presented in the second component. Dense and lean schedules of food delivery were assessed. Results indicated that a very dense schedule of food nearly eliminated problem behavior, a very lean schedule of food and extinction produced substantial decreases in problem behavior, and intermediate schedules did not decrease problem behavior. Response patterns were differentiated across mixed and multiple schedule arrangements, with signaled changes in the schedules (multiple schedule) generally showing more immediate and sustained effects throughout the intervention component. Implications for interpretations of the effects of the intervention are discussed.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Cherryholmes, Lauren A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving administrative operations for better client service and appointment keeping in a medical/behavioral services clinic.

Description: Appointment no-shows are a problem in healthcare organizations. It is important that appointment intake and scheduling processes are effective in both meeting client needs and efficient in meeting organizational business requirements. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping in a not-for-profit medical/behavioral pediatric services clinic, analyzed existing administrative processes, introduced additional appointment keeping reminders, and presented systematic, performance management tutorials for clinic employees. Results indicate an increase in percentage of appointments kept and a decrease in appointment lag time.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hackett, Stacey Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Appointment Keeping at an Eye Care Clinic Using a Revised Process Package

Description: Missed appointments by patients are a major problem for health care professionals. To combat this issue, some optometrists use a pre-appointing system in which patients are scheduled for an annual exam a year after their initial visit. Prior to that subsequent appointment, clinic staff often try to contact the patient to confirm the appointment. This study examined baseline levels of appointment keeping, analyzed existing processes for pre-appointing patients, and introduced a revised process package to improve appointment keeping at an eye care clinic. This package included training, mailed postcard reminders and two phone call reminders. Results indicate appointment keeping by pre-appointed patients increased over baseline. The intervention was also shown to be cost-beneficial.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Hodge, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving management systems in a public school in-home autism services program.

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the effects of enhanced training and performance management methods for an autism coordinator who managed several paraprofessional therapists providing in-home behavior therapy for young children with autism. Intervention included task clarification, targeted skill development, and improved feedback from the coordinator to the therapists. Results showed that service delivery performance of in-home trainers increased and/or became more consistent after the intervention was implemented. The intervention provided the autism coordinator with an empirically validated training and feedback system that can be successfully utilized in a sporadically supervised environment.
Date: December 2006
Creator: White, Victoria Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Performance in a Global Logistics Company: Operational Performance Before and After Process Improvement

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an intervention designed to eliminate damage notification failures in a customer-specific standard operating procedure used by a global logistics company. Process maps identified locations in the process where damage notification failures could most likely occur. A revised process was designed overnight to eliminate as many notification failure points as possible. In addition, a job aid was included to help facilitate the process change for the drivers. The results of the intervention showed a rapid and profound decrease in damage notification failures leading to the retention of a large, profitable account with a minimal initial investment of time and money.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Dearman, Shawn Kale
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Staff Tutoring in a Special Education Class Through Active Listening Skills

Description: According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2015, Texas special education programs were rated among the lowest in the nation. School districts in the state have a substantial need for effective and efficient staff training. In this study, researchers implemented TAPS: A Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach Packet to teach active listener qualities to staff members in a life skills special education classroom. A multiple baseline across staff members was used to evaluate the effects of the TAPS training on the presence and absence of the staff members' active listener qualities during a pre-test, a post-test, and probes. The staff members that underwent TAPS training acquired all of the active listener qualities as a function of the TAPS training, and the effects of the training maintained during probe sessions. Additionally, TAPS training appeared to improve staff members' scores on the Whimbey Analytical Skills Inventory (WASI) Test and anecdotally improved the quality of staff and student tutoring interactions. Several areas of potential research and improvement are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Neri-Hernandez, Lucero
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing activities and interests in a child dually diagnosed with PDD-NOS and DS.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Zeug, Nicole M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing contact with, proximity to, and acceptance of new foods in a young child with autism.

Description: The effects of two positive reinforcement procedures were evaluated to increase contact with, proximity to, and acceptance of new foods in a young child with autism. During baseline, two groups of six food items were presented. One group was intervened on. The first condition involved a changing criterion contingency and social attention as a consequence. The second involved a shaping contingency and access to videos as a consequence. The types of contact emitted, the amount of time spent contacting the food, and two affect topographies were measured. The second procedure resulted in increased duration and variety of contact, and increases of both affect topographies. Results are discussed in the context of food selectivity in autism, programming goals, and balancing intervention efficacy and restrictiveness.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Johansen, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys

Description: Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Chaudhry, Mohsana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing Problem Solving in a Special Education Class by Teaching Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS)

Description: Although there is extensive research demonstrating the benefits of teaching problem solving repertoires to typically developing individuals, there is little research on the effectiveness of these kinds of procedures with individuals with special needs. In this study, a group of special education students in a public school were taught problem solving skills using a curriculum called Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS), which was developed by Robbins (2014). TAPS teaches students five problem solving skills and five active listening skills. This study utilized a multiple baseline design to examine whether training in TAPS would change the way that students solve problems and increase their accuracy when solving problems. In addition, a reversal design was used for each participant, consisting of the presence and the removal of the active listener during different stages of the study. After TAPS training and guided practice sessions, all students demonstrated new problem solving repertoires and their accuracy improved. For some students, having an audience (an active listener) was necessary to maintain their behavior. Further research is needed to determine how to teach students to be their own active listener.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Will, Sean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Induced “motivation”

Description: In the avian training community, a procedure has been utilized to maintain food reinforcer efficacy at high body weights. Elements of this procedure include limited holds and closed economies. To test this procedure, a baseline performance of keypecking on an FR 15 schedule at 80% ad lib weight for two pigeons was established. By imposing limited holds and a closed economy, rates of responding were increased compared to baseline, even while the pigeons were over 90% of their ad-lib body weights.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Becker, April Melissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The influence of the Inquiry Institute on elementary teachers' perceptions of inquiry learning in the science classroom.

Description: Despite the positive outcomes for inquiry-based science education and recommendations from national and state standards, many teachers continue to rely upon more traditional methods of instruction This causal-comparative study was designed to determine the effects of the Inquiry Institute, a professional development program that is intended to strengthen science teachers' pedagogical knowledge and provide practice with inquiry methods based from a constructivist approach. This study will provide a understanding of a cause and effect relationship within three levels of the independent variable-length of participation in the Inquiry Institute (zero, three, or six days)-to determine whether or not the three groups differ on the dependent variables-beliefs, implementation, and barriers. Quantitative data were collected with the Science Inquiry Survey, a researcher-developed instrument designed to also ascertain qualitative information with the use of open-ended survey items. One-way ANOVAs were applied to the data to test for a significant difference in the means of the three groups. The findings of this study indicate that lengthier professional development in the Inquiry Institute holds the most benefits for the participants.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Williams-Rossi, Dara
Partner: UNT Libraries