UNT Libraries - 322 Matching Results

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Teaching Observational Learning to Children with Autism: An In-vivo and Video-Model Assessment

Description: Observational learning (OL) occurs when an individual contacts reinforcement as a direct result of discriminating the observed consequences of other individuals' responses. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have deficits in observational learning and previous research has demonstrated that teaching a series of prerequisite skills (i.e., attending, imitation, delayed imitation, and consequence discrimination) can result in observational learning. We sequentially taught these prerequisite skills for three young children with ASD across three play-based tasks. We assessed the direct and indirect effects of training by assessing OL before and after instruction across tasks and task variations (for two participants) during both in-vivo and video-model probes using a concurrent multiple-probe design. All participants acquired the prerequisite skills and demonstrated observational learning during probes of directly-trained tasks. Generalization results varied across participants. Observational learning generalized to one untrained task for one participant. For the other two participants, observational learning generalized to variations of the trained tasks but not to untrained tasks. Generalization additionally occurred during the in-vivo probes for both participants for whom we assessed this response. Implications of these findings, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Sansing, Elizabeth M

Teaching Simple Auditory Discriminations to Students with Autism

Description: This study aimed to test the effectiveness of classroom translations of some laboratory procedures for teaching simple auditory discriminations to learners with developmental disabilities. Three participants with autism and mental retardation were trained to make topographically distinct responses in the presence of two different stimuli, either a pure tone and silence, or two tones. A portable electronic piano keyboard was used to produce tones. Delayed prompt and differential reinforcement procedures were used to teach the responses. None of the participants performed the discriminations accurately without prompting despite numerous revisions to the procedures.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Marino, Kristine L.

Teaching Two Children with Autism to Follow a Computer-Mediated Activity Schedule Utilizing Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation Software

Description: 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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Carmichael, Tammy

Teaching Water Safety Skills to Children with Autism Using Behavioral Skills Training

Description: Behavioral skills training (BST) and in situ training (IST) have been evaluated as methods to teach different safety skills to individuals with developmental disabilities. Research on BST has examined topics such as gun safety, abduction prevention, poison avoidance, and sexual abuse prevention. A large safety issue that is missing from the literature is drowning prevention and water safety skills. Drowning is one of the most prevalent issues facing facing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly those who elope from their homes or caregivers. The current study aimed the effectiveness of using BST+IST to teach three water safety skills to three children with ASD. The intial form of intervention was BST with total task presentation of the skill, using verbal instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. If this intervention did not result in an increase in performance, the skill was broken down into individual component presentation, in which each component of the skill was taught using the same procedures. Results from the current study showed that BST+IST was effective in teaching all skills to all participants.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tucker, Marilyse

Topographical analysis of reinforcement produced variability: Generalizations across settings and contingencies.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Gomez, Francisco

Toward a functional approach to goal setting

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Isley, Shane D.

Toward a systematic evaluation of evaluating favorable conditions in a parent training program: The pursuit of happiness.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Broome, Jessica L.

Toward a systems analysis of treatment integrity.

Description: This case study is a performance improvement project focusing on the organizational system and management practices in a center for children with autism. Staff interviews and a process improvement map were used to assess the organization and assist in identifying potential solutions. The analysis led to treatment integrity as the key outcome measure. The center's administrative team decided to implement treatment delivery process changes to impact treatment integrity measures. This study measured data sheet changes and treatment implementation to determine the impact of process changes on treatment integrity. High levels of variability in treatment integrity across all teams were observed, and results suggest that a process change was not enough to increase treatment integrity. Further study is necessary to investigate measurement and impact of treatment integrity on desired outcomes for children with autism.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jamai, Nadia

Tracking to Pliance: Effects of Punishment on Non-Compliance

Description: Inaccurate instructions have been shown to interfere with or override the effects of otherwise effective behavioral contingencies. This effect may be mediated by such factors as the discriminability of current contingencies, histories with accurate and inaccurate instructions, and consequences associated with following instructions. The current experiment investigated the effects of instructions (both accurate and inaccurate) on response patterns when paired with feedback regarding correspondence between responding and instructions, feedback indicating potential point loss for non-correspondence, and point loss for non-correspondence. Inaccurate instructions produced only small and temporary disruptions in response patterns, as did the addition of feedback alone and feedback indicating potential point loss. The introduction of escalating point losses contingent on non-correspondence, ranging from 20%-50% of points earned, produced changes in response patterns that corresponded to the inaccurate instructions. These outcomes indicate that the imposition of direct consequences for noncompliance may alter the effects of other contingencies. Depending on the point at which point losses disrupt responding, such effects may be interpreted in terms of point loss avoidance or, alternatively, maximizing point gains.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Harmon, D. Austin

Training a non-match response: Toward a technology for determining controlling stimulus dimensions for two children with autism.

Description: The research investigated the impact of sexual harassment on withdrawal behaviors and attitudes toward harassment by examining the gender composition of the harassment dyad and the organizational status of the perpetrator in relation to the victim. Archival data from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan was used to obtain surveys in which participants rated their attitudes and experiences related to sexual harassment. Only individuals who reported experiencing sexual harassment within the 24 months prior to data collection are included in the current research. A MANOVA was conducted to determine if withdrawal behaviors and attitudes of victims varied by the gender dyad and/or the organizational status of the perpetrator. Results indicated that individuals harassed by people with higher organizational status displayed more withdrawal behaviors in the form of decreased productivity and increased use of sick, annual, and unpaid leave. Individuals harassed by a member of the same gender also used more unpaid leave. Interestingly, individuals harassed by members of the opposite gender, tended to disagree more strongly with the attitude index measuring cautious awareness of sexual harassment.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Baynham, Tanya Yvonne

A Training Package for Parents and their Toddlers with Autism: Observed Changes in Parent Teaching Episodes, Child Turn Taking and Social Attending, and Parent-Child Engagement

Description: Research has shown that parents of children with autism report higher stress than parents of children with other developmental disabilities. It has been suggested that parent training programs, specifically naturalistic social-communication training, can reduce parental stress and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. Although the development of a multilevel assessment has been suggested, much of the research in this area has relied on measures of parent implementation fidelity and specific child target skills such as vocal communication, eye contact, and joint attention. Few have directly measured the parent-child interaction. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of an in-home parent training package for toddlers with autism on parent-child social interactions. Within this package, parents are taught to attend to contextual variables, to arrange the environment to set the occasion for child responding, to respond immediately to targeted child approximations, and to respond in ways that are mutually reinforcing, social, and fun. Data were collected during 5-min video-taped assessments, on the number of parent teaching episodes, child target skills (turn taking and social attending), engagement, and synchronous engagement. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across two parent-child dyads and indicated increases in all measures. This study contributes to the current discussion on toddler parent-training programs and extends it in a way that highlights the benefits of using a multi-level assessment to measure the parent-child interaction.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hunt, Nina Marie

A Training Program to Facilitate Caregiver Involvement in School Meetings

Description: Caregivers of children with autism will likely meet with many school professionals once their children become school-aged. These meetings can be intimidating for caregivers who are unfamiliar with special education terminology and protocol, and caregivers may feel ineffective when communicating with school personnel. The purpose of this study is to describe a training curriculum to teach caregivers ways in which to communicate during meetings with school professionals, including the kinds of questions to ask/statements to make and when to ask or make them. A detailed overview of the training procedures, the participants, and the outcomes are described here. Preliminary data suggest the training produced increases in communication skills and that caregivers found the training effective and useful.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Barahona, Heather

Training Siblings of Children with Autism to Instruct Play: Acquisition, Generalization, and Indirect Effects

Description: A multiple baseline design was employed to evaluate the effectiveness of a sibling training package including modeling, role-play, and feedback on play and engagement between children with autism and their siblings. The results of two experiments suggest that, following training, siblings of children with autism correctly implemented all trained interaction components. Additionally, Experiment II assessed and programmed generalization to other materials and a non-training setting. The results showed that some unprogrammed generalization to non-trained toys occurred. Conversely, siblings engaged in trained skills in a non-training setting (home) only following the experimenter's instructions to generalize. In both experiments, the siblings' overall engagement and physical proximity of play in training sessions increased significantly above baseline. This study extends previous research in that it includes additional stimulus and response generalization measures.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Randall, Domonique Y.

Transfer of "good" and "bad" functions within stimulus equivalence classes.

Description: This study compared results of two experiments that tested transfer of function in stimulus equivalence classes in a task dissimilar to (in Experiment I) and similar to (in Experiment II) the task that trained functional responding. Eleven students from UNT participated in return for monetary compensation. Phase 1 and 2 were identical in the two experiments, in which they established stimulus equivalence classes and functional responding, respectively. Each experiment then used different tasks in the third phase to test differential responding. Only participants in Experiment II demonstrated consistent transfer of function. Results are discussed in terms of how task similarity may function as a type of contextual control when there is limited experience with the task.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Madrigal-Bauguss, Jessica

Transfer of Mand-to-Tact and Tact-to-Mand Topographies in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism: A Replication and Extension Study

Description: Skinner (1957) suggested that different verbal operants are acquired independently of each other and establishing a verbal operant as a mand will not necessarily result in the appearance of a tact having the same response form and vice versa. Recent empirical research has found that newly acquired mands and tacts can be transferred to different relations without direct training. The present study investigated 1) how verbal responses taught as pure mands affect untrained tact relations; 2) how verbal responses taught as pure tacts affect untrained mand relations; 3) how the size of mand and tact repertoires relate to speed of acquisition of new mands and tacts; and 4) how size of entering repertoires affect the transfer of mand topographies to tacts and vice versa. Two vocal-verbal children with autism were taught three novel responses as mands and three other responses as tacts. Mand topographies transferred to tact relations and tact topographies transferred to mand relations for both participants. Overall acquisition as well as transfer of mands and tacts was faster for the participant with a higher entering repertoire.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Ruiz, Julio

Transfer of Mand Topographies to Tact Relations and Vice Versa in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism

Description: Skinner (1957) suggested that verbal responses learned as mands are not necessarily emitted in tact relations and vice versa. Previous empirical research has found that newly acquired mands and tacts can be functionally independent. The present study investigated 1) whether novel responses taught in mand relations would be emitted as tacts when opportunity for tacting was presented; 2) whether novel responses taught in tact relations would be emitted as mands when opportunity for manding was presented; and 3) whether the size of pre-experimental mand and tact repertoires affected the rate of acquisition and/or transfer. Two vocal-verbal children with autism were taught three novel responses as mands and three other responses as tacts. Mand topographies transferred to tact relations and tact topographies transferred to mand relations for both participants. Overall acquisition as well as transfer of mands and tacts was faster for the participant with an entering repertoire of approximately 175 mands and 175 tacts than for the participant with a repertoire of approximately 100 mands and 100 tacts.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Castellani, Jill E.

Untangling the Effects of Scheduled Exercise on Child Engagement, Stereotypy, and Challenging Behavior

Description: There is limited research pertaining to the effects of exercise on the behavior of children with autism. Previous researchers focused on exploring the dimensions of the exercise itself, leaving a functional account of the effects of exercise undetermined. There is recent evidence that exercise suppresses responses maintained by automatic reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to better identify the relevant independent variable in such research and to assess if there were differential effects of exercise across functional response classes. The experimenter conducted a trial-based functional analysis and then implemented a sedentary or vigorous activity on alternating days to determine the impact of exercise on engagement, stereotypy, and challenging behavior. Results across functional response classes were variable as were data across individual sessions. There was a mean suppression of behavior maintained by nonsocial reinforcement during post-sedentary (4.3%) and post-exercise sessions (2.3%). A discussion of the role of matched stimulation and heart rate as a pertinent variable follows.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Currier, Thomas D. R.

The Use of an Applied Task as a Test of Stimulus Equivalence

Description: Four college student subjects were trained to match graphic figures (A stimuli) to other figures (B stimuli), and then to match the B figures to numerals (C stimuli). Then in a test of application subjects answered simple math problems, presented as novel sample stimuli, by selecting one of the A figures, presented as comparisons. The application test was an analog for the academic task of answering math problems with newly learned Spanish number names. Three subjects performed accurately in the application test, which required the emergence of CA equivalence. All subjects demonstrated equivalence in test sessions after the application test. The study examined whether accuracy, fluency (rate of correct responding), practice, or stability of original relations performance corresponded to test accuracy. Accuracy, fluency, practice and stability corresponded to test accuracy for two subjects. Fluency corresponded to test accuracy for one subject, and stability corresponded to test accuracy for another subject.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Luby, John M. (John Martin)

The Use of Conjugate Reinforcement in Autism Treatment Programs: a Demonstration and Discussion

Description: The effect of a reinforcer on behavior is largely determined by the schedule in which it is implemented. One type of reinforcement schedule that has not been explored extensively is conjugate reinforcement. Previous researchers have used conjugate schedules to evaluate a reinforcer's effects on behavior and as an assessment tool. However, none have explored how to effectively engineer conjugate schedules in applied settings. The current study explores the effectiveness of conjugate reinforcement implemented by several interventionists across a variety of responses, reinforcers, and in a wide range of participants with autism. The results indicated that delivering social, audio/visual, and tangible stimuli in a conjugate schedule resulted in increased durations of various target responses (e.g. social skills, motor skills) and non-targeted measures (e.g., approach, social bids, speed) across participants. Considerations regarding reinforcer and response selection in implementing conjugate schedules in applied settings are provided.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Reetz, Stephany Kristina

Use of Fading Procedures and Positive Reinforcement to Increase Consumption of Non-Preferred Food in a Child with Autism

Description: Traditionally children with developmental disabilities who develop feeding issues can be at great risk for malnutrition. Failure to eat adequate amounts of food and/or insistence on eating a limited range of foods can be detrimental to a child's health and can lead to other behavioral difficulties. Feeding problems are difficult to treat because high levels of physical prompting can quickly create an aversion to eating as well as cause stress for both parents and children. Behavioral problems that range from moderate to extremely maladaptive can ensue. The question the present study addressed was whether or not a treatment package including only positive reinforcement and fading for a non-preferred food would result in independent eating of the targeted non-preferred food.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Vorpahl, Cresse Merchant

Using a Behavioral Treatment Package to Teach Tolerance to Skin Care Products to a Child with Autism: A Systematic Replication

Description: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a treatment package to teach a child with autism to willingly accept skin care products conducive to health and normal everyday living. The current study uses graduated exposure, modeling and contingent social attention to teach the child to accept the application of skin care products previously avoided. Results of the study showed that the participant tolerated criterion amounts of all target stimuli with both experimenter and parent. Follow-up probes revealed maintenance of the behaviors with only two out of the three target skin care products.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Vidosevic, Tania A.

Using a Conditional Discrimination Training Procedure to Teach College Students to Play Music by Ear

Description: A conditional discrimination training procedure was used to establish stimulus-stimulus relations that might lead to the emergence of relations that define playing by ear. The participants were four college students. Overall, the results varied across participants. Of the 3 participants who received Training 1 (hear-note-name/select-key), all 3 participants acquired that relation. Out of those 3 participants, 2 participants showed emergence of the hear-see-key-pressed/say-note-name relation after Training 1. Of the 3 participants who received Training 2, (hear-note-name/select-tone), 2 participants acquired that relation for at least one set. Out of those 3 participants, 1 participant showed emergence of the hear-tone/say-note-name relation. One out of three participants was successful in correctly playing a sequence of four notes by ear at the end of the study. One participant did not complete the study due to availability conflicts. The overall results can suggest that the relations used in this study should be taken into account when training someone to play by ear. However, the current data do not allow us to conclude whether it is necessary to teach or test all of these relations in order to teach playing by ear.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Holder, Stephanie Shae

Using Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement to Decrease Behavior

Description: We manipulated delay and magnitude of reinforcers in two concurrent schedules of reinforcement to decrease a prevalent behavior while increasing another behavior already in the participant's repertoire. The first experiment manipulated delay, implementing a five second delay between the behavior and delivery of reinforcement for a behavior targeted for decrease while no delay was implemented after the behavior targeted for increase. The second experiment manipulated magnitude, providing one piece of food for the behavior targeted for decrease while two pieces of food were provided for the behavior targeted for increase. The experiments used an ABAB reversal design. Results suggest that behavior can be decreased without the use of extinction when contingencies favor the desirable behavior.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Palmer, Ashlyn

Using Progressive Ratio Schedules to Evaluate Edible, Leisure, and Token Reinforcement

Description: The general purpose of the current study was to evaluate the potency of different categories of reinforcers with young children diagnosed with developmental delays. The participants were two boys and one girl who were between the ages of seven and eight. In Phase 1, we evaluated the reinforcing potency of tokens, edible items, and leisure items by using a progressive ratio (PR) schedule. For two participants, we found that tokens resulted in the highest PR break points. For one participant, edibles resulted in the highest break points (tokens were found to have the lowest break points). In Phase 2, we evaluated the effects of presession access on the break points of edibles and tokens. This manipulation served as a preliminary analysis of the extent to which tokens might function as generalized conditioned reinforcers. During Phase 2, presession access altered the break points of edibles, but not tokens. The findings of the current study suggest that PR schedules may be useful as a means to better assess certain dimensions of tasks and how they affect reinforcer effectiveness (e.g., amount of effort the client is willing to exert, the duration at which the client willing to work, how many responses the client will emit, etc.), and to evaluate to what extent tokens actually function as generalized conditioned reinforcers.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Russell, Danielle M.