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An experimental analysis of opportunity and communication response form in a child with autism and hearing impairments.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Dempsey, Donna Jean

An Experimental Analysis of Preference Problems in a Self-Control Choice Procedure by Adults with Mental Retardation

Description: The original purpose of this study was to determine if Tegretol has an effect on the impulsive behavior exhibited by people with mental retardation. This was to be accomplished through a replication of the self-control choice procedures used by Ragotzy, Blakely, and Poling (1988). The procedure involved three stages. First, subjects chose between stimuli that provided either one or three edibles. Then the stimuli associated with the smaller and larger edibles were reversed. Following this, the procedure required the implementation of successively longer delays to the larger reinforcer. However, none of the subjects who participated was able to make the discriminations necessary to proceed, i.e., the subjects did not systematically select the stimulus associated with the larger magnitude edible choice. The identification and rectification of these errors in discrimination became the focus of this study. Various procedures were used to enhance discrimination, including fading, adjusting the magnitude of the edibles, and stimulus changes. None of these changes was successful in teaching the subjects the necessary discriminations.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Koppekin, Amy L. (Amy Lynn)

Experimental Analysis of Self-injury With and Without Protective Equipment

Description: Outcomes of experimental analyses during which protective equipment (PE) was placed on three participants were compared to those during which PE was not provided to them. Experimental analysis conditions were presented using a multielement format, and the effects of PE were evaluated using a withdrawal design. Results of experimental analysis without PE suggested that self-injurious behavior (SIB) was maintained by negative reinforcement for two participants and nonsocial mechanisms for the third participant. However, SIB was eliminated either immediately or eventually for all participants when PE was provided during experimental analysis. Thus, outcomes of assessments with PE did not match those without PE, and no conclusion about variables associated with SIB could be drawn from experimental analyses with PE alone. Therefore, the present findings do not support the use of PE as an alternative to standard methods for conducting experimental analysis (i.e., without PE).
Date: December 1998
Creator: Le, Duy D. (Duy Dang)

An Exploration of the Titrating-Delay Match-to-Sample Procedure with Pigeons

Description: The delayed matching‐to‐sample (DMTS) procedure involves the insertion of a delay between the offset of a sample stimulus and the onset of an array of comparison stimuli; one of which is designated as the “correct” match for the sample on each trial. The procedure has served as the base preparation in which the effects of environmental variables on short‐term remembering and is, in many ways, responsible for a refined understanding of the phenomenon. Despite its utility, however, there are a few problems with the DMTS procedure – first, the procedure doesn’t adjust for individual differences and second, the conventional dependent measure, percent of correct trials, is not as sensitive as one might like. The titrating-delay matching to sample (TDMTS) procedure is a variant of the DMTS procedure in which the delays between sample and comparison are adjusted as a function of the subject’s performance. Stable measures of adjusted delay are not only sensitive measures of the performance of interest but they are also automatically tuned to differences across individuals. The study reported here continues our efforts to understand the dynamics of the TDMTS procedure so that it can be used to ask important questions related to short‐term remembering.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Friedel, Jonathan E.

Exploring Fundamental Principles in the Study of Derived Relational Responding in Pigeons

Description: A persistent challenge for behaviorally-based accounts of learning has been providing an account of learning that occurs in the absence of systematically programmed contingencies of reinforcement. Symmetry, one type of emergent behavior, has been repeatedly demonstrated with humans, but has been considerably more difficult to demonstrate with non-humans. In this study, pigeons were exposed to a go/no-go procedure in which hue stimuli were presented full screen on a touchscreen monitor. Pigeons learned 12 baseline relations in less than 30 days. Traditional measures used to evaluate symmetry indicated that, during tests, three of the four birds responded more to the reverse of relations that were reinforced in training than to the reverse of relations that were not reinforced in training. However, additional analyses of these data suggests that these differences were driven by one of two trial types and that symmetry was only observed for one of the two predicted relations. These data systematically replicate and extend work by Urcuioli and colleagues and point to areas where further research is needed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hinnenkamp, Jay Evan

Extinction Effects During Assessment and Treatment of Behavior Disorders in Applied Settings

Description: The main and side effects of extinction were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across the problem behaviors of two elementary school boys. For each subject, functional analysis procedures resulted in the occurrence and assessment of only one of several problem behaviors reported by teachers. Extinction treatment based on functional analysis outcomes was then applied to the assessed topography and resulted in the emergence of other inappropriate response forms. Each successive behavior was exposed to extinction and changes in previous and subsequent response forms were observed. Both main effects and indirect effects of extinction were examined. Findings are discussed regarding the covariation of responses and implications for the treatment of behavior disorders in applied settings.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Magee, Sandy K. (Sandy Kay)

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

The Function-Altering Effects of Contingency-Specifying Stimuli

Description: Three children between the ages of 3 and 3 1/2 were asked to choose a colored object from an array of 5 colors in a baseline condition. After color preferences were established, stickers, small toys and praise were made contingent on choosing the least preferred color. After the first experimental condition resulted in consistent choosing of the least preferred color, a second experimental condition was implemented. At the beginning of each session a contingency-specifying stimulus (CSS) was presented, each CSS specifying a different color to be selected. Both contingency-shaping and CSS presentation resulted in stimulus control over responding. However, CSS presentation resulted in immediate redistributions of behavioral units across CSS sessions.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Ford, Victoria L.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Improving Family-provider Relationships Through Cultural Training and Open-ended Client Interviews

Description: Behavior analysts form parent-professional relationships with families of many different backgrounds. the study evaluated the effectiveness of a training program to teach behavior analysts to utilize an open family interview format. the study was conducted at an autism treatment program. a pre-post treatment design with in vivo simulation probes before and after training was used to assess the effects of the workshop on the participants and parents’ verbal behavior. Results showed that rate of questions per minute and number of closed-ended questions decreased after training, the duration of interviews decreased after training, the number of closed-ended questions significantly decreased after training, and frequency of the discussion topic of child goals increased after training. in general, interviewer responses varied. Preliminary data and parent questionnaire responses suggested parents were comfortable with the new interview format and felt the behavior analyst understood cultural and family needs.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Thompson, Megan Jennifer

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