UNT Libraries - 308 Matching Results

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Natural concepts in the domestic dog.

Description: The current study investigated concept formation in domestic dogs, specifically that of a toy concept. The dog's differential responding (retrieval vs. non-retrieval) to two sets of stimuli suggested a toy concept. Differential responding occurred from the very first trial, indicating that the concept had been formed in the natural environment, not during the experiment. It was hypothesized that a common response may be responsible for the emergence of the class in the natural environment. The results demonstrated that it was possible to expand the class by adding previously non-retrieved objects to the toy class through a common response. It was also shown that the toy concept passed the more stringent criterion (transfer of function test) required validating it as a concept.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Feuerbacher, Erica Nan

Progressing from identification and functional analysis of precursor behavior to treatment of self-injury.

Description: An evaluation of the utility of assessing and treating severe problem behavior through precursor functional analysis was completed. Ongoing measurement of problem behavior in two settings in the participant's natural environment was conducted for the duration of the study. A precursor to self-injurious behavior was identified using descriptive assessment and conditional probability analyses. A precursor functional analysis was then conducted. Subsequently, a treatment, in which precursor behavior produced the maintaining variable identified in the precursor functional analysis, was implemented in the natural environment. Treatment resulted in increases in the precursor behavior and decreases in self-injury in both the treatment setting and the second setting in which observations occurred. Implications of the assessment and treatment procedures are discussed.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dracobly, Joseph Daniel

An Analysis of Interrater Agreement Between the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS), Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF), and Analog Assessment Outcomes

Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on anecdotal assessments was compared with experimental functional analysis outcomes for correspondence. Experiment 1 evaluated the agreement of multiple respondents on the function of problem behavior for 22 individuals across 42 target behaviors using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Results showed agreement on the primary maintaining consequence for 4 or 5 of the 5 respondents in 52% (22/42) of the individual's target behaviors with the MAS and 57% (24/42) with the QABF. Experiment 2 examined whether correspondence occurred between the anecdotal assessment results and experimental functional analysis (EFA) results for 7 individuals selected from Experiment 1. Correspondence between the QABF assessment and the EFA was found for 6 of 7 participants, and 4 of the 7 showed correspondence between the EFA and the MAS. This study showed that the QABF had higher correspondence with analog assessments than the MAS thus, supporting the previous findings of Paclawskyj et al. (2001).
Date: May 2010
Creator: Smith, Carla Michelle

Breaking Accidental Behavior Chains.

Description: Accidental behavior chains are a common problem in dog training. Many handlers inadvertently reinforce undesirable behaviors. The behavior analytic literature already contains articles describing methods of breaking chains; however, those methods either are not used in dog training for practical purposes or are ineffective in dog training. This experiment investigated two ways to break a behavior chain, including extending the chain and introducing a delay into the chain. The results of extending the chain showed that it is possible to decrease the target behavior using this method, but it was not eliminated in this study. Adding a delay into the behavior chain resulted in a quick elimination of the target behavior.
Date: May 2010
Creator: McKnight, Debra Gayle

Comparing Indices of Happiness during Teaching Interactions

Description: The measurement of happiness has received increasing attention in behavior analytic literature. Happiness in individuals with developmental disabilities has been assessed by 1) counting a specific behavior, or 2) sampling constellations of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the two approaches while observing nine child and teacher dyads at an autism treatment center. Results showed that, overall, a constellation of behaviors can yield similar patterns when compared to a specific behavior count. However, the affect of one person did not predict the affect of the other and similar instructional conditions did not predict affect either. The implications of these results and future directions are discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Claire Therese

Easter Seals North Texas Autism Treatment Program Evaluation: Child Progress

Description: This study reports and evaluates child outcome measures at a non-profit autism treatment program providing applied behavior analysis (ABA) based services to children age 3 to 8. To accomplish this, a review was conducted of available outcome data for a 1 year period. Several categories of outcome measures have been reported in the autism treatment literature (post-intervention educational placement, cognitive status, developmental and achievement status and/or progress, autism symptom reduction, and diagnostic reclassification). This study found that the program relied on 2 sources of data to evaluate child outcome: Hawaii Early Learning ProfileĀ® and program goal mastery. Children are making progress as indicated by these measures. The findings are discussed in relation to broader outcome recommendations.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Brunson, Lashanna Yvette

The Effects of Jackpots on Responding and Choice in Two Domestic Dogs

Description: The current study investigated the impact of delivering a jackpot on response rate and response allocation in two domestic dogs. For the purpose of this research, a jackpot was defined as a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of delivering a jackpot in both single-operant and concurrent schedule procedures. Experiment 1 investigated the impact of a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement on response rate in a single-operant procedure. Results of Experiment 1 showed no clear change in response rate after the delivery of the jackpot. Experiment 2 investigated the impact of a one-time, within-session increase in the magnitude of reinforcement on response allocation in a concurrent schedule procedure. Results of Experiment 2 showed an increase in response allocation to the jackpotted contingency in both subjects. These results suggest that a jackpot, as defined here, has no effect in single-operant procedures while having an effect in concurrent schedule procedures. These effects are similar to those reported in the magnitude of reinforcement literature.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Muir, Kristy Lynn

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Staff Training Package for Behavioral Interventions for Children with Autism

Description: The effectiveness of behavioral interventions for the treatment of young children with autism has been well documented in professional literature. The success of these procedures, however, depends on the fidelity of implementation and proper training of the therapist. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a 125-skill, comprehensive staff training package that involved a graduated sequence of teaching. In addition to changes in skills, social validity and training time were also assessed. Results indicate that correct demonstration of skills increased following training, incorrect implementation decreased, teachers rated the procedures favorably, and the total training took between 20 and 32.5 hours for over 120 skills to reach mastery criteria. A discussion of the results as well as implications for future research is also provided.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Weinkauf, Sara Marie

Evaluation of the Easter Seals North Texas Autism Treatment Program: Progress in Meeting Program Mission

Description: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) remains at the forefront of effective interventions for children with autism. In some cases, the high cost of treatment and other environmental factors limit families from accessing services. The Easter Seals North Texas (ESNT) Autism Treatment Program (ATP) was created to reach high risk, underserved families in the North Texas area by providing early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to children with autism. This evaluation was conducted to analyze the success of meeting the ESNT ATP program mission to provide culturally responsive ABA to children. The evaluation includes the design of assessments, the analysis of the assessment data, and a set of recommendations to maintain and increase program accessibility.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pritchett, Malika Naomi

An Observation of Early Parent-Infant Social Interactions in Relation to the Emergence of Joint Attention in the Natural Environment

Description: Early interactions between parents and infants are thought to be critical of later development. In particular joint attention has been an area of research and investigations. This study sought to measure joint attention behaviors in infants from 5 to 33 weeks of age under naturalistic conditions: in the home with the mother as the interaction partner given no instructions. Videotapes of the infant-parent interactions were observed and data were collected on behaviors related to joint attention. Given observations occur at younger ages than other studies considered, engagement data results indicate increasing trends for 3 of the 5 infants observed while the direction of infant gaze results indicate patterns consistent with descriptions currently in the literature. Parent behavior data indicate high levels of support in engaging infant attention. Furthering an understanding of joint attention by observing at earlier ages in infant development may be useful in informing teaching programs for infants who have not developed joint attention skills.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pinsky, Karen

Analyzing Contingencies of Behavioral and Cultural Selection

Description: A choice paradigm was used to evaluate allocation of interlocking behavior of two groups of two participants between responses having operant consequences only and responses having cultural consequences. In a discrete trial BABABAB design, each participant could select one of three options, which delivered either 3 or 5 points. In B (cultural consequence) conditions, two of the options had additional effects: the 3-point option also added 3 points to the other participant's earnings, and one of the 5-point options also subtracted 5 points from the other participant's earnings. The third option was unchanged in both conditions and delivered 5 points to the participant who selected it. Results indicated that participants in both groups initially frequently produced response combinations that earned 8 points for one or the other individual (and 0 or 3 points for the other), but allocation of responding increasingly changed to combinations that produced 6 points for each individual. This shift in performances away from maximum individual reinforcement towards maximum group reinforcement indicates cultural contingencies did not act in concert with operant contingencies, suggesting they are different mechanisms of selection.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Hunter, Chad S.

Determining the Relation Between the Moments of Acquisition of Baseline Conditional Discriminations and the Emergence of Equivalence Relations

Description: The experiment was an attempt to gain a more precise understanding of the temporal relation between the development of analytic units and equivalence relations. Two prompting procedures were used during training to pinpoint when eight subjects learned the conditional discriminations. Near simultaneous presentation of probe and training trials allowed for examination of the temporal relation between conditional discrimination acquisition and derived performances on stimulus equivalence probes. The data show that, for seven of eight subjects, a decreased reliance on prompts was coincident with the development of equivalence-consistent choices on either all or some probe trials, which suggests that the development of analytic units is sufficient to give rise to equivalence relations among stimuli.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Swisher, Melissa J.

Effect of Resource Availability on Dyadic Fitness

Description: College students participating in dyads played a game designed as an analog of early hunters whose survival, as a dyad and ultimately individually, depend on rabbits they hunt. Dyadic fitness was defined as both participants being able to hunt and it was measured by the proportion of trials in a condition that both participants hunted. The effects of scarcity (alternating rich and poor conditions) on dyadic fitness were examined in two experiments. First experiment results did not show a difference in dyadic fitness as a function of the independent variable. The second experiment increased the number of hunting seasons and also the discrepancy between scarcity in rich and poor seasons. Second experiment results show that dyads start fit in rich seasons and become increasingly fit in poor seasons. External variables could not be ruled out; therefore, additional experiments still need to be carried out to clarify results.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Neves, Ana Barbara Vieira Sinay

The Effects of a Communication Training Workshop on the Verbal Behavior of Caregivers

Description: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a workshop designed to train adults to use supportive verbal behavior during distressful situations. Participants were trained to provide descriptive, empathetic and hopeful statements using instructions, rationales, modeling, role-play, feedback, and rehearsal. A pre-post design was used to analyze the effects of the training on verbal and non-verbal behaviors of four females during simulation scenarios. Results indicate all four participants provided maximum support statements above pre-training levels during post-training simulation and written assessments.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Blell, Zainab D.

Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude on a Fixed Time Food Delivery Treatment of Pica

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Lyon, Nathan Scott

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

The Effect of High-Probability Request Sequences on Latency to Comply with Instructions to Transition in a Child With Severe Mental Retardation

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Carpentieri, Michelle Lee

The Effects of Copying Before, Copying After, and Guessing on Acquisition Rate and Retention

Description: Computer-based instructional programs are being used more frequently in classrooms. While these programs offer many benefits from traditional teaching methods, humans still need to program them. There is inconsistency in the literature regarding the best way to design such programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of three training procedures in teaching individuals to type a specified three-letter response in the presence of a corresponding symbol. Results show that the training format that prompted individuals to copy the correct response before the opportunity to respond was more efficient than viewing the correct response after an error, or copying the correct response after an error. A discussion of the results as well as implications for classroom use is also provided.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Pinkelman, Sarah Ellen

The Effects of a Programmed Teaching Sequence and Response Card Use with Systematic Feedback on the Acquisition of Time Telling Behavior of 3 Students with Intellectual Disability

Description: Few studies have proposed or evaluated methods to teach telling time. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of differential reinforcement of student responding in the form of response cards to teach three middle school students with intellectual disability to tell time. Participants worked through six training phases. Results showed that correct responding increased from pre-assessment (range of 5.71-14.29% correct) to post-assessment (range of 85-100% correct). Preliminary evidence shows promise in the application of these procedures to teach telling time to middle school students with intellectual disability.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Weatherford, Matthew

Parent-Toddler Training: The Merits of Further Analysis

Description: Earlier identification of autism allows for interventions to begin during toddlerhood. Literature suggests that parents are an important part of very early intervention and specific goals have indicated that they are important to progress. The use of telemedicine may increase access to interventions. The purpose of the study was to evaluate a parent-toddler training program that targeted social-communication skills and incorporated a telemedicine component. Measures included parent teaching targets, child attending, vocal requesting, and coordinated joint attention and the parent's response to coordinated joint attention. Results indicate that parent teaching increased, child attending and vocalizations increased, child coordinated joint attention increased, and the parent's response to coordinated joint attention was primarily social in nature. Analysis of the home observations indicates that direct in home observations or teleconference observations neither under or overestimated behaviors. The results are discussed in the context of teaching and feedback delivery and selection of teaching targets.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Cermak, Samantha Marie

A Preliminary Analysis of Interactions Between Sibling training and Toy Preferences

Description: Siblings of children who have been diagnosed with autism can play important roles in the lives of their brothers or sisters. Previous literature shows that siblings can effectively change behavior and can increase play interactions. Furthermore, the use of preferred materials may enhance social interactions between the siblings. The purpose of this study was to determine, the effects that material preferences and choices have on sibling social bids and cooperative play during a sibling training program. There were two main objectives. The first objective was to evaluate the effects of teaching with the high preference toy of the neuro-typical sibling during sibling training. The second objective was to determine if the training would produce different effects across four different toy conditions. Measures included social bids made by each of the siblings and cooperative play. Results indicate that teaching with the neuro-typical siblings' high preference toy during sibling training can be an effective method to increase social bids and cooperative play. The results of this study are discussed in the contexts of preference and choice selections, physical environments, motor skills, carry over effects, and participations based on gender.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Greer, Julie Winn

Replication and Extension of a Comprehensive Staff Training Program for an Autism Treatment Program

Description: Previous research has shown that early and intensive behavioral interventions are an effective treatment for young children with autism resulting meaningful gains that can maintain over time. For behavioral treatments to be effective, service providers need to be competently trained in behavioral interventions through staff training. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend previous research by employing a more rigorous research design, and including measures of teaching units, and staff and child affect measures. The trainee was taught 150 skills. Training methods included descriptions, modeling, practice, and feedback. Results showed that the trainee acquired all skills while maintaining an increasing number of teaching units. Child and staff also maintained favorable affect as training progressed. In addition, staff reported the training as very effective and highly satisfactory. This shows that comprehensive training packages that comprise a large set of skills in real life treatment settings can result in benefits for the staff and children.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Johnson, Kellyn Joi

Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Topographies of Self-injury Maintained by Separate Reinforcement Contingencies

Description: Functional analysis procedures were used to assess and treat multiple topographies of self-injurious behavior exhibited by an individual. An experimental functional analysis indicated that one topography, hand biting, appeared to be maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of delivery of tangible items. The analysis also provided evidence that a second form of self-injury, skin picking, was automatically reinforced. To treat positively reinforced hand biting, access to a preferred tangible was arranged contingent on the omission of biting for a prespecified time interval. Hand biting was nearly eliminated, and low rates were maintained as the schedule of reinforcement was thinned to 10 min. Competing stimulus assessments identified that magazines effectively suppressed all occurrences of skin picking; therefore, noncontingent access to magazines was implemented. Using a combination of multielement and multiple baseline designs, we were able to demonstrate that the two topographies of self-injury were maintained by independent reinforcement contingencies and that interventions corresponding to each topography and function effectively treated both behaviors.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Pace, Amy

Can Positive Reinforcement Overcome Fear? An Investigation of Competing Contingencies

Description: Escape maintained behavior in dogs is generally displayed by one of two behaviors-fleeing or aggression. Once aggression is negatively reinforced by the removal of the aversive stimulus, it is very difficult to eliminate from the organism's repertoire. Counterconditioning is the process of pairing a positive reinforcer with an aversive stimulus in the attempts that an organism will no longer exhibit fear responses in its presence. This process must be done gradually with small approximations. Many organisms have been trained to tolerate the presence of aversive stimuli via counterconditioning. However, this process can be time consuming and has inconsistent results. The purpose of this experiment was to monitor the effects of counter conditioning around an aversive stimulus while simultaneously training an identical behavior in the presence of a neutral stimulus. The results demonstrated that even though counterconditioning produced approach to the aversive stimulus the subject still exhibited numerous fear responses when results were compared to the control condition.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Kunkel, Rebecca Ann