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open access

The Effects of the Density of Reinforcement on the Maladaptive Behaviors of a Child With Autism

Description: The present study consists of two experiments that analyze the effects of high and low densities of reinforcemnt on the maladaptive behaviors of a 9 year old girl with autism. The first experiment investigates the isolated effects of density of reinforcement on the frequency of maladaptive behaviors during a motor imitation teaching task. High densities of reinforcement produced fewer occurrences of maladaptive behavior than low densities of reinforcement. Experiment 2 analyzes the effects of density of reinforcement during the same teaching tasks as in experiment 1 on maladaptive behavior, task accuracy, prompt resistance, and language. Maladaptive behavior did not recur during experiment 2. High density of reinforcement conditions during the second experiment showed a positive effect on the accuracy of responding and compliance with prompts.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Motiejunas, Kristina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders; An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with treatment outcomes.

Description: The current study was designed to further evaluate the usefulness of anecdotal assessments. The goal of this study was to evaluate the overall agreement between multiple respondents on the primary function of aberrant behavior using the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST) and, if agreement was obtained, to assess the effectiveness of treatment based on the outcome of the assessments. Results showed that anecdotal assessments were able to identify the general type of contingency maintaining two participants' problem behavior. However, for one participant the assessments did not correctly identify the specific form of reinforcement (attention or tangible items) that maintained the aberrant behavior.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Wolf, Roxanne
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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 Profile® 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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Multiple-respondent anecdotal assessments for behavior disorders: An analysis of interrater agreement and correspondence with a functional analysis and treatment outcomes.

Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on two anecdotal assessments, the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), was completed for an individual who displayed aggressive behavior. The results of the assessments indicated high agreement across assessments and respondents that the problem behavior was maintained by social positive reinforcement in the form of contingent delivery of tangible items. By contrast, a subsequent experimental analysis indicated that the behavior was maintained by escape from demands. A treatment was implemented based on the functional analysis outcomes to determine if the functional analysis had correctly identified the maintaining variable of the aberrant behavior. Results of the treatment analysis showed significant reductions in the occurrence of aberrant behavior suggesting that the MAS and FAST may not have accurately identified the maintaining variable of the aberrant behavior.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Moore, Heather
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Direct Assessment of Quality of Care in a Memory-Care Residential Setting: A Systematic Replication

Description: The quality of care of residents in nursing homes receive is an important issue facing our society, and reliable methods to assess and measure important indicators of quality of care are necessary to ensure that nursing homes are providing adequate services. Previous researchers have developed methodologies to evaluate indicators of quality of care, including environmental conditions, resident conditions, resident activities, and staff activities using momentary-time sampling procedures across a variety of settings and populations. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend the time-sampling methodology used in previous research in two units in a nursing home.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Free, Corinne
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

Description: Several evidence-based procedures based upon operant learning principles have been developed to teach language, and for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), naturalistic interventions are commonly implemented as they are both effective and developmentally appropriate. The current investigation compared contingent responsive intervention and combined intervention on the effects of language use in four children diagnosed with ASD. Results suggest that a combined intervention procedure increases target language and requests in children with simplified language (e.g., one-word phrase) as well as complex language (e.g., simple sentences).
Date: August 2016
Creator: Degner, Brittany
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Comparison of Client Attendance, Attrition, and Outcomes in 2 Class System Packages.

Description: Using the principles of systems analysis as a guide, this study compared two class schedule formats used by Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) in order to address the following research questions: 1) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student attrition and appointment keeping? 2) What effects do 2 different class formats have on student outcomes on a pre and posttest assessment? 3) What effects do 2 different class formats have on staff procedures? BMAPS provides parent education to individuals referred by Child Protective Services. The current research included approximately 200 referred clients with an appointment or class scheduled with BMAPS between January 1, 2006 and September 22, 2007. Data was collected by reviewing client files for class attendance and performance records. Results of this study allow BMAPS to enlist the class format that is correlated with better attrition rates and client outcomes.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Berends, Valori
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

When to Say It: Establishing a Verbal Cue

Description: Dog trainers sometimes teach verbal cues by saying the cue as the dog is performing the desired behavior. However, there is disagreement about when to say the cue. In this study, a pet dog was trained to go to three different apparatus, the cue for each of which was given at a different time, in a multi-element design. The cue "hoop" was given just as the dog began to move to the hoop apparatus. The cue "carrier" was given as the dog was stepping into the carrier apparatus. The cue "platform" was given after the dog was sitting on the platform apparatus. To test if the dog had learned the cues, the trainer had the dog sit and gave the cue. During testing, if only the correct apparatus was present, the dog responded to all three cues. However, when all three apparatus were present, the dog only responded correctly to the "hoop" cue. This suggests that giving the cue just as the learner is beginning to perform the desired behavior is the most effective teaching method.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Rulla, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Online Lecture As an Alternative Method of Instruction in College Classrooms: Measuring the Effects of Alternating In-class with Online Lectures in Two Sections of an Undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis Course

Description: Online instruction is becoming increasingly common at universities; however, there is little single subject research concerning the effectiveness of the online lecture format. We investigated whether online lecture could replace in-class lecture in two sections of an undergraduate Introduction to Behavior Analysis course without detrimentally affecting student learning. Using an adapted alternating treatments design, online and in-class lecture formats were counterbalanced across the two course sections. Experimenters collected data on lecture attendance/access, percent correct on the weekly quiz, and student report on lecture format preference. The data show that, within the context of this class, students performed equally in the weekly quiz regardless of lecture format; further, that this is consistent when looking at individual student data and mean data. However, although students stated a preference for online lecture in the questionnaire, a greater percentage of students attended in-class lecture than accessed online lecture.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Treacher, Kay G.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Descriptive Analysis of the Use and Effect of a Self-management Project in an Undergraduate Course in Behavior Analysis

Description: Undergraduate male and female students enrolled in an introductory behavior analysis course with minimal instruction on self-management were given modified exploratory logs to use in a self-management project. Students self-monitored behavior via the log, constructed their own interventions, and reported changes in behavior and extent of success in a write up at course end. Changes in self-reported descriptions in the logs as well as the written results of a pre and post survey of emotional responses were counted. Successful self-management project interventions were reported by most students. Correspondence between planned and actual events increased. Negative reinforcement procedures characterized most students' intervention. Correspondence between events at pre and post and actual log reports was highest at post.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Lamancusa, Michelle
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

Superstitious Behavior Classroom Game Teaching

Description: Superstitions flourish in cultures around the word and in everyday life. Superstitions are so prevalent and influence personal and political decisions, therefore, we sought to develop a classroom demonstration of superstitious behavior that could be used to show quickly and effectively how powerful adventitious reinforcement could be in modifying behavior. An online game was developed and played by one hundred thirteen university students enrolled in a class on critical thinking. Participants gained points (reinforcement) arbitrarily during either 25% or 50% of each game's (A or B) 3 minute duration. Although points were non-contingent, students often engaged in superstations rules or patterns. Results of both self-reports and computer generated data showed, the games were successful in producing superstitious behavior patterns in about 50% of our participants. More students showed superstitious behavior in the 50% game than in the 25% game. We conclude that this is due to the higher reinforcement rate of in 50% game. For future studies, rearranging the stimulus array into a pattern that does not itself strongly control behavior could help refine the results.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Pourmorshed, Hormat Saadat
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Acceptability of Behavioral Interventions for Autism

Description: Caregivers' evaluation of evidence-based behavioral interventions may differ dependent upon the type of language used to describe the intervention. We administered a survey to 24 parents of children with autism to assess social validity measures of behavioral interventions described in one of three communication styles: technical, conversational, and conversational with intended outcome. Participants were presented with a description of two behavior-reduction and two behavior-acquisition interventions. Overall, interventions described in conversational with intended outcome style received the highest social validity ratings, while interventions described in the technical style received the lowest ratings. Moreover, behavior-acquisition interventions were rated significantly higher than behavior-reduction interventions when described in either conversational or conversational with intended outcome style. The current study supports the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Compliance Code that behavior analysts should inform the client/consumer of the treatment/interventions in an understandable language. Findings are also discussed in terms of verbal communities.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Fatema, Afshaan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

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
open access

The Effects of "Errorless" Training and Testing on the Performances of Typically Developing Children During Acquisition and Retention.

Description: This study examines the effects of two teaching procedures and two testing procedures (“Skip” and “Guess”) on acquisition, retention and generalization of learning. Three typically developing females between the ages of 8 and 11 learned the 24 lower case letters of the Greek alphabet. Half of the letters were taught with the “Skip” procedure and the other half with the “Guess” procedure. The “Skip” procedure produced faster and more efficient learning than the “Guess” procedure. The “Skip” procedure also resulted in better initial retention (4 weeks), but this effect disappeared in subsequent retention tests. The training conditions did not have differential effects on generalization tests across learning channels, except for the Free/Say channel.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Arnadottir, Iris
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Multiple-Respondent Anecdotal Assessments for Behavior Disorders: An Analysis of Interrater Agreement and Correspondence With Functional Analysis Outcomes

Description: An analysis of interrater agreement across multiple respondents on anecdotal assessments and correspondence between functional analysis outcomes was completed. Experiment I evaluated overall agreement among multiple respondents (direct-care staff) on the hypothesized function of each residents (28 adults with mental retardation) problematic behavior using the Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST). Results of the questionnaires indicated that respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior for 10 of the 28 residents. Experiment II examined whether, for selected cases in which 4 out of 5 respondents agreed on the function of the problematic behavior, correspondence occurred between functional analyses and anecdotal assessments outcomes. Two of the 6 functional analyses did not evoke the problematic behavior. However, 4 functional analyses did produce corresponding outcomes suggesting that, when the functional analyses produced interpretable data, the results of the functional analyses corresponded with those of the anecdotal assessments.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Fahrenholz, Anney Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries
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