Search Results

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

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

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

A parametric analysis of the immediate and subsequent effects of response restriction on hand mouthing.

Description: The immediate and subsequent effects of different durations of response restriction were evaluated in a multiple schedule design. Response restriction components of 15, 30, and 60 minutes were conducted between 15 minute alone components. Levels of responding subsequent to the termination of response restriction procedures were compared to free operant levels prior to the implementation of response restriction. Responding during response restriction components reduced to near zero levels. Subsequent levels of responding were similar to or exceeded free operant baseline levels. Results are discussed in terms of potential operant mechanisms responsible for levels of responding subsequent to response restriction.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Soderlund, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Choices in Reinforcer Delivery

Description: The current study consisted of two experiments, both of which were comparisons of choice conditions replicated across four participants. Four typically-developing pre-school children participated in this study. Experiment 1 evaluated participants' preference for choosing consequent stimuli prior to engaging in academic tasks (pre-session choice) versus choosing consequent stimuli each time criterion for reinforcement had been met within the session (within-session choice). In Experiment 2, preference for choice-making was evaluated when outcomes for both choice and no-choice conditions were identical. For two participants, results indicated strong preference for choice-making.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Law, Sarah Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring indices of happiness in a parent-training program.

Description: Behavior analysts have long recognized the need for direct and reliable measurement of complex behaviors that are important to society. Recently investigators have approached one of the singular most complex behaviors: happiness. Limited research, however, has explored happiness in parent-training programs with children with autism and their families. The current study applied the definitions and data systems used in Broome's 2007 study to obtain indices of happiness within a parent training program for parents of toddlers with autism. Direct measures of smiles and laughs were collected from videotaped assessments. Results suggest that the program increased behaviors associated with happiness. Results are discussed in terms of program development and future research.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Ewing, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The emergence of joint attention in a naturalistic parent training program.

Description: Behaviors related to joint attention have been described by behavior analysts and developmental psychologists alike as having a distinctly social function. Children with autism often do not emit these behaviors. Research on the collateral effects of teaching joint attention suggests far reaching consequences. Given the reported benefits of using these behaviors, and the theoretical descriptions of their function, we assessed joint attention as a collateral effect of a naturalistic parent training program. Data suggest that although these behaviors were not directly targeted, they increased in all 3 children. Implications of parent training goals and child intervention targets are discussed in terms of a behavior analysis of joint attention and child development.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Goettl, Elizabeth J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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

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

What you teach makes a difference: Direct and collateral outcomes of an autism sibling intervention.

Description: Training siblings as change agents for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been shown to be beneficial in teaching a sibling to teach their brother or sister. There are very few interventions, however, that explore the range of effects that targeting particular skills has on sibling interactions. The purpose of this study was to assess the direct and collateral effects of training behavioral teaching techniques to a typically developing sibling. Four experimental conditions were assessed: baseline, sibling teaching toy play, baseline, and sibling teaching social play. Across all conditions, measures of teaching components and siblings' interactions were assessed. Results of the assessment showed that the sibling was an effective change agent and that more favorable interaction and engagement occurred when social play skills were taught. The results of this sibling intervention and guidelines for condition changes are discussed in terms of sibling relationships.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Czekalski, Sara
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Workshop Training and Coaching on the Acquisition and Generalization of Teaching Skills

Description: The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the separate effects of increased accuracy on multiple-choice/rank-order written tests and coaching on the teaching performance of participants; (b) to compare generalization across tasks produced by the workshop and coaching; and (c) to assess maintenance of teaching performance. Following baseline, two adults received a lecture on discrete trial teaching procedures. A written test measured verbal performance on workshop material periodically throughout this phase. During the next phase, each adult then experienced further training via in-situ coaching. A multiple baseline design across tasks was used during the coaching phase. Results of the workshop training package revealed an inverse relationship between the strongest verbal performance and strongest teaching performance skill areas. In addition, only with the introduction of the in-situ coaching package did teacher performance improve significantly across all behaviors. Child responding remained relatively constant throughout the study, regardless of teacher performance. Some generalization of teacher behavior was observed across tasks, but was extremely variable across both workshop and coaching conditions. After the cessation of coaching, teacher performance remained stable across maintenance phases and at a 6-week follow-up.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Almon, Holly C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Maintaining behavior in a child with autism using a previously neutral stimulus, a remote control tactile stimulus, as the consequence

Description: Few studies have investigated methods for establishing neutral stimuli as conditioned reinforcers in human subjects. Conditioned reinforcers, however, can alleviate some of the problems encountered in applied behavior analytic (ABA) therapy for children with autism, such as satiation and suitability of reinforcers for specific environments. A series of reversals evaluated the effects of a conditioning procedure involving pairing a neutral stimulus, the remote control stimulus (RCT), with an identified reinforcer. Phase 1 demonstrated that the RCT was neutral. In Phase 2, alternating pairing and testing conditions were run. During testing the effects of pairing were evaluated by the effectiveness of the RCT in maintaining a response in the absence of a previously available reinforcer (extinction test) and in increasing a new response over a baseline level (learning test). Results from the extinction test suggest that under some pairing conditions the RCT can acquire properties of a reinforcer.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Wheat, Leigh Ann Stiles
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Induced “motivation”

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

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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries