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Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Leslie A Galbraith, Matthew P Normand
We evaluated the effects of a modified version of the Good Behavior Game (GBG) on the number of steps taken by students during school recess. We divided a class into two teams, and awarded the team with the highest step counts at the end of each game raffle tickets for a school-wide lottery. The GBG was compared to recess periods without the game using an alternating-treatments design. Students took more steps while playing the GBG than they did during recess periods without the game.
August 12, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Kara L Wunderlich, Timothy R Vollmer
The current study compared the use of serial and concurrent methods to train multiple exemplars when teaching receptive language skills, providing a systematic replication of Wunderlich, Vollmer, Donaldson, and Phillips (2014). Five preschoolers diagnosed with developmental delays or autism spectrum disorders were taught to receptively identify letters or letter sounds. Subjects learned the target stimuli slightly faster in concurrent training and a high degree of generalization was obtained following both methods of training, indicating that both the serial and concurrent methods of training are efficient and effective instructional procedures...
June 8, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Diego Valbuena, Bryon G Miller, Andrew L Samaha, Raymond G Miltenberger
This paper presents seven tactics for managing the variability evident in some physical activity data. High levels of variability in daily step-count data from pedometers or accelerometers can make typical visual inspection difficult. Therefore, the purpose of the current paper is to discuss several strategies that might facilitate the visual interpretation of highly variable data. The seven strategies discussed in this paper are phase mean and median lines, daily average per week, weekly cumulative, proportion of baseline, 7-day moving average, change point detection, and confidence intervals...
May 29, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Joseph M Lambert, John E Staubitz, Jessica Torelli Roane, Nealetta J Houchins-Juárez, A Pablo Juárez, Kevin B Sanders, Zachary E Warren
Latency-based functional analysis (FA) may be a viable alternative to the standard, rate-based, FA when frequently evoking problem behavior is not advisable. We conducted 18 latency-based FAs of the problem behavior of children diagnosed with autism in inpatient hospital settings and identified functional relations during 44.4% (8 of 18) of latency-based FAs. Implications for conducting FAs of severe problem behavior are discussed.
May 29, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Megan A Borlase, Jason C Vladescu, April N Kisamore, Sharon A Reeve, Jamie L Fetzer
We replicated Fritz, Iwata, Hammond, and Bloom (2013) by evaluating the efficacy of an experimental methodology to identify precursors to aggression displayed by an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder. Using their trial-based precursor analysis, we identified seven precursors to aggression. Next, we compared the outcomes of separate precursor and aggression functional analyses and showed that both precursors and aggression were multiply controlled by the same variables.
May 29, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Christopher A Podlesnik, Michael E Kelley, Corina Jimenez-Gomez, Mark E Bouton
Behavioral treatment gains established in one setting do not always maintain in other settings. The present review examines the relevance of basic and translational research to understanding failures to maintain treatment gains across settings. Specifically, studies of the renewal effect examine how transitioning away from a treatment setting could evoke a return of undesirable behavior, rather than newly trained appropriate behavior. Studies of renewal typically arrange three phases, with a response trained and reinforced under a particular set of contextual stimuli in the first phase...
July 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Casey L Nottingham, Jason C Vladescu, Tiffany Kodak, April N Kisamore
The current study examined the outcome of presenting multiple secondary targets in learning trials for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. We compared conditions in which (a) a secondary target was presented in the antecedent and consequence of trials, (b) two secondary targets were presented in the consequence of trials, (c) one secondary target was presented in the consequence of each trial, and (d) no additional targets were presented trials. The participants acquired the majority of secondary targets...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Joseph D Dracobly, Claudia L Dozier, Adam M Briggs, Jessica F Juanico
Response variability is sensitive to antecedent and consequent manipulations. Researchers have investigated inducement, direct production through reinforcement, and stimulus control of response variability. Recently, researchers have shown that lag reinforcement schedules reliably increase variability but may also produce higher-order stereotypy. There has been limited investigation of appropriate variability levels and alternation between repetition and variation. In a three-part study, we evaluated levels of variability across a group of children, the effects of various procedures on producing response variability and novelty, and the use of schedule-correlated stimuli for producing rapid alternation between repetition and variation...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Marc J Lanovaz, Sarah C Huxley, Marie-Michèle Dufour
The purpose of our study was to examine the probability of observing false positives in nonsimulated data using the dual-criteria methods. We extracted data from published studies to produce a series of 16,927 datasets and then assessed the proportion of false positives for various phase lengths. Our results indicate that collecting at least three data points in the first phase (Phase A) and at least five data points in the second phase (Phase B) is generally sufficient to produce acceptable levels of false positives...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Jennifer N Fritz, Lynsey M Jackson, Nicole A Stiefler, Barbara S Wimberly, Amy R Richardson
The effects of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) without extinction during treatment of problem behavior maintained by social positive reinforcement were evaluated for five individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A continuous NCR schedule was gradually thinned to a fixed-time 5-min schedule. If problem behavior increased during NCR schedule thinning, a continuous NCR schedule was reinstated and NCR schedule thinning was repeated with differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) included...
May 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Emily A Groves, Jennifer L Austin
The Good Behavior Game (GBG) uses an interdependent group contingency to improve classroom behavior. Despite the wealth of research on the effectiveness of the GBG, some teachers may have concerns about their students' abilities to work in teams, particularly if they have a history of poor social skills. We used an alternating treatments design to compare the relative effectiveness of the GBG with interdependent and independent group contingencies in a classroom for children with emotional and behavioral disorders...
May 13, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Stephanie A Hood, Kevin C Luczynski, Daniel R Mitteer
We identified greeting and conversation deficits based on a parent interview and semistructured direct assessment for one child and two adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. We taught the greeting and conversation skills using behavioral skills training and within-session corrective feedback. A multiple baseline across conversation and greeting skills demonstrated experimental control over the effects of the teaching on acquisition and generalization to novel adults. We also conducted embedded reversals to assess maintenance of the acquired skills...
May 13, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Robin K Landa, Bethany Hansen, M Alice Shillingsburg
Previous research has evaluated contrived motivating operations to teach mands for information. However, literature evaluating acquisition of the mand when? is comparatively limited. As an extension of Shillingsburg, Bowen, Valentino, & Pierce (2014), we taught three children with autism to engage in mands for information using when under alternating conditions in which a contrived establishing operation was present (EOP) or absent (EOA). Following training with a constant prompt delay, all participants acquired the mand for information and demonstrated correct use of the provided information and a decrease in inappropriate attempts to access restricted items...
April 28, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Maeve G Donnelly, Amanda M Karsten
This investigation sheds light on necessary and sufficient conditions to establish self-care behavior chains among people with developmental disabilities. First, a descriptive assessment (DA) identified the types of teaching errors that occurred during self-care instruction. Second, the relative effects of three teaching errors observed during the DA were evaluated across two behavior chains for three participants. Third, the effects of individual teaching errors were studied with a third behavior chain per participant...
April 24, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Ana Barkaia, Trevor F Stokes, Tamar Mikiashvili
This study examined the effects of intercontinental telehealth coaching on the mastery of therapists' skills and improvements in verbalizations by children with autism, testing whether telehealth can be a solution for underserved communities in developing countries such as Georgia-Sakartvelo in Eastern Europe. Three therapists delivering and three children with autism receiving early-intervention services from the nongovernmental organization Children of Georgia in Tbilisi participated. Experimenters provided coaching from Virginia, USA to therapists in Georgia-Sakartvelo...
April 24, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Heather M Zerger, Bryon G Miller, Diego Valbuena, Raymond G Miltenberger
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of student pairing and feedback during recess on children's step counts. During baseline, participants wore a sealed pedometer during recess. During intervention, we paired participants with higher step counts with participants with lower step counts. We encouraged teams to compete for the highest step count each day and provided feedback on their performance during each recess session. Results showed a large mean increase in step count from baseline to intervention...
April 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Karen A Toussaint, Mindy C Scheithauer, Jeffrey H Tiger, Kathryn J Saunders
We taught three children with visual impairments to make tactile discriminations of the braille alphabet within a matching-to-sample format. That is, we presented participants with a braille character as a sample stimulus, and they selected the matching stimulus from a three-comparison array. In order to minimize participant errors, we initially arranged braille characters into training sets in which there was a maximum difference in the number of dots comprising the target and nontarget comparison stimuli...
April 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Jessica D Slaton, Gregory P Hanley, Katherine J Raftery
Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, and Hanratty (2014) described a functional analysis (FA) format that relied on a synthesis of multiple contingencies described by caregivers during open-ended interviews. These interview-informed synthesized contingency analyses (IISCA) provided effective baselines from which to develop socially validated treatments, but the synthesis precluded a precise understanding of individual contingencies influencing problem behavior. We conducted IISCAs and standard FAs (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) for nine children with autism to evaluate the likelihood of differentiation given a number of synthesized versus isolated variables...
April 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
David J Cox, Jacob Sosine, Jesse Dallery
This study applied the generalized matching equation (GME) to pitch selection in professional baseball. The GME was fitted to the relation between pitch selection and hitter outcomes for five professional baseball pitchers during the 2014 Major League Baseball season. The GME described pitch selection well. Pitch allocation varied across different game contexts such as inning, count, and number of outs in a manner consistent with the GME. Finally, within games, bias decreased for four of the five pitchers and the sensitivity parameter increased for three of the five pitchers...
April 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Valdeep Saini, Wayne W Fisher, Maegan D Pisman
Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is typically implemented with extinction (EXT) for destructive behavior reinforced by social consequences and without EXT for destructive behavior reinforced by sensory consequences. Behavioral momentum theory (BMT) predicts that responding will be more persistent, and treatment relapse in the form of response resurgence more likely, when NCR is implemented without EXT due to the greater overall rate of reinforcement associated with this intervention. We used an analogue arrangement to test these predictions of BMT by comparing NCR implemented with and without EXT...
April 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
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