Coping skills, such as diaphragmatic breathing, are commonly recommended to help individuals work through challenging situations. We evaluated diaphragmatic breathing as treatment for aggression of three individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or Angelman syndrome. Functional analysis results demonstrated that each participant engaged in aggression maintained by social‐negative reinforcement. Diaphragmatic breathing treatment without extinction was conducted in a work context and involved prompting diaphragmatic breathing contingent on precursors to aggression; treatment was effective in reducing the rate of aggression for one of three participants. For the two other participants, other reinforcement‐based interventions (differential reinforcement of other behavior or functional communication training with extinction) were necessary to decrease aggression.
Basic research shows that token‐production and exchange‐production schedules in token economies affect each other as second‐order schedules (i.e., the exchange‐production schedule's requirements affect responding toward the token‐production schedule). This relationship has not been investigated with children in academic settings despite the widespread use of token economies in this context. This study compared the effects of fixed‐ratio (FR) and variable‐ratio (VR) exchange‐production schedules of equal ratios (2, 5, and 10) on responding toward an FR 1 token‐production schedule with a child diagnosed with autism. A concurrent chains assessment was also conducted to assess the participant's relative preference for FR and VR exchange‐production schedule arrangements within her typical discrete trial training. Results showed no difference in response rate between the two schedule types. However, the concurrent chains assessment revealed an exclusive preference for the VR arrangement.
Children diagnosed with a feeding disorder often exhibit inappropriate mealtime behavior such as throwing or swiping food, which can exacerbate feeding difficulties during treatment. We conducted a meta‐analysis of 86 behavioral treatments for inappropriate mealtime behavior from 23 studies to assess the extent to which treatments based on a pretreatment functional analysis were more efficacious than those treatments not based on a functional analysis. Procedural escape extinction and attention extinction for inappropriate mealtime behavior, as well as differential reinforcement for food acceptance or consumption, represented the most common treatments independent of whether a functional analysis was conducted. No difference was detected between treatments that were and were not based on a functional analysis, and mean effect size across measures was identical (79%). The requirement of a pretreatment functional analysis for inappropriate mealtime behavior is equivocal given that standard care often includes efficacious treatment components that are not informed by a functional analysis.
Pica is dangerous behavior and often maintained by automatic reinforcement. We conducted a latency functional analysis (FA) using safe consumption items to verify that pica was maintained in part by automatic reinforcement and exclude participants for whom pica was likely maintained solely by attention. Next, we identified precursors to pica through a probability analysis and conducted a brief blocking assessment for participants' whose pica occurred in the alone and attention conditions of the FA. Finally, we compared blocking precursors with pica, touching an inedible item and the pica itself. Results showed that five of the six participants' pica was likely maintained by automatic reinforcement, and pica decreased during the brief blocking assessment for three of four participants. Results of the blocking comparison showed that blocking behaviors earlier in the response hierarchy was as effective as only blocking pica attempts for two participants and more effective for one participant.
In the present study, an 89‐year‐old woman with the neurocognitive disorder Alzheimer's disease participated. The purpose was to study recognition of the participant's relatives' faces with the use of sorting tests and matching‐to‐sample (MTS) trainings and tests for emergent relations. The stimuli used were pictures of her relatives, their written names, and their family relationship. The study also focused on how responding to pictures of relatives changed over time. Therefore, the participant was presented with experimental conditions over three time periods. Time Period 1 included only sorting tests. In Time Period 2, which began 9 months after Time Period 1, the participant was presented with both sorting tests and conditional discrimination training and testing. In Time Period 3, which began 1 year after Time Period 2, both sorting tests and conditional discrimination training and testing were again presented. The results from Time Periods 2 and 3 showed that the percentage of stimuli sorted correctly was maintained over time. Additionally, the results from the MTS training and tests were maintained at the second follow‐up periods.
The job interview is a vital component to acquire employment. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder may experience difficulties with job interviews due to notable deficits in social and communication skills. We evaluated the relative impact of several components of a job interview training package on six participants' responses to commonly asked interview questions. We used a multiple baseline design across participants to present the following components: written instructions, rehearsal and video self‐feedback with a commercially available training program, and verbal feedback delivered by the experimenter. Results demonstrated that all participants required an additional behavioral skills training session to meet our mastery criterion. However, once training was complete, all participants showed generalized performance when the interview questions were presented in a varied format and by a novel interviewer outside of the training environment. In addition, their performance was maintained at follow‐up.
Due to the increased emphasis on evidence‐based practices (EBPs) in recent education initiatives, classroom observers need an objective way to measure teacher use of EBPs. Although some measures for this purpose exist, these measures are limited by their reliance on self‐report. Therefore, we created a direct observation tool titled the Evidence‐Based Practice Classroom Observation Measure (EBP‐COM) for observers to assess the use of EBPs by teachers of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We evaluated reliability and validity of the EBP‐COM, as well as whether the assessment tool could detect change in teacher behavior. A measurement refinement process involving six raters collecting 65 data points revealed the EPB‐COM to have sound psychometric properties. With this tool, researchers can conduct comprehensive and objective assessments of teacher EBP use.
The purpose of this study was to expand on research on treatments for stereotypy by evaluating the effects of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) and response cost (RC) alone and as a treatment package on vocal stereotypy. Treatment phases included RIRD, RC, and response interruption and redirection plus response cost (RIRD + RC). The efficacy of these treatments was determined by measuring duration of stereotypy in session and during treatment intervals. Vocal stereotypy decreased in all three treatment conditions; however, when data analysis included stereotypy occurring during treatment intervals, stereotypy during the RC condition occurred at similar levels as baseline for one treatment evaluation phase for Karl and both treatment evaluations phases for Jon. We discuss implications of these findings, limitations of the current study, and areas for future research.
Research on applied behavior analysis and sports performance has become an increasingly popular subject. It involves using behavioral measures to assess the utility of numerous interventions to enhance athletic performance. We identified 101 studies published since the late 1960s focusing on behavioral interventions to enhance sports performance. To determine the breadth of the current research, we identified each sport and the different interventions used to improve performance. Of the studies included in this review, research has investigated 23 interventions with 21 sports. The purpose of this paper is to review the current literature regarding what procedures have been evaluated, the results of this research, some of the limitations, and future directions of behavioral research on sports performance enhancement. In doing so, this review will allow readers to easily browse the current literature by the sport or intervention of interest.
Severe problem behavior within a school can result in exclusion from education. A practitioner providing school‐based services must plan an effective treatment, while mitigating safety risks to the child and others. In this study, we sought to replicate the interview‐informed synthesized contingency analysis and treatment procedures developed by Hanley and colleagues in a school setting for a 12‐year‐old boy with autism and severe problem behavior. However, due to a severe burst in behavior, we increased treatment intensity and introduced procedures across increasing academic demand contexts to promote safety. During a treatment extension, procedures were implemented by teacher aides, across the entire school day. Treatment resulted in meaningful reductions in problem behavior, sustained improvements in compliance, and the student was fully integrated into the regular classroom. In addition, improvements in functional communication and tolerance persisted across contexts and the intervention received high social validity scores from those involved.
A recent study described a synthesized treatment where a functional analysis was based on an open-ended interview and combined with functional communication and delay-tolerance training. The treatment resulted in a reduction in problem behaviors and an increase in appropriate requests. Most of the analysis and intervention were done in a clinic setting, and required weekly visits by the family. This present study is a systematic replication, where we conducted the same synthesized treatments, with a young child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) enrolled in a home-based Early Intensive Behavior Intervention program, EIBI. Outcomes were similar with a marked reduction in problem behaviors and an increase in appropriate requests. These findings suggest that it is possible to conduct this intervention in a home setting, with weekly consultations with parents. Our study show the utility of the synthesized treatment in an EIBI program in a home setting and how this can contribute to client time and costs.