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behavioral resources


 Small BAAM Logo BAAM 2006
Convention Schedule (with abstracts)
(New items added as they arrive. Check back often)

BAAM 2006 Convention Schedule
(Events added as they are accepted for presentation)

Workshops | Posters | Thursday | Friday | Keynote

(Click here for summary version of schedule)

BACB and Michigan State Board CEUs available.
See session information for session with BACB CEUs.

Thursday March 23, 2006

8:00-9:00 a.m. Reception Area (2nd Floor)
(Open all day)
Note: Continental breakfast will be available in the Ballroom during registration. Free for convention registrants.

Keynote Address

"Why Isn't Everybody Like Us?"
Murray Sidman (Northeastern University, Emeritus)
9:00-10:00 a.m. Ballroom

BAAM is pleased to announce that its 2006 opening Keynote Speaker will be Murray Sidman, author of behavior analysis classics:Tactics of Scientific Research and Coercion and Its Fallout.

Keynote Abstract: In addition to pointing out why a scientific approach to problems constitutes the high road, it might prove instructive to ask why everybody does not agree with that proposition. Relevant considerations might include the popular conception of what scientists do, what kinds of people scientists are, how they present their case, and what changes they are asking people to make in their own lives.

Thursday Breakout Sessions

(Click here for Esch workshop)

10:00-10:50 am Tower Room
Behavior Analysis: But Is It Science?

Phil Smith (Eastern Michigan University)

Some within the field of behavior analysis have long asserted that it is rooted in what they describe as objective science. Both the theory of behaviorism and the practice of behavior analysis have had an extraordinary, profound effect on education as well as human and social services. When behavior analysis was in its infancy, it was a truly radical discipline, founded in research methods contrary to the scientific norm of the time. Some educators, viewing inquiry from standpoints of critical theory and disability studies, have come to understand that some behaviorists and behavior analysts hold to an understanding of science that is specific to a particular kind of quantitative exploration, denying the validity of other kinds of inquiry. This paper argues that behavior analysis, like all other scientific fields, is inherently ideological and political, founded in a positivist, modernist approach to inquiry. To assert otherwise is to hide behind the pseudo-scientific notion of objective neutrality, an obfuscating wall that is neither possible nor desired. While behavior analysis has been a positive force in the lives of people with disabilities, it has also continued to do substantial harm, because of its unwillingness to explore its epistemological roots. This paper advocates for an alternative approach to inquiry, one that allows for multiple research approaches and paradigms, and urges behaviorists and behavior analysts to explicate the ideological nature of their work. To do otherwise runs the risk of supporting practice and research that is inherently conservatizing, a direction counter to its progressive history.

10:00-10:50 am Alumni Room (Canceled)
An Economic Evaluation of Three Popular Treatment Options for Autism: Applied Behavior Analysis, Facilitated Communication Training, and Dietary Change
Lisa M. Manthey, Elizabeth M. Nelson, Heather Nix, Minden Shadle, Matthew Altiere, & Michelle R. Byrd (Eastern Michigan University)

Autism is a developmental disorder with potentially devastating effects on the individual as well as the family. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism occurs at a rate of 3.4 per 1,000 children. As early intervention is important to later outcome, parents are well-advised to begin treatment as soon as possible. However, little is known about why parents choose particular treatments others. One hypothesis is that economic variables may be a limiting factor for some families in the treatment decision-making process, particularly given that treatment for autism is rarely covered by insurance. As a first step to understanding the role that economic factors may play in treatment decision-making, three popular treatment choices will be evaluated on the basis of projected cost of treating a newly diagnosed 3-year-old child for the recommended period of time, according to the current practice for each treatment. Both direct (e.g.,fees) and indirect (e.g., time spent) costs of treatment will be calculated. Based on this economic analysis, we will consider how families of varying socioeconomic status may differentially choose particular treatment options.

10:30-10:50 am Tower Room
Further Investigations in the Use of Odor as a Conditioned Stimulus for Schedule Induced Polydipsia in Rats
Heather M. Anson & James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

Studies that have attempted to classically condition schedule-induced drinking to stimuli such as tones have met with limited success. This might be because tones are less effective conditioned stimuli for appetitive responses than food related cues. Therefore, the proposed study will further examine whether an odor cue can become a conditioned stimulus for schedule induced drinking. Four Sprague Dawley rats will be made polydipsic using a fixed time schedule of food pellet presentation. Once schedule-induced polydipsia is established, the odor will be presented just prior to the food pellet delivery. The odor will then be occasionally presented without the presence of food to determine whether or not the odor will now induce drinking. Additional conditions will be added to test for direct elicitation of drinking by the odor and for other potential confounds. Pairing odor with food during acquisition will also be tested. If odor can be made a conditioned stimulus for drinking then the case that schedule-induced drinking is a reflexive phenomenon is strengthened.

10:30-11:50 am Alumni Room
Symposium: Behavioral Research in Aging
(BACB Type 2 = 1.5)
Chair: Linda A LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)

Symposium Abstract: The three papers focus on issues common for older adults across a variety of settings. One talk discusses the relevant behavioral factors involved in dehydation for older adults living independently in community settings. A second talk focuses on using preference assessment to identify items that promote active engagement in older adults with dementia in adult day care settings. A third talk focuses on managment of aggressive problem behavior in a nursing home settings using functional analysis and function based intervention.

Functional barriers to hydration in community dwelling older adults
Brian J. Feeney, Paige B Raetz, & Linda A LeBlanc (Western Michigan University) & Leilani Feliciano (University of California San Francisco)

Poor hydration is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and death in elder populations. Researchers interviewed a number of elder individuals using the "Hydration Interview" to identify common environmental and health variables that impact elder hydration A summary of common factors is presented for a sample of 20 older adults. Additionally, correlations between variables and a measure of hydration (i.e., urine specific gravity) is presented. The implications of public health approached and individual intervention design are discussed.

An Evaluation of the Utility of Multimedia Stimuli in Conjunction with the Pleasant Events Schedule for Assessing Preferences of Elders with Dementia
Paige B. Raetz, Jonathon C Baker, Brian Feeney, & Linda LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)

This study evaluated the utility of a multimedia-based presentation of the Pleasant Events Schedule (PES) with elders diagnosed with dementia. Verbal stimuli may no longer be an effective means of assessing preference in elders with dementia. A visual stimulus depicting the activity may enhance accuracy of identified preferences. This study compared the results of an oral interview format of the PES with a multimedia presentation of the same questions. An engagement analysis was then conducted with any stimuli with discrepant results on the two formats to determine which format proved more accurate in predicting future engagement. Items consistently selected as preferred and non-preferred by both methods were also included to further verify predictive ability. Data will be presented for four elders with dementia.

Staff Administered Functional Analysis and Treatment of Aggression by an Elder with Dementia
Jonathon C. Baker (Western Michigan University), Gregory P. Hanley (University of Kansas), & R. Mark Mathews (University of Sydney)

Physical aggression by nursing home residents with dementia is common. The current study represents an extension of the functional analysis literature to aggression by elders with dementia. Nursing home staff were taught to administer functional analyses, the results of which indicated that aggression was evoked during bathroom routines and that escape maintained aggression during these routines. Staff then implemented a function-based treatment of noncontingent escape, which reduced aggression to near-zero levels. Implications for the assessment and treatment of problem behaviors in nursing home settings are discussed.

11:00-11:50 am Tower Room
Skinner on Theories and Explanation
(BACB Type 2 = 1.0)
Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

A great deal of confusion exists about the radical behaviorist perspective on "theories." On the one hand, Skinner (1950) rhetorically suggested theories were not necessary. Principally as a result of this article, many have labeled the radical behaviorist perspective as "atheoretical" and merely descriptive, as opposed to theoretical and explanatory. On the other hand, Skinner (1947) also stated that theories were "essential to the scientific understanding of behavior as a subject matter." The aim of this presentation is to clarify the radical behaviorist perspective on theories, particularly as expressed in the words of Skinner, and, given this perspective, to clarify the functional role of theories in scientific epistemology.

11:00-11:50 am Main Lounge
How BAAM went BAM: A History.
Peter Holmes (Ypsilanti, Michigan)

An account of the founding the Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan by its founder

12:00-1:20 am Lunch (on your own)

1:30-2:50 am Main Lounge
Symposium: Innovations in College Teaching: What Works?
(BACB Type 2 = 1.5)
Chair: Nancy Neef (Ohio State University)
Discussant: Jack Michael (Western Michigan University)

Participants in this symposium sought to assess the effects of innovations in college teaching on student performance. The first two presentations focus on the effects of variations of study session format on student quiz performance in a graduate level research methods course. The authors examined the effects of optional study sessions conducted in a student questions/teacher response versus a game format on attendance and quiz performance. The final presentation examined the effects of interteaching, a relatively new method of classroom instruction. Authors compared interteach and traditional lectures on quiz performance for students in a graduate level special education course.

The Effects of a Game Format on Optional Study Group Attendance and Quiz Performance in a College Course
Traci Cihon, Gwen Dwiggins, & Nancy Neef (The Ohio State University)

We compared two formats for optional study sessions offered to students in two sections of a research methods course. Study sessions alternated between a game format (e.g., Behavioral Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Behavioral Millionaire, etc.) and student-question: teacher-response format, presented in counterbalanced order across the two sections. The alternating treatments design permitted analysis of (1) preference between the two formats as measured by attendance at the study sessions, and (2) the effects of participation in study sessions on subsequent quiz performance. Students' performance on each post-study session quiz was compared with respect to (a) participation in games versus standard review, (b) participation versus nonparticipation in study sessions, and (c) performance on quizzes that preceded study sessions.

The Effects of Review Session Format on Quiz Performance and Study Group Attendance in a College Course
Judah Axe, Traci Cihon, Ruth DeBar, Amanda Guld, Madoka Itoi (The Ohio State University)

Cihon, Dwiggins, and Neef (2005) compared two formats for optional study sessions offered to students in two sections of a research methods course; although there were no differences between game and question and answer (Q & A) formats on student attendance or quiz performance, most students reported a preference for the Q & A format. We replicated and extended the Cihon et al. (2005) study by assessing and controlling for opportunities to respond across sessions, and by using different games that allowed all students to actively participate (rather than simply observe). Review sessions alternated between a game format (e.g., Behavioral Jeopardy, Behavioral Squares, etc.) and a Q & A format, presented in counterbalanced order across the two sections. The alternating treatments design permitted analysis of: (a) differences in quiz performance (involving questions over recent versus previous material) as a function of participation in review sessions; (b) differences in quiz performance as a function of review session format (Q & A vs. games), and (c) preference between the two formats as measured by attendance at the review sessions.

A Comparison of Interteaching and Lecture in the College Classroom
Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University), Renee Van Norman (University of Nevada - Las Vegas) & Nancy Neef (The Ohio State University)

Interteaching is a relatively new method of classroom instruction that is based on behavioral principles but offers more flexibility than other behaviorally-based methods. We examined the effectiveness of interteaching relative to a traditional form of classroom instruction: the lecture. Participants from a graduate course in special education took short quizzes after alternating conditions of interteaching and lecture. Interteaching produced higher quiz scores than lecture, although both methods improved performance relative to pretest measures. The majority of students reported a preference for interteaching relative to traditional lecture. In sum, the results suggest that interteaching may be an effective alternative to traditional lecture-based methods of instruction.

1:30-2:20 pm Tower Room
I Shouldn't Have Opened my Big Mouth: Skinner's Analysis of Self-Editing
(BACB Type 2 = 1.0)
Mark L. Sundberg (Pleasanton Unified School District, Concord, California)

Typical speakers often emit verbal behavior that is inappropriate or problematic in one way or another for a listener. There are individuals who emit verbal behavior that is obnoxious, offensive, loud, and generally punishing to the listener. Others emit weak or confusing verbal behavior that may be hard for a listener to follow, or involve rambling, soft spoken, or generally weak verbal behavior. They may "put their foot in their mouths," "can't get their words out," stutter, mumble, seem shy, or ramble on without making clear points or "tying their thoughts together." Some speakers dominate a conversation, rarely stop taking, don't listen to others, and seem to have an opinion on everything," and constantly mand for listener attention. There are many ways that a speaker can offend or punish a listener, or simply fail to have the desired effect on a listener. Many of these verbal interactions are the result of the speaker failing to edit his or her own verbal behavior. In Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) devotes three full chapters to the topic of self-editing. The current presentation will suggest several applications of Skinner's conceptual analysis of self-editing.

1:30-1:50 pm Alumni Room
Influences on Mental Health Care Utilization by Families of Children with Covert and Overt Symptoms
Heather Nix & Stuart Karabenick (Eastern Michigan University)

The proposed presentation will discuss a study examining the process through which families go to seek mental health treatment for their children. Four mothers whose children (ages 4 to 12) were receiving mental health care for covert symptoms (e.g., anxious, depressive symptoms) and three mothers whose children were receiving mental health care for overt symptoms (e.g., behavior problems) were interviewed about how they had decided that their child was experiencing a problem, how they had decided to seek treatment for their children, and how the children had finally received treatment. Qualitative analyses revealed similarities and differences between the groups in how the mothers had decided that a problem existed and how they had decided whether or not to seek treatment. Similar barriers and facilitators to treatment and beliefs and expectations about symptoms and treatment were found between the groups. The presentation will briefly discuss the background and methodology of the study, and then the results and implications will be described in detail.

2:00-2:20 pm Alumni Room
Concurrent and Predictive Validity of the SPSRQ and the BIS/BAS Scales of Performance in Response to Anxiety-Provoking Tasks
Theresa M. Souza (Western Michigan University) & Christopher Starratt (Barry University)

Eysenck proposed three dimensions of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, and psychotocism. Gray built upon Eysenck's research and proposed two systems that function in relation to these dimensions. The Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) is purportedly responsible for avoidance behaviors and responds to punishing%2Fanxiety producing stimuli while the Behavioral Approach System (BAS) is responsible for approach behaviors and responds to rewarding stimuli. Multiple measures of these systems have been developed including the Sensitivity to Punishment Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ) by Torrubia and the BIS/BAS functioning scale by Carver and White. The purpose of the present study was to determine which BIS measure best predicts theoretically relevant performance among college age students. Participants completed a mood scale at the beginning and end of the study. In addition, they completed two computer based tasks: a continuous performance task which produced mild anxiety, and a complex task that is reported to evoke mild anxiety. The results indicated that the BIS/FBAS Scale was more effective at predicting the cognitive performance of the participants. Although both measures were found to be correlated with each other, the two measures predicted performance in opposing directions. Based on BIS/BAS Scale scores, the participants with increased BAS activity and the participants with increased BIS activity performed better on the cognitive tasks than participants with lower activation rates.

2:30-3:50 pm Tower Room
Panel Discussion: Science, Pseudoscience, Nonscience in the Analysis of Behavior

Chair: James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Panelists scheduled to appear: Murray Sidman, (Northeastern University, Emeritus), Mark L. Sundberg (Pleasanton Unified School District, Concord, California), Peter Holmes, James Mulick, (Ohio State), and others.

This panel discussion will feature a distinguished set of speakers discussing status of the science of behavior, and science in general, in contemporary society. Is superstition winning and science losing as historian John Burnham suggests, or is the visibility of pseudoscience elevated due to increased media presence. Are conventional definitions of science changing? Does religion play a role? Is this a global phenomenon? Does it matter?

2:30-2:50 pm Alumni Room
Assertiveness Training with Traumatically Brain-Injured Clients

James K. Cormier (Willowbrook Rehabilitation Services)

Training mildly brain injured clients to implement assertiveness behaviors across multiple settings. Assertiveness training was introduced with each client to decrease and/or replace aggressive behaviors, passive behaviors, and/or passive-aggressive behaviors. Assertiveness training was implemented as part or as the whole of each client's self-management plan to be utilized within active rehabilitation settings, supervised settings, semi-independent settings, and/or independent settings.

3:00-3:50 pm Alumni Room
Evaluating the Operative Mechanisms Underlying the High-Probability Request Sequence
Carrie Lynn Coleman (Western Michigan University)

Failure to comply with requests in educational settings interferes with the learning process. The high-probability request sequence has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for noncompliance. However, the operative mechanisms underlying this treatment remain unknown. This study sought to further elucidate high-p behavior change mechanisms through the manipulation of reinforcement and response rate variables. The purpose was to determine whether increases in compliance to low-probability requests could be obtained with either the high-p sequence or with the delivery of preferred stimuli on a response-independent basis. Math problems served as high-p and low-p requests, and data were collected on compliance to requests for three children attending an after-school day care. Results of an alternating treatment design showed that increases in low-p compliance occurred following implementation of two of the three treatment conditions. These findings extend previous research on the high-p sequence by demonstrating that it was as effective to provide preferred stimuli on a response-independent basis prior to issuing a low-p request as it was to assess, verify, and deliver a series of high-p requests in order to achieve compliance gains.

3:00-3:20 pm Main Lounge
Indices of Happiness and Unhappiness: Discussion of the Available Literature
Courtney Dillon & James Carr (Western Michigan University)

A recent extension of the literature involving people with profound multiple disabilities is the investigation of indices of happiness and unhappiness (Green & Reid, 1996). This literature can be subdivided into two categories, studies investigating happiness indices as a primary dependent variable and those that investigate happiness indices as a secondary dependent variable. Studies that investigate indices as a primary measure attempt to increase these indices by providing participants with preferred stimuli. Studies that investigate indices as a secondary measure attempt to observe these indices, and often compare the levels of indices between two settings or tasks. Whether indices of happiness can be used as a measure of preference has been investigated by a number of researchers (e.g., Parsons, Reid, & Green, 2001). It has been largely debated whether indices of happiness or unhappiness are accurate measures of an internal state. This debate is also discussed.

Friday March 24, 2006

8:00-9:00 am Reception Area (2nd Floor)
(Open all day)
Note: Continental breakfast will be available in the Ballroom during registration. Free for convention registrants.

Friday Breakout Sessions

(Click here for Sundberg workshop)

9:00-9:50 pm Tower Room
Behaviorally-Based Service Management: A 25 Year Review
Michael N. Kephart, Amanda R. Rivard, & Carl Merle Johnson (Central Michigan University)

The service sector currently accounts for nearly 70% of the gross domestic product in the United States. Further, the service sector had the highest percentage gain in the fiscal years 2001-2004. As a result of this trend it is necessary for researchers and practitioners of organizational behavior management (OBM) to heed the service sector. This presentation is a review of the behaviorally-based service sector research published in the peer-reviewed journals, especially the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. This review focused on research published between 1980 and 2005. To analyze trends and determine how OBM has been utilized, the following attributes were assessed: type of behavioral intervention, organization (private or public), outcome (behaviors or products), results of the intervention, and other key features such as the use of reliability checks and social validity measures. Future directions as well as a call for continued research and development are offered.

9:00-9:50 am Main Lounge (Just Added)
Special Invited Address: Fads, Fashion and Science in Autism Treatment
James Mulick (Ohio State University)

Mulick will discuss the continuing problem of fad treatments and questionable practices in autism intervention.

9:00-10:20 pm Alumni Room
Symposium: Choice and Establishing Operations in Functional Communication Training, Preference Assessments, and Antecedent Interventions (BACB Type 2 = 1.5)
Chair: Renee K. van Norman (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Discussant: Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University)

Symposium Abstract: This symposium was designed to incorporate the effects of establishing operations and choice in functional communication training (FCT), preference assessments, and most-to-least prompting. The first paper focuses on motivating operations (MO) and assessments of preference. In this investigation, specific MO's were manipulated to determine subsequent effects on MSWO preference assessments. The second paper focuses on comparing the effects of FCT and most-to-least prompting of academic tasks on levels of escape-maintained problem behavior and academic responding. The final presentation focused on choice making for problem behavior maintained by escape from task demands. The authors evaluated choice making and interventions for escape-maintained problem behavior by providing three different levels of reinforcement for three concurrently available response options.

Some Effects of Motivating Operations on Assessments of Preference
Tracy L. Kettering (The Ohio State University), Michael E. Kelley, Wayne W. Fisher (Marcus and Kennedy Krieger Institutes, Emory University School of Medicine)

Previous research on preference assessments suggest that several methodologies are effective for establishing hierarchies of preferred stimuli. However, results of some studies suggest that preference may shift due to the presences of edible items (i.e., edible items may displace leisure during preference assessments in combined assessments) or other inadvertent motivating operation (MO) manipulations (e.g., Bojak & Carr, 1999; DeLeon, Iwata, & Roscoe, 1997; Gottschalk et al., 2000). However, the effects of access to specific preference assessment items and other general MO manipulations have not been well studied. In the current investigation, specific MO were manipulated to determine subsequent effects on MSWO preference assessments. MSWO sessions with 4 leisure and 4 edible items were conducted 30 minutes prior to meals, 30 minutes following meals, and 30 minutes following meals that were supplemented with a preference assessment edible item. Results were idiosyncratic across participants and suggested that the consumption of meals functioned as an MO for edible items in the assessment for two participants, while the consumption of preference assessment edible items did not function as an MO for any of the participants. Results are discussed in terms of previous preference assessment research, general implications for preference assessments, and clinical implications.

Antecedent-based interventions to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior and increase academic responding: A comparison of most-to-least prompting and functional communication training
Judah B. Axe, Corinne Murphy, Renee K. Van Norman (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), & William L. Heward (The Ohio State University)

Functional communication training (FCT) teaches students an acceptable alternative behavior that serves the same function as problem behavior. Two limitations of FCT for escape-maintained problem behavior are (a) the student remains motivated to escape because the aversive establishing operation that evokes the problem behavior remains unchanged (McGill, 1999); and (b) time available for task productivity is reduced because students have continued access to breaks. Most-to-least (MTL) prompting of academic responses provides students with the most amount of prompting needed to perform a task and fades prompts given increased academic responding. This study compared the relative effects of FCT and MTL on levels of problem behavior and academic responses by two students with severe disabilities (ages 11 and 18). Functional analyses of problem behavior confirmed escape as at least one function of each participant's problem behavior. Results of a reversal design analysis with each participant indicated that while FCT and MTL each reduced problem behavior from baseline levels to roughly the same degree, students emitted higher levels of academic responding during MTL than during FCT. The results are discussed in terms of MTL bringing students into contact with the academic response-reinforcer relationship and weakening the aversive establishing operations that evoke escape behavior

"It's my choice!" Increasing Work Choices Using Concurrent Schedules of Reinforcement Within Functional Communication Training Packages
Renee K. van Norman (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Stephanie M. Peterson (Idaho State University), Traci Cihon, & Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University)

This study investigated the effects of different qualities and durations of reinforcement for problem behavior, compliance, and communication within a treatment package for escape-maintained behavior. The participants were first taught how to request a break in the presence of task demands. Next, differing qualities and durations of reinforcement were arranged for each of the three response options. Finally, for 2 of 3 participants, the effects of this arrangement were further evaluated under conditions where work requirements were systematically increased over time. This study extended the current literature on choice making and interventions for escape-maintained problem behavior by providing 3 different levels of reinforcement for 3 concurrently available response options. This study provides preliminary evidence on the effects of combing FCT and demand fading under conditions where problem behavior continues to receive reinforcement.

10:00-10:50 pm Tower Room
Symposium: Conceptual and Applied Work in Verbal Behavior
(BACB Type 2 = 1.0)
Chair: Linda A LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)

Effects of Single Versus Multiple Verbal Operant Arrangements on the Acquisition of Mands and Tacts in Preschool Children.
Amanda Firth, Tina M. Sidener, James E Carr (Western Michigan University)

Treatment programs based on Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior often teach language by incorporating trials for novel and acquired learning targets across verbal operant categories. For example, "cookie" might be concurrently taught as a mand and a tact/intraverbal by arranging a situation in which the trainer prevents access to the cookie when the child is hungry (mand opportunity), alternated with trials on which the child responds to the question, "What is this?" in the presence of the cookie (tact). Previous research has demonstrated that mixed mand and tact sessions result in faster acquisition of tacts than tact-only sessions. However, further research is warranted to address limitations of these studies and extend this procedure to other verbal operants. The purpose of the current investigation was to replicate and extend previous research by evaluating effects of tact-only, mand-only, and mand-tact arrangements on the acquisition of mands and tacts in preschool children. When minimal differences in acquisition were observed during a systematic replication (Study 1), a direct replication of previous research was conducted (Study 2).

The Role of Automatic Reinforcement in Speech Acquisition
Barbara E. Esch (Western Michigan University)

Children with speech delays who do not readily echo speech models have limited opportunities to benefit from speech instruction since very little behavior may be available for modification. A procedure that pairs a neutral stimulus with delivery of established reinforcers (i.e., stimulus-stimulus pairing) has been shown to sometimes result in temporary increases in responses that produce similar sounds. However, empirical support for the pairing procedure is not robust and some researchers have failed to replicate these effects. This presentation presents the results of 2 experiments that examine the role of the stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure in establishing human speech as a form of conditioned reinforcement. In Experiment 1, a 3-year-old non-vocal child with a diagnosis of autism participated in stimulus-stimulus pairing but target vocal responses failed to increase during post-pairing observations. To determine whether pairings established speech sounds as conditioned reinforcers, Experiment 2 again paired target speech syllables with delivery of reinforcing items, but syllables were presented via recorded voice produced by button presses as analogs to vocal responses. Pre- and post-pairing button presses were observed; however, there were no increases over baseline responding on target, non-target, or control buttons. Preliminary results suggest the stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure is not effective in establishing human vocal sounds as conditioned reinforcers in severely speech-delayed children with a diagnosis of autism. Further, failures may not be related to difficulty in vocal responding such as coordinating the vocal apparatus to produce auditory stimuli similar to those with a pairing history.

Conceptualizing Naturalistic Language Interventions from a Skinnerian Perspective
Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University), John Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Tina M Sidener, & Amanda Firth (Western Michigan University)

Modern early intensive intervention programs typically include a mixture of structured teaching situations and naturalistic language interventions, which enhance spontaneity and generality of language of children with autism. The purpose of this paper is to describe naturalistic language interventions for researchers and clinicians who may not be familiar with all of them and to provide a conceptual analysis of these strategies from a verbal behavior perspective. Each strategy is described procedurally and in terms of the relevant verbal operants that are probably addressed (e.g., mands, tacts, intraverbals).

10:00-10:50 pm Main Lounge
Religion: Behavior and Psycho-Analysis
Dennis J. Delprato (Eastern Michigan University)

Addresses aspects of the relation between behavior analysis and western religious tradition. Argues that certain observations might reveal psycho-analysis to be a promising ally on the road to an authentically naturalistic science of psychological events.

10:30-11:50 pm Alumni Room
Symposium: Behaviorally-Based Interventions for Dangerous and/or Disruptive Behavior: Application to Child Noncompliance; Playground Safety, Smoking Cessation, and Methamphetamine Abuse.
(BACB Type 2 = 1.5)
Chair: Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

Symposium Abstract: Consistent with the BAAM's statement of purpose and the conference theme for this year, the present symposium focuses on behaviorally-based interventions that seek to reduce dangerous and/or disruptive behavior. Child noncompliance is the most commonly presented complaint of parents in treatment clinics. Arvans and Gaynor will present on a study using Errorless Compliance Training, a parent training protocol that does not incorporate disciplinary procedures, to enhance child compliance with parental requests. Each year over 200,000 people receive emergency room care for injuries sustained on recreational equipment, a vast majority of whom are children hurt on playground equipment. Seckinger and Fuqua will describe their use of an injury prevention package to decrease unsafe use of playground equipment among elementary school children. Smoking is the leading cause of death in developed countries worldwide. Anderson and Gaynor will present on the development and implementation of an integrated smoking cessation protocol that incorporates components from a range of behavior therapies. The 2003 Michigan Department of Community Health Surveillance Report indicated that methamphetamine is the number one illicit drug problem in southwest Michigan. Schultz and Naugle will report on their use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy with a sample of women receiving concurrent outpatient treatment for methamphetamine abuse.

Errorless Compliance Training: Efficacy, Efficiency, and Parent Emotionality During Implementation
Rebecca K. Arvans & Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

Most parent training programs incorporate both reinforcement techniques (e.g., praise) for positive behaviors and punishment techniques (e.g., time out) for negative behaviors. In several studies, Ducharme and colleagues have used Errorless Compliance Training to increase child responsiveness to parental requests without the use of disciplinary procedures. This study seeks to provide an independent replication of Ducharme and colleagues work, while also assessing whether, while training compliance to easier requests, the overall level of compliance to more difficult requests increases without direct training and whether parent emotional state impacts implementation. Data from at least three mothers and/or fathers who reported child noncompliance with their 3-10 year old children and received Errorless Compliance Training as part of their participation in the current study will be presented. Single-case time-series data will address whether compliance increased, whether generalization to more difficult requests emerged prior to explicit targeting, and the impact of parental mood state on implementation. Pre- to post-treatment measures of parental stress and child behavior will address whether the intervention reduced general parental stress and influenced the child's overall level of behavior problems.

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt: Reducing Risky Behavior on School Playground Equipment
Kimberly Seckiner, R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University) & Nancy Lindahl (Kalamazoo Advantage Academy)

Each year, over 200,000 people receive emergency room care for injuries sustained on recreational equipment, and a vast majority of these injuries involve children under the age of 15 who have been hurt on school playground equipment. A number of strategies to reduce playground injury have been proposed but few controlled studies have been published to evaluate the impact of injury reduction proposals on safe and risky playground behavior. A notable exception was Heck, Collins, and Peterson who reported reductions in risk-taking behavior on the slide when programmed consequences were implemented for unsafe behavior. The purposes of the current investigation were to replicate and extend previous research though a component analysis of an injury prevention package designed to decrease unsafe use of playground equipment among elementary school children. Results demonstrated that consistent behavioral contingencies for risky behavior produced the greatest reduction in students' unsafe behavior on the slide, although a portion of this decline could be attributed to a reduction in the absolute amount of play on this particular piece of equipment. Implications of these findings and further areas for research are discussed.

A Multi-Component, Behaviorally-Based Approach to Smoking Cessation
James B. Anderson & Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

Smoking is a serious health problem worldwide. Several intervention techniques to help people quit have demonstrated some measure of success, though none has clearly distinguished itself as a superior intervention. Nicotine transdermal systems have become increasingly popular and have demonstrated some efficacy, but relapse rates remain alarmingly high. Psychology has offered some promising intervention techniques, yet none has produced consistent data of sustained abstinence. Motivational Interviewing (MI), exposure, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), scheduled reduction, and contingency management have all demonstrated promise in assisting smokers to achieve abstinence. In this study, we combined aspects of all of these treatment techniques. The protocol includes one session of MI (in order to assess and facilitate desire and commitment to change), six sessions of ACT-enhanced exposure therapy with concurrent scheduled smoking reduction (to help the patient learn to tolerate withdrawal symptoms while accepting their inevitability and maintaining his or her commitment to abstinence), and a week of contingency management (in order to help patients achieve an initial period of total abstinence that previous research has indicated is a good predictor of long-term success in maintaining abstinence). The talk will present data from current and completed subjects, as well as considerations for future research.

Treating Co-Morbid Methamphetamine Abuse and Borderline Personality Disorder Features Using Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Jessica R. Schultz & Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University)

The goal of this proposed study is to investigate the effectiveness of a time-limited, skills-based treatment in a population of female substance abusers. Specifically, the projects aims to implement an open clinical trial to evaluate whether a modified version of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is effective in reducing psychological distress, decreasing relapse rates for substance use, and improving coping skills among a small sample of women receiving concurrent outpatient treatment for methamphetamine abuse. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design will be used to assess the effectiveness of this 12 session individual treatment. Assessment measures will be administered during a baseline phase, as well as weekly over the course of treatment to determine whether the treatment has impact on the psychological and behavioral variables of interest. In addition, a more comprehensive assessment battery will be administered pre-, and post-treatment as well as at 1 and 3 months following treatment.

11:00-11:50 pm Tower Room
Evaluating Discrepancies in Behavioral Data (BACB Type 2 = 1.0)
Kim Killu (University of Michigan-Dearborn) & Kimberly Weber (Gonzaga University)

A basic component of behavior analysis involves the collection of quantitative data used to determine program needs and make modifications based on the interpretation of evidence. The data obtained maybe derived from a variety of sources and the results may be in direct conflict with one another for a number of reasons. The variance obtained when collecting large amounts of data can interfere with the data's interpretation and evaluation. Such variance in data, however, is inevitable and simply an inherent characteristic of organisms and environments. Rather than viewing variability and discrepancies as a hindrance to program development, they should be embraced as an expected occurrence and a source for further investigation. This paper will examine common discrepancies in data, the reasons for variance in data, and provide recommendations for integrating data discrepancies with intervention planning.

11:00-11:50 pm Main Lounge
The Behavior-Analysis Training System (BATS): An Empirical Approach to Higher Education
Richard W. Malott, Allyson Heck, Nicholas L Weatherly, Jennifer Skundrich, Brittany Sheets, and Jessie Norris (Western Michigan University)

BATS is a component of the Behavior Analysis Program at Western Michigan University. It consists of a systematically integrated set of undergraduate and graduate seminar and practicum courses designed to train practitioners in applied behavior analysis, especially in the area of preschool autism. BATS uses a systematic approach to the development and management of its instructional components and systems based on the principles and concepts of behavior analysis and behavioral systems analysis. This paper will present some of the data BATS uses in its data-based decision making.

12:00-1:20 am Lunch (on your own)

1:30-1:50 pm Main Lounge
Can the Analysis of Verbal Behavior Help Functional Linguistics?

Robert J. Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

Over that past two decades functional approaches to the analysis of language have become increasingly influential in linguistics. Although debates between linguistic functionalists and proponents of Chomskian autonomous syntax continue, new functionalist approaches are regularly introduced and older ones revised. One such approach is the "Emergent Grammar" of Paul Hopper (1988, 1998), which seeks to explain language structure as a result of environmental factors, not innate qualities. Hopper views language as dynamic, continuously evolving or adapting to new environmental conditions, but his explanation of how linguistic organization develops is essentially metaphorical and inadequate for explaining how such dynamic processes would work. This paper will argue that Skinner's treatments of verbal behavior, supplemented with Relational Frame Theory, can provide the principles necessary for the emergence of language. Contemporary behavioral theory can inform Hopper's functional emergent grammar, and this linguistic theory can provide new targets of analysis for behavioral theory.

1:30-2:20 pm Alumni Room
Increasing Generalization of Previously Acquired Skills of Children with Autism into the Natural Environment - A Guide for Parents and Professionals
Jennifer Levine, Kristin Wier, & Sherry Stayer (Early Intervention Center)

A common difficulty that children with autism spectrum disorders encounter is generalizing the skills that they learn in one environment to different environments. In this presentation, directors from the Early Intervention Center will address this issue. We will discuss several strategies that may be utilized by parents, school personnel and other caregivers to teach children to successfully generalize skills from highly structured settings, such as one-on-one, to less restrictive environments such as school and home. Attendees will learn what approaches have been effective for our clients and we will give them the necessary tools for implementing these strategies with other children. In addition, common difficulties will be addressed and effective solutions discussed. The goal of the Early Intervention Center is to successfully transition children into their least restrictive environments. We will use this presentation to convey what we have found to be effective in facilitating generalization of skills across environments.

2:00-2:50 pm Main Lounge (Note Time Change from Thursday 3:30)
Functional Communication Training Maintained by a Token Economy Applied to Reduce Sexually Offensive Comments of a Middle School Student

Laszlo A Erdodi (Eastern Michigan University)

Disruptive behavior in a 13-year-old male in a special education classroom was targeted with a DRO/NCR combined schedule formally maintained by a token economy. The intervention was implemented at the school, but the client's parent also participated in the program by monitoring progress and providing the backup reinforcers for the tokens. The treatment package eliminated the problem behavior immediately, and the results were maintained for three weeks. The application of functional communication training, DRO/NCR schedules in classroom settings and the importance of teacher-parent cooperation in behavior management are discussed.

2:00-2:50 pm Tower Room
Strangers in a Strange Land: A First-Hand Behavior Analytic Account of Facilitated Communication Training
(BACB Type 2 = 1.0)
James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University) and Krista M. Kennedy (Behavioral Building Blocks)

This presentation is a first-hand behavior analytic account why people who attend workshops on facilitated communication (FC) often find FC more compelling than scientifically validated treatments. FC workshops consist largely of testimonials, demonstrations, and a small amount of hands-on instruction. Attendees readily accept the validity of FC despite evidence of facilitator control, methodological errors in the few research studies presented, and little indication that FC has led to functional independence for people who use it. Attendees also readily seem to adopt an internally inconsistent rational system in which disconfirmatory evidence is regarded as support, and claims that people with autism have "good minds trapped in bad bodies" co-exist with claims that autism is characterized by a combination of special advanced abilities and serious cognitive deficits. Behavior analysts, in contrast, often require potential adoptees to learn rigorous standards of observation, analysis, technique, and internal consistency. FC promoters establish no such expectations, and actively discourage scientific analysis and objective standards in favor of testimonial evidence and so-called "qualitative evidence". Behavior analysts need not abandon science to engage their audiences, but might benefit by consinder how they might more effectively tailor their presentations to accommodate consumers who are interested in scientifically validated treatments but are not scientists, and do not necessarily aspire to become scientists themselves.

2:30-3:50 p.m. Alumni Room
How to Get Into Graduate School

Ellen Koch (Eastern Michigan University)

Advice, guidance, and hints about getting into graduate school. Will cover GRE, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, selecting a school, masters versus docotate, Psy.D. versus Ph.D., how many schools to apply to, meeting dates and deadlines, interviewing, and many more topics. Will include question and answer period.

3:00-3:50 pm Tower Room
Prisoners of Silence: Frontline Documentary
Free and open to all members of the university community

Special showing of the classic 1992 Frontline documentary on facilitated communication. This documentary examined the history of facilitated communication and demonstrated its lack of validity in several important cases. The resurgence of interest in facilitated communication in schools, universities, "autism societies," and the general public make this movie as important today as it was over a decade ago.

3:00-3:50 pm Main Lounge
BAAM Annual Job and Practicum Fair
Chair: Michelle R. Byrd (Eastern Michigan University)

BAAM's annual Job and Practicum Fair will feature presentations by local and regional organizations and agencies that hire behavior analysts and sponsor practicum opportunities. Following the formal presentations, job seekers may meet withrepresentatives of the agencies and organizations.

Poster Session and Social
Friday, March 24, 4 pm
McKenny Ballroom

Advanced Autism Practicum
David Slade, Brittany Sheets, Maggie Dickson, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Advanced Autism Practicum, is to produce undergraduate students with higher level behavioral techniques and skills in working with children diagnosed with autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis at CARE: Children with Autism Reaching Excellence
Katie Relph (Oakland University), Robert Stewart (Oakland University), & Ivy M. Chong (Beaumont Hospitals, Berkley, Michigan)

Autism is a broad spectrum neurobiological disorder. Although there is no cure for autism, it is possible for individuals with autism to achieve a high level of functioning and appear no different from their typically-developing peers if the proper intervention is provided. The only empirically supported treatment for children with autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA; Green, 1999a). ABA is an early intensive behavioral intervention that has been shown to be effective in reducing problem behaviors and teaching skills that the child shows relative weakness in. To demonstrate the effectiveness of ABA, data was recorded from three children diagnosed with autism who are currently undergoing the early intervention of ABA at C.A.R.E. The frequency of problem behaviors and rate of skill acquisition was recorded from each child. The goal of this study was to show how ABA helps children with autism acquire skills and also to demonstrate that when problem behaviors decrease, skill acquisition tends to increase.

Autonomic Arousal to Masked (Unreportable) Stimuli
Nishani Samaraweera, Elizabeth Gregory, Alyssa Kalata, Tabitha Mpamira , Richard Seim, Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

Masking is process in which visual stimuli are presented extremely rapidly, at millisecond (ms) intervals. A fearful/happy stimulus which functions as the target image is displayed for 33 ms and a neutral image that functions as the masking image is displayed for 167 ms. As a result of masking, individuals are able to report seeing only the masked stimulus but not the target stimulus. However brain imaging and other measures of physiological arousal indicate that subjects' autonomic arousal corresponds to the emotional content of the unreportable target stimulus. This study was conducted with male and female college students to determine whether autonomic arousal - skin conductance responses (SCR) and facial electromyography (fEMG) - obtained via presentation of masked fearful images could be brought to habituate as a result of repeated exposure. It was found that arousal initially increased in a manner that corresponded with a laboratory model of fear respon!
ding, and then decreased following repeated exposure to the masked stimuli. However, more research is required before this pattern can be described as habituation. Interestingly, in spite of the small sample size, there were striking differences in t he pattern of arousal between males and females. Males displayed more variation in SCR and fEMG from the first to the second exposure trial, and within each exposure trial. The pattern of sustained physiological arousal observed among females may explain why they are diagnosed with anxiety disorders more frequently than males. Further research may contribute to developing less intrusive treatments for anxiety disorders.

Beaumont presents CARE: A Hospital-Based Intensive Treatment Program for Preschoolers with Autism
Ivy M. Chong, Nicole Carlisle, & Ruth M. Anan (Beaumont Hospitals, Berkley, Michigan)

William Beaumont Hospital is a private not-for-profit hospital located in Royal Oak, Michigan. The CARE (Children with Autism Reaching Excellence) program was developed with two objectives: 1) to provide intensive treatment and educational services to preschoolers (2-6 years of age) diagnosed with autism, and 2) to provide "hands-on" training in behavior analysis to college students from local universities. Children enrolled in the CARE program receive training in areas such as language development (based on Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior), play, social interaction, pre-academic, and academic skills, and daily living skills (e.g., dressing). This intervention takes place in a center-based format consisting of six to eight children, in a preschool-type setting. Approximately two-thirds of each child''s time is spent in 1:1 structured format. For the remainder of the time, children engage in group activities (circle time, craft) and peer interactions (learning pre-school games). A doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst provides all training and supervision. Data are presented for 12 children who received services from CARE for at least one year.

Behavior Analysis Training System
Alaina Clark, Allyson Heck, & Krista Hinz (Western Michigan University)

The Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) is Dr. Richard W. Malott's goal-directed psychology system, involving Undergraduate and M.A. Behavior Analysis students and Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis students. It is a new system that focuses on integrating first-year Master's students into the system and providing assistance in participation in professional activities and gaining professional skills. BATS supervises productivity in completion of final work products, including the Research and Development project poster and presentation. In addition, BATS requires fluency in Advanced Study Objectives, the Three-Contingency Model of Performance Management, and Principles of Behavior key terms, demonstrated in weekly quizzes. BATS serves to continuously improve the quality of itself and its members through behavioral systems analysis.

Behavior System Analysis Project
Woan Tian Chow, Andrea Juarez, Mark Klann, Melody Taylor, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

Teach students the principles of behavior analysis in order to provide them with the skills and training necessary to analyze problems in real settings and increase their knowledge and fluency of those principles to improve the well being and functioning of organiztion and society.

Behavioral Academic and Career Counseling (BACC)
Daniel Shafto, Erin Andres, Meredith Watkins, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of the BACC system is to address and inform undergraduates of their possible goals for their future. May students have little to no knowledge of graduate schools, job in their desired field, how to graduate, what classes they need to take to get the degree they want, what minors that go well with their major, or the requirements for graduate school. The BACC system compiles this information and informs the students through way of "BACC appointments." These appointments give the student the opportunity to ask questions dealing with their present and future academic goals and their ideal job choice, and help prepare the student for success with knowledge and helpful tips from graduate students. The belief is that many students do not realize their full academic potential without proper guidance, so we provide that guidance. All students deserve every opportunity that is out there, even if they do not know where to look for it, which is why the system was created.

Behavioral Computer Workshop
Hui Ling Loh, Millicent R Bandeff, Katrina L Miller, Blake Grider, & Richard W Malott (Western Michigan University)

To provide the education and training of software and computer programs necessary to develop skills for use in real world applications as well as a final thesis.

The Behavioral Research Supervisory System: Helping Graduate and Undergraduate Students Prevent Procrastination
Kendra Priest, Jennifer Skundrich, Kristin Hustyi, & Abby Ferree (Western Michigan University)

The Behavioral Research Supervisory System (BRSS) is part of a larger system known as the Behavioral Analysis Training System. BRSS was designed to help graduate and undergraduate students complete large projects in a timely manner. We are also in place to monitor undergraduate students working on departmental honor's theses. The students in the system complete weekly tasks that contribute to the research and development of a particular project. Point contingencies are in place to ensure that the student completes tasks in a timely manner, but also to ensure a high quality product. The BRSS manager is responsible for keeping track of the student's point values and to assign a grade at the end of the semester based on those accumulated point values. In addition to the compilation of point values, the BRSS manager is also responsible for holding a weekly research and development meeting where both graduate and undergraduate students come together to show proof that they completed their weekly tasks, discuss upcoming weekly tasks, as well as informing and distributing information that may be vital to the student's task completion. The Behavioral Research Supervisory System provides structure as well as guidelines for the students to complete their research and development projects.

Challenging the Cognitive Map Theory
Heather M. Anson & James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

The proposed study is designed to show that "cognitive maps" are not the best way to account for the behavior of rats in mazes. Instead, referring directly to the history of reinforcement more effectively explains behavior. The researchers will attempt to show that the results obtained in maze studies by Edward Tolman, typically explained by suggesting that the rat uses an internal representation of the maze, can be replicated in situations that do not involve mazes. Specifically, we will replicate a famous maze used by Tolman and Honzik with lever pressing. Different paths of the maze will be represented by schedules of reinforcement for lever pressing in which the response requirement on the lever corresponds roughly to the relative lengths of the different paths in the maze. If this is successful, there will be additional evidence that certain kinds of learning, usually said to be the result of "cognitive maps" or "processes" are actually due to different reinforcement probabilities inherent in different schedules of reinforcement.

A Comparison of Two Different Methods of Schedule Sequencing on Schedule-Induced Polydipsia in Rats.
Jacqueline Flescher & James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

The goal of this study is to demonstrate that different experimental methodologies for studying schedule-induced behavior produce highly different patterns of excessive drinking in rats. Traditionally, research on schedule-induced drinking is done by presenting blocks of several daily sessions with the same length of time between pellet deliveries. The shortest interpellet interval length is used first, with interval lengths becoming progressively longer. In previous research the interval lengths have sometimes been progressively lengthened then shortened again. Using this approach, schedule-induced drinking typically increases to a maximum when the pellets are about three minutes apart, then decreases to zero when the pellet deliveries are about five minutes apart. However, when the interval lengths are varied each day unsystematically from one value to another, strong drinking continues even when the interval lengths are as long as sixteen minutes. This study will explore the reasons why the two different methods of sequencing interval lengths produce different results.

Computer Based Programmed Instruction
Kristen Gaisford, Conny Raaymakers, & Amy Crane (Western Michigan University)

CBPI Mission Statement: "To improve the behavior analytic skills of undergraduate and graduate students and clarification of difficult concepts through the use of quality units of computer based programmed instruction."

Contingent Effort to Reduce Aggressive Behaviors of Two Children with Autism
Catherine Martinez, Nicole Carlisle, & Ivy M. Chong (Beaumont Hospitals, Berkley, Michigan)

Results of functional assessments indicted that the aggressive behavior (i.e., pinching, slapping) of two preschoolers diagnosed with autism was maintained by multiple sources of control (attention, escape). However, direct observation in the classroom indicated that attention was not delivered contingent upon aggressive behavior for either student. Additionally, escape extinction was not successful in reducing rates of aggression. Subsequently, contingent effort (stringing beads, picking up chips) was successful in reducing aggressive behaviors in both students. These findings are discussed in relation to the literature on function-based treatment and punishment. The implications for use of punishment in a preschool classroom are also discussed.

Data-driven Behavior Intervention Plans for Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders
Karen J. Carney (Eastern Michigan University)

Students at EMU who are seeking to be teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders are using data-driven behavior intervention plans as part of an authentic learning project. This poster session will provide multiple examples of how these preservice teachers are effectively designing and implementing behavior change in school-age children, keeping baseline and intervention data, and applying differential reinforcement as a way to change behavior.

Does Hypertension Increase Vulnerability to Developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms?
David Scott (Eastern Michigan University), Edison Perdomo, Daniel Houlihan (Minnesota State University-Mankato)

Not all people exposed to similar traumatic situations develop PTSD. Discovering factors that could increase vulnerability to developing PTSD may improve understanding of the disorder and facilitate better treatment. The present study employed an animal model involving 38 rats to determine if hypertension or high blood pressure is a predisposing factor for developing PTSD. Eighteen rats were genetically hypertensive (SHR) and 20 had normal blood pressure (WKY). Half of the rats, 9 SHRs and 10 WKYs, were exposed to a single brief foot-shock lasting for 10 seconds; 19 controls did not receive the foot-shock. Dependent measures representing symptomatology of PTSD in rats were blood pressure, body-weight, and the latency to remove tail from a hot water-bath. Shocked SHRs were hypothesized to be more vulnerable to stress than the rats in the other conditions because of their hypertension and hyper-reactivity characteristics. However, shocked rats did not significantly differ from non-shocked controls. The result of this experiment revealed that either the stressor was not appropriate for inducing PTSD or hypertension is not a predisposition for developing symptoms consistent with PTSD in rats.

Dosed Exposure with Speech-Phobic Imagery
Sophie Rubin, Nishani Samaraweera, Richard W. Seim, Alyssa H. Kalata, Theresa M. Souza, C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

Public speaking anxiety, as a form of social phobia, has been the topic of numerous research investigations. Exposure based treatments have demonstrated considerable efficacy in rendering speech anxious individuals free of this fear. Early research suggested that the mechanism of action in exposure-based treatments consisted of the duration of exposure or confrontation with the real or imagined speech context while sustaining at least modest levels of arousal. Such arousal was observed to decrease over time as the individual accommodated to the feared situation. Recent research suggests another perspective on the mechanism of action. It has been revealed that an individual's internal state (report of subjective experience and autonomic arousal) prior to giving a speech is correlated with speech anxiety in an interesting manner. Specifically, individuals who have negative thoughts just prior to giving a speech experience a high level of anxiety both during and after the real or imagined speech. In contrast, those individuals who have positive thoughts just prior to a speech seem to encounter lower levels of anxiety at those points in time. The implications are that during a course of exposure based treatment, a more rapid diminution of anxiety might occur if episodes of confrontation with the feared speech context is interspersed with brief periods of positive or neutral imagery, rather than prolonged confrontation with the fear arousing speech imagery. In this study, periods of confrontation with public speaking imagery were interspersed with positive, negative, or neutral imagery. Dependent measures include ratings of fear and fEMG.

Evaluating Increasing and Decreasing Prompt Hierarchies with Developmentally Disabled Adults
Sophie Rubin, Jennifer Ritter, Stephanie Sheridan, Tracy Lepper, Charles Brandt, & R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)

Several procedures have been used to help children and adults with developmental disabilities acquire new skills or perform previously learned behaviors that are not occurring under current conditions. These procedures often require the use of prompts that need to be faded until the individual can emit the desired behavior independently. Increasing prompt hierarchies progresses through a series of prompts beginning with the least intrusive and ending with the most intrusive. Decreasing prompt hierarchies progresses through a series of prompts beginning with the most intrusive and ending with less intrusive prompts and there is no a time interval between the instruction and the prompt. This study was designed as an applied study and evaluated error rates and rate of acquisition in a comparison between the increasing and decreasing prompt hierarchies. In addition, data were collected on the number of prompts, number of reinforcers used in each procedure, and participant's preference of prompting procedure.

Follow-up to a Telephone Peer Support Program for Caregivers of Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant
Mary Gillis & Louise Law (Eastern Michigan University)

The sparse extant literature on caregivers in general has rarely included caregivers for bone marrow and stem cell transplant (BMT) patients. What exists indicates this population is vulnerable to symptoms of PTSD, and may experience levels of depression and anxiety that exceed both normative samples and the patients for whom they provide care. Significant marital dissatisfaction may emerge in caregivers when the caregiving task extends to a year and beyond and caregivers continue to sacrifice their own health concerns in an environment where few if any social supports are perceived. This poster will present information gleaned from an ongoing survey assessing the effectiveness of a phone-based, one-on-one, peer support program for caregivers of bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients offered by the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link (nbmtLink, a nonprofit support organization). This study investigated the effectiveness of the nbmtLink peer support volunteer training program and the level of satisfaction that support recipients (BMT caregivers) expressed with the support received. Other variables assessed include participants' most pressing concerns regarding caregiving, the nature of the support sought from the nbmtLink, perceived affinity with the peer support volunteer to whom they were assigned, current level of well-being, and the present state of their relationship with care recipients (BMT patients). A preliminary examination of the first responses to the survey will be presented, with both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

GRE and Grad School Prep Course
Callie Simms, Jodylee Miller, & Sarah Vanstelle (Western Michigan University)

The GRE course is designed to help students study for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and prepare for graduate school using performance management techniques. We monitor student performance, provide deadlines and specify point contingencies to help ensure students spend time studying for the GRE. Our goal is to provide guidance and relevant materials to inform students about the GRE and graduate school application.

In Home Verbal Imitation Training of Two Autistic Children
Katrina Jones (Central Michigan University)

Describes the use of verbal imitation training with autistic children to enhance their level of speech. One subject is a thirteen-year-old girl with echolalic speech. Essentially the research is attempting to lengthen her vocabulary giving her the opportunity to be able to communicate more effectively with others. The other subject is a nine-year-old boy with fuctioning speech, but lacks the ability to fully communicate sentences like his peers. It is suggested that if the child is taught prepositions to lengthen his sentences than his ability to communicate on the same level as his peers will be achieved. The sporadic training sessions consist of 6 to twelve hours a day, three days a week to establish imitative speech in both children. Data shows that imitation training has been successful in the children's speech thus far. There has been ongoing progress in the children's communication; however the time for imitative speech to transfer from mimicry to part of the children's speech is taking longer than expected. Hopefully, through more imitative training sessions the speech of the children will enhance through the presentation of praise, and tangible reinforcers.

Intermediate Practicum
Christina Jean Vestevich, Brittany Leah Sheets, Jordan Paul Boudreau, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The Intermediate Practicum is a supplemental course designed to enhance and fine tune discrete trial training skills. Students enrolled in this course have already completed the regular Practicum course and would like to continue their experience. The major mission of the Advanced Practicum is to produce students with an advanced level of behavioral techniques and skills in working with children diagnosed with autism. This increases the quality of the child's life, so they function at a higher level in society.

Professional Psychology Practicum
Zachariah Dugger, Jessica Norris, David Slade, & Lauren Frye (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of the Professional Psychology Practicum is to provide graduate students with the necessary training, supervision, and experience to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts and optionally to obtain their Temporary Limited License in Psychology so that they can disseminate their knowledge of behavior analysis and help those members of society who are in need.

Psych 360 Continuous Quality Improvement
Erin Carey, Jennifer Skundrich, & Jeffrey Bye (Western Michigan University)

Psych 360, the psychology class was developed and designed by Dr. Richard Malott. It is designed to teach undergraduate psychology majors the principles of behavior. Incorporated into the class are two very important systems. The first is Performance Management. Dr. Malott wants all of his students to feel as though they can succeed and produce a high quality work product and that he and his graduate students are there to support them in doing so. The second system incorporated into the Psych 360 class, is Continuous Quality Improvement. Dr. Malott does not teach all of the classes directly, instead his first year graduate students (who themselves have gone though an intensive behavioral "boot camp") act as Teacher's Assistants and teach the majority of the classes. Dr. Malott and his Graduate students ascribe by the concept that one most not blame the student if they do not do well, instead one must blame the teacher or the material. The Teaching Assitants meet twice a week to discuss the course material, the problems their students are having and to perform error analysis on both the quizzes and the homeworks for the past week. Problem areas are identified as any question that 5 or more students (from all classes) answered incorrectly. Those problem areas are then given to the system manager so that they may decide if the problem has arisen because of the text material, the actual homework question, the actual quiz question or the simply difficulty of the concept.

Psychology 396 (Super A): Advanced Principles of Behavior
Holly Warner, Allyson Vaughn, & Lori Schroedter (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of Super A is to train undergraduate students in goal setting and attainment, graphing data, and self-management, in order to produce competent behavior analysts that future employers, clients, professors, and graduate programs can better benefits from their skills.

Self-Management System
Breanne Crooks, Jessica Norris, Brittany Sheets, & Andrea Rau (Western Michigan University)

The mission of the self-management system is to help undergraduates complete the assignments from their classes using behavioral technology, and ultimately, to help them learn the tools of self-management to generalize those behaviors to their every day life.


10:00 am - 4:50 pm Guild Hall
ABA Errorless Learning: Teaching Children with Autism (6-hour workshop) (BACB Type 2 = 6.0)
John W. Esch & Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.)

This interactive workshop is designed for teachers (also trainers, teacher-technicians), teacher supervisors, parents, and others who are interested in applying ABA errorless learning procedures to instruction for children with a diagnosis of autism or other developmental disabilities.

The goal of errorless learning is to prevent student errors in responding for early learners. Early learners are those children who have not yet acquired strong repertoires of verbal (e.g., mand, tact, intraverbal) and nonverbal (e.g., following instructions, visual performance) skills.

Participants will identify verbal and nonverbal instruction as ABC Learn Units. Errorless learning procedures will be introduced and practiced in simulated teaching of verbal and nonverbal Learn Units. Participants will practice giving instructions once, prompting a correct response before an error occurs, use prompt-test and prompt-test-retest procedures to establish a more independent response, use prompt fading procedures or time-delay to fade prompts until a response is independent. Differential reinforcement for better responding will be emphasized and practiced as an important procedure in developing an independent response from a prompted response.

The workshop will present information through didactic instruction, videotaped teaching segments, hands-on participant practice, and feedback. (Cost $80)

9:00 am - 3:50 pm Guild Hall
Recent Advances in the use of Verbal Behavior for Language Assessment and Intervention
(BACB Type 2 = 6.0)
Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA (Pleasanton Unified School District, Concord, California)

B.F. Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior has provided professionals and parents with a conceptual roadmap for analyzing and treating language disorders. This workshop will begin with a brief overview of B. F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior, followed by a presentation of updated versions of the applications to language assessment and intervention. A major focus will be on the use of a "verbal behavior analysis" to examine a number of common language barriers that often impede language acquisition. Participants will learn intervention strategies that may help to remove these barriers. This workshop will also present the most recent strategies for teaching each of the elementary verbal operants, especially the mand and intraverbal.

  • Participants will be able to define and exemplify a verbal behavior analysis.
  • Participants will be able to explain how a behavioral analysis of language is different from a cognitive analysis of language.
  • Participants will be able to explain how to use the concepts from the book Verbal Behavior to analyze language deficits
  • Participants will be able to describe how to teach manding
  • Participants will be able to describe how to teach intraverbal behavior

    (Sundberg Workshop Cost $80/Materials Extra: $20)