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Applied Behavioral Analysis

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1. In what situations would aversive stimuli (i.e. punishment) be used in an ABA intervention program?

2. What are some ethical considerations to be aware of when using punishment?

3. What is a functional relationship? How would an ABA professional demonstrate a functional relationship between a target behavior and environmental variable?

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(1) In what situations would aversive stimuli (i.e. punishment) be used in an ABA intervention program?

Aversive stimuli, punishment (or negative reinforcement) is a consequence that decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur again. Reinforcement increases the chances that a behavior will occur. The concept originated out of the concept of Operant conditioning coined by B. F. Skinner (cited in Ruz, 1995). Skinner held that all forms of human behavior could be explained by the response to one's environment, and further explained by strengthening or weakening; or reinforcement or punishment. For instance, research suggests that if you wish to change destructive behavior the use of adverse stimuli or punishment will help to reduce the destructive behavior. As an example, Fisher, Plazza, Cataldo, Harrel, Jefferson & Conner (1993) used functional communication training to teach clients communicated behavior that produce the same consequences of destructive behaviors to aid in the reduction of the destructive behaviors of self-injury. Other studies suggests that punishment is most effective when it immediately follows the unwanted behavior (model (Bandura, Ross & ...

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This solution discusses the use of aversive stimuli in behavioral analysis.

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Functional Behavior Assessment Articles

1. Take a look at the following article from the Kaplan Library where a functional behavioral assessment was conducted:
Alter, P.J., Conroy, M.A., Mancil, G.R., & Haydon, T. (2008) A comparison of functional behavior assessment methodologies with young children: Descriptive methods and functional analysis. Journal of Behavioral Education, 17, 200-219.
Describe and identify the specific assessment measures that were used in the study. Why were these particular assessment measures used in the study you selected? Describe the findings of the functional behavioral analysis. What specific assessment measures could you add or remove? Why?

2. Take a look at the following article from the Kaplan Library that evaluates an indirect method of assessment:
Caregivers' Agreement and Validity of Indirect Functional Analysis: A Cross Cultural Evaluation Across Multiple Problem Behavior Topographies; Viues-Ortega et al., J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41:82-91
Discuss the pros and cons of the measure in terms of accuracy and reliability. Select another type of indirect method (structured interview, checklists, rating scale, questionnaire, etc.) and discuss for what purpose that assessment could be used.

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