Four Tactics for Improving Behavior Analytic Services

By Hancock, Margaret A.; Cautilli, Joseph D. et al. | The Behavior Analyst Today, Spring 2000 | Go to article overview

Four Tactics for Improving Behavior Analytic Services


Hancock, Margaret A., Cautilli, Joseph D., Rosenwasser, Beth, Clark, Karen, The Behavior Analyst Today


Applied behavior analysts are developing and supplanting existing children's services in many states. While many elements may determine success and failure with a particular child, some practices will greatly enhance success with clients. Four tactics are considered here: (a) shared basic knowledge of behavior analytic principles (b) application of the correct behavior analytic model of child development (c) a functionalist perspective that allows for individualization of treatment; and (d) consumer profiling.

The Importance of Shared Basic Knowledge of Behavior Analytic Principles

Behavior analysis services are greatly in demand for work with children in school, home, and community settings. Behavior analysts work as members of a team. Typically, they design programs that are then implemented by other people. In a school setting, the behavior analysts may be working with teachers and teaching assistants. In home situations, they will be working with families and staff to implement programs. Usually the behavior analysts do not work directly with the children (or do so infrequently for assessment purposes). Instead, they function as consultants working with staff and family implement the programs.

For consistent and effective implementation of programs, it is essential that the individuals involved understand what they are doing and why. Therefore, it is imperative that the behavior analysts be able to communicate effectively about behavioral principles to people working directly with the child. Those implementing the plans must be able to identify the function(s) of the (problem) behaviors for the individual child and which factors in the environment are causing and/or maintaining the behaviors. It is not enough, for example, for a parent to follow a "recipe" for a token system, time out, or an incidental teaching protocol. Just as rote learning without understanding in children rarely generalizes to effective learning, so too individuals working to change problem behaviors will not be effective in doing so without understanding the principles involved. For example, using time-out when problem behavior is maintained by escape from an aversive task would likely function as a reinforcer and thus would fail to decrease problem behavior. Furthermore, motivation to follow through on all aspects of a plan, (particularly aspects which may be boring for the helper or be met with resistance from the child), often depends on understanding why these procedures are important. The premise here is that when all involved have the same basic knowledge of behavioral principles, it is easier to plan together, implement, and reassess treatment plans as a team.

In order to take the role of team leader and educator of other team members, as described above, the behavior analyst should possess certain basic competencies. Shook and Favell (1996) list basic competencies which behavior analysts should be expected to demonstrate. This list was compiled through a national survey conducted by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as a means of updating the Florida Behavior Analysis Certification Examination. Two hundred fifty-six individuals from 35 states participated in this survey. All were certified behavior analysts in Florida or Oklahoma or full members of the Association for Behavior Analysis. The results were compiled into a list of 108 competencies (divided into 12 content areas) which were judged by the respondents to be important skills in behavior analysis. These competencies, (see Shook and Favell, 1996, or Shook, Hartsfield, and Hemingway, 1995, for the complete list), include skills relating to conducting a behavioral assessment using various methods to collect assessment information, summarizing and interpreting this information and designing treatment programs based on these. In addition, credentialed behavior analysts must be able to identify the characteristics of behavior analysis (and distinguish between behaviorism, the experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis) and identify legal and ethical considerations (e. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Four Tactics for Improving Behavior Analytic Services
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.