Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of high and low preferred qualities of attention on academic demands
by Weddle, Sarah A., Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 2015, 159; 3722141
Abstract (Summary)

Attention is one of the most commonly identified consequences that maintain problem behavior (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003), and different characteristics of attention contribute to the reinforcing value of attention (Piazza, Bowman, Contrucci, Delia, Adelinis, & Goh, 1999). Qualities of attention have been defined in the literature as high and low qualities, and their effects on demands with typically developing children (Gardner, Wacker & Boelter, 2009) have shown some promising outcomes.

The current study assessed individual preferences for attention and the impact of qualities of attention on task demands with three children with disabilities via a concurrent operants arrangement. Next, a demand analysis (based on Roscoe, Rooker, Pence & Longworth, 2009) was also conducted prior to a functional analysis. Functional analysis conditions were then constructed based on the results of both assessments. The primary purpose was to examine the effects of high-preferred and low-preferred qualities of attention on high-probability and low-probability demands. The results demonstrated clear student preferences for one profile of attention over another, and varying, but unique effects on on-task and problem behavior during the two demand conditions. Two participants were able to bias responding toward attention over escape from demands, whereas one participant continued to engage in problem behavior regardless of the attention available. However, this participant displayed lower levels of problem behavior in high-preferred qualities of attention sessions than in low-preferred qualities of attention sessions. There were no differences in levels of problem and on-task behavior across the two demand classes. These results can inform practitioners on the importance of identifying and evaluating antecedent and consequence variables, especially those involving individual preferences for attention and demands with school, clinic and home consultation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bohan, Kathy J.
Commitee: Gardner, Andrew W., Persinger, Lisa L., Spencer, Trina D.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Educational Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Functional analysis, Intervention, Preference assessments, Problem behavior
Publication Number: 3722141
ISBN: 978-1-339-04078-3
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