Targeted Topics in ApplieD Behavior Analysis

Setting the Scene:
You are a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) who works for Applied Behavior
Associates, a community mental health agency. A group home provider serving adolescent foster
children, ages 13–17, has submitted a referral to your agency for staff training in “behavior
control procedures.” You have been assigned to provide training in basic principles of positive
behavior intervention for the home. The home previously contracted with a non-credentialed
“behavior specialist” who wrote behavior guidelines for the staff to follow. These guidelines
included such recommendations as, “Whenever you notice a resident becoming aggressive, tell
him to go to the quiet area. If he refuses, implement the two-person transportation procedure to
move him to the quiet area. Prevent the resident from leaving the quiet area until he is calm.

After the resident has met criteria to leave the quiet area, remove all privileges for the rest of the
day.” These procedures have failed miserably, and you are being asked to provide some
Discuss the three-term contingency (antecedent, behavior, and consequence) and its relevance
to understanding why behaviors occur. What information pertaining to the three-term contingency
needs to be considered in the current scenario?
Discuss the components necessary for an operational definition of a target behavior. Provide an
operational definition of the target behavior labeled “aggression” in the scenario that could be
used to provide more clarity.
Discuss one of the seven dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis outlined by Baer, Wolf, and
Risley (found in Applied Behavior Analysis, Chapter 1, and beginning on page 16) and describe
how the dimension can be applied when considering interventions in the current scenario.

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