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Research

Mary-Debra Pawlowski—Research Experience

Association for Behavior Analysis International 6th International Conference
Granada, Spain, 2011
Poster Session

Evaluating the Stability of Preferred Social Stimuli Across Time and Assessments for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder [Evaluación de la estabilidad temporal en la preferencia de estímulos sociales en niños con trastorno de espectro autista]

(Applied Behavior Analysis) ANDRE MAHARAJ (Florida International University), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Wandy Caceres (Florida International University), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Jennifer Stella Durocher (University of Miami), Mary D. Pawlowski (Nova Southeastern University), Michael Alessandri (University of Miami)

Abstract: Research literature has evaluated the stability across time of preferences for tangible reinforcers for individuals with developmental disabilities. This literature suggests that preference for tangible reinforcers is idiosyncratic and unstable across time. To date, however, the stability of preference over time for social reinforcers has not been empirically studied. Currently, it is unknown the extent to which preference for social reinforcers is similar or different to preference for non-social reinforcers. As treatment approaches begin to target important socially-based skills like joint attention, information regarding the stability of socially-based (i.e., functional reinforcers) becomes important for the development and refinement of effective interventions. This study investigates the stability of preference for social reinforcers across three time points using two different preference assessments for children with autism. Results show that stability of preference for socially-based stimuli may be variable across time and across types of assessments.
http://portal.abainternational.org/Public/ProgramOnTheWeb/frmSubmissionDetail.aspx?Search=ByAuthor&intConvID=11&strPBID=98

Association for Behavior Analysis International 36th Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX, 2010
Symposium— Presenting Author

Evaluating the Stability of Preferences for Attention for Children With ASD 

MARY PAWLOWSKI (Nova Southeastern University), Anibal Gutierrez, Jr. (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Jennifer S. Durocher (University of Miami), Michael Alessandri (University of Miami)

Abstract: Research literature has evaluated the stability across time of preferences for tangible reinforcers for individuals with developmental disabilities. This literature suggests that preference for tangible reinforcers is idiosyncratic and unstable across time. To date, however, the stability of preference over time for social reinforcers has not been empirically studied. Currently, it is unknown the extent to which preference for social reinforcers is similar or different to preference for non-social reinforcers. As treatment approaches begin to target important socially-based skills like joint attention, information regarding the stability of socially-based (i.e., functional reinforcers) becomes important for the development and refinement of effective interventions. This study investigates the stability of preference for social reinforcers across three time points for children with autism. Results show that stability of preference for socially-based reinfrocers may be variable across time. These data demonstrate that preference for socially-based reinfocers may be more variable than preference for tangible reinforcers.
http://portal.abainternational.org/public/ProgramOnTheWeb/frmSubmissionDetail.aspx?Search=CE&intConvID=8&strPBID=68

Association for Behavior Analysis International 36th Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX, 2010
Poster Session

Quantifying Measures of Intensity in Early Intervention
 
(DDA; Applied Behavior Analysis) Anibal Gutierrez, Jr. (University of Miami), FIORELLA SCAGLIA (Nova Southeastern University), Mary Pawlowski (Nova Southeastern University), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Michael Alessandri (University of Miami), Stephen P. Starin (Behavior Analysis, Inc.), David Garcia (Behavior Analysis, Inc.)

Abstract: Early intervention programs are recommended as an effective treatment for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Although early intervention has been shown to be effective, program intensity is typically measured and compared in terms of hours in program (e.g., 40 hours per week). Measuring an early intervention programs in terms of hours may not allow for an appropriate evaluation and comparison of the intensity of treatment. Rather, a measure of learning opportunities during intervention sessions would allow for a quantitative analysis of program intensity which would result in a useful measure on which to evaluate and compare early intervention programs. The purpose of this presentation is to propose a quantitative measurement system to quantify the intensity of early intervention programs based on the number of learning opportunities provided to the individual. This presentation will also present pilot data that illustrates the results of this measurement system and discuss implication for clinical practice.
http://portal.abainternational.org/public/ProgramOnTheWeb/frmSubmissionDetail.aspx?Search=ByAuthor&intConvID=8&strPBID=473

International Meeting for Autism Research
May 20, 2010
Philadelphia, PA

Comparing Preference and Reinforcer Assessment Methods for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A. J. MARGOL , Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
A. Gutierrez , Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
M. Pawlowski , Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL
M. N. Hale , Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
J. S. Durocher , Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
M. Alessandri , Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Background: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) show impairments in social functioning, most specifically in relating to others (DSM-IV-TR, APA, 2000).  For many children, social consequences may not function as reinforcers (Dawson et al., 2002). Therefore, assessing preferences for social consequences may be important in developing interventions for children with ASDs.  Currently, two methods for assessing social motivation have recently been described: a forced preference assessment for adult attention (Dube et al., 2004) and a single operant reinforcer assessment (Smaby et al., 2007).  These procedures have not been systematically investigated in independent laboratories.
http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2010/webprogram/Paper7496.html

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