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Effectiveness of Pyramidal Training on Staff Acquisition of Five Behavior Analytic Procedures in the School

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Pyramidal training is an effective model for disseminating behavior analytic skills. However, pyramidal training in research is often conducted in controlled university settings. Further, research that has evaluated the effectiveness of pyramidal training in classroom settings (see Pence et al. 2014) often focuses on improving the use of one procedure (e.g., functional analysis) over a brief period. We conducted this study to evaluate the generalized effectiveness of behavioral skills training within a pyramidal model to improve teacher training skills across five procedures in the classroom setting over a nine-month period. We used behavioral skills training (BST) to train teachers (Tier 1) to implement BST to train teaching assistants (Tier 2) to implement Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) procedures stimulus-stimulus pairing, multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment, mand training, discrete trial teaching (DTT), and graphing data. Pyramidal training was effective in increasing teachers’ procedural integrity of BST, and the social validity of the model was apparent in that teacher assistants’ procedural integrity of target ABA procedures increased after Tier 2 training. Teachers required periodic feedback to maintain training skills, train novel procedures, and novel staff. Thus, pyramidal BST was effective to teach new skills, but required ongoing monitoring and feedback to ensure maintenance and generality of training skills.

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Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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Correspondence to Lindsay Maffei-Almodovar.

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Conflict of Interest

The first and third authors declare no conflicts of interest related to this article. The second author receives consultancy and training fees and royalties related to staff training and consultation.

Human Participants and Animal Studies

The procedures performed in this study involving human participants were approved by the CUNY Graduate Center Institutional Review Board in accordance with the ethical standards of the City University of New York (CUNY) Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and in accordance with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. This study was completed by the first author in partial fulfillment of a PhD in psychology (behavior analysis training area) at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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Informed consent to participate in the study was freely-given, and obtained from all individual participants.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Maffei-Almodovar, L., Sturmey, P. & Jessel, J. Effectiveness of Pyramidal Training on Staff Acquisition of Five Behavior Analytic Procedures in the School. J Behav Educ (2024).

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