2011: Soyeon Kang


University of Texas at Austin


Soyeon Kang studied special education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation involved an evaluation of the rate of problem behavior maintained by different reinforcers across preference assessments. Her interest in this topic stemmed from a preference assessment with a child with ASD. The child displayed problem behavior whenever his chosen item was withdrawn, and he resisted choosing any other item. This inspired a question about the functions of problem behavior, which resulted in the study to examine whether the occurrence of problem behavior maintained by different reinforcers exhibited a different tendency across different preference assessment formats. According to the results, problem behavior maintained by a particular reinforcer occurred more in the format where the evoking condition was present than where it was absent. Thus, format selection could help avoid problem behavior during preference assessments. This is important because if any variable conflicts with the implementation method of an assessment, results may be affected, leading to ineffective intervention.




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