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Health Systems Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Research

Seed Grant Profile

76

2008-2009 Program

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Validation of Parent Collected Observational Data in the Natural Environment for Use In Behavioral Interventions

We propose to study the feasibility of applying a human annotated video observation system to the problem of assessment and treatment of problem behavior exhibited by children with autism and related disabilities. Previous attempts to collect information on environment-behavior relationships for this population in the natural environment have been unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. It is our belief that human annotated video may resolve many of these factors that have been impediments in the past. Parents will be recruited for this study and asked to identify the location in the home where problem behavior most frequently occurs. That room will be equipped with a single video camera that will record for a 12 hour period. In addition, parents will be provided with a device that allows them to indicate when a problem behavior has occurred and simultaneously annotate the video data. Following collection of the video recording and parent annotation data, a trained observer will score the recording to identify instances of the targeted problem behavior using operational definitions created jointly with the parents. The goal of the study is to determine the validity of the parent collected data. This will be accomplished by comparing the instances of problem behavior they annotate to those scored by the trained observers. Of specific interest will be the overall level of correspondence (indicating an overall level of the validity of parent collected data), the number of false positive parent annotations (indicating the degree of overestimation on the part of the parents), and the number of false negative parent annotations (indicating instances of problem behavior that would not have been recorded under conditions in which data collection consisted of parent annotation only). High levels of parent and trained observer correspondence will suggest good clinical utility of the data collection system.


Investigators: Nate Call (Marcus Institute), Rosa Arriaga (GT, Interactive Computing)

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