Do you mind if we burst with pride for a second and give some props to one of our own? Shari Pincus, Clinical Supervisor with Verbal Beginnings, recently had her article, Context influences preference for and level of physical activity of adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, published in one of the most distinguished ABA journals out there, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. But rather than just brag about her, we wanted you to meet her and hear about where this research came from. Take it away Shari!
Tell us about yourself Shari
My name is Shari Pincus, and I currently live in Silver Spring, MD with my husband and my cat. I am originally from New York, but moved to Maryland in 2007 to complete my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Following that I began working on the Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. I was there for about 4 and a half years, and during that time I completed my Master’s degree in ABA at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. My advisors during my time there included Dr. SungWoo Kahng, Dr. John Borrero, and Dr. Nicole Hausman- all of whom were unbelievably amazing in helping me complete both my degree and my research project, as well as giving me the best education and experience in ABA that I could possibly ask for. Following the completion of my Master’s degree and my time at Kennedy, I came to Verbal Beginnings and have been in the field for a total of about 9 years. At Verbal Beginnings, I am currently a Clinical Supervisor.
Your research is about physical activity for adolescents with developmental disabilities… tell us about what drove you to this topic?
My motivation for completing my research project definitely came from my time working on the Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit at Kennedy, as well as from completing background research in different areas and determining which I was most interested in. I have always been interested in nutrition and exercise, and upon completing further research, I noticed that this was an area that was severely lacking with the population of children and adolescents that I worked with every day. I also noticed, and confirmed through research, that many caregivers do not require their children to engage in physical activity simply because it is easier to avoid this, or because their children engage in problem or avoidance behaviors when they do attempt to require this. I did not want our kids to miss out on the benefits of physical activity simply because it was non-preferred or just easier to avoid and wanted to determine if there was anything that could be done about this, or at least initiate some further research into the area.
I completed this project between the years of 2012-2014 while in the UMBC program and working at Kennedy, under the supervision of my advisors (I definitely could not have done this without them!), and it was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2019.
Can you give us the abstract, straight up?
“The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend Hustyi, Normand, Larson, and Morley (2012) by determining the effects of different contexts on physical activity displayed by adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and determining preference for various activities. Results indicated that an exergaming condition produced the highest levels of activity. Results of a preference assessment indicated that 2 out of 3 participants preferred the physical activity context to the sedentary. For the third participant, an intervention was included to increase activity. Although the intervention was successful, participant preference for the sedentary activity context remained unchanged.”
And where can folks go to read it?
It’s available in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis online or in their print edition! https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/jaba.5z2