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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W96
CE Offered: BACB
CANCELED: Treatment “Failures” in Applied Behavior Analysis: What They Are and How to Remedy Them
Friday, May 25, 2018
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Room to be Announced
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Sarah C. Mead, Ph.D.
SARAH C. MEAD (University of Kansas)
Description: Using the basic principles of behavior as a guide, behavior analysts typically design interventions by arranging environmental variables in a systematic manner with a goal of changing the future probability of a response or responses. However, sometimes the outcome of the intervention does not match the behavior analyst’s expectation. Typically, either a problematic behavior did not decrease to socially-acceptable levels, an alternative, acceptable behavior did not increase to desired levels, or both. This unfortunate state of affairs, sometimes referred to as a treatment failure, requires the behavior analyst to identify the variable(s) responsible for the unexpected outcome and then to correct the problem. After attending this workshop, participants will be able to describe how to systematically and efficiently identify and remedy common variables that can affect treatment efficacy in clinical practice in the field of applied behavior analysis. All assessment and intervention approaches presented during the workshop are well-studied procedures that have been published in peer-reviewed journals; a comprehensive reference list will be provided to participants. Additionally, content is related to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, and the Code will be referred to throughout the workshop.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) explain why “treatment failure” is somewhat of a misnomer in applied behavior analysis; (2) identify when to consult with professionals in related fields to rule out interfering variables outside the scope of behavior analysis (e.g., an underlying medical issue); (3) describe how to identify and remedy problems with data collection and data analysis; (4) describe how to identify and remedy problems with treatment implementation and integrity; (5) describe how to identify and remedy problems with reinforcer identification and efficacy, including behaviors that are maintained by multiple variables and/or idiosyncratic variables; (6) describe how to identify and remedy problems with teaching procedures; (7) describe how to identify and remedy problems with the generalization and maintenance of treatment effects; (8) articulate how the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts is relevant to issues related to treatment failure.
Activities: The workshop will be centered around a guiding lecture. Small-group activities and discussions will be interspersed throughout the workshop to promote application of the material.
Audience: Current Board Certified Behavior Analysts, current master’s students in applied behavior analysis
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Ethical practice, Treatment efficacy, Treatment failure, Treatment integrity



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