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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #307
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis and the Military: Veterans in College and Active, Reserve, and Veteran Suicides
Sunday, May 27, 2018
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom D
Area: CSS/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tom Buqo (Hofstra University)
Discussant: Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.

Armies across the world have used both respondent and operant conditioning in initial training and task implementation for millennia. However, no military organization credits its use of such conditioning in the training of its troops. Grossman (On Killing, 1996), in his retrospective analysis of training is one of the very rare authors who stated that the US Army and Marine Corps rely on applications of the conditioning techniques of Pavlov and Skinner. The transition back to civilian life can prove difficult for those who have been deployed. The two studies presented here and their analyses are grounded in behavior analysis and standard celeration chart methodology. One presentation reports suicide data from all branches for all soldiers, those deployed, and veterans. Salem State University (Massachusetts, US) has implemented a program to assist returning military veterans with university success through the use of SAFMEDS cards (Say All Fast, Minute Every Day, Shuffled). Conclusions from both studies lead to the importance of using behavior analysis, both respondent and operant, with stateside, deployed and returning troops.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

People who will be interested in this presentation include those with an interest in: military issues college teaching standard celeration charts

Learning Objectives: Educate professionals about military veterans and enlisted military members; Raise awareness of veteran issues at universities; Raise awareness of military suicide issues; Encourage some to work in these areas
A Behavioral Analysis of Military Suicides
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center), Kent A. Corso (Xcelerate Innovations), James Meador (Xcelerate Innovations ), Michael Kondis (Xcelerate Innovations)
Abstract: Suicide is currently a major issue in the US military. A 2012 Department of Defense report stated we lose 22 military veterans to suicide day. This is almost one veteran per hour that dies by suicide. Of those currently in the military—active duty and reservists in the four branches, and National Air and Army Guardsmen—to die by suicide the numbers are lower that are the veteran numbers. We used data from the US Air Force, including the Air National Guard (ANG) because it is the most complete and detailed. The ANG data shown on Standard Celeration Charts, are a part of this presentation. The additional data, also shown on Standard Celeration Charts, show that suicide continue to remain a significant issue among US troops--active, reserve or veteran. This presentation will include data displays from all branches of the US military as well as some specific data from the ANG. There will also be data from the Air National Guard about the demographics of those who have died by suicide, the manner of death, and other issues related to the suicides.
Using Behavior Analytic Methods to Improve University Study Skills for Military Veterans
DARLENE E. CRONE-TODD (Salem State University), Maria Pierce (Salem State University)
Abstract: Adjusting to an academic environment is challenging for many students, and especially the veteran student population. Transitions from military service to civilian life are often difficult due to a shifting role in identity and in the structure of the environments. Layering the challenges of beginning a new academic career and beginning their life as a student can be overwhelming. The goal of the current study was to provide students with a way to structure their time to become more effective at studying, and thus help with the adaptation to university. A series of workshops was developed that include instruction and practice using SAFMEDs (Say All Fast, Minute Each Day, Shuffled) and the PQ4R (Preview, Question, Read, Recite, Reflect, and Review) method. In this presentation, SAFMEDs fluency data will be presented along with an evaluation of the complexity of questions developed using the PQ4R method. In addition, discussion of longitudinal plans for evaluating and extending the workshop program will be included.



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