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

Previous Page


Symposium #411
CE Offered: BACB
Approaches to Integrating Research and Practice in Applied Settings
Monday, May 28, 2018
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall A
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Louis P. Hagopian, Ph.D.

The New England Center for Children, Alpine Learning Group, and The Neurobehavioral Programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute are unique clinical operations that provide applied behavior analytic-based services designed to meet the complex needs of individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. Leaders from these three programs will discuss how their clinical practices are continuously evolving with advances in research, and how the delivery of clinical services informs their own research. Each presenter will provide examples of the products of engaging in a systematic process of integrating research and clinical service delivery. Presenters will show how the same data-based analytic approach used to address socially relevant problems at the level of the individual that is a hallmark of applied behavior analysis, can be executed at the program level to evaluate and improve clinical outcomes and generate research that contributes to scientific knowledge.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

graduate students, BCBAs, psychologists, researchers, practitioners

Applied Research at Alpine Learning Group: Maintaining Productivity in a Non-University Setting
(Applied Research)
BRIDGET A. TAYLOR (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: For nearly thirty years, the staff of Alpine Learning Group have engaged in a program of applied research resulting in steady growth of publications in peer reviewed journals. Our research initiatives have focused on developing and evaluating innovative interventions, as well as novel dependent measures, that directly reflect and impact the needs of our learners. Developing and implementing a program of applied research in non-university settings poses unique challenges, such as allocation of staff resources, developing internal review systems, and ensuring our research directives reflect consumer goals and objectives. Despite challenges, applied settings offer a range of novel opportunities, such as access to a consistent and varied participant pool (e.g., children, adults, parents, siblings), multiple settings (e.g., home, school and community), and the opportunity to observe and evaluate the direct impact of research initiatives on the daily lives of our learners. This presentation will review several of Alpine’s innovative research directives and practical strategies for non-university settings seeking to establish applied research programs.
Integrating Research and Practice at the New England Center for Children
(Applied Research)
WILLIAM H. AHEARN (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The New England Center for Children (NECC) strives to be a premier leader in the treatment of autism. Identifying and implementing best practice procedures is enhanced by using research to inform practice and practice to inform research. Research conducted at NECC covers a wide range of topics, including reinforcement, stereotypic behavior, discrimination learning, stimulus equivalence, choice and preference, social skills, symbol-based communication, treatment integrity, early intervention, and life skills instruction. NECC has developed a professional development model that has produced over 1,300 BCBAs and special education teachers. Most teachers at NECC receive graduate training at either Western New England University or Simmons College and contribute to the systematic evaluation of teaching and clinical programming through research. This presentation by Bill Ahearn will include a discussion of how research is carried out in NECC’s private school setting and residential services. Two examples of lines of research that have identified best practices (i.e., teaching behavior chains and treating stereotypical behavior) will be presented with a focus on the process of implementing research protocols.
Integrating Research and Clinical Service at The Kennedy Krieger Institute's Neurobehavioral Programs
(Service Delivery)
LOUIS P. HAGOPIAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The integration of clinical practice and research was foundational to the establishment of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Kennedy Krieger Institute - parent institutions of the Neurobehavioral Programs, which serve individuals with developmental disabilities who present with severe behavioral dysfunction. These programs provide a continuum of outpatient and inpatient services. Over the past three decades, faculty and staff have published over 300 articles in peer reviewed journals, and received research funding in excess of $11M. This has been achieved in part through systematic data collection, organization, and analysis of clinical outcomes. Datasets are accumulated and findings are used to improve clinical care and inform research. Examples are provided to illustrate how this approach has led to the development and refinement of clinical procedures, permitted larger scale evaluations of clinical procedures to examine their effectiveness and their limitations, and has resulted in new knowledge about problem behavior. Integration of clinical and research activities within a clinical program is critical to ensuring excellence in care, and can inspire clinically relevant research that contributes to knowledge and practice.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh