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 #238
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethical Considerations and the Application of Restraint
Sunday, May 27, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall D
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Britany Melton (Endicott College)
Discussant: Samantha Russo (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Britany Melton, M.A.

Ethics are paramount in human services, especially behavior analysis (Goldiamond, 2002). The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) has developed a code of ethics to determine ethical behavior in practitioners (Board, B. A. C. (2014). The development of this skill set, in practitioners, is of the utmost importance to continue to move the field forward. Located within the code of ethics is section 5, titled Behavior Analysts as Supervisors (Board, B. A. C., (2014). The BACB has recently released new supervision guidelines that outline a more stringent process to allow supervision to occur based on data collected and analyzed. Within applied behavior analysis, psychology and other human services the use of behavior skills training (BST), fluency, and other proven teaching methodology much be used to establish competency of skills is well established (St. Lawrence, J. S., Jefferson, K. W., Alleyne, E., & Brasfield, T. L. (1995). This however has not been readily applied to ethical behavior decision-making (Trevino & Youngblood, 1990). This paper will discuss how BST and other proven teaching methods can be applied to teach competency to decision making when ethical issues arise in clinical practice utilizing restraint.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Clinical Application, Ethics, Restraint
Target Audience:

Practitioners and Clinicians


The Use of Contingent Restraint in a Clinical Setting

JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Gloria Satriale (PAAL)

PBS was developed in the 1990s as a way to address challenging behavior and enhance the quality of life of individuals with varying disabilities. While the use of reinforcement is essential and one of the most powerful tools in the Applied Behavior Analysis tool box, when all reinforcement and other positive strategies have been explored and are not success in addressing dangerous, challenging behaviors other methods of intervention must be considered. Contingent restraint is an intervention that has been used to successfully decrease or eliminate self-injurious or aggressive behaviors with individuals with developmental disabilities. ABAI hold specific standards addressing the use of contingent restraint and all guidelines were adhered to during the implementation of a restraint protocol with an adolescent diagnosed with autism who engaged in severe self-injury and aggression. Functional assessment indicated both behaviors were maintained by escape. Aggression had an additional reinforcing component of making aggressive contact with staff and self-injury had an additional automatic component. The protocol was carefully monitored and over 180 days' results yielded significant decreases in both target behaviors with an increase in compliance and mastery of critical life skills contributing to an overall better quality of life for the participant and his family.


Reducing Restraint Duration With an Adult Population

JESSICA BURNS (Eden Autism), Samantha Russo (Eden Autism; Endicott College), Christopher Tallmadge (Eden Autism)

Restraint has been a controversial component of treatment plans and emergency safety plans in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (Bailey et al., 2010). At times restraint may be necessary to maintain safety for clients and for staff members. The literature supports that injury rates are lower for both staff and clients when restraint is used as a component of a behavior support plan rather than as an emergency procedure (Williams, 2010). When restraint is included in behavior support plans it is a primary ethical concern for clinicians to fade restraint in the safest manner possible. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend on the methods used in Luiselli, Pace & Dunn (2006).




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