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 #526
Sexual Behavior Delay Discounting Tasks and What They Can Teach Us
Monday, May 28, 2018
5:00 PM–5:20 PM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom D
Area: CSS/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Klapatch Totsch (National Louis University)
Discussant: Jamine Dettmering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Delay discounting is ?the decline in the present value of a reward with delay to its receipt,? (Odum, 2011). When competing contingencies are involved, Sexual Delay Discounting Tasks can provide insight to the impact of time delay or reward value magnitude on choice related behavior. This symposium presents data on the effects of time delay and probability discounting on decision making involving variable sexual preference, as well as on the effect of delay on preference for both monetary and sexual outcomes in adults with ADHD and without ADHD. Presenters will discuss resulting data and their implications as applicable, and will discuss recommendations for future research, instruction, and applied projects.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ADHD, delay discounting, sexual behavior, sexual preference

CANCELED: ADHD Symptoms Predict Delay Discounting of Condom-Protected Sex and Money

MEREDITH STEELE BERRY (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Maggie Sweeney (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Patrick S. Johnson (California State University, Chico), Matthew W. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with increased risk of detrimental life outcomes including substance use disorders and lower employment rates. Recent research also indicates that ADHD is associated with sexual risk behavior such as unprotected sex and early initiation of sex. Some risky sexual behaviors may be driven in part by preference for immediate rewards, referred to as delay discounting, which is prominent in etiological models of ADHD. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of delay on preference for both monetary and sexual outcomes in adults with ADHD and without ADHD. Participants completed a monetary delay discounting task, assessing preference for smaller sooner vs. larger delayed hypothetical money, and the Sexual Delay Discounting Task, assessing preference for condom-use in hypothetical casual sex scenarios based on delay until condom availability. Those with ADHD discounted delayed monetary outcomes as well as delayed condom-protected sex significantly more than those without ADHD. This study is the first to show that the presence of ADHD symptoms in adults may predict likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, specifically when a condom is not immediately available. Increased discounting of delayed condom-protected sex might constitute one mechanism of risky sexual behavior among individuals with ADHD.

Sexy Time: Now, Later...Maybe?
ALBERT MALKIN (Southern Illinois University ), Miriam Kim (ONTABA), Karl Gunnarsson (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss data gleaned from the assessment of domain-specific discounting in the general population. Delay and probability discounting procedures were used to assess decision making on hypothetical sexual and monetary outcomes (e.g. sex now/for sure with a less-preferred sexual partner or sex later/with a chance with a highly-preferred sexual partner). All participants also completed surveys related to sexual risk and indicated a preference for specific hypothetical sexual partners, based on looks, using a multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment procedure. All participants were recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk Human Intelligence Tasks. Subsequently, participants were directed to the Qualtrics online survey platform to complete all questionnaires. Implications of the findings including gender differences, demographic variables, and the relationship between self-reported risky sexual behavior and sexual and monetary discounting will be discussed. Additionally, limitations will be highlighted, along with considerations regarding the practical use of discounting tasks using online questionnaire platforms.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh