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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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #435
CE Offered: BACB
Callous, Unemotional, and Anti-Social Behaviors: What Applied Behavior Analysis Has to Offer
Monday, May 27, 2019
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 1/2
Area: CBM/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Discussant: Willy-Tore Morch (The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø)
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Callous, unemotional and anti-social behaviors are exhibited by children, adolescents and adults with a variety of diagnoses including oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, autism spectrum disorder and anti-social personality disorder. Behaviors can include: lack of remorse, guilt, and concern for others’ feelings; lack of concern over poor performance at school; and shallow/deficient emotions. Regardless of diagnosis, children and adolescents with these behaviors are often challenging for parents and school personnel and adults for society in general. Because they readily express anger, seek immediate reinforcement, engage in risky behavior, and do not learn from punishing consequences, these children and adolescents may experience problems such as academic failure, office referrals and suspensions/expulsions, and involvement in fighting, bullying, and gangs. Adolescents and adults may engage in domestic violence and abusive relationships, criminal acts, and active shooting incidents. Ways that ABA can assist in recognizing and providing interventions for these individuals will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBAs, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Counselors, Nurses

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to describe strategies for teaching children who only exhibit anger to exhibit alternative emotional behaviors such as empathy, sorrow and remorse. 2. Participants will be able to describe assessments, intervention strategies, and outcome measures suitable to working with children with CU traits 3. Participants will be able to describe the difficulty with the affective elements of empathy for children with CU traits and a strategy of providing analogies that helps these children with the affective elements of empathy. 4. Participants will be able to describe the motivating operations, reinforcers, punishers, and response effort as variables that influence the active shooter’s behavior.
 

Children and Adolescents Who Exhibit Anger: Teaching Alternate Responses of Empathy, Sorrow and Remorse

JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University), Dottie Dator (East Carolina University), Kathryn Gitto (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Children and adolescents who only exhibit anger in situations where other negative emotions are more appropriate often have learning histories in which they were only taught to exhibit anger. They were provided with no modeling, instruction and reinforcement for empathic, sorrowful or remorseful behaviors. These children and adolescents often find anger to be more functional and reinforcing than empathy, sorrow or remorse. Traditional psychologists often diagnose these children with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder with callous-unemotional traits. Regardless of diagnosis, children and adolescents with these behaviors are often challenging for parents, school personnel and society in general. Because they readily express anger, seek immediate reinforcement, engage in risky behavior, and do not learn from punishing consequences, these children and adolescents may experience problems such as academic failure, office referrals and suspensions/expulsions, and involvement in fighting, bullying, and gangs. Strategies for teaching alternative emotional behaviors of empathy, sorrow or remorse will be provided.

 

Early Intervention for Children With Callous and Unemotional Traits

Andre Maharaj (Florida International University), JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Abstract:

Early intervention strategies have been successfully employed for prekindergartners with externalizing behavior problems (EBP) such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and developmental delays, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Callous and unemotional (CU) traits seem to moderate intervention success for children displaying EBPs, specifically with regard to an oversensitivity to reward and undersensitivity to punishment. These traits are thought to be precursors to an adult diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. There has been little work done that has utilized the techniques of applied behavior analysis, such as functional assessments and individualized behavior plans, for treatment in this population. Blanketed classroom\at-home approaches, such as the utilization of time-out, have usually been found ineffective for children with CU traits relative to their peers. The lack of sensitivity to punishment at this formative age is thought to influence maladaptive antisocial developmental trajectories. We discuss suggested assessments, intervention strategies, and outcome measures suitable to working with children with CU traits.

 

Distinct Difficulties Expressing Empathy: Children With Autism Versus Children With Callous-Unemotional Traits

LORI STUART (Behavior Consultation & Psychological Services)
Abstract:

Difficulty with empathy for many children with autism is interpreting others’ behavior. Children with CU traits understand how others think, they just don’t care. While children with autism have intact affective elements of empathy, children with CU traits lack this ability. The presenter will operationally define both the cognitive and affective elements of empathy, describe the difficulty with empathy in interpreting the behavior of others for many children with autism and describe how difficulty with empathy in children with autism is often addressed through social cognitive programs. The presenter will then describe the difficulty with the affective elements of empathy for children with CU traits and describe a strategy of providing analogies for children with CU traits. By discussing what they do care about and how other people care about the feelings of others, they can then emphasize the benefits of attending to others’ feelings as an indirect way of helping the children with CU traits meet their own needs or wants.

 
A Behavioral Perspective on Active Shooters
MERRILL WINSTON (Professional Crisis Management, Inc.)
Abstract: The rise in active shooter incidents in schools and other places is boiled down by the media into gun control and mental health issues which prevents looking at the problem from other perspectives. The questions most people ask is “How can people do these things?” but the more important question to ask is “What are the variables that prevent most gun owners from doing the same things?” Most people who own guns do not commit these acts, by why not? This presentation will outline the necessary and sufficient conditions that will greatly increase the chances of someone becoming an active shooter. There are motivating operations (bullying, teasing, being ostracized, being rejected, notoriety motivated by the media, an internet subculture that glorifies shootings, etc.), not valuing one’s own life (nothing to lose), low/selective/no empathy for others and reduced/neutralized aversives (lowered or ineffective aversives, e.g., no fear of death or incarceration). Any one of these variables may figure into a variety of homicidal behavior, but they are all typically present in the active shooter scenarios. Guns do not “create” the active shooter, but they amplify damage and reduce response effort.
 

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