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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB
Eating Well and on the Move: Health and Fitness Interventions for Typically Developing Adults
Sunday, May 26, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, St. Gallen 1-3
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
CE Instructor: Marianne L. Jackson, Ph.D.

The benefits of regular physical activity and healthy eating are well known. Despite this, adherence to such regimes is often weak. As a result, interventions rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis have become increasingly popular and have been shown to be effective; however, many of these are limited to the application of direct acting reinforcers, and once removed, the effects are often short lived. Interventions based on verbal processes and non-associative processes may prove to be effective and allow for more enduring results. This symposium will present three papers examining the effectiveness of such interventions. The first presentation will examine the use of joint control procedures to increase acquisition rates for individuals in a group fitness setting. The second paper will examine the influence of habituation and satiation on food consumption with college students, and finally, the third paper will be a review and analysis of the effectiveness of interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on healthy eating behavior. Discussion of the results and overall implications will follow.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Healthy Eating, Joint Control, Mindfulness, Physical activity
Target Audience:

Graduate students, practitioners, researchers.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives: 1) Describe joint control procedures 2) Describe habituation and sensitization and the role they may play in food consumption 3) Describe one behavioral principle that underlies mindfulness-based interventions for healthy eating
Joint Control and the Acquisition of Sequences in a Group Exercise Setting
Natalie Arreola (California State University, Fresno), MARIANNE L. JACKSON (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Adults often cite lack of enjoyment among their reasons for not exercising, and research has suggested that increased competence in a form of physical activity leads to increased reports of enjoyment and greater adherence. Given this, focusing on skill acquisition may help maintain engagement in physical activities, allowing individuals to reap many of the related benefits. This study evaluated the effects of a joint control procedure on skill acquisition with 15 adult participants, in a group exercise format, using a multiple-probe design. After baseline probes with one sequence, the joint control intervention was implemented with a second sequence. During the intervention, participants were taught to tact each movement, to echo the verbal sequence of movements in each sub-section, and to engage in a self-echoic verbal sequence while the engaging in the sequence of moves themselves. Percentage of correct movements was recorded as the main dependent variable. Probes were conducted with the original sequence and a third sequence to test for generalization. All participants showed increases in the percentage of correct moves and generalization of the effects to a third sequence.
Examining the Effects of Olfactory Cues on Food Consumption
MINDY GOMEZ (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno), Nicholas L Vitale (California State University Fresno)
Abstract: Obesity has become a major health epidemic and over consumption of food is estimated to be a contributing factor. Specifically, the alluring sensory properties of food, such as olfactory cues, found in the environment may be one variable that contributes to overconsumption. Research on olfactory food cues has been mixed. On one side, research supports the idea that olfactory food cues can establish food as a reinforcer and increase food consumption. On the other side, studies demonstrate that olfactory cues can decrease food consumption. However, habituation research may explain both phenomena as sensitization and habituation, supporting the finding that olfactory food cues can both increase and decrease responding to food. The current study examined the effects of olfactory food cue exposure lengths on food consumption. Initial results suggest that a shorter exposure time (5 min) results in higher levels of food consumption, suggesting a sensitization effect, whereas a longer exposure time (15 min) results in lower levels of food consumption, suggesting a habituation effect. Final probes introduced a different food cue to test for stimulus specificity as a defining characteristic of habituation.
Mind Your Peas and Carrots: A Review and Radical Behavioral Conceptual Analysis of Mindfulness-Based Eating Interventions
MIA BROUSSEAU (University of Southern California), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Mindfulness-based strategies such as those used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are increasingly used for craving and weight management as well as for behaviors related to disordered eating. A growing body of research in the clinical psychology literature provides evidence that these approaches can be effective in changing eating behaviors. However, few studies have examined the effects of these strategies in controlled settings, while pulling apart which components of the strategies are accountable for success. Fewer still have attempted to identify the behavioral mechanisms that may be responsible for behavior change in these interventions. This review will evaluate recent literature and examine evidence for effects of mindfulness-based interventions on eating behaviors. In cases where treatments have been effective, we attempt a radical behavioral conceptual analysis of what behavioral principles account for effectiveness. We discuss implications for future research and, especially, implications for behavior analytic approaches to improving eating behavior.



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