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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46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #79
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
TRAUMA: Effects of Trauma on Risk and Protective Factors
Saturday, May 23, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty I-L
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Jessica Singer-Dudek, Ph.D.
Presenting Authors: JEANNIE GOLDEN (East Carolina University), MARLA BRASSARD (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Trauma in the form of child abuse and neglect at the hands of parents or caregivers has devastating psychosocial and neurological effects on children that may last throughout their lifespan. Children who have experienced maltreatment often fail to learn attachment to their parents or caregivers and this impairs their ability to form healthy attachments and experience reciprocal and caring relationships with others. Lack of attachment is associated with a lack of moral behavior, heightened processing of threat-related information, emotional dysregulation, depression, anxiety, dissociation, maladaptive coping strategies, risky sexual behaviors and increased risk for substance abuse. This presentation will provide a behavioral explanation of why maltreated children often do not learn attachment behaviors and receive negative reinforcement in the form of avoiding or escaping negative emotions. This explanation has several implications for treatment including why and how attachment behaviors can be learned.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: (1) state several examples of behaviors related to lack of attachment; (2) state several of the devastating effects of maltreatment and lack of attachment; (3) explain why maltreated children often do not learn attachment behaviors; (4) describe how maltreated children receive negative reinforcement in the form of avoiding or escaping negative emotions; (5) describe how attachment behaviors can be learned; (6) identify which of the following are causally affected by maltreatment in childhood and which are not, using data from genetically sensitive studies: cognitive deficits, psychopathology, educational outcomes, personality disorders, hearing impairments, and adult height; (7) list five areas where PM is more harmful that other forms of maltreatment and three mechanisms that likely account for its harmful effects; (8) identify behavioral parenting programs that are effective in improving the quality of observed parenting of children in preschool to adolescence but harmful for infants and toddlers; (9) describe the developmental context that likely accounts for the difference and the characteristics of programs that are effective with parents of very young children; (10) describe three research-supported prevention programs for PM and describe a public health approach for addressing PM and other forms of child maltreatment.
 
The Effects of Trauma on Attachment: A Behavioral Perspective
JEANNIE GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Dr. Jeannie A. Golden is a licensed psychologist who received her Ph.D. in school psychology from Florida State University in 1981. Dr. Golden has taught in the psychology department at East Carolina University for 38 years and became the first national board certified behavior analyst in North Carolina in 2000. Dr. Golden received ECU teaching awards in 2001 and 2009, the FABA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award in 1994, the NCABA Fred S. Keller Excellence in Behavior Analysis Award in 2005, the ECU Scholarship of Engagement Award in 2012, the NCABA Do Things Award for Outstanding and Sustained Contributions in 2013, the ECU Psychology Department Award for Distinguished Service in 2015, and the ECU Psychology Department Faculty Appreciation Award for Mentoring in 2017. Dr. Golden and colleagues received grants from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (2008-2011) and the Department of Health and Human Services (2011-2016) to provide school-based mental health services in two rural, impoverished counties in North Carolina. In March of 2018, Dr. Golden and colleagues were awarded the Creating New Economies Fund Grant by Resourceful Communities for the Greene County Community Advancement Project.
Abstract: United States state statutes demonstrate a clear hierarchy in how harmful the different forms of child maltreatment are perceived (Baker & Brassard, 2019), but research does not support prioritizing of one form of child maltreatment over another. This presentation presents the evidence (briefly) for considering psychological maltreatment (PM) the equal of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and physical neglect in contributing to adverse outcomes across the lifespan. Because PM, like corporal punishment, is so common, it challenges traditional short-term, narrowly focused, post-trauma reactive intervention practices, toward more sensitive and effective child protection and increased emphasis on primary prevention and good caregiving to achieve child well-being. Interventions with the greatest likelihood of success are presented – those consistent with ABA practice and those that may require shift in thinking.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: (1) state several examples of behaviors related to lack of attachment; (2) state several of the devastating effects of maltreatment and lack of attachment; (3) explain why maltreated children often do not learn attachment behaviors; (4) describe how maltreated children receive negative reinforcement in the form of avoiding or escaping negative emotions; (5) describe how attachment behaviors can be learned; (6) identify which of the following are causally affected by maltreatment in childhood and which are not, using data from genetically sensitive studies: cognitive deficits, psychopathology, educational outcomes, personality disorders, hearing impairments, and adult height; (7) list five areas where PM is more harmful that other forms of maltreatment and three mechanisms that likely account for its harmful effects; (8) identify behavioral parenting programs that are effective in improving the quality of observed parenting of children in preschool to adolescence but harmful for infants and toddlers; (9) describe the developmental context that likely accounts for the difference and the characteristics of programs that are effective with parents of very young children; (10) describe three research-supported prevention programs for PM and describe a public health approach for addressing PM and other forms of child maltreatment.
 
Interventions to Address Psychological Maltreatment, a Common and Harmful Form of Childhood Trauma
MARLA BRASSARD (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Marla R. Brassard, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. For 37 years her research has focused on parenting, especially psychological maltreatment (PM) of children by parents, a non-physical form of abuse and neglect, that research shows is the equivalent in adverse causal impact to other forms of maltreatment and the most related to depression and suicidal behavior. Recently her work has expanded to include parenting in other high stress contexts, specifically parenting a young child with autistic spectrum disorder, with a focus on interventions that enhance parental well-being and increase quality of parenting. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs.
 

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