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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #301A
CE Offered: BACB
Don Baer Lecture: Common Purpose: Promoting Multisector Collaboration to Address Disparities Through a Behavioral Community Approach
Sunday, May 30, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)

There is increased attention to problems of societal concern that may disproportionately affect marginalized populations and communities. Disparities in access to services and cultural adaptations for underserved populations persists as a challenge in the field. The importance of addressing social determinants of health or common underlying factors that serve as setting events is discussed. Collaborative opportunities to address large-scale societal problems through cross-sector and multidisciplinary collaboration between applied behavior analysis and other disciplines including community psychology, prevention science, and public health are explored. As an example, a multisector collaboration to address youth violence using a behavioral community approach is presented. The presentation examines strengths, challenges, and opportunities to advance common goals for supporting change and improvements in population-level outcomes through multisector collaboration.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Those interested in addressing large-scale societal problems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the importance of multisector and cross-disciplinary collaboration to address large-scale problems of social significance; (2) discuss the importance of addressing social determinants and disparities related to large-scale societal problems through shared goals and agenda setting; (3) identify examples of the application of behavioral approaches to address social problems through cross-sector collaboration.
JOMELLA WATSON-THOMPSON (University of Kansas)
Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and the Director of the Center for Service Learning at the University of Kansas. She is also affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development. She attained a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on behavioral-community approaches to neighborhood development, substance abuse prevention, and youth and community violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community-engaged scholarship using participatory approaches to address social determinants or factors that may contribute to disparities, particularly for marginalized groups and communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and behavioral-community interventions to promote mobilization and change in communities. Dr. Thompson has received numerous funding awards and co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth and neighborhood development, and adolescent substance abuse and youth and community violence prevention. She is as an Associate Editor with Behavior and Social Issues and serves on the ABAI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board.



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