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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #447
CE Offered: BACB
Nonlinear Contingency Analysis: On the Distinction Between Topical and Systemic Intervention
Monday, May 30, 2022
10:00 AM–10:25 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 104A
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: T. V. Joe Layng (Generategy, LLC)
CE Instructor: T. V. Joe Layng, Ph.D.
Nonlinear Contingency Analysis: On the Distinction Between Topical and Systemic Intervention
Domain: Service Delivery
T. V. JOE LAYNG (Generategy, LLC)
Abstract: Typically, behavioral interventions have as their focus some form of presenting complaint. The pattern is in someway considered disturbing, either to the individual, the immediate community, or both. Where the disturbing behavior is the focus of the intervention we can refer to such interventions as topical. A variety of procedures may be employed which include DRA, DRO, or extinction, among others. Certain cognitive strategies considered topical include, thought stopping, reframing, diffusion, and acceptance. Nonlinear Contingency Analysis opens the door to interventions whereby the presenting complaint can be found to be a function of contingency relations other than those in which the presenting complaint participates. Targeting those relations, and not the disturbing pattern, often can resolve the issues and provide meaningful change for the client or community. This talk will briefly describe four cases in which the ultimate solution involved systemic intervention. Cases include individuals diagnosed with autism and a range of other so-called disorders, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. They will also show that, in some cases, topical and systemic intervention may be used together and are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Target Audience:

Those behavior analysts looking to advance their skills beyond a simple ABC analysis, and clinicians working with complex cases.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Distinguish between topical and systemic interventions; (2) Describe nonlinear analysis; (3) Recognize the implications of (1) and (2) for behavior analysis.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh