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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Poster Session #267
BPN Sunday Poster Session: Odd-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)
1. Identifying Substitute Activities for Alcohol Consumption: A Preliminary Analysis
Area: BPN; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH CATHERINE WEINSZTOK (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Michael Amlung (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)
Abstract: In behavioral economics, alcohol use is impacted by competing environmental variables; thus, promoting engagement in non-substance-related alternative activities may help reduce alcohol consumption. Researchers have designed activity questionnaires for individuals with alcohol use disorder, measuring overall reinforcement derived from alcohol-related versus alcohol-free activities. However, it is not yet known whether these questionnaires identify specific activities that are substitutes for alcohol consumption. Recruiting through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, we administered the Activity Level Questionnaire (ALQ) to participants, deriving alcohol-related reinforcement ratios. We devised a novel suitability survey to determine whether alcohol consumption was compatible (suitable) or incompatible (unsuitable) with each activity from the ALQ. Participants were also asked to complete the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Differences in responding across activities indicated that individuals may label an activity as suitable for alcohol consumption despite a low reinforcement ratio. Across participants who marked given activities as “unsuitable”, we observed generally positive correlations between AUDIT scores and self-reported likelihood of consuming alcohol during the activity, despite its incompatibility with alcohol consumption. These results suggest that a deeper analysis of specific activities may help researchers and clinicians identify activities that are incompatible with alcohol consumption and may serve as substitutes for alcohol use.

Efficacy of the Zones of Regulation When Applied Within an Applied Behavior Analysis Framework for Individuals With Severe Epilepsy and Brain Injury

Area: BPN; Domain: Theory
ERICKA MULLINIX (Lexington Behavioral Health Services), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Discussant: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)

Teaching emotional self-regulation is challenging for care providers. The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum used widely by occupational therapists to teach emotional regulation. There is no evidence yet to support its efficacy. While the Zones curriculum provides guidance on progression of teaching skills and a plethora of teaching materials, there is no standard method of teaching within the curriculum. For instance, there is no guidance correcting errors, prompting hierarchy, or standardized instructions. Additionally, challenges in teaching emotional regulation are more pronounced given significant communication barriers. Many individuals with developmental disabilities have comorbid medical issues, including neurological and gastrointestinal complications such as epilepsy and fecal impaction, which can be painful and lead to negative emotional responding. Difficulty communicating pain has been reported to lead to lack of medical care, attributions of symptoms to behavioral issues, unnecessary or incorrect medical care, and invasive medical procedures. This paper explores a way to apply the curriculum with an applied behavior analytic framework, and examines if using stimulus equivalence and automaticity of reinforcement by pairing overt indicators of pain (e.g., precursors to problem behaviors, overt symptoms of illness) with colors that correspond to the Zones might increase the ability to identify and communicate distressing emotions in order to receive appropriate interventions from caregivers.

5. Classical Conditioning of the Anxiolytic Effects of Diazepam
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
Matthew lazusky (Allegheny College), Olivia Kraus (Allegheny College), Stephen Cullinan (Allegheny College), RODNEY D. CLARK (Allegheny College)
Discussant: Suzanne H. Mitchell (Oregon Health & Science University)
Abstract: The objective of the present study was to determine whether anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines could be classically conditioned. Sucrose water was paired with injections of diazepam (1.0mg/kg ip) in rats over a fourteen-day period. Following the pairing phase, diazepam treated rats were presented with sucrose water before being evaluated on the elevated plus-maze test. The time spent in and numbers of arm entries of rats treated with diazepam were compared to rats treated with saline. Marginal effects were observed in many of the tests. However, a marked difference (p>0.035) in the number of total arm entries between control and experimental rats was observed.



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