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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #98
Sexual Behavior
Saturday, September 3, 2022
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Meeting Level 1; Liffey Meeting 1
Area: DDA
Chair: Jennifer Pollard (University of Louisville)

A Systematic Review of Research-Based Behavior Analytic Interventions for Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors

Domain: Theory
ERICA B MCCLURE (University of Louisville), Jennifer Pollard (University of Louisville)

Inappropriate sexualized behavior (ISB), defined as sexual behavior that is developmentally and socially inappropriate or potentially harmful to others, is fairly prevalent among individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD); estimates suggest that 18% to 28% of individuals diagnosed with IDD engage in these behaviors. Consequences for engaging in inappropriate sexualized behaviors are at times severe and negative, ranging from social isolation to incarceration; sex offenses have historically accounted for 12-46% of all convictions of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Given the severity of potential outcomes, the need for effective, evidence-based treatments for individuals engaging in these behaviors is high. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify research studies contributing to an evidence base promoting the use of specific behavior analytic interventions for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who engage in inappropriate sexual behaviors. Discussion of the review will include recommendations for future research and implications for educators and practitioners working with students with disabilities who engage in ISB.


Antecedent Interventions for Sex Education: A Systematic Literature Review

Domain: Theory
JENNIFER POLLARD (University of Louisville), Erica B McClure (University of Louisville)

Students with extensive support needs (ESN; i.e. IDD) often do not receive comprehensive sex education (CSE) even though this population is at greater risk for abuse. Individuals with ESN are also not often given the dignity and respect of learning about their bodies and developing relationships which is supported by CSE, especially when antecedent intervention are utilized. A systematic literature review was conducted to better understand if there are any evidence-based practices (EBPs) for antecedent interventions that can be used in CSE or ABA practice for this population. Only 25 articles, out of 3,080 results were found to meet inclusion criteria but no interventions met requirements for being an EBP. Research that involves students with ESN in school age range (5-21 years old) is almost non-existent and there is a great need for research to create effective and relevant CSE for individuals prior to maladaptive sexual behaviors forming. The significant lack of interventions is an ethical and practical concern for teachers and practitioners. There are teacher readiness standards, BACB ethical standards, and the BACB task list that may not be fully realized without this line of research. Needs for future research and practice are also discussed to make sure individuals with ESN receive the most effective and appropriate care that they deserve.




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